I have been down with a prolonged bout of the flu and so I have not kept up with the blog. I hope to make up for this over the next few days given that there is a plethora of subjects I have wanted to comment about. But this post has little to do with […]

Continue reading about “You are going to die” – more on aging, death and longevity

TJ on November 30th, 2012

I am within spitting distance of reaching 67 years and although I don’t by any means obsess about aging, there are articles and discussions about aging that catch my attention in a way it would not have done a decade ago. It is in this context that a recent excerpt from Khushwant Singh’s latest book […]

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TJ on October 30th, 2012

Robert Contreras, who first commented on my blog entry regarding the crash of Pan Am 217 sent me a number of images ….. some of them quite graphic …… which were published in the Venezuela newspapers at the time of the crash. I am including all of the images ….. the script is in Spanish […]

Continue reading about Images pertaining to the crash of Pan Am 217

The pastor at the church I attend said in the context of this Sunday’s lesson from the gospels that some times one sees some thing that is so disturbing or traumatic that it is impossible to “unsee” it. Within this category is one of the iconic photographs of human suffering and cruelty by human beings […]

Continue reading about Photographer Kevin Carter: An image that took its toll

TJ on September 30th, 2012

I have never met Kersi Rustomji and first came to know of him through a Yahoo group consisting of mainly Asians who are or were residents in East Africa. We both lived in Kenya until the sixties. Through our common membership in the Yahoo group we occasionally exchanged private messages. We have not always agreed […]

Continue reading about A teacher’s remarkable story

TJ on September 29th, 2012

Those of us who live outside of India occasionally express amazement because one can go to relatively remote locations around the world and one still finds Indians who reside in those countries. In fact – and I don’t know for sure if this is accurate – I read that Indians are to be found residing, […]

Continue reading about Random thoughts and facts about the Indian diaspora

TJ on September 1st, 2012

These were among the first words uttered by Neil Armstrong after the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon in 1969. He actually said: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The recent death of Neil Armstrong brought to mind memories of that extra-ordinary year when humans first landed on the moon. It was […]

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TJ on August 30th, 2012

The US, like many other countries, has had a long tradition of honoring its veterans and those who have died in the line of duty. There are specific days in the US – Veterans Day and Memorial Day that are dedicated for that purpose. There are also hospitals dedicated to veterans and favorable financing available […]

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Sotantar Sood on August 26th, 2012

Guest post by Sotantar Sood who lived in Kenya until the mid-1960s, attended Allidina Visram High School and returned to Kenya recently after 46 years. Sotantar currently lives in Canada with his family In February and March of 2012, my wife and I spent 2 weeks in India followed by 3 weeks in Kenya. We […]

Continue reading about My pilgrimage of nostalgia

I was made aware about a huge controversy regarding some comments that Oprah Winfrey made during the airing of a documentary about India called “India: The Next Chapter”. Most of the criticism centered around a remark that Oprah Winfrey made while dining with an Indian family when she asked quite casually: “I heard some Indian […]

Continue reading about Much ado about nothing …….. or about very little

Jill Breitbarth on August 18th, 2012

Guest posting contributed by Jill Breitbarth in memory of Juana Maria Martinez. Jill says: “I hope others who knew her will see this and add their own memories.” When I was six-years-old until seven months beyond my twelfth birthday, Juanita Martinez was my other mother, my confidante, and my mentor. Her mothering was not tied […]

Continue reading about Tribute to Juanita Martinez who died on Pan Am Flight 217

TJ on August 17th, 2012

For the most part, I have only a passing interest in sports. During my years in Kenya and later in the UK, I was interested in cricket but that faded over the years after I moved to the US. However, I have maintained a sustained interest in the Olympics – an interest that commenced with […]

Continue reading about An iconic moment in the history of the Olympics

TJ on August 8th, 2012

I had read some months ago that dogs were being trained to detect cancer ……. with some success. But nothing could have been more remarkable than what happened with our very own dog, Max …… a German Shepherd who is just over five years old. Max is an intelligent dog and seems to have a […]

Continue reading about Coincidence or can dogs detect cancer?

TJ on July 28th, 2012

I am not sure what it is that fascinates me about a website a South American, Diego Goldberg, started some years ago. Goldberg started to take pictures of his family from 1976 to the current year with following explanation: “On June 17th, every year, the family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to […]

Continue reading about “The Arrow of Time”

TJ on July 14th, 2012

It has been while since I posted …….. lots going on in my life and worthy of a separate post down the line. But this post is about common usage of some expressions and sayings we take for granted without knowing their origin. It came up when I was curious about the very American expression: […]

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Attending an Ivy League school is an aspiration of many students. Competition is intense especially in recent years and the acceptance rate is usually below 10% in the most selective of the Ivies like Harvard University. During a recent Science Fair that my grandson, DJ, was a Grand Prize nominee, there was a young Asian […]

Continue reading about It takes a village: the inspiring story of Dawn Loggins

TJ on May 14th, 2012

I must confess that I am not overly enamored by some of the holidays celebrated in the US mainly because of the extent of commercialization that occurs. My biggest gripe is about Christmas which has lost all of its real meaning because of rampant commercialization – and I commented on this in in a prior […]

Continue reading about Mother’s Day ….. past and present

Concepts of beauty have varied among cultures and even within the same culture over a span of time. A few decades ago an attractive woman was a more full-bodied and rounded individual than would be the case today. During the 50s’ the actress in India renowned for her beauty was Nargis who appears on the […]

Continue reading about Those were the days………..when women were encouraged to gain weight!

TJ on April 22nd, 2012

I don’t know if Malayalees are unique in their choice of names for adults and children. When I lived in Kenya in the fifties and early sixties, there were relatively few families from Kerala and everyone knew each other within the community. But even within the relatively small community, there were some interesting variations on […]

Continue reading about What’s in a name ……..well, a Mallu name?

We love cruising and have been on fourteen cruises since I arrived in the US. These have included several cruises in the Caribbean as well as ones to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera and the Yangtze river in China. Our last cruise was with my brother Peter and his family and it was on […]

Continue reading about Voyages between Mombasa and Bombay – SS Khandalla and SS Amra

TJ on April 8th, 2012

A few months ago, I posted about the crash of Pan Am Flight 217 in 1968 while en route to Caracas, Venezuela and more specifically about a friend, Franciska Buyers, who was an air stewardess on that flight. More about Franciska and my relationship to her and her family appears on this link. When I […]

Continue reading about Pan Am Flight 217 Redux

TJ on March 27th, 2012

During our recent winter sojourn in Kerala, my sister and brother-in-law who live in Australia visited with us for a couple of days. We had an interesting discussion whether salvation is possible for non-Christians ………. and, in fact, whether any one who is not “born again” can achieve salvation. I told them – much to […]

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TJ on February 26th, 2012

It is rare indeed for a leader to have the attributes of humility, loyalty and honesty and to be an effective leader but such a man was Kumaraswamy Kamaraj, a former chief minister of Tamil Nadu – formerly known as Madras state – and subsequently a key advisor to Jawaharlal Nehru. He was a man […]

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“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” was a best seller in the nineties by John Gray that sold over 7 million copies. It essentially sought to highlight the differences between men and women in dealing with problems and issues and how it affects relationships, etc. To segue from this to the focus of […]

Continue reading about Men are from Mars, women are from Venus ……. is there a canine equivalent?

TJ on February 11th, 2012

“The young perish and the old linger …………….. no parent should have to bury their child” Theoden in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” When my mother was terminally ill with cancer in 1964, her mother who was then in her late sixties would tell me that she (my grandmother) would like to die. […]

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Life in Kerala – and, for that matter in India – involves a lot more social interaction than occurs in the West. This interaction occurs in different settings but one that occurs with frequency is attendance at baptisms, engagements, marriages and funerals. Birthdays seem to be less frequently celebrated except for special occasions like the […]

Continue reading about Nair weddings – the antithesis of conspicuous consumption

What are the odds of someone being born in the 18th century having grandchildren – yes, GRANDCHILDREN – who are alive in the 21st century? Pretty infinitesimal most people would say and they would be right. But a confluence of factors resulted in just such a thing happening with none other than the tenth president […]

Continue reading about More presidential trivia – but a truly remarkable fact

TJ on December 27th, 2011

I have always been fascinated by the phenomenon of the “near death experience” – known by the acronym NDE. Perhaps it is my belief in an after-life – even though I am not sure what form it takes – which accounts for this interest. After all, for someone who believes in an after life the […]

Continue reading about Jobs, Hitchens, faith and near death experiences

It was Rudyard Kipling who said that east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet. Kipling was referring to India which was then the jewel in the British empire and Kipling, like other colonial apologists, maintained that the cultural bridge between Indians and the British could never be bridged. This […]

Continue reading about East is east and west is west ………. when it comes to mourning

I love You Tube and its endless variety of offerings. I also cordially dislike flying – everything about it infuriates me ranging from the security hassles at the airport, the less than customer friendly airline service, the cramped seating, the full flights and just about every thing that one associates with flying nowadays. I did […]

Continue reading about David Carroll, United Airlines and social media at its best!