Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hi Ned.

The "Hi Ned" part will make sense in a second. So I got an email today from an old colleague asking me about a program I participated in when I was in LA, and to help that person learn about the organization I went looking for the url and then naturally I went to the site.

Now before I finish the story, I'd like to tell you more about the program.
Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program (RVLDP)
The program is a 10 month program that brings together young professionals of varying backgrounds, who are all interested in non-profit board governance, to learn about what is required to run/start a non-profit. There are a range of topics covered from fundraising to legal responsibilities. It was a pretty cool program for several reasons:

1. I met Ned, hence the "Hi Ned." Yes, he reads my blog.
2. It was a great way to make new friends that also live in and around the Los Angeles Area
3. I had the opportunity to intern on the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy
4. I received invaluable advice and information on what is required to keep a non-profit afloat, stay out of legal trouble, and also received a variety of other resources
5. I got to explore downtown Los Angeles (don't screech, it's not that bad =)).

Anyways, so as I was on the site, I noticed my picture pop all of a sudden, not once, but twice. It was pretty cool, considering the only place I ever see my picture online is on facebook.

If you live in LA and want to learn more about the program go here:; I highly recommend it for the reasons above. If you don't live in LA then at least scroll down and look at the glamour that is my class... or not =).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It's where the heart is.

I've been home for about 5.5 days now, and it has been great. I've been busy figuring out what I'd like to do with my life, yes I'm having a quarter-century crisis, in some sense, and besides that I've been eating home food which equals yummy food.

Anyways, I decided to snap some photos of things around the house that came by way of my suitcase on my many travels. They all have a story to tell, just maybe not a good one.

These are glass candies that I brought back from Spain. There was a brief period in my life, when I was obsessed with finding glass candies, I don't remember why or how I became obsessed with them, but now they just collect dust at our house. I also find it strange that I preferred glass candies to the real ones... what a weird kid I was.

These are glass flowers, yes I also had an obsession with them. Again, I don't know why, but I wanted them oh so badly. I can't remember where I got these, but I do remember having them freshman year of college, and I also remember my dad being super annoyed when he had to help me lug them home. Some broke along the way =*(.

This is called a 'matli' in my language, maybe in Hindi too, anybody know? I bought this while I was on holiday in Mahabalashwar. It's a hill station in India, and if you have never been to one, I would highly recommend going. Anyways, I found this along with another matli I brought back, at a random shop on a rainy day. The other one is at my apartment, and one day I'll get around to posting a picture of it. My sister's favorite color is purple, hence the purple colored matli.

This matli brings up another thought. Indian woman who work at airline ticket counters, are gate agents, security officers, or air hostesses hate me. I don't get it, but they just love to give me a hard time. As soon as I go to a male counterpart of theirs, my life is hunky dory, but these woman just love to give me attitude. It's really freaking annoying, and trust me I'm not stereotyping, I have tested this theory about 6 times now.

This is probably one of the coolest and most personal things I have brought home. My aunt, Nina Foi as I call her, made this for my dad. She has an amazing artistic ability, so do a number of other people in my family, unfortunately I only aspire to have the abilities they have. She made this painting of Ganesha by painting acid onto a mirror. Isn't that amazing? I don't think my picture does justice to how intricate and artistic this piece of work is. Thanks Nina Foi!

Friday, December 26, 2008

X-MAS (Holiday) MEAL.

A number of people have asked if my family celebrates Christmas. Sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say no. Why? Because we celebrate the "holiday" aspect, but not the religious. Anyways, as some of you reading this know, I surprised my mom for Christmas. I was planning on coming home on the 26 because I had to work and tickets were too expensive, so naturally she was very sad. And then my manager, Jen (THANKS JEN!!), let us know that we could work from home on the 26 so the surprise was all set. My sister picked me up from the airport, my dad asked her to have me ring the doorbell. My mom, like me, is extremely sensitive (some people like to call us drama queens, we prefer sensitive). She came and opened the door, stood for what seemed like a minute trying to figure out who I was, and then started to cry. OMG... BIIIIJUUUU she yelled (yes she yelled). It was great to see her so happy. She has had a hard year, we all have, so it was nice to put a smile on her face and "happy" tears in her eyes. And yes, I shed a few tears too.

For our Christmas dinner, we had one of my favorite things to eat, Bhel Puri. If you have ever been to Mumbai, it is readily available on the streets ( Though I wouldn't recommend eating it from there unless you have an unbelievable immune system) but the savoriness of this dish satisfies all of your taste buds. If you are ever in Houston, visit my house because my dad makes the BEST (well in my opinion) this side of the Atlantic, or Pacific depending on where you are coming from. In other cities any Chaat house should serve a yummy version. It's made by combining puffed rice, a bunch of chutneys, sometimes unripe (catchy) mangoes, onions, sev, and some other stuff...

I had the wrong lens on when I took this picture, so its not that great, but it'll give you a decent visual of this delectable dish.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All I want for Christmas are SOCKS.

... and a slanket, but let's talk about the socks first.

I know what you are thinking, every year you get socks as a stocking stuffer or even the main gift and you totally think "this is lame." I probably would too if it was the only gift I got, but not this year. I called my mom yesterday and told her I really wanted socks, my toes have been crazy freezing this year, not unlike most years but more so than before, hence the socks.

Now she will head off to our local department store or Target, and she will buy me a pair of warm fuzzy socks (Thanks Mom =) ), but what I really want are these:
Are these not the coolest socks you have ever seen? I am in LOVE. I would ask my mom to buy these, but she is not an online shopper, and I'm already asking for a gift, therefore it would be rude to ask her to change her shopping habits. So, if anyone else owes me a gift, these pair of socks are under $10 (but would be valued much higher to me) and can be purchased here:

And the second item on my list, which I didn't tell my mom about, but have told others about with no luck, is the Slanket. I learned about this genius of a product from my friend Julie Picquet (btw she is applying to law school so everyone wish her luck!!), she is also known as LJS (10 points to whoever can figure out what LJS stands for). Anyways, I agree that this product might be overpriced, but it looks so comfortable. And for those of you that know me, there is one thing I love to do, wrap myself up with a blanket, sit on the couch and watch stupid chick flicks like John Tucker Must Die. The link to the slanket is here:

If you have spare change, feel free to email me and I can give you my address =).

Signal Red.

The American India Foundation has a Digital Equalizer program that brings digital education to thousands of children in India.

Through this program and Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) kids have a chance to make documentaries on a variety of topics.

Watch this video made by youth at Vidya in Delhi.

When I saw this short documentary, I was immediately reminded of Slumdog Millionaire. I'm not sure if you have gone to see this movie (if you have, let me know what you thought), but it is phenomenal. It was directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandon and is based on the book Q&A. The movie underlines some of India's biggest socio-economic challenges. It has received attention all around the world, and will hopefully be nominated for an Oscar. Regardless of who you are or whether or not you have been to India, this movie is a must see. The children who act in the movie actually live in the slums themselves and are incredibly cute and hopeful. I am confident that you will walk away from Slumdog Millionaire touched and inspired.

To learn more about the Slumdog Millionaire go here:

To learn more about AIF or the Digital Equalizer Program go here:

To see more AYV videos go here:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get a Clue.

What was your favorite board game growing up?

Take a guess as to what mine was... I'll even give you a clue:

Get it?? No but seriously the picture is actually a clue... because my favorite board game of all time is CLUE (Parker Brothers' version). I loved playing this game so much I use to want to be a detective, but then I discovered I disliked blood so there went that dream.

In any case, I was at Restoration Hardware a couple of weeks back, not by intention but more because it was the quickest way out of the mall. As I was walking to the exit, a huge wooden box with the words "Clue" caught my eye. At that moment I fell in love with the game all over again. So I waited a week or two, happened to be walking through Restoration Hardware again and bought the game for 40% off. It was awesome. I've played it twice now, but there were only two of us so it wasn't as fun. If anyone wants to play, let me know!

Also, I think my picture that just zooms in on the word "Clue" is much better than my attempt to take a picture of the wooden box...thoughts?


I took a picture of these leaves from Srivatsan's balcony... I thought it looked pretty cool with the reflection of the water in the background. Any thoughts?

By the way it is freezing here in the Bay Area. I didn't realize how cold it would get, since everyone always says the weather in California is great year round, they lied!

I have had to pull out my heavy duty, puffy, black, down (fake) jacket. I have been called everything from Marshmallow to Michelin in this jacket. Although I might look semi-ridiculous, and not trendy, it keeps me way warmer than you... so EAT THAT!

In case you don't know who or what Michelin is, I've provided a picture courtesy of
And no, I don't think I look like a marshmallow or Michelin Man/Woman, considering my jacket is black.

Facebook & Email.

Hi Friends/Supporters/Enemies ( I hope I don't have any of the latter),

I just wanted to let you know that I created a facebook group called Mousambi. Feel free to join because you like Mousambi, or because you don't mind supporting me in my crazy ways. Anyways, get all your friends on board... please =).

Also, on the upper left hand side of the page, there is now a way to subscribe to my blog via email. If you subscribe, on the days I have updates, you'll get an email telling you to come check out my blog. It also helps make my blog more "popular" so feel free to subscribe.

And... if you signed up as a follower that doesn't mean you'll get email notifications, so you should subscribe at the top as well.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis The Season.

I imagine several subsequent posts to be influenced by holiday cheer... It's quite evident that people aren't as cheery as last year, but everyone should just take a minute to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

These are identical photos, one has just been taken in black & white, let me know which one you like better...


These are orchids that sit in Visa's Foster City Lobby ( I work in their San Francisco Office). The security guard and guest sitting in the lobby thought I was weird for snapping shots of these flowers, but hey, I saw their potential and thought I should give them the attention they deserve.

A Pleasant Surprise.

I showed up to work today and found an amazon package on my desk. I didn't order anything from Amazon, so what could possible be in this package?

Any guesses??

...It was Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Set. I thought to myself, did this come with my camera, because I swear I didn't order anything. And then I turned over the receipt only to find that it was sent by the one and only - Ms. Esra Cosar.

I am so excited to get home and start reading!!!

For those of you who don't know Esra, she worked at ZS with me, was born in Turkey, is extremely beautiful, and is one of my bestest friends.

Thanks Esra, I love you =).

Monday, December 15, 2008


I know, I know... you've probably heard this song 10X over, but frankly I think the song is great. At first I thought the lyrics were about taking drugs, but after further analysis its seems to be about a boy, the point is, the beat is awesome.

This is a great song to dance in your cube to (just ask my colleague Catey). That's right, take a 4 minute break, let your hair down and just move it, shake it, or I don't know what else (please remember you are in a work environment and ALL movements should remain professional).

On that note, turn up the volume (after plugging in your head phones) and enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Darjeeling Limited.

Although I haven't seen the movie, apparently mousambi made an appearance in Darjeeling Limited. Check out Benjamin's post:

All the Marmalade: Sweet Lime, As Seen in Darjeeling Limited

My Coat.

I decided to post a picture of my coat because I get so many comments on it... it's one of the coolest articles of clothing I own.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

1st Photos.

These are some of the first photos I took with my SLR... as I take interesting photos (or what I think are interesting photos) I hope to post them and get your thoughts.
Small collection of books

Peacock for real

A cup of joe