Archive for January, 2005

January 25, 2005

I wish…

It was beautiful! Started in Providence around 1:30pm on saturday. I knew I was headed into a snow storm …. this one coming from south to north instead of the other way round. And I was more than 400 miles from my destination….north.
One hour of driving, I ran into snow in Eastern Connecticut. A couple of white outs, told me to slow down. None serious white outs though. Was going thru fine till I hit, Stamford Connecticut. They hadnt cleared the snow…..and the traffic started backing up like crazy. And many people on the road started going home. About 10 miles from George Washington Bridge, NYC – the traffic came to a dead halt. I cursed myself to have taken that route because saturday night is not a good time to drive through NYC anyway. Ten minutes later, I see what was happening. Concrete freezes faster than tar – roads were slippery to the say the least. Everyone was skidding like crazy.

All three lanes, only one car/bus/truck/vehicle would cross the half a mile zone alone, more or less. You just didnt know, how and where you were going. The front wheels for the most of the part pointed straight, but the rear wheels never followed the front. And of course there were many impatient drivers on the road and for once it didnt include me! Drove that strecth carefully. Another point was an exit to reach 95 South in NYC ….. a concrete ramp! Even trucks were having a lot of problems crossing that. None of the roads were cleared. And there was more snow. Snow fell on the windshield and just froze….so I started the heater….with my winter clothes and heater, I sweat ….. felt like an overheated sauna.

The bad road didnt end till I entered Maryland. Till then all roads were white – from snow. In Maryland, less than half a mile of entering the state the roads were all cleaned – nice black roads. Initially I was scared that it could mean black ice, but a couple of miles on it, I felt the car was sticking nicely to the road and increased my speed neatly.

The best part of snow is – it glows in the dark, especially the fresh one. Well it surely was not as bright as a day but the beauty of fresh snow is the glow all through the night. Managed to reach my destination by midnight. A little over 2 hours more than normal ….. but heck the snow, the roads and the traffic (I did see a lot of accidents, lost count above 25)….made the drive memorable.

I surely wish, others joined the trip …. well I didnt have space in my car, but yeah for that glowing snow ….. it is worth it! Will do it again, if I get a chance.

January 13, 2005

Thinking hat on…

In a discussion over coffee at office over Tsunami and the media attention it recieved, a co-worker questioned me …. why was there no such attention to Rwanda? True. 800,000 people died in 10 months. Similarly Drafur in Sudan. Not true that my heart doesnt go out to them. But what am I doing? I am doing nothing about it. Tsunami – at least I had an excuse, my homeland is affected.

But Tsunami killed 10000-15000 in India. There are lot more dying in India every year because of other things – dowry deaths – every 45 minutes or so. Male female ratio is horrible in urban areas – indicates female infanticide or foeticide. I am not even touching religion and caste. And this is not because “someone” in India is doing it, hence why I should I take the blame. At least the male-female ratios in urban hindu households cant be that bad, if that were the case. 50% of Indian kids are malnourished according to standards set by the GoI itself! Nearly 10000 people die of hunger every year in India probably. Or even more!

With all the above, how can I excuse myself ? Cant I do my part to stop the suffering. I know, I have a lot of friends who agree with me – no to dowry, or no to female infanticide or foeticide. But am I sure of all my friends? Are my friends sure of all their friends? Six degrees of separation ensures that if we make sure among our groups of friends and take them to task about their group of friends, we improve India! Yes, I am assuming six degress of separation is true. And if it is indeed true, we do reach out to the whole country.

No one needs help from you Raju, it is you who needs help from others:)

January 11, 2005

Generally bored…

When you have a lot of work to do, but dont want to do, what do you do? Feel generally bored and get away. And then realize the mistake which has become more costly now. It is not anymore interesting than it was before!

How to make daily, ‘boring’, but important chores interesting?

January 8, 2005

If it all takes is a smile….then just smile!

Smile: A simple curve that gets a lot of things straight!

Nice enough definition. So one week into 2005, how many times did I smile, forget laugh? Twice – both today. With so much destruction (165,000 dead, I hope this is the largest number of deaths I see in my lifetime), how can I laugh or smile?

But that wont make my life easy right? According to various studies, adults laugh on an average between 6-20 times a day and children anywhere between 200-400! No doubt the adults are living a stressed out life. And the choice I made or the way I am – I chose to be by default more stressed than the average adult!

Let me admit it, it is not much of my choice. It is the way I am. Irrational you may call me – but I am what I am.

So how come I dont enjoy worrying about people and the loss of life and working for their betterment in my own small way? Please dont think of me as a sadistic bastard – understand the above sentence or forget it. Incidentally I was.

But what did annoy me was the amount of hatred people have, even during such adversity. Indifference is a different thing. I would appreciate that. But hatred because you are trying to help a fellow human being – I hate it. Note to self:Time to grow up!