In Western musical theory a cadence is a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. Cadences give phrases a distinctive ending. An analogy can be made with punctuation, with some weaker cadences acting as commas, indicating a pause or momentary rest, while a stronger cadence will then act as the period, indicating the end of the phrase or musical sentence.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Those cute little hands... glittering eyes and loads of sad it is when a child with all these qualities suffers from a disease at a young age..Ronald McDonald House (  is one such organization that provides health care to children from underserved communities. It was beginning of this year that a friend from IVGRAD came up with a plan to give a moment of joy to this children as they enter the hospital for their treatment. We decided to hang a huge chandelier made of paper cranes which might draw the attention of the children coming for their treatments and make them feel happy...Over 8000 cranes were folded over a period of 3-4 months and it was during last month that we hung it at the Ronald Mcdonald's House near Stanford.. It was truly an amazing task.. revealing the love and affection for one another..


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home away from home...:-)

It was great time today...when I was invited by a tamil family in the Bay Area for a dinner on the occasion of thanks giving. It is customary that the volunteers of the Hospitality program at the International Center in Stanford invite students to their home every year during thanks giving for a dinner or lunch. THis year I was lucky to be invited by Mr. Narayanan and Mrs.Veena a wonderful couple who have been in the Bay area for the last 13 years. It was very kind of them to pick us up from Stanford and drop us back after dinner. I was very happy that they had prepared the authentic Indian food, Uthappam, peanut chutney and dahi chutney. It was awesome..I had till my stomach was full... Also the couple were very lively and they shared a lot of their experiences over the last few years..They had a baby girl recently and it was so cute.. Although it was a very short visit..I was really happy to have met such wonderful people in the Bay area....Thanks to the Stanford Hospitality program...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving dinner with Masala Dosa !!

It  was really cool to celebrate the American thanksgiving with traditional south indian dishes.. I invited three of my friends from Stanford for the thanksgiving dinner at my apartment. I thought it would be a real fun to have people around on this wonderful day, sharing their thoughts and hanging around. So I planned out several dishes for this occasion. Masala Dosa with Sambar, Vegetable Biryani, Semiya Payasam, Thayir Pachidi and wonderful sweets and savouries from Rangoli Sweets. It took me about 4-5 hours to get all this things done. I have never tried this stuff before, but took it as a challenge and with my mother's support over skype I was able to do all this stuff. I also managed to setup a thanksgiving table within my small apartment. Used a bit of my imagination to put up some candles and greeting cards..

JJ Just before the party, I looked around my apartment and I can't really believe that it was my apartment. It was so neat and organized. I took a video of my own apartment because I never know when I will see it back in this form :-). Anyways so I had my friends come in and it was a wonderful time with them.. Esp everyone loved the Masala Dosa.. definitely it tasted awesome..After about 2 hours of dinner and chatting I took a sigh of relief and sat back and thanked for such a wonderful time and lovely friends. I wish there were many more wonderful moments like this in my life...

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ethiopian Frankincense

There are a few days in your life that are memorable..and that lingers in your mind..for ever..Today was one such day...Me, Nola and Kassa (My friends from IVGRAD) set on an adventurous mission to attend an Ethiopian Church service on this sunday morning.. The service is at 7:30 and it takes about 40 minutes to get there by car.. So for the first time after coming to stanford I woke up at 5:45 AM (midnight!!)  and we all started by 6:45AM. We had lot of fun on the way.. Coming from a hot and humid climate back in India..I always get fascinated about foggy and misty weather..Our drive thru US 101 towards San Jose was mostly foggy and I just said to my friends that It (the fog and stuff) was so beautiful... That's it..Nola (an American) was surprised and started making fun at me...for her the fog isn't very special and ofcourse she was driving and isn't very admirable for her :-) ..anyways it was all fun and we reached the church. The people there wore a white robe around them (both men and women) before entering the church and you are supposed to leave your footwear outside, unlike the other American churches. Kasssa was an ethiopian and I with my complexion (? :-) ) fitted the place very well but Nola looked different among others..anyways Kassa gave a few instructions to her about the service and we departed and can't see each other for the next 4 hrs (!?)..Because the men and women have to sit in separate groups . The service started and it was very similar to the orthodox churches in India.. But i have never attended a full orthodox service in India.. This is my first time.. The priests wore ornamental robes and a golden hat.. Most of the text was sung rather than being read (which is the case in many Lutheran and other Protestant churches). And every now and then the priest had a incense bowl using which he came around all the people in the church and spread the frankincense.. Wow i just looked at the ceiling to see if there is any smoke alarm..Thank God there weren't any..Definitely they would have got special permission from California state government.. It's been more than hour and we were still standing..Kassa was standing next to me..and probably he would have noticed me pulling out my legs and feeling tired, asked me to sit and told me that he will let me know when to stand.. And for about an other hour there was continuous recital of verses.. Then the priest came and gave the sermon..which I couldn't understand( of course  I can't -  But later after the sermon I was surprised to see Nola - could guess the theme of the sermon - she is a linguist !!). Also I felt bad that I couldn't control my sleep..After all that, finally came the church choir and they sang a few wonderful songs..Although I couldn't understand it I joined with them in clapping the hands..It was really wonderful..with huge drums and music.. Finally after getting the blessings from the priest we came out and had some bread and tea.. During that time Nola was sharing the funny experiences she had... It was a truly amazing time.. I was really fascinated to see the different ways with which people worship God..It was really amazing..So after all the frankincense Nola offered us a thanks giving treat in a nearby Ethiopian restaurant.. I was taken by surprise when i found that the food..esp the spices tasted pretty much like that of the south indian food...(It could be possible because the south india and Ethiopia are in the same latitude May be ?) It was an awesome lunch and during the lunch we just had a game where in I wanted them to spell the word 'thamizh' in my mother tongue.. They couldn't get the 'la' part of it..It was total fun.. and Nola in turn gave me some word from Texas english accent..something like 'shudder down' and i didn't get the '..eeeerrrr' part of it correctly.. It was all fun on the way back to Stanford...In return I invited them for a dinner on Wednesday (26th Nov) at my apartment...There will be three people and American, African and an Asian (Korea)... It's gonna be real fun...anyways it was a wonderful day .....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I can't believe this...!?

I can't believe that Apple can be so unreliable...I expected it to work perfectly atleast for the first few years. Although I like the general ergonomics of the Hardware and the elegance of the Mac OS X, I'm very annoyed with the strange sound that the system makes when the processor gets very busy and this happens like once in a week or so....Although this is a bearable..but I never expected this from Mac...I'm not sure if others are experiencing the same problems or is it that I'm the unlucky  one to fall out of the 6 sigma quality range? Anyways having said that today something strange happened....Everything was going fine with the laptop and i wasn't running anything crazy..and suddenly the My MAC seemed it has fallen in love with Windows..I meant that I came up with a scree..saying Press the Shutdown button to restart... the only difference being it was a black screen and not Alt+Ctrl+Del....I had to restart my machine.... I don't know what's wrong with MAc..anyways I hope this doesn't continue with my cutie...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Latest Favorites

For the past few weeks I have been addicted to a couple of songs that I came across through Rhapsody.. Both the artists are young and really talented..You really got to hear them....

1. Rivers Flow in You by Yiruma from the Album First Love - God I can't believe how beautiful and mesmerizing the music is...Watch in Youtube

2. Crush from the latest youth sensation David Archuleta - He is just seventeen and his voice is just awesome. In fact this is debut album after his stunning performance in the American Idol and he has already become one of the chartbusters.. Watch  it in Youtube

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At last...

Ya it's true...Stanford isn't a joke... especially if you are in the first quarter of your Electrical Engineering Graduate degree...Days just pass by within a blink of the eye.... Anyways I'll try to keep this page updated as and when i find time..currently i'm trying to get into a rhythm with my classes, assignments, Quals and my research. Although it looks much harder now... i guess things might get better (hopefully :-)) in the coming months....cya later... 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cooking at Stanford

The day after I moved into Stanford I realized that I will have to go hungry if I didn't start cooking. But I waited until my roommate arrived. So that day we decided to cook  in large quantities and keep it for 2-3 days. It took about 1 1/2 hours for me to cook. He helped me in cutting and I did all the cooking. I never know I could cook this good.. I made the Tamil Nadu Special Vathakuzambu, Potato Kuruma and Cauliflower fry. All came out to be excellent. So I thought it would be great to capture those moments.. Thanks to Mom's Recipe book... 

17 Mile Drive...

You know I love to travel a lot..The same spirit continued after I moved to Stanford too.. And it always helps when your close friend owns a car! So there we were three guys set out on a weekend trip to the 17 Mile Drive at Monterey California.. It's a long drive along the beach with a numerous scenic spots abutting the Pacific Ocean. It took about an hour and a half for us to get there. The drive on Hwy 17 was spectacular. It's full of twists and turns but with hills on both sides.. You could not enjoy such a scenic beauty if you were to take the US 101 although it might be a bit faster.  The 17 Mile drive is a part of the Pebble Beach Resorts and a privately owned estate and hence you will have to pay a toll of 10$ to take a drive although its free for bicycles. You will also get a map to locate the important places around. The last entry time is 7pm and there is no restriction on the exit time. There were lot of scenic locations on the way, beaches, rocks, beautiful trees etc.. Most of the land is used for Golf and infact many of the top Golfers in the world are members of the Pebble Beach Golf Association. The US Open 2010 Golf is scheduled to happen here. After enjoying a few spots we headed on to a Cafeteria.. We in fact made a mistake by not packing our lunches as the food there was both tasteless and expensive.  We then walked on to a Golf Club which was written as Open to Public. but then the person there told that we should not get in to the grasses as there is a game going on.. Infact most of the places there are written as  "Private Property and No Trespassing". Then we moved on to the mist hyped attraction of the beach, the Lone Cypress. It's a Monterey Cypress tree which has stood the hard climate of the Pacific for the past 250 years. The symbol of the Lone Cypress has been copyrighted by the Pebble Beach Club and cannot be used for commercial purposes.  By 4pm were done with most of the places. We then headed on to the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. It's a place about 6 miles from the 17 Mile Drive where huge butterflies called Monarchs migrate from different parts of America to that place in Winter to get shelter from the freezing cold of the North. They hang around the tall trees in clusters and would be a wonderful sight to watch. Unfortunately it will be an other couple of months before they come here and we returned disappointed.  It was time by then and we started our way back to Santa Clara via Santa Cruz. We just stopped for about 10 minutes in Santa Cruz to have a look at the beach. Santa Cruz by itself could be a single day activity..My friend was very kind enough to give me a ride back to my apartment. It was a wonderful trip. but what I felt about 17 Mile Drive is that it's a very calm, serene and a romantic place. So spending time with your girl friend would be the ideal thing to do.. If not one could go with his family and enjoy in the beach.. But for boys some kind of adventure lacks in the 17 mile drive....:-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Having a wonderful time..

I'm having a wonderful time here at Stanford. Although it's been just over a week since I moved in.. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable. Especially because of the fellowship I have with the Intervarsity Christian Graduate Fellowship. Their meetings have give me real confidence to lead  my future life. Every one of them have a wonderful helping heart.. I thank God for these wonderful friends. Infact I just wrote a mail to the group asking for a bicycle. Within a day I'm here in an apartment with a bicycle..that too for free! There were like ten people who were ready to help me in that.. Also it just happened that I met an Indian in the WalMart showroom. He happened to be an employee of Apple for the past eight years. I was on a good mood that day and some how he was impressed in the way I was talking. So he took my contact numbers and left.  After he left I thought that I could have talked to him regarding Interning @ Apple the next summer. But today, surprisingly he gave me a call asking if I would be interested in attending a seminar in Sunnyvale where a great entrepreneur of the bay will be talking to people. He said it would be a good opportunity for me..I felt really good... I thank God for all that he has given me till today...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Locked Out of my Room

The door bell rang and I went to check at my apartment door. It was service person who had come to repair the cable TV connection. The request had come from apartment 517 which is mine. But i never did it. While I was having this conversation, I just realized that I was outside my door and the door was about to close.. Before I could realize what is happening, the door latched and there I am standing on my bare foot.. with no neighbors around and just a stranger who serves the apartments. He was very kind enough to take me in his car to the Housing office and dropped me back in my room. Thanks Mr... I was juz wondering what would have been my plight if I were to be in my underwear standing outside that door....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sambar at Stanford..

Having starved on day one at Stanford, I bought all the utensils and groceries required for cooking from Walmart and India Cash and Carry. Thanks to Sasi for having helped me in transporting the stuff to my apartment. It was a bright morning and the beginning of the week. After energizing myself with some cornflakes and egg..I started to prepare my lunch. I made a delicious (truly ! you should have tasted it..) sambar and carrot fry. The only issue was I cooked lots of it that I need not cook for the next two days... After a heavy meal I slept like Kumbakarna..and woke up only to see the Sunrise, the next morning......

My New Cutie

The next day after I landed in US.. I realized that the life is harder without a laptop. Because to look for shops, bus routes, contact nos I had to have internet. Thats when I headed straight to an Apple store to fulfill my long awaited dream of joining the elite group of people who own a MacBook. I never expected the dream to come true so quickly as I got my MacBook delivered right into my hand in less than 20 minutes. And it was certainly a jackpot as I got a rebate on Apple iTouch and a printer as a student. I walked proudly out of the shop and reached the hostel carrying the laptop and the printer all the way without realizing that I had been carrying a load of more than 10 Kilos for about 2 miles. And getting the internet to work on my laptop was like a piece of cake. Once I started Safari I was taken to the Stanford site to register my laptop and boom..I got the internet up in five minutes. The time was about 3pm and I hadn't taken neither break fast nor lunch. The truth being the campus had no good restaurants around. So I started off immediately to my friends house in Santa Clara to spend the week end.....

Moved into the Promised Land

It's been a long time I wrote something on this blog. I hope to keep it updated in the days to come. Today I would like to start with a good news that I finally moved in to Stanford to start my Graduate Studies at the Electrical Engineering Department. After a month's stay at home, with the usual entertainments of eating, sleeping and cinemas the d'day came on 24th August 2008 when I took a flight to Singapore from the Chennai Meenambakkam airport. I took a break journey for three days in Singapore to meet my best pal Maggi. It was a memorable trip there although he tortured me with his typical Rajini dialogs. I took off from Singapore on 28th August and reached San Francisco on 28th, after changing flights in Hong Kong. It wasn't a new experience for me as I had been to US a couple of months ago. The Super Shuttle, a shared van drive arrived on time and took me to Stanford for just $30. Things are very perfect in US, as my apartment keys were ready when I arrived. It had been a very long journey and slept peacefully on my bed..not knowing that I had to starve the next day....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Booking for My First Flight Ever

My VISA was granted on 29th March. I had been doing quite a bit of survey on flights to US. I had to go to Seattle for the conference and also visit Stanford. Further I had to meet my close friend Maggi in Singapore on my way back. So I chose to fly across pacific rather than atlantic. Since I had to break my journey I was of the notion that I had to make separate bookings between Chennai - Singapore and Singapore -San Francisco. However it turned out that, when I contacted a booking agent he told that I could take a break journey on my way back for how many ever days I want. This fixes my airline to be Singapore Airlines. I was expecting this to be a very costly affair but it turned out to be cheapest fare Rs 60,200 for the complete journey. Further Singapore airlines is well known for its food and other facilities. In addition I accidentally happen to see an agent called STIC travel who provides discount for ISIC cards. That saved me an other 800. Finally I got my ticket booked for the best airline at the cheapest rate. Further since my booking is till US I get a baggage allowance of 2 X 32 Kgs right from Chennai.

Gate pass to meet Big Brother

I guess it's been a long time since I posted anything on this page. I hope to keep it updated from now on. My hard work during the Master's got me a paper in ISCAS 2008, and international conference at Seattle, Washington, USA. By the grace of my prof. I have got all the necessary funds to attend the conference on May 18-21st 2008. As u all know one has to get a VISA to enter into Big Brother. I worked about two weeks to get all the necessary documents (approval letters, hotel reservations, air travel itinerary etc..) ready. I had booked an appointment with VFS on 27th Mar 11:45 pm. I was a bit worried about the scorching sun in chennai and the long queue one has to endure while waiting for the interview at the Chennai Consulate. I went there ahead of time by about 9am. To my surprise the VFS authorities told that I could make use of the lounge facility available at a km distance from the consulate and there is a van pick up and drop from that place. I had heard about it some time ago but was not very confident about this service. Of course it comes at a cost of Rs. 200. But I would say it is worth it. On arrival at the VFS lounge, I was subjected very strict security check. You are not supposed to turn on your mobiles while you are in the lounge. After paying the required amount, I went into the lounge and deposited my bag at the counter and relaxed in the chair under the comfort of the air conditioner. While in lounge u have a large wide screen television to entertain u, a Cafe Coffee Day shop and a rest room and dressing room facilities. The fee includes a free cup of coffee and a sandwich. You can also get your documents ordered and checked by the VFS authorities in the lounge. This helped me because I had taken my photograph with eye glasses and there was a glare in it. There was a photographer next to the lounge where I could take a new photo without my glasses for a fee of Rs. 100. About 15 minutes before the interview time you will be called for boarding the vehicle to the consulate. I was called at 11.30pm. At the consulate, I was a bit doubtful about my DS 156 and DS 157 forms as I had filled them wrongly while doing it online. However the person in the first window told me that I could do the corrections before i submit it to the consulate officer. I did all the changes and went to the BEP counter meant for B1/B2 Visa. The consulate officer was a fat American. I was standing in the queue and I could see he was intimidating some of the kids and young people who were standing ahead of me. However I met him and gave the required documents. Luckily he asked me a very few questions like ' What is the purpose of your visit'. 'What is the paper about?' 'How long will you stay in US'. I had forgot to take a copy of the paper with me, but managed to brief him about it. After a few seconds I was relieved when he said 'Your VISA is granted and will receive it in three business days'. I went back to the lounge with happiness and relaxed there for some time before I left that place.