Monday, December 17, 2007

The declining cost of communication ..

Technology has been known to drive costs down and increase efficiency. You see it everywhere from hi-tech machinery in huge manufacturing plants to simple technology in your home/office. But there's one area where you could argue that the declining cost has actually made it more inefficient. I'm talking about the cost of communication. Now, dont' get me wrong, I really think that cell phones, email, fax etc help us work and live more efficiently.

But I'm pointing more towards the social aspect of communication. Usually the cost of communicating to somebody is a signal of how important you consider that dialog to be. For example, There is a difference between taking out time to go to a friend's house to say hi, compared to writing a two liner comment on somebody's myspace/facebook profile. Now it might seem that I'm comparing apples with oranges, but lets look at how most teenagers and a lot of people in their twenties are managing their social network.

I keep in touch with my 100+ friends using facebook. 60% of the people are those that I haven't talked offline in years. 30% of them are people that I barely know and have met only a couple of times. But I usually never forget to wish them on their birthdays because facebook conveniently reminds me on the right day. And all I have to do is put in a quick 'Happy Birthday' on their profile and Im done. I find out about their graduations, weddings, kids being born .... all right away and I get to congratulate them by putting comments on their pictures or posts on their profile. If I feel like I haven't talked to somebody in a while, I feel obligated to send them a short 'Whats up' message every couple of months and they reply back with an equally obligatory reply which doesn't say much but satisfies the requirement that we keep in touch. So in effect I communicate with my close friends/family in the exact same way that I communicate with friends I barely know. I can post about all the drama in my life on my blog instead of discussing it in person with my closest friends/family.

You see where I'm going with this? If you take away this whole social networks/IM thing, I would be forced to narrow my close friends/colleagues circle to about 20-30 people and actually meet them or talk to them on the phone more often. The socialization would be real (and not fake), deeper and more healthy. The fact that technology has made it so easy to communicate, it's becoming harder to express the effort or thought that you've put into that particular dialog.

I guess these are some of the negative side effects of making it so easy to communicate with the rest of the world. Now I've seriously thought about quiting facebook (because it can get addicting) but then I dont do it because I dont want to be out of touch with about half of my family/friends who live on the other side of the world. Plus, I need to something to do to waste time while I'm at work .. right? :P

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feeling Benevolent ?

So lets say you came up with this great business idea that was pretty low risk and required very little investment. To add a twist to it, lets assume that you're a poor widow and have 3 little kids to take care of and live in a small rented place in a third world country.

Now, I might have gone overboard to paint that picture, but that is usually the profile of most borrowers at It's just a brilliant idea where Kiva is using the global reach of the internet to make short term loans to people like those. The incredible thing is that out of the $2.3 million that they've loaned out, they have had a 99.80% recovery rate. Try comparing that to the bad debt provision of your local credit union who loans out money to huge corporations ?!?!?

So check it out, you can loan as little as $25 and you can choose the business/entrepreneur you like. And you get your money back within 12-24 months. Now you can touch the lives of real people who need help with a few clicks of your mouse

Cheers :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Things to do: Buy a drum set!

So ... I realized that with a full time job, grad school in the evenings, working on some side projects like and Webcentric Solutions -- I needed something else to consume my almost non-existent free time.


People who know me will be rolling their eyes at this moment .. but I don't really care ... because you all will be scrambling for seats when me and my future local band will be playing a gig at a local amphitheater under the stars !!!! lol .. (See .. I'm not even dreaming BIG this time .. all I need is a LOCAL band and a small gig at a LOCAL amphitheater with an audience of a couple of hundred) Is that so hard to give GOD ?!?!?

A couple of issues here:
  • Do I want to spend several hundred dollars on something that I might never learn to play?
  • Are you even allowed to have a drum in an apartment?
  • Do I even have a knack for drum beats?
So while I ponder about those things ... Lets just enjoy this short video :

Word of the day: 'Nuclear Family'

NEW DELHI: Indians who neglect their aging parents could be jailed under a new law passed by parliament Thursday ... Elderly people are increasingly being regarded in India as a burden as nuclear families become the norm against the backdrop of rapid economic development that is fast breaking down traditions. .. more

I heard about this on the radio this morning (And yeah .. you can call me a FOB but I do listen to the desi radio station in the car sometimes -- they usually have good music on there ;)

Anyway .. I started thinking about how Pakistan is always trailing behind India by a few years. A lot of social and cultural changes that happened in India a few years ago are now slowly appearing in Pakistan. So I wonder how soon will we be seeing similar laws about neglecting parents coming to our country. Although I doubt such a law could be effectively implemented in any country.

Unfortunately, these 'nuclear families' are gradually gaining ground even in Pakistan. I guess it's the price one has to pay for 'modernization'. I'm not sure where I'm trying to go with this post ... but I just get ticked off when I see people not providing their parents with an adequate living while they themselves live a much luxurious life. It just doesn't seem right!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A stroke of luck ....

So lets assume that there's a really important event/task coming up that you're trying to prepare for. It could be anything from a big exam or an interview for a position that you really really want or maybe a big project.

And you're freaking out, because this is important to you and you're working hard to prepare for it. And then comes this person who's really important in your life, somebody you look up to and have always tried to win their approval ever since you were a kid. And this person tries to placate you by saying ... 'Oh don't worry, it's going to be okay because your luck has just been phenomenal in the last few years so you're bound to get it right'


You feel like somebody just punched you in the stomach .... You couldn't believe that he just associated everything that you have achieved in your life, all the hard work that you've done to just pure LUCK!! You don't say anything to him, but still feel a little sad about not getting recognition for all that you've done to even get to this point since, according to him, it was just all luck.

After a few hours roll by, you still have all that stuff going on in your head, but now you're not angry anymore and you start thinking about some of your family/friends/acquaintances who were about the same age as you. When growing up they were subjected to the same harsh realities of life as you ... but unfortunately they are not doing as well as you are today. Were they not as hard working as you? They probably were. Some of them even more smarter than you. So how come you got to be where you are right now and not them??

And then it hits you !!! You were lucky!! You think of all the times in your life when you thought that your life was ruined and there was no way you could get out of that mess .. but somehow it would all work out in the end and you would congratulate yourself for a job well done ... You realize that hard work is absolutely necessary but there are a lot of things that are out of your control and we should be thankful to God for all that he has given us. And you can never thank him enough for what all you have.

At that point your mind just gets boggled at the fact that you used to think of yourself as some hot-shot SOB only a few hours ago and now trembling with fear at the realization that you don't control anything, instead it's all because of Allah's will and our parents' duas which we sometimes refer to as luck.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Moving back to Pakistan"

I came across this article called 'Returning to Pakistan' by Nouman Sheikh who recently went back to Pakistan after living in the US for ten years.
Since I have been thinking about moving back for quite some time now .. I found this pretty interesting and decided to blog about it. It seems to portray a pretty realistic picture of the whole moving back issue.

".... Moving to North America from Pakistan has always held a degree of prestige for Pakistani professionals. The educational, training and research institutions in public and private sectors always presented a great opportunity for ambitious men and women from Pakistan to get US qualification and further their careers and intellect. The late nineties saw a huge outflow of qualified professionals from Pakistan in engineering, computer science and medicine to better futures in America. This generation of professionals was much different from the previous ones who had typically arrived as students and worked hard to pay for their tuition and living. Most came from the Pakistani middle class, they were in USA legally, had secured jobs, and they were respected and appreciated by the US companies as employees or as contractors. Over the last 10 years, a lot of these professionals have done well professionally, financially and intellectually.

Returning to Pakistan is one of the favorite topics of discussion for this generation of well
settled people in America in their social circles. Desi gatherings always had discussions around visas, layoffs, green cards and job opportunities in the early 2000s. That has been replaced with raising kids, social and political dynamics of two worlds and an overall search for a sense of purpose. This is exactly according to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where I believe this generation of professionals is now heading into the self actualization phase. Another very interesting trait common to this group is family structure. Most of the siblings are already in North America through their support and they have parents who are now getting old and in need of being looked after. I belong to this group and have come across a lot of people on different online forums run by expatriates or in social circles of Chicago, who fall in this category. It includes IT professionals, engineers, scientists and doctors with some very successful and accomplished ones. The two major reasons I hear most often are:
• Parents back home are growing old
• Kids are growing up in USA not exactly to parents’ vision

There are other reasons like taking over a family business, getting married, not enjoying life in USA, want to help the homeland, etc. All of these are reasons of people who have otherwise no legal or financial compulsion to leave USA; they are the ones who want to make a conscious decision by themselves to move back.

This group is an asset to their country and the reverse brain drain can help Pakistan by leaps and bound in developing the required and critically missing middle management and specialization in all industries. This article presents a simple scorecard to help decide if you want to move to Pakistan and then carries into opportunities and challenges. The article concludes with my personal story, the move and settling down in Pakistan, just so you can relate your own overall situation to a case study.

Moving Back Scorecard

In order for these people to move back, there are always grave concerns about life in Pakistan for themselves and their immediate family. Things related to healthcare and security are usually on top of their lists while source of income is next. Factoring in these issues in the overall logistics of the move, along with the daily exhaustive routine of life in USA prohibits most people from reaching a conclusion and time just passes by with their feet ingrained in American soil deeper and deeper at the passing of each day. I have spent my years in USA dealing with these issues on a day in day out basis and perhaps know most flavors of all issues that overwhelm the mind when it comes to “Returning to Pakistan”.

I have been able to devise a simple 4 step test to see if you should return or not. This 4 step test is described below:

Step 1: Social
Step 2: Financial
Step 3: Professional
Step 4: Environmental

..... and then he goes on describing how this 4 Step test works ... if you're interested, here's the full article.

Sense of Purpose

The people, the primary audience of this article, typically think about a sense of purpose when life starts to settle down for them in America. I have found that stage to arrive somewhere mid to late 30s. You are happily married with a loving wife and healthy kids, you make a decent living and you live in a nice suburb in a nice house with 4 bedrooms and a 2 car garage. Life sometimes seems to come to a stand still and you look around for what to do next. For people who have entered a stage in their life where they have started pondering these questions, is that it? Am I done achieving things? Is it going to be the same business as usual from this point on? There is a tremendous sense of purpose in Pakistan. From earning honest money to teaching your kids proper manners and from taking up a cause of healthcare or distribution of justice, you can come back to Pakistan and feel alive. There are problems all over the place and hardly anyone seems to mind. From the poor quality of service at restaurants and upscale stores to a blatant abuse of power and status by the rich and powerful, all areas can use some help. The system of life in Pakistan is not easy and a sole family or individual cannot fight it on his own either. A group mentality and of like minded approach to basic lifestyle coming from people who have moved from abroad need to join hands and get together in this fight. Rest assured, I am not recommending everyone to take up social work but do whatever you want to do for a living in Pakistan with a sense that you need to help these people by setting an example. Things as simple as saying thank you to a peon or guard in an office building is enough once a day to make a difference even for those who are not crusaders fighting for their beliefs. Honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect for a human being regardless of his social status are simple things which this society is losing very fast. The good things we have learnt from the North American continent have to be instilled in the local populace slowly and gradually. My daughter, in grade 3, writing an essay on “what would I do if I had a million rupees” ended up suggesting building better schools and museums in Karachi as she found these 2 things wanting compared with Chicago. We were called up by the teacher and the principal to understand how we have taught this to our daughter especially since we have just moved from USA. I firmly believe that simple examples of things done right will make the people around us realize and open their eyes to alternative approaches in life. The youth need this more than the adults as they are losing a sense of ambition. Their focus is on securing financial freedom so they can get nicer cars, look prettier and wear designer clothes. Youth from all classes of society are falling for this probably due to the onslaught of media and uncontrolled internet access. Hard work, patience and perseverance is losing its charm and it needs to be inculcated by demonstrating first hand how it is done. I believe the expatriate community in North America has a very important role to fill this widening gap between what is being done and what should be done.

For the rest of the article click here.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Iftar dinner parties can become quite a dilemma sometimes.
For example, this one iftar party that I went to last weekend, there were a lot of things at the dinner table. Plus we were given a 5 compartment paper plate to put our food in.

So when you haven't eaten anything all day and when you're holding that paper plate waiting for your turn at the serving table. It was pretty hard not to start thinking about how to strategically fill your plate so that you don't miss anything.
It's just funny how my brain was working in overdrive just to do a simple thing like filling a dinner plate.
Here's what I finally decided was the optimum configuration:

Note: If you're fasting and if your mouth watered by just looking at that picture of the plate please don't blame me. I'm just trying to document my life experiences here. lol

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

hey .. where's my template !!!

Is it another one of's tactics to make me switch over to their rather boring templates? Whats the fun in having all ready out of the box templates when you can't tinker around with raw html code??? :p

But I'm not going down without a fight .. I'm going to set up a new template .. soon ... I'm just feeling too lazy right now to expend all that effort into creating a new design for the blog!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nooo Don't tell mee !!!!!

Okay, so I haven't read the Harry Potter and the deathly hallows yet. With my trip to Pakistan less than 10 days away, along with the last weeks of school and working on that e-commerce project I just dont have 10-12 hours to put into that book.
But it's so hard trying to NOT find out what happens in the end of the book. A lot of my cousins and both of my sisters have read the book and they're constantly threatening me about telling me who dies in the end !!!!!

And a couple of days ago, I was reading a random blog and some wise guy had left a comment there saying that 'Harry Potter dies in the end' --- I figured that it wasn't a credible source and decided to ignore it.
Then yesterday, a friend of mine signs into Msn Messnger and his screen name said 'Yayy .. Harry Potter didn't die'

And I was happy to see that .. now I've got two spoilers saying different things.

Lets see if I can hold on for another 9 days until I get on the plane for Karachi because thats when I plan to start reading it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Longest three hours - ever!

Mr. James Kindley:
Marketing Professor at the business school here at SMU. His method of instruction is completely case study based, and he prefers to call people by their last name. During class, he calls up on people (by their last name of course) and badgers them with questions until he's got them stammering trying to answer his latest un-answerable question.

Since I'm from an engineering background, I've been primarily used to teachers who just walk into the classroom and start yapping about yet another boring algorithm or the pecularities of computer hardware. That would normally give us a whole 2 hours to chat online with friends or search various P2P portals to find a pirated copy of whatever new software we were fascinated with at that time.
After joining business school, when I came up against Mr. Kindley's style of teaching I felt like somebody was intruding on my personal space. So, I resorted to doing a lot of preparation of the case before each class so that I wouldn't be speech struck when I was called upon to answer some questions.

Monday, July 23rd 2007. 5:59 PM - Advanced Marketing Class

I arrived just in time for the class and Mr. Kindley started firing away questions at a guy sitting 2 seats across mine. I felt pretty confident because I had read that day's case pretty thoroughly, but as I listened to the questions and answers going across, I realized that I didnt recognize any of the stuff they were talking about. As I looked around, nobody else was looking around horror struck and wide eyed like me. I looked in my bag for a copy of the syllabus and when I pulled it out, I found out that I had read the case for the next week's class.
As small drops of perspiration appeared on my forehead, I decided to rough it out and try and not to get attention drawn towards me. I knew if I were called upon by Mr. Kindley, I would have to confess about my mistake and he would never let me hear the end of it. Not to mention that he would just think that I was lying. And since class participation was 70% of the grade, I couldnt risk him having that impression of me. I took notes furiously (just so that I would look busy) and tried not to make eye contact with him. I even laughed heartily at his lame jokes to stay inconspicuous. And it was really hard to resist looking at the wall clock every 5 minutes because I knew he'd see me looking and point his finger at me and say in his booming voice ... "And Mr. Godil ... what did you come up for the value of lost sales blah blah blah ....... "

At the end of the two hours, we finished that case and he hadn't called on me. He gave us a break for 10 minutes and I celebrated my close call by treating myself to a snickers bar. The lecture after the break was alway a wrap-up speech by Mr. Kindley so I knew I could relax. But to my amazement, he started talking about ANOTHER case and everybody was prepared for it. I just couldn't believe it! We had never done 2 cases in one class before. So, there I went again, trying to lay low while pretending to pay attention. I had a pretty close call when he suddenly pointed right at me, but called the name of the guy sitting behind me.

At the end of three hours I walked back to my car emotionally and mentally exhausted. And I thought it would be fun to share this joy ride with you guys because I know a couple of my friends have been thinking about joining business school in the future.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dreaming with eyes open?

You know what my problem is? I've got a pretty wild imagination. And that, in turn fosters some really foolish expectations & ideas. And that, in turn leads to being let down occasionally because those expectations/ideas were somewhat unrealistic right from the start.

So, if I know what the problem is ... I can easily go and fix it right?
No -- I don't want to!! I don't think my ideas are totally crazy or that I'm overly naive. Granted that I still sometimes fail to recognize the bad intentions of some people ahead of time, but I'm afraid to become one of those people who question every action of every person they meet or talk to. Once you start doing that, it's really hard to set the boundaries about who to believe. A cynic is something that I don't want to be .. ever.

There's a running joke in our family that we men in the Godil (My last name) family can take a seemingly small idea and run with it in our minds to create a full blown possible scenario that could span up to several decades and explore every little nook and cranny of that idea. This could last anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. During this time our minds would be churning continuously still trying to decode the idea until we either get tired of it or actually do some real work towards that idea.

I'm currently living in that self induced high that has now lasted for more than three weeks (with it's usual up and downs) .. In the last 3 weeks, I've started a software development company by the name 'WebCentric Solutions' with a really good friend of mine. I'll do a separate post on it sometime later.
WebCentric Solutions' first major project is going to be on online market place in Pakistan. It's about time we made common Pakistani people get comfortable with online shopping. We plan to launch Pakistan's biggest online shopping site and make it easy for every Asim, Ahmed and Saleem (Tom, Dick and Harry :p) to go online and buy and sell stuff.
There's a huge amount of details to worry about and we've been working day and night trying to address them one by one. It's all I can think of every waking minute. But it's sooo0o much fun and I wouldn't want to trade this for anything else. It's going to be bigger than anything I've done before.
So please pray for us that we can pull this off.



Saturday, June 30, 2007

Please take this survey if

you live in Pakistan or have lived there at some time or even if you've been there a couple of times only. (Just make sure you put your current city or state or country in one of the boxes in the survey)

Im trying to collect some data for a project and I thought I'd put this blog of mine to some use ....

Its a pretty short survey.. only 13 questions and they're all multiple choice...

Thanks for your help.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Memoirs from my trip to Canada

I had some personal stuff to take care of in Montreal on Tuesday and I figured that if I'm spending all that money on the plane ticket, I might as well see a little bit of Canada too. So, after spending 2 days in Montreal, I drove off to Toronto for 2 days and then came back to Montreal for my flight back to Dallas.

Following are some of the interesting things that happened to me there:

-- I don't know if this is true for most people, but I love going to places where they speak a foreign language (or at least have an interesting accent) French was the first language in Montreal but they all spoke English too, so I didn't get a chance to show off my non-existent French speaking capabilities. The following conversation took place at a Tim Horton's drivethru somewhere outside of Montreal:

Speaker: xxxxxxxx Something in French xxxxxxx
me: Hi, do you speak English?
Speaker: Yes, I do (in heavily accented english)
me: proceeded to place my order in english.

For some reason, that was fun. I felt like I really was in some foreign country :p

-- I've finally decided that I will never go visit a new city/country alone again. Especially if it involves a six hour road trip (Each way)

-- Speaking of road trips, I never thought that American light rock music could feel so comforting. After driving for almost 6 hours (I was bored out of my mind) and with one more hour to go, I was fiddling around with the radio to find something to listen to, I came across this light rock music station. Let me tell you, if you're in a foreign country (even if it's only Canada) and feeling kinda homesick ... listen to music that you can somehow associate with home and you'll feel a lot better.

-- Oh and during the long drives I came up with various stuff to entertain myself (wait !!!! .... oh come on .. it's not what you're thinking .. lol)

Note: These antics were designed for a 2 lane freeway, but can be improvised for other freeways too ;)

1) Do you ever get annoyed when you're driving in the left lane (the faster one), going well over the speed limit and some wise guy thinks that you're still going too slow and begins to tailgate you? Well ... you can either move over to the right lane (which is somewhat boring) or you can choose the more exciting option. Just push the button to spray the windshield fluid on your windshield. Keep it pressed until you either run out of water or see the person behind you turn on his wipers to wipe off your water from his windshield. Then just move over to the right lane and let him pass and smile when he gives you a dirty look.

2) Find somebody who's going about the same speed as you are and then wait for the car to get into the right lane. And then pull up right next to that car in left lane and drive at the exact same speed as the other car. If the other car slows down, you slow down and vice versa. Believe me .. it's great for passing time.

3) Try and convince yourself that it's okay to feel a tad bit sad/disappointed when an unknown car driven by an unknown person, who you've been driving alongside for the last 300 km suddenly takes an exit, leaving you alone for the rest of the drive.

3) If you're going at 120 km/hr (20 km/hr over the limit) and you pass a cop writing out a ticket to somebody about every 45 minutes and on average a car passes you at a higher speed every 5 minutes. What is the probability of you coming across a cop who's free and sitting there with his speed gun trained on the freeway? I really had to resist the urge to pull out my calculator and calculate it.... hehe. (I had vowed to myseelf that I would never calculate another probability after my last statistics course)

Disclaimer: The above mentioned antics could have serious consequences ... not just limited to various offensive hand gestures from the affronted parties :p

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Finding that perfect swing !

The first hole was par 4.
I raised my driver and brought it down in a perfect swing and watched the ball fly up in the air and land 200 yards away right on the fairway.
I rush of emotions went by which ranged from relief that I didn't make a fool of myself, to disbelief that my first shot was so perfectly on the spot.

That was the first shot of the first ever real golf game that I played. I had started learning how to play a few months ago, and had played at various driving ranges and small 9 hole practice courses. But last Wednesday, I went in to play at a real golf course with a couple of friends & colleagues. And I actually did well ...

I finished the first hole at par !!!!!!!
Although I admit, there were a couple of holes in which I was hitting the ball from the trees in one side of the fairway to the trees/shrubs in the other side.

And I lost only two balls (which is an amazing feat by itself) ... one in the water, and the other in the trees

But it was sooo much fun ... I'm completely hooked up on this game now. Every now and then I find myself checking the weather for the weekend to see if it's going to rain or not.

And I dont care if people say that it's a boring game or only old retired people play it (which is not true .. I see a lot of young men and women playing .. even kids!)

Here's the score card of the first 9 holes from the game ... I figured I would want to have a memory of my first game ever.
Also .. note that my score wasn't that bad compared to the other people I was playing with (Who have been playing for years - except for Sabir)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sense of touch.

I poked the stylus on the 'Internet Explorer' icon on the screen, but nothing happened. I tried again, and still nothing. The white and blue internet explorer icon stared back at me defiantly as if saying "Haha .. I'm the one in control here, not you!"
And then I noticed it. A small crack towards the top of the screen. I figured it was just a spec of dust (since it had been sitting all day in my pocket with my keys and bunch of other stuff) I rubbed the screen with my sleeve willing the crack to go away. Instead, the crack seemed to have gotten longer.

Wtf? This could not be happening to me. I needed to get access to the internet to pull up the directions to go to the laser tag place from Mount Bonelle in Austin. Btw, this was my first time playing Laser Tag and it was soo much fun. Our team beat the crap out of the blue team. And I felt kinda cool crouching behind a wall holding out my laser gun in Tom Cruise - Mission Impossible style. Point, Aim and Bang. And the next thing you know, a 15 year old kid sneaks up, and puts a couple of (metaphorical) slugs in me.

But anyway .. back to my trusty old PDA. I felt the world caving up on me. All the cool things that I used to do with my pda started flashing before my eyes. Real time traffic reports, unlimited access to gmail, playing mp3s through my car stereo using an FM transmittor and streaming audio. Not to mention all those (not too) awesome software that I created in my leisure time. Oh one of the most ingenious applications I created was 'The UnSnoozable". It was an alarm clock application that lets you snooze only 5 times. Each time you snooze it, the snooze button becomes smaller. And eventually the snooze button becomes invisible and you need to take out the stylus, open your eyes and type in an 8 digit random number displayed on the screen. The sad part was that the application was only used once and the next morning, I actually overslept because the darn program had too many bugs in it.

Anyway ... my 18 month old companion that was by my side 24/7 is dying (I'm talking about the phone/PDA) The touch screen is all cracked and doesn't work. I don't want to go back to using regular cell phones because they're just so .. so .. inadequate .. and I can't really afford buying another PDA phone. So, I had to improvise and learn how to use the phone without using the touch screen at all. I admit it's a little hard to navigate, but I'll just have to do until my cell phone contract expires or if the phone just gives up on me. lol

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rantings of an introvert !

I was labeled as an introvert, in front of my whole class. And as if that wasn’t enough to make me squirm, my Meyer Briggs personality report was held up high in the air to for everybody to see the rare occurrence, when the bar charts showed me highly introverted in all 5 aspects. *sigh*
And then to my horror, all of us introverts were herded into one corner of the class, while the extroverts gathered in the other corner.

I’m talking about my ‘Career Management’ class yesterday, in which we were given out our Meyer Briggs personality test results. I was branded as an ‘INFJ’ which was somewhat different from my previous test results. Anyway, after the class was divided into two groups, they were both asked to come up with things that they liked and disliked about the other groups.

A couple of interesting things that were noted about the two groups were:

  • 80% of the people in the introverted group were wearing either blue or black. (For some reason I had decided to wear my favorite blue shirt that day)
  • All the extroverts were standing really close to each other while the introverts kept their distance.
  • The extroverts just couldn’t stop talking among themselves, while us introverts just finished the job at hand and then were trying to make uncomfortable small talk. (Did I mention that small talk sucks?)

Anyway … following are the things that my extrovert counterparts didn’t like about us:

  • It’s really hard to get us (introverts) get excited about stuff. (Which is rubbish … I do get excited about things sometimes, but I just keep it to myself)
  • We don’t talk! (duh .. if I start talking too … who is going to listen to you when you’re talking incessantly about anything and everything)
  • We sometimes don’t understand what’s going on in meetings etc. (if we’re quiet, that doesn’t mean we’re stupid. I’d rather stay quiet and let you take control of things until you do/say something wrong, and then I’ll offer my expert opinion that will leave people dumbfounded. hehe)
  • We write long emails instead of using the phone. (Oops … I think this blog post is getting quite long too. Oh and yeah, I do prefer emails over making actual phone calls)

So, next time when you see an introvert displaying some of these similar characteristics, try not to judge us based on what you see. We are just regular people with regular feelings. We are just a little stingy with words sometimes and like to keep things to ourselves if we dont know you that well.
And to set the record striaght I wore a green polo to work today (and I felt rebellious for some reason) ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Learning new games

Rhyming Words
One person says a word, and then somebody else has to think of a word that rhymes with the first one. Who ever comes up with the correct rhyming word get to pick the next one.

Action Words (This is a hard one)
Think of an action verb, and then somebody else needs to come up with a word that represents an action opposite to the one initially chosen. For example sit - stand.

I Spy ....
As you walk, one person sees an object for example a yellow flower and says something like 'I spy a yellow flower' and then the other people have to look around and try to find that flower. Whoever finds it first wins and gets a turn to say 'I spy .....'

Guess what, I learned all these games from a couple of 6 year olds yesterday.

Last night, I had dinner at my aunts place. After the dinner, I decided to go out for a short walk. As I was about to leave, I saw my two cousins Zainab and Mujhtaba (who are 6 year old fraternal twins See Pics ) waiting for me at the door with shoes and jackets on. Since I didnt really have a choice, I had to take them with me.

As we started walking, they they suggested that we play the games mentioned above. They taught me how to play them and it was soo much fun. Due to their limited vocablury they tried to get away with words that didnt mean anything. And they tried to make their answers funny. For example, Mujhtaba said 'I spy a blue window' and we looked everywhere but couldnt find a blue window. So finally he laughs and say 'I was just kidding .. there's no blue window because I made it up' and we all cracked up and started laughing.

That short walk just made my day yesterday. The conversation was fun, and free from any complexity or worries. It's almost like you forget about everything that's going on in the world and just look at things from their point of view which usually is quite innocent and worry free.

Fun times!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kids these days!

My nephew Faaz has his own blog now.
He's about 20 months old ... and his blog contains mostly videos and pictures.
Check it out :

(Im afraid, the videos might be a little boring for those of you who dont know him personally. But personally, I think he's really cute in those videos)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Red on brown?

Okay .. so I knew that we south asians have managed to spread out in almost all parts of the world, especially in the US.
But I was in no way prepared for this when I saw Natasha Bedingfield in a video wearing a t-shirt which had the word 'DESI' emblazoned on it.
Finally !!! Global acceptance of the fact that we desis rock! hehe.
The text on the t-shirt looked something like this:

Upon further browsing, I found some other words like INSPI(RED), TREASU(RED), EMPOWE(RED) .....

And the truth dawned on me .. and I was completely crushed lol.

So, we're still not there yet with our plan to take over the Americas. (India just needs to export a few more of their IT guys and we'll be right there ;)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The silent spectators.

In the last couple of days, I heard a couple of desi domestic stories about 2 different families. And they both had the same common theme ... something that makes me feel sick whenever I think about it.
Im talking about the frustration, suffering and despair that a girl's parents go through after they marry their daughter off. It's like raising your girl for 20+ years, catering to her every whim and protecting her from every adverse situation, you end up sending her away one night after a rather elaborate wedding ceremony.
She just goes away to another home, to live with people who she's met only a couple of dozen times. And SPEND HER WHOLE LIFE there whether she likes it there or not.

I will never forget the night when we came back home after my younger sister's wedding more than 2 years ago. The house that was a beehive of activity only a couple of hours earlier, was deserted. The silence was deafening and sad look on my mom's face was heart breaking.
There was a person missing from our family now. I wanted to shout out aloud and say 'Mom .. we just left my sister over there. She's all alone and scared' .... Knowing my sister so well, I knew she would be feeling uncomfortable and lonely among so many unknown people, wishing she was back in our home where she spent 20 years of her life.
But instead, we just went around our normal nightly routine, trying to act as if everything was perfectly fine.

Anyway ...I got side tracked with my sister's story .. but the point I'm trying to make is that a girl's parents become mere spectators after the wedding. Unless it's something really major, they just sit there and watch how their daughter is being treated without having any say in it. I dont know these two families (the ones that I mentioned in the start) very well, but I just wont be able to look at them in the eye again. Im afraid that they'll see my sympathy for them about their lack of say in their daughter's married life.

I think this is where I like the western way of doing these things better. The kids just decide for themselves about who they want to marry and thus relieving the parents from any guilt of possibly choosing the wrong spouse for their kid.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Trip to LA/San Diego/Las Vegas

Quite big for a horse isnt it?


Tahir and Mahira.

Road trip to San Diego.

ASD/AMD Trade Show in Vegas with my uncle.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Latest Crush !!!!

I really really really want this !!!!!!
Apple unvieled their new iPhone at the Macworld 2007. And it looks amazing. It should be out in June for a hefty price of $500 if u get the 4GB one or $600 for the 8GB.
Watch Steve Jobs keynote @

Monday, January 08, 2007

The new cleaning lady & the poor kid

Our new cleaning lady is awesome (she even speaks english!) ... The only time I had seen our apartment that clean was when the leasing office guy showed it to us for the first time a few months ago. She said that she'd come every friday to make sure that the apartment stays sparkling clean. And to top it off, she actually enjoys cleaning. I mean, look at the picture; Have you seen anybody looking so happy while vacuming? lol

But unfortunately, it was too good to be true. The next friday came and went, and the apartment got dirtier and dirtier... and then the next friday ... and the next one ....

Oh and another cute picture of this little kid who seems to be really tired of having carted around by his mom in shopping malls. And that doesnt seem like to be a very comfortable position to sleep in either.

btw, I was just joking about the cleaning lady. Thats our friend Dana who actually helped us clean our apartment once and got mad that we messed it up in just a few days after she cleaned it ;)