Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Ilavu Katha Kili

Fellow Blogger and Friend, Raji Muthukrishnan, wrote an excellent explanation of what “Ilavu Katha Kili” means. She wrote the following:

“There was once a parrot which sat on a tree and watched its blossoms turn into shining green fruits. The parrot waited and waited for them to ripen to take its first bite from the fruits. Alas, the fruits never turned yellow or red, but dried into brown crisp pods, finally bursting and revealing inside – white inedible cotton. 

This tree in the story is called the ‘ilavan’ tree and the cotton is called ‘ilavan panju’ – what I am told is the silk cotton. The unfruitful wait of the parrot gave rise to the phrase in Thamizh ‘ilavu katha kili’ – the parrot that waited in vain.” 

Rajnikanth announced he will not enter electoral politics due to his health condition. Hope this is true. 

Since 1996, he has been giving indications that he will enter electoral politics every time a new movie of his was about to be released. He did this as a publicity for his new movies. He did this to hype up his fans. Hearing that news his fans will go bonkers. 

Rajnikanth also had punch dialogues in his movies about his political entry. Here are a few samples. 

Naan eppo varuven, epdi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Aana vara vendiya nerathula correcta vandhuduven (No one can tell when or how I'll arrive, but when the time is right I will be there.) 

Kannaaa panniga thaa kutama varu singam singala tha varum (Only pigs come in herds. The lion always comes alone) 

Pera kettaale chumma adhirudhulla? (Doesn't everything quake at the mere mention of my name?). 

He is right now shooting a new movie “Annaathe”. Is this announcement a publicity stunt? I don’t know. I hope not. 

So people of Tamil Nadu are now ilavu katha kili. Waited for 25 years and he never entered electoral politics. After giving indications many times he finally said "NO".  The blossom finally burst.  The parrot (people of Tamil Nadu) waited in vain for 25 years.

If this is his true statement, I wish him speedy recovery and a long life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hair Cutting Episode

There is lot a of confusion during this corona virus pandemic,  The California State Government is changing the rules on a daily basis.  For example, they allowed restaurants to have patio seating and all of a sudden stopped it without any notice.

Something interesting happened yesterday when I went for cutting my hair.  For many years I go for my hair cut with a national franchise.  There are a few advantages.  They have your details including what type of hair cut you want and which numbered machine they should use on you.  This is useful no matter which city you go to.  Give your phone number and they have the whole hair cutting history about you.  They would even say "Sir, this is your 10th hair cut and therefore it is free" or "Sir, you are our 50th customer today and therefore it is free".

I looked in the Google and there are 5 national franchise branches in my area.  4 of them were closed. 1 mentioned it is open from 9 am to 6 pm and will not accept online check-in.  I went there and it was closed.  There was no one in that salon.  I checked the next door food deli and he said the orders came this morning to close the hair cutting salons.

I came home.  A friend called me for a different purpose.  I told him what happened.  He gave the name of a non-franchise independently owned barber shop and said they are open. 

This time I wanted to make sure they are open.  Therefore, I called them.  A Vietnamese girl answered.  She said they are open but it is by appointment only. I asked her to give me an appointment right now.  It was 2:30 PM.    She said she could give me an appointment at 4:30 pm.  I agreed.  I went to that shop at 4:30 pm.  It was locked.   I called and she answered.  She asked me to come to the back alley door. I go to the backside and she opened the door to let me in.

I was wondering why she asked me to come thru the backdoor. Is she doing her business illegally when the Government has asked every hair cutting place to close?  Or, she never got the message?  I still don't know.

She did an excellent job, better than the national franchise.  With my receding hairline, national franchise salons take only about 8 minutes to fix my hair.  This girl took 20 minutes.

End of story.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Biden Wins

After all the drama, Joseph R. Biden Jr. elected 46th President of the United States of America.  Kamala Harris elected Vice President of the United States of America.  She has many firsts.  First female Vice President, first African-American, first Indian origin, first from my home town Chennai, and first from my own area in Chennai, Besant Nagar.

Congratulations to both of them.

Potentially, some dramas yet to come.

I wrote on April 11, 2013, the following:

Anytime in the next 25 years, Kamala Harris may contest for the President of USA and may even win.

Kamala Harris may become President in a few months or in a few years or a strong candidate in 2024.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

My Voting Experience

I went to the polling booth yesterday and cast my vote.

Trump and his supporters are daily complaining voter fraud. I did not believe that.  But after yesterday's experience I am leaning toward believing them.

I go to the polling station.  Asked my name and I told them my name.  Asked for my address.  I gave them my address.  Asked am I a U.S. citizen. I said yes.  Asked in which language I want the ballot. I said English.  They gave me the ballot and asked me to vote and put it in a box that was there.

They never asked my ID.  They never asked proof of my residency.  They never asked proof of my citizenship.  No wonder liberals want as many illegal immigrants as possible so they will vote for them telling the election people that they are US citizens.

A friend of mine told me when I registered to vote they would have asked all the information in writing.  Yes.  The only proof they ask is copy of driver's license.  Driver license gives your date of birth and address  only. It does not say whether you are legal resident or illegal resident.  Whether you are US citizen or not.

Illegal immigrants cannot speak English?  Don't worry.  Ballots are printed in 12 languages in addition to English.

Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Hmong, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Armenian, Bengali, Farsi, Arabic.

Only US citizens can vote.  There is an English test when one applies for naturalized citizenship.  The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) test is designed for people who are not native speakers of English. But the test questions assume that the people being tested for citizenship have a basic knowledge of English.

So what is the need for ballots in 12 different languages?  Bring in millions of illegal immigrants (from non English speaking countries) and make them vote for their party?

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Trump Strategy

Some of my American voters asked me why Donald Trump is campaigning in States like California and New York where his sure to lose. 

Trump is not a fool.  Very intelligent.

He is campaigning there to get as much Republican House of Representatives as possible from these States in case there is a Contingent Election.  I wrote last week describing what a Contingent Election is.

Only 2 days left.  Stay tuned for the fun.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Contingent Election

U.S. Presidential election is on November 3.  Electoral College votes on December 14.

This year, because of corona-virus , millions of citizens  have requested for mail-in absentee ballot.  The post office which is supposed to deliver to the homes these mail-in absentee ballots has said they will not be able to deliver them on time before the November 3 election day.

Therefore it is potentially difficult to declare a sure winner on November 3.  The Electoral College  may not be able to select the winner.  Even if there is a winner, the loser will likely go to the Supreme Court.

What if there is a deadlock?  There will be a Contingent Election.

The newly elected House of Representatives will vote for the President.  Here is the tricky situation.  Each State has one vote irrespective of number of congressman from each state*.  Therefore 50 votes for 50 States. Whoever gets 26 votes will be declared winner.  Right now Republicans have majority in 26 States.  If this continues  after the election also, Trump will be declared as a winner.

The Vice President will be elected by the Senate.  Each Senator has one vote.  There are 100 Senators.  Who ever gets 51 votes will be declared as Vice President.

If the Democrats win the Senate, they will elect Kamala Harris as Vice President.  It will be interesting, fun, and a big entertainment if Donald Trump becomes President and Kamala Harris becomes Vice President.

* California has 53 House of Representatives.  Vermont has 1 House of Representative.  But they both have 1 vote in the Contingent Election.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Last Minute Shenanigans

President Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1998 for his affair with Monica Lewinsky.  He was later acquitted by the Senate.  He was very angry at the Independent Counsel Ken Starr.  He wanted to take revenge.

Clinton was supposed to leave office on January 20, 2001 at noon.  You know what he did?  One hour before he left office (at 11 am), he pardoned 145 criminals.  These people have no connection with Clinton.  Also, they never asked for pardon from the President.  He selected criminals in jail at random across the nation.

Now coming to President Trump.  Except Fox News, every television media and every newspaper have only bad words for him.  If he did something good, it was in the 8th page of a newspaper.  If there was a mistake, it was first page headline for several days.  Same goes for the Democratic Party also. They were all limousine liberal media.

President Trump is now taking revenge on the entire liberal media including the Democratic Party.   Lucky for him, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, less than 2 months before the November 3 election.  Without wasting any time, Trump immediately nominated Amy Coney Barrett.  Since Republicans have majority in the Senate, she is expected to be approved and become a Supreme Court Judge  before November 3 election.  The conservatives will then have a 6 to 3 majority.

President Trump will have achieved two main things.  He packed the court with conservatives (3 were appointed by him out of the 6).  This way, the liberals and Democrats will never win a single case in the Supreme Court for the next 20 years.

Second,  in case there is a dispute on the November 3 election results and goes to Supreme Court, 6 judges (out of 9) are Trump supporters.  They may say they are impartial.  To quote President Abraham Lincoln, action will speak louder than words.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Vice President debate

I saw the Vice President debate just now.

I just saw Kamala Harris's disrespectful smirk on her face through out the debate  with Vice President. 

Vice President Pense was very respectful.

I like Joe Biden.

But because of Kamala Harris, I am going to abstain from voting.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Trump's Covid Infection

There is news all over the world that President Trump has been tested positive for the coronavirus.  The whole world is concerned.  Some are happy and some are worried.

Here is my personal opinion

I want to use President Trump's favorite words.  FAKE NEWS.

He is capable of doing anything to achieve his goal.

There are only three reasons I can think of for this news.

1. Either he is afraid to debate "Sleepy Joe" Biden again


2. He can say he recovered "proving" that covid is no big deal


3. He thinks he will lose the election and this is a graceful way to withdraw from the race.

PS: This blog post is a result of having a discussion with a friend of mine.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

S. P. Balasubrahmaniyam

The legendary SPB passed away 3 days ago in Chennai after contracting coronavirus.  He sang 40,000 songs in many languages.  He was a singer, actor, music director and producer.  May he rest in peace.

My wife and I had a chance to meet him for a few minutes long long time ago.  He was not that famous at that time.  He and P. Susila came to Berkeley to give a musical performance.  At the end of the performance, the organizer invited us to the backstage to meet with these 2 singers.  We went there and spoke to these two singers for a few minutes.  When we were about to leave, SPB said:

(The conversation was in Tamil. I will translate in English.)

SPB: Whenever you both visit Chennai, please come to our home.

I:  Yeah.  You will invite us here.  But when we come to Chennai, the security gurkha  guarding  your home will not let us in.

SPB:  I don’t have any security gurkha guarding my home.  It is in all the movie actors homes.  I am only an ordinary singer.

Such a simple and down to earth person.

Among the 40,000 songs sung by him, my favorite is the one song in Tamil where he sang without stopping for a single breath. He also acted in that film. The movie title is Keladi Kanmani (Listen My Sweetheart). Music by Ilaiyarajaa.  Here is the song:

Friday, September 18, 2020

Vacancy at the U.S. Supreme Court

A liberal Supreme Court Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, age 87, passed away today due to pancreatic cancer. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.  U.S. Supreme Judges have no retirement age. They can serve as long as they want to.

Here is the situation in U.S. Supreme Court.  Since they can serve forever, every President is waiting to fill up their own candidate.  If the President is a Democrat, he will want to fill up with a liberal.  If the President is a Republican, he will want to fill up with a conservative. This is very important because it will have heavy influence on issues that are to be decided by the Supreme Court.

President Trump was very lucky.  In his first term, he was able to appoint two conservative judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.  The current position is 5 conservative judges and 4 liberal judges (with Ginsberg).

Here is the situation as of today.  Within a few hours of Ginsberg’s death, President Trump is already considering about 5 people for replacing her.  Two of them are Indian Origin.  Amul Thapar and Neomi Rao.

Here is a tricky situation.  2016 was a year for Presidential election.   President Obama, a few months before the election,  had an opportunity to fill a vacancy.  He nominated Merrick Garland.  The Republicans controlled the senate.  Therefore, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate  Mr.  Mitch McConnell is the one to decide  what business will be taken up by the Senate.   In 2016, he refused to take up this matter for discussion.  He said “voters should be able to express their views at the ballot box before the Senate votes in the final year of a president's term.”

Now the same situation in 2020.   2 months before the election there is a vacancy.   Democrats are telling Mr.  McConnell to go by the same rule he invoked in 2016. But Mr.  McConnell says he is not going to abide by what he said in 2016. Today he said he will make sure Trump’s nominee is confirmed while Trump is still the president.

If the Republicans can do that, It will be 6 to 3 in favor of Conservatives in the U.S. Supreme Court. This will affect the American people and everything in the United States for many many years.

PS: I have no idea why the last 2 paragraphs came in this fashion.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Anita Hill

Lot of my American readers may have forgotten this name.  Almost all the non-American readers have never heard this name.

Anita Hill in 1991

Anita Hill is an American lawyer and academic.  She is a professor at Brandeis University. In 1991, every newspaper and TV media in USA were talking about her every day.  Here is the background

In 1991, President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.  All Supreme Court nominees must be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Democrats were in majority in the Senate at that time.  Joe Biden was the Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Anita Hill came to testify against nominating Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Judge.  She previously worked for Clarence Thomas.  She alleged sexual harassment while she was working for him.  The Republican Senators, who were in the minority in the Senate, asked Anita Hill lot of embarrassing questions.  They even suggested that she has a loose character and  is a slut.

Joe Biden, Chairman of the Committee, was in control of the testimony.   He could have stopped the Republican Senators asking Anita Hill embarrassing questions.  But he did not.

There were 4 other witnesses waiting to testify and support Anita Hill’s credibility.  Joe Biden never called them to testify.

Finally, Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a margin of 52-48, the narrowest margin for any Supreme Court Judge.

A few years later, Joe Biden called Anita Hill to talk it over and express regret. He said Anita Hill did not get a fair hearing and was not treated  well and he took full responsibility.

Did Anita Hill forgive Joe Biden.  NO.  She said she is ready to move on.  Also, ready to hold Joe Biden accountable.

Latest News:  Last week, Anita Hill announced she will be voting for Joe Biden in the coming Presidential election.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Biden's Running Mate Kamala Harris

Finally, Joe Biden announced his running mate (for VP) - Kamala Harris.

This is really not a big surprise as she has been the front runner for the VP role.  Indians can be happy because her mother is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Kamala spent a lot of vacation time during her childhood in Besant Nagar, Chennai. Her mother and grandfather taught her carnatic music and bharathnatayam.

    Top Left to Right: Kamala Harris, Her grandma Rajam Gopaln, Her grandpa

    P.V. Gopalan, Her sister Maya Harris.  The kids: Maya's daughter and a cousin

Here are some pros and cons regarding Kamala Harris.


She is highly educated.

She has held a solid number of public jobs - District Attorney in San Francisco, Attorney General for the State of California, U.S. Senator from California.

She is a great debater.

She comes across very well in front of the camera and on television.

She is also loved by the black community in America.



She is very ambitious.  A little too ambitious and opportunistic.

She knows that Biden will be a one term president only (four years) and it's highly possible that he won’t even finish his one term due to his advanced age and mental capacity. Therefore, she will have her own agenda instead of implementing Biden’s agenda.

She implemented the 1994 Crime Bill to the fullest. The bill was written by Joe Biden and approved by President Bill Clinton. It resulted in mass incarceration and innocent people were put in prison..

She has a "sugar daddy", Willie Brown, Speaker of the California Assembly. He made sure she was moving up the political ladder but in return what did Kamala was doing the forbidden dance with Slick Willie.

She is a big proponent for medicare for all. Many Americans aren't supportive.


So what do I think of Biden's pick for VP?

I don't think Harris is a bad pick at all.  However, I do not think she was the best choice.

I believe Susan Rice would have been a better running mate (also minority female).  She was the National Security Advisor for Barrack Obama.  Rice was also U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.  Rice is also highly educated and she graduated from Stanford University and Oxford.


Can Biden/Harris defeat Trump/Pence in November?

I'm not an R, or a D. I'm an I - for Independent.

When Biden became the candidate for the Democratic Party, I put his chance of winning at 70%. Now with Kamala Harris as his running mate, I put his chance of winning at 55%.

PS: The blog post when I put it here came funny.  I don't know how to fix it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Ditka in the News

Mike Ditka is in the news again.   He was the most popular American Football  Coach for the team Chicago Bears.

He said yesterday athletes who kneel during the national anthem to “get the hell out of this country”.  Quite a few athletes are planning to kneel during the playing of national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter.

“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country. That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old-fashioned. So, I’m only going to say what I feel,” Ditka said.

He was also in the big news in 2004.

Barrack Obama, virtually unknown at that time, ran for the U.S. Senate. He had slim chance of winning.  His Republican challenger was leading.   A month before the election, he was caught  in some scandal.   So he had to withdraw.  The Republican Party  asked Mike Ditka to run against  Obama.  The party even begged him.

Ditka refused because he wanted to concentrate on Football. Ditka was more popular in Chicago and the State  of Illinois than Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai and Maharashtra.  Had he  accepted to  run for the Senate, Obama would  have lost his deposit (to  use an Indian term).  And that would have been the  end of his political career.

See how fate plays in everyone’s life.

PS: has made some changes.  I don't even know how to create a new post. I had a post that was in draft stage and wrote on that.  May be I am not tech savvy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Dog Story

This is not a story. This really happened. 

A couple went to the pound and picked up a cute dog. They named him John. The couple trained John in all the dog stuff like listening to command, potty training, etc. But the one problem was the dog will stand near the couple’s bedroom silently all night, looking at them until they wake up in the morning. He won’t bark.He won’t make any noise. Even when the lights are off, he will stand in the dark quietly looking at the couple thru darkness. This happened every night for 3 months. 

The couple was annoyed. They fixed a video camera to find out what the dog does when they are asleep. In the morning when the couple played the video, the dog was standing outside their bedroom and stood all night looking at them. 

They then decided to close the bedroom door. They saw, by playing the video camera, the dog stood outside the door looking at the closed door all night. 

They took him to a few veterinarians. They could not find any answer. But one veterinarian suggested inquiring about the previous owner at the dog pound if the dog did the same thing to them. 

They go to the pound and told the problem with the dog. Then the story came out from the pound people. 

The previous couple who owned the dog was having their first baby and therefore they did not want to have a dog in the house. So they left the dog in the pound. But what they did was in the middle of the night they took the sleeping dog and left them in the pound. The dog went to sleep in his cozy bed and when he woke up in the morning he was in a pound with strange people and strange dogs. This was a big shock for the dog. 

So it was explained that the dog kept awake all night outside the master’s bedroom so that this does not happen to him again. 

Then they slowly trained the dog differently. They made the dog sleep between them for a while until he was able to sleep in his own bed. 

Sad story but a happy ending.

PS:  Read this in some paper but forgot now where I read.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


You may have heard these stories before. If so, please bear with me. 3 stories. 

There was a new news reporter. First day on the job. It was that country’s independence day celebrations. The Editor asked him to cover the independent day celebrations on one of their aircraft carrier ship. The reporter goes there. There was a huge fire. Half the ship was destroyed. He comes back and told the Editor that there was no news to report because the Independent day celebrations were cancelled. 

Editor told him the fire on the aircraft carrier was the biggest national and international news. And this idiot did not grab the opportunity to cover that. 

There was a shoe company. The owner sent one of his sales managers to an African country to find out if his company has any opportunity there. He goes there and comes back and said no one in that country is wearing a shoe and therefore we don’t have an opportunity. 

He sends another sales manager to the same country. He goes there and comes back and said no one in that country is wearing a shoe and therefore we have lot of opportunity to sell shoes to all of them.

The above 2 examples may be fiction. But the following really happened. 

A female TV reporter in Seattle went to the Bill Gates’ home to interview him. During the interview, the reporter asked him the secret behind his being rich. Bill thought for 3 minutes before answering her. 

He then gave her his personal check book and asked her to write her name and fill up any amount she wanted to in that check and he will sign. The reporter thought it was a joke and said I didn’t mean that. I asked you a question and want an answer. Bill Gates repeated a second time asking her to write her name and fill up any amount. The reporter again did not do that. 

Mr. Gates took his check book back from her. And he said: You could have walked out of my home as the richest TV reporter in Seattle. I gave an opportunity and you did not grab. The reason I am rich because I do not miss an opportunity that is presented to me.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Kannadasan Poem

Kannadasan was an atheist and later became a believer. I remember he wrote the following lines in a poem:

I was an atheist.
But He was not afraid of me.
I became a believer.
But I cannot find Him.

I recently had a chance to read a poem in Tamil written by Late Kannadasan. I thought I would translate that. But, of course, we cannot convey the real meaning of the words from the original language into a translated language. OK, here is the translation of that poem.

Are you afraid? Are you agitated?
Is your mind distressed?
Turbulence in life?
Thousand things will happen in life.
Tragedy in almost all entrances.
Whatever may be the cause of suffering
Just worrying will not make them go away.
If you have a heart to bear anything.
You will have peace of mind until the end.
Make the poor mind a big mansion.
Compose poem day and night.
And Dedicate all days from tomorrow to God.
And find peace for the rest of your life.
There are millions of people suffer more than you.
Think of that and seek content.

I think Kannadasan covered almost the whole Bhagvat Geetha in this one poem. We all know Bhagvat Geetha says:

Stabilize your mind.
Do your duty with detachment.
Surrender to God.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Plane Travel During Covid-19

Last week I was travelling from Durham, North Carolina to Oakland, California, via Nashville, Tennessee. These are my observations: 

Durham Airport 

Highly recommended that all people (passengers, airline crew, and airport workers) wear a mask and a glove at the airport. Only about 20% of the passengers wore a mask. All airline crew wore a mask. All airport workers wore a mask and gloves. No passenger, except one idiot, wore gloves. That was me. 

Nashville Airport

Same story as in Durham Airport. 

Inside the Aircraft 

All passengers were seated either in the window seat or aisle seat. Middle seats were kept vacant. Flight Stewards were lucky. During this Covid stuff, passengers will not be served any coffee or tea or soft drinks or alcohol or food. Only purified drinking water. However, the airline I traveled served us snacks along with water. 

Flying time Durham to Nashville is one hour and ten minutes. Nashville to Oakland is 4 hours and 25 minutes. Boring flights. No one spoke to other passengers. 

Oakland Airport 

Highly recommended that all people (passengers, airline crew, and airport workers) wear a mask and a glove at the airport. Everyone was wearing a mask. No one except airport workers wore gloves. 

Taking Advantage of the Situation 

Airlines. Stopped providing coffee, tea, and soft drinks. But did not reduce the price. 

Restaurants. There is an Indian restaurant in our area. Their lunch package includes rice, naan, 2 side dishes (veg or non veg), salad, sweet, raita, and pickle. I went there yesterday to take out a lunch package. Price is the same. But no salad, sweet, raita, and pickle. I asked the guy why these items were not included. He said corona virus. I asked him the connection between these 4 and the corona virus. He did not reply. Only the Indian smile. 

Charity scam. Got couple of calls for donations. Some total stranger, out of the blue, asking for money over the phone? No way.

Hoarding,  50% of the shelves in any departmental store are empty.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Customer Service?

It is a known fact that, in general, customer service is one of the best in USA. If you want to return a purchase even after using that for a month, no question will be asked. You can cancel an order at anytime you want. Even if they have shipped it, they will take it back.

But, of course, there are exceptions. I recently came across one.

I was looking for a steal wok ring.

The price at Walmart was $7.99 with free shipping charges. I looked at a store named Webstaurant. The price was $5.29. It was my mistake I did not check the shipping charges. I ordered the item at 11 pm a few days ago. Within 2 minutes of my sending the order I checked the order confirmation and it said the shiping charges are $18.53. I was shocked. Could not believe shipping charges of $18.53 on a $5.29 item.

I immediately called the company. Since it was almost midnight, no one was working. Therefore, I wrote an email canceling my order.

I received an email the next morning at 7 am informing me the order has been shipped. I could not believe it. They have a huge announcement that most of their employees are working from home due to Covid-19. Was wondering who went to their office before 7 am and shipped my purchase immediately on a priority basis.

I wrote them an email regarding that. They replied that since the order has been shipped, I have to pay the return postage charges. In addition, I have to pay 30% restocking fees.

I immediately called my credit card company and disputed the charges. Credit card companies are very customer friendly. They said they will make a stop payment on that.

I checked with Federal Express thru whom the company sent my item. They said I can refuse to accept that item and they will return it to the sender. Supposed to be delivered on June 1. Will wait and see.

I then checked with that Company’s customer reviews. Many of them have similar complaints. Exorbitant shipping charges. When called them, they were told the order has been shipped.

Lesson learned: If an item is very cheap, check the shipping charges. Read the customer reviews before ordering anything from a vendor.

Friday, May 22, 2020

You Have A Problem?

This morning Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Joe Biden told a black radio host: “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” I was stunned by that statement. I think it is an insult to any thinking person. 

This one statement from Biden makes Trump’s efforts to win again in November very easy. Trump’s campaign will take Biden’s message to every nook and corner of this country. I cannot wait to see the debate between Trump and Biden. It will be fun and entertaining. 

What would be the reaction in India if Mr. Modi said: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for BJP or Congress Party, then you ain’t Hindu”. 


What would be the reaction in India if Mrs. Gandhi said: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for Congress Party or BJP, then you ain’t a Moslem”. 

No one should vote based on their race or religion. 

I am sure CNN will try to bury this news with some other useless information. 

And, Fox News will never let people forget Biden’s message. 

I think the bigwigs in the Democratic Party are looking for a candidate to replace Biden during their convention in Wisconsin in July.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Schwarzenegger Letter

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican and was Governor of California. Tom Ammiano was a member of the California State Assembly. They both did not get along well. In fact, hated each other. There was a bill introduced by Tom in the California Assembly and was passed. It was sent to the Governor for his signature. He declined to sign that into law and sent it back to the Assembly without his signature.

Schwarzenegger's battles with the state legislature are epic. But this just goes way beyond epic. While declining he wrote the following cover letter.

His explanation for rejecting the bill seems very harmless. But it was like a Da Vinci code message that reveals the Governor's true feelings.  Take a look at it closely. Please notice the first letter of every line after “I am returning the Assembly Bill…..” It spells Fxxx Yxx. It was his way of getting back at Tom. Arnold denied, while in office, it was intentional. After he left the office, he admitted the truth. It was a message to Tom and not to the entire Assembly.

This is not a jovial fake letter.   Please google it to find out.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Biden's VP Candidate

Joe Biden has publicly stated he will select a woman as his Vice Presidential Candidate. He also said he would name that person before May 1. That is why I have to publish this post in a rush.
According to media reports he is considering the following candidates:
Kamala Harris, Senator, Black/Indian
Amy Klobuchar, Senator, White
Elizabeth Warren, Senator, White
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Governor, White
Stacey Abrams, Ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Georgia, Black
Catherine Masto, Senator, Hispanic
Tammy Duckworth, Senator, Asian-American
Vel Demings, Congresswoman, Black
Tammy Baldwin, Senator, White
Michelle Grisham, New Mexico Governor, Hispanic
I think Biden offering the Vice President slot to a woman is a consolation prize. He should select a candidate with legislative and executive experience. Vice President job is very important and more important this year considering Biden’s age (77) and his rumored health condition. If Biden wins the Presidential race, his Vice President should be ready to take over (potentially) on day one. This is no place for on the job hands on experience.
If I were Biden, I would choose any of the following:
Pete Buttigieg, Former Mayor, Rhodes Scholar, young, 38 years old, White
Andrew Yang, Entrepreneur, Lots of great ideas, young, 45 years old, Asian-American
Julian Castro, Served in the Obama Cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Development. Was a short listed Vice Presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton in 2016, young, 45 years old, Hispanic.
If Biden has to Choose a woman and that too a minority, I have 2 recommendations:
Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman, Samoan-American, First Hindu Member of U.S Congress (took oath of office with Bhagvat Gita in her hand). Out of the box thinker, Served the nation in the Military (She is a Major), deployed in the war zone both in Kuwait and Iraq, more republicans like her than democrats. Young, 38 years old. She could make a lot of republicans to vote for Biden. She won’t be selected by Biden because the “powers” in democratic party hate her. She got into a fight with Obama for not using the word radical Islamic terrorism. During the 2016 primary, she criticized Hillary Clinton and the Democratic national committee. Tulsi has now sued Hillary for defamation for $50 million for calling her a “Russian Agent”. Will Trump drop the sitting Vice President Mike Pense and select Tulsi? Wishful thinking.  Not likely.
Biden said he will select a woman to be his Vice President. But never said a woman belonging to Democratic Party. He is at liberty to select a candidate from the opposition Republican Party also. There is a perfect candidate for him. Condoleezza Rice, Woman, Black, 65 years. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Former U.S National Security Advisor, Former Provost of Stanford University. She could make lot of republicans to vote for Biden. Ready to take over as President in a minute. Is Biden considering Rice? I don’t know.
If I were a betting man I would put (Biden choosing) one dollar on Kamala Harris and another dollar on Amy Klobuchar.  Dark Horse candidate is Stacey Abrams.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Indian Origin Doctor in Connecticut

Uma Madhusudan is a doctor. She works in South Windsor Hospital in Connecticut. Because of her dedication many lives were saved. How did the people in that city thanked her for that? Please see the video below:


Friday, April 10, 2020


On May 18, 2018, I wrote a blog post titled “Negging” That is Donald Trump’s often used modus operandi.
According to New Statesman:
Negging, as it is called, is in essence a trick. The idea is to undermine a woman's confidence by making backhanded or snide remarks—give a compliment with one hand, and take away with the other. It is about control, putting the man in charge of the interaction by pushing the woman to earn his approval...
Mr. Trump was using this tactic against his opponents to make them vulnerable. He used this tactic against Mexicans (They bring drugs, they bring crime, but some of them are good people) and against his opponents (So and so is a good man but…..). Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State but her husband was the best President.
Why I am writing this blog post today? President Trump has used this tactic again with Prime Minister Modi. Trump wanted anti-malarial drug. hyroxychloroquine, from India. India had banned the export of that drug. Trump said:
"I didn't hear it was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries (but) I spoke to him yesterday and we had a very good talk... I said we'd appreciate you allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn't allow it to come... there may be retaliation," Mr Trump said, referring to his Sunday phone call with PM Modi.
After India allowed the export of the drug, hours after the warning, US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi "great" and "really good".
 This is classic “negging”.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Win Win Situation

I was meaning to write this blog post 6 months ago. But could not do so for some reason or other. I think now is the appropriate time.
There are a few pizza shops in Philadelphia. Many customers visiting those shops pay for a slice of pizza (I think it is $1 for each slice) and leave the receipt on the wall. Any person who doesn’t have money and hungry can take this pre-paid pizza receipt from the wall and buy pizza to eat from that shop.
This has become so popular among the customers, there are now more pre-paid receipts (approximately 70,000) than the demand in those pizza shops.
I was really moved and impressed.
Since then I was thinking this idea can be implemented in India. Indians are equally generous and compassionate. Very timely now because after the coronavirus ‘stay-at-home’ order is lifted there will be quite a few hungry unemployed persons without money. People who can afford can prepay for food and leave the receipt in a wall in that hotel (restaurant). They don’t have to do it every day. Once in a while is enough. If many people do this once in a while, that would be lot.
I am not talking about 5 star restaurants where it cost lot of money. I am talking about run of the mill hotels (restaurants), mess, and street food places. A nominal amount, say Rs.50, is enough. This is just a guess.  I have no idea how much it would cost.
This will be a win win situation for all. The establishment owners have the money paid in full on hand even before they make the food. The person who paid for the food will have the satisfaction of helping the community impacted by this world/national emergency. The poor hungry person gets to eat.
If I were in India I would contact a few hotels (restaurants) and start this program. Unfortunately, I am not there. Any of you readers or your friends active in social media can organize a project to implement this worthy cause.

PS:  The above is only a general idea.  People familiar with the local custom and behavior can device their own way how to distribute the donor receipts.

Friday, April 3, 2020


Just read a news item Prime Minister Modi had consutations with elite sports persons on the ongoing situation in India due to the coronavirus pandemic. I could not help LOL. If he appealed to them for donations then that is a different matter. “Consultations” with them? What is their expertise? Cricket players’ only expertise is they know how to connect their bat with a ball. Boxer Mary Kom expertise is in throwing a right-handed jab.
When did they become subject matter experts on coronavirus? What is the agenda for next week? Video conference with roadside tea stall owners?
Here are some other useless consultations:
President Donald Trump called baseball player Alex Rodriguez seeking advice on corona virus response. This noted infectious disease expert Alex Rodriguez’s only qualification is he knows how to hit a ball out of the park for a home run.
Biden wants to compete with Trump. He has established a Public Health Advisory Committee to advice him on corona virus. Hey Uncle Joe. What are you going to do with that advice? Trying to form a shadow government, ala a British tradition?
PS: Here is a news you will chuckle. Yesterday (April 2) the Governor for the state of Georgia, Brian Kemp, said he just learned about how coronavirus spreads. Governor of a state in USA did not know how coronavirus spreads?  Come on Brian.  Give me a more believable story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


The dictionary defines “bragging” as to talk or write about oneself in a proud or self-impressed way.
However, I've noticed that some forms of bragging are seasonal...or should I say only relevant for a short period of time. Bragging about something today, may not be impressive one or two years from now.
Here are some examples I've heard in my life:
When the famous crime novel "The Godfather" was published in 1969, it was the talk of the town. Everyone, especially girls in college would say, “Yeah, I'm reading The Godfather. It's my kind of story.” or “I already finished reading GF as I got the book on day one”.
~ Gee thanks for sharing that. Even though I didn't ask, don't care, and don't wanna know.
Here's another - complaining while bragging (so it's not as blatant and in your FACE).
Oh boy, do I have problems. There are sooo many little gadgets and shortcuts that I have to learn...on my new Mercedes Benz SUV. It's so annoying!
~ Do you know what's really annoying? YOU! You're annoying me with your back handed bragging. Your car might be kewl (cool)...but the driver is certainly an idiot!
Trap bragging.
Hey let's grab lunch today?
~Ummm...sure where do you wanna go?
I'm sick of French food so anything but French food.
~Ummm...ooookkkkaayyy. French food wasn't even on my list of places to go...but I guess I'm also fine with not going with French food. (now I'm thinking I ask WHY this person said "anything but French"? I don't wanna fall into the trap.) Dammit! Too late! Someone overheard us at the office and asked, "Hey why are you sick of Fren"...and before they can finish the sentence...the following answer was given.
(Sighs)...because we just spent the long weekend in Paris. It was just a quick getaway trip. Spur of the moment. We just decided to go...just like we went. I'm soooo tired of French food now. (sighs)
~Somebody please stab me with a fork and put me out of my misery! The next one hour everything came back to the same topic. French Fries - So when we were in Paris... ... ... French Toast - So this past weekend in Paris... ... ... ~Great... Well you can just kiss my eiffel tower!
So why did I write this blog post? I'm wondering if this latest trend is kind of, sort of, in some way... a back handed way of bragging and showing how kewl people are (yes kewl like Cartman).
The new phrase is...
I'm currently under self imposed quarantine.
----Now wait...hear me out.---
I've noticed that many politicians, famous athletes, movie stars, and other VIPs say those words. But to me it sounds like they wanna brag and be kewl. Of course, they wanna be cautious and careful (I get that) however...if you are under self-imposed quarantine then why are you announcing it to everyone?
Why don't you just quarantine yourself quietly and privately.
Why self promote, advertise, and announce to the whole world?
This of course is another "time-bound" type of bragging. A front running, I'm ahead of the pack, public bragging. One year from now...NOBODY CARES! Or...maybe I'm overreacting?
And if I am...then expect me to announce later this week that after careful consideration, I've decided to place myself on self imposed quarantine (even though I haven't traveled, haven't shown symptoms, and have not come into contact with anyone who has the virus).
PS:  I gave a draft of this post to someone for editing.  I usually don't do this.  He completely rewrote in his own "American" style.  He told me I don't have to use his version.  Since I liked his version, I am publishing it.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Primary Election Delegate Awarding Methodology

In USA, primary election to elect the presidential candidate is going on in full swing. There is not much of an election in Republican Party because Donald Trump is running almost unopposed. Among Democrats, it started with more than 24 candidates. Now it is down to 2 – Biden and Sanders.
How every state awards delegates to each candidate? Each state has a total number of delegates based on the population. (California has the highest number of delegates.) It is straight forward in the Republican Party. For example, if you win 20% of the votes, you get 20% of the delegates.
In the Democratic Party, it is not that straight forward. Their methodology is so complicated it will make even Narendra Karmarkar’s head spin.
For each state, 15% of the delegates are reserved for party VIPs. They are called Superdelegates. They are uncommitted and do not announce their support to any candidate until the convention. The rest of the delegates are divided into 2 halves. First half, the delegates will be awarded based on the % of votes each candidate gets on a statewide basis. There is a caveat. If anyone gets less than 15% of the votes, he/she will not get any delegate. It will be divided proportionately among those who got more than 15% of the votes.
For example, if there is only one candidate who got 16% of the votes and all others less than 15%, that candidate will get all the delegates.
For the second half, the delegates will be awarded based on % of votes each candidate gets in each congressional district (parliamentary constituency) in that state. The same 15% threshold applies.
What if no candidate received 15% of the votes? If no candidate meets the 15% threshold, Democratic Party rules state the minimum to receive delegates will be 50% of the vote received by the front-runner. For example, if candidate A wins with 10% of the vote, delegates will be allocated proportionately to anyone that receives 5% or more.
Hope you all understood. There will be a quiz tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Genius

The year 1939.  Place: University of California at Berkeley, California.
The student was very late to his math class.  Almost half the lecture was over.  He sat down quietly and took notes.  He noticed the professor has written 3 problems on the black board.  Since he was late coming in, he was afraid to ask the professor about them.  He just assumed they were the home work assignment the professor had given to the students.
He copied those 3 problems in his note book.  Went home.  Started to work on those 3 math problems.  He found them very very difficult.  Worked whole night solving those 3 math problems.  Finally, during the early morning hour, he solved all those 3 problems.
Went to the class next day.  Gave his home work assignment to the professor.  He told the professor how difficult those 3 math problems were and how he worked on them the whole night and solved them finally.
The professor immediately jumped out of his chair and asked: WHAT? WHAT DID YOU DO?  The student explained how he worked the whole night and solved those 3 difficult home work assignment.
The professor explained that they were not home work assignment.  Since he was late to the class the previous day, the student was not present when the professor put them on the black board.  The professor explained those were the 3 mathematical problems that were unsolved by anyone.  The student mistook them for home work assignment and solved those 3 unsolved math problems.
The professor published his "home work" and he was given credit for that.  The professor also recommended a Ph.D for him.
That student was George Dantzig.
PS: If you Google his name, you can read several versions for this incident.