Sunday, December 17, 2006

My ‘umble abode in India

Sorry for the delay in posting, folks. I've been somewhat inundated with teaching, socializing, getting things sorted out in my apartment, discovering what I can and can't do technology-wise, and generally doing a whole lot of low-level problem-solving. But things are coming together nicely, especially as regards my accommodations :)

Boy, did I luck out!

Prior to coming to India, I had prepared for the worst. I assumed I wouldn’t have a fan in my “digs,” for a start—and I seriously considered bringing a fan with me. But then I knew there’d be frequent power cuts, so I figured I’d not be able to count on using even a fan, let alone A/C. I also figured I’d not be able to count on the use of technology at home or at school, whether for lesson planning or for in-class use. I expected to have to fend for myself for food and other necessary supplies. I also assumed I’d be bathing out of a bucket—if I was lucky. I doubted I’d have the use of a western-style commode; that I’d have to get used to squatting over a hole in the ground (ask Heather Mohr about this!). Above all, I doubted I’d have the luxury of hot and cold water for a shower.

None of these expectations (fears) have proved to jive with reality.

My 'umble abode is an apartment in the university guest house with an en suite bathroom. It has a reasonably spacious living area which I’ve kitted out with a desk and easy chair by scavenging from other rooms in the house. There are two fans in the living area, plus an A/C unit (wow!). Power cuts, though almost daily, last for only short periods of time—never (yet) more than an hour. There is what I choose to call a dressing room between the living area and the bathroom, with ample closet space. The bathroom has running hot and cold water, and a western-style commode!!

As if this is not enough, I have, literally at my beck and call, several “houseboys” who clean my apartment every day, get my food (from a local eatery) and serve it in the dining room downstairs, where I often eat with other guests staying in the house. Laundry is done on demand and takes a day or two. It’s returned to me pressed and folded like I just bought it from the store.

When I described all this over the phone to my wife, Marilyn, she exclaimed: “Bernard, you’re living like a maharajah!!” And she’s right.

Talking about the phone, I bought a cell phone the day after arriving in Tirupati. I dialed Marilyn’s land line phone number (including the international code for the United States) and, to our utter amazement, got right through clear as a bell! Then I called our son’s cell phone (he lives in Pittsburgh) just to see what would happen. No problem, connected clear as a bell once again. Incoming calls are not charged to my cell phone, so Marilyn calls me every day—and what a lifeline that is.

In correspondence with my hosts at SPMVV, I’d been assured that I would be able to use the internet-ready computers at the university, and that I’d be able to project from my laptop to a display in front of a class. But I wasn’t taking any chances, so I brought along my own projector, just in case. Turns out that was a great move on my part. I’ve used the laptop and projector constantly and it’s made a huge difference in engaging my audiences and helping me prepare for, and deliver, presentations.

So far I've addressed student groups in Business Management (a group of professors who are meeting to discuss pedagogy issues), Biotechnology Engineering (environmental engineering and population studies), Computer Science (I talked about Software Design in Software Engineering), and Education (Instructional Technology). Everyone wants a piece of me, and that's OK with me, since that's why I'm here.

The university is preparing an office for me, in which I’ll apparently have an internet-ready computer. Watch out once I’m established there, folks. I’ll finally be able to be in regular touch. But once again, I'm not taking any chances. The internet connections I've found elsewhere in the university are exceedingly slow, so I've arranged to have wireless access on my laptop with a company called Reliance Web World, which will allow me to access the Web anywhere in India--including during class, which is sure to be a hit with my students.

So no worries. I couldn’t be more blessed. I wish Marilyn were with me (*sigh*), of course, but under these circumstances I can easily survive until we meet up in February, when I’m entitled to a vacation outside of India. We’ll be rendezvous-ing in England around the time of my mom’s 98th birthday. What a celebration that will be!


chittoor.S.Murugeshan said...

Is the information act is fake in A.P?

You may be busy . but for God sake spend few minutes to read few things.. You know the problems of India . I have an alternative plan. I am trying my best for its communication to the rulers. But there was no use. In these conditions I have tried to get response on my plan according to information act. But to my surprise.. all the district information officer ,state information officer, even the state information commission are not responding . Please forward this mail to your friends.

Let us work for New India.
Mail indetail:

A noted Rajayogi of Andhra Pradesh, sri.Brammangaru born in south India had wrote a devine book on palm leaves. It was named as Kalagnan (knowledge about Time) . It says that :
only 1/7 th of the world will survive after 1009 March. The fore castings in that book were came true in past.

Yet I work /advocate for the HARDY BODY-WINDY MIND-HOLY SOUL to every one on earth.
In India the whole economy is passing through a block hole. Even the lakhiers also suffering with preasure due to loans. Woman are been sent for prostitution not only for bread but also for geting sign on some files. People are killing themselves just for Rs.10 and 20. The minimum daily wage to a labour is just 20 or 25 in some districts of Andhrapradesh. The contractors are getting them just like animals and crushing them.Farmers,labours,middle class and upper class people also committing sucide due to the herasements of the money lenders. Rs.10 , 20, 50 are also collected as interest per month for 100 Rs.

Gents are becoming alchaholics Youth,middle aged men are becoming drunkards,gamblers,cowards sadists etc.It is spreading even to the upper middle class and rich families also. About 90% of the families are criminalised. The police department had became a mafia and collecting bribes . Common man is suffering a lot even to feed his family. In these conditions I had drafted a fine plan to get prosperity in the lives of all Indians.

I am just 40 years .Male/Asian /Indian/Tami lion/residing at AP/Chittoor. From 1986 I am thinking about a new world in which all the people will be with hardy body-windy mind-holy soul. To achieve it at world level USA has to stop all of its production of weapons, provoking wars , intruding in the local issues of world countries. To realize my ambition I had drafted a fine plan to resolve all the problems of India by which the government can gear up for hardy body-windy mind-holy soul. I had named it Operation India 2000. The main goal of the plan is to make India prosperous. Why because poverty is the main cause for many problems in India .

For the prosperity of India it must employ all of its stuff in agricultural production. As India is very suitable country for agricultural sector and already 70% of the population is depending upon agriculture. The main challenge to agriculture is floods in north and drought in south. So I had concluded that the Indian rivers must be linked first. There are 10 crore unemployed youth being wasting their energy in masturbation, sex, homo sex eve teasing crimes, terrorism ,politics and all. So I had thought to use the stuff in youth in linking Indian rivers. So that I had recommended in my plan to form a special army with 10 crore unemployed youth to link all Indian rivers.

Already there are 1000s of land lords ruling villages and running parallel governments. If rivers are linked they will become more prosperous and become the local dons. So to balance the distribution of the factors of production among two classes and to give an opportunity to the weaker section to take active part in production and share in national income I had suggested the Indian government to undertake all agricultural lands. As there is no economical resources the government can issue compensation in shape of bonds payable in double after five years. Then the government has to implement co-operative farming. The farmers/land lords all must become the members of Local Agriculturists unions and under take farming with the co-operation and supervision of the state and central governments.

The cooperative farming will enable the society to have latest technologies, crop-insurances, world wide marketing etc. But before it the black money prevailing in the country must be rooted out . For this I had suggested the government to ban present currency and introduce new one. The people who have old currency can be instructed to have the new by handover old currencies with documents showing that they are out of illegal incomes.

To implement all the above revolutionary changes there must be a stable government and an administrated entitled with full powers. For this I had suggested presidential form of government. To implement all these economical resources are vital. To mobilize resources I had enclosed Economy packages 1,2,3,4,( to enable the state governments to improve their revenue with out exploiting the public and to minimize their administrative expenditure) Tirumala vision 1900( to enable the administrative bodies in pilgrim me centers to minimize their admn expenditure and to improve their revenue with out disturbing the sentiments of devotees) A special package for Government transport corporations etc.

I had suggested to handover Kashmir under the control of India to UNO and to pressure Pak also to hand over pak occupied Kashmir to UNO. By this India can divert funds from defense budge to the project of Linking Indian rivers. I had also suggest do try the same formula with china also. By this India will become prosperous and it can gear up for the hardy body-windy mind-holy soul of Indians.

For the communication and implementation of the above plan I am working hard from November of 1997 itself. I am approaching the Speaker of loksabha to communicate my plan to all MPs. I had sent 200 copies of my plan and requested him to arrange for the distribution of my plan papers to MPs. But invain. At last I had sent Rs.50/- towards postage to return plan papers through postal order and requested to return the plan and enable me to disburse them in person . Yet they hadn’t returned.

In the same way I was communicating my plan to the CM s of Tamil Nadu and Andhra. The CM of AP N.Chandrababu naidu had wrote a letter and promised for the appropriate usage of my *suggestions. But the present CM of State hadn’t responded in spite of 1000s of reminders/10 days hunger strike etc.

I had mailed my plan to each and every MP of Loksabha and Rajyasabha and also to the all CMs of Indian states. But only one MP Sri Suresh prabhu MP of Rajapur constituency(shivsena) of Maharashtra and the government of kerala had responded in favour.

Even the intellectuals and also the ordinary people also neglecting my action plan. Still I am confidant that on a day or another my plan will be applied and India will become prosperous. Then only all Indians can attain hardy body-windy mind-holy soul.

Convey your opinion and criticism to:

tpraja said...

Have you seen the new India search engine they added all the cool features of popular products like MySpace, YouTube, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. all for free to use and specifically for India. Anyone else try this yet? First to Blend Search, Social Network, Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.