Foreword

There is neither a structure nor a texture to this blog. The subject matter can be anything and everything under the sky that I feel about at any given point that I happen to sit and blog rambling about everything in general. My thoughts and views are basically influenced by what I read, hear, gather, and ponder... if there is any copyright violation which I have not duly acknowledged, kindly let me know.

My world comprises of LO the little one, OA the other adult at home, kiddo the brother :)

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Jul 27, 2017

The decision, the move and beyond

Life is full of things unpredictable.  Nothing really works per plan and like the saying man proposes and God disposes.. things do happen which we have no control over.. when we moved back to US after a stint in India, we had seen a lot to decide that east or west, influences are everywhere and there is nothing like culture, tradition, comfort whatever (all in the mind), reality is way different than expectation and set about exploring that part of the world where things seemed lucrative financially and also emotionally where for the time being we are away from the various influences which may or may not have caused rifts in our then trying to come together for the kid kind of a relation.

Years pass, things go good on the personal front and we bond as a family.. 1st time after 5 years of married life, we begin to build a life that we wanted for us and the child and we have a home that we wanted to... the nest was rebuilt.  It is a small beautiful world of 3, life got from boring to exciting to boring to depressing to normal to exciting as expected over the years and then something happens on the job front and we are left with a choice whether to move on with a new job or just go back to the homeland and restart our life.  After a lot of ifs and buts and I cant, I might not be able to and all those thoughts about his job, we decide to take the plunge move back...

This time it is nothing against the life there or here.. of late, being there with the child, working closely with the system and the people, I understand that it is the same everywhere, racism I might want to scream at the top of my lungs exists in the west, but the fact is it exists everywhere, including my homeland where co-humans are assessed, gauged and treated as per their social, political, economic standards.. so nope, it could be one of the reasons (sense of belonging), it is majority the inability to stay back longer than anything else that played a part in the decision.

From my end, it was resistance scared about influences from both of our families, forceful interfering from both sets of parents/relatives was the primary concern... but eventually the more I thought about it, the better it seemed.. being in an alien land, surrounded by fear and no sense of actual freedom, I crave to go back and brave it all.

If the decision to move back and not work in the software anymore and live in a remote village was his, I took the onus of finding a place to live.  To go was his choice and where to was mine.  We narrow down on a village in krishna dt. as it is was better for kids education and then took it from there..

Schooling the major concern..  We had a few constraints,
we did not want to go for a hi-fi, all a/c, rich kid kind of school where I personally felt the kid loses touch with ground reality, so international schools were ruled out.
 Then the grinding schools - rote and more rote kind of schools like Chaitanya, Narayana, Bhashyam or whatever are tossed out because I hate that drill where it is just memorizing and replicating without a life except books..
The government schools were a big no no because of the crowd and other personal concerns.
The hunt went on for a couple of years, over the internet, asking friends, reading looking for a school tailored to our needs... then we hear about Vikasa Vidya Vanam and the more I know about it, the better and comfortable I feel.. the hurdles were our mental block about the medium of instruction being Telugu but then since the kid did exceptionally well in terms of English(Touchwood) we decided to take that as it is teaching in Telugu only up to 4th grade and complete switchover to english later on.. So, there it is.. VVV our school.  The hurdle was they did not allow us to bring the kid over in December when the OA finishes his project deadline, so I had to move in June so as not to disrupt her school year and also be able to retain the seat that was there for her..

The hurdles that we had, the questions we had to face before we did actually take the plunge is the point of another post.. but this is our point of view, our decision and our choice of life that we wanted to test, and here I am with a child who has not stepped in India in over 5 years with absolutely no family bonds or relations thank to unsocial nature of our parents, against all odds and living with people who think we are crazy to leave the land of opportunities and come to a school which does not force education, leaves the kids to play in sand and dust, instructs in mother tongue and many more (in other words ruin our child's life) and excessively intrusive relatives... trying to live our life the way we want to, without falling into the trap of everything surrounding us and try to raise a child who has good values than anything else...

A month into the journey, I am not yet sure if it is right or wrong but I am happy we are doing it now and not later... the kid is struggling to fit in but she is a brave heart...


Feb 26, 2017

Immigration, Detention Centers, Humanity,World!!!

One thing that we get to hear a lot these days is "It is funny that a land of immigrants is saying no immigrants."   We come here leaving our motherland because this is a land of opportunities, maybe safer, cleaner, but definitely better than what we left back in one way or the other.    I hate fear-mongering by the head of a powerful nation in the world.  I hate the gun violence in this nation and  the man who shot in rage is almost always mentally unstable and should not be outside let alone have an access to gun.  I hate quite a lot of things that are making me jump out of my skin each time I hear about them not just in US but across the world.  I hate the fact that there is hate crime, I hate intolerance in people to various things.  I hate the word "manobhaavalu debbatinnayi". I know I am rambling!!!

Of late there has been a lot of discussion on Trump, his policies, the racism surfacing full force and a whole lot of things, needless to say I have been worked up quite a bit and with my foot in the mouth syndrome I tend to offer and pop in what I have to say even if it is not concerned to me in any which way..!!!

I am actually getting a bit tired defending my stand on many things and why should I when I am not doing anything about any of it.   So when a buddy puts across a point as to why I could still be wrong on the way I feel illegal immigrants be handled I have a choice to leave it or answer it and given that it is ME, I try to type away my thoughts and bring an order to them..

About the conditions in the detention centers in the link that was forwarded, it is undeniably inhuman.  Honestly I don't understand the concept of long-term detention, why not deport immediately?  I never followed or read about the legalities as to why, so no clue either.

These centers are not new late 19th century 1890s ninchi vunnay in Ellis Island.   Anybody could come in before, then they needed papers and eventually there was a detention center and finally there is a huge system set up to track and monitor.

I don't justify any of these living conditions BUT US does provide free public school education, basic healthcare without denying treatment, pro bono lawyers support with legal issues as much as possible.  How far thin can they spread their limited reserves in the trickle down?? We pay taxes but that is just not enough, and further increase would break an average person.  Healthcare, welfare and security too many things here.

America assists in wars they dont need to and create their own monsters and a whole lot of other things they do not do right and that is an altogether different hornet's nest.

If we  have an inclination or interest, we can go to our town planning meetings, schooling budget sessions and we get the ground reality.  Also, they have minutes posted on their Govt. Center websites for us to read and follow.  At a county level, they are by and large welfare issues.  There are drastic budget cuts everywhere, special ed funds are always on the radar each time school budgets are allocated.  Mandi perigite majjiga palchana typelo sakramanga vacchina vaallake dikku ledu ikkada, so I understand it when they are cracking a whip on who is coming in.

 I don't completely understand bureaucratic red tape here but when our downtown living started 4 years ago and the kid got into public school system, I started to take an interest and try to understand the law and system of this land because at that point I thought we were going to live in US the rest of our lives and wanted to know what I was putting the child in or chose to consciously make it our home.   I have personally seen various departments fight for their causes to get budget allocations during these sessions and every single item on the agenda seems a priority and must do but unfortunately there is only little money.

It is not just US, I guess every other developed nation has this problem or every nation which has a nation with unrest next to it will have the same influx, like Bangladeshi influx in India that is closer to home.

Ideally speaking every living being should have a right to freedom, health and education but practically it is not the case.  It is just that we are very sheltered and have the luxury of discussing this and not living this situation,  we can afford to do pro or anti arguments from our couches.  My heart goes for those who come here and put up with everything, this shows how much more worse life is back at their homeland but I still think immigration laws should be tighter.  People migrate all over the world for a better life but if there is no internal safety or welfare, we do not have any other piece of land left on earth that we can start everything from the scratch.

This is not pro Trump or his immigration policy argument, just what I felt strongly over the last few years irrespective of who the president is.  We are going back to India for good so I can keep quiet and let it be but somehow wanted to say why I feel the way I do.

Each time we see a homeless person on the streets when we are driving back at night, the little one says I am so sorry he does not have friends to take him to their home, can I be his friend. If we look at it from a child's perspective it is that simple bring him home, share our home and what we have.  I agree with her but am I bringing them home??? Now the reality is how wise or safe it is and how many can I extend that support to?? In a way, the nation that I am living in is my home too right!!! BTW, I am just talking about illegal immigration ONLY.  The implementation might be wrong but the concept is not is what the selfish me feels.

How much simpler would it be if there were equal opportunities for everyone every where and how I wish it were to be as simple as that, make friends and share and care!!!

Feb 14, 2017

Inaganti Venkat Rao - IVR



In the time and age where the term "genuine journalism" seems to have become an oxymoron, the one person I still continue to follow for his opinions on current affairs is IVR.

Used to read Uluku Paluku but back then did not pay attention to who was the author of the column or know about that person or his/her personality.  When I read his books, he came across as an unbiased author who brought into light a few things and dealt deftly bringing out the persona behind person in question.  Those reads answered some of my questions on NTR and CBN.  The fact that he was not a routine sycophant writing a book on his favorite politician or a public figure is what put him up there as my favorite writer.  Then came the Idream interview with him and there he has earned a dedicated follower in me.

With each party having their own channel and news paper, media has lost its credibility to a large extent.  Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy is what I still follow more due to habit than the credibility aspect of it.  "The Hindu" a publication which was once upon a time a bible for civils aspirants seems a very pale version of what it used to be, so from out here or for that matter anywhere it is difficult to get a clear perspective of the happenings around the world.

Always on hunt for a captivating TRP-raising story than constructive or investigative journalism, the standards of media have fallen down drastically.  Growing up I never could have imagined wishing News had a censor or A rating.  Time has come where I need to check if the kid is around to flick on a news channel.  With channels almost stopping news reporting and into news making, I have come to a point of feeling we are better with a frog in the life living.  Suicide selfie videos, prostitution sting videos, the so-called celebrity dirty laundry aired for hours.  The bigger issues concerning welfare of the state are sidelined if there is a problem in a household.

The same news aired on different channels would just give you their respective political affiliation in a glance truth being sidelined completely, it is just a channels version of the event presented than the actual news presentation.

In such a scenario, Editors time with IVR in Mahaa News an otherwise unnoticed channel comes out standing tall.  I love listening to this old-world journalist, who to me, has retained that genuine flavor, a dignified and decent discussion, the topics picked for discussion are often very enlightening and educating.  They weed off unnecessary junk and stick to what is relevant.  That genuine smile and a well-read and well experienced grandfatherly feel while sharing his insights makes it good to listen.

In fact of late I have started looking forward to this program, my staple for the day and of course, like in everything OA is more religious in his viewership than I am, even replaying some of the Editors Time videos on youtube :).

Thank you IVR sir.

Movies..

Om Namo Venkatesaaya - it has got important information on how different sevas came into practice and all that, anni commercial elements kooda unnay, I was doubting how Venkateswara Swamy would look like but he just looked too good on screen, the best I must say.

I do not really enjoy the movies in this genre except for it is Nag doing the movie.  Also, seeing him in the devotee role seemed a bit repetitive though the backdrops of the movies are different. The commercial elements which is KR specialty is a major put off but it is a good movie in general, just not my type.

Jolly LLB - Very good movie.. I watch very few Hindi movies and I like it.  Akshay has done complete justice to the role.

Of late I have been catching up with old Balachander movies and some really old ones and feel that

Toorpu Padamara - A very bold movie for those times, interesting and intriguing.

Toorpu Velle Railu - A disturbing and heartbreaking story line, very good one.

Sindhu Bhairavi - A good one again.

Guppedu Manasu - Good one.

Seetamma Pelli, Andamaina Anubhavam, Antuleni Kadha, Chilakamma Cheppindi, Sister Nandini, 47 rojulu

Quite a few movies, actually there is something or the other in the backdrop... I come to a conclusion that the directors back then so much more freedom and good sense and brought to life such delicate and diverse stories.

Feb 13, 2017

Hot on TN Political Menu - Amma, Panneer, SK and Vidyasagar Rao!!

Last few days have been stuck-to-the-couch watching/reading days thanks to the political crisis in TN.  People, netizens mostly have come to acquaint themselves so much with political terminology and have become mini constitutional experts of their own right.  With just the recent Jallikattu victory in their kitty, with recent Vardah and just about recovering from the oil spill after a massive political and administrative crisis/backlog for the last 9 months or to be more precise ever since JJ took over as CM second consecutive term, this recent power turmoil is another setback to the state at many levels.

 In fact, the TN politics shrouded in mystery, criminal and corrupt thinking, and extra-constitutional interventions have always been nasty but I guess they got away with all this due to lack of information or communication.  Now with every tom, dick and harry having a smart phone even in the villages (it is not an exaggeration to say that an average Indian household definitely has a phone and a TV even when they do not have a bathroom) and access to FB and twitter, they feel empowered to say and make sure it is heard even though they do not know what they are talking about or have no idea of the consequences of their outcry, they would still want to say something.  How can they keep quiet about the latest outrage in TN, so this looks like another beginning of end of logical and sane politics.

As far back as I can remember no matter which party was in power, people cursed both Karunanidhi MK Family and Jayalalitha Jayaraman JJ equally and that has changed a bit only in the last few years with people thinking good of JJ due to her populist schemes.  Even today, be it OPS or SK it is for their own vested interested politics.

When OPS did the hi-drama meditation at JJ memorial at Marina Beach, people of TN overnight get a new hero, a relatively clean politician who had "Ammas Blessings" twice and her soul said to be running him and his current revolt.  A man who I have seen always bent low be it in front of Amma then or Chinnamma until recently, suddenly develops a spine and stands strong just in a few minutes.  The man who bowed down 75 days when JJ was admitted, equally a culprit in the mysterious days.  If SK were to be blamed solely for JJs degeneration and not giving medical support when needed, OPS shares the responsibility of not going public at that point and keeping mum for 2 months until he was forced to resign.  To an onlooker he does not have credibility.  The sheer hatred towards SK and the corrupt nepotistic politics of DMK puts OPS as a forerunner but what are his credentials??  If JJ who had the same allegations against her and the similar opposition from the then leaders after MGR can rise to power why not SK??  If she is that bad, why are people calm and in the wait and watch mode leaving it to the governor or the center to come to their rescue.  If they consider it is an outrageous thought to have her lead the state why not come out and protest??

Jallikattu protests, to me personally, is an outburst reaction of rejecting everything thrust down by center or for that matter any decision made by Northern India and thrust on TN be it Hindi or any national party.  I have always admired the way my Tamil friends are so protective of their language, culture and heritage, so proud in fact.  The kids here in US always speak Tamil very nicely, not in an accent but the way it is to be pronounced.  To my shock, their pride ends just there in their culture and language and not where the state is going unfortunately.  The deep rooted corruption, the resignation to their fate is what I cannot digest, how can goons rule the state so freehandedly and why did they just take it all lying down.  Why is there only Dravidian political party and no people-centric party evolving even today in spite of everyone cursing both the leaders.  These 2 parties jail the leaders in opposition but never take them to task, they just dump the other with a load of cases which they drag on for years (the current DA case being a classic textbook example of how to do the same).

Many people ask what is Modi doing??  Can Modi do anything??  Will TN people accept BJP making inroads in their state politics, NO, then???

If the people have that kind of a hatred for the person in question why support someone and do something unconstitutionally, let her be the CM, be sworn in, how long will it take to bring her down if people are so anti...

If keeping in view the public dissent, a decision needs to taken then the governor is holding the fort as long as he can possibly do in spite of being branded biased and we should give it to that man for that. I think this delay will surely result in pulling SK down in any which way, if she is in jail, then it is a diff. thing, if she is acquitted she still wont be able to sustain power if he calls her to swear in and gives a later date to prove her majority on the floor and then comes the time for the people to bend down their MLAs or plainly revolt or whatever. If in spite of all this, she gets there and stays there, TN people deserve this to have allowed corruption seep in through their very system right from 1st election.. TN has set a trend for horse-trading, twisting democracy to the point of making a mockery of judicial, constitutional system of India in 1952 itself and the tricksters have built on it to the point of no looking back now.

These are the questions I have as an onlooker.  The issue to me, an outsider to TN, feel like a tasteless bubblegum chewed and over chewed...  I say unleash, the SK monster on people and let them take it from there, if TN can fight for indigenous cattle breed, they can fight for themselves too and it is high time, they do.

They say the supreme court judgment will get the things going on.. let us see how it pans out...!!




Jan 31, 2017

Some things never change...

This past month has been a terror to me in terms of health, sudden weight gain, the constant 144 has gone to 152... and nothing else except for my laziness and couch potato habits are to blame.

After a lot of followup got an ob-gyn appointment which is truly long pending given my health scare when I landed in US 5 years ago.  Each year before the annual physical I end up being very strict and religious good habit follower only for those few days and when I get the results thanks to my good genes and not good lifestyle I get a bonus year of healthy life and fall back into my lazy habits.

A day after the results, nothing changes me on the couch whole day and like the OA says our recliner sofa is gradually tilting to a side thanks to its servicing me constantly.

Loved the engagement of Chai and Sam, the love is so palpable and hope the guy gets all the love and peace he must have craved for in his childhood, family compensates a lot but nothing like having parents together and in love with each other.  God bless you Chaisam.

I am trying to consciously update my pic blog every day, yet to get back to writing good.




Hindi Movies..

Raes - After long a good SRK movie, a different and age apt one.

Kaabil - My current favorite is Yami Goutam, like the way she looks, cute and simple.  Hritik and Yami did look super in this movie.

Dangal - Liked it, nothing new per Aamir's standards but the surprise package were the new girls who took away the show :).

Parched - A really good, close to reality Radhika Apte movie, though a bit over the board with language and some scenes.

I have stopped watching Hindi movies of late, but once in a while take a look at what is new and ended up liking all these, so may be a few more in the coming days.




Jan 25, 2017

Sankranthi Movie Round-up

Pandagaki pindi vantalu vandinaa lekapoyinaa cinema choodatam maatram maanani ariveeraabhimaanam manadi kaabatti, after a long long time maa oorlo lekapoyinaa sare ballesukuni pakkoorlaki ellinatlu caresukuni pakka cityki maillu maillu drive chesukuni maree velli choosocchaamoch!!!

Happy Sankrati for me personally.

Satakarni - Dignified, decent and classy portrayal of a lesser known Telugu warrior - clear winner for me.

The kid has watched this movie 3 times in the theater along with her dad.  Krish, I have always admired for the quality of his work and it is a befitting 100th for Balayya.

Satamaanam Bhavathi - Pandaga, puttinooru, prema, clean, neat and feel-good.

Khaidi - A patience tester with distasteful comedy in spite of a strong story and a good performer.
A strong and tested story suitable for a larger than life hero who looks fit and presentable even at 61, songs and fights to appeal masses.. Good!!! Cheap, disgusting induced and unnecessary comedy track- pathetic!!! The boss could have done better without trashy additions to the original.

Jan 20, 2017

Unstoppable America - Trump

A rich businessman with no political contribution whatsoever, most controversial, most eccentric and undoubtedly the most unpopular and vocally unwanted contestant for the highest office of the world super power... Donald Trump is the 45th American President promising to make America great again.

I have been here 8 yrs. before when Obama was sworn in a historical election and now yet another historic swearing in ceremony and I am all glued to the television watching it.  I have never watched one.  The imposing mansion, the motorcade, the power it exuded and the power resting in one person to make a difference not just to his nation but the entire world is just wow-worthy!!

After listening to his not-so-surprising radical speech not forgetting what got him there, brand America, he is consistent!!!  and Yes, God bless America!!!

Much to the charging of a lot of my friends who wanted to be politically correct, I have been a vocal trump supporter to the point of being his Trumpet.  I am completely amazed the way he raced ahead in the midst of all the opposition and practically no support from his own party.  I am not particularly a fan of him in person BUT In my limited knowledge, there should be no cribbing NOW by democrats or people of United States it should have been when Bernie Sanders had to bow down to Hillary Clinton in the race from Democrats.  We cannot blame a person who won the race fair and free and all we can do right now is respect the democracy and not resort to civil unrest.

Coming from India, the mudslinging politics is the norm of the day and it does not feel odd but I was to be honest extremely mortified to listen to the debates which I am even more horrified to know that the students in middle school and higher needed to analyze as part of their learning.

But from the moment he announced his entry to the moment he is the elected President, he has made me admire his guts, the most prominent thing is not trying to be politically correct and wear his heart on the sleeve.

Whether this will bring out the bullies, supreme racists to the forefront, I am not really sure - there is always an underlying racism behind the subtle manners and political correctness that no one can deny.

Do I agree with the way he is portrayed to treat women - No, contrary to that, I cringe every time he gets derogatory.  All said and done, I can just hope and be positive that he will be extra cautious to not mess up with women ever again.

The moment of revelation of the extent of hatred to Trump came in when a scout mom calls to pull the child out as GS as an organization is taking part of the traditional parade at the inaugural of president swearing and the outrage expressed by quite of few of the leaders in our region as to why they dont want to have Melania as their girl's role model... come on!! gimme a break, that was what she did for a living and she did not run for a president her husband did and even she did, we have no right to demean her.. also a few people I know, who I personally find are racist to the core joining the women's march in protest of the person they consider is racist and anti-woman, everything I personally feel they are but have the sense to keep it to myself :).

Absolutely loved the way Hillary took it, the best and most soulful part of her campaign and everything before and after was her concession speech and the manner in which she carried herself after.  The popular vote winner yet losing to the rival, the dream vanishing into thin air, she took it gracefully.

AND... Michelle Obama looked very grumpy and cold, odd and out of place and I am not talking about her dress but her demeanor which seemed so unlike her...

man, the guts Trump has to call the previous regime a carnage with 4 other predecessors watching him in person..

The rain, was it a blessing from heavens or heavens crying no one knows, I guess it is your choice, take it the way you like.

I honestly hope that the press does not go all crazy anti-Trump and tear apart his youngest son for no reason and all goes well for the people of America.

The poster-boy US Prez gives way to the radical rebel...

Jan 19, 2017

Breaking Free

One fine day, without any provocation or reason, yours truly decides go on an FB detox if possible forever.  The fact that I manage our local Scouts FB page has been keeping me there but then, suddenly something snaps, those just a minute look into the phone or laptop turning into hours, have to stop eventually and this is the day...

I feel I should and I dont want to take chances with my monkey mind... the hand goes to FB every time, 'cos that has replaced everything for me, the newspaper, friends, my view of world...

I am in withdrawal, but I will overcome one day... the background sound in my mind right now...

we shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome one dayy.... ohh ohh man me hai vishwaas, pooraa hai vishwaas one day :).

Jan 6, 2017

Knives and Girls

The reason I am in awe of JJ in spite of charges of corruption or her self-promoting politics is the fact that a single woman without backing of a father, husband or a son rose above the gropers and grabbers and made them fall on her feet from far..! Growing up back home in the midst of all this, we can just say "Dear Mr/Ms attire-policing politicians and officials, age, dress, place, time nothing stops the gropers... only a hard-hitting consequence of the action will, so just stop telling girls how to dress and teach boys how to behave!!!!"


Oh, so it is easier to let the women carry knives during commute than get the men to behave in our nation's capital. Deadly weapons dont make women feel safer, good governance does.
And why do we need a govt. and pay taxes?? Cough medicine for Kejri?????


I am hopping mad when I see this... I mean, come on, do we have to let the police or the govt. know there could be women criminals too, kidnappers, pickpockets and you want to empower them???

Going back home, I am not sure how the LO will react to it IF she were to face this.  Brought up in this part of the world where getting less than 1 feet closer to an individual is like invading the privacy to my motherland where some perverts happen to think a woman's body is all up to groping, grabbing and their personal property to do whatever the hell they want to do is a scary prospect.

I have been trying to write a story in few words but never until now...

  • "I hurt say thighs, me too say eyes"

 My contribution to this, I think in my mind is to go back talk to kids at school, boys in particular about this issue and make them understand, especially the govt. schools... the more I think about it, the better I feel.

For Evil Eyes on LO