Wednesday, August 31, 2022

University of Michigan (Part 2 of 3)

At the University of Michigan, there are 2 strange traditions. It is believed new students will successfully graduate if they walk through a particular water fountain and drench themselves.  In addition, rotate a huge rock with their hands. It is very easy to rotate. Here are the video clips of these two. 

There is a Museum of Art at the University. It is one of the oldest and largest university museums in the country. Here are two photos (for sample). 

The whole city is crazy about University of Michigan's football team. Here is the stadium entrance and a store in a mall.

Politically correct expression is everywhere. 

There are 20 libraries at University of Michigan. Here is one of them. 

Move in day at the U. Parents are dropping their kids in the dorm.

I want to write about the cafeteria in detail.  It will be in my next  blog post.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

University of Michigan (Part 1 of 3)

Last week I visited University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan is 2393 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area. That is 3851 kilometers. It takes 5 hours and 20 minutes to fly by plane. 

University of Michigan is a very reputed and sought-after learning center in the USA. It was established in 1817. The main campus in Ann Arbor is located in a 40 acres of land. The enrollment is about 32,000 undergraduate students and 16,000 graduate students. Degrees are awarded in about 250 disciplines. Students from about 130 countries are enrolled here. 

Entrance.  Photo taken at night.

Tuition and boarding fees are not cheap. But is cheaper for the residents of Michigan State. It is one of the costly universities in USA. However, scholarships are available on a need basis (students from poor income families) and athletes who represent the university in many sports. 

Here is some more interesting information about University of Michigan: 

26 Nobel Prize Laureates. 

Some of the alumni are: U.S. President Gerald Ford, Raoul Wallenberg who saved more than 100,000 Jews from Hitler's German Nazis, singer Madonna, The entire (3) NASA Apollo 15 Crew, One of the greatest (American) football hero Tom Brady, co-founder of Google Larry Page, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and many more.

Just recently, U.S. News and World Report released their rankings for the best PUBLIC universities in the country and UM - Ann Arbor is only a measly second on the list -- behind only UC – Berkeley. 

This is the exact mid-point at this 40 acre campus.

Enough of the statistics. More interesting photos in my Part 2.
It is a conservative university. But there are weird people everywhere. I was walking down the University campus. One guy came in a bicycle, stopped in front of me, and asked me: Are all the girls in the campus going to wear a bikini bra tonight? I replied: I don’t know. I am gay.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Page from the Past

My company used to give us lot of money to be spent on local community for PR purposes. At that time, I was working in a city in a Mountain Time Zone. One day, my boss told me that she is very busy in her work and have no time to analyze the requests for donation from various community organizations. She therefore asked me to analyze those requests and make a final decision. 

I, being of Indian origin, used to treat favorably requests from the Indian community. They got more money per person wise than any other community. That Indian community was able to bring a number of famous musicians and artistes with our company’s contribution. 

There was a change in the Presidency of the local Indian Community. The lady who was the President of the Indian Association retired. A new gentleman was elected. One day, he came to see me to introduce himself. During the conversation he said: 

“I have seen in all the Indian programs you and your wife only come. Your company is contributing funds to us. Why don’t you bring your boss to our programs.” 

I asked him: Do you want funds or the presence of my boss? 

He answered: I want both. I said: I will think about it. 

After he left, I thought for a while and decided to reduce our company contributions to the Indian Community. 

(I digress: My thought was he does not think I am high enough in my company and wants my boss’s presence. In his mind, his imagination of my boss is a white guy, aged mid-50s slightly balding. He would come to the Indian program and say “I love the music even though I don’t understand the language. I love India so much that I saw the movie Gandhi 3 times. I love to eat curry.  I want to visit the Taj Mahal.)

I told this to my wife. She asked me to request my boss to come to an Indian program and see the reaction on the face of that Indian Association President. 

Now about my boss. She is a black lady. She is 2 years younger than me. MBA topper from Harvard. She wears only jeans and t-shirt all the time. If you don’t know her and meet her, you would think she is a waitress in a coffee shop.  But very intelligent. A spell bound speaker.

Epilogue: Two months after that, I was transferred to Saudi Arabia. I have no idea how my successor dealt with the request for funds from the Indian Community.

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.