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Manipulative Banking – The new norm

I now and then miss my payment due date. Yes, the bank will be fast enough to slap a fee on me. I usually call them and they reverse it for me as they can see from my history that I am good with payments and mistakes happen. But I

Is it the distance?

I claim myself to be a considerable, sensitive and rational person. But that claim seems dubious when I realize that I don't really care as deeply as I should about some of the important issues that are affecting the larger society. I have thought about this contradiction and here is

Amtrak Passenger FAQs

Answers are from my own personal travel as of December 2013 Where should you sit if you are taking California Zephyr? The scenery switches a lot between left and right side. Also, what you see depends on whether you are travelling from or to Chicago. I sat towards the Northern side (left

Across America on Amtrak

I have to attend a research workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 16 December. By then, I would be done with my Ph.D. qualifying exam. I have to be in USA till mid-January to get a cheaper ticket to fly back to India. Since I don't have any family in USA

Remembering Ajji!

I am reading William Zinsser's "On Writing Well" for last two days. In chapter 24 - Writing family history and memoir, Zinsser talks about the value of documenting family memories. As he says, writers are the custodians of memory. Their responsibility is to hunt those stray memories and bind them

It’s a shame!

I always thought I can get by with my Hindi in Nepal.  Nepal, though a small country, is culturally rich and Nepali is very different from Hindi. I can understand few words here and there when people speak Nepali. People do respond to me when the interaction is limited to

This photo is edited!

“This photo is edited!”, “Did you make any changes to the original?”, “The photo should be termed fake since you used Photoshop!”, “I appreciate truth more than illusion”! Yes, my friends sound like philosophers, activists, and art connoisseurs! I want to use this blog post to answer their questions. The

Fixing Things

I wonder how many among us nowadays really have the patience to find a place, if at all it exists, to fix a broken zipper in your jacket, to get the backpack restitched, find a new sole for your worn out shoe? When the microwave oven stopped working in my

Why should roads be wide and linear?

If you travel by foot on the streets of any of the old cities of India, say Varanasi or Old Delhi, you might feel claustrophobic because of the narrow roads, with houses standing tall on either side as if they are people watching your every movement. If you look a

Motorcycles in Nepal

Automotive industry is not well developed in Nepal. Almost all vehicles are imported. Insurance and hefty road tax add up to the import cost and make owning a vehicle in Nepal very expensive. I am planning on buying a motorcycle in Nepal and here is a small report on my