This girl needs your help  

Posted by Ray

About a week ago, my friend Suresh Kumar (Annamalai University) wrote to me about this little girl who has been diagnosed with 'Bilateral Severe to Profound Hearing Loss'. Suresh personally knows this little girl, who lost her father recently. She is scheduled to undergo a Cochlear Implantation surgery, which costs about Rs. 10 lakhs.

For Donating online, Kindly send a mail With subject mentioning as
"Donation in favour of Baby.Lalitha Ponmani" to merfmk (at) / merfmk (at) Transaction details will be sent by MERF.

You can also get in touch with Suresh directly. His gmail id is contactsuresh79.

Southwest Diary  

Posted by Ray in

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, most of you know that I travel south-west from Hartford to Baltimore. With the rising fuel prices, the fares have also gone up and that hurts my pocket. Gone are the days when my previous employer paid for all the travel and accommodation. I don't work for them anymore.

Every Monday and Friday, I see the same folks and the exchanges vary from a smile to a lengthy chat. I used to think that all other business travelers were paid by their companies for travel. But after talking with a few folks, many were in the same boat (or should I say flight) as mine. One person wanted to sell his home in Hartford and wanted to move to D.C, where he is working full-time. But with the housing market at an all time abysmal low, and with a not-so-good Real Estate agent, he hasn't been able to sell his home yet. He too, like me, is a week-bachelor and a weekend-family-man.

I spoke with another person who takes the same flights every week. His company pays for all his travel. I thought that was great. A few more minutes in to the conversation, he told me his wife was a cancer patient. (I wish her a speedy recovery). He was talking about insurance and the healthcare system in the country.

Just last Friday, while we were all waiting to board the plane, a gentleman smiled at me and asked "You take this same flight every week, don't you?". I smiled back and replied in the affirmative. I also told him that I have been doing this for close to 2 years now. He smiled and said, "That must be tough. I know 'cos I have been doing this for 4 years".

Another time, the person who was sitting next to me said, "How is that you can eat chicken and not beef? Dude, you don't know what you are missing. Did you every try a good steak?"

A short Southwest flight to me is a microcosm of the world we live in. It also reminds me that the problems I face are not problems at all. They are just a norm in everybody's life. It also reminded me of a dialog in the movie "Server Sundaram".

"பிரச்சனைன்றது ஒரு சின்ன கல் மாதிரி. கண்ணு கிட்ட வெச்சி பார்த்தா பெரிசா தெரியும். தள்ளி வெச்சி பார்த்தா என்னான்னு புரியும். ஈசியா தூக்கி போட்டுடலாம் "

Translastion for my non-Tamil speaking friends:
A problem is like a small stone. The closer you hold it to your eye, the bigger it appears. Once you hold it away from your eye, it appears small and you will see it better. You can dispose it easily.


Posted by Ray in

I brought my first Beatles CD in 2005. When I listened to the songs, I wasn't really impressed and I wondered how these songs/people became so famous. (I can hear someone saying this guy knows no s#!+ about music). But after a couple of years, I replayed the CD and this time I enjoyed the songs. Not sure what happened between 2005 and now. One of my favorite (in the limited number of songs that I have heard) is "Hey Jude". Here is the song:

Onion Pakoda  

Posted by Ray in

Spicy and Crispy Onion Pakoda for an evening snack! he...he.
பயங்கர காரம் !! சூப்பர் taste !!

(Click to eat)

Bob Dylan  

Posted by Ray in

Yesterday I went to the same music store where I purchased my first Frank Sinatra CD. This time I got a Bob Dylan CD. A sales associate helped me select the CD. I told him that I had never heard Bob Dylan before. After I paid for it, I played the CD in my car. The first song was 'Blowin in the Wind', written (1962) and sung by Bob Dylan. A few of you might have heard this song before (in the movie Forrest Gump). Without further ado, here is the song:

According to Wikipedia, "The refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" has been described as "impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind".


Posted by Ray in

Thank God it's Friday. Every Friday, I go through the same ritual. I come to work early so that I can leave a bit early. Just before I leave my office, I print the boarding pass and and drive to the airport. Rarely, the Capital Beltway is traffic-free. So its a struggle out there. For no apparent reason, the vehicles just inch forward taking close to 10 minutes to just cover a mile. Once I park the car in the Airport parking Garage, I rush to take the shuttle that takes passengers from the garage to the airport. After going through the security, which takes anywhere between 5-15 minutes, I walk straight to the Borders Express Book store. I just browse the store and occasionally buy a book or two. Then I proceed to the gate and wait for the cattle call. It is like a religious experience to go through this every week. I feel I have a spiritual connection with the Baltimore Airport. Changed jobs twice but still I fly through the same airport.

A short flight takes me just outside Hartford, CT where Kavitha picks me up at the airport. A 40 minute drive takes me to my apartment home in the Connecticut country side. I repeat the same process in the reverse order on Monday mornings. I don't know how long I can continue to do this. Hopefully not until the time when pigs fly.

Ordinary Miracle  

Posted by Ray in

As the credits were scrolling on the screen at the end of the movie 'Charlotte's Web', this beautiful song was playing in the background. The lyrics are simple and beautiful. Our everyday life is filled with thousands of small beautiful things. In our simple life, which we have made busy for ourselves, we fail to notice those beautiful things and appreciate what God has created for us. This song kinda reminds us what we have forgotten to see.

Ordinary Miracle by Sara McLachlan

Garden Life  

Posted by Ray in

After a 2 week break, we did some pruning and cleaning. The tomatoes are now about the size of a small cherry. The bean plants are tall and the spearmint plants are tall with broad, thick leaves.

Apart from the plants doing well, there is something to talk about the animal life in the garden. The simple sight of bees sitting and buzzing over the marigold flowers is one to cherish. Our neighbhor's cat was following a wild turkey like a tiger on a prowl. It had no chance against the big turkey but it looked like a big tiger getting ready to jump on it's prey. After a while it just got tired and gave up. A deer was grazing in the lawn and it even took a couple of steps towards me when I offerred it a bunch of tomato leaves. It then decided not to trust the dangerous animal on the planet and quickly ran in to the woods.

As I took the picture of the Asiatic Lily bloom, I was able to capture the deer grazing in the background. If the different sights and happenings in a small apartment garden are so beautiful, think about what is in store out there in the little wilderness that is left. Nature is the face of God and it is sad that we human beings are defacing it.

(Click to enlarge)


Posted by Ray

Once again this year, I'm planning on participating in the CRY Walk in Boston. It is on August 23 @ Thorndike Field in Arlington, Mass. (99 Margaret Street, Arlington, MA).

For the sake of the children, skip a latte or an Indian Buffet lunch (don't skip your lunch, cook at home). And be kind enough to donate that amount to Child Rights and You. I have set a small goal and I need your help in achieving it.

இன்னாது இரக்கப் படுதல் இரந்தவர்
இன்முகங் காணும் அளவு

It is nice not to see a needy face in pain, give
till it blushes in joy with hands full of gain (திருவள்ளுவர், translated by J Narayanaswamy)

Please click here to make a donation: