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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

India trip!!!

Typical responses I received when I visited India late last year.

Mom - You appear to have grown taller. (No complaints about that at all).

Dad - You look like you're taking good care of your health!!! (No complaints about that either).

Neighbor 1 (Mrs. Kumar) - You look nice and healthy now. (Calls out to my mom next) I know a girl in my family (This was the general response in the later part of my trip when I’d grown healthy eating good food and doing nothing other than watching TV)

Neighbor 2 (Mrs. Rajan) - (Calling out to my mom) Nimma huduga idda haage iddane. (Your son hasn’t changed one bit) (This was the general response in the early part of my trip)

Friend 1 (the emotional guy in any group) - Maaaan, I really missed you. I had a big crisis in my life. Needed a friend to talk to during that time. ?

Friend 2 (the one we could never tolerate) - So, what is your salary man? You must be earning in dollars. (No, I receive it in Rupees. I go to the Forex counter in the bank and get it exchanged for dollars).

Friend 3 - You haven’t changed one bit? You don’t even have a hint of an accent.

Friend 4,5,6,... - So, this is your treat right? ;-) Of Course!!!

Will update this post with more as I re-collect.

No offence meant to anyone who think they are being referred to here. Believe me, each of these responses were received as they were expected to be received. :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Am I fat or Am I not?

In three weeks in India, I've got the multitude of opinions on whether I had put on a lot or whether I'd slimmed down based on when the person had last seen me. That's when I had this brain-wave of creating a website http://www.amifatornot.com ... Sadly someone's already thought of it and implemented it too. Am planning to post my pic and see what results I get to the question.

Another interesting site on similar lines is http://www.hotornot.com :-)

Nigerian Bank fraud scam

Anyone who's got some kind of spam has to have got the e-mail about the Nigerian Bank Account with lots of money and no claimants or the Lottery winner e-mail. I have to admit, I was one of those who did fall prey to this scam to an extent in that I did believe it when I first saw it. Then on doing some research, found that a million others had got it. Luckily for me, I got this mail for the first time when I was in school and didn't have Bank account details to reveal. :-))

A few years back, I got another variation of a rich Nigerian Dictator who got killed and his last name happened to Randhir (that's my first name). Because of the common name, my dear benefactor was going to produce some papers to prove that I was the next of kin of this Nigerian Dictator and so the money would get transferred to my account. I sent an innocent reply to that mail saying that I was all excited that he had found me and not some other Randhir. I told him that since I had just come into the US, I did not have a bank account. Could he please send me the money as a cheque so that I could deposit it once I opened my account. I had my share of fun and ended the mail chain by using all the swear words I could think off. :-))

Although I don't have the e-mails archived, here are some similar jobless people like me who've gone one step ahead and created a website of their experiences:


Read at leisure.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Had a nice halloween experience at work. Although not everyone at work were dressed up for Halloween, there were a few nice innovative costumes / masks / etc. There was Dr Evil, The Ghost, some witches and wizards. It was fun. To provide some build-up, watched a few scary movies till 4am the previous night on TV.

But the amusing part is the story that we are supposed to dress in these scary costumes to scare off evil spirits. :-) If only it were so easy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fast for the nation

Read this – Something I got in the mail today. Really funny.

Here is a personal experience, as well as a moment of national pride, which I want to share with you. Hope you find it worth the time you put in reading it : "In the middle of 1965 India-Pakistan war, US govt - then a close friend of Pakistan - threatened India with stopping food-aid (remember "PL-480"?). For a food deficient India this threat was serious and humiliating. So much so that in the middle of war, Prime Minister (Late) Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Ram Leela Grounds in Delhi and appealed to each Indian to observe one-meal-fast every week to answer the American threat. As a school boy, I joined those millions who responded to Shastriji's call.

I continued the fast even when the war was over. Over a period of time, India became self sufficient in food. Hurt deep by the national humiliation suffered at the hands of the US govt, I had vowed to stop my weekly fast only when India starts giving aid to USA. It took just 40 years. Last week THE day arrived. When Indian ambassador in Washington DC handed over a cheque of US$ 50 million to the US govt, two plane loads of food, medical aid and other relief materials were waiting to fly to the USA. Time to break the fast? With no bad feeling about the USA, and good wishes for the Katrina victims, this humble Indian feels proud of the distance India has covered in 40 years. Let's celebrate a New India!"
- Vijay Kranti. Dean - IIT Madras

Can it get crazier than this? Continue to fast until India starts giving aid to U.S and Let’s Celebrate a New India!. Whenever there is a disaster in one country, other countries irrespective of whether they are richer or poor offer aid in time of need. I remember a number of times when Bangladesh offered food and other aid when disasters struck India. Did that transform Bangladesh make it superior to India.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Harry Potter mania

This is actually a database password in our client site. It's been tweaked slightly though. Spelt as harryportermania_03. How can you ever forget such a password? And if you don't know the password, how can you ever guess it? Not sure if potter to porter transformation was just a clever trick or the work of some ignorant.

Here's a funny Desi-Version of Harry Potter - Hari Putter from Punjab.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ocean City Camping

Early September (Memorial Day weekend), me, Santosh and a few of his friends headed towards Ocean City. With the weekend rush, we were finding no hotels with reasonable nightly rates. So we decided to go camping. What a smart idea it was?

As preparation, a couple of days before the D-Day, we went to Walmart and bought a 4 person Tent. We weren't sure how many of his friends were joining us. But we thought, better be comfy and this was more like an investment right.

The D-Day arrives. Head off early from work giving some stupid excuse. While I go shopping for Camping essentials like Coal, Lighter Fluid, Vegetables, Corn, Beer, etc, Santosh goes to pick up a friend (Hmmm, friend's wife would be a better description) from Dayton.

Fast forward to the next evening. We are in Ocean City. After lazing around the beach for some time (obviously treat for the eyes and the eyes), we decide to go hunting for our campsite. Two of Santosh's friends (Girish and Milind) join us. The Campground we booked turned out to be a real shady place. One person we met, it turns out has been living in this Campground for years. Luckily for us, the owner had packed up and left for the evening, even though he'd promised us that he'd stay till 8:30pm. Called Directory assistance and found the number of a nearby Campground whose Banner we had seen as we were coming over to this shady place. This one turned out to be a real campground not some RV parking site.

After the registration formalities and buying Wood and Bug Spray, we headed off to the campsite looking for a good location. Since it was pitch dark, at the time, two of us started setting up the Tent while the other two started a campfire.

Once done with that, we made the most amazing Vegetable Bath along with roasted Corn. Then sat around the campfire just chatting away, gulping down beers. That's when we decided that we should go camping more often. One more of life's simple pleasures.

The next day, we decided to camp in a place closer to Ocean City. This time, we set up the Tent in minutes. Anyway the tents that we get here are so easy to set up. I'm surely getting one when I'm coming back to India.

We then sat around the campfire gulping beers down. Then we decided to go out and enjoy the night life of Ocean City. After all that was the reason we decided to camp closer to Ocean City.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Virus division

This article on fake google and some Panda Software finding that out makes me wonder if this is all the creation of Panda Software (where in hell did they come from), to come into the limelight. Note the line about Microsoft, Yahoo and Google refusing to comment.

Infact sometimes, I wonder, why shouldn't Anti-virus companies have a Virus Division which lets loose the most dangerous of viruses. Then they'll have a head start over the other anti-virus companies in finding a anti-virus patch upgrade for it. Maybe they already do.

Friday, September 30, 2005

More about ankle sprains

Ankle sprains range in severity from grade I to grade III. A simpler approach is to divide these injuries into two groups: complicated and uncomplicated. Uncomplicated ankle sprains are treated without surgery. They include injuries not associated with concomitant problems that contraindicate early motion and rehabilitation. Complicated ankle sprains usually require surgical management. Of note, late instability is as common after surgical treatment as after nonoperative treatment of severe ankle ligament injury. Furthermore, late reconstruction is effective in patients initially treated nonoperatively.

In case you were interested, in the classification of ankle sprains, my ankle sprain is a grade - II ligament tear / ankle sprain.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Back at work!!

Finally after a two and half week layoff ... got back to work today. Working from home was fun. Makes me envy the people who do it all round the year and also makes me wonder how on earth do they get work done without a nosy boss hanging over their shoulders.

Now I understand the reason for the existence of the idiot boss mentioned in my other post on this EARTH. If not for him, other skilled labor wouldn't have done their bit of work. And if he too was smart, maybe he wouldn't have got a kick out of doing his "peeping over shoulder" job.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Idiot Boss!!!

Ever had an idiot boss!!! I'm sure if you've worked in Corporate America or to a smaller extent Corporate India for some time, you surely would have had the (dis)pleasure of working under one.

The key to working under one and still enjoying work is to learn to laugh at the boss (behind his back obviously). I used to get really frustrated earlier. Nowadays, work is so much fun.

Me and my friends compete over each other trying to prove that his or her boss is the most idiotic. We even thought about writing a book "101 ways to beat the idiot" and also thought about compiling the quotable quotes by my idiot boss.

Here's an article on the subject worth reading.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Salaam Namaste

What was Saif doing singing Salaam Namaste after fighting all the way to the party with Preity?

Why is Preity unable to walk a few yards without somebody's help and in the immediate next scene is dancing around holding her belly?

What the hell was Abhishek Bacchhan doing in the movie? Was that supposed to be funny?

I'll never have an answer to these questions.

And Javed Jaffrey, I think I'll kill him with my own bare hands if ever I get my hands on him.

What's a Hindi movie without some questions? Otherwise was a pretty watchable movie. Worth the one week downloading effort from http://www.desitorrents.com

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My ankle again

Twisted my ankle again. Torn my ligament again. Oops, I did it again.

I remember the last time I did this. I had gone to the extent of telling my friends that I probably won't play cricket again. This was at the time when Cricket was at its fever pitch. No I am not talking about sitting at home and watching cricket. We played Cricket everyday from 9am to 6pm. It was almost like we were professional cricketers. One tournament is over, move on to another one. Oh, that team is in need of a player. Do we have a match on that day? No, then go ahead and play for that team.

But going thru the pain of the swelling and pain of the ankle just not dying down after 6 months and I decided that it was time for my retirement.

Now, 5 years down the line, here I am in the same predicament. Deja Vu. This time I am wiser though. Will give my ankle enough time to heal and then get back to the game I love (Playing .. surely not Watching the Indian team play).

COSARC - Champion Braggers

Just an update from my previous blog.

We went on to loose 4 of the next 5 games of the tournament. No, don't be misled. We didn't win the fifth game. It just so happened that the other team didn't think we even deserved to play them. So they forfeited the game. :-)

Come September, we enter another tournament - this time a 20 over a side game. Played two matches back to back and lost two matches back to back.

No, I am not done yet. The worst part about COSARC * oh yeah, that's the wonder team I've been bragging about * is that if you put in a vote asking if anyone is interested in practice, you'll be lucky if you get a handful of interested players. But you get a team to a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings - our usual hang-out place), you'll be amazed by the talk that you hear. You'll probably think, you are with the champions of the Midwest league.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cricket fever of a different kind

Its cricket fever of a different kind. I and some others at work have got together and formed our own team - funnyily called COSARC (Columbus OHIO Sports and Re-creation Club) and have joined the Midwest League here.

Surprise surprise this team formed with quite a few bits and pieces players ended winning the first couple of games. Not much of a contribution from me in the first game with just 9 runs opening the Innings involved in a couple of good partnerships and a catch behind the sticks.

The second match was against an all Pakistani side called Shihab. That too was a pretty close game with the opposing team handing a game to us on a platter. We surely didn't deserve to win that match.

Scoring just 123 off 30 overs in a 35 over game we surely had no great ambitions of winning. But we started off fighting. Heads were beginning to droop at 80 odd for 3. A couple of wickets of the batsmen going strong at the time and the most amazing collapse to 102 all out followed. :-)

Will keep you posted on how the rest of the weekend games go. We need to win 2 of the next five games atleast to go into the playoffs.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown has done a real good job with this book. Starting off with a murder mystery and bringing in a whole new theory about the life of Christ and cracking of Puzzles and Anagrams and Cryptic Codes finally ends in a famous Author and a French Cryptologist finding the descendants of Christ. Yeah, descendants of Christ.

Read it to know more.

Cricket Fever

Its cricket fever here in Columbus. Last three nights have been Beer and Cricket Combo. Two nights back we actually found a link that allowed us to watch Cricket and the quality of the video was so clear it was almost as if I was watching on television.

Then somebody found out about this unauthorized access and blocked the link. So the last couple of nights have been about being glued to the commentary on http://www.pakistanvision.com some Paki TV link. With commentary from our very own Ravi "PREDICTABLE" Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar and Gang.

Its been fun. Hope the last two days turn out to be India's days and they are able to go one up on our sworn enemies. :-)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

My Bro in US

My brother landed here in the US on a short term assignment from his co. GE yesterday. Will probably go to meet him next weekend. Will be a nice get together.

Mar 11th must be a really special day for our family. This day last year, I left India to come here. Mar 11th of this year, my bro lands here.

He's about 8 hours drive from my place. So a couple of meeting are sure on the cards in the next couple of months. :-)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mammoth Cave national park

This was way back in early Summer of last year.

It was the most amazing sight - being within those huge caves. Other than for a couple of lanters held by the guides, there was no light in those caves. Leaving the pack meant a high probability of loosing your way into oblivion. I chose to take the safe route. So here I am writing about it.

Bit Torrents!!!

Have been watching so many Hindi/Kannada movies lately on my Laptop thanks to this wonderful technology called bittorrents. Just go to http://www.desitorrents.com or http://www.kannadatorrents.com. The only problem seems to be if you are not in early when the guy who is first uploading it is seeding it, you might end up with 89% downloaded but for the remaining 11%, you might end up waiting for ever.

Right now, am waiting on ppl to seed Kisna, Upendra and "Swalpa Adjust Madkoli". So go to the above sites and seed please. :-)

BTW, watched the most gross Kannada movie ever made: Ananthana Avanthara two nights ago. You surely should try watching it.

Another boring Saturday comes to an end

Watched 4 movies and ate lots of Pizzas in Shalini's farewell party in SSA's house. Now trying to make up for that dull day by reading the "thrilling" book The Da Vinci Code. :-)

Plan for tomorrow: Watch "The Incredibles" and or "Coach Carter". Both of the movies have good reviews.

We had the option of driving to Niagara this weekend. Sadly decided against it since we wanted to go to the Canadian side this time at least and that meant first going to Detroit for a Canadian Visa and then driving over to the Canadian Side. Will do it in the week after the next since I have an Install the next weekend.

BTW, also bought a Racquet Ball Racquet, Balls and Gloves. Keeping up the seriousness in the game. For those who don't know, Racquet Ball is a slight variation of Squash played with a soft rubber ball. When played hard, is a real fast game.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Feeling so miserable

Came in from Office and slept. Have been sleeping ever since. Just got up at 2:00am. Hungry and still sleepy. :-(

Will go and find something to eat in the kitchen.

Have to start setting alarms even for my evening Naps. BTW, just started reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code on a soft copy. Seems like a big pain reading an entire novel online. So went ahead and reserved a copy online at http://www.columbuslibrary.org. But sadly am 28th in the reservation list.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don't drink and drive.

Hmmm. Hearing this from a guy who enjoys a few drinks quite often may sound funny. But after seeing the damage done by a drunk to my porch, I've decided. Drink as much as you want. But if you feel you're not in full control of yourself, no way you're going to control a car.

To cut a long story short. Last night at 3:30am, I am woken up from my sleep by a huge bang. Then I hear a car whirring away. For one moment, I thought it might be my dream where I've banged into some tree or driven into some one's bedroom like one of my old project mate. Hmm ya some one actually did that. Then I thought I'd better go and check. I rushed to the window and looked out. My Porch was in disarray. And I thought I saw a big black car racing away. A classic case of hit and run.

I immediately called in 911 assuming whoever would pick up would be ready for a chase of the drunkard and get him before he runs away. The lady who picked up seemed in no hurry at all. She said someone would come over soon. After about 15-20 mins, a COP came over and after a quick inspection said "Must be some drunk. I'll make a report and your Condo's insurance should cover it." and goes away. Hehe. I didn't need a cop to tell me that.

Still haven't got time to upload the snaps online.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Overnight trip

This is about my latest weekend driving trip. It so happened a friend's friend Sharath had come over from Arizona and was staying over with him for the weekend.

Me, Roopa and Sumit had gone shopping on Saturday afternoon to Jefferson Mall - the Marathahalli of Columbus. We came back pretty late in the evening and Santosh - my friend called me up and asked me to come over and join him for a drink or two at his place. We went over after having dinner at our place.

We started the drinking spree ... but along side we were watching some boring Hindi movie that put all of us to sleep literally. At 2:30am we decided to go out for a coffee. But we did not know of any place nearby that served coffee. So we decided to go to Downtown Columbus finally ending up in the White Castle there since that seemed to be the only Coffee serving joint open at the time. Surprise surprise it was so filled that we had to wait over half an hour for our Coffee.

As we were enjoying the coffee, someone suggested ... guess it was Santosh. How about driving down to Dayton tonight ... It was almost morning. 3am.

All 4 of us jumped in. Not even having any directions towards Dayton nor knowing what we were planning to do there at 4 or 5 in the morning. It turned out that it was just an hour away from Columbus - I thought it was more. I'd been in Apr-May last year. But then I had no driving sense at the time. So you can forgive me for that faux pas. Before we knew it we were in Dayton.

Hmm. Now what. Unanimously agreed to take a short nap since all of us were feeling damn sleepy. The next 3 hours - was spent Snoring away to glory. Any passers by would have mistaken our Car for a Zoo with some wild animals. :-)

At 7:00 got up and went around Dayton Downtown. It was pretty impressive when compared to our own downtown. Then looked for a place to have breakfast and freshen up. Found a nearby Denny's using the GPRS system.

9:30am - Dayton Air and Space Museum. Walked around for an hour admiring the fighter jets and the early fighter aircrafts. Watched a pretty good Imax show on training of international air force pilots and headed homewards.

The drive back was pretty uneventful with the others sleeping away to glory and me enjoying the music playing on FM.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I too have a blog ...

Now this is one fancy thing to have. I've been thinking of creating one since a long time. Now when I saw my buddy Sandeep create one, I decided that's it. I have to create one too.

Then the tough part was done. Now what do I put in the blog. Well there's lots of time for that. Right now, have to rush to the gym.

Keep coming back. I promise to be really regular posting to this blog. :-)