Archive for ‘Think-aloud?!’

December 26, 2005


This year has seen India suffer the effects of several natural disasters – the tsunami, torrential rains and cyclones and the Kashmir earthquake. With your kind support, Association for India’s Development ( A.I.D.) has been able to play a useful role in reconstruction efforts. As we enter the Season of Giving, we ask ourselves: What about the millions of needy Indians in places which didn’t suffer from natural disasters?

Neju and Koshy of Vimukti continue to work with the Dalit women in 15 villages of Raichur dist. of Karnataka, building livelihoods through community farming and terracotta jewelry as well as protecting land rights. The Rural Technology Resource Centre started by AID-India in the Orissa-Andhra border area is training villagers in making inter-locking bricks, embroidery and organic farming. A.I.D. is supporting about 100 such projects in various parts of India.

We appeal to you to continue your generous support so that these efforts can continue in 2006, and even multiply. AID’s regular projects need more than $500,000 every year, and these funds come from individual donors like you. Please make a donation – one-time or periodical – through our One For India campaign:

You can also send the One for India E-cards and Tell a Friend feature on the website to urge your friends and family to donate. You can be the drop that creates a ripple and culminates into a wave of courage, commitment and change.

Several key projects have been showcased on the One for India website. Soon, you will also receive our newsletter Dishaa, as well as a special Tsunami Rehabilitation newsletter.

Volunteers of A.I.D. wish you and your family an enjoyable holiday season and a happy and successful new year. Let us share our holiday joy with our partners – the people in villages and city slums in India.

December 9, 2005

Fast for Justice

My friends, Brunda and Somu are organizing a fast for justice. Manjunath – another fellow from, yet another prestigious IM was shot dead. Satyendra Dubey was killed last year, he was another IIT person.

Probably corruption has become a part of our lifestyle and we dont let go of it easily. Guess what most of us forget is, as long as we give, there will be people who will take. Dont give and what will the takers take? And dont take bribes, what will the givers give? At least, step by step, drop by drop – there are more people who are inspired by these folks and stop participating in corruption. For heaven’s sake – Satyendra and Manjunath gave their life for it. We should at least follow their path.

Can you take a pledge, “na lenge, aur na denge”? I will be there tomorrow at the Gandhi Statue, with my friends.

November 27, 2005


Yeah yeah, they have been there. Havent complained for a while, probably:) Or guess not.
Well one thing I feel is, discomfort in any other part of the body probably is OK. But probably I am wrong. Now how do I run about keeping track of my headache? It is always there, no matter what I do and what I dont do. Has been tough to track it all along, anyway. What was there to track it? Should I change the food I eat? My habits? What to change?

October 26, 2005

but I had promises to keep, miles to go before I sleep…

Hi all,

It has been raining all day and night here in Washington DC. The weather channel throws up this picture of a perfect storm on the screen and I am reminded of the movie. I love rain, so I took a walk in the rain….the temperature – a chilly 45 F. That is chilly. My mind instantly shifted gears and thoughts of the thousands of people left homeless in Jammu and Kashmir sprung up. As I rushed back to my heated apartment, my realization was complete – they dont even have a place to stay forget the heated part. In AID we have been collecting funds and sending it to our partners in India. And what we have been sending has been really insufficient. Yes, we are a small organization – but that doesnt take anything away from the fact that there are thousands in distress, whom we can help. Without a roof on their heads and not much to eat, surviving rain in DC itself is tough – forget the cold and harsh climes of Jammu and Kashmir winters.

I, a grad student in Univ of Maryland, as you know – a couple of months back could never even imagine that I could run a mile non-stop. I ran for fun with a bunch of AID, ASHA and AIMS volunteers as they prepared for the marathon. Simultaneously I did volunteer working on the earthquake. But today, the thoughts are different. I need to get out there and highlight the plight of these people. I dont want these survivors to be left out! Not in this kind of weather!

I got a chance to run the marathon – this sunday, a full 26.2 miles and I will run to highlight the plight of these survivors in Jammu and Kashmir. In less than two weeks, winter will set in. Mountains in J&K will start getting their snow showers. The race is on to provide some comfortable accomodation and food and warm clothing.

The race is on, the clock is ticking. The hope that one more family can get sheltered from the fast approaching frigid winters with another stride I take will be enough to energize me (more than a few bottles of Powerade/Gatorade) on Sunday. But I need your support to make that hope a reality – every bit of your support will provide warmth to a shivering family.

In American Poet Robert Frost’s words…

“The wood was lovely, dark and deep,
but I had promises to keep
miles to go before I sleep,
miles to go before I sleep.”

Please pass this along – we need more than moral support. We need to help our brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir rebuild their lives!

Updates from J&K: here


October 12, 2005

Lots of questions…

all simple answers!

Then why dont I act?

September 27, 2005

Need or greed?

There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.

Heard this a lot of times, thought makes sense. Well it does, at least at some level.
So, I took a step back and questioned myself if everything I want was need or greed. My love for technology
might seem like I am greedy….but well I cant deny, I am on that one.

But then the rest of the stuff? Greedy on one count is plain greedy! But hey, need to have some life:)

So, rest of the stuff? How do you define greed? It is probably easy to identify the needs….hmmm in summer, one requires AC (or really?), need shoes and clothes and food. Car – well, I was forced out of need, given a chance I wouldnt have bought one.

Shoes and clothing – required. But I guess need and greed is the line between how many?
Food – existence, right? How much?
Car – well excused myself as need, but the way I drive it around….hmmm.

Even identifying the needs is turning out to be tough – because I guess I can dig out some greed even the basic bare necessities – food, shelter and clothing. I will skip the rest of the stuff and try to use things as much as I need. Electricity, water, gas, internet… that is too much.

September 18, 2005

River lynx

Read somewhere: The river interlinking project in India is projected to cost Rs.5,60,000 crores. Yes, Rs. 5 lakh-60 thousand crores!

I will simply restate the Rajiv Gandhi Principle — the former Congress prime minister admitted that only 15 paise of every rupee aimed at development actually reaches the intended target.

So why do many people like me like this interlinking project? I am not sure if India has been less corrupt in the past 20 years. Guess the above two are enough for me to make my mind against this project – forget the tougher, but essential questions.

So why is this project, the way to go for India?

September 1, 2005

Color or colour?

Well if I thought the spellings are the only things different in American english….I am wrong. Is it counter-clockwise or anti-clockwise? After five years in this country, I dont know which one to use?!

Language for me defied logic always. Especially English – the most non-phonetic language I know. I do make a lot of fun of it….the to, do and go.

I always wondered the difference between flammable and inflammable substances. Fine they mean the same – I thought and apparently it is the same. My confusion was compounded when I saw a liquid nitrogen tank labeled – non-inflammable?! Is it me or just American English vs UK English?!

Some people insist that flammable is combustive and inflammable is explosive. So what does non-inflammable in this case mean? Well it might not explode but still burn me?

August 21, 2005


I have come to an understanding that I dont understand anything. Well one might question if I understand that completely….but I dont know nor would I like to discuss that.

Now the interesting part is how did I come to such a decision? That is exactly what I dont understand.

It becomes interesting if I stick to this. At the begining of a conversation, I dont understand anything anyway, and even at the very end I dont understand anything – now that is rude to whoever has been having the conversation with me, but hey, I dont understand – anything.

July 22, 2005

Short term memory!

Anybody face this problem?

Any email or phone call unanswered in two days is lost forever. Yeah, I can dig in the email or the voicemail but essentially slips out of the to do list.

Well the good part about the email is – at least it sits there somewhere and you can dig it out. What about phone conversations? Out of mind, out – that is it!

I would like to blame it on the number of phone calls or on the number of emails I get! The phenomenon of forgeting what was in the email less than two days back and not responding – is what I term, email invariance!

Anybody who has this problem?