Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Sigh - my shipping budget was $11,312,777. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New York!

Yes - for those who have mistakenly stumbled upon this blog - I'm out of a self-imposed blogging hiatus. It's in vogue, and I'm in great company - Nawaz Sharief and Benazir Bhutto. Of course, the fact that Nawaz Bhai was thrown out of his native land, and that Bhutto madam survived an assassination attempt does not deter me from my return.

And this is what I have done in the 461 days after my 'Orkut' post:

  • Aug '06: Completed my internship (yes, it's time to stop reading this blog)

  • Dec '06: Graduated with an MS in CS

  • Jan '07: Visited India

  • Feb '07: Moved to the NY (working)/NJ (living) area

  • Jul '07: Family visits Uncle Sam's land

I would like to mention that getting my mom/dad/sis to the US was absolutely a dream come true. It was my proudest moment in life, period. And that's enough emotion for one post.

This post is not a New York tourist guide. It's an FAQ section - questions I'm asked virtually every other day about New York. It's about the stuff that you will not find in any of the 687 million results that Google returns for the term"New York".

Disclaimer stuff: When I say New York, I'm actually referring to Manhattan.

Do you like New York?

New York rocks. ROCKS. Did I mention, New York rocks?

Do you have a car?

I have a car - long pause - NOT! (Borat joke). I don't have a car, and I don't plan to buy one anytime soon. Public transportation in NY is terrific.

[Ah, so it is like Mumbai, India]

Yeah, except that the trains here have doors, and no seating on the roof (Sigh, I miss India..).

I think New York is a dirty place. How can you like living there?

Someone from Chennai asked me this question.

So cool man - working on Wall Street and all (and all what??). Full money only, no? Life set.

No man - all money goes in tax only. Life not set - only upset. No wall, no street.

But why man? You are living in New Jersey. Cost of living much cheaper there, no?

Definitely, man. If you live on the street, or share a room with 10 people.

Nothing beats California weather, and work culture. You should consider moving to the west coast.

Yes, yes, and about the move - let's see.

So you are earning in 6 figures, eh?

Actually, I do. My yearly gross income is $0xx,xxx.

There must be a lot of Indians in the NY/NJ area, right?

Infested is a much more apt term.

NY is so crowded - so many people..

I get this a lot from my 20-something friends, and I always wonder why they ask me this. All these 20-something friends in question are Indians. These guys/gals lived in a country of 1 billion people for 95% of their lives, and they crib about people numbers. No one is asking you guys to retire in New York, for crying out loud.

And finally, why does NY rock?

The sheer hustle and bustle.

The sheer diversity - where else will you find, in one train compartment, people from India (of course!), China (really?), Korea, Germany, the middle-east, Pakistan, Australia, England, and yeah, the US?

The highly criticized, yet amazingly co-ordinated subway system.

The liberty to jaywalk.

The never ending masses of concrete mammoths (a.k.a buildings)

Central Park..

That's enough poetic influenza. Also, I think I did mention - NY rocks! And for those of you jumping to conclusions already, I am not going to settle in New York, or in the United States. Why? That's another post altogether.

(Happy birthday to my little sister!)

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Its been 6 months since my last post. Time flies. Laziness, however, stays as firm as ever.

Q. What is Orkut?
A. One heck of a way to kill time, that's for sure.
Orkut on Wikipedia

This post exemplifies how people can be humorous, being completely oblivious to the same.
Also, this post is a total violation of copyright - I have not asked permission from any of the people who came up with these 'words of wisdom' for posting rights. So sue me.

These are 10 sample scraps, collected painstakingly over a period of 30 minutes, after browsing through numerous scrapbooks:

1."sorry for not lifting your call."
That's ok, dude. I will lift your call the next time.

2."Btw, The hint was just so that u r not left hanging in the middle air."
Well, this was my scrap, and the humour was intentional. However, I did not come up with "hanging..air". I'm not that creative enough.

3."hi.. saw u while scraping badminton community".
The typo that drives me nuts. Orkut's most popular typo. They should incorporate auto spell check for this one.

4."wat remains is wat remains n wat gets deleted gets deleted!"
What is self explanatory, is self explanatory.

5."i wanna ask u 1 think do u like friendship to me if u dont mind if u like plz call me 09827599080"
I dont 'thing' any'think' is wrong here.

6."hi im ***** n im realy a friendlly guy n use to make my frenz realy laugh alot so can we bcom gud orkut friends as i aassur eu tat ur ealy had great time friendship with me on orkut soo um adding u don mmind but i aaassur eu tat u had great time with me on orkut so plz do add me n scrap me backk cyaaa"
My all time favourite. Literally rolled on the floor. This is definitely the product of genius. Breathless, no punctuation, with the power to crash any spell check program.

7."those were nice days...hope its gone be back some time soon"

8."so u r also memeber of arkut".
'A' is nowhere close to 'O' on the keyboard.

9."Well, before he boards his BA flight, I thought of giving him a nice gift! My cute little testy!....."
Guess he had one to spare. Selfless act, I must admit.

10."forgot my orkut password for few days!"
Clear case of selective amnesia.

Of late I have developed a deep respect and addiction for Arkut (mood: sarcasm, typo: deliberate). CNN-IBN called it the opium of the internet masses. I must admit, its a loose way of keeping in touch, and getting to know what's going on in other people's lives.

I have not had much to do at my internship this week (a little longer than that, actually). Hence my enhanced respect for Orkut, and a rare motivation to put up a post. Wonder when my next post will be.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Food in the United States of America..

I have been itching to type out something on American grub from the day I landed here. I guess I should have included this as one of my reasons in my first post ,"Why I have started to blog.. "

Part I:
Let me start off my listing out the best part about the food here - There's none. That's an exaggeration, but for the most part of it, it stands true.

Part II:
The not-so-great things:

-No, the burger is not as scrumptious as it looks on that television commercial.

-Every edible item in every supermarket in the country will fall into one of the following categories:

x% reduced fat.
0 (zero) calories.

Give me a break! How do you expect people like me to put on weight?

The closest thing to "fat-filled" milk I have found here thus far is some 'Vitamin D' milk. The only reason we bought it was because it did not have any of the above mentioned 'categories' on the container.

-Gravy is almost a non-existent concept in the West. And so is spice. (Thank heavens for Devon Avenue!)

So basically, food here is bland, expensive (actually, everything is expensive when one's a student) and does not "fill your stomach"!.

There are not too many eateries around here. In India, I was drowned in choice about where to eat. Here, it's hard to find a good place to eat. I have found that I do not particularly like any cuisine other than Indian or Chinese - hence these places are what I would classify as 'good'.

I'm resigning myself to having one of those Subway sandwiches every other day for lunch.

Oh, and I pity vegetarians. This country is tough on them, because meat rules!! A lot of veggies I know have fallen prey to the "cheeseburger", which actually has ham in it. And some who did not know what pepperoni was. Simply put - meat, in any form, is the staple diet of any red-blooded American.

Salads. I didn't want to get started on this topic, but it deserves a mention. $5 - excluding tax -for some pieces of raw vegetables and leaves in a plastic container. Enough said. Pizza's.. they are good for a change, and I have them once in a while when I get fed up of eating Subway merchandise.

I will also mention here that I'm a huge chocolate freak. I love ice cream as well, but mostly of the chocolate variant. And in this regards, the United States has proved to be heaven. It's in fact, the only thing that I do not see the price tag on before making a purchase.

Bottom line - I miss home food. There's some packaged Indian stuff available at the cafeterias on campus, but it reminds me of airline food.

I'm now at a stage in my student life where I prefer my own cooking (note: I do not enjoy the process, it is merely a preference) to eating food outside. The flip side of cooking is the dishes piling up in the sink, but I'm not going to talk about it. At least for now.

Coming up: A post about Hindi movies I have watched after coming here. And about dispelling another myth - about how people back home assume that I do not keep in touch with Indian news.

Damn.. I just cannot sleep before 2 a.m. Luckily, this is not on my new year resolution list. There is no list, anyway.