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How I was Scammed... Almost

On the morning of June 9th, 2017, I was neck-deep in work, when I got a call on my phone. The call was a recording. It was a very official sounding gentleman who announced his name as Officer Craig Williams. He informed me that there was a warrant out for my arrest! I was given a toll-free number to call back on. I was horrified – as can be imagined – having never had a single police case against me in all my life!
Red Flag #1: The call came through on my cell phone which has been issued to me by the company I work for. The phones are handed out with numbers, but it is the company that is billed for them. In other words, this phone number is not registered to me.
Ref Flag #2: The RCMP will never call you to inform you that there is an arrest warrant out for you. They’ll show up at your doorstep – if need be. At this point, I was told to press 1 to continue. I pressed 1. A woman came on the line. She told me her name was Kimberley Sharron – who spoke (I am sorry to say – In an Indian/Sr…

Agile Exercises – The Generation Gap

Agile Exercises – The Generation Gap

As a relative newcomer to the world of Agile – having worked over 15 years in the Data Warehousing Industry – I was more than excited and willing to explore this new methodology in my first Agile project.
To those inhabiting the world of agile development – the buzz words fall off their lips like something that others are supposed to know and understand as soon as they hear it. For example: SCRUM, Stand-ups, Dashboard, User Stories with Story Points, and features and tasks – these were the equivalent of a cultural shock to me. I did not understand them, and few people were willing to help me understand them – they didn’t have the time and if they did, they didn’t have the inclination – despite my having informed them at the start that I had no idea of Agile methodology. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that the people implementing this methodology either did not know what they spoke of, or they were unable to articulate it properly. Either way,…

The meaning of Christmas - for me

This morning I read a post in Yahoo! news. People in a neighborhood in Michigan were sent anonymous letters telling them that the Christmas lights that they had put up were "pagan" in origin and therefore, they should be taken down. A lot of comments appeared under that post ranging from good, bad and ugly. 


I wanted to post a comment myself and then I realized that what I had wanted to say would not suffice in a solitary reply. So here goes..


I grew up in a Christian family in a completely Hindu neighborhood. For all our lives I felt I did not fit in with all the traditions of the Pujas and Diwali and Holi (which was always during Lent, so we never were allowed to participate). 


However, 


I still remember waking up on a chill fall morning, listening to the Mahalaya program on the radio, while curled up under cozy blankets. 


I still remember bursting firecrackers on Diwali, and the luchi/meat kossa dinner we always had that night. 


I still remember the loud blaring microphones dur…

Movember: The month the men grew a face

It is a universally accepted fact that most Indian men have moustaches. The thick lush growth will grace the face of even the scrawniest of men. It’s the essence of mardangi (manliness or virility) and shaan (glory) of an Indian man. However, I grew up in a household full of men that barely had a moustache! My father had a pencil-line moustache as did his two brothers.

One of my earliest memories is that of my dad trimming his moustache. He stood at the sink, the shaving foam on his face, making funny faces he went for the little nooks and crannies. I remember the time it took him to clip and trip that thin strip of hair. I sat in a chair gazing up at him while he performed this delicate and sometimes intricate ritual.

His sister’s husband also had a moustache, a little bit bigger than a pencil line. My grandfather was clean-shaved. I had no male cousins on my father’s side. My cousins on my mother’s side barely had any moustaches among them. At most, a modest growth that did not cove…

New Symbol for the Indian Rupee

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The Govt of India has just unveiled the new Rupee (रुपैया) symbol. It takes the र from the Devnagiri Script and the 'R' in the English version and converts it with an equality symbol to a new currency symbol. My friend Sandy thinks it’s ironic that the Indian GoI should be spending money on a symbol to denote equality when all around there are the major contradictions that is India. 
When I was in Grade X - I read E M Forster's 'A Passage to India'. And while the surreal nature of the narrative incites and inflames the storyline, Forster provides an insight into the Indian psyche as visible to an outsider. One of the things he talks about is the contradictions that make up India. And how, India can get under your skin, and once it is under your skin, it stays there.
Living outside India for the last 15 years, it's become more and more apparent to me that distance does lend perspective. I think about my childhood, and the world we grew up in. 
What bit of traveling…

Quick and Easy: Prawn Pakoras

-- For the batter
2 lbs of pre-cooked prawns (Peeled and de-veined)
2 sprigs green onions chopped
4 or 5 green chillies chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro 
1 tbsp ginger paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup besan
1 tbsp chipotle sauce
1 egg whisked
1 cup water

-- For Frying
Vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a pan (should be about 1.5-2" depth till to Medium High. (You need it hot, but not smoking hot)

Grind half the prawns in a chopper/blender. Roughly chop the rest of the prawns as small as you can.
Mix all the batter ingredients together in a bowl.

Consistency should be thick, about twice as thick as pancake batter.

Drop little balls of the batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown all over. Drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little chaat masala if you have it. (optional), and serve hot with a spicy chutney of your choice.


--- Substitutions and aka:

Besan - also called chick pea flour. If you cannot find it, you can use a mix of cornflour and flour. However, you will nee…