Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Look! a New Year!

I haven't had time in the last few days to properly put my travel experiences all over India in words [don't worry, I am taking extensive notes, including that of my train travel last night in the cheapest traveling class :)].

In the meantime, here are my new year wishes to you all, in a hitherto-untried format.

And yes, this was all recorded and uploaded at Patna, the capital of the "most backward" state in India. Take that!

Happy New Year 2009!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Relative Stability

After a 12-day trip involving Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ranchi, I am finally at my parents' place in Patna.


Just got off the train, and on the internet :).

And now, off to shower, and then blogging, perhaps :).

bye, and Merry Christmas all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some Paris Snaps

As I prepare to leave for India [flying to Delhi tomorrow evening], and to lower bandwidths as I travel, I figured I should upload some snaps for you all to see.

Album 1: Winter in Paris: including actual snow at my workplace [as mentioned here]

Album 2: Salon Du Chocolat

And finally, for now,
Album 3: Thanksgiving!

and now, off to sleep, got a long, intercontinental day tomorrow! [and a hectic month :) ]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gmail To-Do

Do you, like me, use and love gmail? If so, you will be extremely happy to read about their new to-do feature [ref: ToI].

'nuf said. Go read the article and enable this in the labs features, I have things "to do" :).

P.S. I had recently emailed them asking for being able to make emails "sticky" -- and given you can add emails to your task list, my wish has been granted! Thank you Santa!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Embroidering Your Way to Power

The better India blog had a very nice article today about women in Rajasthan who have achieved financial empowerment by way of learning skills that help them sell the products of their skills and hard work. From the article:
From being totally dependent on their husbands for a living to gaining financial independence, they are on the fast track to discover themselves. There are some women who have been victims of wife battering, marital rape and molestation too. “As these women are now contributing to the family income, they command respect from their families and their relationships with their husbands have improved as the husbands have started believing in their wives’ capabilities,” says Lee, a volunteer from Taiwan, who works with these women now.

Good stuff. The article also has links to other such efforts.

And in other news, it snowed here!!!!! I must say it was the first time I saw snow falling and the ground turning white [I have seen pre-snowed ground, and snow that falls and melts when touching the ground, but this was the complete experience :) ].

In still other news, I will be flying to India this Friday. yay!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Live and Uncensored! K&K Ep. 200

Its here, the 200th episode of the K&K podcast! [and yes, Your's Truly will be there!]
You can read about it here, watch is live below, and chat about it here!

The event starts at 5pm Paris time, but the video might start one hour earlier.

And now, I am off...

Webcam chat at Ustream

Friday, December 05, 2008

Parlez vous podcast?

I am on the train back from Brussels to Paris [and in the 1st class, no less!]. The trip went well, esp the keynote today from the Dean of EPFL. Also, the chocolates I bought today, as well as the food we were given all this week was simply fabulous.

And now, I am looking forward to the celebrations tomorrow for episode 200 of the Katia and Kyliemac podcast!

And for this, I give you the third installment of my guest appearance on the K&K podcast. Episode 198, the one where they talk about arranged marriages... and stuff...

The MP3 is here, and as always, you can listen to the streaming version below.

In case you missed my last two appearances, for ep. 197,
You can download the MP3, or listen to it below.

And for those who missed the initial one, here is the MP3, and the streaming audio is below.

And don't forget to check out episode 200, which will be streamed live! There are rumors that a certain PhD from USC will have a guest appearance ;).

P.S. I must say I liked the podcast experience, and am greatly thankful to K&K for the opportunities. You ladies rock!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Letter to the PM

This evening, the Indians in Paris will participate in a peace march. Sadly, I will miss it, on account of being in Leuven for a conference.

That being said, I am happy that I was able to do my bit for the march. As decided in the coordination meeting we had last saturday, I wrote a letter which the people will sign and give to the Indian ambassador. I am reproducing the letter below. You are most welcome to "sign it" in the comments section.


The Honorable Prime Minister of India,
Dr. Manmohan Singh

The Honorable Ambassador of India to France,
Mr. Ranjan Mathai

Respected Sir,
We are a community of Indians living in France, some for many years, and some for a few weeks now. Some of us have made us this our home, while others intend to return to our motherland soon once our work here is done. Regardless of our current location, we all have friends and loved ones in back home, and indeed, are members of the family called India.

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have deeply shaken all of us here, who spent many hours glued to our TV sets and web browsers, watching the events unfold on live news. While many of us directly or indirectly knew those who fell victim to the reprehensible acts of the terrorists, all of us share the pain, the anguish, and the feeling of helplessness and uncertainty that this incident has evoked.

Through this letter of ours, we condemn the horrendous acts of the terrorists who sought to kill innocent civilians by attacking the financial capital of our country. Our prayers are with the families of all those who lives were cut short by this incident, the innocent civilians as well as the valiant security personnel who sacrificed their lives while opposing the monsters who perpetrated this attack. We also express our relief for the saved lives of those who escaped this ordeal alive, and wish that their wounds, both physical and mental, heal soon.

We would also like to wholeheartedly express our deep gratitude towards our security forces -- including the Mumbai Police and Fire Department, ATS, NSG, MARCOS, and others who were involved -- who rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly and valiantly to lead us out of this dark hour. Our thanks are also due to those nameless civilians who helped support the operations, both inside the affected buildings and out.

On this solemn hour, we share the feeling of our fellow Indians, who are shocked by the failure of our security apparatus to anticipate this attack, and are feeling let down by our elected leaders. At this moment, Honorable Sir, we are looking up to our leaders to chart a new course in our domestic security policy so that attacks like this never happen again.

On the above note, we humbly submit that Indians have been attacked by terrorists time and again in the 61 years of our existance, and after each attack the public has heard our leaders make promises of making the country more secure so these attacks never happen again. Needless to say, these promises have gone unfulfilled, as evidenced by the audacity of the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Dear Sir, at this time, we are looking up to you and the administration to break the trend followed by our politicians for all these years. We would like to suggest that when the government announces its plan to combat terrorism this time, it also clearly define concrete success criteria and clear timeframes, which can be used by the people of India to unequivocably evaluate the deliverance of these promises.

The Indian citizens are looking up to you for guidance and a call for action, and we promise to deliver on whatever you ask us to do. Please lead us by example to a safer, more secure India.

with best wishes,
The Undersigned.
December 4, 2008

Name, Location

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Listen to Me

[update: event link updated. I meant the Paris one]
No really, listen to me, at my second appearance on the K&K podcast, k&k episode 197 - the one where they discuss the beauty of live streaming audio and free speech... and stuff....

You can download the MP3, or listen to it below.

And for those who missed the last one, here is the MP3, and the streaming audio is below.

OK then, goodnight!

BTW, I would love to go to this on Thursday night. What about you?