Thursday, September 03, 2009

Musings of a Laptop Computer

It was sometime in the year 2002 that I was created in a high-tech, aseptic, dust free, and air conditioned assembly line. After I was born several technicians tested my health and ensured that I was indeed alive and kicking. Then I was placed in the soft cushion of Styrofoam and sent to the store where several people came and looked at me. Every time a prospective buyer came I was subjected to all kinds of touches, jabs, and presses till finally one of them decided to take me home. That was several years ago and since then I have been living in and out of a leather bag.

Looking back over the years I feel like having lived a complete life with all its trails and tribulations. From being an object of desire and adulation to being an antiquated slow coach I have been there and done that.

Since the time I was put to work I have been loaded with software and some of them have been removed so that my processors will be less taxed and I will deliver results faster. In the beginning the kids wanted to play games, the teens wanted to watch movies and the parents would want to calculate house hold expenses and communicate with their friends. Now with younger and newer laptops available in the market, nobody wants to spend time with me. They complain that I am too slow, my colors have faded, I don't sound quite right, et al. Sometimes I wish I were faster and sleek like the Pavilion dv4t series from HP. Then they would have continued to love me more and spend time with me.

Recently I heard that HP is offering several coupon deals including a $30 discount on all orders above $150 and above at HP Home Store. The code SV2132 can be used while redeeming and this coupon is Valid through 10/31 or while supplies last. Restrictions and exclusions apply.

With so many offers I wonder how long I will be with this owners before being given away to charity or just sent for recycling???


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Some Hindu Temples in Houston

During last week's visit to Houston we took a little time off to visit a few of the local Hindu temples. There are many and more glorious Hindu temples in Houston, but we didn't have time and also we didn't know their whereabouts. Hence we limited ourselves to a few temples. Unfortunately for us all the temples were closed on Sunday afternoon. As a result I could get pictures only from the outside. Most temples are located in a run-down part of the city and one of them is even occupying an old industrial warehouse. Here are the pictures....

Swami Narayan Temple, Houston

Ashta Lakshmi Temple, Houston - housed in an industrial warehouse

Ashta Lakshmi Temple, Houston - with its typical South Indian trappings

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations in Texas

Lord Krishna, the god of love with his consort Radha

Over the weekend we had been to Houston to participate in the well organized, colorful, and wonderfully scintillating Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations. The festival was organized by Hindus of Greater Houston, a non-profit organization formed to promote Hinduism and remove the popular misconceptions about the oldest religion in the world. The beauty of the event was that there was no fees charged either for visitors or for vendors who kept booths. The only condition however was that only Hindu non-profit organizations were permitted to have booths.

This was the first time I felt a Hindu presence in the United States. Temples and other spiritual locations apart this was the only ceremony which had a pure Hindu feel to it. Part of the feel came from the fact that everyone who entered the auditorium were asked to remove their foot wear as a mark of respect to the deities installed there. Nearly every large temple in Houston had their booth with a picture of their deity or the Utsav Murti. This was one place where we could a glimpse of various gods and goddesses in one place.

The ceremonies were quite similar to those festivities organized in ashrams of modern Hindu Swamis like the Prasanna Trust or Art of Living Foundation. The highlight of the evening was live performance by Ghazal Maestro Anup Jalota who held the audience spellbound by his rendition of devotional songs dedicated to Lord Rama and Krishna.

There were numerous other performances by children, Krishna costume competition and the event was capped up by a Dandia or community dance which went on for about an hour and half. The devotional evening started off at 5.30 pm and continued until 1.00 am. As I came out of the auditorium I was heady in the spirituality and felt really happy that at last I have participated in a proper Hindu festival celebration. I wish similar festivals could be organized in Dallas too and every other American city where there is a Hindu presence.

Ceremonial welcome to guests on a carpet flanked by traditional figures

The center of attraction a mega rangoli with Radha-Krishna idol in the center

Ghazal Maestro Anup Jalota rendering soul soothing devotional songs

Packed auditorium during Anup Jalota's performance

The band of Guruvaurappan temple getting ready for performance

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