Old friends

25 11 2012

We spent Thanksgiving at V & R’s place. Was so good to see them, to be among old friends, to love and be loved. V and I got talking about philosophy as usual – the Mother, Aurobindo, JK, Chinmayananda, the usual gang :). There’s something very beautiful about being able to share your thoughts with people and hear theirs in an atmosphere of respect and trust.

Funny coincidence that occurred to me on the drive back – all of my closest friends are women, and they all have daughters while I have a son. 

Windows 7: First Impressions

3 12 2010

My work laptop just got upgraded to Win7, and everything I’d heard about this latest offering from Redmond is true! I almost can’t believe this is a Microsoft product. The interface is refined, with some outstanding design elements. AeroPeek makes me actually want to open more windows, just so I can hover over them in the taskbar! Well done, Microsoft.

Southwest knows customer service

30 11 2010

Southwest just aced Zagat’s latest Airline Survey, and given our recent experience booking with them, I’m not surprised. They have one of the best check-in luggage policies among domestic US airlines (sadly, their policy is what used to be standard across the board just a couple of years ago, until the greed that permeates this industry caught up), great fares, an increasing number of served destinations, and absolutely the best customer service.

An example of the latter is the call-back feature on their phone lines. While booking our tickets for our upcoming Disney trip, I was trying to track down the Child Fare, and ended up calling Southwest. A robovoice informed me that there was a wait, and if I left a number, they’d call me back when my turn came! Incredibly simple, and probably costs them nothing, but I no longer had to spend 20 minutes glued to my phone listening to horrible ’80s music. Just brilliant – every customer service number should come with this option! Well done Southwest. Now, if they could only find a way to get us around those obnoxious TSA pat-downs.

Norwegian Wood

28 11 2010

Just finished my first Haruki Murakami novel, and it’s probably the most exquisite thing I’ve read in a long long time. Norwegian Wood is a story of a young man’s search for love. It is also an incredibly sad story of loss, and it draws you completely into the world of the three young people around whom the story revolves. To be able to love someone so completely as Toru loves Naoko is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t think one can ever recover from such a love. On the other hand, only a love like that can show you what it truly means for two human beings to come together.

revival, part n

19 11 2010

As apparently is the fate of most blogs, this one too had been abandoned, sitting quietly in its corner of the web, mocking my overambitious design to conquer the world with words. Well, I’m back now to revive it, bring it back to life like the characters on Heroes, who come back to life only so they can be brutally murdered again. I’m hoping this blog will avoid that fate, but given my track record, it’s not very likely.

the israeli murder machine is at it again

2 01 2009

there is a word in hindi that has no real english counterpart – napunsak. loosely translated as eunuch, it is an epithet reserved for the very worst specimens of our species, the spineless cowards whose dastardly acts shame all of mankind. ehud olmert is a napunsak. seven days of relentless bombing of the gaza strip, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has left hundreds dead, and so many of these people were women and children. scores of homes have been reduced to rubble, and people whose homes are still standing cannot leave their homes even to get food and medicine.

after a brutal and criminal 40 year occupation, the israelis “gave” control of gaza to its residents, only to continue to strangle them by controlling their airspace, waters, and borders, even denying humanitarian aid to gazans at its whim. yes, ehud olmert is a napunsak.

reflections on 2008

30 12 2008

the division of time into bite-sized pieces like minutes, hours, days, and years is of course, completely artifical and man-made, but the lifelong conditioning we go through creates strong associations in our minds with points in time such as the one coming up shortly – the end of one year and the beginning of another. ideally, i’d like to free myself from such associations, since they’re truly quite meaningless, aren’t they? the trees and rivers, the sky and the sand, the mountains and the oceans, do they know of the passing of years? the rising and setting of the sun, yes, or the melting of winter into spring, but of what consequence is new year’s eve to the oak tree?

conditioned as i am, however, i do feel a sense of excitement about the coming year, and a little nostalgic about the one coming to a close. as the year in which my first child was born, 2008’s significance is certainly higher than most other years of my life so far. what a strange and wonderful gift a child is! an infant lives completely in the moment, and, in some sense, forces us to do the same. ani is one of those babies that cry a lot, and at least personally, it would be very hard for me to deal with his crying if i wasn’t able to move on along with him, forgetting the last crying spell as soon as it is over! parenthood is also an incredible responsibility, one that i’m still in the process of realizing, i think.

2008 was also significant in that we became permanent residents (coincidentally, starting the same day ani was born), and moved to salem so ST could start working on her math phd. we also bought our first ever new car, a bmw 335i. driving it has been nothing but joy and exhilaration.

amidst all of these happenings, though, have i grown as a human being? have i gained a better appreciation for the world we live in, and broadened my perspectives? every year, i guess, will have its share of notable events and memories, but the true significance of being a year older surely ought to be measured in terms of how we’ve affected the lives of others, and what we’ve learnt about ourselves. or is measurement itself a fallacy?