I'm feeeeelin' it... You??

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Ultimate Challenge - FITNA

In the name of religion we have already seen enough violence around the world. I am not sure when will the mankind ever understand that religions are to help us get better and not to kill, maime, etc.. This film, Fitna, has already generated enough controversery around the world, thanks to Mr. Geert Wilders, the Dutch parlimentarian who made this movie to talk about the radical divergence of Islam..

It makes you wonder how long would it take for some of our muslim brothers and sisters that "violence" is NOT a legitimate solution for their woes? Not sure what to make of it, but it makes me shudder to think of what the children of tomorrow's world will have to face -- more violence? Enough is Enough! Stop Killing each other in the name of religion! Peace!



What is appaling is that some humans continue to believe that something written in a book (that too it is wrongly interpreted often) like Quran,Bible, etc can be worth killing fellow humans. I wish there was an English version of this video made available so that we, the English speaking population, can understand the contents better.

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 5:57 PM 1 comments

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

THE CHOSEN ONE..

Wow..This is simply stunning and one for the history books! After listening to this speech, I am left wondering why are the Democrats even fighting over this nomination for President. He clearly has all the right qualifications, the intelligence and above all, the VISION that is expected of a leader! Come on, America! Here is your chance to return to your glory days! Vote your hearts out for Barack Obama! This is not coming from someone who is a democrat or republican. Heck, I am not even an American, at least yet. But I clearly see what the world needs in the next president of the President of United States of America. Let the "Change" begin with your vote for this man!

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 6:12 PM 0 comments

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Can the World handle Another Tianenmen?

To piggy back on my earlier post about the continuing protests in Tibet, I thought it would be appropriate to share this article published in the Sunday Times, and available at Timesonline, the UK daily available online.

Some of the striking observations, especially the changing stance of the Chinese authorities in handling the crisis presents a stark reminder of the Tianenmen Square protests. This time it is a bit different for the Communist party leaders that it is not happening square in the middle of Beijing, rather taking place far away from its center of control - in the mountains of Tibet. This can be a even more easy for the Government to continue its aggressive measures to quell the riots as it takes place farther away from the prying eyes of the media, who are now reliant on the information seeping through from the tourists who are cuaght in the middle and those exhiled groups in India and around the world.

With the Chinese government opting to trade the batons for bullets, it definitely warrants a hasty response from the G8 and the UN. Before a few more maroon robes come crashing down amidst the rain of bullets, it is the responsibility of the Civilised world to pressure China into doing a negotiated settlement rather than to aggressively crush the rebellion. After all, playing this "whack a mole" business might cost China dearly someday.

Pathetic of all is the response from the Indian government. There has been no support for letting the exiled group conduct a peaceful march in front of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. The protesters were manhandled and jailed for voicing their discontent, in a democratic way. Shame on you, India! All claims of being the largest democracy in the world is a mere farce unless we can't allow such peaceful protests. I am not sure what is driving India's decision to curb these protests but it seems to be driven by the economics rather than a policy/principle. The Ministry of External Affiars (MEA) has offered but nothing but a worthless call for talks between the parties, which has fallen on deaf-ears of the Chinese powers-be.

The article on Rediff stands to testify how pathetic India's stand is in this situation. An exceprt from the article notes the following: "Tibetan refugees are our guests in India. All those in India, whether Indian citizens or foreigners, are subject to the law of the land regarding the crossing of our borders, marches or demonstrations," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said. "Like our guests, Tibetan refugees, while they are in India, are expected to refrain from political activities and those activities that affect our relations with other friendly countries," he said. Hey Mr. Sarna, it is one thing to invite someone as a guest but it is another thing to ask them to just lead their life without even raising their voice for their freedom. If this is how we will treat our guests, let me tell you that we are not playing the nice host. They are humans too... fighting peacefully for the very freedom of their land that belongs to them...You believed in their cause and offered to provide them refuge! But why shut them out completely when they express their solidairty for their fighting bretheren.

Stop posing, India! I laud the American response, though it is an unofficial one. The Speaker of the House, Ms. Nancy Pelosi has expressed her concern and pressing the Chinese to come clean with the whereabouts of those arrested. She was cited in this Times of India article " The protestors got a major boost on Friday when Pelosi strongly condemned the Chinese action in Lhasa. "The violent response by Chinese police forces to peaceful protesters in Tibet is disgraceful. The Chinese government should immediately provide information on the welfare and whereabouts of the detained Buddhist monks and facilitate access by international human rights monitors and journalists to Tibetan areas," Pelosi said in a statement in Washington on Friday. The Democratic Party leader arrives in Dharamsala on Friday. Pelosi is expected to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibetan refugees and human rights activists."

The one question that comes begging to mind is "What is behind this decision made by India?" It is probably because India doesn't want to let the budding relationship with China to die off so quickly? Is it the potential loss of economic ties between the two nations that is now growing steadily? The contentious claim by China over the state of Arunachal Pradesh that India now owns after the Sino-Indian war has been surfacing once in a bluemoon over the past 40 years to stoke the simmering tensions, prompting both nations to discuss and arrive at a lasting solution. Maybe it is the fear that supporting the protests by Tibetans in its soil will lead to disastrous outcomes over Arunachal?

Whatever be the case, it is time for action before a few more bullets pierce those maroon robes!

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 5:22 PM 0 comments

Friday, March 14, 2008

Free Tibet..The Darfur Equivalent in China's Backyard?

(Image courtesy: New York Times)
Watching the demonstrations and the pictures of the protest screaming on the front pages of the Newspapers and managzines across the world, one can't go without really asking what's holding the world from countering China's attempt to muffle the protests in Lhasa and the rest of TAR. Click here to see the images of teh protest Washington Post

It does not matter how much China, or for that matter any country in the world, is counted upon as a "Super Power" in the economic terms, it has definitely at the bottom of the pile when it comes to Human Rights. Tthe first and foremost failing of this nation state is by not coming clean with its policies on Darfur and Tibet. At best, the China's PR machine can only come out blaming the Dalai Lama for the protests by the native Tibetans and those in Exile (in India, Nepal, et al) and the world around stood watching as the batons came down on those protesting monks and the bullets tore through those maroon robes bringing out the blood that never new what freedom tastes like.


Before China can go on the books as a nation that is capable of hosting such a dream event like the Olympics, they better address these human rights issues. Wen Jiabao may have to take a stand before China's carefully built image as a growing superpower gets muddied any further. Without any conciliatory measures, in my little knowledge of politics and international affair, I foresee no end to this crisis. Free Tibet is not just a local movement anymore as the world has gotten to pay attention with notables such as Richard Gere have brought the limelight on the issue of Chinese agreesion. Compared to the protests of the past (uprising in the 1980s), this one seems to have a larger implication on the image of China. It will be a delicate dance for the State Council leadership to address the issue without suffering a nightmarish backlash from the countries around the world, especially with many nations probably considering a pull out from the upcoming Olympics if the authorities resort to violence to subdue the protests. With key figures such as Steven Spielberg protesting China's policies on the Darfur Crisis by pulling out of China Olympics, Chinese authorities better get it right this time before a lot more damage is done. LET THIS NOT BECOME ANOTHER DARFUR!

China can no longer claim that it is an internal issue and objects to the advise of external actors such as the UN. This is not just an internal administrative issue anymore when the protests spilled into the streets of Kathmandu and New Delhi. Before it gets any worse, can the G8 and the rest of the UN Security Council biggies put some pressure on China, recommending a negotiated solution. This seems to the golden opportunity for teh Tibets to neotiate for a lasting solution. When the Olympics is come and gone, there won't be any such opportunity to attract the World's attention to this issue, at least for a while. As the article on Time suggested, this may be the Tibetan equivalent of the Palestinian Intifada against Israel, an issue that has dragged over decades as the world stood by watching the hapless efforts by various parties bit the dust.

For all that matters, it may be a golden opportunity for the G8 and the UN to rid itself of its disgraceful, inefficient past! Putting pressure on the Communist regime to sit and negotiate rather than to fire away bullets at those Monks and nuns in maroon robes may help the UN to rid of its "spineless body" image that it has acquired over the years with dismal performance in addressing teh Darfur crisis.

Of all the people, I wonder what do the CEOs of these companies have to say about the Chinese policies: Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and McDonald's - the key sponsors of the the sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Inspite of all the rhetoric about the Ethics taught by many of these CEOs at many a graduation ceremonies at the world's leading institutes such as Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, Wharton School of Business, why do these "posers" stand by and continue to let the maintain their silence? Maybe it is the fear of their companies stock's devalued if they pull out of the Olympics? Or would their businesses operations and potential profits suffer if the Chinese adminsitrators order a shutdown Coca Cola and likes for sending a message by pulling out of the Olympics ?

It is time for the world to decide on how they want to write the books of history on this issue. Let this not be another Darfur! And Let this not be another Burma where the monks had to swallow bullets when they raised their voice against an authoritarian regime? Maybe it is the very opportunity for the US (and President Bush) to start repairing its sullied image after the Iraqi (mis)adventure. Is anyone listening? Maybe Mr. Obama!!!

Oh! Maybe as a consumer, I'd like to send a message to Coca Cola for its bad business ethics. Forthe world to know, I'm boycotting Coca Cola and will continue to shun their products from now on! Anyone wants to join hands???

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 4:52 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The latest on my playlist..

There I go again.. dropping another one of my faves by "F.a.b.o.l.o.u.s" feat. Thara..The tune is still lingering around even after I shut the player..Neat stuff, huh?

posted by GeronimoThrust at 4:55 PM 0 comments

Monday, February 25, 2008

Not the typical stuff from Bangalore...Beware!

wow.. Can't believe it took so long for me to come out of my "blogging slumber" and post something..Anyway, here I come back with the best, as usual.. For many of you who knew Bangalore and to those that have heard that it is good for a couple of things - best Software professionals, best clubs, etc..Here is something for you to rethink..I think this is probably one of the best out of India (yet to figure out why the video, dance and constumes have to ape the Western rap style, but it is definitely worth lending an ear to these up and coming rappers..Let me know what you all..Trust me! It is definitely worth listening, at least once..

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 6:14 PM 0 comments

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another marathon.. another fun filled, pain-filled, 26.2 miles!!

It shouldn't be too surprising when I say that I'm running my 3rd Marathon on October 28th 2007, at least for those who knew me before. Last year, I ran my second marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (26.2 miles) here in Washington, DC on behalf of AIMS India Foundation to support their Rural Development projects in India. I finished the race in little over 5hrs. Jointly our team of runners raised well over $23000 for AIMS.

With all the encouragement and support I got from folks, I decided to do the Marine Corps Marathon again this year for AIMS India Foundation. What makes it even more special is the fact that The Marine Corps Marathon is also known the People's Marathon and gels perfectly with the mission of AIMS, which is to bring people together. This year our team has swelled to 35 members and we have raised our target to $35,000. I would like you to join me again in the quest for Making a Difference in the lives of these people who need our help. Once again AIMS India Foundation is partnering with Marathon Charity Partners (MCP) in organizing this innovative fundraiser - the marathon training program. Completing this 26.2 miles race will be a significant challenge for me. An even more significant challenge is the goal of raising a minimum of $1,000 to benefit sustainable rural development projects of AIMS India Foundation.

I have committed myself personally to work with AIMS India Foundation on its development projects. Though it's a drop in the ocean, I feel I should do my part and I hope that you will pitch in and support me in this cause. AIMS India's mission is to bring people together for the lofty purpose of bringing about a positive transformation in India, to achieve a vision of economically self-sufficient, socially harmonious that serves as a beacon of light to the rest of the world.

Please visit the organization's website for more information on the current and past projects.

As AIMS India is a volunteer based organization, it has virtually no overhead costs (only 6%). You can be assured that almost all the funds that I raise will go directly to these development projects in India. Running the Marine Corp Marathon (26.2 miles) is no easy task, as you all know. Though the minimum I am committed to raise is $1000 by October 29, I decided to exceed my goal by collecting $2600 - about $100 for each mile I am going to run. Remember, all your donations are Tax Exempt as AIMS India Foundation is a registered 501(3)(c) Not-For-Profit organization. You will be provided with receipts for your tax filing purposes. I would like to invite you to join me in supporting this cause. Please select from the following options:

1) $52.40 - I'm thankful for my education
2) $104.80 - I have a Large Heart
3) $1000.00 - I really believe in the cause
4) $***.** - Be creative..
5). $26.2 – Dollar a mile -- Applicable only to children under 14 years, unemployed, zombies, etc.

You can contribute in two ways…
1. Easy and quick – please go to http://www.mydonations.com/, a partner of AIMS India Foundation that helps in making the online payments. After a quick registration, you can proceed to donate by clicking on the "Donate Online" link (seen on the left column). Do not forget to select my name under the list of runners (I'm listed as ANDY on the list of runners seen in the "pull down" menu). After this selection, proceed to use your credit card to donate on this website (It is a secured website and no worries about data theft or misuse of your personal data).

2. Conventional – Make a check payable to "AIMS India Foundation" with my name in the memo and mail it to the Treasurer - AIMS India Foundation, 13327 Misty Dawn Drive Herndon, VA 2017. Be sure to indicate RUN TO SERVE A GRAAM (FYI - Graam stands for village, in Hindi) and Andy on the memo part of your check.

I am excited about the marathon and the impact our efforts will make in raising money for this worthwhile cause. I truly hope that I can count on your support. Please write to me at wizardofwashington@gmail.com if you have any questions about your contribution.

Together as a TEAM, we can do wonders and I'll be doing the hardest part (running 26.2 miles) on October 28th. You will have the easiest part -- sign a check. Will you do it today?

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." ----- Gandhi
posted by GeronimoThrust at 1:22 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I wish I could explain...

Damn! A powerful set of words spit and bound together in a span of 212 seconds made this video. This is dedicated to all the fathers and mothers who had to answer the most difficult question from their children about wars and death of fellow humans -- Tell me why people get killed by other people? Will Smith tried to take a crack at answering this profound, yet simple question posed by our children world over, in this video..Makes me yearn for more songs with such social messages that can change the way we look, see and think in this world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia! Time to stop this madness and start living our lives the right way!

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 4:25 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ring My Bells?

Somehow I stumbled on to this Enrique Iglesias song Ring My Bells on Youtube and ever since I'm struggling to move away from listening to it.. God knows how long this has been on "repeat" but finding it too hard to stop listening. It has that quality that pins you down - line by line, tune by tune, the melody is so incredible that your fingers have no choice but obey your brain's command to press "replay" .. A feeling that is like unleashing a wave of butterflies that flutter from the pit of your stomach and weave through your heart and swarm around your brain with sweet melodies? I bet a ton of women around the world will die listening to this number..FYI, the video is from an older music video (Love to see you cry) of Enrique but was mixed with this new song Ring My Bells! Brilliant Remix!

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 2:28 PM 0 comments

Friday, June 08, 2007

Morphology of Tamil Rap

The evoltion of tamil rap seems to be on an accelerated pace these days, and most of this evolution seem to draw heavily from the gangsta rap that originated in Brookly, NY and Los Angeles, CA, permeating world wide. The Ground Zero for this new evolution seems to be Kula Lumpur, Malaysia, which boasts a significant population of ethnic tamils who migrated decades/centuries ago from various tamil speaking communities in South East Asia (Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, etc).

Malaysia's leap into the 21st century to catch up with the West in terms of development, facilitated a techonolgical revolution of sorts in the 1990s. With miles and miles of fiber optic cable and broadband connectivity, the marvels of internet technology (YouTube)fed to the insatiable apetite of these tamil teens growing up there. Gangasta rap, which often fascinates teens and young adults in their 20s around the world, captured their minds and imaginations, leading to a rap fusion of sorts, blending tamil lyrics and the gangsta ruggedness.

Often experiemented in the back alleys and abandoned parking lots, the evolutionary core of this tamil rap genre started getting to the mainstage in the past few years. With elite rappers such as Yogi -B and Natchathra (Dr. Burn, Guna, et al) awfully talented crew of four, the community of growing youngsters were introduced to a blend of sweet of old tamil film musical hits laced with the hard rap. Usally layered on a 2X2 beat, these songs are quite catchy, super easy to follow and often easy to recite for ones who speak the language. Revolution really happened with the advent of YouTube, where these new videos now find a home to serve the audience from the Tamil diaspora all over the world. Classic hits such as "Madai Thiranthu" seen below have fueled this frenzy and spawned new groups.



Another popular group, ChakraSonic, has taken this ruggedness to the next level. Their video, Qurbani, seen with the disclaimer "home-made video, seriously makes you wonder if this is filmed in Malaysia except for the few references you hear in the song's lyrics. The corn-rows, hooded sweat shirts and the head gear along with the flashy cars with shiny 22s make the video and the rappers look no different than any T.I video around on the Internet.



Add to the mix, Boomerang-x, another tamil rapper who has delivered a nice video with a catchy tune and a video that never stops showing a mix of fashionable ladies and gentlemen all gyrating to a feet tapping tune. The video is worth noting here for the fun element it infuses with its little little storyline - a suspecting girlfriend watching her boyfriend dance around with other women in a club all observed and recorded through the trinkets (body gear such as sunglasses, necklace, etc on one of the dancing ladies). This is in contrast to the ChakraSonic where there is no intent of conveying a story but the message conveyed is in the form of riveting ruggedness and the jumpy tunes. The Villanz is another group that has started to create some ripples in the community with this video.



All of these groups, have one thing in common - the ferocity of lyrical delivery and the careful emulation of rappers from the west (especially the US) in attires. The dresses and hair-dos are no different than what you see in the 50-cent of T.I videos. The ruggedness envelops new boundaries that are not often associated with the tamil community. It's quite scary to think that some of these videos can play fodder to the next generation's thought process and create the notion that it is okay with the thuggishness that oozes out of these videos.

As long as it all remains in the limits of legal acceptance, we should be proud to have such a creative group of youngsters who have charted their own paths into this uncharted waters. Most groups would evolve and find a niche in the community as their CDs and MP3s get into the hands of their growing audience. Hope they find their own identities and not emulate the west in every bit of their song, which currently reflects in the rap videos generated all over the world. Let's wish them good luck and show some appreciation! Big Respect!

It all rounds up with this funny video, my favorite of all..



Can't tell you how deep it hits when you realize what these youngsters sold for attention - their identities! But the video also showcases the one of the core values in our community - respect for our elders among these young folks even if they are thoroughly embarassed. Sitting in the cross roads of multi-ethnic environments, this video is a sure sign of the coming times where our folks will be forced to chose their identities in this changing world. Hope we will be there to help them in this process!

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posted by GeronimoThrust at 6:33 PM 1 comments

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Religion & Violence- The perspectives of an 8yr old

Barring that occasional profanity, the parents of this 8yrs old kid should be awfully proud of the way she came across delivering what most adults struggle even in their - their view of religion.

Not sure who helped her craft the message, but she deliveres it with a charm that is so irresistible.. Poor O'reiley took a serious beating from this kid..

BTW, can someone tell me how is the TN state of affairs with all the hulla balla about the latest defacing of statues (Dravidar Kazahgam Vs. VHP/RSS).. Ashok Singhals, Narendra Modi's, and countless other such religious warriors (aka Jihadis) around the world would be put to shame if they ever come to meet this coolest 8yrs old.. Now, Shall we watch what she has to say:

posted by GeronimoThrust at 1:47 PM 1 comments

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What Can Brown Do for you.. (Not the DHL Advertisement)?

can assure you that he can do some good dancing!! The name of the artist in the video is Truly Brown aka T-Brown.. My assumption is that he is a desi from Chicago.. All I gotta say is that he got some Lethal Moves!! Yep! Yep! He sure knows how to move it all..If you still don't believe me check it out yourself..

posted by GeronimoThrust at 5:05 PM 0 comments

Who got it good -- Boyllywood or Hollywood?

Haven't done a totally useless post in a long while..Its high time I better get one done, NOW!!!!!

Alright! Often we have heard the complaints that desi movies/pop videos are churned out in numbers with most tunes being copied/lifted from West to make those uber cool songs.. Now, what came as a surprise to me was the fact that how the West has indeed opted to just use an Indian song without much edits and made the best of both worlds..This original score song - Khaliyon Ka Chaaman (ironically, the music for this song was composed by the infamous "lifter aka copy cat" Bappi Lahari, I guess??)- was used by Dr. Dre for his video "Addictive" by the artist Truth Hurts as an interlude. Boy! it was an instant hit in the clubs for a while and am still hearing it occasionally at the Indian party circles..FYI, for those of you who don't know, the artist in the Indian version is Meghna Naidu.. HOTTTTTTT!

Now, I'll let you be the judge to rate who is the best (Hollywood Vs Bollywood) when it comes to Pelvic Gyrations .. I thought the West was good but until I saw this one ..



Now, you gotta agree that the Indians look farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr more appealing/ravishing/stunning/inviting, etc, etc., to me (not biased here becos I'm a desi) than the ones on the video below .. There is something to this Indian video - it reaches out to tingle the sensual side of the viewer..Its Simple, elegant and suave compared to the rough edged, rapping western version shown below..Do you agree?? In any case, its hip shaking at its best..And me wondering how cool would it be to see some of Rakim's Rapping mixed up in the Indian Version (can't even imagine someone like Baba Shegal doing what Rakim does).. Remember, you can both videos simultaneously and it makes it easy for you to compare..Enjoy!

posted by GeronimoThrust at 4:32 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Running the Marine Corps Marathon, again.....

Well, I've been idling on the blogosphere for the past couple of months but busy with other things. Now , with several requests and e-mails later, I'm here to give youa brief update on what I've been doing. Most important of all, I was away from the confines of my cozy life and hitting the trails around the area, training to run my 2nd marathon. Yes!!! It shouldn't be too surprising for many of you when I say that I'm running my 2nd Marathon on October 29th 2006. Last year, I ran my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon ( 26.2 miles), on October 30, 2005 here in Washington, DC on behalf of AIMS India Foundation to support their Rural Development projects in India. I finished the race in 5hrs and 7 minutes (see attached post-race photo of our team). Jointly our team of 13 runners raised well over $13000 and some of your donations were spent towards the "Sanitation for Rural Schools" project.

The project was immensely successful and the schools now boast a gleaming new piece of infrastructure that make a difference in the life of these children attending the school. I've attached a picture taken during the inauguration ceremony! The smiles on those little faces are worth all the pains and thank you for making my marathon a memorable one. Speaking from my own experience, training and running a marathon is an amazing, moving and life changing experience.

With all the encouragement and support I got from folks, I decided to do the
Marine Corps Marathon again this year for AIMS India Foundation. What makes it even more special is the fact that The Marine Corps Marathon is also known teh People's Marathon and gels perfectly with the mission of AIMS, which is to bring people together. This year our team has swelled to 20 members and we have raised our target to $20,000. I would like you to join me again in the quest for Making a Difference in the lives of these people who need our help. Once again AIMS India Foundation is partnering with Marathon Charity Partners (MCP) in organizing this innovative fundraiser - the marathon training program. Completing this 26.2 miles race will be a significant challenge for me. An even more significant challenge is the goal of raising a minimum of $1,000 to benefit Sustainable Rural Development Projects of AIMS India Foundation.

I have committed myself personally to work with AIMS India Foundation on its Education and Rural Development projects. Though it's a drop in the ocean, I feel I should do my part and I hope that you will pitch in and support me in this cause. AIMS India's mission is to bring people together for the lofty purpose of bringing about a positive transformation in India, to achieve a vision of economically self-sufficient, socially harmonious that serves as a beacon of light to the rest of the world.

Please visit our
website for more information on the current and past projects carried out by AIMS India.

As AIMS India is a volunteer based organization, it has virtually no overhead costs (only 6%). You can be assured that almost all the funds that I raise will go directly to these development projects in India. Running the Marine Corp Marathon (26.2 miles) is no easy task, as you all know. Though the minimum I am committed to raise is $1000 by October 29, I decided to exceed my goal by collecting $2600 - about $100 for each mile I am going to run. Remember, all your donations are Tax Exempt as AIMS India Foundation is a registered 501(3)(c) Not-For-Profit organization. You will be provided with receipts for your tax filing purposes. I would like to invite you to join me in supporting this cause. Please select from the following options:

1) $52.40 - I'm thankful for my education
2) $104.80 - I have a Large Heart
3) $1000.00 - I really believe in the cause
4) $***.** - Be creative..
5). $26.2 – Dollar a mile -- Applicable only to children under 14 years, unemployed, zombies, etc.

You can contribute in two ways…

1. Easy and quick – please go to www.mydonations.com, a partner of AIMS India Foundation that helps in making the online payments. After a quick registration, you can proceed to donate by clicking on the "Donate Online" link (seen on the left column). Do not forget to select my name under the list of runners (I'm listed as ANDY on the list of runners seen in the "pull down" menu). After this selection, proceed to use your credit card to donate on this website (It is a secured website and no worries about data theft or misuse of your personal data).


2. Conventional – Make a check payable to "AIMS India Foundation" with my name in the memo and mail it to the Treasurer of AIMS, MR. Iyappan:
Iyappan Raman
13218 Wonderland Way
GERMANTOWN, MD 20874

Be sure to indicate RUN TO SERVE A GRAAM (FYI - Graam stands for village, in Hindi) and Andy on the memo part of your check.

I am excited about the marathon and the impact our efforts will make in raising money for this worthwhile cause. I truly hope that I can count on your support. Please write to me at wizardofwashington@gmail.com if you have any questions about your contribution.

If you could, please share it with your friends and encourage them to donate. Together as a TEAM, we can do wonders and I'll be doing the hardest part (running 26.2 miles) on October 29th. You will have the easiest part -- sign a check. Will you do it today?

---------------
Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." ----- Gandhi
posted by GeronimoThrust at 3:01 PM 1 comments

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

System of a Down

Need I say this is a good remix..BTW, why am I so obsessed with these remix videos..Who knows..Anyway, just check out the sync-up between the Tamil Audio and the English Video (by a band called System of a Down)..Good Job, DJ Renz...Does anyone know what they are singing in Tamil.. I tried to tune in, but can't understand much..

posted by GeronimoThrust at 3:02 PM 5 comments

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How often do you see a good Remix..

This one is for all my Tamil dudes/Dudettes ..Most of you who have explored the Remix domains and might have often seen those amazing videos and remixed audio to play along with it.. This one seen here is one of the best I have seen in a long time.. Can you imagine how could someone be so crazy enough to think of using the clips from the movie Shrek to mix with a song from the movie Azaghai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkiradhu (Song - Kanavae Kalaigiradhae)..Truly wonderful and this guy got mad talents... Enjoy...


As always, leave your feedback..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 10:45 AM 4 comments

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Google Base..????

Google Base Javascript hacks by ZDNet's Garett Rogers -- Google is arming itself to take on eBay -- even if they don't admit to it. I spent some time with Google Base and confirmed a suspicion I had about a month ago. They are going to allow users to edit their Google Base items just like they edit webpages in Google Pages.I wrote some [...]

posted by GeronimoThrust at 10:56 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Remix Generation - The 2nd Gen Desis

Alright!!! Now, how many of you have ever piad attention to what the 2nd Generation Indian kids indulge/listen to when it comes to music? Apart from the usual Bollywood/Bhangra/Hip-hop stuff, most often you can listen to something they have come out with something of their own..Remix!!! Its not just music, but sorta like a new culture of their own! Remix Culture???

I hear some of you saying, yea so what.. What's new about this? Nothing authentic, right? Not really.. Of course, most migrant cultures did the same and I guess these 2nd Gen kids have done with some "extra" appeal..Often blending the music from their roots into what is available locally, these new generation of migrant children have often forged new trends in music..With the music, evolved their attitudes and cultural choices in life..

Now, I'm not sure how it was in the earlier years of migration to the US for most of the Indian familes, but I can tell you what I experienced..Half the time it was the usual boring Bollywood non-sense and the only few "Indian" alternatives available were the ones played/experimented by a DJ/Doctor friend of mine .. It gets too boring especially when you don't even know Hindi, the language of choice in Bollywood..

He exposed me to this remix culture as he trained/learned from his days in New York City..It was quite fascinating to listen to these Bollywood songs blended with local urban sounds you hear often at the clubs & on the radio..Poor me , the town where I was had only one radio station that rarely played hip-hop .. So, those reggae/reggaeton discs my friend brought from NYC was the first exposure to something so urban & chic..With not in a position to afford, TV and Cable Television, time passed by listening to these remixed tapes..But with the move to a bigger city that had gazillion radio stations that played urban hits came the opportunity to listen to some of these new & familiar tunes often..From being experimental, I could see the desi remix culture proliferating beyond the experimental state and exploding on the club scenes across the city..New DJs displayed their skills behind the turntables, scratching the decks and innovating new themes..All this happened while captivating the audience to things that are so unique.. Glad that these 2nd Gen Indians found these traditional/original music videos and traditional folk (Bhangra) songs not serving their palatte, they started to experiment more vigourusly - fusing the local music trends into the Desi music tapes..Voila! There comes a new generation of Indian kids listening to the most catchy, chic, Indian beats mixed wonderfully with the local rap/reggae/reggaeton/hip-hop chart-busters..

Often times these remixed experiments paved way for the renewed interest in Desi music among their communities (you can listen to some local Rappers opting to mix the Indian Music into their grooves) .. Most of these songs have often found a celebrity status and have climbed into the Top 10 lists in UK/US Club scenes.. Unlike the typical Indian boy/girl who is always associated with Geeky images, these young 2nd Gen Indians are roaring to change the music landscape when they get/got their opportunity..As they do/did this, they defied the stereotypes with their ultra kool music videos and lyrical skills..the costumes, dancing, lyrics, everything has become a blend of cultures and often its hard to tell which one of these cultures influenced the other.. With the evolution ofmusic came a new generation of music makers..Below is a Desi Video by Aman, featuring Bohemia- the famous Punjab Rapper from California.



Rapper Bohemia is true example of what is real Talent .. His Website bio sketch indicates that "after immigrating to the West over ten years ago, Bohemia came to realize that the South Asian experience in America wasn't all about nice cars and palm trees. On the contrary, he found himself living amongst murderers and drug dealers.

Through his experiences, come raw, hard-edged raps depicting not just California street life, but a life many South Asians lead in America. His lyrics are primarily Punjabi, while many of the hooks are in English. Placed over hip-hop beats, Bohemia makes it seem as though Punjabi was made to be rapped rather than merely spoken."

Aother exmaple is Inderjeet Singh Chana aka Kidd Skilly.. This kid got true talent and can rap so well..Born into a mixed family backgournd (mexican mother & punjabi dad), this young man took to rapping as he grew up in the hard streets of Detroit, Michigan (as he calls - the Motor City Punjab).. Listening to some of his songs, makes me tap my feet and the rhythm gets you hooked, leaving you wanting more..Especially the one, Bytch Please, stands testimony to his incredible talents..

Kudos to these kids who defy the odds of being a rapper, representing the Indian community.. As we all know what kinda pressures/expectations are piled on these 2nd Gen Desi kids here in the US/UK among various cultures .. PhD parents with their expectations of turning their son/daughter into a successful Doctor/Engineer/Dentist/Lawyer can do a number on these kids who aspire to be someone different.. Can't even imagine me telling my Dad/mom that I don't wanna be an engineer anymore and want to explore Music, and probably turn into a rapper churning out some sexy videos..Can't help but stay praising these talented young Indians who defy the odds stocked up against them and continue to excel in what they truly love and believe in..Gotta love it as they still try their level best to save whatever was given to them as part of their Indian culture from their 1st Gen parents..Be it the music or the love for India, they sure don't hide it..

Now the funniest part is that the Glam-loving bollywood is starting to adopt this new remix version directly/indirectly into its traditional Filmy music..Movie such as Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena Thee (not sure what the hell this stands for)..


Are we witness to some change in usual Bollywood stuff.. who knows.. it might very well be happening..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 2:23 PM 6 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lucrative Indian (TamilNadu) Politics ...

Happened to read an article by Suganthi on www.Gilli.in in which she has sinfully captured the fortunes of the"rich & famous" of Tamil Nadu politics .. I believe she collected the data from the media (SIFY.com) reports as the politicians were filing their nominations to contest the upcoming elections in the State.. Thanks to her! I was so inspired that immediately I lunged for my calculator sitting across the other end of my desk and started to do some simple calculations. for the heck of it..And lemme share what I found out with you.. Be patient as the following will be a very lengthy article..Lets goooooooo
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Summarizing Suganthi's article, you will get the following "Values" for some of the rich and famous:
1. Dr. Jayalalitha Jeyaram, Current Cheif Minister of the TN - Assets valued at 24.65 crores
2. Dr. Muthuvel Karunanidhi --Assets valued at 22 crores

For simplicity purposes, I have only taken the above two personalities to study in detail here.. Just banged my calculator to see how lucrative a career is for someone who is willing to take that as a "Career option" in Tamilnadu instead of killing themselves in a professional curriculum (Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, etc)..Boy! Wasn't I stunned! Lemme share with you all what I found.

For mathematical purposes, I decided to take up Kalaingar Karunanidhi .. He has been in politics for over 60 years.. With no capital investment (except for his time and effort), his wealth is now valued at roughly 22 crores..If you break it down into simple mathematical stuff, this is what you get:

Not a bad rate, compared to some of his peers in the TN political world, right? This simple "number crunching" exercise was done based on some the following assumptions:

1. Dr. K.K. worked 24 hrs of his career for TamilNadu (no sleep, sick days, awarded time off, etc)

2. No Bonuses taken into account..

3. Population has remained the same for teh past 60 years (6 million)..

4. These CEOs of State charged the same amount over their entire political career

5. All reported expenses are TRUE and ONLY assessts they possess are reported. None of the "family" is included here (for example, Dyanidhi Maran's assessts are not considered here)

6. NO assests belonging to Benomies & Proxies are reported (which would inflate the per hour cost to an uncalculatable amount)..

Whoaaaaaa..Looks like Politicis is after all a good career! Given all the numbers for an established politician who spent his entire adult life in politics, you must now be wondering how much is Dr. Jayalalitha charging the poor people of Tamil Nadu for managing/running the state and looking/caring after everyday life of the Tamil citizenry..Here comes the next round of "Number Crunching" with the same set of assumptions as above:

Starting her active political Career in 1981, Dr. Jaya has served(!!!) the state for almost 25 years..She has reported a Net Worth of 24.65 crores.. Let us say that she started her life with 4 crores worth of assets, which over the years have grown to 8 crores .. If you think I'm not being generous, let us add a couple of crores towards that "Asset Growth" from her incomes through her acting profession..This would spare Rs. 15 crores for us to start our calculations:


Geez .. She is a bit more expensive than Kalaingar, right? How is that a state with 6 million + population can afford such expensive CEOs? Probably they could have hired Jack Welch (famed CEO of General Electric) from the West for this salary...Even in corporate terms, I think these CEOs are charging excessively high rates without showing any improvement in their services to the End Beneficiaries.. The quality of life hasn't imrpoved for a vast majority of the population in the past few dedcades and people continue to suffer in the long queues outside the Rationshops and riding the terrible roads, fearing their life if they come out and question these "rich & famous"..

Between the two CEOs who have continued to rule the state for the past 25+ years, I have pretty much come to a conclusion that Politics is anyday a better Career Choice than being Engineering/Doctor/Lawyer, etc..Poor engineers/doctors/lawyers don't even stand a chance to charge such huge sums of money .. Even if they do, they will never be able to buy a place to bury them after death on Marina Beach..And no 21 Gun Salute Government Funeral/Burial ...

No wonder people with no academic intelligence chose to pursue politics as a career.. No wonder these Dropouts, Failed students, etc should be lining up to run the State, where the only prerequsite is to be an ACTOR/ACTRESS or BE SOMEONE WITH GOOD Skills in Cheating People with your flowery language and charming wit...It seems all worth the effort when it starts paying rich dividends..Better start telling your kids to be a Politician than to be an Engineer/Doctor/Lawyer.. If he/she shows interest in political rallies, be assured that your generations to come will NEVER have to be worried about MONEY ever in their lifetime..

Now, you know why people line up and ight for those Most Valued MLA Seats during the Election season.. Now you are starting to understand, why Vaiko is willing to let go of his Pride..If you haven't started understading anything yet, start to crunch teh numbers for Dr. Ramdoss..You would even be amazed how crazy it can get if he gets to be the next CM of Tamil Nadu..Aandavanae Vandhalum Indha Tamil Nattae Kappatha Mudiyaadhu (remember, these are not my words.. but of Mr. Rajnikanth's.. Uttered during the 1996 state assembly elections)...
posted by GeronimoThrust at 11:47 AM 9 comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Numbers Game -- Indian ishtyle

As I wrote up the riots in B'lore that erupted during the funeral for actor Rajkumar a couple of days ago, I continued to watch the media reports in the days that followed. As the days grew the media started shedding light on some of the scariest images captured during the riots and some shocking statitics in terms of fatalities, injuries, property damage, etc..

Of all that I read, what shocked me the most was how ill-prepared the Karnataka Police Force was during the crisis hours.. KSP not only failed to protect the public, it also lost a whole lot of its own machinery & men..The following is what I've gathered as a status update through the media (primarily from Dinamalar's online editions)

The Losses suffered by Karnataka State Police:

Now comes the most Interesting Statistic:

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Apart from these losses for the KSP, the overall picture painted a grim situation that was poorly handled by the City's administrators. As of April 15, 2006, the media compiled the following statistics:

It is estimated that the cumulative losses incurred during these riots would be in billions of rupees. B'lore is reportedly the IT hub of India & several Business Process Outsourcing entities reported poor staff attendance owing to the riots. Other businesses (even the essential services) were also reported closed.

In all Dr. Rajkumar (still wondering who and why awarded this honorary Doctoral degree for this man) didn't die alone: he had a lot of company to heaven (or wherever else he went after his death).. Hmm..what else to say except that We, the Indian Community, is collectively failing in establishing some moral values in our growing youngsters.. So, where do we start looking for the solutions to this problem? In our edcuation system? in our public policy? In our politicians??
Your views and comments are welcome and I hope this blog will serve as a platform for a healthy debate on this issue..

For those you who are interested, I've attached a picture of the smiling politicians standing around the Status of Dr. (!!!) Rajkumar as the media started to come up with these grim numbers.. Aren't they a shameless breed to show up in such great numbers for dedicating a statue of a deadman while NOT being around at a press conference to discuss and dissect the issue in Public.. So, isn't it vaugely becoming clear who is at fault here?? The politicians?? Noooooooooo.. Its us, the citizenry that's at fault..

posted by GeronimoThrust at 12:23 PM 4 comments

Friday, April 14, 2006

ONLY IN INDIA.....

You might have seen/heard several incidents that signify the title of this post - ONLY IN INDIA.. But here is something that you might have never come across.. Yep, and its very interesting too..This probably might be the only post that examines the way people deal with Death of a politician/film star in India.. Read along!!!Almost all the newsmedia across the world, including the CBSs, CNNs, BBCs, etc., shown those violent images from Bangalore as the funeral for the kannda actor Rajkumar was in progress..(Thanks to Dinamalar, BBC, CBS, & other news magazines for these shocking images)..Now, thsese images leave me asking a question why violence in a funeral?? What's the need for violence in a place that's already soaked in grief? Just the previous day, the news media was filled with stories announcing RajKumar's demise and how his fans/followers/admirers from Karnataka have been thrown in a state of utter sadness..Now within 24 hrs, sadness gives way to anger..Anger over what?? No clue yet..I'm yet to understand why this sudden turn of events..

As we try to understand the reasons behind this, let me explain something basic about the violent, unIndian way of "mourning":In general, when people are left to mourn the death of the(ir) loved one(s), it presents an opportunity for them to sit back and cherish those moments they shared with the man/woman that's now lying dead.. Its an opportunity to say their final good bye in a very intimate way..It is a very personal a way to mourn the loss of someone who will be missed for ever in their life ..In India, like many parts of the world, death/loss is not dealt/managed with in a peaceful way..We are noisy/loud people..

So, what is "death-managment" ( a new term I coined here) for a normal Indian househould? The following is my personal experience and can be similar to many Indian regions when some non-celebrity dies (like you and me). When my father died, I was greeted by the loud screams and shreiks of the mourning relatives as I arrived home after hearing the news. They exploded in tears & screams as I walked closer to see my dad's body lying ready for burial and some women whom I don't even know/seen before were astanding all tears and singing the traiditional songs (typical of our region to see people singing some folk lore praising the dead man/woman)..The situation was already gloomy and it was made even worse with all this crying and wailing that seem to be picking up in intensity by the fade of each minute..It was shocking for me initially as I was thrown in the middle of all this for the first time in my life and left to deal with death staring up close and that too in such a noisy way ..Gotta agree that it was a true moment of agony ..

I was not crying but was deeply disturbed to think about the loss of my dad..There I stood grappling with my feelings and emotions, wondering how will be my tomorrow & the days after without this man I have come to call Dad & shared things with for several years..A man that raised me through several hardships and imbibed those values of life and everything else a boy should know gowing up to be an adult.. But there was no time to deal with all my personal feelings..No time for me to reflect my sorrow with my family (mom or my sibling(s)) and other close friends.. It all took place mechanically and by the time all this was over and the house got emptied, we are left all alone to deal with this loss.. I found that lonely moment where I could sit and reflect on all the good time I had with this man and had an intense personal moment where I said a heart-felt thank you..It was trruly sad as I cried myself to sleep and woke up next morning knowing that my dad will never be there physically in my life..

Now, this whole thing changes when you are a film star/politican in India.. This won't just be a family affair anymore.. The loved ones will be left to deal with this loss at a more personal level later while they are confronted with the reality of the situation that just has started to take shape..The crowds swell on the day of the funeral and somehow there will be a bit of unrest during the entire time - from the moment the media delivers the news till the burial/cremation, sometimes even past that..Slowly, the unrest shapes into a skirmish, and then a brutal exchange of words, followed suit by the stone throwing and damaging of property & threat to human lives..Traders were forced to close the shops all over the city, buses stop plying, gates closed at all schools, factories, banks, offices, etc., etc., everything comes to a grinding halt.. Normal life was thrown outta gear and people scramble for their essentials while the "mourning" takes place..Now, comes the best part.. With a lot of anger and availability of huge numbers of people (for God's sake, this is India) the situation becomes volatile and is ready to explode with the slightest of the disturbance..


Of course, Police will be summoned.. Riot Control forces will be positioned along the route as the family/fans prepare for the final march .. The family will be busy managing the heavy influx of dignitaries and the fellow "who is who" in the industry/field .. the state police will be on standby awaiting orders from their bosses on what to do and what not do if things get outta hand..As unpredictable as the way the sun sets, the crowds will be worked into a frenzy as the funeral starts..The cycle of violence starts with the first stone thrown at someone/or something (usually a car/bus)..Cracked windows and shattered glasses litter the streets along the path of the funeral procession.. People hide behind their closed dooors clinging to their dear life praying to all the gods out there to make sure the crowds don't destroy anything on their property or for heaven's sake come inside and butcher the families .. As all hell breaks loos, police are finally authorized to "control" the chaos and they reign in the "Indian ishtyle".. The level of control (read as brute force) exercised by the police increases in the following order:

In this latest episode, as reported in The Hindu, the police fired 100 tear gas shells and then resorted to repeated lathi charging.. When none of this sort worked in controlling the situation which is already outta hand, the police resported to lethal force and started firing real bullets .. When all this chaos came to an end, the living folks were left to deal with the following:

Though it was the death of one man that caused all this chaos, all the fingers point to one thing: We live in a society that allows people to think that violence is an acceptable way of "celebrating" one's death. We have become a society that revels in thinking this is the best form of expressing affection you had for someone who is not around anymore..Ever since I was a child, I have witnessed these scenes repeatedly while these politicians and actors got their exit tickets and stamped the passports to heaven/hell (wherever they are destined to go)..When Indira Gandhi got muurdered, the sikhs were butchered all across India..Business were down for days.. The same scenes repeated during the death of her son Rajiv Gandhi too.. The scenes were not different when the tamil actor turned politician MGR passed away.. This repeated itself every time when someone "elite" passed away..

All this for WHATTTT? Just to mourn a human that is not even alive anymore.. Morons, I say! Can't folks find a better way to let the world know how deeply we loved this man? Can't we be a bit more civilized in the eyes of the rest of the World while grieving the death of an actor/politician? Can't we be a bit more human by allowing people to deal with this loss in their own tersm? Can't we allow those children to live a life that's not scarred for ever by this level of violence?? Can't we find a better way to spend the money lost from all these shut-out business hours across the entire state of Karnataka?

Everyone knew that this inevitability is to happen someday..But the response to this inevitability never changed a bit.. It was the same everyime a celebrity passed away..Everyone dies..Be it Rajkumar or you, or me, for that matter any human on earth will die some day in his/her life..No question about that .. But happens after that? This is where I pose a question to all those celebreties of India/world over that are still alive.. What do you want to leave after you die? Do you want People to spend their days crouched behind their doors and pondering what/who is ggoing to come through that door? Do you want the nation's best minds to stay locked in their houses as they can't go to school/do business during the days you lay dead in the public view? Do you want people to remember you as someone who caused so much misery that they dispise you even after your death?? Do you want people to remember you as someone that left his/her loved ones suffering like this?

As we stand here today pondering this inevitability of "death" to happen someday in our lives, I think the solution lies with the celebreties themselves.. I strongly believe they have the power to control their masses when they are alive and hence can use their clout and charisma to reachout to their fans and tell them "If I die, celebrate me silently.. Don't bring shame to me by doing all the bad things.."

I hear some of you say, most of these rioters are hooligans and not even real admirers/fans..I agree that these are some miscreants/abberant souls in the society who try to make the best of the situation.. Making use of the opportunity, they come out in force, flexing their muscle, forcing traders to shut their business, stopping movement of people, & disrupting pretty much every aspect of a normal human life .. Sometimes this happens at a regional scale.. or sometimes this happensWhat I foresee in the future? The political climate and the cultural dimensions of this society in TN point out that the same scenes are to repeat if anyone of these celebreties listed below were to die:1. Jayalalitha Jeyaram -- Current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu2. M. K. Karunandhi --Past Chief minister of Tamilnadu and the leading oppsotion leader3. Rajinikanth - Most celebrated ever actor of TN4. Ramadoss-- A man with a mob of mindless followers that number in thousands5. Vijay, Ajit, Vikram, Vijayakanth, etc , etc..

Its unfortunate to point specifically to some of these celebreties of Tamilnadu (listed below) but these are some "definitely" candidates who can influence their cadres wisely and address this issue before they pass away. Where in the world is the Peace in the middle of all this chaos? For all the good things to begin, this mindless thuggery to stop.. And for this to happen, the leaders of the present should step up and "educate" their masses and ensure that they leave a lasting impression even after his death..Tell your people to stop this nonsense...Tell them its unacceptable for you to see them doing things that you never supported .. Tell them to be good citizens who respected their leader's words.. Tell them to be part of a society where they learn to "REALLY" celebrate death..Celebrate the good things about the person..If anything, IMHO, it might be worth an effort to save a few lives after you die..

The other day I happened to see how America/Americans CELEBRATED the death of Corretta Scott King, the Widow of Dr. Martin Luther King... When I say celebrate, I really mean it.. Actually, it was no different from any American Funeral of the present/past.. I saw people lined up to pay their last respects peacefully filing past the casket..weeping in silence and not making a scene..Not a stone was thrown.. Not a shutter was forced to stay closed.. Not a soul was leftc omplaining" Ms. Scott, its becos you I suffered in your death"..

As they prepared for her services before the funeral, the who is who of black America, for that matter every race in America was there irrespective of their color/nationality/creed, turned out in force and remembered the best things they shared with Mrs. King..Eulogies after Eulogies piled up and the mourners happily remembered what they knew about Mrs. King.. Reveled & shared the moments they considered precious..It was the true joy of knowing her with everyone around..It was smiles and tears at the same time as they said how much they respected & cherished her.. A sight that I never will forget as they concluded their homage by taking the body of Mrs. King with their final goodbye.. Now, that's what I call a civilized nation..Of course, the cultural differences between India and America are abound.. We differ in the way we celebrate death like any part of the World..

But one thing that stood out in contrast to Dr. Rajkumar's funeral was that it was an occasion where I saw a dead woman being loved even after her death in such an adorable way.. A way no one was hurt physically expressing their sorrows, no property was destroyed as the funeral procession took place, no blood was spilt on the streets of Atlanta when the tears rolled down the cheeks of these mourners..Now, that's what I envy about America..I have linked this article from WashingtonPost that talked about this wonderful thing:

Leaves me to yearn why is that we Indians are not copying some of these best and most wanted qualities (In my view!!!) from the West.. Why is that we only love to import the violence and gore through the media from West..Come on India(n)! We gotta do better than this..

posted by GeronimoThrust at 11:42 AM 2 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006

ONLY IN INDIA.....comments from readers

The above post was originally done here without the pictures.. Since I addedthe pictures it looked much better and felt "alive" .. hence i decided to edit this old post but leave the lovely comments left behind by some of the readers.. so, if you are to see this, please scroll down the Comments section to find what the readers had to say after reading this..If you areseeing the above post for the first time, please feel free to leave your comments along with the new post..Thanks..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 5:33 PM 8 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

Got my first comment --- Yahooooooooooooooo!

Hmmm.. looks like I finally had someone "comment" on my blog..hehehehehe..and guess what? that results in Yours Truly floating on Cloud 9. Damn...I never realized the Power of Blogs.. Anyway, I hope this continues to grow and I expect to remain grounded..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 2:51 PM 0 comments

Friday, February 17, 2006

I'll Be BACK..

Been away from this Blog for too long.. Geez.. can you believe its almost 6 months since I did my last post..Hope to change this in the days to come and get a bit serious with writing..BTW, did I tell you that I'm now working on my next Marathon training program.. Though we haven't started training physically, we are currently participating in the meetings that lead to the start of the training.. Yahoo.. Can't wait to get started..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 11:39 AM 1 comments

Thursday, August 25, 2005

More Updates on the training..

Just found a few minutes to write this update on the marathon training .

This past weekend was our first 3hrs run..that translates to 180 minutes of running and the intended target was 18 miles..Some of us who arrived early at Glen Echo Park did an extra three miles of warm-up before the "real" training run started..The run was along the scenic C&O Canal/Tow Path.. team partners responsible (for fuel&food supply have set-up two fuel/food stations along the trail..The weather was not bad --Overcast skies made it cooler but actually it was a bit uncomfortable with the stifling humidity .. Glad it was not hot and humid..I completed a total of 22 miles in 240 minutes..a little over 10 minutes, given the last few miles were really tough (the course includes a serious climb-up/climb-down over a steep incline and a total of 3 sets of stairs to go up and down along the detour path due to some construction activity .. and it sure hurts like hell when you try and climb a hill/stair after running 20 miles)..The training run was followed by a Runner's social.. families and friends of the runners were invited for some food and chat with their teams and runners...Injury updates: A mild nagging pain under the calf and a bit of discomfort moving my left ankle still prevail after the race..Weekday training has been interrupted due to the pain factor, but am hoping on continuing irrespective of the pain starting tonight..That's it for now..Will see if I can get the pictures sent to me from our runners..You will get to some worn out faces, and one of them would be mine...

BTW, just this weekend, all registration formalities for running the MCM has been completed.. Guess what! Our Team will have 213 runners, yep two hundred and thirteen runners, taking part in the race..I was stunned to see the final numbers when they announced it during the runner's social ..and you will see all our runners wearing Lemon Yellow singlets ..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 10:33 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

13.1 miles in 136 minutes..Not bad!!

well, well, well.. What can I say! As I stated in my last blog, I ran the Half marathon on July 24 and ended up surprising myself.. For starters, I was a bit apprehensive to run the race when it was rated as one the Toughest in the region to run..Especially, the rolling terrain packed with hills ranging from gentle to steep and the weather in the 90 degrees + range was good enough to make me rethink the participation in this race.. But what the heck.. The usual reckless me decided to Just Do It, the nike way..Got up early, finished all the pre-race formalities and was at the finish line by five minutes to the start of the race..

If you can believe, there was a huge beeline, parallel to the runners waiting at the start-- a ton of runners waiting to use the Loooo! The race organizers didn't do a good job of catering to the public demand..They put very few portable toilets and it was the cause for all the disaster to come..I decided to use the loo in teh very last minute and trust me on the words "last minute" .. as I entered the loo, I heard the Hoot announcing the start of the race..I planned on getting out quickly but the bathroom door had other plans..

Though I was all done with in that tiny little enclosure, as I tried to get out, I realized that the door's lock was not functioning the way it should..What to do..No way out so I tried to fiddle with it as much as I can and somehow made my way out..By the time I got it, the race clock place at the start of the line announced the demise of a few precious minutes, precisely 6minutes, 57 seconds, and odd micro seconds.. If you can believe, even the spectators who were present to cheer and support their loved ones were all vanished and the place wore a deserted look..

Anyway, thinking it cannot get any worse, I deided to run .. It was definitely a weired feeling when I crossed the Start Line all by myself and none around to see even if was there or not.. But to be just and truthful, I did what anyone else would do.. Started to run and encountered the first Flagman (from the race organizing team) at the end of quarter mile.. He was amazed that there was this one runner still left after the last of runners cleared from his sight some 6 minutes ago.. Joking, he asked, if I my alarm didn't go off this morning.. Boy! I did my explaining as I continued to run and established visual of the first runner ahead almost around the half-mile marker.. that was an energy booster.. but the downside was that I spotted the runner at the very top of a steep grade..Boy! somehow I passed the first steep hill and the first runner as well.. that's it .. then I started beating one after the other and somehow managed to finish the race in a decent pace..and for sure someone didn't measure the last 1.1 mile properly as it seemed for ever to see that finish line..

I was surely ecstatic as I grabbed the water bottle offered at the finish line and noted the race clock reading 2hrs 22 mins and odd..Boy.. I couldn;t believe that my real but "unofficial" time was roughly 136 minutes (my wrist watch was @ 2hrs 16 mins)..I kept telling myself, it is not bad for a first timer on that terrible race to finish in such a good pace ..Feels good and now am all pumped up to finish the full marathon in less than 5hrs..If that happens, you know where I'llbe.. Of course, my new address would become "cloud 9"..

For your visual pleasures (and to prove my participation in the race), I have attached one of my race pictures, taken by a buddy of mine as I was coming down the country side with the blazing sun bearing down on my back..Though its hard to see, its the one and only one I have so far .. Let me post some more in the days to come..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 11:50 AM 0 comments

Friday, July 22, 2005

Half-Marathon.. anyone?

Phewwwww.. Its almost the end of a longgggg weeek...a week filled with deliverables and meetings..And if you can believe, some of these meetings can go on and on for hours..anyway, now that's all over and I have a couple of days to spare for myself..Hehehehe.. I mean, for my personal life..Mr. & Mrs.Geronimo are running the Riley's Rumble half marathon on Sunday .. and the weatherman is calling for a perfect Sunday morning..This would be my first official running race after a longgggggg time (remember doing the last one when I was in grade school)..

Yesterday was a unique in a way..a full day of neckbreaking work.. then off to a local trail nearby for a few miles of running.. someone in the training group called it an Easy run.. and I guess people are looking for that individual who called it a "simple" run..Good grief! It was a tough run...Though its a few miles (4 miles these days are seemingly an easy target) almost everyone was dragging at the end of the run..That level of humidity was not for the faint of heart..and even the most seasoned of Chennai-ites would sweat a bullet or two in that sultry weather..Boy! whata surprise..It was just a few minutes after we finished the post-run stretch, the skies open up briefly for a a spill and brought the humidity to a manageable level.. then the team heads off to get a drink at a local juice bar (Can you believe they sell Arugampull saaru/juice @ this joint in the US).. Afterwards, the corwd downsizes to just 4 and the Geronimos are off to get a wonderful Middle eastern food..Man!!! That Lamb stuff I had was tastyyy!

Alright .. I'll be signing off in a few here.. but before then I want to wish you all a wonderful weekend..and if you do find a minute, make sure you say a prayer for me tonight before you hit the bed..Make sure your prayers have me in them running a successful race this weekend..talk to you soon (if I'm alive after that 13.1 mile run)..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 4:32 PM 0 comments

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The "New" Sensations from UK


http://www.envyroma.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=46

Representin' the bone dry Brit music scene are these hotties of a new multiethnic (Indian, Persian & Egyptian - man, that's an ecelectic mix) band called Rouge..Boy! are they hot or what!!!! Sizzling looks and sensational tunes (that's what the Londoners are bragging about them)..Looks like the Brits are poised for the next set of divas after the Spice Girls .. Check this pic. and rate them yourself..And the hardest thing to believe is that two of these artists are pursuing medical degrees and the Indian chic in the trio has won the coveted crown "MissIndia World" or something like that .. Is this what you call Beauty and Brains in a bundle..You gotta check out the video for their new hit single "Don't be Shy".. Damn!!! Its Phattt!
posted by GeronimoThrust at 3:51 PM 0 comments

London Bombings -- a Snapshot View from the Blog world

The Wall Street Journal has published an article on the Bloggers and Photographers' perspective of the events that transpired in London after the bombing. The article's summary section says, "As journalists scrambled to cover the London bomb blasts, ordinary citizens went online to share pictures snapped by cameraphones and reports of what they saw. At Technorati.com, a search engine for blogs, eight of the top 10 searches Thursday were related to the blasts.Here's a round-up of the accounts and photos."

Keep checking the WSJ website for updates.

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB112074780386479568-Fnj6Lqv_Hf1RxCwVSpb8eG0T4pg_20050806,00.html?mod=blogs
posted by GeronimoThrust at 3:16 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Back from the Longggg weekend..

Its time to get back to the desk .. after 3 days ofnot working, its sorta hard to get back to work.. But somehow we all have to get back to do the "normal" every day thing..how easy it is to go on a brief vacation during the weekends (especially, the yummy longgg weeekends)..and why is it such a drag to return to work when its all over? Is it one of the middle-class blues that haunts every office worker in the world right now?

Anyway, enough of my whining..Lets see what happened during the past weekend..The July 4th weekend.. a weekend that celebrates American independence..a true Independence of sorts from everyday office work..People celebrate life and its wonderful choices by indulging in those outdoor BBQs, inviting friends over to share some food and time - chatting about all the godly/ungodly things under the sky, holding beers and swatting the flies that buzz around you in the back yard, children screaming and yelling as they play around, the boats that hit the waterways in the local areas, etc..And did I tell you that I came across a wonderful T-shirt (of course worn by a lovely lass) that said -- Beauty is in the eyes of BeerHolder -- on my way to witness the fireworks at the Mall in Washington, DC..

Washington, DC -- the city in deed lives up to its billing as the City of Government and celebrates the day with its spectacular, one of a kind fireworks..Well known for its dazzling display of firewworks, the event brings out the washingtonians in droves every year.. Blocks and blocks of the city filled with innumerable people as the afternoon crawls into the evening and then to the night..the crowds swell and gather around the mall and as the night falls.. Bang!!!.. starts the first explosion in the sky unveiling a flurry of colors and glittering sparkles that announces the start of the extravaganza..the next 20 minutes are worth waiting for another 365 days to see this again..And don't forget to thank the "Almighty" for creating the humans with a pair of eyes to witness this grandiose..Wow..Pictures don't cut it..Words don't capture this visual treat..It has to be experienced, simple!

And did I tell you the weekend includes a visit to NYC..Yep! It is a one-day trip to NYC and some of its hot spots - Battery Park, WTC Memorial, Time Square, etc..The city never ceases to amaze me.. Its lively, in every walk and move of the city and at every corner and street of the city its filled with life.. this city never sleeps..At 10:00 PM in the night, the city's ubway resembles/rivals those of teh busy commute hours in anyother city.. that too on a Longggg weekend! The NYC subways are a museum of sorts.. Its specimens on display are those variety of people who ride them..Men, women, children, young, old, etc..Wow..Not to mention, the per capita clothing on women you see in NYC is, on an average, is lesser than on any other women in teh continental US..Geez..Yet another due mention of "Thanks to Almighty" for putting me in NYC and for cladding those women in such attires..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 1:21 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Soldier's Desert Updates .. from Iraq

The following is an e-mail to a dad from his young son - a dedicated American soldier, who is standing on the front lines and fighting the war on terror in Iraq:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am writing on the tail end of a 32 hour, non-stop, qrf shift that had
us out on eight seperate missions. Those 32 hours were probably the most
stressful time in my life and held the single scariest moment every for me.

It started when we went in to extract our sniper team and took fire from
an ajacent house. A good friend of mine in the platoon was shot in the arm
and we had to emegency evac him. Another friend in third was shot three
times. They both survived. We levelled the house with 25mm fire and then
exfilled out.

We later returned to the house to search for bodies and raid the
surrounding homes.

Later, the hospital was was being attacked and an iraqi soldier was shot
in the thigh. our medics stop the arterial bleeding and we evac'ed him to
an LZ for the helicopter. We took sniper fire at the LZ and the IA guy
died at the scene because the iraqi doctors hooked up his breathing bag
wrong.

The next morning started the 32 shift. We got up at 8:00 for an EOD
call. While we were out there we rolled into a fire-fight between the
insurgents and the peshmerga, kurdish freedom fighters. one of them was
shot and the medic and I dismounted to work on him. We ran behind their
disabled tractor trailer where the body, his brother, and an EOD guy were.
The EOD guy was firing at the insurgents and we checked the body. He was
already dead. The insurgents were firing on the truck and had us pinned
down behind it. The trailer and tires around me were getting shot up while
I was firing back. an RPG punched throught the trailer but didn't explode.
this lasted about four minutes. The EOD guys were firing grenades into
the buildings while I provided supressive fire. For some reason one of
them decided to climb into the cab of the truck and was shot in the arm.
He fell back onto the ground and the medic started working on him while I
continued to fire. After we stablized
him, I provide supressive fire so they could get him on the bradley along
with the body and the peshmerga guy. after they were secure, i rushed to
the vehicle and we evac'ed to the fob. the eod guy lived.

this was probably the scariest time in my entire life. i was almost
certain all three of us were going to die and I prayed with all my heart
for deliverance. God is faithful and heard my prayers. We got back to the
FOB and prepped for a raid on the mosque that we were taking fire from.
The Raid went smoothly but we didn't find anyone.

After dropping off personel at the FOB we went back to the scene to blow
up the truck we were hiding behind. The tanks levelled it.

We got back to the hospital and went right back out to investigate two
bodies lying in a field. We rolled up and EOD sent the robot up to check
it out. Next thing we know, RPGs are flying at us and a grenade exploded
right next to my track. The kiowas flying overhead were taking heavy fire.
It was an ambush and the kiowas were getting hit bad. One was shot down.
We exfilled the area and secured the downed bird. We went back to the
hospital after this and were called out again to go recover a UAV, unmanned
aerial vehicle, which crashed. we recovered it and went back to the FOB to
drop it off.

After dropping it off we left return to the hospital. On our way we
rolled into another fire fight between insurgents and peshmerga. it was
like a rerun of the previous day. the insurgents had shot up a truck and
they were defending it. ironically, we were in the exact same spot. the
burnt out truck we destroyed was 20 meters from the new one. We dropped
ramp and I took the interpretor to find out what was going on. They we
screaming back and forth and we got a vague picture of where the fire was
coming from. Sniper fire came and I took the interpretor back to the
track. the peshmerga followed and were running around just yelling. The
next thing I know, an rpg detonated right next to the brad and the hot wash
swept into the back. that was enough for me and i screamed to the
peshmerga to take cover and to raise the ramp on the bradley. we proceed
to fire 25 mm at the building and actually called for the jets to drop a
500 lb bomb on the area. we pulled back but couldn't
pin point were the fire was coming from so the bombing was called off.

32 hours later we rolled back to the FOB and shut up the tracks. I
hadn't eaten for two and a half days, was horribly dehydrated, and more
exhausted then I have ever been. I probably would have cried if I hadn't
passed out. I slept for fifteen hours and probably could have slept for
more. Through all the chaos I prayed more prayers then I have prayed in my
entire life. My lips never stopped moving. Our God is an incredible God,
one who cares for us in the darkest moments. I begged him to make it stop
but he had other plans. Though I don't understand why he let it go on, I
know that it was for a good reason. What i do know is that he pulled us
through and gave us the courage to drive on. I also know that all of your
prayers have saved countless lives out here, including mine. God Bless all
of you for that. your letters and packages are wonderful surprises that
lighten my mood, but your prayers indirectly stop bullets and turn rpgs off
course. thank you so much for them.

i know these moments will not stop. we still have 8 months here but I
know that not one day will pass that God is not watching over us. I love
you all and miss you more than i can say. God bless you all and our
country.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Will keep you updated with more as the updates roll into my Inbox..and before you sign off, make sure that you say a little prayer for this soldier's safe return home..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 3:47 PM 0 comments

Finally....I do own some Cyber Real Estate!

Aaaaah... Never knew what it takes to be a blogger and here I'm..Thanks to those techies @Blogger who made it so easy for ametuers like myself to do this CyberSquatting..Lets see what I come-up with inthe days to come..Either you will be bored to death reading me.. Or I'll be bored to death trying to come-up with something interesting..
posted by GeronimoThrust at 2:08 PM 0 comments