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Changes

 

(An old post which I wrote but forgot to publish it :))

…and then back on track now.

Does it ever happen that life appears to change for you in a bat of an eye? At times, making professional decisions over personal ones triumphs and sometime we need to take stricter and more futuristic decisions for ourselves which means leaving behind everything and starting from scratch. I am not sure if it is such a big decision for many since it is such a common thing to quit your job and enter the start up world. But for us, it was a Herculean decision. Yes Priyendra decided to quit Google and move ahead in life.

This itself was a colossal step in his life. But the interesting thing is that in front of him lay two options. One was to stay here and join a 3 month old start up in a core field where he would continue doing what he is best at and the other was to move to New York and join the 2 week old start up as a CTO. Yes! moving to New York came as a big shock to me but becoming a CTO of a small company kind of lured my husband.

There was a lot of back and forth. Priyendra went to New York to visit the company too. Thank God he went before Sandy struck the east coast. He came back pretty excited about the opportunity and the weekend Sandy hit the mainland USA, it also hit our lives. We had almost decided that we are moving to the east coast. I had started looking up apartments and jobs. I was gradually trying to get excited about the move too by watching a lot of New York based chic flicks.

After a lot more thinking, some Math and some emotional decisions, we have decided that we will not move out of the bay area and stay here with Scaligent!

 

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Happy 2013

I am alive and so is the world even after 2012 but there seems to be some kind of death of humanity. There is a lot going on on the map of the world: rape in India, killings in Sandy hook, slaughter in Syria and the natural disasters are not helping much either. There is a lot being said and written about all of this. Let me not go on that road but look forward to a better 2013 and look back at the happy times of 2012.

2012 was the year for traveling. We traveled to a new state almost every month. Out of the 50 states in the US, we traveled to the following states

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. Illinois
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. South Dakota
  7. Nebraska
  8. Washington DC
  9. Maryland
  10. Virginia
  11. New Mexico
  12. Nevada
  13. Oregon
  14. Washington

Not to forget we also traveled to the two ends of Canada. We went to Vancouver in February and to Toronto in September. It was a fun year since we got to make impromptu plans and end up in a state for the weekend. Our trips were short but very detailed. We would try and cover up as much land as possible.

One of my favorite trips was the trip to Mount Rushmore. Here I got to travel to the midwest. There was very little establishment in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska (at least  through the parts we traveled) and that was the beauty to it. Driving through this place was a very calm and soothing experience.

Another highlight for 2012 was Priyendra quitting Google and joining Scaligent. He was very nervous initially but he is extremely happy and satisfied now.

2012 was the year for kids too. Two of my best friends had babies. I am so glad they are both here and I get to play with them very often.

Life is a series of frames and I always hope to capture each frame either in the camera or through pen but I always fail miserably at it. I hope 2013 can give me some stamina to capture as many frames as possible for this year.

 

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Dosa Republic

As it is said “The Third Time is the Charm” and it was the Jainwals turn to pick a restaurant for the third meeting of gravy gurus. We picked ‘The Dosa Republic’. This is a new restaurant by the famous food truck owners of Curry up now, Akash and Rana Kapoor.

I picked this one up from the “hot new business” section on yelp. I was pretty sure from the start that the food would be good since I have heard great reviews on the curry up now truck.

The food is like south Indian street food with some different cultural flairs to it. The portion sizes are large. Two people could comfortably share a dosa and a starter. We ordered all the starters on their menu.

I liked the manchurian idlis and the uttapam nachos. I did not care for the Panko Crusted Bharwan (Stuffed) Anaheim Chili but really liked the kale wada sambhar and their samosa bits.
After liberally splurging on starters, we ordered main course. Everyone ordered different items. The orders were as follows:

  1. Priyendra: Mysorean Masala
  2. Priyanshi: Sinhala with Paneer
  3. Atashi: Mumbaiyya
  4. Vishal: Mumbaiyya
  5. Arthi: Paisano
  6. Chirag: Vegetarian Tangra
  7. Deeksha: Purani Dilli
  8. Asim:Chilli Chicken and noodles.
  9. Aishwarya:Chennai onion masala
  10. Saumil: Purani Dilli

We had sweet dosas for dessert but the gulab jamun was unparalleled.
Almost all had fun eating the different kind of dosas but I thought Mumbaiyya was the best.

The decor of the place a little rustic with wooden tables and the menu on the chalk board somehow reminded me of Roma burgers in San Francisco. I think they also have their menu written on one.

Wish we had taken pictures of all the dosas. The only one picture that Aish took was :

.

The reservation was under my name and somehow the lady on the phone heard my name  “Apishi” :)

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Our first motorcycle: Ninja Kawasaki 650

Do you wish for something you never had and before you grow old, you want to fulfill this wish of yours. Motorcycle was one such thing for Priyendra. He has been wanting to ride a bike since times immemorial.

It has been a couple of months with Lalli now and we have been having loads of fun. We rode it twice to the city (San Francisco) and a couple of times in the South Bay. Priyendra rides it to Google most of the days.

Few more pictures :
while we were at the dealer and other one when Lalli was parked in the garage :)

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Sloppy Reporters

I get quite frustrated by bad journalism. As a amateur hobbyist on matters writing related, I care deeply about how people report things. In this post when I say bad journalism, I am not talking about the choice of subject matter (which is frequently and worthily criticized) but the quality of the reporting. At times I am led to believe that no one ever proof-reads the trash that routinely gets written. Here are a few examples.

Anand also signed autographs for his fans during play.

After the session he was engaged in a question-answer session with the participants.

The media was told not ask any questions.

This is taken from here (Rediff). Apart from being grammatically incorrect, the above excerpt also seems stupid. What use is a question answer session when you can’t answer questions? I am sure what it means is that the session was moderated and only pre-selected questions were allowed, but Mr. Reporter would you mind saying so? This in fact, is not even the most egregious example of its kind and such cases are quite bountiful.

Another example is this article here (The Hindu). This article talks about a letter that the President of FICCI wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, arguing for the removal of clauses 17(a) and 17(b) from the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill. While the article does a reasonable job of summarizing the arguments contained in the letter, it fails to answer the most basic follow-up question that any reader would have. What do those clauses say? If you read the full article, you can with some effort, piece together a hazy picture of those clauses. But isn’t it much better to just tell us about them directly?

I suspect that some of these practices are left-overs from the print era. There used to be a time when newspaper real-estate was costly and every word had to be chosen with care. In the online world, articles ought to be more detailed. News sites should make full use of the riches that the WWW offers and hyperlink content together in a way that curious readers can jump right into the middle of an issue and understand it without having to rewind.

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Well done, Vishy Anand

A wonderful write-up about a man I immensely admired in my childhood (and still do).

At some time in the past, I used to be pretty good as a chess player (compared to other players my age). Somehow, over the years, my skills stagnated. However, Anand’s successful defense of his World Champion title has sparked a new desire to become good at chess again :)

Not sure how many people read these posts, but it would be awesome if I could find a group of three-four people who want to get better at chess and are roughly at the same skill level as myself.