Sunday, December 29, 2013

Contest/Product Promotion

IndiBlogger’s so called “contest” is just getting on my nerves.  To get maximum publicity for a product, many companies organize contests (thru IndiBlogger) so that bloggers write about them.
It’s only 11am now (December 18) and I’ve already read 5 posts on LenovoIndia.
Last week, I read 8 posts on Protect Against Smelly Stubble Activity.
The week before that, I read 7 posts on Bacardi Breezers.
I thought blogs are used to express our thoughts, feelings, opinions/views, ideas, and experiences.  I think of it as a vehicle to discuss ANY TOPIC that we see fit. It can also give our friends and family instant access to our thoughts and it’s kind of like our online diary.
IndiBlogger has changed that.  Now what I see are more and more posts on advertising products in the name of contests.  Like I said earlier, it’s a vehicle to discuss ANY TOPIC that we see fit.  So I’ll say that product promotion does fall under the “ANY TOPIC” category.  I guess there is nothing really wrong with that.  However, my problem is that I like to leave comments on people’s blogs.  What am I supposed to write as a comment?
I could praise their storyline (if it’s good). However, when I have to write 8 different comments on the same subject/product, I feel un-original in my comments.  I feel like I’m just copying and pasting my comments.
On the flip side, if I do not write a comment at all then the author might think that I never read that post.  No, I did read that post and the 8 others just like it.  So going forward, I’m thinking of only going to give a 5 word comment to any post that participates in these product promotion contests.  “Good luck with the contest.”
Now if you post that you won the contest, then HOORAY for you and I will “praise you like I shooooooooooould” (that’s a reference to a song by Fatboy Slim, song name is Praise You).
Now please do speak up, if you’ve ever won any prizes from these contests.  Thanks.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Diplomatic Mumbo Jumbo

Diplomatic Mumbo Jumbo.
Following is the dictionary definition of Mumbo Jumbo:
n. noun
1. Unintelligible or incomprehensible language; gibberish.
2. Language or ritualistic activity intended to confuse.
3. A complicated or obscure ritual.
I am not going into the case of Ms. Devyani Khobragade. All I want to point out here how the diplomats in all the countries say things that we (at least I) cannot understand what they are saying. Here are a few samples:
State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said (on the Devyani case):
While “standard procedures and official law enforcement channels” would drive it forward, the U.S. would “continue to work this issue with India in the spirit of partnership and cooperation that marks our broad bilateral relationship.”
Marie, tell me in clear and simple English. I am not a Rhodes Scholar.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sri Lanka:
“Canada will continue to monitor events in Sri Lanka and urge the government to implement fully the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, and undertake an independent investigation into alleged violations of the human rights of thousands of civilians at the end of the conflict."
Hey Stephen, this one sentence has 57 words, 2 words more than Fiction 55. I am lost.
Following is part of a statement after the Chinese President and Japanese Prime Minister met:
“Both sides reiterate that the China-Japan Joint Statement issued on Sept. 29, 1972, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed on Aug. 12, 1978, and the China-Japan Joint Declaration released on Nov. 26, 1998 constitute the political basis for the stable development of Sino-Japanese relations and the opening up of a bright future.”

Hello China and Japan, this is 2013. I would like to receive copies of your joint statements of 1972, 1978, and 1998. Please don’t send me English translations. I need them either in Chinese or in Japanese, so I can better understand them.
Now coming to India. Has anyone ever noticed joint statements at any level between India and Pakistan? Either an Indian making a statement or a Pakistani making a statement or a joint statement, following is the only sentence used since 1948 without changing any word. If you have not noticed before, please notice from now when anyone making a statement. Looks like both governments of India and Pakistan agreed to this one sentence to fool people from both countries.
“resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir issue”.
I have a question. What are the “other outstanding” issues? Do you have any other issue other than the Kashmir issue? Every problem stems from Kashmir. That is the only issue.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

I am honored to receive Versatile Blogger Award from Sindhu.  Thank you Sindhu. I appreciate it.
Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers who you think deserve it.
4. Contact the people you've nominated.
Here are 7 things about myself.  I did not come up with these 7 things.  I asked my wife, son, and daughter to list 7 things about me.  I am reproducing here whatever they gave me without editing.  But on a few items, I have added my own notes.

1. Highly Intelligent and full of confidence which borders on cocky/arrogance.

2. Excellent parallel parker of cars.  Career should have been that of a valet!  He missed his calling. (SG’s personal note:  Parallel parking is one of the most challenging part of driving and parking a car.  Parallel parking means you must sandwich your car between 2 other cars at the curb.  Many people make a few attempts back and forth.  I parallel park smoothly at my very first attempt always, so far.  Knock on the wood.)

3. Horrible at drawing.  Will never be mistaken for an artist. (SG’s personal note: Ankita is going to LOL.)

4. Never volunteer to help anyone do anything, but if someone asks for help, will help them to his full ability.

5. One day, after many years of smoking cigarettes, he decided to quit and have not smoked since that day. (SG’s personal note: I still remember that day. February 24, 2006.)

6. He chose his college based on the fact that it was co-ed and on the beach.

7. Highly kept secret within the family. Excellent gourmet chef. (SG’s personal note: I cook as a hobby for relaxing and not for cooking per se.  My guru is my wife.)

I am not nominating any individual because all the blogs I read regularly deserve Versatile Blogger Award.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Course Packs

I know there are many honest people in the country of my birth - India.  However, there are some people (i.e. politicians, bureaucrats, auto rickshaw drivers in Chennai, or a porter at a railway station) who want to cheat you and get your money.  They only want money and they’ll do whatever it takes to get your hard earned cash.
I recently read an interesting article about a small shop at the Delhi University campus that is photocopying text books from the Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.  After photocopying the entire book, they are selling it to students for a huge profit.  These academic presses have found about this and have filed a lawsuit in an Indian court stating there are serious copyright violations at work here.
Photocopying from text books is called “Course Pack”.  This is usually allowed for students who can’t afford to buy the book.  This practice is followed in many countries.
Many famous Indian academic scholars (including Amartya Sen) have lined up against these presses expressing outrage at their lawsuit.  One professor even said these publishers are bullying the universities and the students.
On the other side, it is stated that “Course Pack” is allowed for individual students and professors to copy a small number of pages for academic use.  However, it is clearly not intended for being photocopied in its entirety and then sold to students to make a nice profit.
According to the President of Indian Publishers, he states that “this is not fair use; this is commercial exploitation of private property".
Ok now - here is my view on this topic. You can probably guess that I’m against “Course Pack” en masse for a huge profit.  If the university itself is photocopying these textbooks and then distributing them to the students for free, then I fully support that.  However, a shop in Delhi with a few photocopying machines making huge profits?  I think that is a BIG FAT NO NO.
I’m not a lawyer.  Don’t know the law.  Don’t want to know the law.  Don’t watch Law & Order on TV.  However, there are a few lawyers who read my posts and they can express their legal views on this.  I’m just saying that I’m siding with the publishers on this topic.
As for Amartya Sen, I wonder if he would feel the same way if the University of California at Berkeley were to “Course Pack” and sell his book Resources, Values and Development (1984) for a huge profit to all freshman students (first year students at UCB - more than 14,000).

Monday, December 2, 2013


Do you like or hate your neighbor? Most of my readers know I am an extreme extrovert. But I do not talk to any of my neighbors. My wife, another extreme extrovert, socializes with all the neighbors.
According to Harris Interactive, a research firm, people are picky about their neighbors. (Please keep in mind this survey was done in the United States.) Here is what they want in their neighbors:
Speak their own language
Have same or similar family configuration
Same ethnicity/caste/clan
Watchful neighbors – the one who helps when in need
But the one they hate the most is a “renter”. People want their neighbor to be a homeowner like themselves. Renters do not maintain their home. Yards are not mowed and there are weeds growing. Because of that, the whole neighborhood’s property value will go down.
Do you like your neighbor?

Sunday, December 1, 2013


My wife told me this story and I liked it. I want to share with y’all. You may have heard this story and, if so, please bear with me.

Once upon a time there lived a couple. They always fought and argued. She always complained about his entire family. He asked her what would make her happy so that peace can be maintained in the home. She said “Go to your mom’s home, tear her chest, pull her blood soaked heart, and bring it to me”. He was a wuss.

So, he goes to his mom’s home. Takes a knife, tear her chest, and pulls her blood soaked heart with his bear hand. Leaves the home. Didn’t even look at her.

He was running back to his wife with the heart of his mother. Heart is still dripping blood. There was a small rock on the road. His leg hit the rock. He stumbled and was about to fall down. At that particular moment:

The heart he was carrying in his hand said:

Be careful son. Don’t get hurt.

(Courtesy: Google  Images)

Sunday, November 24, 2013


A photobomb occurs when a person (known or unknown) suddenly appears in the camera view of a picture you are about to take. This sudden interference may be intentional or unintentional but in the end, this “unwanted person” will appear in your photo. It’s somewhat ok if it’s a close friend or relative who photobombs your pic. However when some unknown person comes out of nowhere to show up on your camera…that can really annoy you. Most of the time it’s a “necessary nuisance” in crowded places but sometimes it might end up being comical.
Photobombing has become an internet meme. There are people out there who want to purposely ruin other people’s pics in the name of humor.
Here are some photobombing pics (intentional and unintentional):  All photos: Courtesy - Yahoo.
George Clooney photobombs Steven Spielberg and Jerry Seinfeld. Blondie in the back left is getting a kick out of it.
Obama and Mitt Romney before a historic presidential debate.  Bob Schieffer of the CBS Evening News doesn’t care.
Some people have six-pack abs but this guy wants to show his 12 pack. Somebody throw him some beads.
Obama may be delivering an important message but when a man’s gotta go, then he’s gotta go. Nature calls.
Non-Human photobomber showing his Usain Bolt speed.
So the lesson here is that - once you click, please review your pic (yes that rhymes I know). And remember, the delete button is your friend.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crime, Crime, Crime

There is a town named Atherton in California.  Super rich people live in Atherton.  The average value of a home there is $4 million.  But I will not live there even if I could afford (some day) to buy a home.  Why?  I cannot not deal with the crimes in Atherton.  In USA, entries from police logs are published everyday in the local newspapers. Here are some entries from Atherton police logs.

All images – Source:

Attempted Break-ins

Dangerous looking people at night

Terrorist activity
 Criminals destroying infrastructure
 Gang violence


 Armed assault
 Mother of all crimes
 Would you live in this crime ridden town?

PS: Made the clippings "extra large" so they are easy to read.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Liebster Award

Looks like when it rains, it pours.  Good times for me.
I have been given the Liebster Award by three dear blogger friends.
Thank you Ekta. Thank you Ankita. Thank you Asha.
Instead of answering 30 questions, I have selected a few questions from each tag and have provided the answers below.  Enjoy!

1. What is the most irritating experience while blogging?
Ans: It irritates me when people do not reply to my comments.
2. Which famous personality would you like to bring back to life and why?
Ans: John F. Kennedy. 
Born into a multi-millionaire family. Volunteered to serve in the Navy during World War 2. 
He was the skipper of a torpedo boat which was destroyed by the Japanese Navy.  He and his crew of 16 were in the water (Pacific Ocean) for 3 days.  Single handedly he saved them all.  He was awarded the highest military honor for that.  Later, he became President of the U.S.A. 
Many in the world considered him as the great big hope for the mankind, however he was assassinated at a very young age. (During the 1962 Chinese aggression against India, India was losing and was no match for the Chinese army.  Kennedy sent the American troops to help India.  The Chinese withdrew immediately.)

3. Name your favorite cuisine/dish?
Ans: Pizza with pesto sauce…of course!

4. Name an actor you’d like to portray you in a movie about your life and why?
Ans: No doubt about it - Charles Bronson.  He was fearless in all of his movies.

5. What’s your motivational quote?
Ans: Don’t get mad. Get even.

6. How do you de-stress yourself?
Ans: Put my feet on the coffee table, have a glass of merlot and watch TV.
7. If a confused teenager came up to you asking for advice on what career choice to make. What would be your advice?
Ans: I would advise him of the importance of getting a college degree first.  I would also advise him to follow his heart after getting that degree.

8. One book/movie you would alter the ending of.  Please give reasons for your choice.
Ans: The movie is “Love Story” starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw.  The novel was written by Eric Segal.  The movie was 99 minutes long and at the end of the movie Jenny (Ali McGraw) dies.  There is not a single person who either saw the movie or read the novel who did not cry at the end.  She wanted to visit Paris and they were looking forward to it.  However, when she was diagnosed with cancer she said “screw Paris”.  She even spoke with her father and made funeral arrangements. I would have changed the ending so she can live and go to Paris.  There is a famous quote of hers from that movie.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.

9. Describe yourself in three words
Ans: Honest. Gutsy. Extrovert. (I wanted to say extreme extrovert.  Since I have to say only 3 words, I took out the “extreme”).

10. How would you deal with a very rude but close relative?
Ans: Wait for the right time and do something good for him financially.  He will certainly change his behavior.  In other words, buy him.
Since most of the bloggers have been given this award, I am not tagging anyone.
Just one question.  Is it Liebster or Leibster?  I have seen it both ways in several blogs.

PS: I have no idea why some portions of this post is published with a white background.

Monday, October 28, 2013


VACATION – one of my favorite words in any language.
We enjoy going on vacation quite a bit.  In fact, we try to make it happen more than once every year.  We do however make it a point to go on vacation by ourselves only. 
Our friends used to ask us to go on vacation with them or they wanted to come along with us.  We always politely refused their requests.  They got the message and now they don’t even bring up the subject of travelling with us.
I know there are many advantages to going on vacation with friends.  It’ll be a lot of fun with more people than just the two of us.  I believe the phrase is – “The more the merrier” right?  Yeah well, we still prefer to go by ourselves.
Here is my reasoning:
When we travel, we do not adhere to a pre-planned schedule while on vacation. Not every hour of every day is planned out and we don’t follow a strict schedule.   If we plan to leave the hotel at 8am to start our fun filled day, but we decided that morning that we are not in the mood to leave so early, then we will wait and relax in the hotel until we are ready to leave (whatever time that may be). Can’t do that if you’re travelling in a group.
When travelling somewhere people have different interests in what they want to see and experience and for how long.  If we go someplace and we absolutely love it there, then we will spend extra time there.  On the flip side, if we don’t like where we’re at then we will cut the trip short. Again, this may not be doable when travelling as a group.
Another issue could be the hotel and where to stay at while on vacation.  When we travel by ourselves, we can stay at any hotel that we like and not wait for the approval of our accompanying friends.  We may not like the hotel they prefer and vice versa. The same holds true for restaurants and the type of food that we want to eat while travelling.  Mexican or Italian or Chinese – no problem for us. Hey, once in a while we might not even want to go out for dinner.  Just order some room service and have an extra glass of merlot.
The bottom line is that when you travel with a lot of people you lose some flexibility.  That is a key ingredient for us while on vacation…because after all it is a VACATION right?  And you are planning on having a good time.  Without flexibility our vacation becomes less fun.
Don’t even get me started on the whole privacy thing when travelling with others. Is it really a good time when you have no privacy while on vacation? Now instead of just the two of you travelling, you have 4 other couples in tow with you.  Again, I’m sure this works for some people (and that is totally fine)…but we do place a premium on that.
Is it really a good time when you have 10 people trying to figure out what to do for dinner every night?  Of course there are always leaders and followers and stand firm decision makers…but at the end of the trip there will be 9 complainers.  Sometimes it’s already hard enough making TWO people come to an agreement on what to do, where to go, what to see, and where to eat.  Now when you add other people (albeit close friends) to the mix – forgetabout it!  It’s a recipe for disaster.  Many people hanging out together for waaayyy too long will surely put a strain on your relationship.
Hmmm, I do have some “friends” that I don’t want to be friendly with anymore. Maybe I will go on vacation with them so that I never have to see them again.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wedding Crashers

No…this is not a review of the Owen Wilson / Vince Vaughn movie that came out in 2005 with the same title.  I am talking about real life people who actually attend weddings uninvited (aka wedding crashers). 
There are two types of wedding crashers.
Type 1 - Invited guests who bring along a few extra people with them to a wedding.  Those few extra guests are not on the guest list and were not mentioned during the RSVP head count.  They are just last minute people who showed up unexpected and uninvited to the wedding.
Your “know it all” uncle is in town and staying at your place boring you with his knowledge of politics.  You have to attend a wedding and when you mention it to him, his response is “I love weddings.” Shaking your head in disbelief, you know what you have to do.  Congratulations you are now bringing along a wedding crasher – type 1.
I guess a single wedding crasher (or two) is ok if 500 people are going to attend the wedding/reception with no specific seating arrangements at the event.  However nowadays it’s not ok, as every wedding detail is accounted for (including seating arrangements). At the reception, cocktails are followed by dinner and dinner tables have seating arrangements with name tags at each table (yep - this is the norm over here nowadays).  Congratulations once again – you have now put the host in a difficult situation.  Where would they seat these “extra guests” who are really guests of the invited guests?
Type 2 – The more interesting type (bold and daring).   Complete strangers who show up uninvited to a wedding/reception.  They are there only for the free alcohol and hors d'oeuvres.  They won’t stay for dinner because they know they don’t have a reserved name tag.  The will however drink alcohol and munch on some goodies and then leave.  If this happens to be a reception that has no specified seating arrangement, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they are staying for dinner and beyond.
Type 2 Wedding Crashers don’t come alone.  If they come alone then they won’t have anyone to talk to and they will stand out in a crowd.  So they usually come in pairs - two guys or two girls.  Sometimes even two couples (four people).  During the entire cocktail hour, they will just talk amongst themselves and no one will suspect anything. The bride’s side will think they are part of the groom’s side. And, vice versa.
These wedding crashers are always well dressed.  Excellent conversationalists.  Never get drunk. Never create trouble.  I actually met a guy who does this frequently.  He told me he gets a kick out of doing this.  Total thrill ride for him in his own mind.  He told me that if he gets caught, the maximum penalty that he has ever faced is that the host will politely ask him to leave. And, he will leave without causing a scene.
He also said that sometimes it’s not just the wedding or reception that he is interested in.  When he has to travel, he likes staying at nice hotels for a really low rate.  How does he do this?  Well…
Wedding Receptions are held in very nice hotels.  The host usually blocks out a number of rooms in bulk for their out of town guests at a deeply discounted rate.  Out of town guests make their reservations through “event booking” and then pay for the room at a discount.
So the wedding crasher just finds a hotel, enters a date, and searches for a block of rooms associated with a wedding and then makes a reservation. Hotels don’t know and don’t care because it’s better to sell a room than it going empty (even at a discounted rate). The only problem is if invited guests can’t reserve a room because the entire block is taken already.  Then the host can ask for the names of the people who booked under their blocked reservation.  If they find an unfamiliar name, they can inform the hotel and the hotel will cancel the reservation.
Pretty clever…in a twisted sort of way.
So now I ask you…
Q1 – Have you ever been a wedding crasher?
Q2 – Do you know a wedding crasher?
Q3 – Have you ever taken with you an uninvited guest to a wedding/reception? May be even in an unavoidable circumstance.
Q4 – Would you want to (but will not) experience being the wedding crasher Type 2?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

College Major

Universities have opened for Fall Semester.  Since I have nothing to do, I was looking at the “majors” offered at a few universities.  I was surprised to find strange majors.  Here are a few examples:
Winemaking – Cornell University
Golf Course Management – Ferris State University, Michigan
Bakery Science (how to operate a bakery) – Kansas State University
I just remembered I wrote a post 3 years ago about college majors.  I am re-posting here:
                                                                   (Courtesy: Yahoo)
Many readers of this blog have already completed their education and have started their career. But if any young student ask for advice, they can give something along the following lines.
They should not select a major in any subject that involves dealing with real facts. These include math, chemistry, physics or biology.
Let us say you choose math as a major. The professor may ask the following question: A goat is tied to the outside corner of 4 yards by 4 yards pen on a 16 yard leash. How many square yards of grass can he eat? If you do not come up with an answer that the professor has in his/her mind, he/she will flunk you.
Same goes for chemistry major. Calculate the pH of the solution that results from mixing the following four aqueous solutions together. You don’t come with a correct answer you fail.
Same is true for physics or biology major and subjects like that.
My advice is to select a major in subjects like English, psychology, philosophy or sociology. These are the subjects no one understands what others are talking about and there are no real facts.
Take for example Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. If you have to write an essay on Pip, you can write about Process Industry Practices. The professor who reads hundreds of similar boring papers on Pip will think you are very different and creative. He will also view you as an “out of the box” thinker.
It is easy to major in philosophy. All you have to do is sit in a room and do nothing all day. Wear a t-shirt that says “Sh*t Happens” and take some drugs like MDMA.
It is easy to major in psychology also. In later years, when you become a psychologist, all you have to say is only one sentence. For example:
Patient: I hate my mother
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me
Patient: I am depressed
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me
Patient: I want to kill you, you fat slob
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me
Finally, seriously, nowadays they don’t want any “expert” as a CEO. The multi national corporations are looking for liberal arts majors to be their leaders. (I am talking about U.S. companies only.) They are considered “out of the box” thinkers and having leadership qualities. They will be supervising the “experts”.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Parental Pressure

This weekend, we were invited to watch a practice session of a Water Polo team.  The players were kids, 5 to 10 year olds.  Since they were so young, it was co-ed, both boys and girls.  About 50 kids and about 150 spectators – parents, siblings, relatives, friends.
One girl was crying loud.  She was about 9 years old.   She was not just weeping silently.  She did not want to go in the pool and practice.  For some reason, she hated water polo.  Her mom and dad were persuading her to go into the pool.  Her only answer? Cry Cry Cry.
The mom lost patience.  She ordered the child to go in the pool and be in the water at a corner of the pool until the practice was over.  The girl entered the pool and hung in the water in a corner.  And, continued to cry.  When the practice was over, she got out of the pool and the family went home.  I am told this happened every week.
God knows how many verbal abuse and/or physical beatings that girl may be facing at home.  Now I realize why some young girls run away from home.
I do know that when parents admit their kids in an extra curricular activity, some kids will resist.  After 2 or 3 sessions, they will become fond of those activities.  But what should the parent do if the kid refuses to participate and start to cry every week?  Personally, I will not go to such extreme and pressure my kid.
It is ok for parents to push their kids a little to participate in some activity.  It is parents’ responsibility also.  Excessive pressure is not acceptable.  Some parents feel the achievement of their kids as their own achievement.
I thought only Indians pressure their kids.  Looks like it is all over the world.
What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ken Norton

One of the greatest boxing champions of all times, Ken Norton, passed away today at the age of 70.
He fought 50 matches. Won 42. Knocked Out 33. Lost 7. Drew 1.
Courtesy: Yahoo
Ken Norton fought 3 times against Muhammad Ali.  Their first bout is memorable even today.  Ken was a 7 to 1 underdog.  Prohibitive favorite was Ali.  But Ken won on a decision.  However, in that fight what Ken did to Ali was never able to be done by any other boxer.  Ken Norton broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw.
The other 2 bouts, Ali won.
Ali defeated everyone mentally at first.  But he could not do that to Ken Norton.
They both respected each other off the ring.
May Ken Norton rest in peace.
PS: Those who think boxing is a cruel sport…..Please take it easy.  There are lot of people who enjoy boxing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wedding Gifts

Recently we received an invitation to an Indian wedding.  At the bottom of the invitation the following words were printed - “We request no boxed gifts, please”.
Excuse me?  What exactly does that mean?  I’ll give my humble opinion regarding that in just a moment.
Before we go into that topic let’s talk about wedding gifts in general. It used to be that invitations were just that – invitations. Gifts were never mentioned on the invitation.  That’s the way it should be, right?   Well, let’s think about that and some of its disadvantages. 
If you don’t mention anything about gifts then newly married couples will end up with 14 popcorn makers, 6 electric rice cookers, and 4 toasters.  Oh by the way, none of those items are needed because the couple already has TWO of each item – thanks to the groom and bride having it from when they were single.
But I digress.
People of Indian origin who are getting married in the USA have started following the American custom of having a “Wedding Registry”.  The couple who are getting married will register with a department store or two and they will list all of the items they need after they get married.  The invitation will tell the guests where the couple has been registered.  The guests can then go to the store or website and buy the items they would like to give as a “gift” to the newly married couple.  The stores will deliver the gifts to the newly married couple on behalf of the guests.  After the wedding ceremony and honeymoon are over, the couple will write individual “thank you” notes to all of the guests.
There are advantages to having a Wedding Registry.  First, guests don’t have to worry about what to buy.  Everyone already knows what the couple wants by viewing the list of items at the store or online.  Also, you can select the items according to your budget.  Furthermore you don’t have to carry the gift with you to the wedding or do the dreaded gift-wrapping that takes you 15 minutes to complete but the bride and groom will rip it open in 4 seconds and won’t even remember what the wrapping paper looks like.
About 15 years ago, Wedding Registry was considered rude.  It also took the fun and surprise out of gift giving.  Being registered was like begging for a gift and saying “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Guest, buy me this and buy me that.” Tacky!  Nowadays though, it is widely accepted by everyone including the Indian social circles in the USA.
So in my life I have received wedding invitations from Indians and non-Indians. Regarding gifts, I have seen the following (or some variation of it) on the invite:
Invitations that do not mention a gift at all.
Invitations that said: “No gifts, please.”
Invitations requesting that guests please donate to a particular charity as opposed to buying a gift for the event.
Invitations that said: “Your presence is the only present we desire.”
Now let’s get back to what I originally asked, because this is the first time I received an invitation that said “No Boxed Gifts, Please.”  Again, what exactly does that mean? 
Come on now, we all know what it means. It means “Bring us a gift but make sure that it’s a CASH gift.  You see only CASH is accepted at this wedding.  Keep your stupid boxes at home.”
I may be old fashioned on this one but in my opinion, asking for a gift is not really decent, even if everyone else is doing it.  Add to that, you are now outright asking for CASH?  I didn’t know that I was attending the wedding of 2 beggars. Why don’t you just sit outside the wedding hall and panhandle all the people walking by for some spare change.  Why don’t you just say that there is a minimum admission charge of $25 but no maximum.  It’s tacky, lacks decency, and certainly classless.
You know I may have given a CASH gift or I may have not.  It was a choice that I had to make but the invite isn’t giving me a choice.  Now don’t be afraid to disagree with me.   If you think I’m wrong or I’m taking it the wrong way, go ahead and say something now.  Because I’m a “literal meaning” kind of guy.
The words said “No Boxed Gifts, Please” right?  So I’m thinking about buying a gift and instead of putting it in a beautiful gift box, I’ll just give it in a plastic bag to the newly married couple.  Or maybe I just have too much class for that.