Now I know..

My one month long single parenthood ends today, and I am both glad and sad.
A month ago, I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage, for this was the first time that I needed to take complete care of the child, over a full month.
Well, I knew how difficult a task it could be, but, I “realized” the challenges only after I (barely) managed to do it myself.

If one month was a challenge, I wonder how you managed it, month after month and year after year. Often, thanklessly.

Now I know, why you disappointingly stare at me as I silently finish my dinner. All you expect is an acknowledgement if not an appreciation for a special dish.
Now I know, why there is always a pile of unwashed dishes in the sink. They are there despite doing multiple rounds of cleaning a day.
Now I know, why you forget to tell me all the groceries the first time. It is impossible to plan all the items ahead.
Now I know, why you always rush to pack my lunch box. I barely managed tardy’s for the child.

Now I know, why you don’t do physical exercise. I gained a couple of pounds myself this month.
Now I know, why you always feel sleepy. You keep thinking about next day’s cooking in your sleep tonight.
Now I know, why you watch only entertainment in TV. After a daylong work, what you need is entertainment and not education.
Now I know, why you ask for a maid. It is basically a two people work, each day.

Still, now I know, why children like mom more than dad. It is not the effort that is noticed, it is the affection that is felt, unknowingly.

Happy (belated) mother’s day! The joy of parenting is all yours.

Life lessons from a long cycle ride

I am fortunately passionate enough to take part in long group rides.

Triggered by a recently finished one such long ride, I find some striking similarities between a long ride and life in general. Here are some:

    One mile at a time. You are sure to reach your target.
    Every uphill is followed by downhill. Get over it.
    Ensure your near (and dear) have safe ride too. Their fall might lead to your fall.
    Do not compare yourself with a slower rider. There are much faster riders ahead of you.
    Do not compare yourself with a faster rider. Know your limitations and be within.

    Don’t look too far, you see only uphill. Enjoy the downhill right now.
    You can’t go too far against the nature (wind). Oblige it.
    Know when to switch gears. It is not always plains.
    Take breaks. Recharge, rejuvenate and resume.
    Have a friend, be a friend. Your ride will be more pleasant.
    Have a spare. You never know when you will need it.
    A fall is not the end. Get up, shake it and move on.

    Feel free to take short detours. Nature is beautiful.
    Don’t just ride. Help a cause.
    Make the most out of your downhill and get a mileage to the next uphill.
    Injuries are not uncommon. Treat yourself, take help and move ahead.
    Alone, you may ride faster. Together, you can ride longer.
    Ride and let others ride.

    Ride is not a race. It is an experience. Feel it.


Happy riding!

బామ్మ – మనవడు : Land of opportunities

బామ్మ: “హలో”
మనవడు: “యేమిటే, ఈ టైంలో..”
బా: “నిద్రపొయ్యావా? సరేగానీ, మరి.. మన డల్లాస్ నాగేశ్వర్రావ్ గారి మనవడి కొడుకు పుట్టినరోజు రేపు చేసుకుంటున్నారంట, ఒక సారి వెళ్ళి రారాదూ!”
: “నేనిప్పుడు డల్లాస్ లో లేనే”

బా: “అదే(, మొన్నీమధ్యేగా చికాగో సుబ్బారావ్ గారి వూరి నుంచి డల్లాస్ వచ్చానన్నావ్?”
: “అది రెండు నెల్ల క్రితం మాట. ఇప్పుడు కొలరాడో అనీ ఇంకో ఊర్లో ఉంటున్నాలే”
బా: “ఇదేమి కొలవెరి రా.. ఇలా రెండు నెల్లకోసారి ఊరు మారటమేమిటొ, నాకంతుపట్టట్లా. మన బెంగుళూరు బాలరాజు గారి మనవడు పదిహేనేళ్ళనుంచి శుభ్రంగా బెంగుళూరు లోనే ఉద్యోగం చేస్తున్నాడు.. కుండ కదలకుండా”
: “ఐతే యేమంటావే ఇప్పుడు?..”
బా: “నేననేదేముంది.. నువ్వే అప్పుడు అమేరికాని అదేదో అంటారని చెప్పి వెళ్ళావుగా..”
: “అదా.. Land of opportunities అనీ..”
బా: “అంటే?”
: “అది నీకర్ధం కాదులేవే.. సరే, నాకు ఒక ఇంటర్వూ కాల్ ఉంది, డెట్రాయిట్ లో నీకు తెలిసిన వాళ్ళుంటే చెప్పు, మళ్ళీ తర్వాత ఫోన్ చేస్తా, బాయ్”
బా: “??”

Expensive – India or the US?

It has been a year since we relocated to the US and I have encountered quite a few friends/ colleagues who are thinking of either relocating to the US or returning to India. While the motives could be many and different, there is one common concern: “How much to earn? (to maintain the relative standard of living)”. This question has been asked by both aspirants (India to the US) and hesitants (the US to India).

While the “aspirants” presume that a lot could be saved in the US, the “hesitants” wonder how expensive it is to live in India. Despite visiting the US many a times, I did not realize how expensive to lead a standards-matching life in the US, until I seriously thought about and planned for it. Similarly, many of my friends who occasionally make short visits to prime cities in India exclaim how people are able to live with such high prices.

For a while, I simplified it with, “yeah, there are a certain things which are expensive in the US and certain other in India”. Recently, I did a little bit of comparative analysis of earnings and relative expenses in both the countries. To my surprise, barring a few infrequent expenses, both the countries are equally expensive, in many ways.

Here is a simple chart of various recurring and infrequent (but common) expenses and their comparison. I have taken the case that many of my friends (including me, of course) can relate to.

I am sure there is a lot of variety in each one’s earning sources and spending patterns. When you attempt to derive based on one sample earning-expense scenario, I am sure there would be more disagreements than agreements. Respect. Nevertheless, I hope this chart helps to get a bird’s eye view of the expenses relative to the earnings in both the countries for the segment of people that I chose.

Expense Comparison

“Standards matching” could be interesting. For e.g., a Honda Accord in the US is equivalent to a Suzuki Swift, and not a Honda Accord, in India. And there are certain things (services like maid, cook, driver, etc.) are just not viable in the US. Hence, the “standards matching” is considered as relative within the context of that country and not an absolute comparison between the countries.

Conclusion: An earning of 120K in the US is equivalent to 20-25Lacs in India to match the respective living standards* and you are likely to find that both the countries are equally expensive. Anything above that is a luxury. Ultimately, you will be happy as long as you like to be happy with what you earn, no matter which part of the world you live in.

బామ్మ – మనవడు : Quality of life

బామ్మ: “హలో..”
మనవడు: “హలో..”
బామ్మ: “ఏరా బడుధ్ధాయ్, యేం చేస్తున్నావ్”
మనవడు: “ఆ( యేముందే, అమేరికాలో అందరు మగవాళ్ళు ఏం చేస్తారో, నేనూ అదే చేస్తున్నా”
బామ్మ: “అర్ధం కాలా..!”
మనవడు: “అదేనే, అంట్లు తోముతున్నా”
బామ్మ: “అదేం? అప్పుడు.. అదేంటి.. అదేదో చెప్పి మరీ అమేరికా వెళ్ళావ్?”
మనవడు: “అదా.. Quality of life అనీ..”
బామ్మ: “అంటే?”
మనవడు: “అది నీకర్ధం కాదులేవే.. సరే, నాకు బాత్రూంలో కొంచెం పని ఉంది, మళ్ళీ ఫోన్ చేస్తా, బాయ్”
బామ్మ: “??”

New Year 2015

2014: A year of “change”. 2015: A year of “hope”.

Personal: In search of greener pastures, here I came crossing the oceans and it has been a mild roller coaster ride since then. While it is yet unclear which side is greener, the hope is still alive.

Regional: Breaking some hearts and delighting the others, a separation as harsh as it was, is still indigestible. May the geographical boundaries become irrelevant for our unity, the hope is still alive.

National: In the midst of unheard corruption and unsafe society, a clear mandate and an influential leader were all that were needed. As we now have both, the hope is still alive.

Global: Conflicts between two, severely hurt innocent innumerous. “Snakes in backyard, didn’t bit only neighbors”. May the common enemy be destroyed in the virtual third world war, the hope is still alive.


First half marathon

It all started back in 2008. From driving a car to bathing my son (a kid then), everything seemed like an effort. It was then that I decided to do “something” to improve the energy levels and my fitness. Tried Yoga, aerobics, swimming, etc. They perhaps gave me some mileage, but were not interesting enough so I could stick with them for long.

10K Run, then a fancy event attended by Tollywood glamor in Hyderabad, naturally attracted me to take part in and experience it. After some practice, I actually finished it! Thrilling.

Like they say “Running is an addiction”, not perhaps as much as they say, but it surely became a “habit” for me to run and participate in 10K events in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. Adding Cycling to it, was like “Yes, I found what I was missing all these years”.

Even after successfully completing a lot of 10K running events and a couple of long bicycle ride events, I was always doubtful, if I would ever be able to do a Half Marathon (until then, one is called just a “runner” and not a “marathoner”).

After relocating to the US, I decided I must aim for one, this year. Thanks to my trainer and continuous motivation from my family, here is my first Half Marathon (Dallas MetroPCS) ever.

I am playing “Level 2”!


How sad!! T-CM is opposing reinstatement of NTR’s name to Hyderabad domestic terminal!!
And the reason he quotes “NTR belonged to the _other_ state”? Hell with you, T-CM. Did RG belong to the state you represent?

Have you forgotten you were once a die hard fan of the great actor?
Have you forgotten your very survival in politics was for the blessings of the great leader?
Have you forgotten you named your only son after Him?

In the name of “self esteem”, how can you be so ungrateful?
In the name of “self respect”, how can you be so shameless?
In the name of “self rule”, how can you be so disgraceful?

My dear friends belonging to the geography where I grew up, and I still cherish, most of my life.. this is not against a region or regional leaders.. it’s just against an ungrateful, shameless and disgraceful single person.

Bald is Bold

Difficult to accept
Impossible to arrest

Hope never goes
Fall never stops

Every string counts
No shampoo helps

Reminds your age everyday
You comb more than yesterday

I never cared, when I had them plenty
No care helped, as it gets empty

Feels good, my friends have it too
Feels bad, others don’t have it why

Wish my dad never had it
Hope my son will never get it

But still, my belief is solid
Bald is bold, bold is bald

I am bald, I am bold.

Lost and Found – Phone and Hope

LostAndFoundAfter finishing my first Chennai 10K run, this auto driver, M Gouse, drove me from the venue to my vast guest house complex. I got down in a hurry as I had to checkout asap. After reaching my room, I realized my phone was missing, probably in the auto. Tried dialing my own number, it was ringing but none answered. Assuming I lost it, I took shower and went ahead with my checkout proceedings, which took over half hour. With little hope, I just tried dialing my number again, from the checkout desk. To my pleasant surprise, this time the call was answered after a couple of attempts, and it was the driver who answered.

After i met him, I learned that he was patiently waiting outside the complex, on the road, just hoping that I would call again or come out sometime in search of the phone (the first time he did not answer the call, because he did not know how to operate the phone). I am sure he lost some of his business during this wait. I think he deserved appreciation, reward and may be a facebook post. All taken care of.

While I lost and found my phone, I also lost and found the hope that there are still good people around us!