Aahan’s Second Birthday at Katy, TX

Aahan turned 2 on March 2nd, 2012. We celebrated his second birthday with a bash at the Inflatable Zone, Katy TX on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Thanks to all the friends and their families to make this a memorable day for us—it was a pleasure to have you all with us. We had a lot of fun with y’all!

Event started at 6:30 PM with Radhe and Sowmya being there first – Well atleast we reached in time before other guests arrived 🙂

Some of you had to travel a long way to reach the venue, and juggle around your other priorities. We appreciate you taking time to be a part of our family, and Aahan will always cherish these moments and blessings! Thanks so much.

Btw, Aahan has to say something to you too..

Dear Uncle, Aunt, Friends and Family!!

Thanks so much for being a part of my 2nd Birthday Celebration. I love you all very much, and appreciate your blessings and gifts!  Thanks to my Mama for sending the nice sherwani that you all gave me compliments for!

I have already started playing with some of the toys but my mommy has locked up the others…I don’t know why she does that but probably I am too young to understand.

Hopefully by my next birthday i’d have broken them all so that you can bring me new ones..oh ho! my Thomas train is getting off track..let me get back to it…b bye…  

Here are the pictures from the celebration! (Captions are for fun, pure fun intended).

 Question, comments – shoot a note to Ashish

W turned upside down..M

While riding back home from the Logan Airport, our cab driver told an interesting thing. He had been in the states for 18 years, but never liked it. He knows exactly how many days he has been here..just like a prisoner knows his days in the jail.

He said, “In America, you can not trust anything that starts with W”. Infact, most of the problems in life start with W:

Worries, Weather, Web, Weight, Work, Women, Wealth, Will, Who-Why-When-Where?, Waste, Wild, Whore, Wig, Wound, Weed, Whiskey, Wife, Witch, Wand, Wish, Wonder, Wedding, Washington….(Windows Vista some people may say?)

If we turn W upside down- i.e. M- it bring things to cherish. Things that makes life worthwhile –
Mother, Marriage, Money, Mind, Moral, Makeup, Mantra, Mood, Midnight, Match, Mirage, Master, Mango, More!, Milk, Mail, Mouse, Maid, Mecca, McDonalds, Machine, Muscle, Magic…
Mac -Those who said Windows above 😉

What else can you think of?

India Revisited – Occasion: Rail Budget.

Yesterday Laloo Prasad Yadav, our railway minister announced the 2008 rail bugdet for India. People are excited with the fare cut as well the IT impact on indian rail and lots of other gifts and offers for rural india, as well as AC class passengers.

Looking at this in a newspaper, or on internet, all those who live in/outside india but never travel in the general class train must be saying “Wow. what a bugdet!” etc. etc.

Reality is what i faced 2 days ago. This saturday, when i had to travel in General class -For those who don’t know what a general class is, let me give you a glimpse: No reservation. First come first sit. No cushioned seats, but wooden planks seat. No AC, ofcourse. And, above all, no space.

The compartment was crowded – almost 3 times the actual capacity. I had to share my seat with Pallavi. 2 of us sat on one passenger seat. Many people did not even get a seat. They were standing all the way – to a 8-10 hours journey. We were lucky to have only 5 hrs journey. People had to sit in the doorway; next to the restrooms. They had to sit between the seats. It was -like what a general compartment is – and has been like this for years.

The India that we see on TV, in movies, in newspaper is much much different from what you see in reality. You have to go there, be there and see that to know the reality.
Are you trying? or you are happy enough with the rail budget?

Another news that made me smile today was the “Prayatn” (Try) Project of Sri Vaishnav Institute of Indore. The students are going to villages, and teaching computers to kids. In last 6 months they have shared basics of computer with almost 10000 students across villages. Yesterday when they went to showcase the same in one of the villages, there was no electricity. They had to wait for 2 hours before they could start. The two faces of the coin. On one hand, people who are trying to help. On the other, people who dont care about whether the villages are in dark or light.

Rail budget certainly is a relief to many. But only that is not the solution. Each of us need to do our own “Prayatn” to make India brighter.
I am not talking about lighting a bulb like shahrukh did in Swades. But, lighting even one soul, one life with the light of knowledge will be a great achievement.

Whom are we cheating?

Someone shared this email from their HR – to all employees –

“Dear Colleagues,
I wonder how many of us do this. I have known people who give 3% of their Medical Reimbursement to the medicine shop owner – who will provide them fake bills for medicines, so they can get 30% tax rebate – So much for the money!!

I never thought there would be a need to write a mail like what I am writing right now.

It has been found that some of our colleagues have been submitting fake bills post travel. The worst part is, they have not even realised the gravity of this offence.

We do not want to see any recurrence of this type of offence. Please note, going forward, we will be left with no option but to terminate such offenders from services of the organization without notice; indicating the reason for termination. ”

Who are we cheating?

Ultimately its ourselves – If we dont pay taxes, its going to come back to us with the potholes in roads and the waiting for bus service.
There are Legal ways to save taxes which does not need STEALING or CHEATING. I guess Ethics come first.

I have known people who would take office stationery every monday to hoard it and give to their siblings, or kids to use. Some may even be selling it i am sure…

Some people would just go to temple so they can get some good FREE food…rather givings alms to the needy.

Have seen people who will return the 100 gm. of split milk to get a full container..because it split before the expiry date.

Also i know people who will pay for one movie and will stay in the theater whole day to watch other shows for Free.

Where are we going? Sure its the “kalayug”…but aren’t we to decide how we want to make it. All the time we talk about corruption, injustice and all… Aren’t we the one taking part in it?

Think about it…and let me know whether its a choice that we make, or a given.

From Laziness to Easiness

I was reading a fiction and in one of the scenes, the villain has lost to the superhero, and goes back to his mentor.
The mentor says-“I have created a new chemical. If you take a bath in it, it will take two of your biggest weaknesses out of your body.”
“What are they?”, the villain asks. “They are your fear and laziness”, replies the mentor.

I was amazed. I mean how glad would i be if someone gave me that chemical. I’ll bath twice a day. Fear is ofcourse something that comes over you once in a while. But laziness…everyday. More than me pallavi will tell you how lazy i am. Most of the times i wont argue or reply to her, or even fight with her, just because i am lazy.

Anyways jokes apart, my point is if we had such a thing which could take away your fear and laziness, wouldn’t this world be a better place to live in? Every once in a while we dont do good stuff (or even bad for that matter) because we are lazy. Leave exercising alone, but you wont even reply to this blog, or comment on it because you are lazy. Aint’it 🙂

Fear is one of the biggest enemy anyone can have. Fear of poverty, fear of insult, fear of falling down, fear of losing it all….all these fears make you not do the things you should be doing to get ahead in life. Fear and Laziness go hand in hand. We dont complete one task because of fear of getting another. Right? And that makes it our habit. Habit of laziness.

Its a vicious circle and you dont realize it is, until one day, it comes back to haunt you in the face and then you are afraid of doing anything. Fear of change.

Fear and Laziness are the 2 biggest obstacles on the path of success. If you want to move ahead in life, must get rid of all kinds of fear. Fear is nothing but a state of mind, and once you change that state – you are invincible – you dont have any fear. You can do anything because you dont have fear of losing, and that makes it easy for you to do things, and makes you more active- not lazy. Solving one problems will solve the other.

Fear not. Live Free, be active. And i am pretty sure, you’ll get what you want. Amen.

Jungle Raj?

Excerpts from NDTV:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 (Bhagalpur)

A man was beaten up by the public in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district after he reportedly snatched a woman’s chain. His hands were bound behind his back and he was thrashed by the public and the police. The man was then dragged by a motorcycle, with a policeman at the wheel.Despite the chain being recovered, the man was beaten up by the public. Instead of preventing the public from assaulting the victim, the police also joined in.A probe has been ordered by Bihar Police into the incident. Anil Sinha, spokesperson of the Bihar police said that strict action will be taken and such violence couldn’t be condoned.

”This is a shameful incident. They just accused this man of some small theft and beat him mercilessly. It is an attampt to murder. There is jungle raj in Bihar. And Nitish Kumar has no control over law and order in the state,” Lalu Prasad yadav said. The policeman who beat up the man, has been identified as a sub-inspector. “
Is this really an example of Jungle Raj, or insane show of inhumanity and misuse of power? What man could do this kind of injustice to a poor – even though if he stole.
I think the big reason is life is not at all valued in the country. People die of hunger, some die of food-poisoning. Some die due to lack of resources, some are killed because they have too much.
We dont care – because it doesn’t matter to us whether poor people live or die – as long as its not one of our near or dear ones.
This is another cruel example of the harshness and bitterness we have in our society.

Onam and Rakshabandhan

Its been a long time we haven’t talked about Life.
This is specially to thank Aveen, Vishnu and Rohini for the first-ever Onam feast i had. It was just great!

Once again its the beginning of festive season…Onam and Rakhi are here! Navratri and Dussera just around the corner. Halloween and Thanksgiving are not too far. Id, Diwali and Christmas are just a few weeks away.

All these are nothing but celebration of Life. Celebration to ensure we live in our full spirits, helding our head high and face smiling.

Onam is here, and the significance of Onam is as a festival of spring — it signals the start of the harvest season. Onam epitomizes the newfound vigour and enthusiasm of the season, and is celebrated with traditional fervour in kerala. Like any other indian festival, its celebrated with cermonies in temple, family get-togethers, gifting each other clothes called Onakkodi and lots of merry making.

Rakshabandhan is yet another celebration of love, honesty, caring and the relationships are the essence of celebration. Though now it is considered as a brother and sister festival, it was not always so. In history, rakhi has just been a raksha or protection.

Let’s get into the spirit, energize ourselves, revitalize with the festive aroma around and make it more beautiful world to live.

Where are we going?

Found this great thought on Sandeep’s blog. Its worth readin, worth thinking, and worth sharing. Also, if it does inspire you, its worth taking action.
Here you go…(you may goto the url or simply use the embed). Do let me know what comes to your mind after going thru this pps…Thank you.


60 Years in Making

Today, on 15th Aug 2007, we celebrated our 60th independence day.

We spent 60 years in the making..the making of India as we see today. Lot of people gave their sweat and blood to make it. Millions of people toil every day to keep it alive, to move it forward, to get it going. At the same time there are thousands of people who keep trying..relentlessly…to drag it backward. They keep on planning how to make their ill conceived intentions successful.

These 60 years have been a great ride. We have accomplished quite a lot. Today india is the largest democracy in the world and the seventh largest economy – facing right in the eyes of all nations. India is a nuclear power. India is an IT Outsourcing hub. We are one of the best talent factories in the world. We have our roots in almost every country of the world – east, west, north or south – you can see indians doing something good(?) everywhere.

We have won the world cups -(not this year, ofcourse). We have won oscars (not recently). We have won Gold medals in Olympics (dont remember the last year though). There are so many things that we have done…but i am not sure why dont we keep at it. May be we just dont feel like it….after we have done it once and shown the world we can do it.

There are some more achievements, worth mentioning. Mumbai is one of the world’s biggest economic hub, Indias largest city, with richest people living in, and with the biggest slumps in Dharavi. The number of people who own cars in this city increases every day, and so does the number of people who sleep on the footpath.

We have Metro running in Delhi – world class train, world class service – with third class behaviour from people. People in Delhi have 1% manners and 99% attitude.

As a country, we have grown so much. We have big malls, thousands of multiplexes, hundreds of entertainment parks. Also, we have thousands of villages that do not have electricity supplied for days.

Every year thousands of youngsters go abroad for higher study. There are hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who dont know what school is, and their youth is spend working to serve their basic needs – Food, Health, Clothes…and if possible Shelter.

We have all global brands available in India now – Nike, Taghuer, Reebok, Adidas, Apple, Lacoster…and we have many people walking shoeless on the streets.

We have all that is good. We do have all that is bad. Our girls can walk safely in the streets of bombay at any time of the day or night. The same girl can not go out on a street in Delhi after 8 PM. Our kids can play all that they want, while the other kids work to make ends meet.

Where are we headed? We have completed 60 years of independence. Are we there yet? How long will it take before people start caring about others. How long before we bridge the gap between poor and rich. How many more years before we become really Independent?

I think it takes a little effort from each and everyone. from You, and Me. We have to take action, or we will keep on celebrating our independence without being totally free.

Today, it may be “Hindustaan hamara“…but we have to make it “saare jahan se accha hindustaan hamaraa”.