Archive for September, 2007

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The General who could not speak!

The General who could not speak!It was the most important Congressional report session after the Vietnam war. We were glued to our television sets to hear the top US military commander, Gen. David Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker give their testimony and report the situation in Iraq. You could see the tension and stress on both their faces. That very morning the New York Times carried a full page ad calling the top US General, ‘Gen betray-us’. We could feel the high tension that hung heavily in that room, and more so over the General himself, even while sitting in the comfort of our own home. Facing not only the committee but thousands of US soldiers and millions of people in America and elsewhere, the General was about to speak on the conditions on Iraq and war strategies. All eyes were on him as he was signaled to begin his report, which by all means is controversial in the first place.  The albatross certainly hung around the general’s well buttoned neck. Then, when he was just about to reach for the microphone, he wasn’t able to speak!

Why?? Because his mic wasn’t working. So, much for the most important Congressional report session of the the past two decades! We did expect voicing of protests and loud demonstrations  (all of which were there) but definitely not the silence of the microphones.

Posted by Arhama on Sep 10th 2007 | Filed in World | Comments (2)

Why she cares??!!

The disastrous DMV
We all have heard of people cribbing and wailing about how unorganized and time consuming DMV trips turn out to be and how much they loathe going there. The only good that comes out of these trips (No, not the work that gets done. Does it get done?) are the great dinner table stories. I’ve moved to Virginia a few months ago and since then, have spent many fine Saturday mornings at DMV. It is kind of fun, if you can see the humor in it like I do. Or maybe I’ve just reached the point where you can do nothing but laugh at it.

We all have gone through the long wait in lines and the I’m-doing-you-the-greatest-favor-of-your-life attitude of employees. One such incident is what we call ‘the why she cares?’ incident. I had to get my driver’s learning permit so we went to DMV at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia on a bright Saturday morning. Glorious! We had to wait more than an hour to get through the long line and another 30 minutes once we got inside. We waited and waited. Staring at those dull monochromatic walls I realised that they were of the same color in every DMV (atleast same in the ones I’ve been to). They must have just agreed on the dismal shade and decided to paint with it every possible DMV under their reach. Not to mention the same wall panels. Probably bought them in bulk at Wal-Mart and hung them all across Virginia. However, their aesthetic sense is something they can be excused of. I wouldn’t have mentioned anything of the walls if I hadn’t spent hours staring right at them.

After taking the learner’s test I reached the counter. Pablo, the man on the counter (yeah we’ve been there so many times that we know all of their names, needless to say that they know ours) was castigating this man for not having checked his name when the computer asked the first time. And on went his sermon…

“Sir, you should always check the spelling of your name when the computer asks you the first time.”
“I remember that my name was right then, but it is misspelled on my licence here.”
“Well you should have checked it the first time.”
“But I’m telling you I checked what appeared on the computer it was correct but on my licence…”
“Well the computer won’t lie.”
“You mean I’m lying?!”
“I never said that. Sir, you should control your temper. You should have checked all your details…”
” I’m telling you I did”
Pablo continued in a stern and in a matter-of-fact voice,
“Now we will have to go through all our previous records which will take a very long time and will cause you as well as us a lot of inconvenience. If you find the slightest mistake you should tell us immediately”

I was watching all this as an amused bystander, waiting to get my permit. Finally, the man decided it was useless wasting his Saturday morning arguing at DMV. When he moved on I was handed my permit. Immediately, I spotted that my height was typed in as 5’6 instead of 5’7. Although it was no big deal I thought I should get it corrected. My husband pointed out that they had done exactly the same mistake on my state ID card too. We had spent a long time getting this done, we thought that we’d just wait a few more minutes and get this corrected too. When we approached Pablo, he made the zaniest face I had ever seen.

dmv-now.jpg“Why would you want that?”
“Well, because that is incorrect and not what we filled on the form”
“I’m telling you it makes no difference”
“We would still appreciate if you would change it”
“But why on earth? You know, you could just stretch your neck and you’ll be an inch taller”
“But, there was the same mistake on the State ID and we’d like to change atleast this one”
“I can make it hundred if you want and nobody would ask anything of it. Why you care?”
“My husband said, “We know nobody would ask for it but, we care.”
“But my question is why you care?”
“Actually, she cares”, said my husband pointing towards me.
“My question is why she cares?”

At this point we realised what a lunatic argument we were having.

“We care because it is wrong.” I finally said.

After a short pause Pablo said,” OK OK, you know what, I’ll do it but it might take a long time. Are you willing to wait?”

“Take as long as you want. We will go get some lunch.”

Now every time I look at my learner’s permit I remember Pablo saying, “why she cares?” and it makes me laugh at how after giving a long lecture to the man infront of me he argued so much over changing my height on the licence. 

And for all of you reading this, here is something to laugh about.

 Just for a laugh

Check out more of these

Posted by Arhama on Sep 5th 2007 | Filed in Life...what it is everyday | Comments (1)

You are invited to a tea party

You are invinvited :)

Fill your week with Tea Parties !!! Starting Monday September 10, have a fun filled week with the Make Mine Pink Bloggers as they host a virtual Tea Party.

All the information and a list of participating Make Mine Pink Blogs will be posted on Make Mine Pink’s blog~ so watch for more details as September 10 draws closer.

Why Tea Party? Well what can be more fun, tea for two, tea for one, a princess tea, a mother/daughter tea, best friends tea, long lost friends tea, or to just take a moment to slow down and enjoy the tea.

Join in on the fun and host a virtual tea party too. We will be visiting all the Make Mine Pink blogs and yours too if you decide to host your own party. You will see beautiful and unique tables set for tea; many will have a special theme. Will you join us and post a photo of your Tea Party on your very own blog? Post a comment on Make Mine Pink’s blog and we will include you on the list. So expect many visitors and please have cookies ready.

Posted by Arhama on Sep 5th 2007 | Filed in Blogs,Gossips | Comments (2)

The Little Known Mini Taj Mahal

We all know about the Taj Mahal commisioned under Shah Jahan, in memory of his loving wife. It has also been included in the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World

The original at Agra

However, little is known about this Taj Mahal which was built in memory of a mother.

The Mini Taj Mahal at Aurangabad

The Bibi – Ka – Maqbara (or Mini Taj Mahal) was built in 1679, by Aurangzeb’s son, as a tribute to his mother Begum Rabia Durani. Obviuosly, it is a replica of the Taj Mahal at Agra. It is not as grand as the original nor does it figure in any ‘wonder of the world’ list. But, it was quite an attempt.

The only other known attempt to imitate the Taj Mahal (tell me if you know any other) was by Donald Tump at Atlantic City, New Jersey!

Nice Try Trump

Nice try Mr. Trump but, we shall prefer to go to India to see the the Taj Mahal!

Posted by Arhama on Sep 3rd 2007 | Filed in Culture,World | Comments (21)