Monday, August 1, 2022

Memorable Cricket Match

It was the year 1946. Indian cricket team was touring England. Indian captain was Nawab of Pataudi, Sr. 

On May 13, 1946, India played against Surrey (county). Since Pataudi was sick, Indian team played under the captaincy of Vijay Merchant. Surrey team was led by Nigel Bennett. 

India won the toss and chose to bat first. The score was 205 for 9. The last batsman Shute Banerjee walked to the crease to join India’s 10th batsman Chandu Sarwate. 

The Surrey captain thought he could dismiss one of the batsmen in a few minutes. One of the commentators said (and I paraphrase) – Look at these number 10 and number 11 players from the Indian side. They walk to the crease as if they are opening batsmen. 

Little did they know Sarwate and Banerjee were excellent all-rounders. Sarwate used to open the innings for Holkar and Banerjee for Bihar. They both opened the innings together in 1945 for East Zone against the Australian Services team. 

Indian innings ended with 454 all out. This last wicket pair put on a world record partnership of 249 runs in 190 minutes. Banerjee was out for 121 and Sarwate remained unbeaten with 124. 

Other than this memorable last wicket partnership, here are some important information from this match. 

Indian leg-spinner C. S. Nayudu took a hat-trick. 

Surrey finished their first innings 135 all out. 

Sarwate took the wickets 5 for 54. 

In the second innings Indian side needed 20 runs to win. Sarwate was promoted to open the Indian second innings. But he fell for just 1 run. India won by 9 wickets.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Emergency?

We had friends of ours visiting from India a few years ago. They both are doctors. They stayed at the Hilton in San Francisco. We were staying about 50 miles from the San Francisco City. 

I and my wife showed them around the Bay Area. Then took them to our home for dinner.

The conversations were mainly about hospitals in USA and in India. 

I opened my big mouth and said hospitals in USA are required to treat you in an emergency whether you have money or not. Whether you have insurance or not. Even big-name brand hospitals have to treat a patient in case of emergency. 

I also said it is not like that in India. I read many news items where women who are in delivery pain were not admitted because they do not have the financial resources. 

He (the male doctor) said delivery is not an emergency. These ladies know for 10 months that they are going to deliver a baby. Emergency is something that happens unexpectedly like someone is involved in an accident and have to be taken to the hospital immediately and operated upon. 

She (the female doctor) took umbrage to her husband’s remark and started arguing with him. Back and forth, it almost became a fight. 

I and my wife, being the host, tried to calm them down and told them dinner is ready. And they enjoyed the dinner.  After dinner we dropped them in their hotel in San Francisco.

 (Hope they did not continue their argument after going back to India.) 

What do you think? Is delivering a baby an emergency?

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Boris Johnson Resigns

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned today. He was abandoned by his own ministers and his own party’s parliament members. He was involved in a series of scandals. 

I personally think Boris Johnson is an honorable man. When he came to know he did not have the confidence of his party, he chose to resign. Will this happen in other countries? Here are my thoughts: 

In USA, it will take an act of God for a sitting President to resign. Some will not accept defeat in the elections and encourage supporters to riot in the Capitol building to stop the official announcement. 

In some other countries, the ousted Prime Minister will cry foreign conspiracy. 

In India, a party member does not even dare to criticize the leadership. In the rare circumstances of a revolt within the party, there will be urgent court case after court case until the Supreme Court decides in somebody’s favor. That decision depends upon who is in charge of the central government. 

He never used Ukraine emergency as an excuse. 

Boris Johnson resigned without blaming anyone. How strange! 

Britain is in the process of electing a new Prime Minister. One of the favorites is former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. He is of Indian Origin and son in law of Infosys founder N, R. Narayana Murthy. Mr. Sunak has his own problems like his wife not paying U.K. income tax and him holding a U.S. Green Card while being a member of the British Parliament. 

Let us see who becomes the next British Prime Minister. 

If by chance Mr. Sunak becomes the next British Prime Minister, it will be Karma’s biggest revenge for the British ruling India for 190 years.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Gurkha Soldiers

Per Historian Tony Gould, Gurkhas have brought an excellent combination of qualities from a military point of view. He said: "They are tough, they are brave, they are durable, they are amenable to discipline. 

Gurkhas are considered very brave soldiers. They are the fiercest fighters. Even America’s legendary Navy Seals are no match for the Gurkhas. 

Former Indian Army Chief of Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw once stated that: "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gurkha. 

The Gurkhas serve in the Nepalese, Indian, and British armies. There is a Gurkha Contingent in the Singapore army. And, a Gurkha reserve unit in Brunei. They serve in the UN Peace Keeping Missions and war zones around the world. 

It is hard to tell how much of stories about Gurkha’s ferocity is true. Their deeds have been recorded in military dispatches and the diaries kept by the army officers. Of course, there is room for exaggeration. 

Here is a funny one I read recently. I don’t know if it is true or not. Here it goes: 

A British Colonel informed a Gurkha Captain to bring 100 of his troops so they can be trained to jump from the plane. The captain agreed to bring his 100 Gurkha soldiers. But he had a question. 

At what height we are supposed to jump from the plane Sir? 

The Colonel replied from 5000 feet. 

Sir, can you please lower the height? 

The Colonel replied how about from 3000 feet. 

Sir, can you make us jump from 1000 feet? 

The Colonel replied the parachute will not open under 2000 feet. 

Sir, when you asked us to jump, you did not mention anything about parachute.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A Page from History

During World War 2, the famous Spanish Painter Pablo Picasso was living in Paris. The Germans occupied Paris. The German Nazis wanted to interrogate all the intellectuals and artists in Paris.

One day a Nazi officer took Picasso from his home to a secret interrogation location. He showed a painting – Guernica – to Picasso. That was an oil painting on canvas by Picasso.

That painting depicted a town in Northern Spain which was bombed by Nazi Germany. That composition showed screaming women, a dead baby, a dismembered soldier, and flames. 

Nazi Officer: Mr. Picasso, did you do this? 

Picasso: No, you did this. I just painted it.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Pudhumai Penn (New-Age Woman)

Winston Churchill said: "You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.” Very few people have the opportunity to learn what it means to serve others through use of their time and efforts. Recently, I met one of those people. 

Her name is Maria. Name changed for privacy’s sake. She is of Chinese origin born in Singapore. After graduating from her college, one day she saw a documentary on TV about the life of poor children in a remote mountainous area of China. Maria grew up in a wealthy environment. She was shocked when she saw this documentary on TV. 

That day she decided to go to that area of China she saw on TV and do some voluntary work. 

She went to China. She was moved by the poor living condition of those children. They were growing up impoverished. They had lacked food, sanitation, health care, and education. Maria decided to do volunteer teaching. Like everyone else, she had to get up early every day to feed all kinds of livestock and walk a long way to school. She taught kids of 7 and 8 year old for six months. 

Maria then decided that just teaching them knowledge will not improve their living condition. She decided to open up a business and make some money and use that money to help those poor children. She quit her voluntary teaching job. Came back to Singapore. Started a business. 

Maria is now a successful business woman. She is financially helping those poor children of that remote mountainous area of China. 

I digress. In 1908, Tamil Poet Bharathiyaar wrote a poem titled Pudhumai Penn. Translation: A Vision for the New-Age Woman. Here is a translation in English a few lines:

“Her head held high, and looking everyone in the eye, 
Unafraid of anyone because of innate integrity, 
Possessing assuredness born of courage of conviction, 
The Modern Woman never feels inferior to any.” 

In my opinion, I find Maria is an example of Bharathiyaar’s Pudhumai Penn.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Air Travel Confusion

This incident really happened. I am not joking or making it up. This happened long before the 9/11 incident. 

It was night time at the Los Angeles International Airport.  There was a passenger waiting to board a plane. He was going to Oakland, California. This is San Francisco’s twin city. The flight time from Los Angeles to Oakland is only 50 minutes. 

They made the flight announcement. 

He boarded the plane. The plane took off. After an hour into the flight dinner was served. He was puzzled why they were serving dinner in a 50-minute flight. He did not say anything and ate the dinner with a few glasses of wine. 

After a few hours, he could not keep quiet. So, he called one of the flight attendants and asked why it is taking so long to reach Oakland. 

The flight attendant replied: Sir, we are now flying over Honolulu. This flight is going to Auckland, New Zealand.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Trade in Crypto Currency

I want to introduce today to you all a friend of mine, Li Mei. She was born in Singapore. Graduated from a prestigious university in that country. Li Mei lives in New York. She has been trading in crypto currency for many years. 

Li Mei wants to share her knowledge with anyone who wants to learn from her. 

Please contact me if you or any of your friends/relatives interested in trading in crypto currency. This is not for buying a crypto currency and leave it there. Her expertise is to trade in crypto currency on a frequent basis (ala options trading).

Li Mei has been teaching me this trading for a while now.  She is a very good Guru and also very patient.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Addiction

When I wake up, I go for it first thing in the morning 

I have to get this fix even when I am going to work 

I use it at least 10 times each day 

At coffee break in office, I go for this habit 

When we go for eating out in a restaurant, I use this without fail. 

It makes me feel good. 

I got to quit, but right now I can’t. 

Even if I try to quit, I end up surrounded by people doing it and then I join in again. 

It relaxes me. Without it, I get restless and bored 

You thought I was writing about my cigarette smoking habit? No, I do not smoke. I am talking about my social media use. 

A new study finds avoiding social media platforms for a week significantly improves a person’s wellbeing. It also reduces both anxiety and depression.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bongbong is Back

We all know or read or heard about the former Philippines Dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the atrocities committed by him and his wife, Imelda Marcos. 

Ferdinand was known for his corruption and suppression of democratic processes. His wife Imelda Marcos appointed her relatives to lucrative government jobs. She was known worldwide for accumulating more than 3,000 pairs of shoes. 

Thousands of people took to the streets to support a non-violent military rebellion. Marcos family were airlifted to USA. It is believed they took more than $15 billion with them. 

After the death of Ferdinand Marcos, the then President Corazon Aquino allowed the family to return to Philippines. 

They have 3 children. One of them is Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. He is known by his nickname Bongbong. Last weekend he was elected as President of the Philippines. 

A family which was driven out of power is returning to Malacañang – the Presidential Palace in Manila. Many people believe he won because of his strong friendship with the current President Rodrigo Duterte family. The Duterte machinery is strong. 

Opponents believe Bongbong and his people have deceptively-edited videos and uploaded in YouTube. These persuaded millions of Filipinos to have sympathetic opinion of Bongbong. In addition, the administrations from 1986 till date failed to bring significant improvements to the poor Filipinos. 

Will wait and see what Bongbong has to offer to the Filipinos.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Stupid Answers

One of the famous TV shows in USA is “Family Feud”. The host asks questions and the contestants have to answer. Family vs Family. 

Here are some of the real questions asked in that show and the real stupid answers from the American contestants. 

Name a boy’s name that starts with H – Hose 

Name a word that following the word “Pork” – Cupine 

Name something that is hard to do with your eyes open – Read 

Some politicians belong in the White House. Others belong in the “blank” house – They belong in the White House. 

Tell me something the pilot might turn on after the plane takes off – The engine 

Most visited foreign country by Americans – USA 

First question when someone wakes up from coma – What is on the radio 

If it is up to me, I will never “blank” again – Cheat 

Name a kind of suit that is not appropriate for the office – Chicken Noodle 

Name something a man might be willing to go to prison to get away from – Police 

What a blind date conveniently forgets to mention about himself – That he is blind 

Name a fruit that is yellow in color – Macaroni

Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Page from the Past

This happened a few years ago. I was working late in my office one evening. 

Knock Knock. 

One of the female employees, Lorraine, working for me was outside my office. I asked her to come in and sit down. 

I asked Lorraine what she wanted to discuss with me. She said “I think you know I am getting married next week. I also sent you the invitation.” I acknowledged receiving the invitation and said my wife and I will be there. 

Lorraine said she wanted me to do her a big favor/help. 

I asked her if she is short of money and I will loan her some money. Or, if she wants extra days off to go on honeymoon, I will consider giving her extra days off. 

She said she did not want any of them. After I asked her 3 times what she wants, she asked me if I can give her away during the wedding. 

Just an example,  This is not me or Lorraine.

A father walking his daughter down the aisle and giving her away to the groom is a well-accepted and sometimes touching part of the ceremony. If the bride has no father or father has refused, then a brother or uncle will take his place. 

I asked her what happened to her father or brother or uncle. She said they all refused because this is her third marriage. And, she started to cry. I said I will think about it and let her know the next day. 

I called Lorraine into my office the next day and told her I would give her away, but with one condition. I told her this should be her last marriage. No more marriages for her. She accepted. (As far as I know, she is still married to that guy.) 

On the day of wedding, I asked my wife if she is coming. Originally, she was planning to come. When she came to know I am going to give away the bride, my wife decided not to come to the wedding. 

My wife said: Go ahead and give your sister away. Enjoy the free food and drinks. 

That is what I did.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Enna Kanraavi Idhu!

Enna Kanraavi Idhu! (What an ugly news story!)

Just read a news item in an Indian paper that a judge in Rajasthan gave parole for 15 days to a guy who serves life imprisonment in jail. Reason: He should be with his wife and make her pregnant. This is in response to his wife’s petition in the high court that she has a right to have a baby and therefore her husband should be released. The judge agrees and gave a 15-day parole. 

Since I have nothing else to do, my thoughts went in different directions. 

What if the convict appeals to the judge that he cannot finish the “job” in 15 days and therefore need an extension of parole for another 6 months.? 

What if that child files a case that he/she misses his/her daddy (who is in jail) and should be released? Or, he files a case to be with his daddy in jail and therefore the jailer should start a school for the child. 

What if the wife petitions the court that she has a right to have a second baby and therefor her husband’s parole should be extended indefinitely? 

What if she says she cannot raise the kid/s alone and as per law both parents should have responsibility to raise the kids and therefore her husband’s bail should be extended until the kid/s are 18 years old. 

This is called new interpretation. The judge should be given a gold medal.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

To Mask or Not to Mask

For the past few years, we all are used to wearing masks to help prevent us from getting infected by the virus that causes Covid-19. In addition, 

Masks can prevent dust and sand from entering the mouth. It can also prevent flow of pathogens. In cold weather it can also prevent nose from freezing. For some people, it can make them lazy and not shave. 

But the disadvantage is wearing a mask for a longer time has certain impact on our breathing. It is not suitable for long-term wear. 

However, we are used to wearing mask now. This has become a routine. As Covid-19 cases drop, masks are not becoming necessary depending in which country you live. 

The U.S. Government, following CDC's (Center for Disease Control) recommendation, has mandated masks must be worn on planes and other forms of mass transit. However, a U.S. Federal Judge dismissed the U.S. Government’s transportation mask mandate. The Government argued masks are qualified as “sanitation”. But the Judge disagreed.

The Judge ruled CDC's authority to enforce “sanitation” rules was limited to rules regarding cleaning, and therefore could not be used to compel Americans to cover their faces to protect from disease.

But, Biden Administration says "Public Health Decisions Should not be Made by the Courts".

Per some legal and medical scholars, her (The Judge) ruling restricts CDC's ability to respond to public health emergencies. 

The Biden Administration has appealed to a higher court.  The puzzling thing is they are not asking for a stay of that order.  It means until a final decision is made by the higher courts, it is not required to wear a mask while traveling by a plane or other mass transit.

In my opinion, this is a judicial decision and not a scientific decision. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Muddy Details

Many years ago, I was watching the nightly news on TV on April 15, 19??. Don’t remember the year. On TV was one of my favorite news anchors, the very professional Roger Mudd. He’s doing his usual delivery but at one point in the broadcast he starts to veer off and talk about Abraham Lincoln, who was the President of the United States in the 19th century.

April 15 is President Lincoln’s death anniversary. 

But I digress, Roger Mudd is giving high praise to one of the (if not THE single) greatest presidents in US history. At the end of his high praise for the great President Lincoln, Roger Mudd states: 

“And yes, one of the men involved in that famous assassination is indeed Samuel Mudd. And before you ask, YES we are related.” 

What? Did I hear that correctly? Roger Mudd is related to Samuel Mudd! 

Who the hell is Samuel Mudd? Never heard of him. 

Look, I know the names of assassins who have changed the course of history. 

Lee Harvey Oswald (Kennedy) 
Nathuram Godse (Gandhi) 
John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln) 

(One similarity among these 3 leaders. All 3 were assassinated on a Friday.) 

But Roger Mudd name dropped him with Abraham Lincoln so I had to dig a little deeper.

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 (and died on April 15). His assassin was John Wilkes Booth. Months before the assassination, at one point, Booth and a few of his "associates" were discussing a plan to kidnap Lincoln. One of the "associates,” was Dr. Samuel Mudd. Booth shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After shooting Lincoln, Booth ran away from the scene and while escaping fractured his leg. Booth went to Dr. Samuel Mudd’s home at 4am the next day and the doctor helped fix his leg. 

News doesn’t travel fast in 1865, so Dr. Samuel Mudd had no idea that Booth shot Lincoln. Booth then left the house to get across state lines. Dr. Samuel Mudd only came to know about the Lincoln assassination later in the day. However, Mudd did not tell the authorities that Booth was in his house until 24 hours after Booth left. Dr. Samuel Mudd was arrested for aiding and abetting an assassin. 

A military court found Dr. Samuel Mudd guilty of helping an assassin. The only question was if Dr. Mudd would get the death penalty or life in prison. Mudd was not given the death penalty by a margin of one vote. 

This case certainly gets “muddy.” 

Why life in prison? Mudd was not the shooter or involved in the plot. But he did help with Booth’s injury and didn’t go to the authorities for 24 hours. On the other hand, he is a doctor so it’s his duty to treat injuries. But did Mudd “REALLY not know”, that the injured man before him just shot the president? I mean c’mon. Yeah, news doesn’t travel fast in 1865 but the shooter is in front of you for 12 hours. But does Mudd deserve only two options as an alleged accomplice? Death penalty or life in prison. 

The President who succeeded Lincoln, Andrew Johnson pardoned Mudd and released him from prison in 1869. Mudd died in 1883 at the age of 49.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

It is not cricket, Imran

American politics is boring. Indian politics is boring. But if you want thrilling scenes, watch Pakistani politics. (Sarcasm) 

Former Pakistani cricket player Imran Khan is the Prime Minster. His party is PTI. (Don’t ask me what the narrative.). Pakistan parliament has 342 seats. You need 172 seats to become Prime Minister. Imran had only 158 seats. He became Prime Minister with the help of a few smaller parties. 

On the day of Russia-Ukraine war started, Imran visited Russia and met with Putin. USA was not pleased with this visit. 

In the meantime, the opposition parties were thinking of tabling a no confidence motion in the Pakistani parliament against Imran. They started to “buy” the smaller parties that supported Imran. They also “bought” about 20 MPs from Imran’s own PTI party. 

Imran got mad and angry. 

While “no confidence” tabling in parliament was going on, Imran threw a bombshell. In an address to the nation, he showed a piece of paper and said he received a letter from a foreign government that he should resign immediately or they will take action against him. He would not say from where the letter came, who it was addressed to, how it was delivered, etc. 

Later in another address to the nation, he said it was USA, by slip of tongue. Then the news came it was a diplomatic cable from Pakistan’s Ambassador to USA. In that cable, the Ambassador said a lower-level U.S. State Department (Foreign Ministry) Secretary verbally gave this threatening information to the Ambassador. (Side bar: U.S. has denied this. Also, in the diplomatic world, they never use such a harsh language. Plus, many in Pakistan believe that this diplomatic cable was fabricated by Imran Khan himself.)

The notice of no confidence was given on March 8. As per their country’s law, the speaker should have summoned the parliament within 14 days. Once the session commences, it should be voted upon not before 3 days and not after 7 days. The speaker, who belongs to Imran’s party, postponed calling the meeting under some pretext or other and finally called the meeting on April 3, 2022. The Deputy Speaker who was in the Chair rejected the motion of no confidence and did not put it to vote. Immediately after that, Imran recommended to their President to dissolve the Parliament and call for early elections. 

The opposition parties have taken the matter to the Supreme Court. 

Instead of hearing both sides and give a ruling, the Supreme Court is dragging the case on and on. 

In the meantime, another entertainment from Pakistan. 

The Chief Minister of Punjab (in Pakistan) who belongs to Imran’s Party resigned. Imran and his allies are nominating the current Speaker to be the Chief Minister. But the opposition, as usual bought a few members from Imran’s party, have the upper hand and can win. The Deputy Speaker called for a meeting of the Assembly at 7:30 pm on April 6. Hearing this, the Speaker sealed off the Punjab Assembly with barbed wires and locked the building's main gate.

The opposition met in a nearby hotel and "elected" the new Punjab Chief Minister.

Stay tuned for more fun.

Update: April 7, 2022.  The Pakistan Supreme Court set aside the Deputy Speaker's ruling and ordered no confidence motion should be voted upon on day after tomorrow, Saturday, April 9, 2022.  It also restored the National Assembly which was dissolved by the Pakistan President on the advice of Imran Khan.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Boston Brahmin

These 2 words are usually addressed for members of Boston city’s traditional white upper class. 

All of these Boston Brahmins attend Harvard University for generations. All of them belong only to upper class clubs like the Pacific-Union Club in San Francisco. They are all in high-ranking positions in government, private industries, educational fields, and politics. 

Oliver Wendell Homes coined this phrase in 1860 in an article. He wrote “Brahmin caste of New England”. At that time, Brahmins of India were considered high ranking in the Hindu caste system. 

New England consists of 6 U.S. States. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. 

Though he mentioned Brahmins of New England, with the evolution of time, the elite of Boston’s white upper class came to be known as Boston Brahmin. 

Why I am writing this now? 

During his election campaign, Joe Biden said he would appoint a minority black woman to the Supreme Court. And now, he has nominated Ketanji Jackson Brown, a black African American woman to the Supreme Court. She has to be confirmed by the U.S Senate. The senators will question her before voting yes or no for her nomination. That is called confirmation hearing. 

On the first day of confirmation hearing, Ketanji Jackson Brown proudly introduced her husband to the Senators, with a smiling face. 

Reporters immediately pointed out that in 2017, while giving a speech at the University of Georgia Law School, she mentioned that her husband is a “quintessential Boston Brahmin”.


Is she also a Boston Brahmin by marriage?

Monday, March 28, 2022

Oscar Awards Incident

Comedian Chris Rock was about to give award for one of the winners. As usual he was making some jovial remarks. 

The winner of this year for Best Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith were in the audience. Jada has a disease called “alopecia areata”. This disease makes her lose all her head hair. 

Award presenter Comedian Chris Rock started to make an insensitive joke about Jada. He said: 

"Jada, I love you— 'G.I. Jane 2', can't wait to see it," 

(Side bar: There was a movie in 1997 called G.I. Jane starring Demi Moore. In the movie, Demi Moore was the first woman to go through the arduous Navy Seal training. During the training, she showed more grit than her male counterparts. In an effort to solidify her status as a Navy Seal, she shaved her head and become the symbol of G.I. Jane.) 

Jada lost her hair because of this disease alopecia areata. Will Smith lost his cool when Chris Rock made fun of his wife’s disease. He went up to the stadium and slapped Chris Rock. This was witnessed live by millions of people around the world.

 

Now there is a debate going on in social media and news papers whether what Will Smith did was right or wrong. 

I fully support Will Smith. At least he was a nice guy and stopped with one slap. If I were in his place, I would have given Chris Rock harsher punishment. Husband should not keep quiet when a stranger publicly humiliates the wife (for her disease) in front of the world audience. 

What do you think? Was Will Smith right?

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is quite an interesting character. 


He was born in South Africa. Lived for a while in Canada. Became a U.S. Citizen. He is only 50 years old. 

He is the CEO of Tesla Motors, the electric car company. 

Musk is also CEO of SpaceX. Founder The Boring Company. Cofounder of Neuralink and OpenAI (Artificial Intelligence). 

His net worth is more than $300 billion. 

Musk said he started SpaceX company to get humanity to Mars. His company sent 4 civilians (not professional astronauts) into space. 

As I said before, he is an interesting guy. He named one of his kids 

 "X AE A-XII" 

I have no idea what is the meaning of this. He says X is the first name, AE A-XII is the middle name and Musk is the surname. (A few years ago an American professional basketball player changed his name to World B. Free.  At that time I thought it was bizarre.  Now I think it is ok after hearing Elon's kid's name.)

Elon Musk is a nightmare to work for. He is very ambitious and puts bizarre restrictions on his employees. For Example (some of them): No employee discount when purchasing Tesla car. No Acronyms or Workplace Jargon Allowed. No perfume or cologne allowed when they meet him. It goes on and on. 

Tesla Motors has no advertising budget. 

World Food Program published a notification that $6 billion would save the world from hunger. Musk challenged that statement and asked them to prove their statement. If they can prove, he said he will send $6 billion from his personal funds. World Food Program is yet to reply.

In this fight between Russia and Ukraine, Musk is a strong supporter of Ukraine. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent more than 5000 Starlink satellite internet terminals to Ukraine after a government official requested them. 

Musk’s latest announcement! 

He has challenged Putin to a one on one wrestling match. Stakes are Ukraine. A Kremlin official fired back and called Musk a “weakling” and “little devil.”

Friday, March 18, 2022

A New Scam

2 months ago I received a message in my WhatsApp from a Hong Kong phone number and it stated: 

“Hello Peter. I have almost finished your project and let us discuss when you have time”. 

I replied: I am not Peter. You must have got the wrong number. 

She replied: I am sorry. My secretary must have written down the wrong phone number. I will correct it. 

This must stop right now if it is legit. No. The next day she continued to message about how things are going, how is the weather in California, etc. I knew this was a scam but I wanted to play in her own game. I replied in a friendly manner. After 2 or 3 messages back and forth, she asked me if I am interested to buy cryptocurrency. I said I am very poor and I do not have money even to buy my food. The message from her stopped. 

In the past 2 months I received 3 more WhatsApp messages bearing Chinese female names asking me how I am doing, I replied fine and you have the wrong number. Same message again – My secretary must have written down the wrong phone number. These 3 times I said I am very poor and can she loan me some money to buy food for my starving children. 

She/they think they are intelligent. Don’t they realize they are contacting the same number with the same modus operandi – my secretary must have written down the wrong phone number. 

Day before yesterday, I got a message. I reproduce the conversation below: 

[10:51 AM, 3/16/2022] +1 (470) 499-4964: Long time no see. How are you? 

[10:51 AM, 3/16/2022] Rajan: I am fine. Can you introduce yourself please? 

[10:52 AM, 3/16/2022] +1 (470) 499-4964: I'm Lin Ziqi, don't you know me? Amir, what else do I need to introduce? 

[10:53 AM, 3/16/2022] Rajan: I am not Amir. You must have the wrong person 

[10:54 AM, 3/16/2022] +1 (470) 499-4964: Ahh it's embarrassing 

[10:54 AM, 3/16/2022] +1 (470) 499-4964: Sorry, I may have added the wrong person, maybe my new assistant did a good job, maybe she saved the wrong number, hope you don't mind 

[10:55 AM, 3/16/2022] Rajan: It is ok. But I want to tell you I am not interested in crypto currencies. 

No more messages from her.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the President of now embattled Ukraine. (2 y at the end of his name is not a spelling mistake. That is how his name spells) His becoming President of Ukraine will something happen only in movies. Actually, he was a full-time comedy actor.  The Tamil speaking readers will certainly remember Vadivelu.*

Zelenskyy produced a TV series called Servant of the People in which he played the role of a President of Ukraine. His show was very popular and therefore he started a political party and announced his candidacy for the President of Ukraine. He scored a landslide victory.

To the surprise of many, this comedian started to bring about lot of changes and improvements to his country. He became very popular with the Ukrainian people. 

Putin always had an eye on Ukraine. He wanted to annex Ukraine and thought this was the right time to send his army to take over Ukraine. Western experts think that Putin wants to bring back the old Soviet Union. Russia thought Zelenskyy would run away from the country. However, he stood firm and leading his country courageously. 

USA offered an escape route for him from Ukraine. He immediately rejected the notion and demonstrated selfless leadership and a portrait of courage generally reserved for Hollywood (per Yahoo News). 

Ukraine claims 3 assassination attempts on him were thwarted in the last 2 weeks. 

Russia thought this would be an easy take over. But Zelenskyy and his army and people volunteers are fighting bravely. USA and EU nations are helping Ukraine. They have imposed severe economic and financial sanctions on Russia and Putin personally. 

Will see how the war ends. 

Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine)

* As I write this, I read in papers Mr. Bhagwant Singh Mann, AAP Party's Punjab Chief Minister Elect was also a comedian.

Looks like Vadivelu is the only comedian who did not succeed in politics.

Monday, March 7, 2022

To Laugh or not to Laugh

North Korea banned laughing by its citizens for 11 days to mark death anniversary of Kim Jong Un’s father. During this period, they are not allowed to laugh, consume alcohol, and engage in leisure activities. 

Kim Jong Un cannot monitor the entire population whether they laugh or not. But he can, at least, check on his ministers and military generals if they laugh or not. 

I was thinking how to help Kim Jong Un in this matter. I found a solution. 

(There was a TV series in USA titled Make Me Laugh. It was a comedy game show in which the object was not to laugh at the comedians. Various comedians would have one minute each to make the contestant laugh. If the contestant was able to keep a straight face, he or she would win prize money and go on to face another comedian, and so on until at last they met a joke they couldn’t resist.) 

Taking a clue from the above TV series, Kim Jong Un can hire a few comedians and ask them to tell jokes to his ministers and military generals. If they keep a straight face and don’t laugh, they can be promoted to higher rank and their lives will be spared. Or give some awards like North Korea Unlaugh Medal.

What will happen if any of these ministers or military generals could not keep a straight face and laugh?  There is always the usual punishments like execution with anti-aircraft gun or feeding them to starving dogs. 

I am not making up these punishments. They are already published news items. I mean the punishments.

PS: A dear friend of mine suggested for North Korea to put up following signs all over the country:

LAUGHTER IS NOT THE BEST MEDICINE.
LAUGH AT YOUR RISK.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

State of the Union

State of the Union is an address by the U.S. President, usually once a year, giving the administration’s view of the state of the nation and future plans. 

President Biden gave his State of the Union today to the joint session of Congress. 

He is not an electrifying speaker like President John F. Kennedy. 

He is not a great orator like President Ronald Reagan. 

Biden’s speech was mundane. 

He began his speech with a strong support for Ukraine and calling Putin as an aggressor. He announced US will close their air space to Russian aircrafts. 

Biden said the U.S. plans to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a global effort to protect consumers and businesses from rising fuel prices as the U.S. and allies target Russia's economy. (Credit: Teaganne Finn of NBC News) 

He asked both parties to work together and contain the pandemic virus and reopen businesses and schools. 

He talked about southern border and immigration problem. 

Biden asked the Senate to pass the voting rights bill. 

He plans to focus heavily on the economy and inflation. 

Biden never said anything about the confusing withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Iowa’s  Republican Governor Kim Reynolds will give the Republican rebuttal to Biden’s speech. 

I wanted to write this long long time ago. Now is the opportunity. Whenever the US President address the nation equal opportunity is given to the opposition party to reply (rebut) him/her. All TV and radio broadcasting stations must carry that live by law. 

Why don’t other countries follow that? For example, when an Indian Prime Minister address the nation, why not give an equal opportunity to any of the opposition leader to speak or rebut.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Rava Dosa

Yesterday night I made Rava Dosa for my dinner. My thoughts went to about 30 or so years ago. 

At that time, it is considered very difficult to make rava dosa at home. It does not turn out like we eat at restaurants. Even now, in many households, they would rather eat rava dosa at a restaurant than making it at home. 

My parents visited my cousin for a few days long time ago. She made rava dosa for them. My parents praised the rava dosa she made and how they enjoyed eating it and sipping coffee with each bite. 

My wife was an expert cook even though she never entered a kitchen until she married me.  She taught her sister in laws how to make rava dosa.

Nowadays it is very easy to make rava dosa. If you look up in YouTube, there are hundreds of videos teaching us how to make rava dosa. These include from renowned chef Venkatesh Bhat to hundreds of no name chefs. 

Here is one of the rava dosas I made last night.



Monday, February 14, 2022

One Idea Several People

There is a Hollywood movie, Marry Me, was released last week all over USA. Directed by Kat Coiro. 

In this movie, the heroine rejected her fiancé in the marriage alter and marries someone from the audience on the spot. The story is about how their life turned out after the wedding. 

Why I am writing about this? 12 years ago, September 16, 2009, I wrote a blog post titled “Random Thoughts about Marriage”. I mentioned about 4 real life incidents. I reproduce one incident here from that blog post. 

This happened in Mumbai, I was told. In those days there was a 3 year waiting list to get a vespa scooter. In a particular marriage, part of the dowry deal was the bride’s father should give the groom a vespa scooter on the marriage day. The marriage day came and the bride’s father could not deliver the vespa scooter because of the waiting list. He said he has the money and will give the money. This was not acceptable to the groom side. They argued and argued and argued in front of so many guests. Finally, the bride told the groom he has 10 minutes to decide. That 10 minutes came and gone. The groom was not willing unless a vespa scooter was produced. The bride took the mike and told the gathering as to what is happening and asked if any of the guests is willing to marry her that very minute. One of the groom’s friends came forward. Bingo. They both got married immediately. 

Did the producers of this movie “took” the idea from my blog post? Or more than one person can come up with the same idea? 

Something similar happened many years ago. 

We were in a get together in Chennai. The discussion was Tamil literature, particularly Silappatikaram, a Tamil Epic. It is a tragic love story of Kannagi and her husband Kovalan. As the story goes, the Pandya King in Madurai executes Kovalan by mistake on a false charge. Kannagi gets very mad and burns the entire city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. 

I jokingly mentioned in that get together, Kannagi is the role model for the modern day political parties to burn and destroy public properties during protests and agitations. 

Much to my surprise, two years later, in a Tamil movie, the same sentence (Kannagi is the role model) was expressed. 

Did someone who was in that get together “took” the idea from there? Or more than one person can come up with the same idea?

Thursday, February 10, 2022

A page from the past

I just read an interesting news item. A couple from Japan were traveling to United States for vacation. Booked their tickets in economy class. The husband used his miles to upgrade his ticket to the business class. But did not upgrade his wife’s ticket. So, he ended up in Business class and she ended up in economy class for the 12 hour flight. 

The wife was not happy about it. She wanted to sit with him for the 12-hour flight. His argument is it is a night flight and everyone will be sleeping and therefore what is the point in sitting together. She got upset because she thought he chose business class over her and that is rude.

I suddenly remembered an incident in the past that happened to us. 

The year was 2009. I, my wife, and my son were traveling from San Francisco to London to see a few T20 World Cup cricket matches. We went to the San Francisco airport. We checked in using the self-service kiosk at the airport. My wife was upgraded to business class. Her name was selected at random. Now we have one business class and two economy class tickets. 

I went to the business class counter and explained the situation. I asked the agent if in any way she can upgrade me and my son also to the business class. 

Tup Tup Tup. Computer sound. A few phone calls by the agent. Could not hear what she was talking and to whom she was talking. Another Tup Tup Tup. Computer sound. 

She finally said – Today is your lucky day sir. I have authorization to upgrade you and your son also to the business class. 

We go inside the aircraft and take our seats. It so happened my wife’s business class seat was already given to a couple. The flight manager comes in. He said to me he is going to upgrade one person in our family of 3 to first class. 

My son said either me and or my wife should go to first class. My wife said either me or my son should go to first class. I told my son he should go to first class. My son asked me why.

I told him I and his mom are vegetarians. Since we were upgraded in the last minute, we are going to receive the same IVML (Indian Vegetarian meals) we would have received in the economy class. Since you (my son) are a non-vegetarian, go to first class and enjoy the best food and comfort. 

Half way into the flight, my wife and I peaked inside the first class. Everyone was sleeping except my son. We asked why he was not sleeping. He said he wants to enjoy the first class by being awake all the way. 

End of story.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

White Snow on Red

24th Winter Olympics began today in Beijing, China. 

Here are my observations. 

I saw the opening ceremony. My impression: Spectacular. 

Total of about 84 countries participated in the opening ceremony. 

USA has the greatest number of athletes – 224. China (host country) was second with 173 athletes. 

There are many countries with only one athlete participating. This includes India and Pakistan. All these athletes are competing in Alpine Skiing. 

India has one athlete (Arif Khan) in the Alpine Skiing event. But there were 4 people in the march-past. Who are the other 3? Coach, trainer, doctor? Or some Joint Secretaries from the Government of India? 

Pakistan has one athlete (Muhammad Abbas) in the Alpine Skiing event. But there were 4 people in the march-past. Who are the other 3? Coach, trainer, doctor? Or some senior officers from the army? 

USA boycotted this Olympics because of human right abuse in China against Muslim minorities Uighurs. But sent the athletes. India boycotted this Olympics for a different reason. It is because one of the Chinese commanders involved in the border clash was selected as a torch bearer. But sent 1 athlete. 

I was surprised Taipei (China) and Hong Kong were allowed to participate separately. 

NBC network is broadcasting this Olympics for USA. They are very shrewd. Here are the 3 things I noticed. 

1. They cut the program to show Chinese President Xi Jinping clapping hands when the Hong Kong athletes were marching. 

2. They cut the program to show Vladimir Putin sleeping when the Ukraine athletes were marching. 

3. I am irritated they were showing USA athletes more often than necessary. 

Will the Chinese leave anything without making their own propaganda? One of the 2 athletes who were torching the Olympic flame is a Uighur. 

I personally am interested to see only two events. 

Karen Chen from our own Bay Area (Fremont) is participating in the Figure Skating competition. 

USA vs Russia in Ice Hockey. This is analogues to India vs Pakistan in a cricket match.

Here is a video clip:  Unfortunately, NBC TV has disabled this video.  But you can watch it on YouTube.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is from Serbia. A great tennis player. No doubt about that. 

Novak is opposed to vaccine for covid epidemic. So, he did not get a vaccine injection. He wanted to play the Australian Grand Slam in Melbourne, Australia. On arrival in Australia, he was refused entry into the country because he did not have vaccine certificate. Novak said he has exemption certificate because he was covid positive. On the days he said he had covid, Novak was awarding prizes to children. The very next day he was giving interview to a French Magazine. 

The Border Control Officers did not believe his story and refused him entry into the country. 

In the form to be filled at the airport, there was a question whether he has visited any country in the past 14 days. He answered NO. But he visited Spain for a few days before arriving in Australia. When this was pointed out, Novak said he made an error and by mistake ticked NO in the form. 

They cancelled his visa and Novak was taken to a temporary detention facility. 

Novak is not a poor man. He is very rich. He can afford high price lawyers. He wanted to fight the Australian Government through the courts. According to newspaper reports, he has 4 lawyers at the rate of $50,000 each lawyer per day. So he paid $200,000 per day and fought it out. 

Novak had initial success. A lower court judge ruled in favor of Novak on a technicality. But Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has special powers and he has the right to cancel Novak’s visa. 

Australia's immigration minister revoked Djokovic's visa ahead of the Australian Open, saying "it was in the public interest to do so." 

Novak’s lawyers appealed to the higher federal court. Judgement from the high court arrived. Novak lost. He will be deported. He cannot come back to Australia for the next 3 years. 

Novak thinks he is a demi-god because of his tennis prowess, ala some Indian cricket players. I have a new name for him. Novax Jackassovich. 

Australia is a democracy. He can pay high prized lawyers and make the judges hear his case on a Sunday. I would advise him to show this “courage” in a socialist republic country or in an absolute monarchy. It will be 6 months before his high prized lawyers even find out in which jail he is in. If you don’t like Australian rules and regulations, don’t go there.  Visa approval is a privilege and not a right.

 Maybe he is a nice guy but has bad advisors.