Friday, August 29, 2014


This weekend, we are relocating to a new country.  This relocation is temporary for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of one year only. I and my wife are looking forward to this.  We are excited about this relo.
Where are we relocating?  Will tell you when we arrive at this new place.  (Those few friends who knew where we are relocating, please do not spill the beans. Want to keep it a little surprise.)
Therefore, I will not be writing any posts for a while.  But I will be reading your posts and commenting.
See you soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Politicians of the Past

Gulzari Lal Nanda – 2 times acting Prime Minister (after Nehru and after Shastri). No flat/plot/home in Delhi. Many years home minister.  After leaving the government, he stayed in a barsathi (flat in the upper floor). He could not pay rent for a few months.  The owner took his belongings and threw out in the street.   His daughter came from Bombay and took him home.
When Mr. K. Kamraj was Chief Minister of Madras State, a senior minister and a senior IAS officer got into a big argument/fight over an important subject.  This happened in front of him.  Mr. Kamraj listened patiently and then told the minister:  He (IAS Officer) can enter politics and become a minister like you.  Can you become an IAS Officer?  The minister said NO.  Mr. Kamraj said: Then shut up and listen and do what this IAS Officer is saying.
Lal Bahadur Shastri.  In the 1930s he was working for the Congress Party.  One day a relative came to his home and asked Mrs. Lalitha Shastri for a loan. She immediately gave him the loan. Mr. Shastri was watching this.  He asked his wife, after the relative left, how she was able to give him loan when he earned only Rs.10 per month.  She replied that the monthly expenses comes to only Rs.7 and she was saving Rs.3 a month.  The next day Mr. Shastri went to the Congress Party office and told them to reduce his monthly salary from Rs.10 to Rs.7.
When Mr. Annadurai became Chief Minister of Madras State, the government procured modern furniture to be placed in his own home. (He had earlier refused to move into the Chief Minister’s Official Residence.)   He told the concerned department he does not need any new furniture.  His wife was disappointed and asked him for the reason.  He told her: Chief Ministership is not a permanent job. Any day I may lose this job.  If that happens, I will have to return this furniture the same day.  Therefore, it is better not to develop any affinity to this new furniture.
Pratap Singh Kairon (1905 to 1965) – Chief Minister of Punjab 1956-1964. I like him. He went to school at University of California, Berkeley (my alumni) and earned a Masters degree in Economics in the 1920s.  He turned Punjab into an economic power house.   He was very strict in dealing with those who “strike” and inconvenience the public – be it the village Patwaris or the long distance truck drivers.  I would call him India’s Ronald Reagan.  Since Mr. Kairon was senior to him, I would call President Reagan as USA’s Kairon. (Remember the Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike in USA during Reagan time?)
Of course, there are a few good modern day leaders:
Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura since 1998.  He has no home and no car. His wife takes public transportation to go around.
N, Rangaswamy, Chief Minister of Pondicherry. He goes to his office in a bicycle. No security. Not even a single constable. Anyone can walk into his office without an appointment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alternative Air

Maatru Kaatru.  This is a Tamil word which means “alternative air” in English.  I don’t know how far it is true.  It is said that we can breath this alternative air to improve our health.
For example, someone is taking medical treatment for a long time with no improvement.  It is suggested that person go to a different place and take the same medical treatment.  At this time, that person is breathing a different air than he is used to.  It is said that this alternative air will bring lot of improvement to that person’s health.
I have no personal knowledge. I am just conveying what I have read.
When we come back from vacation, we are relaxed and no longer bored with the daily chores.  I am told it is because of breathing a different air during vacation time.  By vacation means, you don’t have to go to a far off place.  Just a different place than where you live.  May be the next town or village.
But it is different in my family.  My family thinks unless you board a 747, it is not a vacation.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Chutzpah (pronounced Hootspa) is a Jewish word meaning audacity or nerve.
I checked the for the meaning of audacity.  It gives the following:
Boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions
This is a Yiddish word for the confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others. In other words, it’s having the “gall” or “nerve”. 
It can be used for both good and bad.  Guy Kawasaki, who was the first marketing head for Steve Jobs, said calling up tech support to report a bug on pirated software is chutzpah.
Here are a few people who had Chutzpah (me think):
Nelson Mandela – Displayed audacity in his response to an oppressive regime in South Africa.
Rosa Parks – Refused to sit in the back of the bus (where black people are supposed to sit).
Mahatma Gandhi – Attended the 1930 Round Table Conference in London and visited Buckingham Palace at the invitation of the King without a shirt and wearing a garb.
Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee – In 1999, when presenting the Stree Shakthi Puraskar award to Chinna Pillai, a village woman from Tamil Nadu, the much older Prime Minister bowed down in respect and touched her feet.  That is chutzpah.
(Courtesy: Yahoo)
John Reid - 4th cricket test match India vs. New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi which began on March 19, 1965. On the last day, almost at the closing time, India started to bat for the second innings. India needed 70 runs to win. After about a few overs, the drinks came on to the field. This is a good chance for the New Zealanders to “waste” precious time and thus end the test in a draw. Do you know what the New Zealand Captain John Reid did? He told the drinks people not to come on to the field and continued the match without a drinks break. India won by 7 wickets. I call that chutzpah (sending back the drinks and giving the opponent a fair chance to win.) How many cricket captains will do that?
When your bank sends you a nasty letter because you are one day late with your mortgage payment and at the end of the letter it says “We are your friendly banker and excellent customer satisfaction is our motto”.  That is also chutzpah.
In Mumbai, the parents of my cousin arranged a bride for him.  They were supposed to make a formal visit to the bride’s home on a Sunday.  But my cousin was very curious to see how his future potential wife looks.  He could not wait until the next Sunday.  So, the previous Sunday, he goes to the bride’s home unannounced and tells the bride and her parents that he is the uncle of the groom.  He said he will not be coming next week for the formal visit because he is going to Madras.  The bride’s family took care of him well (SKC - Sweet, Kaaram, Coffee) including the bride doing namaskaram (falling on his feet).
Next Sunday he goes with his parents to the bride’s home.  The bride and her parents were shocked to see this guy as the groom.  When they asked him about this, my cousin said he came the previous week because he was curious to see how his future wife would look like. Posing as groom’s uncle the previous Sunday is Chutzpah. (They both got married and now live in a place called Chembur in Mumbai.)
Do you know anyone with chutzpah?  Please tell me.  Thanks.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Not A Smart Photobomb

I have already explained what a photobomb is.  But here is what puzzles me.
Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi must have the highest level of security and his life must be protected at all costs.  What irritates me is these security guys appear in all the photos.  Should they be this much visible? Can’t they be close to him but not visible to the camera?  When I see Mr. Modi make a speech or view a still photo of him, I want to concentrate on him. These security guys on camera are a big distraction to me.
                                    Special Protection Group is visible even in Raj Ghat
                         This SPG guy is going to save Mr. Modi from India's armed forces?
                    Why he is also walking with Mr. Modi and reviewing the Guard of Honor?
                                     Mr. Modi addressing the nation from the Red Fort.

American President Barack Obama is protected by more than 1000 secret service agents at all times.  But they are never visible to the camera except when Mr. Obama starts to mingle with the crowds in the street.

                President Obama reviews the Guard of Honor at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan

          Obama pays the bill in a restaurant.  All those in suits are Secret Service Agents

                Obama enjoying ice cream.  No Secret Service Agent is visible on camera

PS: All Photos: Courtesy - Yahoo

Monday, August 11, 2014

Air Rats

Read a news item that there were rats in an Air India flight.  Are they rats (long tailed rodents) or rats (slang for a snitch – a person who informs on someone else.)?
Assuming they are rodents, it is a dangerous situation since rats can chew the electrical wires inside the plane.  I was thinking about this and then all of a sudden a few more thoughts came to my mind.  Here they are:
Are these rats Air India employees who travel free?
Are these rats Government of India employees who travel free?
Are these rats Members of Parliament who travel free?
How did these rats were able to come through the security?
Were they travelling to or from Karni Mandir?
Deep fried dishes should be banned inside the plane.
Be happy because venomous snakes are found in Qantas.
Hope these rats are smaller than those found in New York Subway.
No more Paneer Tikka Masala in the plane menu.
Transfer 50% of tech support personnel to pest control.
Samuel L. Jackson should do a sequel to his movie “Snakes on a Plane”.
May be Air India should start a subsidiary and name it Air Rats.
Do you have any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Sunshine Award

I have been awarded The Sunshine Award by my friend and fellow blogger Rudraprayaga.  Her blog address is
One of the rule is that I have to tell about me in 26 words - A to Z.  I did not want to write about myself.  People in general are too critical if they have to write about themselves.  Therefore, I gave the task to my wife, son, and daughter. Here is what they came up with. I did not edit.
ARROGANT, borderline
GAMBLER, but knows when to fold
NEVER CHANGES MIND, once decided
YOUNG, wannabe
I am not nominating anyone.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Coppola Winery

When I wrote my post on Wine Tasting on July 16, I had stated:
Then we went to Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery.  Remember him?  The famous Hollywood Movie Director.  He directed the movie, The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando.  The description of this winery will take a whole post.  Therefore, I will write about this in my next post.
This is not just a simple winery where they have vineyard and a one room tasting room.  Coppola Winery is more than that.  In addition to 4 wine tasting rooms, they have swimming pool, restaurant, and film memorabilia from the movies he directed.
Here are some photos:

Entrance to Coppola Winery
On the way
Wine  tasting
Vito Corleone's desk from the Godfather
Automobile used in the movie Tucker
Model boat used in the movie Marie Antoinette
The Restaurant
Vegetarian Entrée: Rice and Grilled Vegetables
Non-Vegetarian Entrée: Rack of Lamb
Arrivederci Coppola Winery
(Coppola is of Italian origin)
(No, that is not my car)