Sunday, December 27, 2009

Simplex, duplex, complex, multiplex ?

Having been re-accustomed with examinations recently, I have been hearing people say "This is complex" or  "That's actually simple" more often that I began wondering what actually the word simple/simplicity means. Well, the reasoning was simple enough - something that's simple for a person might not be same for the other. That just not shows, but proves that 'simple' and 'complex' are relative terms, a mere shamming up of words that people came up with to hide their incapabilities. And I am the culprit to be blamed as I was at the receiving end most of the times - most things appeared complex to me. And the worst misnomer (according to me) in the past 6 months was a tool called "SimpleScalar", which is full blown out-of-order processor simulator!! Well, while thirty of us thought it was extremely complex, there was someone who thought it was 'Simple'....

When someone says something is simple, it is a clear indication that he/she is in complete understanding of a particular aspect of the thing. But wait, does this mean he/she is an expert on that thing..? No, this is again a relative measure - a measure that only you, yourself can come up with and is therefore highly a personal grading of your relative understanding of the subject. There is every possibility that your understanding of the subject is completely incorrect and therefore you find it simple. Nevertheless, the fact and truth is that "your" perception of the subject is perfect under your evaluation and therefore it becomes simple. The aspect that your understanding being incorrect is irrelevant of it being simple for you. It is simple but incorrect, but simple nevertheless.

That brings me to the another ambiguous analogy of simplicity. A very vague analogical example which most of us can associate to is the 'simplicity' that we relate to asceticism. We say ascetics lead a simple life - where the simple is just one of our definitions - with respect to material aspects or renunciation. But, there are people still leading a simple life despite this renunciation - are they less simple? less spiritual? Isn't  it their definition of simple that actually matters and not ours? This analogy is further made difficult by the fact that a large percentage of characters that we Indians look upto for spirituality have seemingly mixed simplicity. For instance Shri Ramakrishna was a man that would match a definition of economical and visual simplicity whereas Shri Vivekananda has throughout led a complex life- running institutions, writing books, asking questions, answering them, giving conferences, making public appearances; all that negates our definition of being simple. So is simplicity an essential ingredient for attaining peace ?

In both of the above versions of simplicity - an object and of a person - it is very evident that we rely upon the definition of the term simple. When we refer to an object as being complex, aren't we explicitly trying to provide an excuse for our incapability of understanding it? When we say that we lack peace due to our complex lifestyle, aren't we again providing an excuse for our incapability of retaining a mental balance? Looking back, it seems that I have been providing ample examples of my incapability in the past years ;). And if you were wondering why this post all of a sudden - I was trying to understand waveform multiplexing and I found it complex!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whats your Avatar?

"The thing that I can't tolerate is, there's soon going to be this next dumb quiz on facebook -  What's your avatar? " said my friend, after the movie ended, and while we were walking down the dark alleys on a silent and cold night, on our way back home. That summed up our feelings for the night, after a movie that sure excited us by its awesome graphics and pure innovation. Truly, we were all taken to the Pandora's for a little over couple of hours. Summed up by James Cameron as one of his life achievements even before the movie released, this baby of his is definitely worth a watch. Its truly creditable that the entire movie, right from its conception until its execution was in its own realm of unbridled imagination and ecstasy.

With very little story value, the movie, Avatar, has the freedom to explore the hidden depths of one's imaginative mind. And it definitely has taken advantage of this freedom of imagination resulting in a stupendous visual feast - the colours throughout the movie are simply amazing. The fluorescent flowers, the huge leaves, the multi-legged creatures, the winged mounts that soar the skies - all these form the core of the movie that charms the audience and binds them by its sheer magic.

The movie is a must watch, if you would allow yourself to be guiled by the lack of logic and science. And when you are given a date that far out in the future, you are entitled the rights to throw in gadgets and concepts as you like. Avatar is short of neither, and you have everything right from machines that transmit brain signals across to a different biological entity to a civilization that makes use of neural networks of the orders of 10^12 that enables them communicate with trees and animals alike. After dealing with Asymptotics for half the year, these numbers seemed to be more than realistic to me though. The screenplay, if there was any, was simple and clean with no major hiccups or aberrations. The entire movie was apparently taken with the help of human motion sensors to capture the motions of actors in the set and transmit them to the natives that makes it amazingly realistic.

Just so that the review remains fair enough and covers all aspects of the movie and to bring back the admirers from the sheer awesomeness of the visual treat, I would probably have to bring out things that struck me rather ordinary in the movie. The story would instantly remind you of any tamil/telugu movie flick with its standard package of romance and heroism. And, my international friends, if you have liked those aspects of the movie in particular, I'd recommend that you watch a few Indian movies with/without sub-titles which I am sure are full of these. And if you make sense of just one of these movies, its just a contextual switch that you need to flip and language isn't a barrier any more. The indicator random variable would invariably point to 1 up, then on.. :-)

Length of the movie was another thing that I have always wanted directors to be aware of, perhaps with the rare exception of a few movies that have a very strong story line to back up the length. While not withstanding the fact that Avatar is a visual treat (esp in 3D which I've heard is simply awesome), the 165 min runtime seemed to be an overkill for the movie. It's my firm belief that no matter how good or beautiful a particular feature is- an overdose is definitely a killer.

As a final note, I would definitely recommend the movie- its truly a next step forward as far as the technology and innovation is concerned. However, I'd definitely not rate it at par with the Lord of the rings, Troy, or A Beautiful Mind. It wasn't designed to compete with movies of this genre, but to create a new class of its own!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Warangal - Summer 2009

Where shall we go ‘constructively’ was the big question that was haunting my mind that Thursday evening. I had an inkling that there will not be another chance for a trip in India for quite some time to come, the reason which all of you would know by now. I have to thank my roomie, who understood my unstated intent for pushing for the trip and stood by me to make it happen. Had he known me a little lesser, this could just not have happened. Given the time constraint of one day and our serendipity with transport timings (especially the Govt. buses), the distance of the place had to be less than 200 km. After discussion and re-discussions, Warangal came emergent as the winner. Warangal is a ‘big’ town in Andhra Pradesh, NW of Hyderabad and an educational hub boasting of medical and engineering colleges at par.

And so we were on our way to Warangal, early in the morning, in a train, amongst a few other hundred people hustled up in a compartment. And to gain entry into it requires an act of hop, step and jump - Hop around the doors as the train taxies in, step aside for a quick prayer and jump into the train hoping to survive nothing short of a stampede. We were six in number, and two of us managed to 'catch' seats for the all of us in the train. And after the inevitable and innumerable "jaragandi's" we were all set for the four hour journey. As the sun rose, so did the temperature, driving home the geography lessons of yesteryears as regards the climactic conditions of central India. However, when we finally got down at Warangal, our travel instincts took over and we pit-stopped for a breakfast which a normal person would enjoy provided he were blind and had a severe cold. We were neither, but we weren't normal people either ;).

As per our agenda, we decided to pay the Warangal fort a visit right away as it was the closest(10-20 min) to the station. And to this effect we took an autorickshaw which was shockingly economical only to be shocked still when we saw 'the fort'. It actually took us ten minutes to believe that a garden with remnants of a few rock sculptures and a hillock with a 'mandap' was their definition of a fort (not to blame the locals for there was a big fort there in the 12th century). But, if I were to look at it today, I would say we kind of enjoyed it there despite the blazing sun and dehydration. For the serious tourist, you could probably spend around 1-2 hours here but definitely not more. We loafed around the place for about the same time clicking god-knows-how-many pictures. This place is ideal for taking pictures if you planning to upload them to a matrimonial sites (perhaps one of my co-traveler can give you more tips for success in this regard).

Our next destination as expected was lunch (Oh yeah, we guys have voracious appetite esp when we are traveling) at an AC hotel outside of which the hoteliers claimed to sell the best 'crap curry' available in the town. After eating (translate to hogging), we paid the 1000 pillar temple which was close by the precincts of the town. Again, we were stumped by the nomenclature, as there were hardly 10 pillars in the temple that we counted and re-counted just in case. And then we realized, since we Indians invented zero, we had the privilege of using them a couple of extra times as per our liking. Finally, the mystery unraveled when we overheard a guide stating that there were thousand vertical edges in the temple structure, the carvings on which made it look like a pillar. As is the tradition, we snapped (my patented contextual verb) a few pictures and went our way to our final destination - the Ramappa temple.

Having grown wiser with the experience of our morning, we weren't anticipating what was told to us about one of the largest temple almost 900 years old. Again for the serious tourist: this temple is quite on the outskirts of Warangal and it would be worth your while to engage your own transport. We again took a 'share auto' (a unique Indian way of commuting in regions of sparse transport facilities) to the temple and were warned adequately by the auto driver that we won't readily find transport back to the city( the temple is a good two hour drive away). As is the case with most foolhardy youth (which I still am), the spirit of revolt took over us and we decided to comfortably discredit his opinion.

When we reached the temple, I was literally left speechless about the absolute magnitude of the temple. It was just colossal and magnificient! We were fooled yet again - everything that we heard about the temple fell way too short for what it should be credited for. If you are any interested in olden-day architecture or photography (I was in for both), this is the place to be. It doesn't have the glamour of the Meenakshi amman temple at Madurai, but it is no less magnificient all the same. Believe me, I have taken a handful of my pictures of the year at this place. A note for those who are interested in spirituality - you might have a totally different reason to visit the place altogether, I assure you that it would be worth your while.

We spent a magical 4 hours at this place and lazed around the temple and had fun to our fill until the dusk embraced us. I might sound poetic now, but on that day, little did we realize that we were microns away from being forced to spend the night under the open sky in this almost desolate location with our primeval evolutionary ancestors for company. We reached the bus stop (a road-side clearing with a couple of tea-shops) at around 7 hoping to catch the bus that luckily for us (we were told then) was late and was still awaited. After waiting for an hour, we were again told that the bus had a decreasing probability of coming given that it was late by two hours. And while we waited for the bus, another version of information reached us stating the bus might not turn up at all. That was it! Now we were getting more anxious and the vada's (I'm sure they were a day old on the very least) that was un-hygienic a short while ago seemed more lucrative now. We started gobbling up whatever we could find and between our lamentations about the Indian bus services managed to polish off whatever was left of the leftovers of whenever-that-was-made. We even tried to negotiate a deal with a jeep that apparently popped out of no-where, but the driver's ploy to hike the tariff on a per minute basis acted as a deterrent to that end. And so there we were, the six of us, swearing off our damned luck in a language which (hence, I'm not including in here) I'm sure would not be understood in the domestic circles.
Soon enough we could see that the two elderly folks, the only shop-residents, who were clearly new to seeing 9 PM were our only company and who more due to suspicion than graciousness let the candles(I don't really remember if we had electricity there) burning for us. As the time for the last bus went past, we were so thoroughly anxious that we even considered walking our way back in the dead of the night(7 km) and hitchhike our way back to Warangal. If you think darkness is scary, imagine darkness with primate hands groping all around you! Just when I was mentally preparing for a 'night-out' there, a bus came around saving us from further extrapolation of our sundown adventures.

Clearly, our adventure would not be of much interest to my readers, but I do have to make justice to our trip by including the above narrative. For, after-all, this blog is as much for me as for my readers and it might as well be a refresher for our trip a few years down the lane. That said, I hope not to have shrugged off prospective visitors from making this choice of trip - This is definitely one of the most beautiful places I've visited as a traveler. On a parting note, I would highly recommend this trip to be taken with your own transport facilities for you to enjoy unrestrained by the faculty of time.

Facts and Figures:

Duration: 1 day for the entire trip
Transportation mode: Hiring a cab right from Hyderabad would be highly recommended
Cost: Cannot probably give you an estimate as we traveled by public transport which was ridiculously inexpensive.
Season: Non-summer, Non rainy days - Probably Feb/March might be a good time.
Comments: If you chose to visit Ramappa temple by public transport, please do so early out in the day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Can't Oh Saamy !

It might come as a pleasant surprise to my readers that I am finally writing a movie review (despite movie reviews being the most enjoyed part of my blog posts by far). I would venture to say that it might be the evil design of Mr.Fate that I feel compelled to watch this tamil movie after a long time. Before I begin, dear readers who belong to the non-tamil faction, please apologize if you don't make sense out of the whole post - neither did I from the movie.

It came as an indigestible bitter pill (can it become any worse ?) that I opted to watch Kandasaamy as a stress buster after my exams. Worse still, that I watched it soon after 'Unnaipol Oruvan'. While I was bedazzled by the performance of Naseeruddin Shah in 'A Wednesday' (I had watched the movie long time ago)- especially the way he made Kamal Hassan look not-out-of-the-world in the tamil version, the mercury was shot down by Kandasaamy given the fact that the film was shot for over two years (irrespective of the reason for the delay).

Starting with a flimsy story line which I am sure one might not have seen worser in a long time, the screenplay matched it's quality to the core. The screenplay of the movie has thrown a serious challenge to concepts of time dimensions and makes time move geometrically slower (and perhaps stand still at some point). The theme, despite being directly picked up from 'Ramana' (I'm surprised how there hasn't been a plagiarism law suit yet!) has been so effectively screwed up that it appears as flawed as it could be. The cinematic characterization of CBI officers has been consistently ripped apart in Tollywood since the beginning of time, but I'm sure Kandasamy and Billa would definitely be there among the hot competitors for the top spot. The screenplay and plot has definitely reached the pinnacle of mediocrity. Perhaps the lack of surprises was indeed the surprise the movie had hoped to achieve!

There couldn't have been a job worse done with the dialogues department too. The dialogues between the lead pair and the investigators amazes me with its derisiveness, especially when they 'appear' outsmart each other (though I'm sure even a 3 year old would be able see through the fatuous plots that apparently fazed even the CBI). Even the 'vaigai puyal', whom I usually admire for his antics and on screen hilarity, seems to be terribly off key in the entire movie. Perhaps the effects of induction are not limited to electricity and magnetism alone. Lyrics for the songs adds yet another icing to the already molten (not just melted) ice cream of a dialogue. I even have a suspicion that the lyrics might have been accidental recording of the on-the-high babble of techie youth after three rounds of Russian Vodka. The english and tamil (oh! you do hear a couple of words scattered now and then if you are sharp enough) has been so ostentatiously mixed that it just throws up on the instrumental music that runs on the background. Just to give you an idea of how messed up it could look like, I have even ventured to paste some portions of the lyrics that I could find from the internet at the end of the post.

Usually actions speak louder than words, but in this case - I would any day have pledged my preference to the words. The garments do deserve a special mention in the movie. If dressing up as a 'cock' for depicting phantasms was as brilliant an idea that one can come up with in two years time, it makes me wonder about the sort of imbecilic plague has struck Kollywood. The flying sequences are no more a novelty to the tamil/telugu movie buffs, but I'd rather that the stunt sequences better be unexplained on-screen. The dress-up of the lead character as a woman in one of the fight sequence just shows the level of nervousness and depravity with which the spice of novelty has been tried to be brought in the movie.

The screenplay of the movie is wayward, but its the characterization that sets the trajectory towards definite annihilation. The manner in which the lead pair fall in love with each other is as stale as a bottle of buttermilk from the ages of Egyptian Pharoahs. Why the choice of PPP as a representation of villainous identity was made puzzles me more than Shrodinger's equation. What has truly appalled me, is how veteran actors could have donned these roles knowing how weak their on-screen characterization would be.

Apart from spending crores on the shores of Italy and the basins of Africa, I fail to see anything the movie has significantly achieved. Perhaps, in future, if evading taxes were my sole purpose in life, I might actually venture to mimic this Kollywood bravado!

Movie Bottom Line: Can't oh Saamy.

Disclaimers: Movie highly recommended if revenge is your motive and losing 50 bucks is your favourite pastime.

Random Lyric pieces from songs:
En Peru Meenakumari
Yen ooru kanyakumaari

Kaaikari thottahthila naan kathiri
Aangila madhathila naan january

Ohdura andhiyinile naan kaaviri
Asaiva saapaatula naan maan kari

Hey Kandhasamy yen lifela puyala vandha samy..
yen alagu paathu manasula nondha samu che vendha samy,
un azhagunaala illa un imsaiyila nondha samy,
un kaiyila sikka maatan indha samy..

Saturday, October 03, 2009

College life - Part 2

A lot of my blog readers have asked me if Purdue had conspired enough to subdue my interest in writing. And I had to prove them wrong, especially since they couldn't have been more right. Hence this post.. But yes, I do have to 'make' justice to my readers, who hopefully, have been reading content that they find worth reading. And what better occasion than today, when Google Analytics sent me a mail today saying that my blog page has taken 5000 hits this year.

If you had been reading my posts regularly, you would have seen my inability to get to the topic of my post right away. I have been vehemently trying to make an impression with my opening and have been failing to do so with infallible regularity. This post, as most of you would expect is going to be about what I have seen at Purdue for the past couple of months. You would find this post to be randomly placed with an abstract ending the reason for which I am still unable to reason out.

Last week was one heck of a ride for me with my first exam in three years and it wouldn't be just right if it weren't destined to be an algorithms paper. And it wouldn't be right at all if I didn't have to submit a programming assignment and three other homeworks on the very same day. One of the first things that struck me at the University was the height of the buildings. Most of the buildings were just a couple of floors tall but inconspicuously held another three floors below the ground. And so there I was, locking up myself in one of the subterranean rooms of the library wondering how the complexity of finding my way through the university buildings could be bound asymptotically by a polynomial function. The thought provoking dream ended in an hour with the evening exam which is oxymoronically named (there.. I've invented an adjective) as it was held at 9PM.

As I made my way out into the maze of corridors fighting against my dis-oriented and dyslexic vision for routes, I was joined by a couple of fellow conspirators (from now on I've officially discontinued the usage of the word classmates for aesthetic reasons) who were battling out for the maximum number of questions they had attempted. For some reason, then perplexing to me, people here at Purdue talk about 'attempt' synonymous to 'correct' when in an academic context. Around the corner were another group of students who were boisterously considering the fabrication of a covert transistor (whose sister? ). A part of me felt immensely proud to belong to the league of geeks (a claim that we proudly print on our department T Shirts)and be capable of these discussions at unearthly and the bell tower (another landmark at the university) brightly screamed 11 PM to drive home the point.

Automatic doors have been one of the things that I truly hated here in the US - you never know when the open up. I invariably end up clutching thin air instead of the door knob with amazing regularity. But this time, it was a person who opened the door from the other end. "Excuse me, I'm sorry" said the mammoth of a guy who opened out the door. The apologetic gestures are one of prominent things that I've noticed here, and surprisingly still, it came from my fellow countryman who I'm sure, if it were to happen in the Chennai streets, wouldn't have had thought twice about bashing me (if I'm lucky enough) apart from swearing right through my ancestral chain.

To top it up, my name has added incredible complexity to my life at the university. The length of my name has already become a legend at the university and to top it up, I am now being called 'The one with Three parts to his name'. Not to mention the fact that the delivery folks get a free practical training on Adiabatic Random variables thanks to the various permutations that they work out on my name. But yes, until now, I have managed to stick to my identity and have successfully thwarted the temptation to call myself John, Superman or Pinocchio.

All things said, it still is one of the fruitful period of time that I'm spending here and yes, I am enjoying what I'm doing here. If you know me well, you would know enough that I'm a person incapable of living a dream, or even dreaming in the first place. I'm far too lost to have these thoughts that belong to the Utopian realm - they have ceased to exist even in my conception. I let my surroundings carry me through to where it wants - I live in a world where people still try to build a perpetual motion machine and solve P = NP...

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Wondering what goes through my mind when important decisions are taken, a whole lot of change is expected in your routine, a mad rush of adrenaline, disillusionment, retrospection and insomnia is what I am facing when I pen this post in the wee hours of the morning, sitting on my bed with the continuous drone of the ceiling fan ringing in my head. All because tomorrow would be the last day at work, insignificant in the whole scheme of things happening in the universe, but one which alters what I had gotten used to for the past three years. No, I am neither being sentimental nor agnostic, but being a mere spectator of the events happening around me, created by me.

The last two days have also thrown in a lot of surprises on me - I have seen people getting sentimental, utilitarian and pragmatic all the same. I have been a witness to the "Little bird effect", events causing a multitude of thought process in the minds of many. I am appalled at the expectations that various people have of me, expectations that I might have unwittingly set, most of them too stupendous and distant for me to imagine. I have seen a large variety of emotions around me, emotions like concern, joy, sympathy, benediction, misery, jealousy, quizzical (am stuck for the right noun here), nonchalance, surprise, delight and a few other abstract noun forms that the languages are yet to quantify.

It has been days of hellos and byes bundled together in a unique fashion. No, this was not what we would have faced during our last days at high school or at college where you find alarming unity of thought and emotions. A unity that is achieved by the certainty and unbridled rectitude. If you thought emails have lost their ability to communicate emotions, believe me, it is not the case - I have had two worders to two liners which have been loaded abundantly with the intention of the writer. It makes me respect the concept of writing as a means of communication.

As I step into unemployment for the first time and into a new venture, it feels like it was ordained to be so. It would be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, it would be interesting still if nothing at all happens. I am not going to guess or predict or even offer my suggestions, for I am not a prognosticator.

If, at the end of all this, you were to ask me what sort of a state of mind that you are in - the reply would probably be "wonder".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Badminton days

I have been left in the lurch of the term that would best describe this short narrative that I am about to pen. As most of my posts are, this, again is the result of a latent thought of mine, resurging in a moment of weakness of the mind. A very abstract beginning to a post that it totally unrelated to what I have said so far. A lot of people have asked so many questions about my association with badminton and even if I were to make a very short story of this, it would at the very least, date back a little over a decade.

A short stick with a round end between which I could poke my fingers into successfully is how I identified a badminton racquet when I first saw it. I was about 10 years old at that time and every male member in my family owned one of these rotund headed object that I could not spell. I even remember having used it more than once as an instrument to try and catch hold of butterflies and failing unfailingly to do so. But, in the next ten-fifteen years my association with the sport did not grow in tandem with my ability to spell.

The ‘shuttle’, as it is christened in India, was always an elusive sport reserved only for the most deserving - financially. It is truly so, even now. I can remember myself waiting amongst a bunch of kids waiting eagerly for the gentlemanly elders to finish of their game so that we could get the used shuttles. Only the most scuttled shuttles were given to us by the ‘elders’ with a scorn on their face, a benediction that we accepted with little discernment of the intention with which this grace was showered on us. A fresh shuttle was a treat, something that we could aspire for only when we played the ‘tournament’ - an annual event that was held for the neighborhood kids.

Cost was not the only thing that we needed to brave while playing badminton. Since, an indoor stadium was still a fantasy, something that we had seen only in the television, we had to often play within a tornado (or one of its numerous relatives) that comes unfailingly every week end/holiday/whenever we were allowed to play on the open ground. We had to do so much math to calculate where the shuttle would land up when thrown up in the wind, that most of us ended up as engineers. Undeterred, we still played on, waiting for the D-day(deliverance day), when we had a brand new shuttle and a windless morning. When I moved into the 8th grade, I realized that racquets that came as an incentive with ’Boost’ (a health drink) were better that the ones that I owned. Any word that was uttered by us in favour of buying a racquet would evoke a tacit reply if we were confident of becoming ‘Mr. Padukone’. Oh, yes. This is the guy who is the father of Deepika Padukone who also was by the way one of the best badminton players produced by India. Coming back to badminton, in those days, Yonex racquet was like an expensive jewel, something that only those in the royal bloodline could afford to touch. I totally believed in the myth that if the mud-bloods were to touch a shuttle with that racquet, it would be blown into smithereens and I into sacrilege.

In country full of cricket lovers, Hidayat and Peter Gade are as common to the people as floccinaucinihilipilification to the english dictionary. I remember the days when I used to sit late nights to watch the Indonesian Open being re-telecasted during the off hours in DD Sports channel. It was during my early undergraduate days that I first played badminton in an indoor stadium and have been playing in one ever since. And it was after an year since I began to earn my living and a year ago from now, that I could finally bring myself to own a Yonex. Well, this might indicate why badminton, whether you like it or not is only for the affordable.

I was in for a shock, when I finally thought that my badminton has improved considerably. And my backhand in which I particularly took pride in, was beaten all ends up by a kid who was about the same height of my raquet. I realized, for me, perhaps, the resurrection in badminton came in a tad too late, when I have both lost the stamina and the time to pursue it as a passion. Little would I have imagined at any earlier time that badminton would one day become a sport that I would end up playing just for the sake of remaining active. Now, I think, I would rather pride in encouraging youngsters (my age and a couple of years lesser) to play more badminton. ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Top ten mis-conceptions about the US

And yes, the saviour is here! Let me try and sort out some mis-conceptions that we, Indians possibly had about the United States -

1. The streets are always clean like a polished mirror
This is something that I had always wanted to be done better in India until I actually saw the underlying expectation and New York. To put it clean and straight, it was better but it wasn't very different from our roads in Bombay, Chennai or any of the metro cities. I believe that population is the key factor in contributing to the un-cleanliness of a place more than anything else. Any village in Kerala would easily match your conception of cleanliness and pro-nature.

2. People are financially strong enough to support themselves
Another revelation! There is always a strong contention for the job of begging all around the world. Fifteen minutes into the heart of New York would tell you that. I even saw a huge billboard saying "Almost 40% of New Yorkers have to choose between food and medication". WE are running a race buddy!

3. Hoodies are COOL fashion garments
The next time I hear someone saying this, I'll be more than glad to throw a punch right on their face. Well, that applies to anyone wearing a hoodie in central-southern India too. We, Indian's have adopted hoodies as fashionable elements to ones wardrobe just to appear "COOL" (thanks to SRK and bollywood). However hoodies are designed to save the exposed parts of your body - face, neck, hands from an impending amputation surgery.

4. Employment benefits are way too good
The exchange rates are to blame here - imagine paying Rs.80 ($2 - a very conservative comparison) for a pack of chips. You could eat a couple of full course meals with that in India. The age old mantra still stays afloat - Earn in Dollars, spend in Rupees.

5. People are self-centered
Well, who isn't ? I found as a fact that people in India are no less self-centered. Perhaps the media here projects only those wacky bunch just to keep us interested? I actually found the people there to be very nice, polite and professional there.

6. Subway systems are highly sophisticated
Perhaps I am making an unfair comparison here- NY subway system has been in vogue for a hundred years and infinitely complex to maintain. But for a fact, subways in calcutta are way better and cleaner.

7. There are sprawling green meadows
Bollywood, bollywood! If its winter season and they show you sprawling green meadows, its probably some place in the Hawaiian islands or Conoor that you are seeing. For one thing, Mother Nature has been so benevolent on India - the climate is so moderate and conducive to the survival of all life forms.

8. You don't get vegetarian food
That was a scary proposition that was proved wrong the moment I landed there - there are ample options (and very tasty ones too) for vegetarians! You even have vegetarian burgers (Burger King - BK Veggie) if you want one :)

9. Brown people get stared at
Yes, the only people who stare at you are Indians! And the stare ends up with an expression of surprise - every one of us thinks he is the only Indian out there!! A watchword here though - Italians look exactly like Indians, so watch out for that before you start off showing your prowess with Hindi.

10. Concrete Jungle - there are sky scrapers everywhere
For a change, Hollywood is at fault here - Every hollywood movie that you see right from Godzilla to Mars attacks shows you nothing but Manhattan!! Manhattan is the only place in US that is strewn with skyscrapers. There are ample farm lands, parks, forest reserves and mountain ranges in other parts of US.