Monday, December 03, 2007

Amar Gopal Bose Now Offers a Magic Carpet Ride

Amar Gopal Bose has now shifted gears from sound systems to auto suspension systems. He is offering a suspension system where the ride being compared to that of a magic carpet.

From the Boston Globe Business Section, dated December 3, 2007:
Six years before the young Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor founded the company that's now synonymous with high-end stereo speakers, he bought a 1958 Pontiac, which featured something called Ever-Level air suspension in which air bags replaced steel springs to absorb bumps.
It wasn't good enough. He tinkered with the suspension for a decade, and then he bought a Citroën DS-19, a French oddball renowned for its radically streamlined shape and a pressurized fluid suspension with nitrogen shock absorbers. It once broke down on him at the Tanglewood music center, and he had to have it towed back to Boston.
Long after those cars were gone, the problem still gnawed at Bose: How can you design a suspension system that combines a smooth ride with superior handling?
Bose began working on the project in secret in 1980, and didn't unveil the results until three years ago. His innovative system uses electromagnetic motors - powered by unique Bose electric power amplifiers and switches - to control the handling of the vehicle.
"In cars today, there's always a compromise between softness over bumps and roll and pitch during maneuvering," Bose, 78, said in a recent interview. "This system provides absolutely better handling than any sports car, and the most comfortable ride imaginable."

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Indian Man Responsible for Standoff Near Florida Mall

I was listening to CNN yesterday, while trying to coax my 4 year old
to come to the lunch table, when I heard mention of a suspicious
looking East Indian man in an Orlando bank. My ears popped up of

Apparently, Nirvair Singh, who holds an Indian passport walked into a
Wachovia Bank at 7950 S. Orange Blossom Trail at 10.52 on Tuesday
November 27th. He sat down there after asking for tickets to India
with his luggage beside him, and refused to move. After negotiations,
a standoff, and a 3 hour traffic chaos, he surrendered later in the

The Orlando Sentinel reports -
" "He refused to leave and when he unbuttoned his shirt there was some
sort of vest underneath," said sheriff's spokesman Chief Steve Jones.
"That kind of alarmed people." As the bank emptied, a force began to
assemble that totaled more than 70 deputies, troopers and agents from
the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Border Patrol,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the sheriff's Crisis
Management Team and Negotiating Team."

The whole situation is quite odd cosidering that he was also
reportedly driven to Sand Lake Hospital for treatment of dog bites
before being jailed on charges of disorderly conduct and trespass.

The Sentinel reports that --
"There's no reason to believe he has any mental issues" but he will be
evaluated at the hospital, Jones said. "The bomb squad blew up his
bags but there was nothing there except clothing."

Full article photos and video at :,0,5847828.story?coll=orl_technology_xpromo

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No Pakistan Information Here...

I am not going to discuss Pakistan here, I think it is absolutely ludicrous what is going on there. That pretty much says it all. I am more concerned about the innocent citizens of that country and those that are losing their lives for the sake of a ridiculous political drama. What bothers me most are these people who have no idea how to use thier political clout to do good for the world, rather than accumulate more power and forget about the greater good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Who is Huma Abedin?

Yes she is Hillary Clinton's right hand woman and her travelling chief of staff, and one of the most well dressed women around. Some say she is Indian some say she is Pakistani. She refuses to give an interview or talk about it very much. Here are some excerpts from an article --

From an article in The New York Observer, by Spencer Morgan Published: April 1, 2007 --
Indeed, in the insular world of New York and D.C. politics, Huma Abedin has become a sort of mythical figure.
On a day-to-day basis, Ms. Abedin is responsible for guiding the Senator from one chaotic event to the next and ensuring that the many hundreds of situations that arise at each—the photo ops, the handshakes, the speeches—go smoothly. The job of “body person”—industry-speak for the catchall role of an omnipresent traveling assistant—is a notoriously grueling one, requiring unfaltering level-headedness and a zeal for multitasking.
Which gets at another facet of the cult of Huma: She’s something of a mystery, even to the people who have worked in her proximity for years.
Very little is publicly known about her, which of course leaves plenty to talk about. And the rumors abound. According to various accounts from Huma acquaintances interviewed for this story: She’s Lebanese, she’s Jordanian, she’s Iranian, she’s 26, she’s 36, she has two children, she lives with the Clintons.
“No one knows anything about her,” said one political aide. “She’s like Hillary’s secret weapon.”
The back story, as it were, begins 32 years ago in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Ms. Abedin, who declined to participate in this article, lived until the age of 2. Her family then relocated to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she lived until returning to the States for college. She attended George Washington University. Her father, who died when she was 17, was an Islamic and Middle Eastern scholar of Indian decent. He founded his own institute devoted to Western-Eastern and interfaith understanding and reconciliation and published a journal focusing on Muslim minorities living in the diaspora. Her mother, a renowned professor in Saudi Arabia, is Pakistani.
Ms. Abedin recently bought an apartment in the vicinity of 12th and U streets in Washington, D.C. When she comes to New York, she stays with her sister, who has an apartment in Manhattan—not, as one popular rumor has it, in Chappaqua with the Clintons. She has no children and has never been married. She’s single.
Ms. Abedin began working for Mrs. Clinton as an intern for the then First Lady in 1996. She was hired as a staff assistant to the First Lady’s chief of staff, Maggie Williams. For several years, she was the backup to Mrs. Clinton’s permanent personal aide, Allison Stein, and she officially took over as Mrs. Clinton’s aide and advisor around the time of the 2000 Senate race.
Her Presidential campaign title is “traveling chief of staff.”
“I’d call Huma one in a million,” said Mrs. Clinton’s press secretary, Philippe Reines, “but that would mean there are 5,999 others in the world just like her, and there simply aren’t. She is truly one of a kind, one in a billion. We are all in awe of her poise, grace, judgment, intellect and her seemingly endless reserve of kindness, patience and energy.”

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hmmmm.... Great Quote!

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
- Mark Twain

Astronomers discover new planet

Astronomers discover new planet
By Neil Bowdler
BBC science reporter

Planet hunters say the system has many similarities to our own
Astronomers in the US say they have found a new planet in orbit around a star 41 light years from Earth.

The discovery brings to five the number of planets orbiting the star, 55 Cancri, the most found to date in a single solar system outside our own.

Astronomers have found more than 250 planets outside our own solar system - the team behind the latest discovery have found more than anyone else.

The new planet is a gas planet about 45 times the mass of the Earth.

Their latest find is a fifth planet to add to the four they had already discovered around 55 Cancri, a double or binary star in the constellation of Cancer.

See full article at

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My Interview With Ramachandra Guha

Read this doc on Scribd: Ramachandra Guha TIA Nov Dec 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another article on Childless couples who look to India for surrogate mothers

Childless couples look to India for surrogate mothers
By Anuj Chopra | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ANAND, INDIA – Eight months pregnant, Reshma is like any other expecting mother, except that the child she's carrying isn't her own.

When Reshma gives birth next month in this small Indian town, the newborn will be immediately handed over to its biological parents, non-resident Indians who live in London and who have been unable to bear a child on their own. In return for renting her womb, Reshma will be paid $2,800 - a significant sum by Indian standards.

"I have two cherubic children of my own," says Reshma, who withheld her real name for fear of disapproval by neighbors. "That couple has none. Imagine how much happiness this baby will give them."

A year ago, the couple flew down from London to this dusty, unremarkable town to choose a surrogate mother. They are part of a growing number of childless foreigners beating a track to India, drawn here for many of the same reasons that have made India a top destination for medical tourism: low costs, highly-qualified doctors, and a more relaxed legal atmosphere.

The industry is estimated to be valued at $449 million, and the number of cases of surrogacy are believed to have doubled in the last three years based on newspaper

classifieds and inquiries at clinics. But hard numbers remains elusive, partly because the practice is defused among small towns like Anand, where the lure of money is stronger than in wealthier cities.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First South Asian Governor of a Southern State!

Like many others, what I found even more interesting than the fact that Bobby Jindal was the first South Asian to be elected governor of any American state, was the fact that it was of a Southern state. Tells us a lot about the current state of affairs and how people are willing to overlook color, race, and anything else to vote for someone who they think can make life better for them.

Good Luck to Jindal.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reading Books on the Internet...

While doing a search for one of my articles I was surprised to find chapters from a book that I had contributes to atleast 10 years ago. This book was part of Project Guttenberg and was available online. While searching through this database, I actually found it amazing that several classics by Maughm and Jane Austen and several others were available to the public over the Internet.

Many find this downright sacrilegious, but for someone like me, this is just an introduction to a book that I look forward to buying, reading and owning. For me nothing will ever replace the pleasure of flipping through the pages of a book, especially the ones that are yellow and have the smell of old and rich paper!

Yesterday I found it interesting to read this in the London Times --
"The Man Booker Prize has been criticised over the years for selecting
dark, unreadable and worthy tomes unlike the winners of other more
populist literary prizes.Now, in the week that Anne Enright became its 2007 winner, it is shaking
off criticisms of being elitist and out of touch by taking the radical
step of placing all its shortlisted novels online, available free to
anyone worldwide."

Read the full article "Every novel on Man Booker Prize shortlist to be available free for online
readers" in The London Times dated October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Indian Americans and Jews

New York Times -- October 2, 2007
In Jews, Indian-Americans See a Role Model in Activism

When Anil Godhwani and his brother, Gautam, looked into creating a community center for Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley, they turned to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco as a model.

When the Hindu American Foundation began, it looked to groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for guidance with its advocacy and lobbying efforts.

Indian-Americans, who now number 2.4 million in this country, are turning to American Jews as role models and partners in areas like establishing community centers, advocating on civil rights issues and lobbying Congress.

Indians often say they see a version of themselves and what they hope to be in the experience of Jews in American politics: a small minority that has succeeded in combating prejudice and building political clout.

Sanjay Puri, the chairman of the U.S. India Political Action Committee, said: “What the Jewish community has achieved politically is tremendous, and members of Congress definitely pay a lot of attention to issues that are important to them. We will use our own model to get to where we want, but we have used them as a benchmark.”

See full article at-

For Thiru "The Dosa Man" Kumar, the third time is the charm

Kumar, who runs NY Dosa, a vegan food cart at Washington Square Park South and Sullivan Street, won the third annual Vendy Award, which is bestowed upon the city's top street chef vendor. Kumar, who had competed unsuccessfully in the two previous Vendy Awards, finally won for his specialty Pondicherry dosas, a type of filled crepe. He accepted the large silver Vendy cup on Saturday night.

Read the full article at --,0,3886403.story

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Picking Up Trash by Hand, and Yearning for Dignity

It's good to see that the media is talking about things Indian, other than outsourcing, Bollywood and the economy!!!
Read the full NYT article at --

From the New York Times
Published: September 27, 2007
NEW DELHI — After a bad day at work, Manorama Begum can hardly keep from vomiting. After a good day, she is merely disinclined to eat for a few hours, until the stench has receded from her nostrils and her fingernails have been scrubbed clean.

A garbage collector in India’s capital, Ms. Begum is one of 300,000 little-seen workers who perform a vital role for the city: rifling through the detritus of modern life, recycling anything of worth and carefully disposing of the rest.

More than 95 percent of New Delhi has no formal system of house-to-house garbage collection, so it falls to the city’s ragpickers, one of India’s poorest and most marginalized groups, to provide this basic service. They are not paid by the state, relying instead on donations from the communities they serve and on meager profits from the sale of discarded items.

But after centuries of submissive silence, the waste collectors are beginning to demand respect.

On Oct. 2, Gandhi’s birthday, the Delhi state government will make a small but significant concession. In response to pressure from a ragpickers’ union, it will supply about 6,000 with protective gloves, boots and aprons.

Hoardes of Hindusim Images For Free...

The editors of Hinduism Today, have decided to release all of the high-resolution images from their book What Is Hinduism? that they have rights to. There are over 500 images, both art and photographs, in this library.

You may access it at --

Earthquakes Continue to Pound Indonesia

On September 12th a powerful earthquake struck off western Indonesia killing at least four people, destroying several buildings and triggering a small tsunami. Within a couple of weeks another strong earthquake rattles Indonesia. Is there any reprieve for people of this nation who are suffering one natural catastrophe after another?

Wednesday September 26, 2007 6:46 PM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A powerful undersea earthquake rattled western Indonesia on Wednesday, officials said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The 6.4-magnitude quake was centered 80 miles southwest of Padang, a town on Sumatra island still recovering from a series of strong tremors that killed nearly two dozen people earlier this month, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

It struck nearly 21 miles beneath the ocean floor at 10:43 p.m., the USGS said.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific ``Ring of Fire,'' an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province and left a half-million homeless.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime

If I am even 10 percent as brave and optimistic about life, as this professor I will be thankful forever!
Read the full article and see the video here--

From the Wall Street Journal --

"Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, but before he said a word, he received a standing ovation from 400 students and colleagues.

He motioned to them to sit down. "Make me earn it," he said.

What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? For Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, the question isn't rhetorical -- he's dying of cancer. Jeff Zaslow narrates a video on Prof. Pausch's final lecture.
They had come to see him give what was billed as his "last lecture." This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be mulled is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

It can be an intriguing hour, watching healthy professors consider their demise and ruminate over subjects dear to them. At the University of Northern Iowa, instructor Penny O'Connor recently titled her lecture "Get Over Yourself." At Cornell, Ellis Hanson, who teaches a course titled "Desire," spoke about sex and technology.

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Forbes Asian Fab 50

India is again home to more Fab 50 companies than anywhere else. Twelve Indian firms made the cut, including its Big Four information technology outsourcers.

Of the other eight that make the list, companies such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel are growing fast by reaching out to India's rural customers, not to Western markets. Others, such as Grasim, Larsen & Toubro and Reliance, are shoring up the country's infrastructure at a furious pace.

Company Country Market Value ($bil) Sales Industry
Bharat Heavy Electricals India 20.4 3.8 Capital Goods
Bharti Airtel India 39.2 4.3 Telecommunications Services
Grasim Industries India 6.5 3.2 Construction
HDFC Bank India 9.8 2.0 Banking
Icici Bank India 22.9 9.8 Banking
Infosys Technologies India 27.4 3.2 Software & Services
Larsen & Toubro India 17.0 4.7 Capital Goods
Reliance Industries India 62.1 23.3 Oil & Gas Operations
Satyam Comp. Services India 7.9 1.5 Software & Services
Tata Consultancy Services India 27.6 4.3 Software & Services
Tata Steel India 9.5 5.8 Materials
Wipro India 17.2 3.5 Software & Services

See complete article at the URL below --

Monday, August 27, 2007

15 Companies That Will Change The World

In an article titled "The Next Disruptors" lists 15 companies that they think will change the world. About 5 of them are headed and/or founded by South Asian Americans.

From the article -- "This year's selection is the culmination of an extensive search for the most disruptive startups in the country, including a multi-city series of roundtable discussions last spring. At events in Boston, Los Angeles and Chapel Hill, N.C., we convened more than 100 entrepreneurs, some of whom are represented here. We also launched a weekly Web video series on called The New Disruptors (available as a podcast on iTunes). In it you'll find video profiles of companies featured here, plus many others. If you know where to look, disruption is everywhere."

Interesting article. Read the full story at the link below--

Bombings in Hyderabad...

Less than 8 months ago, my mother, my husband my son and I were walking around Lambini park on the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad, enjoying the fountains and the many play areas for children. This was the site of the recent bombings. It terrifies me to think of the many innocent people who were out there in the park enjoying the car rides, or playing in the waterfalls, taking a walk while a bomb goes off kiling you and your loved ones.

This has been said time and again by everyone, but this is my turn to repeat it. Terrorism does not prove a point or improve anyones way of life, i just kills innocent people who have nothing to do with the issues concerned. When are they ever going to realize that? Or are they?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

60 years of Independence...

It has been 60 years since India got her Independence. India has advanced in many ways and matured as a nation. The one thing she is gradually losing, like Tibet, is her culture and traditions.With teh society becomin more westernized, and the newer generations shunning culture and tradition, India is losing one of it's most beautiful aspects.

It is unfortunate that culture and tradition is percieved as boring and ancient rather than unique, colorful and rich. I adore the culture and traditions of India, Those are what make me what I am as a person. The other day someone questioned this belief and compared this to my modernness in other areas of life such as in a marriage or in womens lib. Just because I believe in culture and tradion that does not make me any less modern or liberated in my way of thinking.

With that being said, I wish more youngsters would embrace their traditions and culture, be it in India or Tibet, for that is what makes them what they are. That is what makes a nation unique in spite of it's modernity.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Is August 2007 Bollywood Month?

August is full of Bollywood realted media activities. To list a few, 2 high profile movies with a bollywood focus, another, a book about a bollywood icon that describes the growth of the bollywood film industry. Kashif Memon with his bollywood dances on America's got talent.

Bollywoods popularity is increasing by leaps and bounds, it's oly a matterof time before there is a some sort of melding of hollywood and bollywood cultures!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Final Period Versus Conceiving A Child

Isn't it ironic, that as people are struggling to concieve and infertility rates continue to climb, there is a now a new birth control pill that stops a woman from having her periods.

Read this oped --

India's first female president?

The New York Times reports - "India’s first female president is likely to be voted into office on Thursday, but this milestone event has been overshadowed in recent weeks by an unusually savage debate over whether she is fit to become head of state."

Read the full article at --

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sanjaya, now Kashif???

Kashif fever hits America with "America's Got Talent." I was startled to see Kashif t-shirts being sold, and Kashif fever starting to hit America.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Producer eyes better TV, film roles for Muslims

Producer eyes better TV, film roles for Muslims
By Omar Sacirbey, Globe Correspondent | June 26, 2007

When Labid Aziz of Natick thinks about "Never Mind Nirvana," he sees a
missed opportunity. A 2004 pilot for an NBC sitcom, it was centered on
the travails of an Indian-American doctor, his pregnant white
girlfriend, and his traditional parents, who move in. It was written
by Indian-American novelist Ajay Sahgal, directed by "Friends" star
David Schwimmer, and starred Kal Penn of "Harold and Kumar go to White
Castle." But the show didn't make NBC's final cut, losing out that
year to "The Office" and "Joey."

South Asians like Aziz, 32, a Bangladeshi-American Muslim and aspiring
producer, saw in "Nirvana" a wellspring of roles that didn't involve
playing a terrorist or convenience store clerk while portraying the
South Asian community, or a slice of it, in a way that might inspire
empathy rather than incite resentment. On this fall's schedule, Aziz
has a second opportunity: The CW network is unveiling a new sitcom
called "Aliens in America" about a Muslim exchange student from

Firstborn children have higher IQs

OK, so my older brother is smarter than me!!!!

Firstborn children have higher IQs
THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) — First-born children possess IQs that are 2.3 points higher, on average, than their younger siblings, a new study contends.
This finding held true even when first-born children didn't survive and a younger child was reared as the eldest, scuttling the idea that genetics determines the difference in IQ among siblings, according to the Norwegian researchers who authored the report, published in the June 22 issue of the journal Science.
"This study really puts to an end a debate that's been going on for more than 70 years," said Frank J. Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research, and the author of an accompanying commentary in the journal. "The theory of biological differences is pretty much dead as a doornail."
While a 2.3 IQ point difference doesn't seem large, it translates into about a 30 percent increased chance of a child getting into an Ivy League university, Sulloway said.

Read full article at --

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tollywood vs Bollywood with Sivaji

While Bollywood is more popular internationally, it is amazing how much green Indian regional films as in Tamil films, better known as Tollywood make.

The Business Standard reports --" The country's highest-paid film star is also its most famously reclusive one. His latest blockbuster released this weekend to hysterical audiences as India's most expensive film.
On Friday, India’s most expensively mounted film starring the country’s highest-paid film star opened across 760 screens to a juggernaut of hysteria.
Preceding its box-office debut, the lead actor addressed his fans from Tirupathi, prints were carried on elephant-back accompanied by a traditional band in Kerala’s Sultanpetta to the local Vadakkunthari temple to be handed over by the priest to the theatre manager, and bookings closed a record three weeks in advance."

Read the full article at

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Insulting your family and friends...

I went out to dinner tonight with my husband and son. Saturday night at a nice family restaurant, I was saddened to see that at atleast 50 percent of the tables, the diners who were supposed to be eating were all so preoccupied with their cellphones and blackberries, not the eating kind.

It was very strange to see one father typing away madly at his blackberry, while his wife was talking on her cell phone, and their son was enjoying an ice cream alone. At another table three teenaged girlfriends, each staring at their own phones and SMS'ing away to glory.

The drinks are on the table, foods good, company's excellent and half the people at the restaurant instead of realizing how lucky they are to have this, and instead of enjoying this are so caught up with their cell phones... For Gods Sake! I for one would vote for a law that bans using phones during dinner and family gatherings.

This is the most succesful way to insult your family and friends...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

2007 Summer Reading

Heres what Tom Ashbrook says on his NPR show "On Point" about Summer Reading --

"Let's face it, summer reading has become a fashion statement, a vacationer's fetish, a marketer's dream. Sun lotion and Tuscan sun. Whole families, assiduously armed with hot paperbacks. Please, Oprah, please put my book on the beach!
And yet, when the marketing din has gone by, and the afternoons are long, and there's a beach, or a breeze, or a porch swing, how many of us long to get lost in the middle of a great book -- or a potboiler -- and feel the summertime slow to the soft turn of pages."

Here are the top Books for Summer 2007 as listed by the panel on this show --

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

India escapes U.S. list of worst human traffickers

CNN reports --

"India, which advocacy groups say may have as many as 65 million forced laborers, was spared the worst ranking on the State Department's new list of nations where humans are bought and sold.

Countries not doing enough to combat human trafficking could face sanctions if they don't take steps to improve.

The annual Trafficking in Persons report, released Tuesday, says that as many as 800,000 people -- largely women and children -- are trafficked across borders each year. Many are forced into prostitution, sweatshops, domestic labor, farming and child armies. (Watch why India isn't on Tier 3 )

U.S. officials told CNN the question of India's ranking caused a heated debate between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.

Negroponte wanted India listed as a Tier 3 country, or worst offender. Rice overruled him out of concern about alienating the Indian government. India is on the Tier 2 watch list.

Rice agreed to undertake a special evaluation of India in six months, and then take action if India does not make improvements."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Megacities of the Future

Forbes magazine lists the megacities of the future. Among the top 10 are Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta!!!

Other related articles are 21st century cities and Ghost cities of 2100 which are also very interesting lists.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Evolution of Indian American Villains

Recently a senior from my family commented to me that Indian Americans are so successful in America, and that they are integrating themselves so beautifully into American society. "Sure they are," was my retort.

I could come up with a very long list if I do some research, but here are the ones that gained notoreity more recently, and are topmost in my head. Even though guilty until proven, these people are certainly presenting a different profile of Indian Americans --
- The guy who abused his professor at the Univ of Mass
- Anand Jon
- Slave traders in Long Island
- Montessori School Teacher who sexually assaulted students in New York

There are so many more, feel free to add to this unfortunate list!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Arranged Marriages are Back in Fashion

Arranged marriage is back in fashion, is it? Reality shows like the bachelor and bachelorette, mimic swayamvaras of ancient Hindu epics like the Rmayana and others. Then there is this new modern matchmaking service.

I recently came across an article in the Boston Globe, which appeared March 2007 about Janis Spindel, whom upscale singles pay as much as $100,000 to find their soul mate. She is a glorified marriage broker of sorts like the ones my grandparents and older realtives in India used to find matches for the eligible boys and girls in the family. No different, really...

"In the 15 years she has been in the matchmaking business, Spindel claims responsibility for 760 marriages and "massive thousands in committed relationships." She speaks in hyperbole and italics, and tends to repeat her words for dramatic effect. "I'm dealing with gorgeous men -- gorgeous! -- who have it all, from billionaires in Bel Air to humongous movers and shakers in Washington to awesome guys in Boston. The only piece missing is a woman, and that's when they come to me.""

Read the full article at --

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What is proper art?

In Baroda, a student was arrested for rendering improper art.

The New York Times reports--

The tempest began on May 9 when a lawyer accompanied by police officers and television news crews marched into the art department at the respected Maharaja Sayajirao University, a state-run institution in Vadodara, in western Gujarat state. (Gujarat’s elected government is led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.)

The lawyer, Niraj Jain, based locally and affiliated with the party, said he was aggrieved by several works exhibited on a wall in the department library, including a painting — or rather a digital enlargement of a painted work — depicting a female form wielding weapons in her many arms, evoking a goddess from the Hindu pantheon, and giving birth. It was the final-year art project by Chandramohan, a graduate student who goes by one name.

the full article is at the link below. ex=1337227200&en=dd40d4b9887d2cb1&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

This brings up the question of what is proper art? A question that is going to raise many controversies and ruffle the feathers of some religious fundamentalists.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Philosophical Pop Culture

As I was wathcing Spiderman 3 this afternoon, the underlying theme of an evil mind begets evil, nad a good mind begets good became evident very early on in the movie. Many religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Budhism, believe that when a mind thinks good thoughts, good vibes emanate from an individual. Constant bad thoughts, make one sad and upset and an unpleasant person to hang out with.

Even though some feel that movies like Spiderman and Superman are pure entertainment and do not do much for the world, I believe otherwise. Some of these themes provide food for thought for young minds, why, even mature minds.

The folk tales of yesteryears, that I grew up with come to mind, like the Panchatantra, Aesops Fables, Arabian Nights most all of these stories carry a moral and even today when I read some of these to my little son, I stop to think about the morals behind some of these stories, basic, morals that the world of today ought to be reminded about and can surely integrate into their lives.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Muse and the Marketplace on NPR

Read the transcript on WBUR's Morning Edition

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Excellent Quote!

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
- Ring Lardner

This makes it even easier in the world of e-mail right, to hit the reply button with a form letter that says thanks but not thanks!!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another woman bites the dust!

Nicolas Sarközy born on 28 January 1955 in Paris, France, was elected as the 23rd President of the French Republic on 6 May 2007 after defeating Socialist Party contender Ségolène Royal. I was rooting for a woman to get elected to this french fried nation. No such luck!

Finding My Muse

This weekend I was at a writers conference in Cambridge, I am always amazed at how many writers there are out there, in spite of the fact that they hardly make any money, unless of course they are a John Grisham, Dan Brown or a Vikram Chandra. Most of them hold full time day jobs ranging fro IT to waiting tables, but they continue to make time to pursue their passion. I want to dedicate this post to those hardworking writers out there who keep chugging away at what they love to do!

Monday, April 30, 2007

In the name of fame!

Isn't it odd, how we suddenly adopt those unknown folks, with an Indian connection and make them a Desi, as soon as they become famous. Norah Jones, who has never really been raised by her father Ravi Shankar and Sanjaya Malakar, son of a divorced Indian father and American mother, who raised him, are just two examples. There are oodles of folks whom we choose to ignore and when they suddenly gain fame, they become ours -- to keep.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Create, Energize, Enrich!!!

I just returned from 3 days of hob-nobbing with fellow desi writers, at the Kriti conference in Chicago. What a wonderful experience it was. More than anything the energy and enthusiasm that was flowing was fantastic, the quality of work was excellent.

Most of all I was touched by the desire of the participants to write and their love for the craft. Many, like myself if I might add, have quit high paying jobs and lucrative careers to pursue their dream. And besides those lucky ones, like myself, who have a pouse to support us through these times, there are an amazing group of people who hold full time day jobs and then make time to moonlight as writers.

Hats off to these folks who are excellent at what they do and are pursuing their dreams, come what may... Full steam ahead!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Apple Advertisements...

The young, hip, trim and ever symapthetic apple computer and the obese, "feel sorry for yourself". whining, PC, they make a fantastic pair and for some very enjoyable advertisements.

The short witty conversations that make the apple computer some across as sympathetic yet highly competent are brilliant and fun to watch. See them here --

I hear your question, so what do I use eh? You guessed it right!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ricard Gere and Shilpa Shetty!!!

Lighten up !!!!

Blowing things out of proportion has always been the way it is. Indians protesting against the Richard Gere / Shilpa Shetty episode, need to step back, before they burn effigies. The number of kissing scenes in Bollywood movies and lurid sex scenes and dances are growing with each movie being released. And then there is a totally if nothing, innocent move by Gere and Shetty to get the attention of the Indian trucking community, and they go about blowing it up for no apparent reason.

Time for these people to stop acting like the most pure beings around and start looking internally!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

April Snow Showers...

I was returning from my yoga class this morning... When I left earleir, there was some light rain, but an hour and a half later tiny pieces of hail. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some milk and produce. When I came out of the grocery store pea sized pieces of hail bounced off my head and body. I ran into my car and started heading home when the kumquat size pieces of hail pounded on my cars windshield.

This was the middle of April, April 15th, spring in thr northeast, when the crocus and daffodil bulbs sprout and start bringing color to our yards and homes. No such luck.

Whatever you want to call it, global warming, el nino, whatever else, fact remains that the weather is pretty darned bizzarre. My husband, son and I are raring to get out and enjoy the spring weather. My 3 year old son has been refusing to wear warm weather clothes for the last couple of weeks. He only wears short sleeve Madras shirts and summer t-shirts. He is rather upset that he is not able to go out and play in his sandbox. All the kids in teh neighborhood are gettign stir crazy. It is spring vacation week and everyone is cooped up inside thanks to the nor-easter that is pounding the east coast.

Time for the weather to warm up.... We are all waiting for the April Snow Showers to cease and bring us some spring weather!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Deepak Chopra or Andrew Weil in the making???

Sanjay Guptas new book "Chasing Life" is getting a lot of publicity...

Here is what the CNN promo has to say about this book --

"In his groundbreaking new book, "Chasing Life: New Discoveries in the Search for Immortality to Help You Age Less Today," neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers a revolutionary way of thinking about aging.

Just exactly how do we age? Why do some societies have more centenarians than others? Is immortality possible? In a modern-day quest for immortality, Gupta takes readers on an investigative journey around the world to meet the pioneers and history makers in the field of immortality and to search for an answer to the question, "What can we do now to chase life?" "Chasing Life" blends futuristic science, compelling stories of the quest for life extension and cutting-edge practical advice on halting the aging process.

In "Chasing Life," Gupta proves that a kind of "practical immortality" is within our reach. He explains major scientific advances that are going to revolutionize health care and potentially expand life by decades in the very near future, including an application of stem cell therapy to make degenerative diseases only a bad memory and new developments in gene sequencing that may completely transform the experience of aging. "

Workplace form asks for a "detailed menstrual history"

Outrage at India menstrual form
By Monica Chadha, BBC News, Mumbai

The form asks for a "detailed menstrual history"
Women civil servants in India have expressed shock at new appraisal rules which require them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles.

Under the new nationwide requirements, female officials also have to say when they last sought maternity leave.

Women civil servants say the questions are a gross invasion of privacy. One told the BBC she was "gobsmacked".

Annual appraisals and health checks are mandatory in India's civil service. The ministry was unavailable for comment.

But one of its most senior bureaucrats was quoted in the press as saying the new questions had been based on advice from health officials.

Read the complete story at --

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stars of South Asian descent are on the ascent

By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY

It's not just Apu anymore.
After years of relative anonymity, performers of Indian heritage are establishing a small but growing presence in TV and film, breaking stereotypes along the way. From Sanjaya Malakar of American Idol to actors on some of TV's most popular shows, U.S. viewers are seeing a broader range of performers who trace their roots to the world's second most populous country.

"Things are opening up — very slowly, but it's definitely happening," says Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays genetics professor Mohinder Suresh on NBC's Heroes, TV's biggest freshman hit.

Navi Rawat, a native Californian of Indian and German heritage, encountered a first when seeking the role of mathematician Amita Ramanujan on CBS' Numb3rs. "It was the first time I was cast in a role specifically written as someone who was Indian," she says.

Other actors of at least partial Indian descent on network TV include Naveen Andrews, ABC's Lost; Parminder Nagra, NBC's ER; Mindy Kaling, NBC's The Office; Ravi Kapoor, NBC's Crossing Jordan; and Aasif Mandvi, CBS' Jericho. Kal Penn, who stars in the film The Namesake, appeared this season on 24 and is in an ABC pilot, The Call.

Rawat says it's good for audiences to see that actors who share the same heritage can represent a range of birthplaces, backgrounds and appearances: "They don't fit one stereotype."

For decades, people of South Asian descent rarely were series regulars. (Kavi Raz held that status in the 1980s on St. Elsewhere, and Apu is a long-running animated character on The Simpsons.) In 2002, CBS' Presidio Med, a medical drama set in San Francisco, premiered with no doctors of Asian heritage.

That many of the characters have a medical or scientific background shows TV is starting to reflect a reality in which many doctors are of South Asian heritage (not to mention medical correspondents, such as CNN's Sanjay Gupta), says Karen Narasaki of the Asian American Justice Center, a civil rights organization that has studied diversity on TV.

Oddly, acting opportunities grew in the aftermath of 9/11 as films and TV cast actors of Indian heritage as Middle Eastern characters, says Ramamurthy, a Chicago native who speaks in Indian-accented English on Heroes.

Narasaki wants to see Asian-Americans getting to play all roles, such as Penn's stereotype-defying stoner in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and not just those that fit a newer stereotype, such as "the model minority." TV also needs more diversity on its writing staffs, she says.

Kaling, also a writer on The Office, called on her knowledge to write "Diwali," an episode that featured the Hindu festival of lights. Says Mala Chakravorty of the online Indian-American magazine "It brought about this sense of cultural sensitivity and acceptance."

Plagiarism Anniversary....

Just about a year ago, April 27, 2006 was when the Kaavya Vishwanathan interview happened on teh Today Show with Katie Couric. One year has gone by and bygones have become bygones. However interetingly enough Katie Couric'sproducer was fired and CBS apologized after a Katie Couric video essay on libraries was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal.

Interesting coincidence on the anniversary of a plagiarism scandal!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Interview With Vikram Chandra

Read this doc on Scribd: Vikram Chandra TIA Mar April 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prajjwala and Suneeta Krishnan

In a world where everyone is consumed with themselves and their well being here is a woman who is selfless and has dedicated her life to the betterment of others. Suneeta Krishnan was featured on the The Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS tonight. You can read the story at

Suneeta Krishnan is the founder and Chief of Prajwala an organization that is dedicated to protecting and helping those that have been the victims of trafficking. You can learn more about Prajwala at

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shashi Tharoor on Cricket and America

An excellent editorial in the New York Times --

Our Cricket Problem

LAST week, the greatest sporting event of the year in terms of audience began in Jamaica, when the West Indies beat Pakistan in the inaugural match of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. A six-week extravaganza follows -- 51 matches that are being monitored with nail-biting excitement around the world. The final, on Saturday, April 28, will take place in Barbados, but friends of mine in New York are already planning a World Cup party at the home of an expatriate with a satellite dish. The party will be attended by a raucous group of Indians and Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Brits, Australians and Zimbabweans. But of course there will be no Americans.

No, it's not a case of ethnic discrimination. Call it willful ignorance. Americans have about as much use for cricket as Lapps have for beachwear. The fact that elsewhere in the civilized world grown men dress up like poor relations of Gatsby and venture hopefully into the drizzle clutching their bats invariably mystifies my American friends. And the notion that anyone would watch a game that, in its highest form, could take five days and still end in a draw provokes widespread disbelief among results-oriented Americans.

Friday, March 23, 2007

On Reading to Write...

Tom Ashbrooke interviewed Francine Prose, novelist, essayist and literary critic. She's taught literature and writing for more than twenty years and is the author of fourteen books of fiction including "A Changed Man" and "Blue Angel." Her new book is "Reading Like A Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them."

Prose has some very simple yet lucid thoughts on how to become a good writer. Seems like plain commomn sense to me. Here are a couple of quotes from her book--

"Instead of looking at works and point out what is wrong with them, why not look at brilliant works and see how they did it."
"Writing can not be taught but learned, and most writers including myself learned by reading."
"Like most, maybe all, writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, from books."

Many many more fascinating thoughts in her book, "Reading Like A Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Stay at Home Mom

I am a stay at home mom and proud of it. I believe that I have one of the most mentally and physically demanding jobs on the planet. Recently, standing at my kitchen counter sipping on my hot cappuccino, I was shocked and angry when I read an article about philosopher, Linda Hirshman and her statement that the best place for an intelligent woman is in the workplace and not at home.

In an article in the American Prospect this self-proclaimed intellectual reportedly wrote, “Housekeeping and child-rearing are not worthy of the full time talents of intelligent and educated human beings.” And then there is her book titled, “ Get to Work: A manifesto for women of the world.” As if being a stay at home mom was a South Seas vacation.

It was also reported that death threats have become an occupational hazard for Hirshman and that she and her husband live in anonymity, fearful of what may happen. I wonder if this should even be surprising.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Six Sixers in Six Balls

World Cup 2007 Record 6-6s in a Single Over

An outstanding over in World Cup Cricket 2007, a match between Netherlands vs. South Africa. Herschelle Gibbs smashed six 6s in one single over. Absolutely fantastic and a world record, both in World Cup Cricket and ODI.

Here is the youtube link --

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Bangalore Globe Controversy!!!

Jobs are being outsourced in every sector so why not here?

Robert Gavin Reports -- "The Boston Globe's biggest labor union has begun an advertising campaign decrying the paper's plan to outsource the jobs of about 50 workers to India. In radio ads that began yesterday and in an ad published today in the Boston Herald, the Boston Newspaper Guild urges Globe readers and advertisers to call the newspaper and its parent company, The New York Times Co., to oppose the move . "It's the Boston Globe, not the Bangalore Globe," the print ad says. The Globe rejected publishing the ad "because it did not meet our standards," a spokesman said. In January, the Times Co.'s New England Media Group launched a buyout program to cut about 125 jobs at the Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette, including those being outsourced. Globe officials said the outsourcing decision is difficult, but necessary for the paper's long-term health."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Teaching Religious Literacy

The NPR radio magazine "On Point" with host Tom Ashbrook, recently had an episode dedicated to "Teaching Religious Literacy". It was a very thought provoking discussion and really got me thinking.

Here is a capsule --

" Americans are among the most religious people on earth, if you ask if they believe. But if you dig a little deeper and ask for a few details on their religion or anyone else's, don't expect too much. Surveys show only half of Americans can name even one of the four Gospels -- never mind the four Noble Truths or Buddhism, or the Ten Commandments.
Religious studies scholar Stephen Prothero says that religious illiteracy is a serious problem in a world where so much conflict, politics and conviction is framed in religious terms. Such a big problem, he argues, that we need to start teaching religion in public schools to know what we're all talking about."

You can listen to the full show at the link below --

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mass Transit Rocks!

It's high time that we the public, corporations and governement alike, started understanding the importance of mass transit, and realizing it's many benefits.

In todays New York Times in an article titled "Google’s Buses Help Its Workers Beat the Rush"-
"The perks of working at Google are the envy of Silicon Valley. Unlimited amounts of free chef-prepared food at all times of day. A climbing wall, a volleyball court and two lap pools. On-site car washes, oil changes and haircuts, not to mention free doctor checkups.
But the biggest perk may come with the morning commute.
In Silicon Valley, a region known for some of the worst traffic in the nation, Google, the Internet search engine giant and online advertising behemoth, has turned itself into Google, the mass transit operator. Its aim is to make commuting painless for its pampered workers — and keep attracting new recruits in a notoriously competitive market for top engineering talent.
And Google can get a couple of extra hours of work out of employees who would otherwise be behind the wheel of a car.
The company now ferries about 1,200 employees to and from Google daily — nearly one-fourth of its local work force — aboard 32 shuttle buses equipped with comfortable leather seats and wireless Internet access. Bicycles are allowed on exterior racks, and dogs on forward seats, or on their owners’ laps if the buses run full.
Riders can sign up to receive alerts on their computers and cellphones when buses run late. They also get to burnish their green credentials, not just for ditching their cars, but because all Google shuttles run on biodiesel. Oh, and the shuttles are free."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Namesake - The Movie

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it was a gentle mix of drama, romance, and humor. It was great to see the mainstream American audience enjoy this with me as well.

As if there have not been enough reviews of the Namesake. Nevertheless I had to do my part. Read my review at

NPR Commentary on The Peace Train between India and Pakistan

This was an excellent commentary I heard on NPR this morning by Bilal Qureshi...

Morning Edition, March 6, 2007 · India and Pakistan are meeting for the first time to discuss ways to fight terrorism.

Thousands of people have died in sectarian and political attacks between India's Hindus and Pakistan's Muslims since the countries split in1947. Many families have been touched by the violence.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A turning point in Indian American Cinema...

I really enjoyed watching the Namesake and would recommend this movie to everyone I know.

Read my review at

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

India is favored again - BBC World Service Poll

So much media attention for India. It's increasing by leaps and bounds. Books being published, recently by Mira Kamdar and Ed Luce, talk about how this nation is becoming one of the more favored nations of the world, thanks to it's globalization and economic growth. The latest in this are teh results of the BBC World Service poll.

"In the latest BBC World Service poll (conducted by the firm GlobeScan), which asked 28,000 people around the world how they felt about other countries, India got positive marks from people in 17 countries but negative marks from only 3 countries. India appears to be the only South Asian country on the survey. Overall, Canada had the most favorable ratings. Israel, North Korea and the U.S. didn't do well at all. GlobeScan president Doug Miller said "India is the only country that has significantly improved its global stature in the past year, and is now even with China. Britain, while slipping a bit since 2005, appears to be avoiding the steep decline that its war partner, the US, is suffering. And it is fascinating that Chavez's Venezuela seems to be appealing to as many people as it is displeasing."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Indonesia -- Again!!!

Barely had the earthquaks hit Indonesia and caused devastation and now a plane crash. It just does not seem to end for Indonesia...

"A Garuda Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway at Yogyakarta airport and exploded in flames about 7am local time (11am AEDT), burning some of the 133 passengers and seven crew alive in their seats. Garuda tonight said 22 people, including one crew member, had died, while 118 other passengers and crew escaped. The figures were backed by Indonesia's national health crisis centre. A government official had earlier said 49 people perished," reports The Age.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Starbucks versus Starstrucks!!!

Xinhua News reports that -- "Starbucks Corp is opposing Indian entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain's plans to start a chain of coffee shops called Starstrucks, the Mint business paper reported. The U.S. coffee-shop chain has told India's Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademark that the name is deceptively similar to its own name, the paper said."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

India gives birth to another lucrative business!!!

Indian outsourcing in a totally new arena. According to an article by Siddharth Srivastava in the Asia Times --

" Surrogate mothers being outsourced to India add one more chapter to the saga of cheaper "jobs" being transferred to low-cost economies such as India. For now, "hiring" a womb appears to be a win-win situation, both from the cost and quality of medical service. The cost of renting a womb is under US$5,000, compared to more than $50,000 in the West. The entire procedure in India costs in the range of $10,000, and the quality of treatment and technology and the expertise of the country's doctors compares with the best in the world."

Whose Bed Is It Anyway?

Intereting article in the NEw York Times about children co-sleeping with their parents. I have never been a fan or Dr. Ferber. I have always believed that children are better off sleeping with their parents especially when they are infants and toddlers. As they grow older and more independent they will move into their own beds, as they get comfortable.

New York Times, February 28, 2007
Whose Bed Is It Anyway?
Four years after the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development published a survey in which 12 percent of respondents reported sleeping with their babies, those babies have grown into children, and those children are still in their parents’ bed. Many parents are reluctant co-sleepers, too tired to disrupt a practice that may irritate one or both adults, but, in the end, seems to promise the most amount of sleep for the most people in the house.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hindu Chaplain at UMass!!!

The University of Massachusetts recently appointed Swami Yogatmananda,
minister of the Providence Vedanta Society, as the Hindu Chaplain for
UMass Dartmouth. He is also the Hindu Chaplain at Brown University.

Swami Yogatmananda holds a Master's degree in mathematics, and has
been ordained with the title of a Swami under the Ramakrishna Mission
order. He is also a University Chaplain at Brown University. Born in
1953 in Karnataka, India, Swami Yogatmananda joined Ramakrishna Order
in 1976. He received his monastic vows in 1986. After being at
Ramakrishna Math Center at Nagpur, India for 20 years, he was posted
as the Head of Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentines Day Revelation!!!

Until today I never realised how huge Valentines day was for schools and kids. I had offered to make little favors for my 3 year old sons classmates at his Montessori. I was out shopping the night before Valentines. Here I was confidently traipsing along hoping to pick up little favors and walk out. To my surprise, Valentines day treats and favor bags were sold out at most major outlets. I had to run from one store to another to find some decent valentines day favors besides just chocolates, candy and cards.

Valentines day my husband believes, is a Hallmark event! No I say to him, it has become much much bigger than that. No more is it just an ocasion for a couple in Love, it is for everyone from newborns all the way to seniors and pets! Bizarre!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Are the stars not aligned for Indonesia???

This morning the Hindustan Times reported --

"An earthquake of 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale occurred on Monday morning in Indonesia's Papua province, said the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau in Jakarta. The quake, which hit at 09:08 am (Jakarta time), was centred 544 km northwest of Port Moresby in Papua, at a depth of 38 km. There were no casualty reports yet. The Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. A moderate 5.7-magnitude earthquake had struck northwest of the Indonesian province of Aceh on February 11."

Indonesia has been reeling from natural disasters one after another, without respite. Besides the Tsunami that devastated the country there have been numerous earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions and what not? My heart goes out to the people of the country, especially those that are below the poverty line that are deeply affected by these disasters.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Shashi Tharoor's Resignation - Time to write again?

When I interviewed Shashi Tharoor last year, before the new UN chief was elected, he told me very clearly that, if he does not get to the helm, then this would be a great oppurtunity to focus on his writing. I for one am looking forward to that. He is a very intense writer, his works are quite profound and make excellent reading. We're waiting Mr. Tharoor, time to fill up your pen and get to work!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Spacewalk Record set by Women Astronaut

In the wake of the scandal involving astronaut Lisa Nowak the media has overlooked an achievement by a woman astronaut of South Asian origin. Commander Sunita Williams has set a spacewalk record for women astronauts.

"Williams broke the previous women’s spacewalking record of more than 21 hours when she and Michael Lopez-Alegria completed the second of what could be a precedent-setting three spacewalks in nine days. The new record of 22 hours and 27 minutes includes her two most recent walks, as well as a spacewalk in December," reports AP.

Kudos to her!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kriti Conference in Chicago

For fans of South Asian literature, Kriti will be a four-day event celebrating South Asian and diaspora literature, with panel discussions, performances, readings, music and song, storytelling for kids, and much more! I have the honor of being a panelist this year, and am looking forward to four days of fun, education and interaction with like-minded folks.

Visit their website forcomplete details --

Friday, January 26, 2007

Time to resurface

I've not been hiding... I just let the hectic pace of my life takeover... I'm still here and am here to stay...