Posted in Travel

Notes from the Road – March Madness

Technically, these are not notes coming to you, while I am on the road but more of a collection, after I got off the road. Had been to 8 different airports and 5 different time zones in a span of 7 days..and may be that should explain why these notes couldn’t come out while I was on the road.

Note 1: At the risk of having to repeat myself, I have to confess that once you get used to traveling in first class, traveling coach is not easy. Fortunately, my trip to Vegas was in First class but on my way back, I had to change flights and hence ended up on a coach class seat, cramped between some human flesh that I didn’t particularly enjoy. It is not that I don’t like human flesh – but what I hate more is the compromises I had to make to adjust my arms and knees in order to accommodate myself without rubbing my flesh onto another.

Well..enough about human flesh and coach class compromises.

Note 2: There is a lot of money to be made in Vegas. Yes. Only if you have some to begin with, that you can risk stacking on the table without having to worry about losing it. What I learned in the past week was Roulette and I paid $120 as my training fee to the dealer.


Well..enough about gambling and how you need to be in a different mindset to become anything of a gambler.

Note 3: The week I was in Vegas was not really the best time to assess the impact of recession on casinos, because there were these crazy basketball dudes thronging the game bars. I can’t understand the madness on college sports and I will attribute it to my general disrespect to how the country treats sports.

Well..enough about sports and the commercialization of such.

Note 4: However short a trip to India is, I feel connected and at home right away. I am glad I am able to do this else, doing regular things and enjoying the stay for what it really is meant for cannot be accomplished. Nakul adapted wonderfully well even to the wet bathroom floor, which made him take a step back, the first time. Catching up with family was a huge thing and it always is my belief that it is a necessary thing to do, specially for the kids.

Well..enough about Family and being grounded.

Note 5: The 4 days in India were like 4 weeks as I tried to soak every minute of the stay. The Indian summer is at its beginning phase and coastal South India is already filled with humid air. With elections around the corner, there never was a shortage of some breaking news – Be it Varun Gandhi and his fanatic diatribe or which way the PMK scale is going to tilt or Praja Rajyam’s party symbol or the prospect of DMMK and MDMK lining up behind one of the major players or Lalu’s confident play – there were abundant election topics to discuss with the family. Guess, national politics is better than family politics during such gatherings.

Well..enough about Indian Politics and how it captures my fascination all the time.

Note 6: Houston airport may be great. But we had one of the most difficult transits (probably the most ever) when we had to switch from an international flight to a domestic flight after clearing Customs. Ha..! Size did matter in this case and the terminals are so awfully long for us to jog from E something to C something.

Well..I don’t think I can say enough about this transit as yet, for I stank like a skunk after sweating profusely by the time I made it to the gate, only to find out that our flight was delayed by a good 30 minutes.

A “no activity weekend” was all we needed to recover!
Posted in My Music

Bheed Hai

Here is an attempt to create a Hindi pop/club song – As always, the intention was good..but not sure if I am happy with the end product yet. I guess I can keep working on it and improve the overall output but then there is no end to such a quest for perfection within my limits. I surely had a blast working on this number over 2 weekends.

Special mention to Sanjay for stringing together some Hindi words in a rhyming manner, thus possibly realizing that there could be a lyricist in him. Ron is the singer and he did a terrific job given that the scale of this song was not in his comfort zone.

The song is called “Bheed Hai”.

Here you go..

Also, some trivia on the making of the song can be found here.

Posted in AR Rahman

Masakkali

Been a while since I watched any Laurel and Hardy videos. Needless to say, I was a big fan…They were the good ol’ comedians for me.

When I saw this video, it gave me a tickle and have decided to share the same with you..

Here is Laurel & Hardy dancing to the tune of AR Rahman.

(Credits: IBD India, newnimproved (youtube user))

Posted in Economy

Mad Money Shenanigans

Apparently the next best thing to Jon Stewart on Comedy Central is Jim Cramer…or was – at least till last night. I did manage to catch last night’s brawl street fed, as I fumbled my way through the leaving room, as soon as I got home from Detroit Metro. Boy, was I thrilled and disappointed! Jon Stewart is certainly the best entertainer out there (yes, I would rate him higher than Letterman in this quotient) who can make people laugh and think seriously on issues. And it explains why he has a huge following and how he can influence in bringing down shows (example: CNN Crossfire). But the battle itself was heading towards an anticlimax right from the get-go. Cramer was meekly surrendering himself to the authority of Stewart and he was on a ‘mea culpa’ mode all the way.
Cramer dude – What happened to your ‘Mad money’ shenanigans?

This whole Stewart vs Cramer episode gave me a lot of excitement for a week because it reinforced my belief that the whole speculation industry is full of baloney..

CNBC – Looking for the next exit? <> This way please …

Posted in My Music

Waves’n Blues

Have been meaning to do a simple tune which gives me that soul stirring peace while I am listening to it.
What better combination than some acoustic guitar noodling combined with piano & some strings..? Didn’t take me too long to come up with this – but the end product makes it very satisfying personally for me.

Hope you enjoy this too….This piece is called “Waves’n Blues”!

Posted in Cricket, Sports - General

The perils of Pessimism…

When a country whose confidence is at an all time low, everything can easily be looked at negatively even if there is not much rationale behind looking at it that way. I have always wondered why would we want to throw in so much of pessimism around yourself when you know it is not necessarily going to help. We all understand the reality and we all know that things are definitely at its 25 year worst in the US and hence possibly in most countries around the world. But, to sulk is not going to get anyone anywhere. And, that I believe is exactly what President Obama is trying to do. Today is the 47th day since he took over office and it is extremely funny to look around the country to see how many different ways he is being targeted for what he is trying to do. As biased as I am towards his pragmatist approach, it is hard not to notice what he is trying to do. In my 11 years in this country, I have not seen a President work so actively, keep pushing his tasks to his cabinet so regularly and above all to have touched upon so many issues administratively in such a ridiculously short time.

While we have Limbaugh suddenly being elevated to the pedestal of acting as the Conservative Hero, Steele is trying for a hip-hop cameo and Jindal, from being the most intelligent elected official has gotten thrown to play the role of a humiliated Comedian, in the latest show called “RNC in Distress”. Of course, Palin is still trying hard to stay in limelight. In any case, what the party has proved in 47 days is that they are not going to sacrifice their ego for making things happen. And what they have to realize is that, their distress is only adding to the pessimistic mood in the country.
Overall, this kind of pessimism is only digging the perils of this economy deeper.
It is another Saturday and the weather could have been better. The thought that we may actually be towards the end of winter is warm enough, even though it is 40 degrees outside. A very hectic month ahead and I cannot complain! I want to make sure that I don’t contribute to any pessimism, to or for the people around me.
Posted in AR Rahman, Politics - General

Wrapping up February…

There have been several instances this past couple of weeks when I wanted to jot down quickly on a few happenings that affected me and gave me the urge to share how I felt.

* Quite impressed with Obama’s ambitious approach to his Presidency – It is a little over a month and the President has already got a few of his proposals implemented. Not easy and specially with the kind of partisan politics that Republicans play…Critics will continue to hammer and try to equate him to a Socialist – but at least he is converting his election promises into reality in the most pragmatic way.
* I wish I am in Chennai now – to witness the “son of the land” come home with his Oscars. To say that I am moved is understating my emotions, every time I read about someone praising Rahman’s feat. Hmmm..!
* Cricket – The team got thrashed in NZ in T20 but let us hope Dhoni gets his act together and adapts quickly to the harsher conditions.
* Managed to get some skiing done this season – I am glad I was able to…