Probably because I associate trains with holidays when we were growing up I love trains. One time many years ago I even got to ride a diesel-electric locomotive hauling a passenger train in India — a rare treat. Thanks to YouTube, these days you can get a virtual ride in a locomotive. My favorite train-driver’s view channel is one that goes by the handle HinduCowGirl.
The driver is a Norwegian lady, who I believe is also a sky-diving instructor. She has heaps of videos of the trains she drives. I confess that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching them. All of them are pre-recorded since they don’t have the internet connectivity to live-stream the videos but many are streamed with live chat. It’s fun to hang out with others who share the love of trains. OK, so here’s one of those videos. Continue reading →
If you ever saw me on a flight, you’d be convinced that I was a country bumpkin first time inside a plane. I look out the window (always a window seat, thank you) take pictures, and always take videos of the landing and takeoff. On ground, I always look up when I hear jet engines. At the airport, I watch planes land and take off. I find airplanes fascinating — especially the big birds. The plane I love the most is the Boeing 747, the “Jumbo jet”, the Queen of the Skies. Continue reading →
OK so this one’s going to be right out of left field, to use an American expression. Its got nothing to do with economics or politics or whatever I usually discuss on this site. It’s strange, totally unexpected, utterly peculiar. And I did not see it coming. Had I been able to see it, it would not have been as mystifying. I would have noticed something moving slowly across the sky but I could not have noticed something that flashed across the sky. This is what happened yesterday (Wednesday) morning. Continue reading →
As commercial airlines go, Air India is nothing to write home about. Air India ranked third-worst performing airline in the world, reported Economic Times in Jan 2017. Air India’s all-round dismal performance–customer service, timeliness, cabin service, heavy commercial losses, etc., etc.–is not surprising considering that it is a Government of India enterprise. Nothing that the GOI does is ever done competently and well. The bureaucrats and politicians are perhaps the least competent in the world, barring a few African banana republics. Continue reading →
Today was hot. It was 102°F in San Jose, CA, my fair city. That beat a 1945 record for the day of 99°F. I kid you not. Here’s a screen capture of the weather here. (For those of you in the civilized world of metric measures, 102°F is around 39°Celcius.) Continue reading →
Pondering the fact of death, I am reminded that impermanence is a central feature of the world we live in. The phenomenal world — of things and events — is called maya in the dharmic traditions (namely Jain, Hindu, Buddhist & Sikh.)
The world is maya. Many people simply translate it as “ the world is an illusion” but that is incorrect. The world is real. Maya does not mean that the world is unreal or that it is an illusion. It means something like this: the world as we perceive it is not what the world actually is. We cannot directly perceive the reality that is at the foundation of what exists. That reality is given a word — Brahman. Most of us cannot comprehend the Brahman because we are limited beings. Continue reading →
In what sense am I a Hindu? Does what I read, write, wear and consume make me a Hindu? I think, read and write in English, I wear Western style clothing, I live in a Western country, etc. Even then I am a Hindu at the core of my being.
What defines me as a Hindu is my core belief system. How I comprehend the world is what determines whether I am a Hindu or not. The important distinction here is between “material beliefs” and “cosmological beliefs.” Continue reading →
I arrived in the US on this day, August 15th, back in 1982 at JFK in New York, NY around 5 PM Eastern (Aug 16th, 5:30 AM IST.) Though it’s been many years, I still recall exactly how I felt. It was the best day of my life that far.
I had no idea of what lay ahead.
I came to the US to get a PhD in computer science at Rutgers. At that time I had not known that I was at heart an economist. In any event, I worked for Hewlett Packard for some years in the Silicon Valley, and then went back to school. Now, after 20 years of studying economics, just this past month I concluded that I finally understood the subject. Continue reading →