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The opportunity to spend the long weekends of Dasara and Diwali with my parents, brothers and their family excited me. My mind was pre-occupied with the ways to surprise my family with gifts and celebrate with gusto. I did not have much time to shop as I had to finish my assignments before I

How am I fighting winter at Berkeley?

Winter in Berkeley for me has always been dreadful - I get to see the Sun for less than 8 hours (50% less than the usual 12 hours of sunlight I am used to India.) and there is no warmth in the light. This pushes me to hibernate. I wake

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

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

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

My first visit to Nepal

Nepal, though one the neighbouring countries, is never an immediate travel destination for most of the Indians. May be the skin colour of the people is not as exotic as the people of the West.  I decided to go there this summer to study the businesses that support fecal sludge

My life’s default plan!

Here’s what I have to say about my default plan: Get my PhD by May 2016 Work as an independent researcher till 2027 Travel around the world on a bicycle from May 2037 till May 2047 Start farming in a rural area near the mountains of Western Ghats or the Himalayas. Teach children when

What is it that I would miss?

When I go back to India for good, what is it that I will miss the most? It is the public library system. I am very attached to Berkeley Public Library(BPL). I go there at least once a week, sometimes just to ogle at the stacks of books! It is nothing

Any Human Heart – A great book about the realities of life!

I was weeping yesterday while biking to campus listening to “Any Human Heart“. I finished reading the book today. I must admit that this is one of the amazing books I have read in my life. I was moved by almost every situation of the life of Logan Mountstuart (LMS),