Wednesday, December 30, 2009


[Update: Bandage off. Feeling much better now. Check out my twitter page at for regular updates. Login NOT required.]

[Update 2: Met doc this morning. He says I am healing well, and I feel the same :). Flying back to Patna tomorrow morning (Jan 1st). A befitting beginning to a year that promises to be travel-filled.]

--sent from my Google HTC Magic--

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa and the Eye

[Update: Doc appt postponed to 30th. Flying into Chennai on 27th, coming back on 1/1/10]

First of all, Happy Santa Day to you! May the bearded rep from Coca Cola grant you all your gift-related wishes :).

Moving on to the second topic - My eye. [those who don't know about my eye issues, please click the link]

On Monday, December 21, Dr. Lingam Gopal of the Sankara Nethralaya examined my eye. After looking at my fresh angiography, he said there there is more trouble in my eye than there was on Nov 3, when my last angio was done in Paris!

Apparently, there are new blood vessels forming behind my retina, or technically:
The fundus fluoresciene angiography was reviewed and showed very clearly a choroidal neovascular membrane beyond the existing chrioretinal scar.

Basically, if they don't stop this, my vision could further deteriorate.

The good news: treating this will only take three injections of Avastin, once a month.

The bad news: the injections need to be given directly in the eye!

So, yeah, on the 27th of Dec (this Sunday), Dad and I will go from Patna to Chennai so I can get a shot on the 28th. The other two will be given by my doc in France, who is in agreement with Dr. Gopal's diagnosis and proposed treatment.

Other than that, life is good. Had a good time at HiPC in Kochi, and then in Chennai. Currently enjoying with mom and dad at Patna. Let's see what eye-related gift Santa brings for me. Maybe this?


Thursday, December 10, 2009

First They Came for the Minarets

[Have been thinking of posting this for some time now, and R also reminded me. Here goes.]

Some weeks ago, O pointed me to a controversy in Switzerland, where there was a referendum happening, which would amend the Swiss constitution to ban the construction of minarets, the slender towers that often accompany mosques.

N, our group's concerned muslim, complained about how he had a bad feeling about this, and that things will be very bad if this ban passes. I, the ever optimist, asserted that the Swiss people are better than that, and they would certainly not allow such a stupid thing to come to pass. After all, their parliament had, on many occasions, thwarted similar efforts aimed at banning minarets at local levels.

Needless to say, I was wrong.

The referendum had a 53.4% turnout, and 57.5% people voted to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland.

Craziness I say! [and laziness, on behalf of those who did not vote]

Definitely makes me think of this epic poem from WW-2, and of what might soon be happening in other countries. N tells me there are similar discussions being launched in France too, and a French colleague of mine admitted, with sadness, that if a similar vote happened in France today, the results would be similar to the Swiss ones :-(.

And in case you have any doubts that this was an anti-islam or racist ballot, I present to you the "promotional" poster for this campaign.

[from wikipedia]

I guess my views and anger/frustration are best expressed by Jon Stewart in the clip below.


And as if this was not enough, I came across this wonderful piece in the LA Times which pointed out how (in)security about one's employment is a bigger contributor than (lack of) education in whether or not one will believe in conspiracy theories. Given stupid anti-people votes such as the Swiss one are a result of too many people believing in lies, and given that the world's economic situation isn't in its best shape, I can only shudder at the thought of what other "democratic" actions are to come.

So, what do _you_ think?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

French Dinner with Bhai

My bhai (brother) was visiting me in Paris this past week, and we ended his trip with a visit to the Loire valley, where we visited the chateaus of Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau.

But more about that later.

For now, I want to talk about the wonderful local dinner we had at Cheverny, where we spent the night. Here is a slideshow for your viewing pleasure. If you cannot see it, click here to go to the album directly.

P.S. As a sneak peek for the pictures still to come, here is Tintin's home

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Today is world AIDS day [how you can help], and so I figured I will share with you one of the best street-play songs I have seen in a movie.

For the non-hindi speakers, they are singing about the "bumble-bee (bhanwra) of AIDS" who is not your friend, and can bite you if you are not careful. So swat it - FATAK!

Stay safe people, and remember this slogan "Check, and then mate" :)