Tees Ta(k)g

Tagged for these 30 questions by two bloggies - Ankur and Prats - so here goes and dont think I am going to answer 60 just because.

1) LAST MOVIE U SAW IN A THEATRE? - 21 - but prefer DVD or downloads.

2) WHAT BOOK ARE U READING? - None, have taken a sabbatical from reading for a while. Brain needs to flush out all its modalities.....

Here me and one of my friends - we have created our own version - with stock market, mergers, acquisitions, solvency, partnership, auctions, real estate deals, mortgages, loans.....what happens is like real life - players can become partners with each other - each earns or loses every round - and end of the game its the balance sheet that matters and the risk one takes to invest in different ventures.....not the amount of money, hotel or houses you own in the traditional version. (effects of being a gujju and not being in business!!!!!)

4) FAVOURITE MAGAZINE? - Fortune (Am currently bored of reading all Architectural and Design Magazines)

5) FAVOURITE SMELLS? - Permanent Marker - gives a high - used to smell it to stay up doing architectural submissions.
Fresh eucalyptus when I was in Ooty.

6) FAVOURITE SOUNDS? - Not one sound in particular but cumalative as in Soundscapes - Music of the Deserts - By Zakir Hussain - Love the album but like this track in particular The Great Indian Desert - also have experienced them first hand visiting Pushkar Mela in Rajashthan

7) WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? - Someone questioning my work or memory. Kinda a perfectionist at work. I go crazy and makes me cringe and till it is solved I keep feeling - "How could I?"

8) WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN U WAKE? - Here I will refer to Neetal - like her its been embedded into my mind to say - "Jai Shri Krishna" - wishing everyone in the family as soon as you get up.....so invariably HE is uttered. Just wondering if HE gets bugged by bad breath.

9) FAVOURITE FASTFOOD PLACE? - Dunno - many - it all depends on the mood - but currently a place called "Kati Roll" serving various frankie type rolls and "Mamouns" serving falafels (tuskish food) both on MacDougal Street in Manhattan. (recommended if visiting NY), Dosa Hut - for all the South Indian Delicacies and wont even mention any of the Gujju hangouts in New Jersey lest the Gujju friends on the blog will get angry at me again.

10) FUTURE CHILDS NAME? - No thoughts given to this - it can and will change for two reasons - the other half will have her ideas or if following old Gujju traditions then supposedly my sisters have to pick a name.

11) FINISH THIS STATEMENT---'IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY - According to the World Bank document - Per Capita Income of the world - most of us who have been working full time jobs for a while have a lot of money relative to a poorer places in the world - and what have we done being "rich" - nothing kept working - so thats what I intend to do keep working just might change it to more philantrophic or social.

12)DO U DRIVE FAST? - Yeah - almost always - really feel I might get into an accident if I travel withing speed limits - and its not my fault my dear friend VW loves to shift gears way too fast.

13) DO U SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Yeah, almost everyday - I dont like sleeping hungry or else my stomach growls.

14) STORMS--COOL OR SCARY? - When on ground cool - when in flight scary.

15) WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? - Honda Civic

16) FAVOURITE DRINK? - Cappuchino or Tea whichever is available, Peach Ice Tea and Rum and Coke, Kutchi Beer (buttermilk), but most prefered Matka Cola (h2O)

17))FINISH THIS STATEMENT-IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD...Then Harish Bhimani would not have got the job at the start of Mahabharat tele serial - remember "Mai Samay Hoon" - I would be Time then :))))

18)DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? - I only eat half the world (vegetarian) so cant leave out things from that.


20)NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS U HAVE LIVED IN? - Bombay and North Jersey many towns. (if it is short stays - of a week - then can add +/- 65 other towns to this list all over)

21)FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH? - Lawn tennis and nowadays American Football as Cricket is not easily available.


Prats - I like the way she writes and expresses her ideas. There is a subtle humor that persists in her writings and the flow can allow one to visualize the given or described situation.

Ankur - Loves to write and express and have found a good movie buff. Have seen two of his recommended movies and will keep doing so.

23) WHATS UNDER YOUR BED? - Empty space and quietness.

24) WOULD U LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?? - Nah! I get bored to easily - need a new avatar.

25)MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL? - 6 hts total sleep required in a day - can be at anytime - so cant be specific. But when travelling I really love very early mornings to explore the local areas on foot - learn a lot about the local lifestyle and can sometimes get fresh breakfast or tea or coffee from people as I tend to be nosy.

26) OVER EASY OR SUNNY SIDE UP? - This question pertains to how eggs are served and I like them in omlette form not either one of the above.

27) FAVOURITE PLACE TO RELAX? - Any place close to a water body- Used to be Worli Sea Face in Bombay - here I goto a park on the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan or a forest with a pond.

28) FAVOURITE PIE? - Uncle Pai from Tinkle

29)FAVOURITE ICECREAM FLAVOUR? - Kesar Pista, Real Strawberry and Vanila Bean w/Hot Chocolate.

30)OF ALL THE PEOPLE U HAVE TAGGED, WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST? Dunno - am not tagging anyone - this tag had spread like wildfire - almost everyone has done it. If you havent and feel like doing it - you are free to - just let me know when.

Love Link Tag

Tagged by Noushy
The love-link tag.The Love-link Tag is another of those Linky Love game where you only have to tag 10 person in one post but still there is no actual limit (you can tag more if you want!).

Once tagged, you have to copy paste the link in this post, and make them grow!Do not delete any of the links and be honest to yourself!copy paste the link in this post, and make them grow!

BennyLiew, RamblingMoo, Mum & Kids In Wonderland, Judelittle, Our mini blogsphere, Rooms in My Heart, http://janiceng.blogspot.com/, ChinNee, Jo-N, LadyJava's Lounge, Strange but True, Mariuca's Perfume Gallery,Meet Uncle J-Uncle J, Farah,aNgRiAniWoRLd,How’s Life Bout,The Three Heroes, Ceedy, You Next

I tag:
Ankur, Aneri_Masi, Anvita, Gunj, Jaggu, Prats, Pri, Raaji, SatishBolla, Phoenix, Veens


God's Inc - IV

New Story Saved at Shortceedy ----------------------------->
In the post on "Numbers" I had mentioned about the cheap thrill of getting 100 comments. Well it happens last three post all crossed that mark - but this is not to celebrate those laurels as half of those comments are my responses - but to portray some interesting interjections.

In post on Numbers when the comment was trailing at 96 for a day and half Anvita who had previously written the 100th comment - wrote the 97th - in her own words:
"oke 97th one heheh, 3 more to go....lagge raho...."
then a quick reply from me and it crossed 100 and out came Satish Bolla with this comment
"saw the 99th comment and came here rushing. but u r waiting like a hawk. anyways congrats and y don't u arrnage some kind of bash for being the 100th commenor"
What followed was a flurry of 40 odd comments between Anvita, Satish and Me - kinda like orkut scrap - and two of us were at work and one just out of work......."

And the last post what an evening saw another interesting interjection - this time from Ashu :
again the comment number stuck at 96 - she hit a boundary of sorts - wrote four comments in a row and being a cricket fanatic celebrated Sachin Tendulkars Birthday with this comment:
"100. n today s GOD s bday"
The main post - God's Inc IV
To read previous three transcipts of this series click here God's Inc

Got a call from God's Inc and me along with other Me-74's were called to help the proceedings for an annual retreat of all the employees of God's Inc. In short I was decommisioned and could not pursue my earthly duties of food, clothing, shelter and nowadays blogging.
The retreat was sponsered by Plutonium Dream Vacations - as this was its last year as part of the coglomerate. Due to some technical glitches and dirt on the eyes of the scientist glasses rendering unclear vision - who formed the planetary directorial board he assumed Pluto to be a coveted member. Due to having access to this elite froup of nine for so long and getting all the privileges - it hosted this conference as a respect.
Me-74 had a chance to meet the other 23 Me-74's from all around. We were given mundane duties to make sure everything was in order.
Learnt that the God himself never showed up - he was going to have a teleconference with his vice presidents and during this teleconference nobody outside the selected group was allowed. His location was kept secret due to the fear of some aggresive behaviour by member of the neighbouring galaxies.
We had a chance to witness some coveted vice presidents of the Inc as they arrived:
Press Ram Rawal with his uncanny style, Mohammed Khan showing off his 6 packs, Jesus D'Costa with his huge entourage, Gotham Delay Lima ruffled from his recent skirmish and many others.
The agenda was to chart out the future course of action for the Inc as its stock had tanked in the market and there were serious takeover bids.
As an appreciation of our service - all 24 of us Me-74's were given a short presentation as how we were commisioned. I sneaked one photo from there.

Image courtesy: The Farside by Gary Larson
It was jsut 24 of us who survived this fall. Some dissolved in the ocean, some flew away into the nether world. And look at the special bottle from where I originated.
Back to the mundane work after an exciting interplanetary trip.


What an evening

On Thursday 17th, I witnessed a 75 year old child performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. I say child because from the moment she walked onto the stage till the very last words she sang - the crowd simple enjoyed every bit of her jhatkas and matkas (antics) together with her awesome voice.
It was none other than our very own Asha Bhosale alongwith Amit Kumar (son of legendary Kishore Kumar) celebrating her 75th Birthday this year performing to a packed house in the historic Carnegie Hall - a performance hall where worlds best singers, musicians and performers deem it to be a respect to get a chance to perform.

There was a shrill in her voice when conversing with her tutta phutta English (broken English) which she duly confessed that she does not know much off, but when she sang it was simply enthralling and mesmerizing. She belted out songs from her training days, to her fisrt commercial hits in Marathi and Hindi cinemas, her remixes and some of other famous songs. Amit Kumar was a great support and he sang nostalgic songs from Kishore.
Here is one video that I was able to sneak (we were not allowed to click pictures or take videos)

While uploading videos, I came across another YouTube site - AforAsha - a YouTube Fan Club moderated by Jyoti. With her permission I am posting one video from her page here as she was close to the stage and had a better vantage point - you can click here to view more of her videos from the show.

All in all a great evening - wish fulfilled to experience Carnegie Hall - and this was the best possible way - an evening I think I and many other will always cherish witnessing a live legend.
And on the way home to the train station here are some pictures of Times Square.



The last post I hit a century or let me put it in a larger perspective - it took a total of 163 hours to get 100 comments. The maximum I have got is 77 for a post before - so this is a first for me.
Got caught up at work and a bad back - so was not able to post for the past week - today I felt like Sachin Tendulkar - who has missed many centuries being in nervous nineties.
I was waiting for that 100th comment - and Anvita nudged the counter.
Now one might say why all this fuss about numbers and statistics - partially cheap thrill and more of what this post is all about. Americans and being here for so long most of us have no choice but to be obsessed with the nitigrities of numbers.
I was going to write about experience with a simple cuppa coffee - but that can wait.
So here more about numbners

- The very first number that one has to be aware of is I-94 card - that is appended to the passport - that one gets upon entering this country at immigration. This number is important for all immigration crap. And it changes everytime one enters or leaves this country.
- I came as a student here almost a decade ago - and one of the first thing that we have to deal with is getting a Social Security Number - if we have got financial aid and are going to receive mullah from the college. It is similar to the PAN number issued in India.
It is described as "Social Security" but it is emotionally and physically draining as one has to contribute towards it from ones pay in a hope that when we are old we will get some benefits from the government, but the way the things are going in this country it looks bleak that most of us will ever reap the benefits.
- The social security number is a must when applying for credit cards, drivers license, bank accounts and any other legalities.
- In the college - the type of courses one takes is appended a number - like Design101, Structures 301....the higher the number determines and clarifies whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student. This is because they have a flexibility of what one can pick and choose and cross register towards getting a degree - a system entirely different from the back home where we are told what to study. (this was when I studied - dunno the situation now)
- Post graduation the next number one is worried about is the : "How many K's job you get". Now K denotes 1000 - so 60K is 60000 US pay package - again with the advent of MNC's back home many are aware of these concepts back home.

America is a consumerist society and every nuance of peoples existence and the country's economy is geared with numbers. They want you to be aware of the Numbers at any given time:
- You buy a car - they have a limit of 12000 miles that they consider normal driving per year - so when you sell it - depending on the mileage and year and the condition of the car - you can get an equivalent price - this price can be determined from various websites.
- They use miles instead of kilometers and inches instead of meters. Both these are smaller denominators. Say 100 miles which is actually 160 kilometers - gives one a peace of mind that he has to drive only 100 miles.
- Driving is really a pleasure here - highways are 4-6-8 lanes wide. On needs insurance to drive and you get points for any violations - again numbers determining the amount you shelve out for insurance and collecting 12 points can take away your driving privileges. There is no Pandu Hawaldar whom you can give some bucks to get off the hook.
- Most of the US when you ask somebody, specially here in New Jersey - where do you stay - they will say Exit # so and so of a certain highway - which again is defined by a number - people recognize this more than the name of the town. So giving directions to someone will be - take exit 4 off route 31 and then bear left and get onto highway 287 - take exit 12 for Jhumritalaya - then finally when you reach Jhumritalaya you will have street names - which are mostly names of trees - spruce, oak, maple.....
- Also zip codes like in Beverly Hills 90210 - are very important - they tell you the school district and the economic status of the town. It is prestigious to stay in certain zip codes than others. Most towns with a certain zip code will have people from a certain economic status - not community or ethnicity. This is unheard of in India - where every place is described by the name and where a person making crores stays right next to someone making thousands - in most cases. (I say school district - cause most Americans goto public schools that are free up to 12th Standard)
- Another big aspect that is here is the rotation of money - savings is a complete no-no. Most people really do live paycheck to paycheck - and even a slight increase in a bi-weekly paycheck is another installment that they can pay.
- The interest rates are also so minimal and then this minimal interest is also taxed high - so there is no point in putting money in savings account - unless you transfer it to retirement accounts - and then you do not see that money till you retire.
- The whole situation nowadays with the economy is based on this concept of over borrowing. Wont go into details as that can be another post in itself.
- This brings to the next important number - the credit score - this is the number that determines your creditworthiness - and if you haven't spent enough or have a rotating loan then you are not credit worthy - they don't know your history of spending and payment and are reluctant to give you a loan even if you have saved a big chunk of money.
I once told one of my friends who was meeting girls to get married - ask what her credit score is more than what she makes or if she knows cooking or blah blah....that will determine your numerical future here.

Other daily aspects determined by numbers:
- Weather - There is an entire channel running weather reports all day long - and people choose to wear clothes as per the degrees Fahrenheit - now they don't use degree centigrade as temperatures could go as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit - which is -17 degrees centigrade - now you decide what is more comfortable to hear.
- BMI - Body Mass Index - determines if your weight is proportionate to your height - again a comfort with numbers - more than you are fat or underweight. And again they use pounds to determine weight rather than kilos - so 60 kilos is 132 pounds - and losing 5 pounds sounds much better than 3 kilos - thus many Americans are obese and huge.
- Buying a computer or any other electronics is fun - go to a store and you would say "give me that TV" - nah never happens - one has to know size, inches, contrast ratios, number of ports - hundreds of numbers and people will ask you these questions when you tell them you bought something. I say I bought a 10" and high def binoculars to watch it.
- Another BIG thing is the freaking shoes and clothes sizes - we are normal body built people from Asia or I can say puny according to standards here - have seen shoe sizes 14 - 16 which is 47 - 49 in Europe ...man its huge - an entire family of rats can live in that.

These are some of the examples - many can think of many other situations - the basic idea is that numbers are used to make one feel comfortable in any situation.



Read a post on Romila's blog: The lesson called life. She talks about college days and how the entire journey was an experience. Well it differs a lot here in the U.S. when we come as students. Instead of writing about the day to day experiences I will write few posts on what are the subtle differences that one experiences here.
Will love to get inputs from some others who are working or studying here.

To start off here is a post on Vada Pau (pronounced as WUH-dah POW - Wikipedia) - one of the most popular fast foods of Bombay. The closest food that one can find here is the Hot Dog.

A play on how Americans like to have their food - here is a take on how a simple snack can take a whole new meaning.

Image courtesy My Creative Ideas

Just for those who are not aware of how it is made - here is a link : (this is a video taken in Ahmedabad)

Now imagine Rangya frying the Vadas and Chandu putting them together - guys from the Bombay Streets - making Vada Pau their whole life were to come here - this is what they will have to face.

This part of the deal takes place in the kitchen behind:

1) Rangya will have to wash his hands from time to time. Everytime he touches anything besides the tools he is supposed to use or uses the bathroom - he will have to abide by the sign put up there "All Employees Must Wash Their Hands"
2) He will have to wear a shower cap made out of sweat absorbing material. This will also ensure that his hair does not fall into the preparation.
3) He will have to make sure that the oil he uses is disposed off every few hours - to maintain the taste and the potato mixture is fresh from the freezer - thawed to the correct temperature.

All of the above takes away the authentic taste that you find in the real Vada Pau.
Extra salt from sweat, the deep fried smell of Palmolive oil and an occasional hair washed with LifeBouy found in the Vadas.

4) Rangya will also have to deal with frying the vadas to have an aesthetic appeal as per the order - ranging from Lightly fried, to Normal to Well done (deep fried and almost brown).
If he does not pay attention to this detail chances are the order can be canceled or a manager (huh) can be called for or it will have to be on the house.

Now if you try telling this to him on a Bombay Street - Rangya will simply whistle and out of nowhere Munnabhai and his cronies will surround you and this will ensue

"Kya re shahane, tereko koi takleef hai kya - sale paisa nahi dega - kaan ke neeche do bajau kya" ( You have a problem paying for what you ordered)
"Aye Rangya, kitna deneka hai tereko - panch rupaya" (How much does he owe you Rangya - 5 bucks)
"Chal harami - pachaas ka pati nikal - khali fokut appna tem waste kiya" (Common cough up 50 bucks - you wasted our time)

Now this I dont see ever happening here - and miss it dearly.

Now over to Chandu who is putting the dish together. This part can happen in from of the customer or behind in the kitchen.

5) He will have to wear disposable gloves at all times when he puts it together.
6) Ask the customer his choice of bread - Regular, Wheat, Low Fat etc etc.
7) Take a knife and cut it precisely or the bread can be rejected.
8) He will have to ask at every step of the preparation:
- chutney? (which can be called relish here): One spoon or two
garlic powder? Sprinkled lightly or the amount till the customer says thats enough
This is to ensure that there are three different spice levels they cater to - Mild, Spicy or Hot
He might also be asked to put none and give it separately in a small container so the person can do it himself.
9) After this he will have to dispose of those gloves and wrap it up asking - For Here or To Go.
10) Finally at the time of billing - Sir/madam will you like to make it a meal plan - add a bag of chips and soda of your choice.
This whole experience can probably be had at Subway in India - have never eaten there so dont know.
The time taken for this exercise to make one dish - is equivalent to making atleast 25 of them.

Besides this here are the following information/instructions that they have to be prepared to answer:
- Kind of ingredients used lest someone has some allergies.
- What is the calorie content of the dish.
- How long before it gets stale - can it be reheated.
- To attract clientele they will have to have Kids menu with mini Vada Pau's and maybe throw in a Munnabhai collectible doll.

They will also have to have license to operate the business, liability insurance, fire extinguishers and handicapped accessible order station - or else they can be sued.

In contrast in Bombay they can get the license paying a small bribe, Munnabhai is the liability insurance, fire - WTF is that? and handicapped accessible is not even an issue.
Besides this just some other interesting observations or questions I have faced.

- Remember those pyramid thingies that you ordered - can you get me two of them.
They are talking about the Samosas.
- Examining the Samosa - they do understand how it is filled up - since there is a seam on it - but they are quizzed about "How did you manage to get these pototoes inside the outer crusty wrapper (most of the food is not made in full sight of the customer)
- Lastly they are fascinated with the Papadams - most places they are given as complimentary - one firangi dude called the waited and questioned him - the menu said the bread is soft and made in an oven - he confused it with the NAAN he had ordered reading the description on the menu.

Based on your input I will continue or change the upcoming posts.


Share a SMILE

New Story P.A.T.H. posted on shortceedy ----------------------------->
Here are stand up comedians I like and have seen them live. Posting their clips with whats going on around.
Just heard a weather woman go on a radio -
There will be periods of rain sometime tomorrow and the rain will dissipate sometime tomorrow.
And they get paid to do be so UNSURE!!!!!
Here is a short clip from comedian Lewis Black (contains explitives) on cold weather

The democrats and republicans are fighting over the globalization and effects of outsourcing on America. Here is a clip from an Indian origin Canadian comedian Russell Peters on the other possible scenario of the whole world mixing.

And a last clip which is a bit long is from George Carlin. He is one of the Gurus of American stand up comedy. (disclaimer - this may offend the purists but it is creative nonetheless) He has a different perspective on GOD and Religion



This is what I got after working here for so long from my office.

And did you try out the
Gmail Custom Time

And do pay a homage to Mohammed Rafi by listening to his song on the YOUTUBE link on the sidebar.