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India calling-Typical engineering student

India calling-Typical engineering student

The man in focus is from a middle class family in India, and is doing his final year Engineering; and as any other typical engineering student has these two options as in the below IF clause:

IF financial-aid-got during final year BE
MS in US
display “Foreign MS Degree”
Join the (campus offered) big software consulting company;
visit all continents much to the concern of those who took the above IF logic
Display “Have made more money than you guys who did MS in US”

Our man took the ELSE clause and happily went around the globe. Learnt English customs, French cuisine, Swiss niceties, Spanish Reggae and American Dreams.

After three years plus (now a days people start at 6 months itself), decides to leave the big consultancy job and takes on a H1B. He tells all his friends “just 2 or maximum 3 years, make $10K or $20K and then come back and settle back home nicely, Ill come back, I wont be like others who settle there”. He surely believes so when he says this and does not lie…

First 3 months:
Has got his SSN, managed a driving license after quite a bit of difficulty and fear; managed a second hand car; rented a decent apartment; spending about 500 $ on phone bills calling up every friend and relative.

Next 3 months:
Finds to his shock that he has less money in bank than he had during the big consultancy trips (when he knew that he used to get peanuts and hence lived within his means sharing a apartment and a car with 4 people and saved some money really)!! So now he starts making huge cuts in telephone bill (first he starts with his home calls and close friend calls – huge cut) and is happy to see the bill cut down to 250 $.

Next 6 months:
Has some friends by now, makes some trips to Niagara (its a ritual like the Kashi and Rameswaram trip in India), New York city and White House. Experienced a winter and fed-up with his car not starting, decides to buy a new car, feels lonely, thinks of his marriage.

Next 3 months:
Decides to call up his family about searching for a bride. Company asks him about green card, has 2 minds, change jobs for 10 K increase, or stay content with 5K increase given by the present company.

Next 3 months:
He fixes a trip after daily hunting for the cheapest ticket, goes home (India) with quite a few gifts for his family, fixes a girl !!! Comes back to the US in 3 weeks, as he knows he will be going back home after 6 months for marriage (Telugu guys are an exception: visit India for 3 weeks, see 15 girls, negotiate on Rs. 50 Lac (5 million rupees) + 10 acres fertile land + 2 rice mills etc., fix up the best bargain and get married in 2 days and come back; the other Indians are not so rewarded in cash; and they will have to go back 6 months down the line for getting married.)

After 6 months:
Gets married, now he is for sure his dream of coming back in 3 years is becoming pale !!… he has to spend 3000 $ on travel next time to go back home; he has spent a lot in car repayment; 2 Indian trips and in gifts; now he wont go back for 2 years: meanwhile he has to get his green card any way; (so he consoles himself that circumstances forced him to stay rather than blaming his will power).

2 years further:
Makes a trip home, buys more gifts for the wife side relatives than his own brothers and sisters!! Calculates every dollar, but finds out to his surprise that salaries in India have grown greatly, and also the cost of everything, now his savings will buy only 1 flat in south
Madras, not at Mylapore, he wont have any cash if he thinks of settling (in India); decides that he will stay in the US for another 3 years and concentrate more on saving and come back to India for good.

3 years in US:
Has kid (his mother in law came during delivery; he was worried all along that should they fall sick, he will be gone in medical care; he prays to God more than he prayed for his School final marks or JEE/CET seat). He is a family man; thinks that if his 2 year old daughter stays in US – after she is 7-8 years of age, she will have all those bad habits, so makes a plan to go back after 5 years, when his daughter would have seen the Disney Land and nicer things when she is not yet spoilt by the western culture.

4 years:
Makes a trip to India with a 20 % hope of returning to India. His retired father with BP and diabetes and mother with heart problem are in the fore front of his thoughts. But he goes to a few companies, (His ego is a little hurt as he was working as a programmer in US, in spite of having good knowledge and had managed 10 people team in India), he expects to be appointed as a general manager; but doesn’t get one; or even if he gets, compares with 70K $ and finds it peanuts, so he decides to show his parents to a doctor; asks his neighbors to look after them; and gets on a plane to the US;

5 years down the line:
His wife likes the US, and she does not have the problem of the pestering of her mother-in-law. Halts all plans of her husband’s thoughts of returning home. Wife visits India during December season, shows off and then comes back to US (While in India she talks to her relatives about her own car; kids bharatanatyam class in Denver suburbs; her relatives exclaim that they are still so Indian)….

10 years later:
Our man is in his 50’s. He suddenly remembers the Indian culture. Is reminiscing in his dreams of the past about reciting Sahasranama at 6 PM in the Shiva temple, the prasad at the Narayana temple, his jolly stints with his Chetak (name of a scooter/bike in India) and the coffee at the Naesey bar in front of the Consultancy services at Lloyds Road 185 office and Annapoorna at 12 Cath Road office. He wants all of them back . so goes to India (but doesn’t find it and that all are not truly continuing; blames Indians for forgetting culture;) Buys a big flat; and decides to come back in 2 years;

After 2 years;
He goes back to India but not with his family; his children Sweta and son Nikhil (nice fancy names unlike his Ramanaryanan and his friend Sivasubramanian though they were deep rooted tradition of his ancestral names) are going to “SCHOOL” (at Michigan university, not in our terms an university; he calls it school) and are likely to get settled their with Steve and Susan respectively. He does not like it; but cant help it and so accepts it without saying anything; wife accepts it more realistically ; but still blames the circumstances ( had I got $ 70K when I passed out Engineering, would I have come here and spent 30 years here. He does not remember that rest of the Indians earned only 1165 + city allowance + DA relief of 180 rupees fifty paise when he got 3500 in Campus and got 1000 hike every 6 months in his software consultancy company).

Now in his sixties at Adyar; he goes to temple; his neighborhood flats kids are wearing American T-shirts, watching MTV. Our man is feeling bad that they are growing too Western; he passes his last days hoping his son and daughter will join him at death; (doesn’t remember that he sent only get well card and made few telephonic calls using AT&T, MCI cheap rate duration’s than attend to them personally, but still expects his son will come & nurse him) … the good treatment at Malar Hospital has restored his health; now he can walk to the corner shop and negotiate coriander leaves for 50 paise spoiling the poor daily wage earners’ meager earnings )…

And now our man rests in peace at an old age home !!

The financial crisis explained in simple terms

The financial crisis explained in simple terms

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers – most of whom are unemployed alcoholics – to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).
Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar.
Taking advantage of her customers’ freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit.
He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS.
These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed.
Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.
One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager (subsequently of course fired due his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar.
However they cannot pay back the debts.
Heidi cannot fulfil her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.
DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %.
The suppliers of Heidi’s bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation.
Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.
The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.
The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied against the non-drinkers.
Finally an explanation I understand . . .
India calling-Views of Army Officer’s daughter

India calling-Views of Army Officer’s daughter

Who let the politicians out?
by Vaishnavi Prasad


I am Vaishnavi Prasad, daughter of Colonel K Prasad, whom you would remember from MHOW between 1991-93. I am a student of Journalism in Chennai, India and am closely following this issue, both on the news and through the email group Report My Signals which my father receives regularly. You are doing a great service to the armed forces both serving and retired, in fighting the injustice meted out them by the bureaucrats and the politicians.
Here, are my personal views on the same for your reading.
Sincerely& hoping for the best,
A concerned citizen

Absolutely genuine views of an Officer’s daughter!
It’s very simple. A military coup, that is. One collective word is all it needs to convert this nation from a democratic country to a progressive economy with martial law.
The armed forces will take over the nation, and no one can do a thing about it.
Not the police force, not Manmohan Singh(=Sonia Gandhi), not A.K. Antony. No one. A movement will arise so suddenly and with the fury of a raging tsunami, that it will rewrite India’s future, inject discipline in the blood of every Indian, unscrew unopened bottles of potential and terrorise the intestines out of those who dare to oppose them or irrigate the minds of others with vile thoughts. Corruption will be eliminated 90% and progress will double.. Indeed, the souls of our forefathers who fought for real freedom, will rest whole-heartily under this military control. Ironic, but true. The question here is, why won’t they do it?
Let me tell you what bothers me. I am the 19 year old daughter of a retired government servant, an army officer to be specific (note the ‘Servant’.. absolutely true in case of the armed forces)
My father, who retired as a Colonel, is not a reciever of the PVSM, AVSM,&; VSM, or even the VC for that matter. He was a part of the army, served an ordinary Colonel’s role, did not jump in front of a bullet to save his men, or plan an intelligent strategy to capture some enemy territory. He was a part of both major wars with Pakistan and China, returned without being a decorated war hero, served in regiments in both borders, saw extreme weather conditions and backward technology and most importantly, he enjoyed and took immense pride in doing all this and serving the nation.
Yet, I feel my father is a greater man than many ‘greats’ in thisnation. Shahrukh Khan, or Pratibha Patil,to begin with:neither of them have sacrificed more than a sleepless night or compromised on their Saturday morning sleep for the nation.
I don’t blame you for saying, ‘Oh, she’s an army officer’s daughter, obviously that’s why she’s biased’. I don’t deny it. It is true. I am biased. And I want every single person in this country, if not the world to be biased. I can only tell you what it is like to have seen these people up, close and personal, to have heard true incidents of bravery and selflessness and then know they’re are being paid peanuts, to sacrifice their lives without hesitation for the nation.
When I was 16, my family took a holiday to Arunachal Pradesh, to the regiment where my father had been in command, more than 20 years ago. From a scenic , quaint little town called Tenga, on the banks of a gushing river, we travelled to a snow desert near the Chinese border called Bumla. Here, in the middle of nowhere, one could see a small board stuck in the ice reading ‘Welcome to India’.
For as far as our eyes could see in all four directions, there was nothing but snow. Beside that board stood a guard, probably of south Indian origin, in 6 layers of clothing, a giant wind-cheater and the heaviest pair of snow-boots imaginable, against constant rapid winds, endless lengths and immense depths of ice, pacing an abandoned minefield from the 1962 war, looking through a telescope at Chinese vantage points to track enemy positions and moves.
He didn’t opt to be there, but when he chose the forces as a career he knew what he would be facing, and he faces it with valour, for he has the patriotism that you and I and many of our politicians lack. Tomorrow he may die in battle, but I know for sure, that no one who has joined the forces will ever regret taking up that profession. If he dies in an act of bravery, he will most
probably be awarded a VC or PVC medal for the same, posthumously. Then the government might give his family a lump sum and/or a measly monthly stipend of Rs.850 to Rs.1500. I ask you, is that all this man’s life is worth?
What about a serving soldier? He mostly hails from small areas or rural backgrounds with an uneducated wife and 2 children back in his village alone.Typical, but true. This man, who has time in the forward areas only to eat, sleep and watch the enemy, hardly sees his family. His entire salary is sent back home to his spouse, who faces the brunt of yet again uneducated parents-in-law ready to blame her for anything that happens to their son. In such a situation, a soldier’s wife receiving the pitiful salary of her husband will be left an orphan in the middle of the road, simply for the lack of money.
Then, these war heroes, and martyrs are forgotten within minutes, no, wait, seconds of their death. No one forgets to come for the Republic Day parade ,or to place that wreath they didn’t order on the grave of some memorial they don’t know was built for what om Independence day. Just because it is protocol. Protocol to ‘remember’ (or forget?) these people on these ‘days’ meant for our nation, to ‘remember’ them for the 30 seconds it takes you to read patriotic forwards and messages in your in boxes on email and on your cellphone.

Like a 90-year old war veteran said, I guess it’s the forces who are to be blamed. Right from the 3rd pay commission-who screwed up royally- the three forces have always put the pride of serving the nation over money. I guess it’s their fault they didn’t demand it then.
My father and I have been discussing this issue for a while now, and my blood boils, every single time I see our so-called Defence minister Mr.A.K.Antony defending his stupidity on a podium which he does not deserve. Have you for a minute stopped and thought about why you at home are able to enjoy your evening spent listening to your iPod, or watching a DVD on your 42-inch LCD? It is because you live in India, where the borders, threatened by invasion every second, are guarded constantly, by the watchful eyes of some 27-year old son of a mother who sits far away in a remote town, praying consciously every second for the safety of her son. If that guard decided to look away for even a minute, he would be dead, within seconds, and there would be an invasion leading to chaos everywhere. Soon, India would become a replicate Iraq, pandemonium prevailing,where you would need the permission of your invaders to even use the toilet, which under normal circumstances would be your birthright.
Sometimes it’s scary, how something so simple and routine is linked to something so complex and out of hand. From all of you who saw these reports of the military’s peaceful war against the government on television, some of you changed the channel since it didn’t concern you, some saw the report and took it in as general knowledge, and some burnt rage over it for a few seconds. Those whose blood still boils, would be the ones who have actually some patriotism left in their blood.
Am I being too philosophical for a nineteen year old? Most of you might say yes, but I say, why not? You would too, if you saw the fire in the eyes of these people the way I do.
And what is it, with Mr.Antony’s comment on discipline? I’m sorry Mr.Antony, but you politicians, who hit each other with chappals, and microphones, use unparliamentary language in the parliament, come half an hour late to a meeting, and do not know the words of the national anthem, are talking about discipline.Please, don’t make me laugh.O r with the panel that is enquiring the pay commission having IAS officers in it!? Why don’t we have a separate pay commission for the Military like most other countries do? Why do we have to put up with a cock-eyed system? Why does a DGP get paid almost twice as much as his equivalent in the forces? Why does the army have to replace the fire-brigade, police force and everyone else, when it is specifically mentioned that the forces are only for training during peace and attack during war. Why does the government involve the forces in flood relief , earthquake relief, tsunami relief, and more recently, rescuing of children fallen in pits? Then to put the cherry on the icing, you pay them in a pay scale adopted in 1948?
I have faced and will face a lot of criticism for my views.As some of my friends say, we do get good rations, accommodation and cheaper FMCGs and alcohol. Rations and accommodation -anyone in a decent government service gets that. Cheaper FMCGs- The least the government can do is to remove the taxes off the MRP of many products and make it available to the average soldier, who in return is willing to pay the price of his life for his nation. Cheap alcohol- yes, a bottle of rum is relatively cheaper. Why don’t you spend one year of your life to replace a soldier in snowy altitudes, in nothing but a tent or in the blistering heat of the Thar with the only wind bringing sandstorms along with it or in the jungles of Nagaland with the leeches sucking your blood out and I’m sure ANY soldier you replace to give him precious time with his family will gladly give you all the rum he can ever get in his life, simply so you don’t die of exhaustion and depression and actually live to tell your tale. Simply, so you can survive.
Let me remind you (non)patriotic souls, that the life of a person in the armed forces is one filled with dignity and pride, and I believe it should reflect in how much s/he is paid, for glamour and corruption rule the roost today, and that bias will take our country nowhere.
Hoping for the best to come for our brave men and women..

Vaishnavi Prasad

More Cricket sledges!

More Cricket sledges!

Ian Healy Vs Ranatunga
Ian Healy’s made a legendary comment which was picked up by the Channel 9 microphones when Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a particularly hot night during a one dayer in Sydney … ” You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c*nt!”

McGrath to Ramnaresh Sarwan
Sarwan, the West Indies vice-captain, and McGrath went toe-to-toe in an ugly shouting match in Antigua in May 2003, The incident was sparked after Sarwan, on his way to a match-winning second-innings century, reportedly reacted to lurid taunts from McGrath by telling him he should get the answers from his wife, who was recovering from radiation therapy for secondary cancer. The details :
McGrath: “So what does Brian Lara’s d*ck taste like?”
Sarwan: ” I don’t know. Ask your wife. “
McGrath (losing it): ” If you ever F*&king mention my wife again, I’ll F*cking rip your F*fing throat out.”

Mark Waugh Vs Adam Parore
Mark Waugh was standing at second slip, Adam Parore relatively new to cricket came to the crease played & missed the first ball.
Mark Waugh- “Ohh, I remember you from a couple years ago in Australia . You were sh*t then, you’re fu*king useless now”.
Parore- (Turning around) ” Yeah, that’s me & when I was there you were going out with that old, ugly sl*t & now I hear you’ve married her. You dumb c*nt “.

Ravi shastri v/s Mike Whitney
Its common knowledge that Indian’s usually don’t resort to sledging, and the Aussies swear by it. In this rare ocassion the tables had turned and it was the Aussies who were at the receiving end.
Shastri hits the ball towards Mike Whitney (the 12th man in the game) and looks for a single, this guy gets the ball in and says
Whitney: ” If you leave the crease i’ll break your f***ing head”
Shastri didn’t bat an eyelid before replying : ” If you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn’t be the f***ing 12th man “

Merv Hughes Vs Cronje
Merv Hughes was one of the greatest exponents of the fine “art” of sledging. Once during a tour game in South Africa Hughes was bowling to Hansie Cronje . It was an especially flat wicket and Cronje was hitting Hughes for fours and sixes all over the place.
After the umpteenth boundary, Hughes headed down the pitch, stood near Cronje, let out a fart and said: “Try hitting that for six .” It was five minutes before the guffawing stopped and play could resume.

The Best Cricket Sledges

The Best Cricket Sledges

McGrath Vs Brandes(the Best one till now….)
In a showdown of best pacers of two countries, Brandes made up for his complete absence of batting skills by some displaying some great sense of humor and presence of mind.
Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath was bowling to Zimbabwe number 11 Eddo Brandes – who was unable to get his bat anywhere near the ball. McGrath, frustrated that Brandes was still at the crease, wandered up during one particular over and inquired: ” Why are you so fat?”
Quick as a flash, Brandes replied: “Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit .”
Even the Aussie slip fielders were in hysterics.

Viv Richards v Greg Thomas
This incident took place during a county championship match between Glamorgan and Somerset.
Glamorgan quickie Greg Thomas had beaten Viv Richards’ bat a couple of times and informed the legendary West Indian ace: ” It’s red, round and weighs about five ounces, in case you were wondering .”
The very next ball was given the King Viv treament and smashed out of the ground, into a river – at which point Richards piped up: ” Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it .”

Merv Hughes and Viv Richards:
Merv Hughes usually never short of a word while on the field, rarely keeps quite. During a test match in the West Indies Hughes didn’t say a word to Viv, but continued to stare at him after deliveries. ” This is my island, my culture. Don’t you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl.” Merv didn’t reply, but after he dismissed him he announced to the batsman: ” In my culture we just say f*ck off. “

Sachin Tendulkar Vs Abdul Qadir
The year was 1989, the little master had recently made his debut in Pakistan . Sachin not even old enough to get a driving licence Sachin Tendulkar was facing the best bowlers in the business.. As the Pakistani crows jeered and mocked Sachin holding out the placards saying “” Dudh Pita Bhachcha ..ghar jaake dhoodh pee”, (hey kid, go home and drink milk), Sachin sent the then young leg spinner Mustaq Ahmed hiding for cover (he had hit two sixes in one over. The frustaded mentor of Mustaq Ahmed the legendary Abdul Qadir challenges Sachin saying ” Bachchon ko kyon mar rahe ho? Hamein bhi maar dikhao` (`Why are you hitting kids? Try and hit me.`).
Sachin was silent, since then we all have come to know that he lets his bat do the talking. Abdul Quadir had made a simple request and Sachin obliged, and how. Sachin hit 4 sixes in the over, making the spinner look the kid in the contest. The over read 6, 0, 4, 6 6 6, David had felled Goliath …. and a legend was born.