Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is an excellent book for readers of all ages. After reading the stories of Dr. Pausch's life and classroom, I was heart-broken that he left this world after so many accomplishments. I wonder if he had more time, what other things he would have done.
I am happy to learn that in his short life, he fulfilled all his dreams. First of all, he realized what his dreams were and kept up with them. After reading the book, I thought about my childhood dreams, and honestly, I can't think of any. I mean now I have goals and dreams in my life, but I think about my childhood dreams, it is sad to say I have none. I mean when I was little, I never thought of what I wanted to become, or things I wanted to accomplish. I went through college and met people and then I decided what my dreams and goals are.

His book definitely inspired me. I think this would be one of the books that I would want my kids to read. His life is inspiring. Even though his life was short, he accomplished so much more. His family and he deserves a standing ovation. Lastly, hats off to him for dealing with his illness in such a calm way.

However, I did not like how the format changed in the book. Initially the chapter transitions were nice and smooth, but later in the book, I felt it got little choppy. He jumped around a little bit with no connection between chapters.

Overall, it is an excellent read. I can't wait to watch the lecture on video. And I am thinking about checking out the program Storytelling Alice. Maybe I will learn a thing or two about computer programming.

Heaven Yesterday...Hell Today!

Yesterday was amazing. The snow brought in a new atmosphere...Gloomy day suddenly became a day filled with laughter. It was like heaven on earth. It started around 8 I believe. Here is the picture of plants outside the house:

We got ready to go out wearing heavy snow jackets (the ones I bought when I went to Chicago...finally some use for them). We took pictures and played in the snow. Then our neighbor came out and their 2 little kids started playing with us. Then the parents went to the backyard and brought back buckets full of snow that had piled up on their trampolines. Finally, being completely numb, I went inside and got under the cozy blanket to keep warm. The next picture shows more snow:
This morning when I woke up, it was still white. It was damn cold though. Before leaving for work, I took more pictures:



It was all good until I left my house. I got on I-10, and in few minutes, I crossed an accident on the opposite lane, where an 18-wheeler was overturned and a car was burned to nothing. I just wish nobody was hurt. I also felt bad for the people stuck in traffic behind that accident. I know that feeling.
Then I crossed another two accidents, and in one, the car's front was complete gone. Again, I wish nobody was hurt. I finally got to work. When parking in the garage, we were told the the top floor is all iced, so I had to park at the very end. I was super late to office today.

Then when I read the news, I saw an article in Houston Chronicle titled, "Unusually High Number of Traffic Accidents Reported." So that didn't help how I was feeling. Then on CNN, they just released that they found some child remains near Anthony's home. I have been following this story, and I was just wishing that Caylee was not dead. I am sad that her life had to come to an end at such an early age, and her own mother was somehow involved. She was just a little girl. Makes me sad to know that people like Casey Anthony exist in this world, who are so cold-hearted that they go to such extent as to hurt their own child. I hope she gets what she deserves.

I hope we will have a safe winter.

My Heart is Crying...

I am drowning in mixed emotions right now. I am mourning over the loss of a loved one. What I feel inside, nobody can feel or tell. But I must show my emotions to the damn society.

Loss in a family is the greatest sorrow. Their importance is felt after they have left us. But when they were alive, we ignore them or take them for granted. The respect grows after they leave. Their accomplishments are remembered after they are gone. We always wish that they had lived few more months or few more years. But death is inevitable. It will strike and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Our death is decided when we are born, and no doctors can use science to extend it. Birth and death are two things that God controls. He has already decided where we will be born, where we will die, and how.

This brings me to loss of those innocent lives in Mumbai attack. My heart cries out for the victims and their family. Their end was destined in that attack thus they were at those locations. In some cases, it was their first time visiting the hotels and this tragedy happened. This tragedy proves that there is little or no humanity left in this world. Leave humanity, nowadays people don't even respect relationships. Siblings are no longer siblings. From hearing and watching the news, now there seems to be some fault in the relationship between parent and their child. Lastly, the pure relationship between husband and wife is being ruined by money and divorce. Not to discredit anyone, some people still exist that love and respect others.

There is lack of humanity but at the same time, we have this damn society breathing down our necks. If we do something, it is not acceptable. If we don't do something, that is not acceptable. Somebody will speak up. So we are suppose to act as puppets, who are going to smile and cry as ordered by the society. If we don't follow, then we disgrace our values, traditions, and parents. So the bottom line is, we come in this world to breath and move at the order of the society. So when the society will say, "Your mourning period is over, and now you can smile," I will cry and show them I don't agree. I don't give a damn about society. Why should I respect them, when they made me feel like a nobody? Why should I?

After all this ranting, I want to know where we stand in this world and what will happen to us. What kind of world will it be 10 years down the road when our kids will be born? Will we have the values and traditions of our ancestors? But that is not the question. The question is will our kids or our next generation accept those values and traditions. Will there be any harmony between the older generation and the new? These questions are just the few to ponder. The true question is "How will we survive?"

Most Joyous Occasion - Weddings

On Saturday, I attended a wedding. It was such a heart-warming experience. We saw the Groom's excitement as he waited for his bride/soon-to-be his wife. Then everyone sent him away because he was not suppose to see her before the wedding. Then the ceremony started. The groom stood at the front of the church waiting for the bride. We all turned around waiting for her as well. We saw her standing there with her brother as he walked her down the isle. That moment was ... (I do not even have words to describe it)...beautiful...joyous...

She stood next to him. The priest/father started the ceremony. Everything he said was in Spanish, so I did not understand a single word. Nevertheless, when the groom turned around to say his vows (I think), I saw the bride brush away her tears. I just watched her and saw how important this day was for her. I was very happy to be part of this day, and felt special that she had included me. After about 30 minutes, the wedding was over. The bride and the groom walked out holding hands. Her mother was shaken up, knowing that her daughter has stepped in a new life, and was no longer just a daughter. She has now become a wife, and will someday become a mother.

After the church, we went to the reception hall. The bride and the groom ate, and we waited. We waited for them to start the celebration. The bride visited her family, which included her in-laws now, and the groom did the same. The DJ started the music to catch everyone's attention and asked the audience to watch a slideshow honoring the bride and the groom. Again, that was beautiful. Finally the time came, when the couple danced. They danced hand-in-hand. That was beautiful. I could not stay to watch them cut the cake (white wedding cake for the bride and Corona cake for the groom :p)

While watching and enjoying all this, I thought about the day when my day will come and my prince will come. I was sitting there dreaming and hoping for the best.

Congratulations to Saul and Melly! I wish both of best of luck with all the happiness in the world.

2008-2009 Author Challenge

The original challenge I saw was for a year. But since I started so late in the year (November)...I figured I will make it Challenge for November 2008 to October 2009 so it is a year challenge after all.

The books I am reading are italized.

A – The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
B – Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; Tales From The Arabian Nights: Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves And Other Stories by Sarah Butcher; A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels & The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
C – The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo
D – 30 Years of Laughs & Lasagna: The Life & Times of a Fat, Furry Legend! by Jim Davis
E – The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
F
G – Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner;
H – Book of Thousand Days by Shannon Hall
I
J
K – Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney ; The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella; Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd; For One More Day & Five People You Meet in Heaven by Albom Mitch
L – The Fairy's Return and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine; Unaccustomed Earth & Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
M – Wicked by Gregory Maguire
N – The Darwin Awards Next Evolution (Darwin Awards) by Wendy Northcutt
O – Songs for the Missing by Steward O'Nan
P – The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Q
R – The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
S – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall; Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris; The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
T – Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy
U
V Incredible Coincidence by Alan Vaughan
W – Yukon Ho by Bill Watterson
X
Y
Z -

The Countdown Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to read the number of books first published in a given year that corresponds to the last digit of each year in the 2000s — 9 books from 2009, 8 books from 2008, etc. The total number of books required, therefore, is 45.

This challenge lasts from 8/8/08 through 9/9/09. Yes, it is retroactive to August 8th!

Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and your lists may change at any time.

Have fun reading!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will add to the list as the days go by...

Year 2009:

Year 2008:

  1. The Crazy School by Cornelia Read
  2. One in a Million by Kimberla Lawson Roby
  3. Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #2) by Jeff Kinney
  4. 30 Years of Laughs & Lasagna: The Life & Times of a Fat, Furry Legend! (Garfield) by Jim Davis
  5. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
  6. Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
  7. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale and Chelsea Mixon (Narrator) (Audio CD)
  8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
  9. The Darwin Awards Next Evolution by Wendy Northcutt
  10. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Audio CD)
  11. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (Audio CD)
  12. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (Author), Josephine Bailey (Reader) (Audio CD)

Year 2007:

  1. The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  3. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Year 2006:

  1. Secret of Lost Things by Sheriden Hays
  2. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
  3. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, Katherine Kellgren (Reader) (Audio CD)
  4. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
  5. For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Author) (Audio CD)
  6. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Author), Sarita Choudhury (Reader) (Audio CD)
Year 2005:

  1. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and John Mcdonough (Audio CD)
  2. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (Audio CD), Josephine Bailey (Reader)

Year 2004:

  1. Holiday on Ice by David Sedaris (Audio CD)
  2. Tales From The Arabian Nights: Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves And Other Stories by Sarah Butcher (Audio CD)
  3. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (Audio CD)
  4. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Audio CD), Josephine Bailey (Reader)

Year 2003:

  1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  2. Live at Carnegie Hall by David Sedaris (Audio CD)
  3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (Audio CD)
Year 2002:
  1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  2. Secret Life of Bees: by Sue Monk Kidd (Audio CD)

Year 2001 (I got more than one):

  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Audio CD)

The Ultimate Life

Over the weekend, I finally finished The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall. It is sad to say that I was somewhat disappointed. I wanted the story to build up little more than what was written. I felt that the author was bored or maybe had writer's block, and opened the first book, The Ultimate Gift, and copied it. Then he went back and added bits and pieces to make the story longer.

Also, I felt that the book played off the movie. It mentioned things that happened in the movie, but not in the first novel. Furthermore, the author felt the need to add exactly what Jason's Grandfather had said in the short movie clips he made for Jason, thus adding to the length of the novel, but not the quality. This book itself can be called "The Ultimate Life and Gift."

Statutes for Life - Paulo Coelho

Source: http://www.paulocoelho.com.br/engl/index.html



Three passions have governed my life
Bertrand Russell

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.

C&H Rocks!!!

Yesterday I got Yukon Ho by Bill Watterson...I haven't started reading it, but that is the first thing I plan to do when I get home. Major Paper # 2 for Ethics can wait...


And hopefully soon, I will also start The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall. I should get that today too. I can't wait.

Books are fun...

Happy Diwali!


दीपक का प्रकाश हर पल आपके जीवन मे एक नयी रोशनी दे,बस यही शुभकामना है हमारी आपके लिए दीवाली के इस पवनअवसर पर. !!


हॅपी दीवाली [Happy Diwali]!



Also wishing a Prosperous New Year to all Friends and Family.

Same old Same old...

I learned one thing...people can never change. They change colors but their true nature never changes. They lie and cheat but in the end, they do whatever they want to do. They have to go through near-death experience to have an epiphany, which doesn't happen every time either.

I just wished that people treated each other with more respect and actually showed everyone who they truly are. I wish that people and I didn't see this world with rose-colored glasses.

I'm Against it

I watched the movie Horse Feathers and now I can't get this song out of my head...

Whatever It Is, I'm Against It

By Harry Ruby (music) and Bert Kalmar (lyrics
)
Sung by Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers

I don't know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it.

Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it.

I'm opposed to it --
On general principles I'm opposed to it!

Chorus: He's opposed to it!
In fact, in word, in deed,
He's opposed to it!

For months before my son was born,
I used to yell from night till morn,
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
And I've kept yelling since I commenced it,
I'm against it!

Summertime Rocks




I saw this video on TV yesterday, and loved it.

Hectic Weekend

The weekend is here...I don't know if I should do Yay!!! or nooooooooooo.


First of all, Navratri is here. Navratri means nine nights of celebration. Then, the tenth day is Dushhera. So tomorrow night, we will celebrate one night of Navratri with everyone. There will be dandiya, Garba, and food. I am so excited and looking forward to it. So this is the reason for "Yay." And I also get to help in decorating. One day, I will be celebrating this festival back home. I can't wait...

Then Monday, I have a test over 5 chapters. I know its not such a big deal. But I have to "study" those chapters since my professor felt like teaching those 5 chapters in 2 days. On top of that, there is homework for those 5 chapters. I am happy to say I am half-way done with the homework, but at the same time, that's not a good thing. I have to do the homework and study for the exam.

Then Thursday after that, 3 papers are due. I finished one. I am 90% done with the second one. Don't ask about the third one. So I won't be starting these papers this weekend. I have to finish studying first (which is definitely a priority...I think)

So let see if I survive this weekend. I have to fit all this in this weekend.

Happy Navratri...

Traffic...be gone!!!



  • The traffic is very frustrating. Every morning it takes me 2 hours to cover 30 miles. That is insane. The average speed comes out to be 15 miles per hour. Imagine drive at that speed for 30 miles. Now imagine driving like that for about 10 days. I am ready in the morning, but by the time I get to my office, I am ready to hit the beds.

    Everyday I leave 5-10 minutes early, only to get to my office even later. Every day some loser decides to get in an accident and make our lives miserable like if we already do not have enough to deal with.

    I like the automated cars in the movie, Minority Report. Maybe, they should do that for Houston traffic. That will definitely make people lives little easier.

    What are the possible solutions to this problem?
    1. Change route.
    2. Move (which is not happening, thanks to parents)
    3. Quit work and stay at home (which is again not happening because I don’t want to. I love my job).

    I will try changing my route, and hopefully (praying and keeping fingers crossed) that I get to work on time.

Remembering...

Today marks the second death anniversary of my Buaji and Fufaji.

I miss you both very very much... I wish you were here with us...

You both are in our hearts and will never be forgotten.

The Ultimate Gift

I just finished reading "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall. The book was suggested by my best friend. I must say I have read so many books, but this book touched me in ways, that I cannot describe in words.

I don't know why I felt this way. I shed few tears, and I smiled. I felt all sorts of emotions. The author is brilliant for writing such work. He definitely showed me what life is about, and what it can be about.

Each gift was special. I want to take each gift mentioned in the novel and apply it in my life. I know I will have a new perspective toward my life. The only thing I can wish for that it works, because right now I feel like I need it.

I want to thank my best friend for showing me this book. I know that this book will go a long way with me. Thank you.
The book's official website is http://www.theultimategift.com/

Why Blog???

Life has become so routine for me. Go to work, then twice a week, attend class, and rest of the days, just go home. Even the weekends are dull and the "most" exciting is doing homework, and maybe watching a video at home. Going home to TV and eating but nothing exciting. For days, I have been looking into different activities that will make my life little interesting. They are either far away, cost too much, or are at wrong time of the day.

I looked into dancing but wasn't able to find what I was looking for. I looked into learning how to play musical instruments but distance and money became the problem. I even looked into target shooting, but figured its not my cup of tea right now, maybe later. I have made a list of things I will do one day, but it looks like that "one day" is not today...

Then I figured I can start a blog. Not to show people whats going on with me, but to maybe keep my mind occupied. You know what they say, "Empty mind is devil's workshop." Lets see how far this will go...

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