Contrary to my usual style, I decided this time to start off without a heading. Did'nt feel that a heading would make any difference. Some time has gone by since my last post. Its not intentional. After spending 8-9 hours in front of a stupid computer screen and trying to solve the world's electrical engineering problems, the last thing you would want to do when you return is to get back online and "Oh yeah, I need to update my blog". Moreover, there was not much to talk about either. Life is still the same. An everyday race to make ends meet. The paychecks come only for me to find out that my lovely creditors have taken their due share. So then it comes down to a survival mode for the next 10 odd days until my next paycheck. A vicious cycle. No complaints though. However I would do just about anything to get out of that cycle.

Anyways, I have been thinking a lot lately about things happening around me, and in my life. I have always believed in the fact that you suffer consequences for your wrongdoings. I myself am going through some as I write this. But I look around and I see people from all walks of society doing things with absolutely no regard whatsoever for their consequences. It is almost as if they are completely immune to any sort of consequence. I see sports professionals achieve break records on performance enhancement drugs (euphemism for "anabolic steroids"). I see politicians accept sums of money to favour a private party to protect their business interests. I see people exploit the poor for peanut salaries. I see people getting more and more greedy. Television shows kind of tell you "it is ok to cheat on your spouse. It is ok to be promiscuous and have a lot of partners. It is ok to lie to get a monetary price." The list goes on. In all these cases, there has been an outright denial of all these actions, although there is strong evidence to prove it all.

Has humanity forgotten the way of moral values? Are we being more and more inhumane everyday? It is a real downer to see all this happen around one, and to note that there is no concept of a consequence. Its like what my high school teacher used to say "this world is going to the dogs".

I would like to sign off by quoting the verses 7 and 8 from Chapter 4 of the Bhagavat Gita.

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.
~ciao....peace and love


: Catching up on lost time.....

Okay......so what if I havent updated my blog in a gazillion years. Its not like you guys out there are really interested in this paltry life of mine right???? Anyways, here is a time capsulated update of what has been happening in this life so far. So far it has been so good, no complaints as ever. Happy to be alive and kicking.....and fortunate to have an amazing array of friends and family around this soul. So here you go.....

Nov 2005: Finally got my green card, because a lot was depending on it. Answers to a lot of prayers. That would mean I am finally LEGAL to work here and provide for my tiny family.

Dec 2005: Joined ASU as a full time tech support analyst. Having worked at the same job as a student for the past 5 years, it was a great fulfilling moment. One because that is the longest job i have taken so long in my professional career, although it was a part time one. I had made a lot of friends and well wishers there, that my turning full time made a lot of people happy. I was happy too, as not only the pay and benefits were better, other people were happy for me too.

Jan 2005: Nothing unusual. Same job. Only thing is that I am driving about 30-40 mins each way to get to work. In Nov, when our tiny 1 bedroom apartment lease got over, we did not sign a new lease or move in to a new apartment because we simply could not afford it. So we moved in with H's parents. Although they had opened their home for us, I always felt like an intruder there, intruding into every aspect of their lives. Well, nothing bad happened, but I am fortunate to have such caring people around me.

End of Jan 2005: IT ARRIVES FINALLY!!!!!! The career I have been patiently waiting for. I tell you all, its the most depressing feeling to watch all your friends get employed while you kind of feel "left behind". I was one of those early job getters in my undergrad, but I have never been on the other side. I think He wanted me to experience the other side too, so I can appreciate what I have. So I get this job offer as a Design/Applications Engineer at Protek Analog. I readily accepted it, as the job description clearly fit my career goals. Saying goodbye to ASU though was tough. I sat on the offer for one week before making a decision. I have always been known to make quick decisions (yeah. i am instinctive). And here I am.....I have this dream job that I have been wanting for years (3 to be exact!) on one hand, and all of a sudden, I am feeling a sense of being lost, because my job at ASU was such a safe haven. It literally was my home for the 5 years I have been here in Phoenix. It was like leaving home. Anyways, I took up the job. I feel that the wait was worthwhile. I am learning a lot of new things. I can see myself grow with the company.

Feb 2005: Nothing major happened. Other than the 45 min a way car ride, everythign else was smooth. H and I have been busy looking for apartments in the Chandler area so we can move closer to work.

Mar 2005: Still getting accustomed to work. It is nice, a welcome change. Learning a lot of new things regarding semiconductor design and manufacturing. Being in a small company helps. Moved out to a 2 bedroom apartment closer to work. A major improvement from the 1 room we were sharing in the house. Another improvement was the time. I was only 10 mins away from work. That meant I could leave late, and come home early to be with miss A.

Mar 19, 2005: Miss A finally turned 1!!!!! I am still trying to get to grips with it. My li'l angel is already walking, and she is 1. There is no looking back now. The tables have turned. She is mobile. And a strong headed person too.....like her mom......(er.......and dad)

Apr 2005: Celebrated Vishu. Planned a get together with a friend of mine. Had around 30+ people come to a potluck "Vishu Sadya". Reminded me of the good old days when as students, we played host and served Vishu Sadya for 60+ people. It was nice to see all those old faces, some faded, some forgotten, and catch up on the time away. April was also the time to celebrate Easter. So we celebrated Easter in traditional American fashion. Grilled Salmon, and nice dessert. Missy went Easter Egg gathering although I know nothing about the origins itself.

There is the update. Will try to maintain it regularly. Wishing you all a very very belated
Shoud not miss:
Inside Man: Starring Denzel and Jodie. C'mon do you guys believe I can afford to miss a Denzel movie??? NO WAY!!!! Typical Spike Lee movie with his signatures written all over it starting with the "Chaiyya Chaiyya" theme song. The song has been adapted as it is from Dil Se. But unlike Mr. Rahman, Lee chose to acknowledge the people behind the song. A hiest story has been told in Hollywood for I don't know how long. But this is a different interesting movie. Lee ofcourse has messages for everyone regardless of age, sex and race. Nice Watch.

Thank you for smoking: The only star I could recognize was Robert Duvall. Great movie. Nice satire on how lobbyists control the capitalistic economy of America. Ofcourse, it is not a generalized movie. The movie only concentrates on a tobacco lobbyist. Can't understand for whatever reason why Cruise went with Katie Holmes. She is not sexy, and cannot act. Maybe the second reason is reason enough he chose her. Because they both SUCK. But don't let this deter you from watching this movie.

Take Care......and see you soon.....


: Welcome to America, where we have lost our manners.......

I know I know........It has been a long time since yours truly ever typed anything in this page. And everytime I think of something, the only things that come to my mind are things that provoke me. Yeah, methinks I am growing into this grumpy man. You know the grumpy grandpa who is not happy with anything at all? I can see myself grow into that. I should change the way I think, otherwise, I will be a changed man. Anyways, thats a project for me to do. Lets get to why this whole post is here.

Its christmas time. It is the most wonderful time of the year. Its time to give. I do not know why, but I just love christmas time. Its not too cold here in Phoenix. Temperatures range only in the 50-60s (that is deg F). When the rest of the USA shovels snow, we here enjoy crisp sunshine, and cool nights. Not to mention, shops put on their best appearance. A lot of people are out shopping, checking out stuff, buying gifts. That is what yours truly did this past sunday. We (my wife and I) were at a "Cost Plus" world market. This is a really neat setup. They have stuff from more than 50 countries in their store. Everything from beer to chocolate to wine and gift ideas. If you are a person who finds it difficult to find gifts fof your friends, I recommend this place to you.

Anyways, here we are in Cost Plus, checking out some stuff. Oh BTW, there is a whole aisle set aside for chocolates from, yeah Cadbury!!!!! That is the section I like to hang out at. We did some window shopping, and then I got something for Sharon. We proceeded to the payment counter where it was very crowded. In shopping centres in the US, if there are more customers waiting, and the line does not move that fast, they open up another counter to help customers. So thats what they did here. And we were at the end of a waiting line, and as is usual custom, the lady at the counter offered to help. We moved on to that new counter, and nobosy said anything. But as we were getting the gifts wrapped by the lady and paying the bill, this lady behind me said "Welcom to America, where we have lost our manners". I knew it was directed at me. My wife was angered. I was a little bit disturbed by that comment. But this is not the worst I have heard here.

But as we were walking out the door, I was trying to convince my wife that there is no point in trying to correct her point of view. Its is just that she had a narrow view. But thinking more about that incident, I think I should have retaliated. But retaliating to these comments will get me nowhere, right? This is where I really feel good about the tolerant nature of us Indians. Maybe we should export some of this tolerance to the US, as the US is exporting its culture to the rest of the world. It really makes a whole lot of difference when you think of something like this in a tolerant atitude. The US has always been this culture that retaliates first and then thinks what it has done. I hope, as a melting point of different cultures, the US adopts the best of different cultures, and improve its own. That is how legacy cultures are made.

Merry Christmas to you all......have a safe Christmas.



: Katrina the New Age Kali

So this latest edition to the hurricanes hitting the Southern coast of the United States has been named Katrina. So what was predicted to be a Cat 3 storm suddenly changed plans, and got a makeover to a Cat 4. Winds upto 140mph, tonnes of rain, and left the gulf coast (coastal cities in Louisiana and Missisippi). Katrina left the whole of the historic city of New Orleans under many feet (some places upto 20) of water. New Orleans to begin with was under the sea level. So to make matters incredibly worse, the breaches that guarded New Orleans gave way to the shear destructive force of Katrina, and the soup bowl effect took place. Experts estimate it will take months to get the water out of the city, and years until the rebuilding is complete.

What is really intriguing to me, is that the richest country (or so it claims) in the world, the most technologically equipped nation, and the world's sole super power, sat and watched as hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless, and literally, left to die. Disaster relief did not reach the affected areas until after 72 hours. 72 hours! you can send your armed forces to afganistan, or any other country in this whole world for that matter, in a matter of hours. But you just cannot send help and aid to your own people. This country claims to be the epitome of civilization. But there is not a single evidence that tells me this country really cares. It took 5 days to get the national guard there! No wonder some people took to the streets looting and killing. There are reports of people committing suicides, even police personnel. They just could not take it anymore. As the whole world watched, the federal officials here just sat back, and did NOTHING. No help! Nothing! This government has let its people down. While Louisiana and Missisippi were still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly massive storm, Pres. Bush was in Arizona trying to sell his new social security plan. C'mon, for God's sakes, there is a national disaster, and you are trying to sell your social "security" plan. Well, if these citizens do not make it alive, then you do not need to give them the social security they need right?????

The world's most powerful, and civilized nation now has a city that lives like a "third world". Well, they set the standards then. Now, they find themselves victims of the very standard they set. How long does it take for a first-world country to transform to a third-world country? Not very long as Katrina has shown. It is a shame that a country with "limitless" resources as the US sat and watched, and took so long to atleast respond. We can only hope that the officials learn from history.



: Rain Rain Come Again..........

  • Friday July 22: So it is here. Finally!!!!!! The heat has been swealtering the past couple of weeks. The humidity has been on the rise. The clouds would come, turn grey, and go. I used to wonder why they entice you so much, and then just leave. It might be God's way of playing with the devil in the "valley of the sun". So the heat and the humidity have been rising, and finally it happened!!!! The unimaginable!!!!! By sunset (well, you have to know that Mr.Sun sets at 8pm here in this part of the world), there was a steady wind picking up. I knew what was to come. A dust storm. Told H to keep Asha indoors, as it is pretty dangerous. We stayed indoors most of the time. Then at around 9:30pm the skies let loose!!!! The monsoon is here. FINALLY!!!!! I have been longing for some rain. I have been hearing all these stories from home (that would be Kerala) about rain and the monsoon, and could not wait for one here. Well, the thunderstorm was pretty violent I should say. The winds were pretty strong, the rain pretty heavy. Thankfully, the power did not go off, neither did a tree fall on our car. Thats the last thing we need now.

  • Saturday July 23: i always loved the morning after the rain. Especially here in Arizona, the heat kicks in pretty early thanks to the barren desert. I love the humidity still lingering in the air. Walked out to our balcony, sipping a cup of steaming coffee. The morning was great. Wished this happened more often than a random day. I tell my friends that rain happens here when a cloud has lost its way, and then says "Oh f**k! I am screwed!!!". Anyways, saturday was already planned for. I had to help H clean the front room. My office was a big mess. I have to get it ready for school. Can you believe school starts in less than three weeks?????? Asha's place got a makeover too.

  • Sunday July 24: Family dinner, at A&D's place. We havent had one in more than 2 months if i remember right. This time we are celebrating H's, G's, and K's birthdays. 10 of us met at A&D's new house they bought in Chandler. It was a 25 min drive from here. H tried her hand at making carrot cake. As usual, she was not very encouraged herself about the outcome. I kept telling her it would taste good. Family dinner was fun. It is always fun to meet and be with people who you love, and who care about you too. Asha had fallen asleep by the time we get there. D tried to take her, but she in the car seat is a heavy "object" I should say. So A took care of transporting Asha in the carseat inside, while I helped H with carrying the cakes (yeah, she made 2 of 'em. amazing huh?) and the other food (a rather insignificant Chapati and masala). So we are in the house exchanging "whatsups" and "how u doins". Now A&D's house has high ceilings, and since they have not furnished it fully yet, the noises are rather loud, and they echo too:-) (just imagine the size of the house ;-) ). Asha woke up because of the slightly high noise levels, and H took her out of the car seat. So here she is, just awake, and wondering "I was in a different place before I went to sleep, and here I am in a totally new place", on her mom, and aunty D comes to her and says "hellowwww ashakuttieeee". The sight of D coming towards her may have scared her, and she just let it loose there. Wailing and wailing.......I was cooking the chapatis, and I hear this. I run to H and pick her up. She is still crying, and I am telling her "its ok dear. its only aunty D". Yeah, like she understands.....waaiiiiiilllllll.......wwaaaaiiiillll......curly lips........ so bappa (thats what grandpa wants to be called) somes over, "heyyyyyyyyy".........WAAIIIIILLLLLL..........WWAAAIIILLL (in the 8th note)......bappa takes this real personal "thats it. i am leaving" he jokingly says......wwwaaaaiiiillllllll......no sign of stopping. So dada (thats none other than me......everybody has a name, why not me huh?) talks and walks her. Asha is still having those broken breaths from crying.......we call it "aengal" in malayalam.....i do not know the english translation to it. It took me a whole 10 mins to get her steady, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, uncle A comes with a teddy bear. WWWOOOOOOOWWWWWW......I lllllloove this teddy bear. It was so fun to see crackle up when she saw the teddy. Just a minute ago, she was crying. Now here she is smiling and crackling up. Aunty D feels better now :-). So this is when H explains that Asha sleeps just like her dad (that would be me), and that as soon as she (Asha) wakes up from sleep, it is necessary for her to completely come loose from the sleep, as apparantly, like her dad, she has "layers" of sleep, and with Asha, only dad and mom are supposed to be there when she is unraveling her final few sleep "layers". Hmmmmm..... what a coincidence. Atleast, my daughter has one quality I have. Layers??? what do you mean by layers????? "Oh, you could be sleeping, and I can wake you up and tell you to do things. You will answer in the positive, as if you are wide awake, but you will never wake up", my wife says. Layers, huh.......so how many layers do I have?????? What is the duration of the longest layer? Back to the family dinner. Everything went well. The food was just awesome. So much food. The cake that H made was the highlight. It was just S-U-P-E-R-B. not because she is my wife, you know.......;-)

As I look out the window of my work, I see more clouds gathering. Is this a sign of more rain....ooops, sorry, monsoon? Hope we get more monsoons here. I have always wondered why people here call this monsoon. The rains are hardly 5-10mins in duration. Occasionally you get a 20minute-er. Here is an explanation of why it is called the monsoon. I thought monsoons were the trademark of India, like the word "Freedom" is the trademark of the US.

Now Listeneing: "Sukhamo Devi", K.J. Yesudas, Raveendran, Sukhamo Devi (1986)


: മലയാളത്തിൽ ഒരു കുറിപ്പ്‌

കുറച്ച്‌ നാളുകളായി ഞാൻ മലയാളത്തിൽ ഒരു
കുറിപ്പ്‌ എഴുതണമെന്ന്‌ ആഗ്രഹിച്ചിരുന്നു. ഇതൊരു ഗവേഷണമാണ്‌.


: Will we ever learn ?

K.P.S. Gill in this beautiful article explains the different approaches taken by the security forces, press and most importantly the politicians in the terrorist attacks in London recently, and the foiled attack on the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India. What intrigues me is the fact that even after decades of experience fighting terrorists at home, we still have not devised efficient means of tackling them. Our methods are crude, and rely heavily on hearsay and rumour. Check out the news cast from the two incidents. There are conflicting reports of the Ayodhya attack, whereas there is only one (and only one) comprehensive information we hear about the London attacks. Really distressing, more distressing is the fact that even after so many years, we still have not come up with a more efficient system of disaster management, conflict management and information interchange. Like Gill pointed out, compared to Ayodhya (not comparing the nature of the attacks here) there was just one source of information interchange. So all press around the world said the same thing, no guesses, no heresay, no speculation. How efficient is that????? And look at the politicians. Blair I should say did an amazing job of mobilizing public opinion, condemning only the perpetuators, and also most significantly, included muslim MPs to discuss further actions. Did we see anything of that sort from our politicians??? Naaaa. Never. Its image folks. Mr. Advani promptly took the opportunity to bash "Pakistani backed terrorists" and "security lapses" (y'know, all those politically charged words) and also called a nationwide BANDH. All for a successfully foiled attack on the most controversial 80 acre land piece in the whole world!!!!!!!!! We Indians are to blame. We elected those people to power, to say things like that and make our lives miserable.

I usually do not like to post political blogs, but this really upset me, in the way things were handled. This is the information era. Information about something is bound to reach the public anytime. It is upto the officials to see that the information comes from a trustworthy source, and that it is coherent. Also, the lack of proper communication channels, and clarity really makes us look lower than third world. Soon after the tsunami, the way we reacted to the the relief efforts was worth a pat in the back. But it kind of died a premature death, as we quite evidently did not go ahead with it to the full extend.

A friend of mine emailed me from Hong Kong and said how beautiful and clean the city looked. Why? The people want to keep the city clean. They take every effort to make it look good and clean. They take pride in doing it. What about a city in India, say Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai. What do we do? We blame it on the large population that these cities are dirty and filthy. But is someone doing something? The same indian who lives in Singapore keeps his neighbourhood clean. He does not throw the banana skin on the roadside, but finds a trash can to dump it. He returns to india, and does he do the same thing? No. He litters. What a paradox. He knows well that he is gonna get his a** fined if did that in S'pore. If we really want to see India Shining, we have to start at the grassroot level. If we see ourselves as one of the economic powers of the world, we have to change the way we think of ourselves, and our country. I do not think most Indians understand that power rests with them. Vote for reliable people. People with integrity. People with vision. And help them achieve it by providing full support. Hey, we elected them goddamit. Best example? This guy called G.W. Bush and this nation called America. Look at the support he has in the US, even after every TD&H knows the things he did to "fight Terror" did not work. India desperately needs a visionary, a new age Gandhi (NO. Not Sonia or anybody from the Nehru family. I was just mentioning about Gandhi the visionary, not Gandhi the politician).

Only then will we really be able to say "Sara jahan se acha, Hindustan hamara....."