Monday, December 28, 2009

Made in India from

About Made in India :

one man

two years
one country
five journeys
eighteen states
hundreds of places
thousands of subjects
millions of curious people

I got to Syndicate and you can, too !
Made in India
is now available for anyone to Share
under licensing
Creative Commons

click to enlarge
Yes, you too can get Made in India displayed right on
your own Web site. It's free, easy and requires about as
much brain power as I have left at my age....not much !
Just configure a Show Player and then grab the

copy & paste code at the bottom of this page and toss it
into your own site. Voila !

Just remember to give full credit where credit is due for
this act of 'Net generosity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season's Greetings 2009

Season's Greetings 2009, originally uploaded by FredMikeRudy

Once this was virtually couldn't be snowing in
San Pedro, California while the sun was shining on me,
wearing short sleeves and a Santa hat. But now.....if you can
dream, anything is virtually possible.

Sounds motivational and inspiring ? Great !

An inspired and delightful time to all my Virtual Poona friends !

Contact Me Blogger Picasa Facebook

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Celluloid Heroes Revisited

' You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard,
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of.
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.'
The KINKS - Celluloïd heroes (1972)Uploaded by Petite-Rigolote

What makes us so fond of the whole Hollywood scene ?
When I visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame recently I knew
I was doing it somewhat halfheartedly, since my
passion had long cooled with the passing of years.
And the
passion was not easily re-ignited when we got out
Hollywood Boulevard into the intermittent drizzle and
damp of a rare Weather day in L.A. As the old '70s song
'It Never Rains in Southern California' but it
certainly did
when I was there....three out of five days !

As I walked along the 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' for real,
I soaked in the sights even as I got soaked....frequently.
But Hollywood by day seemed a lot different, not as crazy and
jumping as say, the Vegas Strip at dusk or Bourbon Street
a pre-Katrina night. There were a lot of tourists waiting
in line for
tours of the Stars' homes, Cemeteries and hideouts,
but luckily
for me even the drastic discounts offered by
Limo Drivers could not entice me to be a Tourist
Instead, I walked all over the glitzy stars on the
Boulevard, and
true to Ray Davies' lyrics, there really were'some that you've never even heard of'. That's when it
struck me that with the current economic crisis this Blvd.

might be dying as a major destination spot for many Tourists.

I mean, how many of us can name a film that Silver Screen
Betty Grable starred in ? Although The Walk does
keep up
enough to sustain itself with names like Paula Abdul,
Antonio Banderas
, and the one embedded star with the
most gawkers, Arnold Schwarzenegger a.k.a. nowadays as
The Governator

My nephew wanted me to visit every single
attraction but all
I wanted was to take some memorable pics
of this long-running
Tourist Attraction to share with the folks
back home.
Talk about bad luck, I was getting my fill as I
discovered that
between my nephew, his mom and myself
we had three digital
cameras with batteries as dead as Groucho Marx, rest his soul.
truly unflappable and unfazed just went into the
Grauman's Theatre
and bought new batteries. Tossed out
the old ones and then
rushed to the huge urn/garbage
receptacle to recover the old
ones which were the expensive
rechargeable kind. But the
new ones I bought weren't, so we
resorted to the new backup,
camera phones ! And so I did
salvage a few moments from the
whole trip and actually made
a go of it after meeting up
with some of the strangest
performers I've come across in
America. I posed with a
Marilyn Monroe
impersonator with a fur-collared jacket

on, covering that famous dress with the low-cut neckline,
a grate that blew the wind up her dress to make it
just as in the classic pinup pose, while wondering how
could be out on the street in the chilly, damp weather.

I met Christopher Dennis, an unusual Superman impersonator

who believes like the rest of the 'actors' there that something
eventually turn up, and his fate will improve. Except it's
something that he and the
Captain America, Cat Woman,
Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk,
Marilyn (Melissa J Weiss)

and Jack Sparrow
characters have been doing for years. Many years.

Even while their fortitude is tested on a daily basis in all
kinds of weather, these denizens of Hollywood and Vine
are not just earning their living by posing for a Dollar.
'Marilyn' claimed she was a Scriptwriter and Director,
as did 'Superman', which I swallowed in a kindly gesture
even as I mentally pitied their fantasy world.

Well, I was more than a bit wrong....later that evening
my nephew asked me to watch a film
that he streamed
via Netflix
called 'Confessions of a Superhero'.
Surprise, surprise....all that these Superhero characters
claimed seemed to be true. Someone else was intrigued
by their lives, too. Matt Ogens made a Documentary that
opened at the SXSW Film Festival and it was a hit there
as well as a hit in my book.

I like rooting for the underdog and the creative souls who
try to rise above their surroundings. These struggling 'Heroes'
are in no way as unfortunate as the people starving in real
conditions in India, the Dominican Republic and Darfur,
to name a few of the poverty-ridden countries that are
often glossed over in our comfortable little existences.
And yet, in America where folks own large homes but have
no Health Insurance and face growing Unemployment, these
'Heroes' still display a Superhuman resolve, giving their all
as they pose for that one lousy Dollar tip which they
earn, since Panhandling is against the law.
The Photos are from my Flickr set
'Confessions of a Superhero' Official Site
AFI Fest Photos from

Lyn Uline-Gatt March 30 at 2:28pm Report
I tried to post this to your Blog...did it go through?
I wasn't sure so I thought i would send it as a message as well... :)

Very interesting blog my friend. Your insight regarding the slow decay of
‘the Hollywood experience’ is likely correct. The icons and Hollywood mystic
has been eroded, replaced by the phenomenon of ‘reality stars’… everyday
folks like you and me??...I don’t think so…but J.Q. Public does. 
Perhaps it was apropos that it rained and the images of those struggling
actors looked so bleak…these are in any case bleak times.
~ from Lyn on Facebook

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thanks/Giving of Biblical Proportions

UPDATED Dec. 01, 2009 with video and link following
the one below:

A Happy Thanksgiving
at least for some folks, thanks to
The First Baptist Church of
Charlotte, North Carolina.
They came up with enough food to feed 5,000 people,
just like in
the Bible story.

Video and story from FOX News

Related video and link to Thanks and Giving
in Humble, Texas where the Parishioners received
money in envelopes to share with anyone they found
needy, including Link courtesy of my nephew Shaheed
of Grace Church in Humble

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Heads Up, News Junkies et al

News Junkies with limited time on their hands are
guaranteed to get their fix of the day's Headlines with
NEWSEUM - Wash. D.C.'s most Interactive Museum.
very useful website not only lets you click on
a city's Front Page thumbnail, but also lets you zoom in
actually access the page in PDF format. If the
looks interesting enough to warrant reading of
entire article, the link to the newspaper in question is
conveniently placed next to the PDF link. No need to type
in a newspaper name into that Google Search box and wade
through endless results for the exact URL. Just Bookmark and you're on your way to all the news that's
fit to print (or view online)

Whether it's in the USA or anywhere else in the world, like


or Nicaragua

it's all very neatly sorted and arranged by region

I really hope you enjoy this as much as I did....good web
surfing to you all.

Newseum | Today's Front Pages | Gallery View

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Furusato : Be it Ever so Humble

'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home'

~ John Payne

In a somewhat hidden and deserted strip of land alongside the
busy Port
of Long Beach lies a former mudflat that was turned
into an artificial island. Measuring less than 5 miles
officially named Terminal Island
in 1918, this area was
once the Tuna canning capital of the world

Fine, I thought to myself last October as I was being driven
through the shipyards of Long Beach to visit this place.
But where was it ? No one in sight. No Maps, Directions,
Concession stands, Museum Brochures or Restrooms. Not
a soul in the area with the exception of a lone Mariner who was
probably walking along this silent strip of land to get to his
vessel docked a few miles away.

And then it came into view, this rather large Monumental Statue
of two Issei Fishermen, cast in Bronze. Looking deep into the
distance while their hands worked instinctively, perhaps dreaming
of their old homes far away in Japan that they would in all reality
probably never see again. At once somber and mystifying and
touching. I had my fill of taking pics not realizing what all this was
about until I got back to Texas and started reading up for this post.

A large amount of the work in those Canneries was performed
by similar Japanese immigrants who took up residence there,
building lives and families in their own traditional orthodox
and naive way.

Although the older children took part in normal activities
such as Baseball, dining with friends, attending Local Catholic
schools, celebrating Christmas and New Years', enrolling in the
Boy Scouts, etc., these 'Nisei' (second-generation Japanese-
Americans of immigrant parents) still had a strong sense of
their heritage thanks to their parents who were content it
seems, to remain within the confines of their own tightly-knit,
isolated community, speaking a weird dialect of English and
Japanese words. For over two decades by all accounts it was
an idyllic existence for these families, right up until the 1941
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Within twenty-four hours, these immigrants and their families
were subjected to evacuation orders, literally banished forever
from Terminal Island. A population close to 3,000 was forcibly
and unofficially removed by the FBI and sent to internment in
Camps. Most of these Islanders wound up in Manzanar at the
foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, victims of Wartime
and Racial hysteria.

After the war, they discovered that there was no 'going back
home' since their homes and schools had been razed to the
ground by the Navy. Not a trace remained to prove they had
once lived a simple, happy life in the Cannery district.

Deeply dismayed but not willing to have a part of their lives
obliterated, these former residents banded together and formed
the Terminal Islanders Club in 1971. A club that holds
periodic Reunions, Picnics, Dances, Sports competitions, etc.,
today these folks are well into their Eighties. As concerns grew
about their unique heritage disappearing, they succeeded
in erecting the Terminal Island Monument in 2002, a memorial
to honor their parents and preserve their precious revered
memories of Furosato : their Home Sweet Home.
An almost-forgotten Memorial to an all-but forgotten time in
Japanese-American History.

Ansel Adams picture from the US Library of Congress

See more related pics at my Flickr album
or on Picasa web and explore other fascinating details of
this true story :

Furusato The Lost Village of Terminal Island

The Terminal Island Mosaic :
1290 Clickable images arranged to form
a Calligraphic Japanese word: Furosato

Related Ken Burns' PBS Video

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Korean Bell of Friendship at Angels Gate Park

I don't get around much any more, but when I do
you can bet you'll hear about it. Some of my pics taken
in October '09
of a truly unique place to visit when in the L.A.,
California area.

Mountains and hills, the Blue Pacific Ocean below,
Blue skies above,
365 days a year.

Well, was damp, drizzly and overcast on the
day that I re-visited this modern-day structure that
consists of a
Pavilion that houses the enormous Bronze
Korean Bell of Friendship

in Angels Gate Park in San Pedro, close to L.A.,
the bell
was presented in 1976 by the Republic of Korea
to the American people
to celebrate the bicentennial of
the United States, to honor
American veterans of the
Korean War, and to symbolize friendship
between the
two nations.

On the day I was there a Photo shoot was in progress
literally at the steps of the Bell.

Angels Gate Park that houses this starkly beautiful
monument has been a favorite location for Hollywood
film cast and crews due to its
picturesque surroundings.
'The Usual Suspects' starring
Kevin Spacey and Giancarlo
was filmed here, as were parts of The Titanic.
The secluded and peaceful area attracts people like
Johnny Depp,
who is noted for hanging around the
San Pedro
area. Notable area residents past and present
include actress Sharon Tate,
Author Charles Bukowski,
Comedian D.L. Hughley and Art Pepper, Jazz Saxophonist.

But don't take my word for it. Just check out this
Korean Bell of Friendship Fabulous Full-screen Panoramic
by Carol Struycken

I consider this place an instant favorite for anyone who visits
and I highly recommend it for its serene and meditative

Serene State of Mind
View my pics The Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
- a set on Flickr

San Pedro : A Whale of a Town

The Korean Bell at wikipedia

Friday, October 02, 2009

Pink Rules in October

October is the one month in the USA that many Retail stores find
it in their hearts to give up their precious display space to promote
awareness for Breast Cancer. The color Pink is Everywhere !
Pink is the distinguishing color for hats, bracelets, mugs, shirts,
pens, cosmetics, you name it - an increasing number of products
are tied to Breast Cancer awareness, and with good reason :

" Women in the United States have the highest incidence rates

of breast cancer in the world; 141 among white women and
122 among African American women." ~wikipedia

Today there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors, which
mean 2.5 million Survivor stories, many of which remain untold.

DOVE Chocolate Promises of Hope include special messages
of hope, inspiration and strength, written by survivors. Look for
their personal, motivational messages under each DOVE

After eating these chocolates and reading the survivors' inspirational
messages, I sought inspiration in sharing their message in my own
little way. What I came up with is above : two pics of Dove wrappers
that I took and then uploaded to Flickr
Full size Wrapper Images: Outer

I'd best let the team tell their story :
" Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul.
Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital,
she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women
battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation.
That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of
her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed
to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that
she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure®,
the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having
invested more than $1 billion since inception in 1982. As the
world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer
and activists, we’re working together to save lives,
empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize
science to find the cures.

Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®,
and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and
fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of
nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in
the world. "

Houston Texans : Real Men in Pink
In early March, 2009, American Football Running Back
Ryan Moats's mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, died
from breast cancer. When they were informed that Ms.
Collinsworth was close to death, Moats, his wife Tamishia
(Collinsworth's daughter) and other family members
rushed to Baylor Regional Medical Center in
Plano, Texas.
After driving through a red light, Moats
was stopped by a Dallas Police Department officer,
who delayed him for 13 minutes outside the hospital's
emergency room, after Moats's explanation was
corroborated by a hospital nurse. The officer drew his
weapon during the incident. By the time Moats reached
Collinsworth, she had died.

Now Moats and other members of the NFL are daring
to wear Pink during their Sunday matches, and all for the
cause of raising Breast Cancer Awareness.
~ story from KHOU Texas

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nina Paley's Blues -Updated November '09

Happy Thanksgiving ! Latest update Nov 2009
Flickr now has a great set of Sita-related images
including ones of Merchandise from the Sita Store.
Get Jewelry, DVDs, Posters and clothing by visiting

Happy Dassera !

.....which goes well with this Update Sept 28 '09
to include Nina Paley's Facebook Group where you will find
all sorts of goodies, and also ways to
keep this unique artist's
vision alive. Lacking enough support and funding in spite of
worldwide screenings, Ms. Paley has taken an unlikely approach
to furthering this film.
No one that I know of
with such talent
allows the world to have FREE FULL access
not only to
view the film online, but also to access the Source
files and
distribute them freely via Creative Commons.
This is unparalleled
generosity and
intellect coming from the soul of an Artist in the
truest sense of the word !

Originally published June 2008 :
East meets West yet again but this time in an unheard-of way.
NYC animator extraordinaire Nina Paley single-handedly
and executed Sita Sings The Blues, an amazing,
animated feature based on
the classic Hindu mythological tale
of Sita and Rama
as told inThe Ramayana.

Romance, action-adventure and Comedy are key elements
here, but it's definitely the sense of fun possessed by
the creator
that is ever-present, right from the opening sequence which
describes this
as 'The Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told'.

The story in this case draws parallels to the real-life trials of
Ms. Paley in NYC, and her husband who relocated to work
in India.
They were eventually divorced, and Ms. Paley's grief finds its
here, where the striking visuals are set to authentic 1920s
American Blues
music. It all works brilliantly and entertains
wonderfully enough to justify
its place as number 10 in the 2008
Tribeca Film Festival. But this is nevertheless a
touchy subject
for many Hindus, since it deals with their religion and some of
them consider this work blasphemous. I can't say if
there is any
need for Ms. Paley to apologize to anyone,
but I do know that as
a Musician and Artist myself I appreciate
the creative process
here and the intense effort that went into bringing this grand opus
to worldwide attention.

Watch the Trailer below first and then below that, Part 1 of the
YouTube HD version
. Please switch to normal viewing by if
your 'net connection can't handle all the HD buffering
The whole awesome film is available in 10 parts on YouTube.

Friday, September 25, 2009

AARP Contest Runner-up

Created by metroamv when she was a student, this
video is based on the Argentinian Political Advertisement
"The Truth" by RECREAR, and was the second-place
winner for
the AARP U@50 video contest. Watch closely
as she reads the words on the board normally and
then reads the entire thing in reverse
. It all makes sense,
to me at least

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Cook's Cottage Celebrates its Millionth Click

Luscious Lychee Tart

While I fancy myself only an amateur Chef, concocting
in a class of
my own making, I never hesitate to rouse up the
nerve to
convey my thoughts about Food Blogs and Cooking
to anyone
who will humor me. One such gracious and
outstanding Chef,
a personal favorite, is Jyotsna Shahane
of Pune, India who
maintains her own Food Blog,
'The Cook's Cottage'

on TypePad. A talented Cook, Blogger and Photographer,
she meticulously recreates many of the simple but delicious
meals that I grew
up with in my old hometown of Pune.
So it's naturally a pleasure to stop by
her Blog and linger, and
freely comment about the latest
Recipe she so generously shares.
Time certainly has flown since I left my first Comment after
stumbling upon
the Photo illustrations for her Recipes on Flickr....
five years at the
very least.

The Recipes that Jyotsna blogs about are carefully researched
for their history, origins, trivia and above all ease in preparation,
utilizing the freshest ingredients available locally. Health-
conscious and leaning towards traditional Indian flavors, the
Recipes she so neatly presents have become a worldwide hit
not only with Indian expats but also with non-Indians fascinated
by the spicy, sumptuous cuisine of India. Be it Curry in a
Hurry, Hot as Hell or Just Vegetables,
there's something
in her Blog for anyone with an adventurous palate.

And so, five years later as The Cook's Cottage officially
celebrates its One Millionth Visitor Click by awarding an
apron to Bharathy, I am thrilled that I missed winning
said Apron by a
mere Apron that I believe I
would not feel worthy of
, since there have been many more
talented Chefs and
Visitors who have helped Jyotsna
achieve this very personal milestone.

Read the short take
on the One Millionth Click, and take
the time to see and perhaps try out the food that gets me
salivating and homesick.

Goa Photo: Prawns in Garlic Sauce

All images displayed here are Originals, Copyrighted
and used by kind permission of The Cook's Cottage

Thank You Jyotsna, for the use of your photos, and
continued success with the next Million clicks for
your delicious Recipes at The Cook's Cottage !

And a related way, good news for this Blog, dear
readers...tomorrow, after many years of Blogging here, but
with keeping track only since the last 6 months, I hope to
reach the 10,000 mark for visitors to Virtual Poona !
Thank you all for keeping me inspired, your Comments
would be greatly appreciated !

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

America's Got Talent. And Homeless.

The problem of Homelessness used to be generally associated
with Third-World nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia,
where poverty has been a way of life for centuries.
Born and living in India for close to 26 years I 'grew up' with
the problem and dreamed, like others still do, of a better place
where there was no such problem....a place with beautiful lawns
and white picket America, the Beautiful.

A comedian once said, "They call it 42nd Street because you're
not safe if you spend more than forty seconds on it."
As a naive and ignorant immigrant at the age of 26, I remember
the sense of shock that gripped me during my first week in
America as I walked on 7th Ave. at Times Sq. in NYC.

It was like a Sodom and Gomorrah version of the Big Top right
there in the Big Apple, even as the music of The Bee Gees vied
against Boston, Donna Summer and Parliament for one's
attention. Strolling along, taking in all the neon lights, sights and
sounds one evening, I was stopped by an Army Veteran in a
wheelchair with a battered tin cup and a cardboard sign around
his neck that simply said, '
Dazed and confused, I gave the man $5 and rushed away, because
it was not only a rude awakening but also part of the Culture
Shock that followed as I slowly learned about the real America,
the Beautiful. And what better place than
42nd St. in NYC to be
Culture-shocked and awed by my first sighting of a Homeless
person in America ?
The notion of 'begging' in America was a
totally new one for me.....

Today, that Homeless Veteran still haunts me as I am faced
with the daily news of the huge numbers of Americans who are
or in peril of falling under that category due to loss
of employment and the lack of a system to support them in
their darkest hours.

I don't read much about the Blogging community, and so I
would have missed this unusual tale of an unemployed
Blogger. Technically, she is not Homeless and living nowhere
near the conditions that 'Slumdogs' face in India, since she
does have a roof over her head. That roof being a Mobile camper
that she inherited from her Father, who committed suicide !
Loss of employment followed by loss of a parent is enough
to demoralize any single young woman, but not this trooper.
Since I had CNN turned on in the background, the words
'Homeless Blogger' immediately got my attention.
As they reported, Brianna Karp
was Homeless and living
in her trailer, parked in a Walmart parking lot. And from
within that trailer, picking up free Wi-Fi signals for her Laptop,
which she used for Job Searches and Blogging about her plight.
Eventually her persistent posting paid off somewhat when
she found herself Blogging for the August 2009 issue of ELLE
magazine. She is still seeking permanent employment.

Her story is related in the video below by Ted Rowlands
and also at CNN online

Former CNN Editor and Photographer among other things,
Linda Schaefer has witnessed first-hand the plight of
Homeless Orphans in Kolkata, where the world's worst
slum conditions are as stagnant as its filthy, water-logged
streets. Recently on Facebook she shared a link she received
from Photojournalist John Spink about an American lady
named Crystal Buchans
who survives as a Homeless person
in downtown Atlanta, walking along the CSX railroad
and under the CNN parking decks.
Gallery | Homeless in Atlanta: Crystal's life near
the tracks|
"Although she formerly worked as a waitress and a grocery
store cashier,
Buchans says she is now a drug addict and
homeless. ..."

Speaking of Talent, you don't have to be a Country OR
Western Music fan
to appreciate this Clay Walker video
so creatively juxtaposed with images from the web....

For a thorough look at America's Homeless, check out the
Complete L.A. Times coverage on the issue of homelessness,
the current reality and possible solutions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where Was I on 9-11 ?

Where Was I on 9-11 ?  
Thousands of miles away, driving home after working the
Graveyard Shift as Night Auditor at the Homewood Suites
in Clear Lake Texas. I reached my front door and was
about to turn the key when my next door neighbor told me in his
most sober voice, "They done rammed a plane into that big
building in New York" in his normal Texas Slanguage.
I staggered in already tired, turned on the TV and left it on till I
went back to work that night at 10:30 pm. Only overnight work
fatigue drove me to shut my bleary eyes that fateful day.

One of the last things I did before leaving the NY/NJ area
5 years earlier was to drive a Limo to the front doors of
Building No.1
of the World Trade Center. The VIPs that I
drove to and from the Twin Towers often arrived by Private
Jet around 7:30 am and by 8 am we were at their usually
scheduled meeting inside the WTC. They remained inside till
early afternoon and I then drove them to their hotels or
sometimes back to their
Private Jet or Helicopter. In the interim
between 7 am and 4 pm I ate breakfast, drank lots of Coffee,
smoked lots of cigarettes and strolled around the area, often
shooting the breeze with the numerous other Livery drivers
parked all around and under the area of the WTC.
Our clients were Stockbrokers and CEOs at all the major
financial institutions like Chase Manhattan, Merrill Lynch,
Bank of America
etc., and they paid handsomely to keep
us booked all day when all we did was barely an hour's worth
of actual driving for them.

The pic above was not a B/W shot originally. I decided to present
it that way to convey how it contrasts with the original below....
the 'extra' bonus one you get at the end of the roll inside disposable
cameras. That last one you try to squeeze out, color bleeding and
appearing to be double-exposed.

The Twin Towers 08-11-1996 

Blood-red stains that permanently blot my last memory of the
place I loved.
I often wonder at my luck in leaving that NYC work situation
when I did....8 a.m....I could have been buried in the rubble along
with countless other Limo Drivers and their Lincoln Town Cars.
is no way to tell if I would have become a statistic along with
those who perished that tragic day.

So, where was I on 9-11 ? Physically, thousands of miles away
in Seabrook, Texas. Mentally however, under that rubble, knowing
that day would last forever.

Free Download of Madooo's 9-11 song

Madhu Dhas a.k.a. Madooo, the Big Dooker is once again
offering a Free Download of his original 9-11 song in Zip
format as his tribute during the 8-year anniversary of the
tragedy in NYC. Written, Produced and performed entirely
at his own expense, it's definitely worth adding and sharing
this rare and unusual song to your collection.

It's not often you come across a talent like Madooo's. Aside from
the fact that he is a long-time employee of Deutsch Advertising
in NYC, he is also an accomplished Vocalist, Photographer, Promoter,
Guitarist, Keyboard player, Composer, Music Producer and
Arranger, Elvis/Jim Morrison/Rick James impersonator and a
recent Grandfather for the first time ! His is unbounded energy
and talent coupled with a genuine sense of camaraderie.....
over 500,000 MySpace fans and friends, and he's never used
Facebook either !

I rightfully praise this man because I had the opportunity to play
Bass guitar for him at a Beat Contest in India where he won the
Best Lead Vocal Performance award, after less than a day's
rehearsal at our first meeting.

This Day is Forever - The 9-11 song and the story behind it
is available at his website:
Watch Madoo in action on YouTube here

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Kumbh Mela Phenomenon

As in lfe, things just seem to fall into place of their own accord
sometimes. Like a Karmic sequence, like the convergence
of rivers, my previous post about the
River Ganges led to
my unplanned viewing of
'Short Cut to Nirvana', a LINK TV
Documentary film. This phenomenal award-winning film

somehow got linked thereafter to my receipt of an evite
to Glenn Losack's upcoming show Sept 2009 at Salon Ciel
in New York featuring his Kumbh Mela picture.
(Unfortunately this show will be yet another chapter in the
days of my vicarious* lifestyle. )

The Bathing Ghats of Dr. Glenn Losack's fabulous capture above
depict one of those unimaginable moments that for centuries
have left so many in a stupor of disbelief. No less a person than
1894 attendee and famous writer Mark Twain wrote,...
No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond
imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.

Based on attendance alone, there just isn't any event in the world
that comes close to the Kumbh Mela, the World's largest, oldest,
longest-running Fair of its kind. While it is still primarily a Hindu
it is now a world-renowned Travel Event that follows
the revolving path of the different venues at
Allahabad (Prayag)
at the confluence
of the Ganga and Yamuna and mythical
Saraswati river, Haridwar
along the Ganga river, Ujjain along
the Kshipra river and Nashik
along the Godavari river.

Burning Man, Woodstock, Altamont, Carnival, Rave and
all rolled into one. But don't think in hundreds of
like they do : The 2007
Kumbh Mela attracted
70 million folks, and even more are expected for the 2010 Fair.
There's music food, drink and Pot. Lots of Pot being freely shared.
There are Spiritual seekers from far continents with no knowledge
of what they will find here, who intermingle with those who do
nothing but meditate, surviving on receiving alms, which they
never ask for. Hordes of naked Sadhus ** run through the chilly
river in a bathing scene that mildly evokes the Polar Bear Club's
annual icy dips. Yogis display amazing feats of strength even as
Massages, mind-expanding discourses and lectures are being given.
Even the Dalai Lama beamed all the way as he joined
the superstars
of Spiritual Thinking
in the colorful parade of floats. It's all just too
much to share with you here. Go visit the wiki page if you can.
Or go buy the movie at the Official site.

Enjoy the official trailer of 'Shortcut to Nirvana' below
: link

How to Celebrate Kumbh Mela from

* experienced or realized through imaginative or
sympathetic participation in the experience of another

** In Hinduism, sadhu is a common term for a mystic,
ascetic, practitioner of yoga (yogi) and/or wandering
monks. The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving the fourth
and final Hindu goal of life,
moksha (liberation), through
meditation and contemplation of

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your Final Act on Earth: Texting ?

Could Texting be the last thing you ever do in your final moments
here on Earth ?
Wouldn't you rather be doing something else ?

Just because you now have your new Cellphone enabled with all the
Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Friendster
apps is no reason to
endanger the lives of your kids in the back
seat, your friends riding
next to you and multiple other drivers
who will be involved in head-on,
rear-end and side-impact
collisions. All thanks to your irresponsible,
stupid act of Texting while driving.

''research clearly shows that a motorist who is texting is significantly
more impaired than a motorist at the legal limit for alcohol.
No responsible motorist would drink and drive,"

Below is a Public Service Announcement from Wales that I really
hope you will take to heart. Be warned, it gets bloody gory, not as in
a Slasher flick, but more like in real-life, when fatal crashes occur.

Don't Text and Drive. Please !