Thursday, March 30, 2006

Parlez vous englais?

Yesterday a friend and me were walking back from the gym, we stopped infront of his house where I was finishing off a story. My firends an Indian born and bred in the states, me Indian born and bred in India.
A woman walked up to us and the first question she asked us was wether we spoke english. I replied ofcourse, and my friend probably more offended replied "What kind of question is that".
Now this woman was white in her 40's and seemed a little occupied. She started off with how she had left her purse in a taxi and she needed to get back to Long Island and she needed some help. I offered my cell phone for her to call someone, but she said she lived alone. Now since we were returning from the gym i knew my friend had nothing on him( Not that either was in a mood to oblige) . I told her, "We are on our way back from the gym and don't have our wallets".
The friend reiterated the same. Now she asked for a metro card, the only one I had was a monthly pass I bought day before worht $75. No way I could part with that and anyway we had come too far down our lie. If she had some out straight off and asked for $2 to take the subway i might have given it to her. Last thing she said was "You wont help" me and left.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This can only happen in a blue state

In a red state they would have pulled out their shotguns and sent the kitty to its maker.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Proof that a burger will cost you one way or another

Click the title for the story

Friday, March 17, 2006

Masala Bhangra II

Once wasn't enough so I had to go again. At the end of the first class of masala bhangra, the instructor asked wether anyone would go to the class thursday evening. Now this was a class conducted by the Indian lady who came up with this class originally. I had read about it in the newpaper at some point and was tempted to meet her. Now the catch was there would be a film crew shooting the class for some television show. I figured that my clumsiness would ensure a swift snip at the editors table so no problem there.
My knee however was feeling dodgy after a week where i went overboard working on my legs at the gym. I got over that by warming up and stretching more than usual.
So I show up at the class and not unexpectedly realise I am the only guy there. And immediatley the instructors points me out and says she is really excited to have an Indian guy in class. That was followed by a series of other friendly though embarassing references. The instructor for the first class showed up and recogniosed me , so I felt more at ease. And once the musice started , the adrenalin rush took care of the rest. What followed for the next 45 mins was the more excrutiatingly fun workout ever. No breaks mind you. I kept pace much to my amazement, but cudn't mouth a single "Balle Balle"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Palestine Blues

When I watch a movie, I watch for entertainment(has there ever been a more redundants statement?) . I don't demand to be intellectually stimulated or emotionally charged. I was lucky enough to see Palestine Blues since I usually would'nt see such a movie with not much entertainment value. And its not as if my opinions of the Arab Israeli conflict are half baked.
The movie focusses on the Israeli's withdrawl from the Gaza Strip and the Security Wall that they are building in its wake. The movie is shot by a Palestinian with an American passport so you know which side of the story it tells.The movie manages to be very objective however.
What I saw was a farming community being uprooted with nary a bye your leave. Families that had been nutured by their pristine farmlands for generations are suddenly uprooted and in a region racked by conflict there is seldom opportunity to start anew.
And we wonder what pushes people to blow themselves up along with innocent men women and children. The sorrow and helplessness felt by everyone affected by the tragedy would soon be replace by rage. And cycle of violence continues.
I allowed myself to drift , but coming back to the movie, the directors effort was most structured and I could almost see the movie as if it were a book .
Not much of a review but I feel lazy all of a sudden.

Masala Bhangra

I don't remember exactly when, but I remember reading about an Indian lady conducting this exercise class at NYSC called Masala Bhangra. Sounded like a lot of fun. At that time NYSC(new yorsk sports club) seemed like a lifetime away. Now, I have been a member for a good part of the last 1 1/2 years.
I started out running and lifting weights and graduated to taking pilates since I found that both running and weights without the necessary stretching made the body preety stiff. Admittedly it was awkward at first sinc there are'nt too many guys at exercise classes.
Now being too cheap to spring for a real dance class , I also decided I need to take up some dance based exercise class since I really wanted to be a little more graceful in any future exertions on the dance floor. But that would be even more embarassing, since such classes have steps that are way too girly(Yes I did one in Binghamton a fact that I'll never live down).
Bhangra can never b e too girly, so it fit into my plans well. so I went this week.
Trust me being Indian, did'nt give me the slightest advantage. I was still the worst in class. I was amazed at how good everyone was, and it was tonnes of fun, maybe a tad high impact for my liking. But, if I can , I'll go again.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Its a razor not a rocket

Am I the only one who finds gillete ads extremely irritating? Sure razors have come a long way. But Gillete would have you believe that they have rocket scientists making their razors, if you go by there ads. Very attractive women wearing glasses and studious looking gents in lab coats all granted access to a lab using body imagers. Come on give me a break. What happened to the good old, man shaves followed by some alone time with self and mirror, followed by mandatory blond caressing the face.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Indo-US nuclear deal

The just concluded Indo-US nuclear pact has elicted reatcions that range from Euphoria, to caution and even outrage. It is a rather confusing issue but like most its a matter of choices. If India chose not to sign, our nuclear industry would continue on its way in complete isolation. Being a nation without readily eavailable uranium , we would have to wait for the promised Fast breeder reactor technology(which runs on thorium, yeah we got that in loads) before we could think of nuclear power as a viable source of energy.
The Indian nuclear industry has done exemplary work, excatly how exemplary no one knows due to the secrecy and the fact that their accounts are not audited(I migth be mistaken on this one). Our civialian energy reuqirements compell us to look at nuclear energy. That being the case this pact is the only option. The downside, we wont have as much fissile material to make bombs.
Now exactly how much fissile material we have is not known, but I assume its enough to meet our strategic interests for the Manmohan Singh government to cotemplate this pact. There is no way this information can be obtained in the public domain, so we have to accept it as a matter of faith.
But the aspect of the pact thats being overlooked, is the level of trust and mutual respect on both sides. This bodes well for India's future since even the "Cholbe Na" communists must realise that our strategic interests at this point in history, intersect with the Hyperpower of our times.