pepsi
Just learned that one of the first to welcome me to the US is now gone. Pepsi, the adorable lab, with all her energy and love was a constant companion during my first five years in this country. There is so much to remember about Pepsi. Our long walks. Her “let’s play” look, and how she mistook me for my cousin– or should I say, her ‘dad’ – once. I will remember for a long time how I had to open the bedroom door when it was time to sleep and race to bed before Pepsi could occupy the whole […]

To a ‘Pepsi’ I loved





slum and highrises
Some people are in a crisis and others are enjoying prosperity...who should the government help? A serious policy debate.

People without a crisis





dse-gate
I am sorry to disappoint you in case you came here for some gossip on our friends, Bill & Melinda.  This article is about two bizarre structures, one in Delhi and one in Los Angeles.  The front gate of the Delhi School of Economics is massive and ornate, and it is supported by pillars that hold the massive gate on either side. It is said that the two pillars are called truth and knowledge.  What is special about these gates is that they have never been opened, and people have been forced to use the rear entrance to access the […]

Two bizarre gates





nehru-inspecting-food
The Public Distribution System (PDS) in India has come under a vigorous attack in the recent months.  There have been calls to dismantle the system and to replace with alternatives such as providing coupons or cash transfers.  Without any doubt the PDS has serious problems, and performs abysmally in some parts of India.  Unfortunately, these are also among the poorest regions where the need for protection from hunger is the greatest.   Considering that the PDS is supposed to contribute to something as fundamental as food security, such poor functioning must be addressed. In the recent past there have been discussions […]

Shifting from PDS to coupons or cash transfers: FAQs



In a world that is deeply worried about extremism I have learned to love it. In fact, there is nothing as entertaining as it is. Whenever I am bored and need a diversion, I find extremism and its close cousins: insanity and craziness, to be extremely reliable means of getting out of my boredom quickly. That’s insane, you must be thinking. Or perhaps not, if have a YouTube view of the world, as I do. All I need to do is to go to YouTube and start typing “extreme” or “insane” or “crazy” and it will give me an assortment […]

Nothing as entertaining as extremism



sankaran
I had the opportunity to work with the legendary S. R. Sankaran for two brief years when he was appointed as the commissioner of the Supreme Court in the right to food litigation[1].  Sankaran was a legendary ex-bureaucrat known for his commitment to the marginalised and also for his extreme simplicity and humility.  He was one of the rare people who was trusted both by the government, given his long tenure in it, and also by the Naxals who had come to know him well since the time they kidnapped him! Sankaran joined us after his attempt at resolving the […]

Remembering the legendary S. R. Sankaran


Publis & perish
I discovered that the papers that I had written with a lot of hard work were cited only once in the last four years. A note on the academic peril of working hard in writing what will probably be never read by any one. To publish is to perish. Read on.

Publish and perish




An application to send custom auto responses in Gmail Gmail’s Canned responses feature allows you to send fairly sophisticated customised auto-responses based on incoming mails.  First we have to draft different kinds of responses we would like to send and label them.  For example, being the party animal I am becoming, I’d want a mail like, “This sounds great, I am on my way” for any e-mail inviting me for a party.  I will create it and label “Party mail”.  I can then create a filter in Gmail to scan all my incoming mails based on senders, keywords in text, […]

Custom auto-reply in Gmail for grad students and secret lovers



4
Here is your window to some of the best movies in the world, in my perspective. The following ratings are not by a trained movie critic, but by as passionate movie buff. So, if the ratings reflect anything, it reflects my taste. In general, I tend to like movies with good stories, powerful but subtle dialog, good music that’s not conspicuous, acting that’s not overly dramatic and stories that “could have been true”.  I thought of putting it together both as record for my own sake and to share a list of movies with those who may share my taste. […]

List of great movies: India and international (brief reviews)