Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My first soroban class

This Monday I managed to squeeze in time to go to the Japanese cultural center in Siem Reap. It will be a gorgeous building when fully constructed. At present I don't think many people are aware of this jewel in town. Even though it looks like still under construction they are actively doing things for the local community here. My teacher here is a very pretty Aya Urata. The first lesson went well and she was very helpful and encouraging. While checking the answers to my calculation she could do it in her hand just by visualizing and moving those beads in her head. Impressive and I think that is what has drawn me to learn this curious Japanese invention. I got a new Soroban, the pic of which I already posted here and today I downloaded an android app which is fantastic and very responsive on my Lg cellphone. It is nice to have that because it shows in the south east corner of the screen your calculations in decimal digits. I look forward to improve my skills and become a soroban ninja (borrowing a phrase from my student kong here at the international school I teach).

After dreaming

It's 2:34 am and I just woke up after another dream about my father. It was vivid like so many others I have had since his passing away. My dad loved that his house was close to the railway station in fact he loved bragging about that how much convenient it is to take a train to his village. He was lamenting about something. I do miss him. He was a lovely person and made tremendous sacrifices for me to make me a person I am today. Its so easy to give credit to ourselves and our mental resolve and i wonder if i do that. It is because of him and his unflinching faith in me. There are very few people in the world who can match the kind of commitment he showed for me. Love you dad for every thing you did for me.

French update

I am taking a look at Pimsleur's french and it's an interesting approach to learning language. I finished 2 lessons back to back. Which means that now I have something to complement Alexa Polidoro's podcasts

Happy herb pizza

Yesterday i went out with Jackie, Jacques and Sambat to this place and i really liked the pizza. I ate the ice creame today at Lucky Mall.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lunch with Dr. Iyer

Sumptuous vegetarian lunch prepared by Dr. Iyer

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More giant puppets in siem reap

Giant puppet parade in Siem Reap

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dumping in Siem Reap!

This was the first time I had tumbling here in Cambodia, in new Delhi they have taken off in big way. They are now street vendors selling them at various nooks Ann corner of the city. Once street vendors start selling something it means that it is integral part of the city fabric. Thanks to diaspora from states of manipur, nagaland, assam and kingdom state of Nepal for bringing this recepie. I love dumping.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

At viva Mexican restaurant

I ordered this tummy looking Mexican pizza and yes its vegetarian

Class xi work and enjoying Khmer cold drink

After teaching my last class i came directly to cdc

Class x review

A quick snap of the things i wrote on blackboard which sent my students rushing for their phones. I am glad they found it useful.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I gave a retest to my year 7 and now I am about to discuss probability with class 9. For year 9 check point exam we are going over all three books recommended by Cambridge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My new toy

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lundi Matin (French Children Song)

Lundi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons mardi !"

Mardi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons mercredi !"

Mercredi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons jeudi !"

Jeudi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons vendredi !"

Vendredi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' i'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons samedi !"

Samedi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'étais parti, le p'tit prince a dit :
"Puisque c'est ainsi nous reviendrons dimanche !"

Dimanche matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince
Sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince.
Comm' j'n'étais pas là, le p'tit prince se vexa :
"Puisque c'est comme ça nous ne reviendrons pas !"

Friday, February 17, 2012


Its been a while since I posted a blog which I have written on a regular computer. These days most of my blog post flow through my smartphone or iPod. Its weekend again and I am excited about today. In the evening I am going to "Abacus" for the giant puppet show fundraiser. In the afternoon I plan to go to a Japanese restaurant and later to "Common Ground" cafe.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Things I been doing lately

Went to the Thursday night quiz at warehouse. Saw few familiar faces. It's always great to do the quiz thing. I may check the one at Rosy tomorrow. Haven't done much reading though. Coming Monday I should be attending the abacus class. They are using Soreban. Downloaded few more french songs. I really liked the French "lundi matin", "pirouette","promenons-nous dans les bois" and "alouette". There will me more as I get familiar with more songs. I like the way French sounds. Kinda like bengali a soft on ear language.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Great expectation music video

Talking about music there is another one which is favorite of mine it is from the movie great expectations. Enjoy the sublime music


Music is powerful no doubt about it. I am learning some french songs (mostly nursery rhymes) and I have give myself till march end to see. How comfortable I become with the french language.

Reminded me of a gospel music which was fun to watch the first time and since than I have watched it many more times and its just fantastic

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston dies

The big news today is the sudden demise of pop star who brought power opera as her signature singing style dies today. The moment I saw that I knew that is going to be the big news for now couple of days. Like many other celebrities she was also found dead in her hotel room. The cause might again be her drug abuse. It's no denying her untimely demise is shocking. To me her favorite song is from the movie bodyguard.

Waiting for dinner after nerd nite

I am here at India Gate restaurant getting myself a baigan bhartha and garlic nans. It was nice to go at nerd nite and see some of the presentations and I am planing to do one myself next time. I have to make sure it is under 6 minutes and the presentation just focuses on one coherent message instead of the gazillions that I get tempted to. The crowd there is really supporting and certainly the kind I would like to speak to.
I had lost my key at the "under construction" but I found it later. Good people everywhere.

Nerd nite

I went there it was great and even got to try the fire dancing thingy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday sports

Friday, February 10, 2012

Approaching weekend

Tomorrow is Saturday and sports day. I still am vacillating about when to start the "shadow of the wind". I am excited that I have few more .djvu books and the great thing is I can read those without inflating them to PDF format. I know there are several things I should do which will have a much her impact on me and I have to exercise my discretion wisely.

Blue pumpkin, Siem Reap

I am here at blue pumpkin to spend some quite time. The place one close to pub street is good and the upstairs is definitely better. It's air conditioned and the prices are not too expensive. I just had a salad and now this ice creame and brownie and now you can only see the vestiges of the sumptuous dessert I had.

I came across a problem that is interesting. It goes like this that there are grandmasters of chess living in a city. Let's call that city Pnom Penh and there are other grand masters who live in other cities. Now it's already known that there are more than half of the total grand masters live in Pnom Penh. Then if a tournament is to be organized where should it be so the least expense is occurred.
The common sense says that the tournament should be organized in the city Pnom Penh itself but how will you justify that. There is a spin to this question when there are n people lined on a line and where should a person stand do that his total distance if we add each individual distance is minimum.
For the first problem we can use the idea of triangle equality. If there are two towns then the minimum distance is when they are on straight line. Otherwise by triangle inequality we end up traveling more. However between any two points the distance distance travelled will be same. Since more than half of the grandmaster are from the same city. They won't have to travel much if the

Que fais-tu?

Que fais-tu ? It means what are you doing
learning new poems is definitely fun and I am loving the experience. So much has change since the first time I started learning the language. With you tube, podcasts and gazillions of websites including some real good ones like bbc language. It seems that all one requires a desire to learn. Reminds me of an old saying when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Anxiety? Lack of sleep

I am here at Taj Mahal restaurant getting myself a take away. I am getting baigan bhartha and nan. It's already 1/4th of February and I haven't done much reading. The only book I read this month is Sidhartha. There is this book called shadow of the wind which I really want to finish reading. Reviews on amazon are very positive. I know its worth reading as it is highly recommended by Hardeep who I trust. The only thing is I haven't done some serious math reading lately which is making me anxious and swaying away from commuting me to read this book.

I can say that I am happy with my progress in French. I am also doing more yoga. I think I am just missing some nice new problems.

Typing on apple products is lot more pleasant than typing on androi. Apple's predictive vocabulary is far more advance and accurate. On the android it's the opposite it's not fun

Enjoying a quick dessert at blue pumpkin

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Road rage is foreign to Siem reap

One of the most common thing around the world is uncommon in SiemReap and that is road rage. While here people hardly follow road rules they never complain. They smile no matter whose mistake it is. While every where else when people are behind wheel they become aggressive. I think it's more to do with their buddhist culture rather than anything else.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Cheap overseas call

One of the more economical way to call to India and United states is through google talk. It's definitely better than Skype. If you happen to be on 3G network it's definitely very easy. I use talkatone on my IPod to call and the voice quality is most of the time is good. I wish there was something lik this available for android platform too.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Ashok Hall Class 4, 5 and 6 Picnic

This is one of the many memorable pictures I have of my students at Ashok Hall. This is amazing in the sense that I could scoot myself in with almost all the students. This was taken at the terrace of the temple which is about 15 kms from Majhkali its called as Binsar Mahadev. 

Sidhartha by Hesse

I read this first time in 2002. My friend Nanarun Dasgupta introduced me to two different books. One was Sidhartha and the other was illusion. Both left a deep mark on my psyche. I have read illusions now over 5 different times and it was only the third time I reread Sidhartha.

The story has 4 main sections. First he leaves his father's place to become a Sammana. Then he moves in with kamaswami to see first hand the samsara. The third part is when he moves in with Vasudeva the ferryman and the last part is when he has become old and his old friend Govinda meets him again.

Sidhartha begins as a strong teenager who is eager to find out the truth. He is determined and leaves home never to return back. With Samanas he learns a lot of things and the three things that he boast are: Control over hunger, have patience and third the ability to think.

After being disillusioned of Samana's way of achieving enlightenment he says a very unsettling thing to his friend Govinda that all that he learned with Samana is that he could have learnt by throwing himself in to Samsara. The Samana's way is to escape your senses but it still is an escape it's no different than indulging yourself in gambling, fornication, eating delicious food to numb your senses at this point Sidhartha has just met Gotoma. While his buddy Govinda takes refuge in gotama's teaching. Sidhartha wants to go alone and see samsara for himself. He is very confident at this time and proud of himself and his Samnic achievements.
The three things that he is proud of serve him very well. He wins the faith of Kamaswami and excels in business. Unlike Kamaswami to him business is just a game and he is not emotionally into it and that's the reason for his success. He wins Kamala over despite being uncouthed and filthy in appearance. He can think and impresses her with her poem and become a protege of Kamala and ultimately her lover however he is still detached.

In third part we have Sidharta being cloyed of Samsara decides on abounding it and go back on everything and started living with Vasudeva. Vasudeva is a humble boats man who believes in river and has learned everything from listening to the river. It's been a while the news of Gotoma about to die has got everyone wanting to pay their last tribute. Even Kamala wants to see her. She has now become old and has given up her pleasure garden to monks decided to go visit Gotama. An unfortunate event saw her being bitten by a snake close to river where Sidhartha and Vasudeva are living. They try to nurse her back but it's too late. Kamala was just able to introduce her son to Sidhartha before she leaves for her final abode. The proud Sidhartha is now fully enmeshed in the samsaric ways of life. He wants his son to love him. He is no longer helping Vasudeva and all his thoughts and action are geared to earn love from his son who feels trapped living with two old blokes. The harder Sidhartha tries the greater is his fall. In the end his son ends up absconding from his place the way he himself did when he was at his age. Sidhartha goes after him to town to look for him inspire of knowing that it will be impossible to find him. He was later rescued by Vasudeva who teaches him to listen to the river and when Sidhartha finally gets it Vasudeva leaves him for the forest.

In last part he is confronted with Gotama who had taken refuge in Gotama's teaching much earlier is still not satisfied because he fails to see that all things are connected. He finally gets a glimpse of the reality when he was invited to kiss Sidharta's wizened forehead.

Now question is what does this book is trying to convey. First ofcourse is its lot different to just blindly follow a teaching than to experience it yourself. The reason Sidhartha wants to get out of this cycle of life and rebirth is because he realizes that life is just a game every time you are born you are just starting a new game. After all if it's just a game than why should people become so serious about it and finally why should we keep playing this repetitive game. Once you have mastered it, there is no more challenges and it's boring. All our achievements and desires die with each game. So it's just a waste of time and boring to do the same thing over and over again.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Friday lunch

i have gate duty today. I have slight cold or rather should say onset of cold. Today i am eating st this new Khmer food place. It is pretty close to my place. I guess i will be coming here more often. In case you are wondering what i am savoring. This is vegetable fried rice and fruit punch.

Food at Taj Mahal

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Little Victories

One of the best way to feel good I'd to achieve the little goals you set for yourself. Yesterday was one such day that I did something which I have been procrastinating for a while.
I am re-reading Sidhartha by Herman Hesse. I hope to finish it by today I did read on internet about Hesse and how he came to write about Sidhartha. How he isolated himself to find out what real Sidhartha did to attain Nirvana. It's a beautiful story where the protagonist has the name Sidhartha itself the former name of Gotama and his quest to find the meaning of life. I will write more after finishing it

How to call via 3G

As mentioned previously I am still unable to find a google android Daimler. I do have a talkaton on my IPod. On my way back home I realized that my cell phone could act as a wireless router and then I can access Internet using my iPod and can talk to people that way. The first call I made to mom was great. I could hear her and she could hear me too. Recommended of you need to call through an iPod because it has talkatone available. Later on I called several people all over the world using my phone as a modem
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