Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Rakhi

Today as I was speaking over the phone with my sister , she informed me that she has sent the rakhi and I should be receiving it soon.

I was left wondering about the power of that frail thread which could be stronger than the thickest of cable.

It must have been over a decade since I left the country. My sister’s rakhi chased me everywhere and not a year has passed when I haven’t received it.

Though my rakhis now are not as half flamboyant as they were before, yet they have elicited curious enquiries from co- workers and they have been fascinated with the history . one young boy in a train even squealed delightedly, “ Mom. Look at his friendship band.” He begged me to give it. He was willing to barter his toy car. Finally laughingly I had to part with my rakhi.

It is this riot of colors and the rich cultural heritage which makes our country so attractive to the western world. I can never forget the screaming british kids who felt like they were in a different world when they visited our laxminarayan temple in Manchester as part of their school project. One kid confessed that it’s a more exciting place than a church. I explained that both are places of worship and we shouldn’t see it that way. But the child was adamant. He wanted to pray here. its more fun!

Holi may be the most colorful of our festivals but rakhi still remains my favorite.

Rakhi bonds me to my sister. I was invariably bonded and roughed up in a tank in Holi.

When I was young , I loved to hate rakhi.

As a child I always had a grudge on God. He has given some unfair advantages to girls. During the festivals and marriages , I felt green with envy when I saw girls dressed prettily in traditional dresses with flowers in their hair and strutting around like peacocks. They naturally were the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. Our half pants and shirts were no match to their sartorial elegance.

Also I hated it when I had to part with some money for the Aarti as my sister happily went through the rituals. Rakhi and the bhaiya dooj brought out the meanest in me. I hated everything. Why should I give her money and not the other way round.

I used to wickedly hog sweets after sweets just to make up for the money. My parents had to bribe me with extra new clothes. I also made sure that my sister shopped hard to get the most flashy rakhi. Yet I used to be grumpy.

As I grew, I understood the love and the bonding and felt guilty about the way I thought. I even tried to make up by giving more expensive gifts.

But only until I saw the same fight between my nephew and his sister when they were young. Some things are timeless.

Today both have grown up and ,like us, are very close to each other.

When I told my sister that I am writing a post on Rakhi, she assumed it was on Rakhi Sawant. Even though many would be surprised , Rakhi Sawant is one of my favorites.
She has spunk. She knows how to reinvent herself. And she is unabashed and totally uninhibited.

While actresses with twice more talent than her languish , this girl hogs all the TRPs and the columns of news. That’s no mean achievement.
Way to go girl.

My salute ,then , to Rakhis of all colors, hues and kinds.

And to all the brothers and sisters of the world – Happy Rakhi.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

As confused as a baby in a topless bar!!!!!!!!!

My Room mate complains that my post are no longer classy. I take it as a compliment. It means that I was classy before. so what he means is that I have only lost my form but class ,as they say, is permanent. Ah vanity!!!!!!!!!!

Well I do not know about my class but he rightly pointed out that my mind is not in my writing. I am about to take a major decision. And that is surely affecting my train of thoughts.

I think its time to move my cheese.

I am in two minds.

I have always maintained that the moment a guy leaves the Indian shores, his happiness is screwed. His life becomes compartmentalized.

You are never happy. But you start inventing ways to pretend you are happy.

Happiness is a myth. You draw your own algorithms on what makes you happy.

Here I am sitting on my favourite chair and looking out as I write.

I love watching the rain drops falling from my window. I love my neighbor’s dog although he never forgets to scratch my hand in his over exuberance. I love the sun beam dance into my room when its not raining. I love it all.

Small things.

Yet they are an intrinsic part of my life. I have called this house my home for over 4 years now. It breaks my heart to think I am leaving this.

I have planned to relocate in August.

But I love India too.

I love when I land in Delhi. I love the smell of the air as I walk out. It smells different. It isn’t as crisp and clean as in USA but it has a unique smell of love and belonging.

I love getting lost in the crowd. The sea of humanity , the chaos, the madness on the street ; an orchestra gone wrong.

I love the smell of the hot samosa and syrupy jalebis.

The parrots wake me up early morning but I don’t complain.

A hundred things I love.

There are small glitches too.

I am bemused as I am unable to cross the street.
I wince when friends eat on the road side kiosks.

My hands freeze as I try to negotiate the car through the onslaught. Raising my hands in resignation I take a cab.

But that’s no big deal. I tell myself.

I love India. This is my home.

This is wherein lies my dilemma.

Adopted home or Adapt to Home.

I feel like a pendulum. Adopt , adapt, adopt adapt.

Didn’t I say your happiness is screwed once you cross the Indian shores.

Forgive me dear fans

it's time to pretend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sex Education

The day I reached Orlando, my friend took me for a movie. We crossed a beautiful building which was built upside down as if it was crumbling. It was an architecture marvel. Unfortunately I dint have my camera. But I am able to copy it from the net.

Little did I know that it was prophetic.

My life has turned upside down since I returned. Before , I was always complaining of insomnia but ever since I returned I have turned into a hypersomniac. I am sleeping all day and still I have a feeling that I haven’t slept enough.

Today when I went to a convenience store and was waiting in the queue I was trying hard to keep awake. There was a mother and child in front of me and the mom was explaining about taxes on goods and how they help in running a society smoothly. “ think it this way son.” She said. “ all the taxes we pay here helps in your education. Don’t think of your pleasure alone. You owe it to yourself and to the society.”

To keep awake, I was listening to their conversation very closely.

I was quiet impressed with the succinct way the mom explained. Women have a way with children I thought.

I remembered the time a close friend had narrated a joke. A busy professional's son brought a sheath of paper with him and asked him, “ Dad , I need this for my school. There’s this column about sex. What do I write.”

The absent minded guy didnt bother to read the whole thing and braced himself.He thought he had to teach his son about sex some day and today was that day. He brought out two dolls, one boy and one girl and tried to explain to the wide eyed kid about intercourse and child birth.

At the end with a gleam in his eyes, he told him to write in his own words what he had just explained about sex.

The puzzled kid looked at him and blurted, “ but dad , there are only two boxes in front of sex : M and F and the instruction is to cross one! How do I write all that you just told.

A lady was buying condom right in front of the kid and mother. She asked the price. $1 she was told. The woman was indignant. How could they charge so much. how can anyone pay so much for just a little pleasure?” that crass woman boomed. The young boy at the counter was all pink . Probably it was his first day at work.

Suddenly there was a small voice from behind explaining. “ Mam, think of it not as a pleasure. Think of it as a duty. The money you pay now helps me get my education.”

There was a snigger as the embarrassed woman quickly paid and left.

I left the store yawning.
The child’s education taken care of , the mother and son walked proudly hand in hand.

Life sometimes needs a Mom’s simple solutions rather than the esoteric and convoluted ones of a dad.

Maybe, after all, I am just tired.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Guys, its good to be back but let me savor my victory! It may not be as big as England winning the lord’s test. But it isn’t as small as winning a dollar on the scratch lottery either.

Endurance to pain is like elastic. The more you stretch the more you can endure.
I can feel like Flintoff. We both have bruised and battered bodies. And we both endured. But while he felt it in his guts, I can feel it now in my butt. Ah , the feeling of sitting on my favourite chair is pure bliss. I never thought I would relish sitting so much ever.

For two weeks I knew only two positions. Vertical and horizontal.
I had almost started wondering if I will ever sit on a chair again.
It was all standing standing and more standing. And at the end of the day I would simply crash on my bed. There was nothing in between.

I can close my eyes and feel the warm water in the tub massaging my tired limbs. It was heavenly.

There were no Iffs and no Butts.

Against all odds I managed. I am proud.

I did cheat though. I took painkillers sometimes to alleviate the pain.

But I am totally detoxified.

Happy times are like migratory birds. They come to charm and while you are still enjoying those rare moments, they spread their wings and fly to some far off destination to make someone else happy. All that is left are some captured moments.

And herein lies my paradox. I am not a masochist. But I was enjoying all the torture heaped on my body. It left with no time for emotions. I didn’t need a sleeping pill as I got into the military routine. It kind of saddens me that these days are over.

I couldn’t be more wrong. The days are over but the happiness isn’t.

I am looking into my blog after a long time. It delights me to see so many new visitors.

These are no migratory birds. They are equally rare, varied and beautiful though.

They have perched on my blog and are here to stay.

Thanks dear fans! I had almost given up on writing.

But your mails and your visit spurs me on.

I promise to write.

No ifs and no buts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Broken Wings.

The Recession has taken its toll of another talented Indian. 24 yr. old banker, an oxford graduate, Anjool Malde jumped from an upscale restaurant in London after he feared that he was being fired from his job. I am going to reserve any comment with a respect for the departed.

I love London. and I love the Indians there. I have too many happy memories to remember them in this morbid way.

The situation is bizarre. Have we Indians no stomach for a fight? Are we so lost that we are unable to keep things in perspective? does losing a job mean more than losing one's life? Honestly I have no answers.

But it is pretty depressing.

I have decided to take a break. For two weeks no news, no internet and so obviously no posts.

some times no news can be good news!

So long guys, and keep alive till I return!
( Sorry for the sick joke, that is the reason i need a break!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Important information about Cancer - A must read.

( I have simply copy pasted this information that I received in my mail. it is very educative)


Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few
billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are
unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size..

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumours.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental,
food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow,
gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not
result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence
the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer
cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.


a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like
NutraSweet, Equal,Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses
but only in very sma ll amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and
substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than
beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline
environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach
down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to no urish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try
and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day . Enzymes are destroyed at
temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties.
Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrified
and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of
cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14.. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the
body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the
body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger,
unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax
and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular
level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nut screws bolts!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the symptoms : increased heart rate, lots of perspiration, body hotting up and a general feeling of giddiness.

No prizes for guessing. You may either be sick or at the casino.

The last week has been crazy. I was down with fever for two days. Experts say that its good to have fever once in a while. It increases your resistance. They do not have a clue about what they are saying. My resistance is totally broken.

Perhaps that’s why against all common sense I accepted the invitation to go to Miccosukee, a delightful casino near Miami. I should have said no. one important reason being that I am still recovering. I just don’t feel any energy. The other but more important reason is I have no money.

Incidentally , the radio in the car was playing an old Kenny Roger song, “ The Gambler”.

Let's accept it. Miccosukee is no Ceasar's Palace or the Taj Mahal.

Yet the place is not very cheap. Even if you play the cheapest slotting machine, its still $0.80 / spin. The machines are pretty complicated too. The cards game were tempting. But as I said I am busted.

I looked around and wondered if the recession has really hit us. It hit me for sure.

I kept losing. and kept playing. and all the symptoms described above showed.

I was down and out.

But wait. suddenly my luck changed and i started winning.

The machine jingled music. I counted.

On an impulse , I did the unexpected. I had made $20 extra. so I printed my cash ticket, encashed my money and just walked away.

I have never ever won anything. The last time we visited Atlantic City , I had won a jackpot. And yet when we came out of the casino two days later, bleary eyed and sapped , I was poorer by a neat $1000.00.

I remembered what the witty old lady sitting next to me had said when I won the jackpot , “ Run honey. These are money sucking machines. Run as fast as you can. And you will be the first one to have made money. But I know you won’t. you will still be here till you have spent your last dollar.”

How prophetic.

Well call me a coward. Laugh on my misery. Say anything you like.

It was a victory of sorts. The nut finally screwed and bolted! ( gross?! Rememeber I am a Mechanical Engineer! that's the only language I speak)

Even if it was just $20! I am laughing.

Or maybe Kenny Rogers whispered the mantra to survival!!!!!

“Know when to walk away know when to run.”