Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My To Do List for 2010

- Write an Op Ed for Slate
- Write a short story that I can live with
- Shoot a travel show
- Start a business
- Take carpentry lessons
- Figure out whether I am PhD material
- Learn to live more healthy
- Start a wikipedia project to document the lives of the 100 influential Bangladeshi women
- Stand up against domestic violence

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Graffiti Art Goes Mainstream

In the olden days, graffiti art was unwanted. It was the work of renegades who defaced property without the owner's consent. Now the tides have turned. A mural created by graffiti artist Banksy was defaced and community volunteers are cleaning it up.

Don't believe me? Check out the BBC article

Friday, November 07, 2008

YES WE DID! - Top 3 Election Night Moments

1) In Washington DC’s U Street neighborhood, from where we watched the elections, Obamania knew no bounds. It was no surprise since 93% of Washingtonians voted for him. The jubilant crowd danced, hugged and cheered. Honking cars and fireworks added to the festivities. In 1968, this neighborhood was the scene of mayhem and destruction when racial riots erupted in the aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Who would have thought that forty years on a diverse crowd would gather at the same spot to celebrate the first African-American President. I was proud of my adopted homeland for coming full circle.

2) As a new Virginia resident, I was thrilled to see the once staunchly Republican state go blue. Virginia hasn’t backed a democratic presidential candidate since 1964. So this was HUGE!

3) On a split screen, CNN showed two victory celebrations – one in Grant Park, Chicago as the crowd awaited Obama’s speech and the other in his ancestral village in Kenya. The Kenyan President actually declared a public holiday in honor of Obama’s landslide victory!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

Most Americans have not had the pleasure of laying their eyes on the US Immigration and Citizen Services ' I-485 application. In this form, people who are applying to be a permanent resident are asked a range of "interesting" questions. Here's a taste:

Have you ever engaged in, conspired to engage in, or do you intend to engage in, or have you ever solicited membership or funds for, or have you through any means ever assisted or provided any type of material support to any person or organization that has ever engaged or conspired to engage in sabotage, kidnapping, political assassination, hijacking, or any other form of terrorist activity?

Have you ever engaged in genocide, or otherwise ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the killing of any person because of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, or political opinion?

Do you intend to engage in the US in

a) Espionage?
b) Any activity a purpose of which is opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States, by force, violence, or other unlawful means?

Do you plan to practice polygamy in the United States?

Within the past ten years have you been a prostitute or procured anyone for prostitution, or intend to engage in such activities in the future?

Some lawyer somewhere probably got big bucks to come up with these questions! The thought of answering "YES" just for kicks did cross my mind. But spending the rest of my life behind bars would have been too high a price to pay for curiosity.

Here's a question that may be added to the list in the unlikely instance of a McCain-Palin win - Do you harbor or intend to spread liberal or socialist values?
Honoring the Dead

Here's an interesting bit of trivia - Barack Obama's grandmother passed away on Nov 3, a day before the nationwide polls. However, she sent in an absentee ballot in Hawaii on Oct 27. Does this count?


Not all states allow "ghost votes". California, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia are among those that do. USA Today made an interesting observation about "ghost voters" in 2004:

"Considering that an average of 455 voting-age people die in Florida every day, and that the 2000 presidential election was decided by a mere 537 votes, dead votes that slip through the cracks could become a meaningful bloc."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fork It Over

Despite our "no gift" policy, we amassed multiple sets of spoons, forks and other paraphernalia. Given that our supply of utensils exceeds demand, I am looking for alternative uses. Here are a few:

Construct furniture

Build a chandelier

Make jewellery

Tune an instrument

Make up a Halloween costume

Create a piece of art

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What a Drag

Wedding festivities were in full swing and my friends whisked me away to get my hair and make-up done. I was sitting in my favorite hair salon, getting my short hair coaxed into a bun and praying it won’t look like a butt on my head. The hairdresser was particularly flamboyant. He wore a flower-patterned shirt, sported a big hat and had impeccable eyebrows. I am rather promiscuous when it comes to hairdressers and have tried out almost all the stylists at that salon. However, this particular guy had never done my hair before and I was pleasantly surprised that he managed to put my hair up in a bun without making me look like a sinister school teacher. Noticing that I was rather impressed with his concoction, the stylist gave me his sales pitch. “Would you like me to do your make up too? I have been doing bridal make up for 25 years,” he bragged. For good measure he added, “In fact I also dress up as a woman all the time.” Drag queens are great fun and I wouldn’t quite mind getting made up like one. But it’s best to save that urge for Halloween instead of trying it out at my wedding. However, on second thought, that probably won’t be too far from the look of a South Asian bride.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Loving Memory of Arthur C Clarke (December 16 1917 – March 19, 2008)

He took me to a realm where imagination was boundless like the universe itself. Unfettered by gravity or the humdrum realities that tie people down, I could be an explorer on a quest for the impossible.

The world will remember him as a humanist…. a visionary…. an astute scientist…. a literary genius… an avid underwater explorer and more. I will remember him as the man who taught me to dream.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite Arthur C Clarke short stories “Nine Billion Names of God”