Thursday, November 30, 2006

The perfect job

So this is an idea I had while writing a email to a friend. One of the greatest jobs has to be being a bicycle richsaw driver. You get excercise, plenty of "fresh" air, get to meet different kinds of people, its a form of public service and after about 2 years of this you can win the tour de France about 10 times in a row. I am going to apply to my local rickshaw driver association for a license and see what happens. In other news it's getting cold here and I will be wearing one the sweaters my mom insisted I take with me even though I protested and moped about it till I got on the airplane. I guess mum does know best but, please don't tell her I said that.
rats I knew I wanted to write about something else but I just can't think about it right now. Oh yeah, Bangalore is quite the mix of life styles, you have the ultra modern office buildings owned by big corporations like CAT, SAP, IBM, Infosys etc and right across from them are the shanties where people are living in slums. I wonder how long such a clash of lifestyles can exist next to each other. I mean there has to be a tipping point before such inequality has to lead to something ugly.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Breakfast in Bangalore

Colorfull isn't it? All I know about it is that its the stuff I had for breakfast yesterday and today. and most of it is made from rice. South Indian dishes tend to be spicier than north Indian dishes. I read somewhere that the closer you get to the equator the spicier the food gets. I noticed that fruit juice is way more popular that soft drinks here. I asked around and found out that there was a big controversy a while about pesticide content in soft drinks and since then people here have more or less stopped having soft drinks. Apparently some states in India banned soft drinks and the supreme court said that since the level of pesticides in those drinks was below the government recomended limit the states couldn't ban them.
but .. why is there any pesticide in my pepsi or coke at all? I mean there is pesticide and the government knows about it ? why didn't someone tell me ? I mean .. geez I can brew up conspiracy theories up the ying yang with this one. Makes me wonder what else the government knows about but won't tell me. Are there pieces of minced eye brow hair in my pudding ? are there chicken droppings in my vegy burger ? is gasolene really extraced from the carcases of dead cockroches? I mean come on.. I need to know things like this.
On the topic of soft drinks, why are they called soft drinks ? what's so soft about 'em? In a recent study it was reported that women who drink such "soft" drinks are more likely to face orhtopedic problems in life. Went to the gym at the office today, a very very sad gym. Well it had a decent treadmill and a working shower so I won't complain too much. Alright, back to the ho hum of life.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Work an' Bangalore

Sitting around waiting for people from the ny office to come online. Things have been going well enough so far, kind of boring really. I go to work, come back and stay indoors. Unfortunately the part of bangalore I am in is not pedestrain freindly. It would be really nice if I could just walk down to the interesting parts of the city, but I have to wait till the weekend i.e tommorow to have some fun. Just a note on the pizza here, I think I like t better than the stuff I have had in Chicago, New york or saudi arabia. Ofcourse the fact that I was really really hungry might have had something to do with my opinion of Bangalory pizza.
So some thoughts on Bangalore, it is a nice place, the weather is really good. I get a car and a driver to take me to work and back but the driver doesn't stick around later. I finally got a sim card but I haven't had the chance to find the salsa place, Maybe in place of salsa I will learn how to ride a motor bike. Anywho my first weekend in Bangalore is about to start. hopefully things will go well. The only reason I have not ventured out from the apartment is that I don't know much about the surounding area. A vicious circle, I don't know much about the area because I don't go out, I don't go out because I don't know much about the area. I don't know if I can find a taxi or an auto rickhsaw to take me back after I go some place. It would be easier if I left early in the morning and explored. But what the heck, I will get home today and take off for the city.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The trip has been fine so far. The best thing about being in India is that there are no separate lines for the foreigners and people who belong to this country. i.e. Indians. Every place I have been to so far. i.e. Every country, has had a separate line for different people. There is an American only line in America, a Saudi only line in Saudi Arabia, a UAE only line in UAE, but there is no such thing as a Indian only line in India. This is really amazing :-). All Indian airports have this distinctive smell, not necessarily a bad smell. It is a unique smell though, oh and before I forget for the first time since 9/11 I wasn't picked for a random search whilst traveling.
Things to do today
1. Buy a map
2. Buy a sim card
3. Check out the gym near the apartment I'm staying in.
4. Get in touch with my aunts & uncles and arrange a time to meet up.
5. Maybe find a place to get Salsa classes ? I might end up making a fool of myself but what the heck.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Privitisation of democracy.

So this is how democracy works nowadays. A bunch of people get together and pay for someone to run for office. If he gets enough money and he gives enough bribes to the right people, he wins !
now, it would be nice if it all ended here and everything would be great, but the people who paid good money to get this guy elected want a return on their investment, with interest. So the guy who got elected has to give back to the "community" making sure the people who helped him out are the first in line when he is giving back to the community. You might ask, where is all this comming from? I was at a dinner party a couple of days ago. There was an Ambassador, many rich business men & the minister of education present. Why was I there? I have no idea, amongst all the suits I was in a sweat shirt and dirty jeans. lots of fun :-)
Any who, if I never get invited back I don't think I will have lost anything. I will be leaving for Banglore today, I will be sure to write a complete blog of my experiences on this trip. Its gonna be tough working on a vacation but I am sure I will manage somehow. Wish me best of luck for the trip. After all the horor stories I have heard about Air India and the Bombay airport (I have a connecting flight to bangalore) I will be happy if I just get onto the plane. ps I trimmed my beard for the trip, since its no fun getting picked out for "random" security checks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Ubuntu rocks, New york offers a way to socialize while riding a cab. The inventor of this service is a genius.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Yay! will get my ticket for Banglore tommorow. In other news I brought a new laptop and I will have to format it. HP puts the recovery stuff on a seperate partition and I want that space back. Plus I want to dual boot with Ubuntu. A friend told me he learnt alot about Linux during the process so I will emulate him. hurrah for the new laptop. It has a 256 mb nvidia video card, great for games.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Terrorism is the symptom not the disease

I am amazed by how many people still consider terrorism to be disease that breeds in training camps and madrasas around the world. The fact of the matter is that terrorism is not a disease that people make it out to be. Terrorism is just the symptom of the disease, the real problem is the hypocrisy of how the western world treats the eastern world. By east I mean anything east of the EU. The main battle ground for all these problems lies in the middle east about 1000 miles from where I live. Jerusalem, the land where 3 peaceful religions have shed more blood than all the abattoirs of the world combined. Last week was no different, a family of Palestinians wiped out while they slept in their beds by Israeli army rockets. Ofcourse the Israelis apologized for killing innocent civilians and promised to look into the matter, then they went on bombing the place. Of the 18 killed I remember reading something about 6 of them being children. The youngest being 3 months old. I didn't read anymore, I couldn't read anymore.
There used to be a quote by Mahatma Gandhi in my school text books that went something like ' If you find yourself facing a particularly difficult problem or a problem that makes you doubt yourself do this, try to remember the face of the saddest most depraved human being you have seen and if your decision will have any effect on him or her. Basically will solving the problem you are facing have any affect on that persons life?'. For a long time I did not understand what Mahatma Gandhi was trying to get at, but now I do. I guess it is a sign of me growing up. How does one go from talking about Terrorism to a non violent movement led by Gandhi? I think the two are related in a perverse way..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The soccer match

The match ended with 17-4 as the final score. 17 in our favour ofcourse. I didn't score, but then again I play defense and I didn't look for any chances to score. Other than that, I have booked my flight to Banglore on the 21st and my mum wants to go with me. Should be a good time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nuclear weapons & African American professors.

The title to this blog is misleading. It's based on two thoughts I had recently and not how African Americans professors contributed to the development of nuclear weapons.
1. My college, IIT, which was located in Chicago and had the largest % of international students of any college at the time but didn't have any African American professors. We had British, Iranian, Chinese, Indian, Caucasian, Mexican, German etc professors but nobody that was African American. I don't understand it. Some of my professors couldn't even speak english properly but they still taught us. Public safety, our personal police force, was almost 100% African American. I just realized this ... Weird.. I am sure there is a lot more that can be read into this but I will have to reflect on it somemore before I can comment on it. The short explanation would be racism. The long explanation would still be racism, but would explain how it affects us in its many ugly ways.
2. The only country in the world that has suffered from Nuclear weapons refuses to obtain them even though its neighbor develops them. A neighbor that has time and again shown its aggressive tendencies towards them. The country ofcourse is Japan, I don't think there can be a stronger message Japan can send to the rest of the world that in face of the new threats that nuclear technology is redundant. Nuclear weapons are not to be kept for whatever reason. They are not the solution to anything, unless the problem is how do we destroy ourselves completely. The main reason some of these countries (USA, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, China etc) cite for keeping these weapons is to maintain world order and for it, the nuclear weapons, to act as a deterrent. But with the emergence of "terrorism" as the main challenger to the strength of these countries the fact that these people are willing to give their lives to kill others makes nuclear weapons obsolete.
I can write more meaningful thoughts but that wouldn't be in style of my blog, I am starting to feel a little under the weather and need to play a football (soccer for some people) game. I think I will go home and get something to eat and take something for my sore throat.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Skiing in Dubai

For the past three days I was in Dubai participating in a Motorola workshop. This trip included many firsts for me. I met an author for the first time in my life, Paul Golding, an author and mobile technology guru from UK and for the first time in my life I went skiing in the desert. Other things I did for the first time, I went to a club by myself for the first time and realized I really am not cut out for going to clubs by myself. They are just too weird, plus I don't have the kind of confidence needed to go talk to someone new in a club. So I went there spent 10 minutes at the club feeling out of place and went back to my hotel room to read a book.
Meeting Paul was amazing, the guy has to be one of the smartest person I have met. He reads about 3-4 books in a week and his views on politics, religion, sociology and technology are inspiring. In other news my friend who I keep referring to as Anonymous keeps telling me how being anonymous is annoying. Atleast that's what I think she said :-)
The trip to dubai was fun, they keep putting up new sky scrapers every time I go there. At Burj Dubai, the new one they are building, they keep adding a new floor every 3 days. Dubai is named crane city after the number of cranes that inhabit the city. I'm feeling a bit under the weather and my parents are in Dammam again so I will go grab lunch and head back home. Hopefully I will be able to hit the gym later today.