Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Reflections

What we've seen and experienced this year can never be summed up in one blog post and further more can never be justified by my writing skill. None-the-less, here is a recap of what went right and what went wrong this year.

Well actually, this year was mostly a year of new experiences mostly....

Loss of a brother :
The year actually started on a very sad note, I lost my cousin brother to meningitis. He was only 21 at the time of this death. When I heard the news all I could think of was that when he come to my wedding he came to me greeted me and then sat down somewhere in the corner. And may be was called upon once or twice for family photos. Had I known that that was the last time I'm meeting him.... When he died I thought that this might change a lot of things, specially with his mother. But I realise that even someone's death is not good enough to change some people and now upon reflection after almost 1 year everything is just the same.

Brother-in-Laws Wedding and Kuala-Lumpur Trip:
Well there were moments of lament and there were moments of happiness as well. In Feb. we went to Tirunalvelli via Chennai via Kuala-Lumpur, all first times. It was a great experience to be a part of Augustine's wedding and specially when I got to know that I get to be the best man for the wedding just because I am the "Damaad-ji" of the house. Such is the power of the Damaad in the house of his in-laws.

Baby News:
We weren't prepared for this at such an early stage of our marriage but it happened. Towards the end of January Debbie missed her period and from a home pregnancy test we found out that she was pregnant. At first I didn't know what to do, as we were neither prepared for this pregnancy nor were we planning for it. When we came to India to attend Augustine's wedding we decided to come to Delhi and meet a gynaecologist and the minute I heard the heartbeat of those lump of cells (that later turned out to be our daughter) we simply bowed down to the will of God.

Earthquake, Tsunami and Radiation:
At that time we were almost finished with our stay in Japan and were all set to depart by the end of March. But on 11th March what we experienced cannot be described in this small section of this blog post. At best I can only narrate what happened with us. So here it is : I was in my office when we felt the 1st tremor, immediately I called up Debbie on landline to tell her that now her experience of Japan is complete and she can check the earthquake from her list of "Must experience things in Japan". But as we were talking the tremors became wilder and wilder and stuff started falling at home and in the office. At that moment I asked Debbie to get out of the house and what did my dear wifey do - as trained in India she ran towards open space which apparently was near the river that merges into Tokyo Bay just 1 km from our place. At this point I can only thank God that Tsunami did not hit Tokyo. Otherwise God only knows what would've happened. Actually at that point of time we weren't even thinking of Tsunami until the videos started coming in on the web. Only after watching those devastating videos that later would become synonymous with natural calamities did I realise the actual sense of what I had just experienced. Although to me it was actually not so big a deal back then and even now but when ever I tell that I had to walk 3 hrs non stop to reach home that night people are amazed so I'm mentioning it again. But did I even have a choice?

The news related to Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant radiation leak made every Indian I knew in Tokyo run to India like way we run to toilet when we have diarrhoea. We too were one of them, but my main concern was Debbie's pregnancy. The water was contaminated, the air was contaminated and I was not willing to allow my first born being born short of a limb or mentally retarded. So we had a genuine reason.

Return to India, Settling in & Saattal:
On April 20th, after a brief return to Japan to settle the issues that I had left in the middle because of the earthquake and aftermath, I returned to India permanently. And boy was it a delight. To be with my people, my Church, my family and my home. I did experience the cultural shock for a while specially on the roads with traffic, littering etc. but I was back. Returned to Saattal after 2007.

Raining Babies:
Have mentioned this in previous blogposts also but no harm in mentioning again. Our joy of having a baby was multiplied a billion times when we came to know that 2 of our best friend couple were also expecting babies at almost the same time. And it turned out that not only these two other couples were expecting babies along with us but there were 5 more couples (also our friends) who were expecting babies between the period of August to December this year. Here the list:

Josh/ Sarah - Aug - Girl
Vishal / Mary - Sep - Boy
Gaurav/ Debbie - Sep - Girl
Arvind / Karisa - Sep - Girl
Biju/ Jeena - Oct - Boy
Freddie/ Beaulah - Nov - Girl
Amit/ Pinky - Nov - Girl
Ajay / Rachna - Dec - Boy

Not only that some celebrities also had babies. :)

Life After Sep-16, 2011:
Yes, having a baby in the house and being it's father completely changes your world. Honestly, when I first saw my baby I didn't know what to make out of it. I just stared at it for a while and then asked the doctor standing next to the baby - What should I do? The doctor gave me a brief statistics, reflecting babies good health condition. And I nodded pretending to understand what she's saying. Since I was the only person who was allowed to enter the nursery, when I came out, I was greeting with my friends and family, that had heard the news of Debbie going in labour and had reached the hospital just in time to see the baby along with me, and they were asking me - How do I feel? And was like - I don't know... I mean I actually had no thoughts expect phew!! finally the 9 months of pregnancy are now over. But now I can say How I feel. I feel like I've been given a blank slate and now I and Debbie have a chance to write our version of life story on this blank slate. But that's the big picture I also sometimes feel happy - When I'm able to make her smile, sometimes relaxed - When she's sleeping at the perfect hour in the night, sometimes frustrated - When she's not sleeping and it's 1:30AM in the night., sometimes anxious - Whether I'll be able to shape a good human being out of her.

I think it was nothing but blessing from God that we have had our baby at this point of time, now that I look back at it. I mean now since Debbie has rejoined work, if it wasn't for Arvind / Karisa who so lovingly volunteered to take care of our baby when we go to office, we don't know how we would've managed. Mostly likely Debbie would have left her job but with the housing loan due to start soon, that option was almost out so we were literally at God's mercy and showed us his faithfulness once again. In fact, looking back, it appears that He had this planned right from the very beginning.

There is a small interesting nugget - The Story of How Saachi was born that I'm leaving for now. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Another 40 days

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Metallica Concert and F1 - Delhi 2011

My 2nd ffffuuuu comic. 
Concept by Vishal Das
Enjoy :)
If you like this then also visit :

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Memories

A few days back I got this email saying there is a software called My Memories and these makers of this software want me to have this software for free. But in return they want me to host a "giveaway" of their software on this blog. After minor investigation , you know these days people will a lot Billions of dollars everyday, I found out that this is a genuine email and these guys actual mean what they are saying and probably find my blog interesting enough to use it for the publicity of their software and in return will give me that software for free. Wow!!

So it's a Digital Scrapbook software called My Memories. You call can go to the following link to download the software:

But if you want to learn a little bit more before you decide to buy this software then check out the following links:


I have successfully downloaded the software for now but I'm yet to organize my pictures properly in order to use this software effectively. But after a few trial rounds it really looks good, the slide layout and everything is really fancy. In fact, I'm thinking that I'll make a nice scrapbook for our anniversary and get it printed also. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day by Day...

First 40 days of Saachi Liza Maurya ...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Experiencing Parenthood...

 The First Encounter!! 16-Sep-2011

Mother and Daughter... 

Arrgggghhh... yummmmmy.. 

Chillin' out ... 

he he he... sizes..  - Mother and Daughter..



Flying kick!!  

Her point of view - Who are these peepals? 

Attempting an artistic shot..

Can swallow her in one go.. :O

Parde ke peeche. 

Hi Five !!!!! 

V is very very.. extraordinary.. 

Caring for my lil one (now all you with weak hearts please shed some tears) 

Grip on things 

Yo Mama!! 

What?? Poda now...

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Babies

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Why Grass is Greener on The Other Side ;)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

If only I was your english teacher!

I am trying to attempt to fuse some circuits for my English loving desi friends in this blog post. Do try this at home.. he he he...

Nao!! let us begin...

Yes it iz, right next door to the place we live you peepal of Gurgaon... haven't you seen the sign boards. Pahadi wala rasta. And so is Okhlahoma .. Didn't know Amreeka was right next doors... after all searching se God's secret location also finding, then this is only Amreeka no?? :)

Long upon a time there used to be the Nirulas and it was in CP and peepals were crazy about it. One of my uncle used to be a waiter there and he use to bring not only foods laik the Peetzaz and the marconis but also drings laik coca cola and gold spot and what not... ya seriously... it is a true. Then the glory of Nirulas vanished as the globalization dawned upon us. And thus came the MacDonalds!!!111! Be leave me - They just offered one type of food - The Buggers and we all were like waaahhh!!! mouth watering no??

Deewani!!1 thodi aag hai toda sa pani.. ok ok these are some stolen words from some non sense hindi cheepo song... but anyway.. today-tomorrow peepals are laik running behind "Desainrz clothing". I meen when I was laik in college, which was laik 10 years ago only, I was laik on the 9th floor of a cloud if I bot T-shirt and jeans from Peter Ingland and shoes from Nikky or Rebook.. but now I see peepals wanting hi fi stuff laik Jawani shirts and Lee Kapoor shoes. Waahhh!! but figure out what Jawani iz before you pop out your 'aaeez'

To be hawnest the true source for this one are my Japaaneez friendz. U see, they don't have the "TI" sound and the next closet substitute for that sound i.e. "CHI". So this is what the Japaaneez teech 2 thier peupils in schools (GK claas)... Chirren!!!11 What carz are most popular in India?? All chirren (unanimously erupting) - MAAROOCHEE!!! <good good>. Of corz Amreeki and Yoropian carz are not that good too we have like Frauds from US and Renu from Idli. You know.. what?? TATA for now. more coming soon ..may be.. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FAQ: Why Anna Hazare is wrong and Lok Pal a bad idea

Don’t fall for the miracle cure that is being offered. Corruption must be fought differently and it’s not easy.
1. Is Lok Pal is necessary to fight corruption?
No, not only is it unnecessary, it will make the problem worse. Corruption in India arises because of too much government, too many rules, too much complexity and too much ambiguity. Adding one more, huge, powerful layer to an already complex system will make the system even more complicated. Complexity creates the incentives for corruption–both on the part of the bribe giver and the bribe taker.
See my article on why Jan Lok Pal is no solution and Amba Salelkar’s article in Pragati.
1A. Is the government’s version of the Lok Pal bill better?
No. We don’t need a Lok Pal at all. Making existing constitutional institutions—like CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission—more independent will serve the purpose equally well. If we have been unable to prevent the politicisation and undermining of these instutitions why would we be able to prevent the Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined? If we can prevent Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined, why can’t we restore the independence and credibility of CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission?
2. What’s the alternative to Lok Pal then?
The alternative is to proceed with second-generation reforms, or Reforms 2.0. Contrary to conventional wisdom reforms have reduced corruption, albeit by moving it to higher up the government. In 1989 an ordinary person would have to pay a bribe to get a telephone connection. By 2005, there was no need to pay a bribe at all and anyone could get a phone in minutes. Yes, 2010 saw the 2G scam in telecoms, but that was because the UPA government reversed the reform process.
In fact, data show that perceptions of corruption are lower in some sectors of the economy, usually those that have been liberalised.
If you are interested in exploring real alternatives, you can start by reading Atanu Dey’s slim, easily readable and inexpensive new book, “Transforming India”.
3. Doesn’t Hong Kong have an Ombudsman and doesn’t it enjoy low corruption?
This is a specious argument. There is little evidence to prove that Hong Kong has low corruption because it has an Ombudsman. On the contrary, there is empirical evidence from across the world suggesting that countries with high economic freedom are perceived to suffer from less corruption.
Hong Kong is one of the freest economies of the world, and therefore, incentives for government officials to be corrupt are relatively low. The Ombudsman is useful to address the residual corruption in economic sectors and in sectors like law enforcement that do not have discretionary powers over economic sectors.
4. How can we have economic reforms if the corrupt politicians don’t allow it? 
We have not really demanded them at all, actually. If we did, they are bound to register in the national political agenda. We should persuade politicians that their political future is linked to implementing economic reforms.

5. Easy to say, but how can we do this?

By voting. The constituencies that stand to benefit from economic reforms—the middle class—needs to vote in larger numbers. In the absence of the middle class vote base, politicians appease the poor by giving handouts and entitlements, and cater to the super rich by allowing the crony sector to exploit the half-reformed economy. It’s not easy, and we have to be innovative. See for instance, Atanu Dey’s interesting idea to form middle-class vote banks to induce good governance.
Whatever may be the claims made by the people promoting Lok Pal, there is no miracle solution. They are peddling miracle weight-loss pills. Sadly, such pills usually don’t work and can cause severe damage to your health. If you are cautioned not to take those pills, you can’t ask “which other miracle weight-loss pill do you recommend”? The answer is in diet and exercise, which is hard work.
6. In the meantime, what’s wrong with Jan Lok Pal?This question has already been answered above, but it’s usual to encounter it again at this stage. The problem with Jan Lok Pal is that it’ll make the problem worse. Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the Lok Pal? Who will keep watch on them? Maybe we need a Super Lok Pal, and then a Hyper Lok Pal to watch over the Super Lok Pal and so on…This isn’t sarcasm, this is the logical extension of the Lok Pal argument.
7. Don’t we have the right to protest peacefully? Why do you say that a fast-until-death lacks legitimacy? 
Of course we have the right to protest peacefully. But it’s not about whether we have the right or not. It’s about are we using that right wisely. (You have the freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to blast Eminem using a loudspeaker at 2am in a residential district.)
As Ambedkar said while introducing the Constitution in November 1949, once the Constitution came into force, we should avoid all non-constitutional methods like protests and satyagraha, for they are the grammar of anarchy. If two persons go on fasts until death for two opposing reasons, we cannot decide the issue by allowing one person to die first.
Fast until death is political blackmail. It is a form of theatre engaged in to coerce the government into doing something that the agitators want. Whatever may be the cause, a single person cannot be allowed to dictate laws to the whole nation.
8. Doesn’t Anna Hazare have the right to fast until death?
Anna Hazare has the right to protest peacefully. However to the extent that his actions amount to an attempt to commit suicide, they are illegal. The government can legitimately prevent him from killing himself whatsoever the reason he might have to attempt suicide.
9. You are an armchair intellectual. Shouldn’t we trust activists more?
Pilots don’t design aircraft. Practicing doctors don’t discover new drugs and treatments. These jobs are usually done by armchair intellectuals. So being an armchair intellectual is not a disqualification.
You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are. You should examine their arguments and make your own judgement. Most of the people supporting Lok Pal have not examined what the proposal is, have not tried to consider opposing arguments and blindly accept it as a solution because some famous people said so.
11. Aren’t those who oppose Anna Hazare’s agitation supporting the corrupt politicians?
No. It takes an enormous amount of arrogance to claim that Anna Hazare and his supporters have the exclusive hold on the right way to fight corruption.
In the real world, it is foolish to expect 100% clean and non-corrupt politicians. The real world challenge is to achieve good governance with imperfect constitutions, imperfect institutions, imperfect leaders and imperfect citizens. This requires us to realise that individuals respond to incentives. If we remove incentives for taking or giving bribes, then corruption will be lowered. We can reduce incentives for corruption by following through with the reforms that started in 1991 but have stalled since 2004.
It is entirely possible to oppose the UPA government’s politics and policies, while recognising that it is the legitimately constituted government of the country. Individuals and parties might suffer from a legitimacy deficit because of flagrant corruption, but the Government of India as an institution remains the legitimate authority to make policy decisions for the whole nation.
12. Why is fasting illegitimate when Mahatma Gandhi used it in our struggle for independence from the British?
There is a huge difference in context between 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of India came into force and the time before it.
Mahatma Gandhi used civil disobedience against laws imposed on India by the British government. Indians had no say in how the laws were made and how they were implemented. Indians could not repeal laws we didn’t want. Civil disobedience was justified in this context.
Gandhi also used it to coerce Indian nationalist leaders too, including Ambedkar and the Indian National Congress, into accepting his views. Whatever might be the wisdom of Gandhi’s intentions, this was undemocratic and created a culture of ‘high command’ that lives on to this day. Fasting was not justified in this context. This part of Gandhi receives little attention in the dominant narrative of Indian history.
With the formation of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950, things changed profoundly. All Indians have a say in how laws are made and how they are implemented. We can amend or repeal laws that we do not like. There is, of course, a method to do this, which must be followed. These are the constitutional methods that Ambedkar referred to in his grammar of anarchy speech. When constitutional methods are available, there is no case for non-constitutional methods like satyagraha or hunger strikes.
There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.
Update:Read this FAQ in Kannada, at Vasant Shetty’s blog.
Originally published at:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Baby Name

If I wasn't clear in the previous blog post then let me announce this once more, D-cat is pregnant. Revised estimates on target date of delivery is Sep-23. So these days apart from going through all the pregnancy related stuff, that a couple has to endure, we are also finalizing the baby name. And as we are going through all this, I have realised that deciding a name is a process. A lot of things have to be considered before one narrows down on the name that the little fellow will either endure or enjoy for the rest of his/her life.

One could name a child after a popular or significant historic figure. Someone that a parent or both the parents idolise. This is very significant, in a way you not only honour your hero but also give your child a sense of identity and a message that will remain with him/her for the rest of his/her life. Some magnificent examples that I came across - Queen Victoria, Abraham Lincoln, Jim Reeves, Richard Nixon, Subhash Chandra Bose, Lancelot, Jhansi Rani. But what if you have 2 role models or both the parents want their respective role models in the baby's name. A mix two names in one is absolutely okay. In fact this puts even more weight on the name and makes him sound significant eg. Napoleon Einstein (this guy is a cricketer). Imagine when Napoleon Einstein is playing in the line-up of the Indian cricket team, who will give a damn about Tendulkar. Please believe me when I say that these are names of not the historic figures but the names given by the inspired parents to their new born.

One can also name a child after a quality that one would like that child to possess. There are two ways of doing this one is by simply giving the child the same name as the quality. Some superb real life examples that I came across are Soulwinner, Deathcheater, Pathfinder (ok I made-up the last 2). But the other and more the creative way is to name a child after an event that personifies that quality. For example - if you want a child to possess qualities like "Achievement"& "Success" (and nothing emulates achievement & success than man landing on the moon) then a good name can be Apollo 11 (also a real name, except for the 11 part).

One can also chose names after a city or a place in which the child was born like Shimla, Hrishikesh, Paris, Holland (all real names, people).

Recent trends and my research on the web has shown me that these days parents chose abstract names with a deep hidden meaning behind it. Kind of like a Dan Brown type code that the child needs to solve during the course of his/her life. These names help the child fit in with the crowd and yet stay unique. It can also be a mix of two hip names as well, to sound even cooler example Dylan + Frodo = Dyldo. (also a real name)

Of course, there are some other names that can make a child popular. This of course is not initially intended by the parents examples - D.K. Bose, P.K. Muteja (real names).

We?? Still looking for that perfect name...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's Raining Babies coming Sep-2011

Time for some updates. Little did we know that this day will come so soon. But anyway, it happened and now junior-G is on the way.

But also interesting to note is the forecast for the month of Sep this year. It will be a monsoon of babies.
Two of my close friend's wife's are also pregnant. So in summary (based on information available so far).

Vshall - 15-Sep
Rwind - 25-Sep
G-Man - 27-Sep

by God ki kasam this Sep is a busy month for DBF-G.

I am thinking that all of us guys can open a To-Be-Father's-in-Sep Club and we can meet up weekly at beer bars or strip clubs.. you know to drown our sorrows and pain. :) just kidding.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Internet Voting In India Using UID

Nandan Nilekani is working on a UID for every individual in India. I think it can be used for internet voting. At least in the cities where people have started using internet for paying bills, transferring funds, buying/selling stuff so why can't people vote as well. I think this might do wonders in increasing voter turnout in cities, specially in the younger, facebook addicted, generation. I hope the guys who are working on this have already figured out this potential use of the UID. But I wanted to put it out there via my blog, just in case. I am sure that if you've read so far and if you are a person who uses internet regularly for checking email, social networking, banking, paying bills, buying/selling etc. you would have already made a mental list of the advantages that internet voting will have, specially in the cities. Well here are a few anyway:

1. The voter turnout amoung the young generation might just reach as high as 99%.
2. People in hospitals can vote.
3. People who are not in the city/town at the time of voting can vote
4. NRI's can vote
5. No bullying/threats at poll booths
6. No booth capturing (of course places where booths are captured might not have high percentage of internet voting)
7. People don't have to miss work. They just need 10-15 mins off and can cast their vote.

Possible problems:

1. Hacking
2. Overload
3. System Crash or bugs
4. Somebody may steal your UID and password and cast your vote

But I think these issues can be addressed and should not be a detterent to this idea. Of course if you are worried that someone might steal your UID and password then I think this is a matter of personal responsibility and not a drawback of this system.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Noosphere

Some half cooked ideas and some thoughts for the reader's  pleasure and my records. Why for my records? Because if anything that I write below happens, I will have to opportunity to say - "I told you so."

Last evening when I was relaxing in onsen in my gym, it struck me, it was not just like the moment of Eureka, it was the moment of Eureka. A little bit of background first, the Little Green men in Toy Story series and Buzz Lightyear movie, live in a planet where they have developed a machine that keeps that connected all the time (in every sense imaginable). If someone discovers something, everybody knows. If someone is lost, everybody knows the location of the lost. This system has helped them develop a very strong community and which in turn has helped them fight against the invading aliens.

After a little bit of googling, yahooing, binging and yodeling (ok! I just googled)..I found out that these green men live in a planet called Noosphere.

Now the interesting part, "the Eureka moment", I realized that this is actually happening. We are e-mailing, blogging, facebooking, twittering, buzzing, orkuting, likedin-ing. All this is now available in our mobile devices. All this is networking, what about knowledge, news, data? Well do I really need to answer that?

Some companies and governments are working on a chip that can be implanted into our bodies (albeit its criticism) and so on. In short, we are now in some ways actually working toward the future as seen in the world of the little green men.

Somethings still need to be developed though and may perhaps be our biggest challenge before the noosphere can completely see the sunlight.

a. Democracy/Governance : The question or the challenge is - Can we really achieve facebook democracy? Something like the person with most no. of "Likes" is the president of the world. Sounds laughable, right?. And decisions are made instantly by real time consensus.

>> I am too excited about this aspect of noosphere (specially in the context of Indian politics) and so I want to discuss this in a separate post. Actually I am simultaneously drafting a sperate post for this.

b. Monetary system: We have internet banking but what about network banking? Honestly I don't know what "Network Banking" means. I just made it up. :)

c. Currency - Now this may sound crazy but why do we have exclusive currencies in all the countries. Since money is already dealt as a commodity in the trade markets then why not allow the common man to take advantage of all the currencies of the world like say soaps. Example, In a situation like this RBI and US Federal bank not banks but competing companies and their respective product being Rupee and Dollar.

d. Markets

e. Medical & Emergency situations - Since everybody in the noosphere know about everybody else, we can actually save more lives.

f. Disaster & Relief - Nobody can control natual disaster (right now) and even if in future we remain powerless against nature, we  will still have enough information to conduct swift and effective relief work.

g. Crime Control - Crime control in noosphere reminds me of Tom Cruise movie Minority Report but of course without the precogs.

Probably Facebook isn’t such a bad thing to happen to the world after all. It is a step toward the noosphere. Looking forward for the noosphere, developers are you listening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Loving Memory of Sanky

16-Aug-1989 to 21-Jan-2011

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hakone Trip

The last day of the year was spent sight seeing in Hakone. Debbie got to see Mt. Fuji for the first time. Although I have seen Mt. Fuji a million times already and have also gone hiking all the way to the top. And this trip was not just about watching Mt. Fuji from some other mountain. The trip had other attractions as well - a ride on a toy train, a cable car, a rope way and ship cruise. Watching volcanic activity in a mountain and watching the beautiful terrain from the cable car and toy train. But believe me when I say that all the other activities are like side-kicks of a movie in front of Fuji. The presence of this dormat volcano is felt at every point. Although the snow covered Fuji is just standing there all by itself at a distance afar but it draws your attention like a magnet draws paperclips. Everything is dwarfed by its mere presence. And as I said earlier even though I have seen Mt. Fuji a million time already but I was still in awe by it. How great is thou art.