Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

There’s an NRI in 180 of world’s 183 countries...


This may well be the ultimate ode to the globe-trotting Indian who, for centuries, has been criss-crossing the world in search of opportunity and adventure: Indian citizens are today permanent residents of all but three countries in the world.

The ministry of overseas Indian affairs has registered the presence of non-resident Indians (NRIs) in 180 of the 183 countries of the world. The numbers may vary from just two in Lebanon to almost a million in the US but the fact is that Indians call the whole world their home. It is only in North Korea, Pakistan and Bhutan that not a single NRI is to be found.

NRIs are Indians, who like steel tycoon Laxmi Mittal, proudly hold on to their blue Indian passports while living in another country. They are also different from ordinary Indian citizens who obtain visas and go abroad to work or study for a limited period of time. NRIs remain citizens of India but enjoy the right to live and work permanently in another country of their choice. Indians can now be found in the remotest corners of the earth. Go to the Republic of Palau, a speck of an island in the Pacific Ocean which is one of the world’s youngest sovereign states, and you will find five NRIs there.

NRIs opening global windows of opportunity
Non-resident Indians are to be found here, there and everywhere. Don’t be surprised to find 20 of them living in the mountains of Bolivia or a 375-strong Indian community living in tiny Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Historically, Indian communities have had a major presence in several parts of the world. Be it Gujarati merchants who settled in East Africa, Tamil Chettinads who lived in South-East Asia or indentured labourers taken from Bihar to work on plantations in the West Indies, Indians have been migrating to other countries for centuries. During the two World Wars, they fought for the British army and settled down in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. The NRIs were a post-independence addition to this long list of migrants.

But it is also true that, historically, the NRI’s favoured destinations have been First World countries or the Middle East, where employment opportunities abound. But the latest data confirm that in a globalised world NRIs are making opportunities in literally every corner of earth.

The largest number of NRIs are in Saudi Arabia (17 lakh) followed by the United Arab Emirates (14 lakh) and the US (9 million) but what is more fascinating is they can also be found—albeit in minuscule numbers—in Slovenia (10), Montserrat (10), Iceland (21), Bosnia and Herzegovina (30) and Burkina Faso (150).

Experts also point out that, if people of Indian origin (PIOs)—a term for citizens of other countries who have an Indian ancestry—are included, then both Pakistan and Bhutan would also find it difficult to shake off the Indian links to their populations.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Imagine that....

Imagine that ...

An examiner mistakenly (or otherwise) marks a correct answer of yours as incorrect. You point that out after seeing your marked answer sheet however the examiner is not ready to acknowledge that hes wrong. You keep trying for a while ....get some bumps on the way, but keep fighting rising from all that because you believe in the power of truth & optimism.... but after a long drive of sustained & varied efforts, you decide to give up. And when you ultimately do give up, you are engulfed with the sense of defeat & acute helplessness. Yes thats how I feel at this very moment!

Imagine that....

One simple villager takes his two children to the village fare and somehow loses track of the children in the crowd. The older of the two children takes it upon himself to get himself & his little brother to find their way out. The older one does manage to find his way back to his father after a long tiring struggle of cutting through the crowd while protecting the crying child from the very same crowd. The father is happy to find his kids back with him and automatically turns his attention to the crying child.

The other child wants to scream "Dad hug me, I am scared too" however keeps silent. He is scared that his fathers attention will be diverted from the little child who needs it more. He is scared that he would see the same expression of pain that his father had on his face when he saw the younger child scared & in tears. Not knowing what to do other than just deal with his fear himself, he is still waiting for his father to tell him that its ok to be scared sometimes, that he is going to make everything alright, that he has his father standing there for him when he feels all alone. Yes i feel like that child at this moment!

Imagine that....

You are on a trekking trip with a lot of other people with you. You seem to have a better grip on that tough terrain than many of them. People automatically give their hands out for you to catch them when they start stumbling. You catch each one of that.. and keep moving. And then there is this hand that you really like. So you pay special attention to that. So after the first call of your name , even you are not being called for by the person whose hand you really like , you keep checking that he is doing ok on that terrain.

You see the hand coming you way very frequently then. You are just so happy to hold it that you miss out on the realisation that the person has stopped walking on his own. And when that very hand starts pushing you , you lose your balance out of shock the first time but manage to gain it back quickly, thinking that if you are off balance there is no chance that the person will ever gain the balance back. You get used to that pushing hand and still are happy to just hold it. Why? For one you just love that warm feeling that your hand gets when in that hand. Also, you keep believing that this hand is the strong hand you have always been looking for, the stong hand that will hold you when you stumble along the way. And then you realise that the pushing is becoming way too frequent, actually an inevitable part of this hand holding.

You put all your energies in trying to avoid falling down, losing the balance and holding the hand a little bit stronger than before. You see the hand slipping everytime after pushing you down, sometimes slowly, sometimes in a split second with a jerk. You are told that the hand breaking away from that warm grip is for your own good. You are told that this beacuse while the hand deeply realises its need to be in your hand, it just doesnt know how to stop the pushing. And there you are, after all this pushing, you still dont want to let go of the hand. You believe that this is indeed the hand which is going to support you when need be in future. So you find out the underlying reasons for this pushing down syndrome.. or at least try to.

You figure that the belief on the other side is that the terrain is getting tougher by the day, and so because of you. Yes the belief is that it is so because of the shoes that you are wearing. The belief is that it is so beacuse the shoes have sharp blades which makes it difficult for those close to you on this trek to keep moving smoothly, as once your shoes hit that ground, the terrain is ruined. You are amused at this finding but take it seriously as it is causing serious trouble for your balance hence your ability to provide support to others balance.

You decide to deal with it by simply showing whats underneath the shoes. But you are told that the blades exist even though you have tried hard to hide them. Your faith that you can prove your truth remains unfazed. You offer a thorough investigation of the shoe. The offer is taken but halfway through the process and not finding any sign of the blade, you are told that maybe its not the blades, its just the way you walk.

You try again...and again.. not ready to believe that truth doesnt always win. But then finally get just too tired to try again.Yes I feel that tired now!!

BTW - "Imagine that" the movie : not that great!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Awaiting rebirth...

I want to cry... but my tear glands are way too tired.
I want to sing... but my vocal chords just resigned.

I want to run... but the signs on this crossroad are all messed up.
I want to scream ... but the voices in my head wouldnt shut up.

I want to smile... but someone harvested all my smiles crop.
I want to jump.... but i am stuck with my feet glued to the hilltop.

I want to drink... but the trip i am in, no drink seems good enough
I want to eat... but it just seems a little too tough.

I do want to live... but as of now i am just too dead to try that!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One PIE please ... with some extra "I"

So some of us know what PIE stands for .... yes i am referring to the acronym for Physical, Intellectual, Emotional.

I used to believe that all conflicts/ confusions in a man-woman relationship could be easily explained by the fact that the order of heirarchy among these three needs is totally opposite in men & women. Let me explain. A man needs his PIE aspects to be taken care of in exactly that order - First Physical, then Intellectual and then Emotional. While for a woman, the order is exactly the reverse. For her it is Emotional first , followed by intellectual and then Physical. At least that was what i used to believe (with a few exceptions of course... for me the "I" has always surpassed "E" by zillions of miles..but we are not talkign about me here.)

Was just wondering if this theory still works? I am not sure anymore. 
So is this the new-age world everybody keeps talking about? 

I just hope it means that whatever is the order, its the same for both the sexes. But life isnt that simple, now is it??

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I "Taboo" that!!

For the uninitiated, Taboo is just like Dumb Charades, the only difference being that unlike dumb charades here you can actually speak to describe the word that your team has to guess, but cant use specific obvious taboo words related to that word. For e.g. if the word is fish, while describing the word you can say anything that you want except for the words from this taboo list - water, animal, eat, sushi, seafood. I am sure you get the drift. Also, it works in one minute time slot for each turn. 

You get 1 point for each word that you get right during that one minute and minus 2 points if you don’t get the word, or you use any of the taboo words. So you see, speed is important…and so is caution of not using the taboo words. And sometimes in the quest to perfect these two (speed & caution), we get to see situations like the one mentioned below.

During one of my team turns, this one guy was trying to describe one word.

Him -  “What I like”.
Me  - “Pizza?”
He shook his head and said - "No"
Me – “Alcohol? Partying?”
Shook his head again
Me – “Women?”

Some more head shaking followed….
… and we couldn’t think of anything more to fit in that description. We gave up and got a minus two on that one.

After the turn finished , when he came and sat next to me I asked him –“Dude, what was the damn word?”
He responded, with a long face – “Potato”

And the following words came out of my mouth as if they were meant to be the most natural response –“Really? Potato?? Duhh… you should have said What you look like rather than what you like” (If you havent guessed it already... the guy is big. Tall and bulky) He gave me a nasty look and then, the sweet pal that he is, he gave me company along with others in laughing it out.

After a few rounds, another one of my team members went up to take on the turn. By this time the other team was winning by a wide margin (Really, it wasn’t very unexpected  given our team had people with the aforementioned articulation skills!! Sigh…Even the great guessing powers of other team members like myself couldn’t save us!). 
Anyway this time we got as much as 4 words right and were on the 5th one (You see, usually in one minute time on an average, you can get 3-4 words right, 6-7 if you are good and about 9-10 if you & your team are incredibly great at it!) So crossing the average by getting onto the 5th one obviously translated into the excitement running high in the team. All of us had by now left our respective seats and in an attempt to stand close to the guy performing on the center stage, ended up standing very close to each other as well.
So the performer picked up this 5th card, his eyes lit up and we reckoned it was going to be an easy one. He said, pointing in my direction – “What she looks like”…and I tried to decide (silently of course, in my head!) between konkana sen, madhu (yeah that forgotten actress), a school teacher (people label me that sometimes…though more for my rare but tough reprimanding acts than my looks)…and some more unmentionable resemblances that i am charged guilty of, by various people....

....yeah so while i was busy deciding which ones of these would embarrass me the least, all my team shouted in unison …. (take a guess….) – “POTATO!”

At this point I would like to mention that all this(my mental calculations & my teams luck with deciphering the correct word) happened in less than a second! I am not exaggerating, I promise!!

Ha! So much for not being embarrased.... (in retrospect..only if i had said out loud any of the things that came to my mind, who knows i might have been able to steer the team away from thinking of a potato!)

At first, I thought the performer had pointed wrongly at me while he was just trying to point at that other guy standing right behind me and very close (who I spoke those words to, in the first place!) ... and just when i was about to give this whole thing, the benefit of doubt (we were standing close, rem?) just hit me - he said “she” and not “he”. 
WTF, really!!

Ok ok, I know I planted the idea of building an instantaneous association between “looks like” and “potato”…but the context was that guy NOT me, for crying out loud. Maybe all my team members have the selective hearing syndrome. But really, all of them yelling? In UNISON? As if it was the most obvious answer? No, scratch that. As if it was the ONLY answer??

Moral of the story – Being a hostess of a fun night which includes alcohol, barbecue, a fantastic view from the balcony and a lot of games like Uno, Taboo, Playing cards and so on.. might add to a great fun quotient ….But in the end, doesn’t guarantee that the next time anyone says potato, you are NOT the first visual that appears in all those peoples head!!

Yeah, the world is a funny place …apparently so is my body shape. :P

Maybe next time when i am explaining the rules for playing taboo to all those present/particpating in the game, i should include "not pointing towards me when the word is potato" as the first rule!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fucking Awesome!

So this other day i was talking to one of my friends online

Me : Howdy?
Friend : Not bad
Me : Now thats not very enthusiastic!
Friend : Well...I could have said "I am fucking awesome"...but then i dont know any girl named "awesome", you see.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Playing Dumb... (Charades)

So this last friday was a dumb charades night at my house … needless to say we enjoyed indian food, some ingenious mime for not only the difficult but also the simple movie titles….and  many expected and unexpected laughs!!

The star among all those hilarious moments was when one of the guys got a 2 word movie name to enact.…. and to signify that hes enacting the 2nd word first he decided to not to show two fingers but only the middle finger with the palm facing his face.After a split second of awkward silence at this action of his, all of us burst in uncontrollable laughter... and the laughter continued some more for he remained clueless till the end of it all :P

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kick Ass!!

So someone told the guys in the office here that being kickass is the way to be these days... "Tabaan*
(English translation - "Of course") it is!!" they said and...

This happened!!

Donkeys ordered to wear diapers in Egypt

Egypt News. Net : Tuesday 30th Dec, 2008(IANS) 

Donkeys have been banned from walking around in the streets of Egypt's southwestern al-  Wadi al-Gadeed governorates without wearing diapers, an official said.

Mohammed Haround said the measure was to 'preserve the aesthetic and cultural scene of the governorate which currently witnesses an unprecedented boom in tourism'.

'Diapers are available in the markets at low prices,' Haroun was quoted by the official MENA news agency as saying Tuesday. He added that owners of the donkeys who violate this decision will be fined.

Donkeys are vital for many Egyptians since they can easily carry 20-30 percent of their body weight and are helpful in farming. Donkeys and donkey-drawn carts are a common sight in Egypt's cities and countryside.


Source : egypt news 


And this.... 


Donkey Sent To Jail In Egypt


A donkey has been sent to jail in the Nile Delta in Egypt for stealing corn!

The donkey and its owner were both arrested by police after the donkey was found in possession of corn on the cob stolen from a field belonging to the local Agricultural Research Institute.

A special checkpoint had been set up to trap the perpetrators after the Institute’s director complained that someone was stealing his crops.

Later, a local judge sentenced the donkey to 24 hours in prison, whilst the owner escaped a custodial sentence and received only a fine of $9.

Source : This 

Should i go and tell them whoever told them this, didnt mean it literally?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

50%... Huh?

So i tried this (following it from another bloggers space, who by the way is quite entertaining) and see what i got!

Genderanalyzer for your blog  : Results

Silhouette of a manWe guess is written by a man (50%), however it's quite gender neutral. 

Is this correct?   

So even if the % is 50:50 for man:woman, the gendernalyzer picks "man" to be stated in its verdict! Hmph!

Now my agreeing or not agreeing (with the verdict that is!) is one thing, but how the hell do i vote whether this result is correct , incorrect or even dont know. Damn!! it doesnt take much to confuse me..

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hoping for new beginnings

The idea of doing something else work wise leaving the current line of work has been doin rounds in my mind (and more so in my heart) for sometime now...  

I am tempted... cos i know i shouldnt kill this voice and take a new direction....

But the problem is...i dont know what direction is that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And peace prevails.....

Disclaimer - This is just in good humour NOTHING else please read it in the same ligh

A recent mail forward (I am not too big on the whole fwd thing..yeah but then who really is? Anyway given the humour quotient of this one, i thought it deserved to be shared with all of you who havent had the chance of reading it yet :P )

Recent studies commissioned by US department of Defense included one on nuclear war between India and Pakistan : This was the scenario.... ......... ...

The Pakistan army decides to launch a nuke-missile towards India. They don't need any permission from their government, and promptly order the countdowns.

Indian technology being so advanced, detects the Pak countdown in less than 8 seconds. Indian army decides to launch a missile in retribution. But they need permission from the Government of India. They submit their request to the Indian President. The President forwards it to the Cabinet. The Prime Minister calls an emergency Lok Sabha session. The LS meets, but due to several walkouts and severe protests by the opposition, it gets adjourned indefinitely.The President asks for a quick decision.

In the mean time, the Pak missile fails to take off due to technical failure. Their attempts for a re-launch are still on.

Just then the Indian ruling party is reduced to a minority because a party that was giving outside support withdraws it. The President asks the PM to prove his majority within a week. As the ruling party fails to win the confidence vote, a caretaker government is installed. 

The caretaker PM decides to permit the armed forces to launch a nuclear missile. But the Election Commission says that a caretaker government cannot take such a decision because elections are at hand. The Election Commission files Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court alleging misuse of power.

The Supreme Court comes to the rescue of the PM, and says the acting PM is authorized to take this decision in view of the emergency facing the nation.

Just then one of the Pak missiles successfully takes off, but it falls 
367 miles away from the target, on its own government building in Islamabad at 11.00AM. Fortunately there are no casualties as no employee reaches the office that early. In any case, the nuclear core of the missile had detached somewhere in flight.

The Pakistan army is now trying to get better technologies from China 
and USA. 

The Indian Government, taking no chances, decides to launch a nuclear missile of its own, after convening an all-party meeting. This time all the parties agree. Its three months since the army had sought permission. But as preparations begin, "pro-humanity" , "anti-nuclear" activists come out against the Government's decision. Human chains are formed and Rasta rokos organized.

In California and Washington endless e-mails are sent to Indians condemning the government and mentioning "Please forward it to as many Indians as possible".

On the Pakistan side, the missiles kept malfunctioning. Some missiles 
deviate from target due to technical failures or high-speed wind blowing over Rajasthan.Many of them land in the Indian Ocean killing some fishes.

A missile (smuggled from USA) is pressed into service. Since the 
Pakistan army is unable to understand its software, it hits it original destination: Russia.

Russians successfully intercepts the missile and in retaliation launch a nuclear missile towards Islamabad. The missile hits the target and creates havoc.

Pakistan cries for help. India expresses deep regrets for what has happened and sends in a million dollars worth of Parle-G biscuits.

Thus India never gets to launch the Missile....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years Eve

First things first - A very happy new year to all of you!

New year's eve for me was good...actually more than I could ask for.
Some random observations from the eve

1. I actually relished (and waited for the second serving!) the joke which they call samosas here (I mean really, their size could make a ram-laddoo feel proud for being so gigantic!) & spring roll look-alikes which seemed to have reluctantly left their dancing fields viz. the oil pan, still holding on to excessive oil.

2. I didnt mind the fact that even after charging us quite a decent amount of money, the organisers provided only the mixers for our tonics. Yes we had to bring our own alcohol.

3. I didnt lose my temper on the DJ who was so hyped to be an indian DJ (hence my expectations of all bollyqwood masala tracks!) insisted on playing english tracks more than the hindi ones. And he didnt even have any number that i requested. Ok, to be fair to him, i requested only one particular number Namak Ishq ka from Omkara ...and then i gave up hope (now if he didnt have that...THAT track... then could i really expect anything else?) Ok, to be honest...i went up to him more than once to strangle him and take charge but everytime my colleagues somehow managed to pull me back. And given his size i could have easily achieved that feat. Damn!~

4. I was somewhat surpised by the fact that i can still be on the dance floor for 5 hours straight!! yeay!! (and inspite of the above mentioned!) .....who knows, it could have been more, had they not politely hinted towards closing.. by serving food! (Really, who cares for food when you get to drink and dance??)

5. I realised that my dormant wish to learn salsa suddenly found wings on that dance floor.... (its still not fallen weak though its been more than 72 hrs since that dance floor... so i am hoping i will do something about it this time!)

6. I still dont take initiative in terms of social networking. No i am not anti social... i just dont have the drive to initiate it...thats all! So while i sat there enjoying my drink (for the first half an hour i.e. before the dance floor opened) some people came to my table, chatted ...and i reciprocated. While my newly married friend from office surfed through the entire gathering chatting up all of them one by one (i really think he covered everyone!) leaving his wife in my safe company. So I had to finally sit him down and wave this eye opener in front him. What, you ask? Well..think about it, he gets both the luxury of not sitting glued to the chair next to his wife and HAVE a wife...and i dont get either?? Now that cant be fair by any standard, right? I mean I didnt mind sitting next to her, shes a lovely person .... but the point is I dont get to take a wife home at the end of the party (Ok i am straight... but to be honest, sometimes i think i want a wife more than a husband! And i am sure it isnt so difficult to figure out why... he he!)

7. All in all, it turned out to be a good evening ..more than i had expected (Actually i had said yes to this idea only to see more than 10 indians in the same room... trust me, its a rare sight here!)

8.  ...and last but not the least... i was happy to discover that i still dont believe in making any new year resolutions!!

So, your turn now...what did you guys do?