Friday, 10 October 2008

Shame India:After IIT what Next? Defence?

By Prof M S Gopinathan –
Oxford colleges are famous for their meticulous lawns। When asked by a visiting American student how you make such a lawn, the Oxford gardener replied: 'It is easy। You just regularly mow it, weed and water it। Do that for seven hundred years। Then you get a lawn like this।' What is true for the Oxford lawn is true for its academic excellence too.
I am by brand an 'Other Backward Class'. I did my PhD at an IIT and taught at another IIT for 27 years before retiring. It is to the credit of the IIT system that it never asked me my caste brand, neither when I entered as a student or faculty nor when I was promoted. It is sad that these things are going to change. It may not be irrelevant to note that they didn't ask my caste or religion at Oxford University in the UK, McGill University in Canada or the German Universities where I went to work.
If you are socially disadvantaged, you must strive to overcome that disadvantage and the only way to do that is to educate yourself and your children. Ask for good schools, good teachers and scholarships. If you opt for charity and crutches, you will always remain for generations to come, a receiver of charity limping on borrowed crutches. Charity demeans both the giver and the receiver.
I was born to poor, virtually illiterate parents in a remote village. But I was lucky to have a great science teacher in our village school who excited me about science; not just to learn textbook science, but to do experiments after school hours and on holidays and to do Socratic debates about science with him. Whatever modest success I have had in my professional scientific career, I can trace to such early fortunate circumstances and influences.
If you haven't had proper schooling and if you are just airlifted into an IIT by virtue of your scheduled or backward caste, you will be a miserable misfit in the intellectually and socially elite IIT atmosphere. You cannot cope with the courses; you cannot speak the campus lingo. You feel ostracized, intellectually and socially. I am saying this based on my decades of long experience with such students at IIT. Even after special coaching for a year at IIT and being exempted from the dreaded Entrance Examination, the SC/ST reserved students cannot perform. Often they require further academic concessions, albeit unethical, to barely pass the courses. It helps nobody, least of all them. I do not know what happens to them in their post-IIT life; some commission should study it. But I doubt whether many second generation SC/ST IITians make it to the IIT directly through the JEE.
It takes enormous, dedicated, and sincere effort for decades on the part of the government if quality universal school education is to be provided to all, as decreed by the Constitution and as Independent India has miserably failed to deliver in over 50 years. But it is far easier to shortchange and hoodwink the SC/STs and OBCs by making a legislative flourish of the pen offering useless, humiliating backdoor entry to them in the Institutes of higher learning. This political gimmick even distorts the meaning of 'higher' learning.
Even the sanctioned SC/ST quota in IITs today goes unfilled to a large extent (50 per cent?).
IITs cannot attract quality faculty (current vacancy is probably 20 per cent or more). Imagine the scenario when 49 per cent admission is reserved on the basis of caste and not on the basis of the academic potential of the students. IITs will be shunned as Paraya or Backward Class Institutes by serious academicians of all castes and by the international academic community.
The brand IIT has been created through about 50 years of dedicated, serious academic work of world quality by the faculty and students. Such institutes cannot be created overnight by legislative actions like opening a new IIT in a remote but politically correct location or just by renaming as IIT an existing university with its century-old caste and nonacademic baggage.
So what should the OBC students, for whom the politician's heart has suddenly started bleeding, do? They should join the anti-reservation agitation and agitate for decent schools, good teachers and scholarships and refuse to be taken for an easy ride by the vote seekers. They should maintain their dignity and refuse the segregating ignominy of backdoor entries into institutions of higher learning. They should ask for better training, better running shoes, better coaches and show that they too can race with the others.
They should throw away the demeaning crutches offered.
I know this will not come to pass. The IIT campuses will be made 50-50, 50 backward and 50 forward, splitting it in the middle along the caste divide, the handicapped and the non-handicapped crowding, jostling on the same race track, nobody going anywhere.
If segregation is a legislative imperative, I suggest that it is better to have it on different campuses, rather than on the same campus। That is a win-win, 100-100 reservation situation. The SC/ST, OBC, BC and FC all having their own IITs with 100 per cent reservation, not only for students, but for faculty and staff too (why stop at students?). Maybe we could thus have healthy academic caste wars. Each group on its own racetrack.

Another possible win-win scenario for all comes from the use of high tech IT, satellite communication etc in which India is strong. We could close down all existing caste-ridden IITs and replace them with a single secular, egalitarian, virtual IIT. Virtually any number from any caste can enroll and have the same professor lecture to thousands over the high tech wires. It ensures a level playing field for all up in the sky.
Swami Vivekananda was shocked by the horrendous caste divisions in Kerala and called it a mad house. We now have a whole mad nation!
Caste -- forward, backward or scheduled -- is a shame of our country. It is an indelible indignity that brands an Indian for life at the moment of his birth. The higher castes may flaunt their caste through caste markings and last names and the lower ones may try to hide it except when it can be cashed in for favours like admissions, concessions or jobs. Egalitarian pretensions notwithstanding, caste has become an organizing principle of modern Indian society. It determines who will marry whom, who will eat with whom, who will touch whom, who will vote for whom and of late who will get into IIT!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

व्यस्त हूँ. अवकाश चाहिए.

I'm not writing these days। So busy, you know। I rarely come online, that too to check e-mails and then go offline. But I do read off and on. Unplanned reading, like newspapers,mail forwards and books while travelling. Naturally mind thinks about the thoughts it gets, and gives rise to the need to write. Just to take it out to express. That is it. So before I write something 'new' and 'original' I'd be posting articles that are more important than my writings and are really something that I feel about.

So please excuse my taking a break.

Friday, 15 August 2008

अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत्

आख़िर कब तक कम्प्यूटर/इन्टरनेट कामधेनु गाय की तरह मनचाही वस्तु देती रह सकती है? हरेक चीज़ की एक सीमा भी तो होती है? अंग्रेज़ी में इसे Trade-Off कहते हैं। कीमत दिए बिना कुछ लेना असभ्यता है.
मनोवैज्ञानिकों ने ऐसे ही एक मानसिक रोग को पहचाना है जो इन्टरनेट की उपज मानी जाती है। इसकी सबसे खतरनाक बात ये है की ये आपके रोजमर्रा काम-काज की शक्ल अख्तियार करके आपके मानिंद जज्ब हो सकता है और काफ़ी गहरे पैठ सकता है। आप इससे खुशफ़हमी में रह सकते हैं की सब कुछ सामान्य है लेकिन...लेकिन आगे ख़ुद ही पढ़ लें और अंत में अपना परीक्षण भी कर लें :
Internet addiction is really real. In March, the American Journal of Psychiatry said that Internet addition is a compulsive-impulsive disorder and thus belongs in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Good thing for newly-minted addicts that now there’s therapy for such a thing.
Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery has developed the first rehab program for Internet addicts, using the twelve-step program that’s been in place for over a decade. Treatment requires getting rid of an addict’s home computer. Unsurprisingly, Internet addicts resist this. In fact, “the person who is addicted to his or her computer is going to have the same ‘high’ as the drug addict who is about to go see their drug dealer,”said therapist Tonya Camacho.
Interestingly, Internet addicts tend to be divided by gender:
“The women who come here mostly have online shopping or chat-room addictions,” said Coleen Moore, the coordinator of resource development at the Illinois Institute. “The men we treat [suffer] from Internet gaming, gambling and pornography.”
South Korea considers Internet addiction to be one of its most serious public health issues. In 2006, about 210,000 South Koreans were declared Internet addicts, and 80 percent of them needed medication while the rest were hospitalized. About 10 million Chinese teenagers are reportedly addicted to the Internet, so in 2007, China decided to restrict computer gaming to less than 3 hours a day.
It’s no LOL matter: The Center for Internet Addiction Recovery treats a range of addictions from cybersex and cyberporn to online affairs to online gambling to compulsive surfing. We took an
Internet Addiction Test, a survey given by the center, and scored 30 points, making us “an average on-line user. [We] may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but [we] have control over [our] usage.” Worried that you might need therapy? Take the test yourself.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

परदेस में आहार: कभी खुशी कभी गम

ईमान से कहता हूँ, विदेश में खाना खाना एक बड़ा ही रोचक, यादगार एवं शानदार अनुभव होता है, किंतु साथ ही कभी कभी ऐसा भी लगता है की कहाँ आ फंसे। ऐसे में आप बच गए तो आपका भाग्य अन्यथा दुर्भाग्य। भाषा की समस्या पहली समस्या है, परन्तु सिर्फ़ बोलचाल भर का ज्ञान कभी कभी मुसीबत में डालने वाला हो सकता है। आखिरकार आपको सिर्फ़ अपने कार्यस्थल पर ही नहीं अपने दैनंदिन कार्य के लिए विभिन्न प्रकार के लोगों से भी मिलना होता है।
मैं Bacon शब्द से अनजान तो नहीं ही था, बस इतना जानता था कि पुनर्जागरण काल में एक महान लेखक और दार्शनिक हुए थे जिनका नाम था Francis Bacon । इस से ज्यादा इस शब्द की सार्थकता के बारे में तब तक कल्पना भी नहीं थी, जब तक मैं अपने ऑफिस के कैफेटेरिया में उस दिन नहीं गया था। उस दिन का व्यंजन था Navajo Chicken Sandwich । इसके बारे में विस्तृत विवरण तो देखा , उसमे ये शब्द भी पूरे तौर पर विराजमान था। शेफ ने बड़े ही प्यार से बनाया और जब मुझे परोसने लगा तो मैंने बस उत्सुकतावश पूछा "भाई साहब, इन के नाम भी आप बताएं तो मेरे ज्ञानकोष में कुछ वृद्धि हो। मसलन वो लाल लाल सा टुकड़ा क्या डाला?" उसने भी बड़े ही प्यार से फरमाया:
" Hey ! you don't know this? this is Bacon. Bacon. "
मैंने कंधा उचकाते हुए अनभिज्ञता जतायी।फ़िर उसने कहा:
" Bacon you don't know? " लगा जैसे मैंने जीवन के मूलभूत ज्ञान से वंचित होने का-सा पाप कर दिया हो।
मैंने फ़िर अपना सर ना में हिलाया। फ़िर उसने समझाया:
" See this is side part of the pig. Very tasty. Yummy. You'll love this.Try this today and say thanks to me.okay? "
भगवान् का लाख लाख शुक्र था। मेरे माता पिता एवं गुरुजनों का आशीर्वाद था की समय रहते मेरी बुद्धि चेत गई और मैंने उत्सुकता दिखाई।
उसने बड़े ही प्यार से अपनी तरफ़ से मुझे अच्छा खाना परोसने की कोशिश की थी। लेकिन दुर्भाग्यवश संस्कृति एवं संस्कार का अन्तर हो गया। उसकी भाषा में वह एक लज़ीज़ व्यंजन था Bacon । मेरी भाषा में वह था सूअर । खैर जो भी हो, मुझे इनकार भी करना था और ये भी देखना था कि उसे बुरा न लगे। किसी तरह से इनकार किया। फ़िर धन्यवाद के साथ आग्रह किया कि बिना Bacon के बना दे। अंततः खाना मेरे अनुसार ही बना और फिर इश्वर को धन्यवाद देता हुआ बाहर निकल गया।

आज के खाने में था: Fettuccine verduras

Fettuccine मतलब इटालियन में होता है "छोटा फीता" i.e. Little Ribbon. ये चपटीं और मोटीं होती ये स्थूल noodle के जैसीं होती हैं जो आटे और अंडे से तैयार की जाती हैं।

verduras मतलब वैसी शाक सब्जी होती है जिसका पूरा तना या पत्तियां खाने योग्य हों। उदाहरण के तौर पर पालक, जो आज मुझे परोसा गया। पौधों की ये प्रजातियाँ ख़ास तौर पर वसा एवं कैलोरी रहित होती हैं, लेकिन इनमें आवश्यक मात्रा में विटामिन, रेशेदार पदार्थ और कार्बोहाइड्रेट होते हैं।
ये व्यंजन दिखने में ऐसा होता है:

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

उत्प्लावन का सिद्धांत

I have come US to spend 3 months for some work. I've bought few things for my friends and family members as 'America ki Nishaani'. I decided to take back India kind of memories which would never fade with time. इसे अभौतिक होना चाहिए.. So I decided to learn something. I chose Swimming. It is said that bicycle and swimming, once learnt can never be forgotten in your entire lifetime even if you don't practice.There is a big swimming pool here in our apartment complex.I had only weekends to learn this. So the time and effort to do swimming has to be more compare to if I'd have been practicing on daily basis. It is really a tiring job initially. I started work out in Gym during weekends and soon after used to go to swim. That was a decision to leave weekend comfort zone.Initially, I found it very very hard to learn swimming. My trainer got tired of me. this made me a frustrated learner. Then I found that I was practicing in the side waters holding the platform of Swimming Pool. Everytime I get tired I used to get hold of the platform and take rest. So the luxury, the comfort zone was the biggest obstacles. If I had to learn swimming, if I had to take something unforgettable unfading immaterial thing with me I had to get rid of comfort zone again. I had previous experiences of leaving comfort zones and that recalling helped a lot.Afterall confident steps taken once, make you more confident next time. I left the sidewaters and even though the water was as deep as in sides (5 feet), I found that I was learning quickly. so all obstacle was in mind.Again it was proved in the pool.There was no holding platform nearby when I get tired so I had to be in water trying to take rest. This constraint helped me making water my friend. So now if I'm tired of swimming I lay flat in water and take rest. It looks like a log floating effortlessly on water.The trainer was none other than my colleague Angom. He speaks in formula and avoids explaining everything. The learner has to understand and work according to his commitment. I started with swimming only with legs. After it was through, came hand movement. Leg had to be like back fin of fish and hands had to move like side rowing of boats or side fins; cutting waters as well as rowing it behind. In the combined movement of legs and hands you start feeling two forces. One upward and another forward. I'm still poor in combining both movement at a time. Sometimes I concentrate on legs and sometimes on hands. Third stage requires you to learn breathing. This is an important thing because 'if you do not breath you can not live and living is first condition to swim :) When you are rowing with both hands your body tilts ninty degrees everytime you stretch a hand forward. And during this time you have to take a quick stock of oxygen via mouth. Exhale can be done anytime you're done with the consumption of inhaled oxygen like you do while standing on ground..........keep on doing like this and sing "मछली जल की रानी है, मैं भी जल का राजा हूँ "After 8 swimming sessions I can proudly tell that I CAN SWIM। I've learnt 'free style front stroke'।Also started learning 'backstroke' as well as 'breast stroke'...but only started ok? no more expectations। Alongwith this I'm working on my legs to be able to improve my stamina for doing more chap-chap in water.Can any reward compare the satisfaction achieved after this confidence building? In future every time I feel low, I'll recall this learning and will be able to regain my confidence. No need to go out for confidence building workshops.It is exciting to imagine that everytime I would swim in India, I'll recall two A's: Angom & America. In this way I'm taking the most precious gift from here that can never be separated from me....Confidence brings best out of you. When you acheive something out of your will, the self-patting received from within is more than any reward from the world.

Friday, 11 July 2008

जागते रहोssssss

After leaving my country for few months, I do read The Times Of India online edition। On Sunday I came across this advertisement and was so excited.
Teach India Movement : "Teach India is a nation-building initiative (or social initiative) from the Times of India that brings together children in need of education and people who can contribute a little time towards teaching them. It is based on one simple principle: If you have the desire to teach, we will put you in touch with underprivileged children who are willing to learn. With over sixty of India’s committed NGOs, corporates, schools and social organizations already supporting our cause, we now look for selfless individuals to come forward and help change the future of a child forever, by giving just a few hours a week to Teach India"
...when you go into the details it says "two hours" per week is okay. Well, it sounds good to people who have no time on weekdays and want to do something meaningful apart from 'other meaningful' things in life.Instantly I started filling up the form. But I’m away from my land and even if they call me to map me with any NGO I can not be contacted.So I decided to postpone it till September.It is a very good thing to do. If we can’t be the Sun, but have the spirit, we can be the diyaa or candle, atleast (because स्पिरिट एक ज्वलनशील पदार्थ होता है :) )Of course size does matter, but not always। ....and it is intention that matters all the times।I'm sure a lot of people would have applied for this. It is more important to me as I do not do any social service and it is my opinion that every Indian should do some social service. This will help a lot in developing our country. Here in US, I see they have developed themselves so much. And the root cause I see is that they are educated. The other day I was reading a notice. It was about violating some trafiic rule, like not fastening seat belt in car etc. the notice said that on violating the law you’ll have to pay few hundred dollars and 48 hours of social service. I've never seem similar compulsion of social service in India. Though there are so many people doing it in India but doing it as a nation on a common goal seems exciting. No?
There's an interesting article there about Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Chief Economist of the Reserve Bank of India - a story of how education made a difference in his life. From growing up a Dalit child with limited access to education, to being the Chief Economist of RBI. Read the full story here
Our country needs time। My contemporaries and me may not live to see her as developed as other developed countries but initiating a process of giving something more to next generation than we have received from our seniors, will ensure that India will be a developed nation। In the words of Osho, taking one step at a time will reach you to hill top. Nobody can take more than one step at a time and everybody can take atleast one step.
Putting in the volunteer sign-up page here so anybody who is interested in finding out more can get to it.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Feel Good with Filly chicken

Taking a cue from the classic Philly cheese steak, this recipe replaces the traditional beef with chicken but keeps the cheese and onion-bell pepper topping. Pressing the already-warm filling helps the cheese melt and binds the ingredients so they don't fall out as you enjoy the sandwich.Ingredients are:boneless chicken breast, cut into (1-inch-thick) strips,black pepper,vertically sliced onion,wine vinegar,minced garlic cloves,hot pepper sauce, slices provolone cheese and mushrooms with lots of French Fries price: $6

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

चीनी स्वादिष्ट व्यंजन: कुंग पाओ चिकेन

आज ऑफिस के कैफेटेरिया में कुंग पाओ चिकेन खाया। बाद में विकिपीडिया में ये मिला:Kung Pao chicken is originated from the Sichuan Province of central-western China। The dish is named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a late Qing Dynasty official। Born in Guizhou, Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province। His title was Gōng Bǎo, or palatial guardian। The name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title.
Kung Pao Chicken is considered an Asian delicacy. It starts off with fresh, moist, unroasted peanuts or cashew nuts are often used. In such situations, the peanuts or cashew nuts are dropped into the hot oil on the bottom of the wok first, then deep fried until golden brown before the other ingredients are added.
In order to prepare Western-style Kung Pao chicken, bits of diced raw chicken are marinated, then dusted with cornstarch, and then a Chinese wok is heated on a high flame, without oil, until it is quite hot. A swish of the ladle spreads a couple of teaspoons of peanut oil, then the chicken is flash fried in the hot oil to bring out the flavor of very slightly charred or grilled meat, but not so long that it loses its juices or tenderness. Next, grated garlic and the vegetables are added, followed by Chinese rice wine, along with a sweet sauce. A tiny drizzle of sesame oil provides the tang, peanuts are added, and the dish is ready in about one and a half minutes, from the time the oil first hits the wok.
Kung Pao chicken is a very popular staple of North American Sichuan-style Chinese restaurants, and many recommend using it as a measure of the skills of a chef.
Whereas the original Chinese version of the dish includes Sichuan peppercorns as an integral ingredient, the Western version does not. From 1968 until 2005 it was illegal to import Sichuan peppercorns into the United States. They were viewed as potential carriers of citrus canker, a tree disease that can potentially harm citrus crops. The ban has now been lifted in light of new processing methods. However, the 37-year ban resulted in a distinct American version of the recipe that does not incorporate Sichuan peppercorns.

Friday, 4 July 2008

४ जुलाई: अमेरिकी स्वंत्रता दिवस

हरेक देश की अपनी रीतियाँ और अपने रिवाज़ होते हैं वो अपने तरीके से महत्वपूर्ण त्योहारों को मनाते हैं अपनी संस्कृति के अनुसार उन्हें सहेजते हैं और गौरवान्वित होते हैं

अमेरिका में स्वंत्रता दिवस के मौके पर आतिशबाजी होती है लोग पार्कों में, समुद्र किनारे और खुली जगहों पर जमा होते हैं, एक दूसरे को Happy 4th कहते हैं और अपने अपने तरीके से उत्साह मनाते हैं चूंकि हम समुद्र किनारे वाली जगह पर रहते हैं, हमने भी एक निकटस्थ आतिशबाजी वाली जगह पर जाने का निश्चय किया.जगह थी " Marina Del Rey" स्थित Chase पार्क हम जाते जाते ट्रैफिक पुलिस के द्बारा रोक लिए गए हमें कहा गया की आगे काफ़ी भीड़ है अतः हमारा आगे जाना सम्भव नहीं हो सकेगा इसलिए जो जहाँ थे वहीँ सड़क के किनारे गाड़ी लगा कर खड़े हो गए और रात के नौ बजते बजते आसमान में होने वाली अभूतपूर्व आतिशबाजी का आनंद लेने लगे हमने भी कई तस्वीरें उतारी और वीडियो भी बनाये सारे फोटो एल्बम लिंक पर यह उपलब्ध हो सकेगा तत्काल ये ट्रैफिक जाम की तस्वीर ही देख लें :

Thursday, 3 July 2008

चार बातें पेरू की

आज हमें भोज दिया गया। अंग्रेज़ी में इसे ऐसे कहेंगे: we were given a treat today।
बचपन से अभी तक मुझे पेरू देश के बारे में सिर्फ़ तीन बातें मालूम थीं। पहली की उसकी राजधानी लीमा है और दूसरे की ये दक्षिणी अमेरिका में अवस्थित है। और तीसरी कि माचू पिचू यहीं पर है जो विश्व के सात आश्चर्यों में एक शुमार है। आज उसकी एक चौथी चीज भी पता चली: व्यंजन.
अजे दी गैलीना: ये नाम है उस व्यंजन का जो मैंने आज चखा। अगर इन्टरनेट में ढूँढें तो पता चलता है ये एक पेरूवियन व्यंजन है। ये स्वाभाविक भी है क्योंकि रेस्तरां भी पेरूवियन था । अभी तो इसे लिख लेता हूँ। सम्भव है भारत में पहुँच कर बनाने की कोशिश करूं।
विकिपीडिया कहता है : It is a dish native of Peru, consists of a thick cream composed of chicken cooked in advance and then shredded which is cooked in a pot next to the cream of potato , adding chicken broth to gradually thickens। This cream is served with boiled potatoes। It is usual to replace the chicken in chicken and some recipes to the cream is added pecans and Parmesan cheese (this is to give a touch of modernity and gourmet).

बनाने की विधि यहाँ है।

Monday, 30 June 2008

टाको सलाद और इचिदाहा

हमारे ऑफिस का कैफेटेरिया विभिन्न देश एवं प्रदेशों के व्यंजन बनाने के लिए जाना जाता है। इसके सूचना-पट्ट पर रोज एक नए और ख़ास व्यंजन का जिक्र होता है। आज एक मेक्सिकन व्यंजन था: टाको सलाद। कुछ पूछ ताछ के उपरांत उसे खा लिया। काफ़ी अच्छा लगा।
इसे आप शाकाहारी और मांसाहारी दोनों श्रेणियों में रख सकते हैं। मर्ज़ी है आपकी। मैंने उसमे हल्का सा मुर्गा मिलाने की अनुमति दे दी...और स्वाद अच्छा लगा। बाद में इन्टरनेट पर इसके बनाने की विधि पढ़ी जो ये है:
The taco salad is a Mexican inspired dish। The salad is a fried flour tortilla shell stuffed with shredded iceberg lettuce and topped with diced tomato, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and/or salsa। The salad is topped with taco meat(ground beef)। Chicken is sometimes used instead. Often the salad has refried beans on the shell before the lettuce is added.A "bowl" is a bed of Spanish rice and refried beans dressed out similar to the taco salad.
टाको सलाद अमेरिका में सबसे पहले १९६० में आया.
दो दिनों पहले एक और मेक्सिकन व्यंजन चखा: इचिदाहा। ठीक ठाक सा ही लगा.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

देश: हमारा और उनका

As a whole US is such an inspirational place to live in। I don’t care about the bad things here because they are everywhere. I’ll take only that is required. I and my country and in fact everybody needs good things in life and so I have no problem in praising this place. It has a lot that we can take and vice-versa. Most of us know consciously or subconsciously what we have to give to the world. Consciously, because we see and know those things, subconsciously because we love our country and this makes ‘Her’ great for us. By living here even for one day one glaring thing that I noticed is extremely advanced civic systems and maintenance. Back in India, when US-returned manager used to tell me that there is no dust here it was hard to believe. Now I see it is true. They have covered every inch of the land either with plush greenery or with concrete. Grass have hidden in them very small sprinklers that start automatically and controll the growth of grass. In India, we use to learn in primary classes how to cross the road. It is like ‘pehle bayen dekho fir dayen dekho fir sarak paar karo’. Here I think motordrivers have to learn this lesson. Unlike India, pedestrians have first right to cross the road here…and lights just don’t matter so much. Of course you have to obey the traffic lights but if you’re on road and the lights get green, no vehicle can start untill you cross the complete road. It is really amazing to see the faces of pedestrians and driver here which is quite opposite to our country. In India, we cross roads fearing motors may not come and here motorists drive slow watching carefully on turns if there is a pedestrian…and if there is any you just can’t move ahead. Even if you started moving and then stopped and this makes the pedestrian fear, cameras can put you on traffic cops eyes.

There is just so much of camera here at every place a person would be fearing violating any rule even if there is no camera at that place.
I asked one NRI here “don’t they have power cuts here?” and he said,”oh yes! I can not remember exactly but few years back there was a power cut for a minute or two and the nation was in shock. Like what happened? Is there some kind of attack? Etc etc”.

लॉस एंजिलिस में

Now I really understand the meaning and feel the song “Hum to hain pardesh mein, desh mein niklaa hogaa chand”
When I was in Delhi, I never missed so much living out of home. In LA, things are different though.
For me the most appealing thing about any place is The People. Then come the system, institutions, architectures etc. Since my routine here is too busy to see the town and interact with different types of people I can not say anything with authority about the people and place here but to whatever extent I do interact, some feedback seem glaring. I may sound bizarre or fool while explaining about this country but I have my own reasons behind it. It may be otherwise but this is what makes us different.

Monday, 16 June 2008

आश्चर्य किंतु सत्य

There have been some surprises also. I have been talking to the people from Delhi and when I see them here it’s a surprise. Like my manager had told me that Michell is black but she is white and I used to think about Chris that he would be a white but I find he is a ६.५ feet high black and comes office in short and T-shirt.

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Here we have no hindi channels and no news channels except BBC and CNN. Everyday I wake up at 6 and rush to kitchen after bath. Prepare lunch (rice sabji) and then take breakfast (toast, juice, maggi etc) and then get ready for office at 8:15. Since I couldn’t get my driving license in delhi on time I have to take lift from one of my colleagues who drives. Office is 30 minutes from home and approx 25 miles. There is no fix time of return. Mostly we come back around 7 or 8 and then go to nearby Indian restaurant. Here people have no fix time of work as I told you before. Neither have they needed permission to stay at home. Y’day one person did not come but she was working from home.Here sun sets at 8:30 PM.
Today we are going to a restaurant for a welcome treat। We’ll be served flavoured yoghurt and fruits.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

ये जो देश है मेरा, स्वदेश है मेरा

To be honest, sometimes I remember my country for some weird reasons too. देशी कचरे की याद बहुत आती है।अहा !!! वो गन्दगी वो नाले की बदबू वो करप्शन की किचकिच। ये सब यहाँ कहाँ? वो बस के ड्राइवरों और कंडक्टरोँ की व्यर्थ बातें और उनकी गालियाँ की बौछार की याद बहुत आती है। ये सब यहाँ खोजने से भी नहीं मिलता। इनकी गालियाँ अलग किस्म की हैं ।
It is true all these things represent a bad mad world but afterall they are linked to ‘my’ countrty. However bad they may seem, I’m part of it. That is me. If it is bad I am bad.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

अमेरिका में पहला कदम

Life is too busy here…. and we are not the exception. We reached here Sunday afternoon May २५ and therer was holiday on Monday due to Memorial Day. Tuesday was our first day and we got introduced to our US bosses who control software development worldwide.

We are yet to get a PC at home so can not upload pics now for some time. I have started taken snaps from flight itself. On Delhi airport we saw The Great Khali who was going to France, but I missed taking his snap. From the window seat in flight I did take lots of snaps of places I used to read about in geography books in school like Ice laden Iceland, London and some parts of Europe . While crossing Atlantic Ocean there was another plane from Air France flying beside us and I took its pics.That route is so busy that you can actually see lots of planes going side by side like cars moving on the road. Our plane was moving at the speed of 1000 kilometers per hour at the height of 12 kilometers. at this height Surrounding air temperature was about minus 50 degrees celsius
Locality is very much different. You can find beautiful gardens and buildings and roads but not a single people. For everything you have got some machine. Every tap opens leftward and rightward for hot and cold water. Did some shopping for groceries and cooking at home. There is no fix work time in office. If you have work stay late or go home. There is no concept of filling late slip etc. you’ll be accountable for task completion within specified time period. No matter how and when you do it. Similarly I found people come wearing shorts in office.
एक दिन सब्जी में छौंक लगाते समय धुआं उठा और फायर अलार्म बज गयी . Before police and firefighters could arrive we opened the gates and moved the smoke out and it went off.
Weatherwise it’s cold here. Sea wind becomes chilled at sometimes. So have to wear sweater plus jacket. Moisturiser is a must here both in hair and on skin.
Here houses have wooden walls but seem as they are made from bricks and mortars. This fact we discovered when once Anil said “यार , nahaate समय मेरा हाथ deewaar से Takraa gayaa लेकिन चोट नहीं लगी. ” And then we knocked on walls and found that they are wooden

Our flat has three TVs :one in each bedroom and one in drawing room, but there is no channel in hindi or any channel that we used to see in India. SO hardly able to see it except when you want to see movies.
Once I get a PC at home I’ll keep you sending more pics and the details of US life around my locality. In front of my house is sea shore and on the left of my campus is Los Angeles Intl Airport. On the right of our campus is Tandoor-e-india where you can listen hindi music and enjoy Indian dishes.
In nutshell, life is hard and tough here but compensated by good weather and some ‘other’ good things as well (will tell you later) ;)

Not started seeing the town yet as we have got a lot of work here and can not go anywhere during weekdays. It’ll be possible only on weekends.
So keep tuned-in.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

वातावरण से अनुकूलन

My second day in office was the same as first day minus the introduction part.
Work had been waiting for us here. So got a PC at home and we’re expected to work in office during daytime and be in touch with our Delhi office during night time for few hours. Most of the Xerox employees are from outside of America like China, Japan, Africa and european countries. So in this way Xerox is multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual company in real sense. After all we sell our product in 180 countries ! Xerox has many buildings here in LA. The one we work in is made during world war II so it resembles a bunker so it can survive the air attacks. Its main development hall is called “The War Room”, and there are no windows in this building.
We work from Mon to Fri. Saturday we went to see one Indian market. And sea shore is near our house here so had a stroll on the beach for some time. At home most of the time I see movies on TV. Swimming lessons have been started. One of my colleagues who have come with me knows swimming and he trains me in the swimming pool. I go to Gym 2-3 days a week here. Yet to buy a swimming suit.