“Sully” – Movie Review

The movie, Sully is centered around the incident that came to be known as “Miracle on the Hudson”, where Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) with his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) is forced to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River and manages to do it skillfully, saving every single passenger on board.

Within minutes after takeoff, US Airways Flight 1549 had a head to head collision with a flock of Canadian geese and the airplane lost all power. Under tremendous pressure to save lives of all on board the airplane which was now quickly losing altitude, Sully decided to land in the vast expanse of the icy Hudson, something that had never been successfully done before.  Prior to the decision, he quickly considered a return to LaGuardia or the closer Teterboro airport in New Jersey and decided that both those possibilities were more risky with a real chance of losing lives on board and on ground, if the airplane would not make it. Landing in the river would make it possible for rescue workers, choppers, and ferryboats to come to their quick rescue.
Image result for Sully

Clearly the miraculous landing was celebrated in the media and Sully was hailed as a hero. But privately, behind the scenes, Sully’s actions were coming under scrutiny by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB began to grill Sully and his co-pilot relentlessly. At first, Sully was certain but over time, the double guessing began to take its toll and he had moments of doubt that he shared with his wife Lorrie (Laura Linney).  

Image result for Sully
Sully is a modest man with years of flying experience under his belt and he does not shy away from the attention, neither does he crave it.
Tom Hanks does a tremendous justice in his character as Sully, playing it with just the right touch of subtlety and show of confidence. Special kudos to Louisa Abel, Makeup department head, for excellent job on the makeup where Hanks comes as close to looking like Sully as he possibly could.  This is a beautiful movie that restores our faith in the power of human decision making which supersedes technology, although that may be true only when a person is equipped with experience to carefully (and albeit quickly) consider various alternative scenarios and pick the one that may be just right to avert the disaster.  On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie as 4.7 .



Leave a comment

Then they came after us….

Obama was not born in US, they said
They wanted birth certificate and proof
But there was no proof that satisfied
This topic President Obama abandoned
joked, ducked, deflected, ignored and laughed
But there was no trending hashtag
POTUS fought his battle alone
Even as the country’s business he handled

Rosie O’Donnell rudely insulted
Bill Maher was sued
Machado fat shamed
Judge’s ability questioned
Khans arrogantly maligned

We were silent and they got bolder
Not just individuals were picked
Latinos were rapists, muslims to be deported
Central Park 5 were not to be believed
Law and order, stop and frisk to be instituted
Oil to be stolen, Wall to be built
Forget leadership and let countries nuke each other out

In lies, hate was wrapped
In fear, bigotry neatly packaged
He and his surrogates conspired
Party of honest Abe gave them platform
Alt right carried him to term

Flush with cash
Smug with support
His ego bloated beyond bounds
He truly believed he was the chosen one

And that is when it happened
That is when they came after us
Stories of countless women insulted and groped
Victimized, shamed and violated
Left alone to pick up pieces of their lives
This time in a pot of fear, his lies we couldn’t bury
Women were scorned and hell hath no fury
More he victim-shamed us, more we spoke
His lewd banter sounded more like a confession
We weren’t about to reward him with White House mansion

But we had long been silent, we’d given him a long rope
He needed to be contained long long ago
We needed to stand by our black brethren
Support Latinos and Muslims, not just Lutheran
Now we need our brothers, husbands and sons
To support and stand by us

When women became target of hate
Polls tell a sad story
We were forsaken by our men
Disruption, hate and mayhem
Would have a field day
If only men were to vote today
Their campaign of divisiveness
Have literally pitted families against families

For a while, the patriarchs expressed outrage
Then accepted his apology with “grace”
First they were as aghast as us
They tried to distance themselves from him
Thought their outrage might rein in the monster
Then they protected him, negated, dithered
Unendorsed, supported, loved and hated
Until it hurt and they ran out of words

Image result for ugly monster with orange hairNow this monster, his surrogates and alt-right
Are likely to swallow the patriarchs and spit’em out
Minimizers are getting minimized
Diminisheres diminished
Conservative values are up for a toss-up
Everyone and every value is a target
Ryan now, next may be Newt
The party that gave him platform
Surrogates that brought him to term
Can’t rein him in, couldn’t contain
Everything up for grabs in this hell storm
Diminishing circle with Carson, Giuliani, Pence
Will have plenty of time for penance
Throwing out all decent values, they yet stand by their man
Protecting their jobs, to hell with the nation

The monster that tapped on our feelings of vulnerability
On fear, terror and our longing for security
He mocked disability
He and alt-right shaming us with vulgarity
Now we fear the loss of humanity
In our homes, society, community

They came after us
They’re coming after you
Engulfing each one
Soon it’ll be a party of one

One! Who could’ve been silenced
Hushed long ago, his lies exposed
One! Who grew into an avalanche
Creating his support base from fringes of alt-right
‘Cause we let him, with our silence.
Then they came after us!

1 Comment

“We are proud to present” – Play Review

Colonialism and racism are intertwined with notions of superiority, subjugation and reducing people to less than; sometimes driving them to extinction. Doing justice to even one of these two connected and complex, heart rending topics, in a short performance, is a massive challenge. But focusing on both, in one theatrical performance?

img_20161012_223048146.jpg“We are proud to present” written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, currently playing at San Jose Stage, presented in association with the African-American Shakespeare Company, does just that.  Art and life merge as White Man (Coleton Schmitto), Black Man (Edward Ewell), Another White Man (Brandon Leland), Another Black Man (Ae Jay Mitchell), White Woman (Lyndsy Kall), and Black Woman (Oluchi Nwokocha) encounter their own personal prejudices, while rehearsing for their roles for a performance focusing on 20th century genocide in a little known place in Africa.

History is most frequently written by those in charge and there exists little documentation about the episode that occurred between the years 1904 and 1907, in modern-day Namibia, then a part of German South-West Africa.  The performers are trying to bring the episode to life, based on few letters. Dubbed one of the first genocides of the 20th century, this was a campaign of racial extermination and collective punishment undertaken by the German Empire. When the Herero rebelled, they were driven out into the desert, where most died of starvation. Then the Nama people rebelled and faced a similar fate. Between 24,000 and 100,000 Herero (about 80% of Herero) and 10,000 Nama died during those few short years. After defeat, thousands of Herero and Nama were imprisoned in concentration camps, where the majority died of disease, starvation, exhaustion, and abuse.  

However, those looking for a deeper focus on the genocide episode will be disappointed. From the starting point of colonization and discussion on how to bring the episode to life on stage, art and life merges and the play morphs into impact of race in the current time. Given less documentation of the events surrounding the episode and thus given less structure, there is much discussion of where to put the focus and who should play which role. Tensions begin to mount and conflicts appear as their personal biases makes it a fully subjective experience. It is when one unravels the strands of history, that one finds that history is intimately linked with the present. And to those who experience life on different terms, peeking into history is often a stronger, more emotional experience.

On a little sidebar note, in the currently heated election 2016 season, candidate Donald Trump’s transgressions, reminded many women of their own encounters of sexual minimizing, leading to big gender gap in recent polls. For some women, events as far back as 30 years or more into their life, seemingly felt like they happened yesterday.

Directed by L. Peter Callender, the play gives a deep insight into the layered conversation that exists about race and subjective and deep feelings people have in society. Bitter and vehemently fought election campaigns this year, have often focused “bigly” on race and bigotry.  The play will make you uncomfortable but also take you on a journey of self-reflection. Tickets can be purchased at www.thestage.org .

Leave a comment

You must think of the company you keep #Election 2016

After all the arguments are done, and when I have asked if none of the things that Trump has said or done bothers them enough to not give their vote to Trump in #Election2016, then I have heard from some people still planning to vote for Donald Trump that they feel all right because nearly 50% of the country feels that way too.  Aside from the fact that it is the lamest argument in a democracy where the responsibility falls individually on each one of us, and historically people have given away their lives and livelihood for the privilege to vote and not be led through a herd mentality, even then, you must also think about which 50% you want to be with.

Image result for election 2016Atlantic Monthly a relatively new anti-slavery magazine, three years after it was found in 1860, endorsed Lincoln, a Republican, for President, and then after 104 years, in 1964, they made another endorsement for LBJ for President (out of horror of the opponent Barry Goldwater and his cavalier attitude towards nuclear weapons and civil rights). For the third time in its history, the magazine endorsed Hillary Clinton and unendorsed Trump.

USA Today has never taken a position on a presidential election in its 34 year history as a newspaper that you often get at your door in most hotel chains. In its first ever endorsement, it urged readers to vote for any candidate not named Donald Trump. Since its start in 1890, Arizona Republic has only endorsed Republican party candidates and never ever endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Saying that “this year is different”, for the first time, it endorsed Hillary Clinton, over Trump.

You have heard it all.  From media outlets to newspaper publications to journalists to business leaders to billionaires, to political leaders (including eminent Republicans) have given their endorsements to Hillary Clinton.  As far as I know, only Ted Cruz, one Silicon Valley business leader, and one apparently little known magazine has endorsed Trump.

Image result for basket of candiesYes Hillary Clinton’s word choice was very poor in calling some of Trump supporters as “basket of deplorables” but really — think about it…………… ALL of Trump’s words and actions have hovered on utterly trashy and deplorable.  Now do you want to stand with him and his basket of deplorable behaviors, simply because nearly 50% will do it?  Just imagine this basket filled with skittles where each candy stands for Trump’s “deplorable” behavior like sexism, lewdness, sexual harassment, racism, mocking physical disability, fat & age shaming women, insulting gold star veteran family, and the basket is now overflowing.

If it was any other Republican candidate, then I would fight vehemently against them but also BUT I would understand why you’d want that person as your first choice.  I would understand that we differ in values.  While I would fight to uphold my values, I would also understand that you are fighting to uphold your values. But you must ask, does Trump reflect your values; your character as a person? He has never stood firm on any issue, so which of your values he reflects? For instance, if you care for immigration reform then do you seriously believe that a man who has flip flopped his entire way through the campaign and advanced the most bogus, impractical, unenforceble solution of an expensive, physical wall, reflects what you stand for? If you believe in law and order then what specific solution he has proposed and stuck with it, besides rhetoric? If you believe in his toughness and his leadership in the world then what strategy proves his skill other than him saying “he’ll take a walk from negotiation” and praising thugs like Putin?

I am going to turn around his rhetoric of “what do you have to lose” and ask you, what do you have to lose in NOT VOTING FOR TRUMP? You are afraid Hillary will appoint liberal judges? Well then what? If you are against LGBT and afraid that they will get a right to marry then I understand your fear. But wouldn’t a small part of you say, well how bad would it be? In any case, the nation is moving towards that and after Barbara and Jenny moved in next door, you’ve realized that they are great neighbors and what they do in their bedroom does not affect you in any way?  

What have you got to lose in not voting for Trump? Even someone Trump had mentioned and might have nominated for Supreme Court judgeship, has now requested Donald Trump to step down. I am trying to say that I understand your fear because I would fear that my values will not be upheld with a conservative leadership. But shouldn’t it be more important to us all that a leader is wise and mature, cares for the country, behaves with some minimum decorum and propriety and has some experience in leading the nation?

If you would not leave your young daughter in a room alone with #DonaldTrump, is he the man you’d want to lead our country? If you are a woman or respect women then do you want a man to lead us who has called us worst imaginable names, fat shamed us, age shamed us, engaged in sexual harassment using his position as a lever, claimed to have sexually overpowered (assault) women (just because he can), and objectified us by referring to us as our genitals with words like c*&^ and p&%$^. Haven’t each of us women experienced at least some of that in real life and want our leader to move us forward, not backward in time? If your brother, sister or friend struggles on a daily basis with physical challenges, do you want a man who mocks handicapped people to lead our nation? We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to our veterans and do you want to send our sons and daughters to war, under the leadership of a man who has ridiculed a gold star family, flip flopped on his being pro and anti war?

In fact, even if you are vehemently against illegal immigration and are ignoring all deportations done by Obama administration, EVEN THEN, I AM SURE YOU ARE NOT A RACIST, because I refuse to believe there are 50% racists in this greatest and most diverse nation in the world. Would you want a man to lead our country who has branded an entire group (with the exception of some), with a broad brush and called them murderers and rapists?  In your heart do you believe that even all illegal immigrants are murderers and rapists? You know it is wrong and you know that someone who stereotypes so many groups of people in most “deplorable” terms, will do that some day to you, to your group, to the group that you love or belong to.

I ask you millennials: you may be somewhat unfazed by what he dubs are his “locker room banter” comments; you are young and you may have heard it all; but think again. It is as if your grand father talks like that and speaks of grabbing your girlfriend. And you must know, Donald Trump doesn’t care for your future. One wonders if he even cares for his own children, discussing his own daughter’s breasts and ass in a public forum. Donald Trump is no Bernie Sanders. Imagine your parent discussing your body in a public forum. Think of how many of you could have gone to college without raking up loans, if he paid nearly a billion dollars of his share of taxes. Girl friends, if his latest, most demeaning comments on women bother you then as woman to woman, I implore you to not give this man your vote. 

Don’t fact check, don’t listen to what you hear from the media that you don’t trust. But at least listen to Donald Trump’s own words and let your conscience guide you in doing the right thing. Pay close attention and listen to him speak in the debate. All of you are bothered, very much concerned, annoyed and have agonized about all he has said and more. I am reaching out and asking you, “what do you have to lose” if you don’t give your vote to Trump? Let the chips fall where they may.  Put a small crack in that number – “nearly 50% of the country voting for him” and it will crumble faster than you can blink an eye. 

Leave a comment

“Little Night” by Luanne Rice – Book Review

Image result for little night by luanne rice“Little Night” by New York Times Bestselling author, Luanne Rice is heart-wrenching family drama, centered around two sisters and the abusive man who wrecked havoc in their life.  Frederick finds a vulnerability in the older sister, Anne and almost within days of meeting her, proposes to marry her.  Almost immediately he begins to lay down the rules in their relationship, insisting that marriage is a special bond between two people.  To young Anne, this older and confident man’s proclamations felt like he was “offering me a new contract: I would be his, accept his pronouncements, and in return, never be alone, never be unloved”.  

Very early on into the relationship, Frederick saw the closeness between his wife Anne and her younger sister Clare, as a threat to his ability to control and claim Anne completely.  He began to drive a wedge and soon Clare was unwelcome in their home and unable to contact Clare.  It took Clare several years to understand that “Frederick had laid down the law, and, even more horrifying, Anne had signed on to obey it”.  But long before she gets that insight, Frederick nearly ruined Clare’s life when Clare showed up unexpectedly at their home, wanting to see her sister.

Image result for domestic abuseAfter that devastating episode, Frederick took Anne far away and more isolated and alone, Anne learned to walk on eggshells to please Frederick.  Any little thing by Anne or their two children, Grit and Gilly, could throw Frederick into his dark and menacing mood.  Initially, Clare nurtured a hope to get away from Frederick and promised her children freedom.  But gradually, it became a pipe dream with an understanding that communication only occurred only through “intimidation and fear”.  And yet, even Anne’s showing any fear threw Frederick into a rage; “you make me feel like an animal when you act like that”, he said, “as if you’re so afraid of me”.  

Image result for owlMeanwhile Clare had picked up pieces of her own life, marred by Frederick’s interference, and was living a quiet life an urban birder and nature blogger, learning to find both comfort and peace in her work and with her boyfriend, Paul.  The story takes an unexpected twist when Anne’s daughter, Grit shows up at Clare’s door, ready to move in with her.  She explains she is working on a project that has “everything to do with resurrection, restoration and resurgence”, as found in nature.  As they unravel tangled family ties buried in secrets, healing and freedom begin to appear, albeit at a price.


, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Mr. India (a grand musical) by NAATAK – Play Review


Written and directed by Sujit Saraf, this grand production, interspersed with dances and ear catching lyrics, is truly amazing.  Very special kudos to Dance Director, Niharika Mohanty and Music Director Nachiketa Yakkundi for bringing to life this grand musical in a very memorable way.  Although the dialogues and lyrics are all in Hindi, timely and apt English translation appears right above the stage so non-Hindi speaking people are not likely to miss a single dialogue.
wp-1474043149574.jpg wp-1474043149573.jpg

It starts with a story of Gopal.
कौन है ये गोपाल? उसका जवाब नाटक से ही लेते है. दिल्ली में है लाल किल्ला उसके पीछे यमुना की धार, उसकी बगल में है गोपाल पांडे की छोटी सी दुकान. छोटासा एक चाय स्टोल, आगे लगी लंबी कतार.  Half blind, bumbling tea seller, Gopal Pande is a simple man.  But he gets caught in the historical events that unfolded following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India, in 1984.  Her assassination led to the country being thrown into chaos of anti-Sikh riots.  खून का बदला खून से लेंगे, हर सरदार के रुपये दस. wp-1474043149576.jpg

This play is a hard hitting satire on democracy.  Churchill once argued that democracy “was the worst system except for all the others.”   Churchill also said, “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.  Indeed in the current election season in the US, we can see how divisive the country has become and how easy it is to sway the public, so that the polls tip the balance in favor of one candidate one week and the next week, numbers are reversed.

wp-1474043149572.jpgSo how does a humble tea seller get caught in the momentous events unfolding in India, after the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi.  There was a need for a strong political leader to unite the country and bring calm but instead the election resulted in a hung parliament in 1989.  Set during that turbulent period in history, the play depicts, ultra right BJP and left leaning Congress in bitter rivalry.  BJP is spreading lies about Congress and vice versa.  हम करते इंदिरा विरोध , समझे उसको मूर्ख अबोध, मुसलमान को देती किरपा, हिंदू मर्दों को निरोध.  Forces on the left and right are seeking to find a right leader to back, who could be manipulated and also who would be most easily acceptable to the public.

naatakThis foolish, uneducated simple man, Gopal becomes their object of attention.  We can see some parallels with the current elections where someone widely deemed unfit has become nominee of one party.  Sujit Saraf is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant directors.  Natraj Kumar in the role of Gopal is outstanding.  Also very special mention to Production Designer, Snigdha Jain for her vision in depicting the set as one big mural.  And kudos to Props Director, Savitha Samu and Sets Director, Ashish Divetia.  It is one of the best and one of the most complicated set I have seen on stage at Cubberly.  With a huge cast, complex set, big music and dance teams, the performance was flawless.  Shows are playing to sold out audiences.  If you don’t have your tickets then get them fast at www.naatak.com .

Leave a comment

JOBS – September, 2016

img_20160913_100250028.jpgAll US based opportunities require valid US work visa and prior experience in biomedical industry.  If interested in any opportunities below, please send me an email (resume as an attachment) at wd_darshana at hot mail dot com and include position title in the subject line.  Please include in the email, how well the description matches your background and where the gaps are, if any.  If you identify the position that correctly fits your experience & geographic preference and include in the email details on how it matches your background, your current comp and comp expectations, then it will get my first attention.  All leads or referrals are greatly appreciated.

Director of Mechanical Engineering – San Jose, CA

There is an opening for Director of Mechanical Engineering, for a medical device company, located in San Jose, CA.  The position requires 12+ years experience in Class II and III medical devices and substantial  background and depth in polymer science, in addition to a solid hands-on engineering background in mechanical engineering.

Reliability Engineer – Milpitas, CA

There is an opportunity for reliability engineer with 8+ years of experience in aerospace, military or related industries.  Ideally a background with some combination in polymer science, material science and mechanical engineering preferred.  This will offer an opportunity to work on something truly exciting and life changing, with a great team.  Stock options will be a huge upside in this opportunity.

Physiologist/ Pharmacologist with In-Vivo Experience: San Jose, CA

A dynamic company, founded by a veteran leader, involved in the development of drug-device combination products for treating chronic diseases, has an opening for a Biologist. This is once in a lifetime kind of an opportunity to work on exciting technology with game changing potential. The candidate must have hands-on research experience including in vivo experience esp with large animal models during their doctoral and post-doctoral training period. The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in Physiology/Pharmacology or any other related Biology discipline or a DVM with research experience. The individual is expected to have a breadth of experience in both in vitro and in vivo biological research supporting various drug/ device development programs across multiple therapeutic areas including CNS, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  The individual will support and work with external institutions including CROs and academic institutions especially for conducting in vivo studies in small as well as large animals. Additionally the individual will set up and run a variety of routine in vitro research paradigms in house as needed such as isolated tissue and cell-based assays as well as quantitative assays for small molecules, peptides and proteins using techniques such as FTIR, HPLC, and immunoassay. The individual will work with a multidisciplinary team of experts and provide biology support with minimal supervision on various ongoing projects.

DVM working for either a mid-sized CRO or industry could be a good fit.

Technician – San Jose, CA

This position supports the development, commercialization, market release, and post release support of a family of products that perform water quality measurement and treatment for pools and spas. The scope of work includes laboratory and testing, prototype fabrication, manufacturing process and equipment development, and field testing of product. This funded, early stage start-up has a mission to create a family of novel IOT products to fill an un‐served market.

Duties include:

  • Conduct test and collect data both in‐house and in the field
  • Assemble prototype products
  • Fabricate and/or modify components for testing
  • Inspect incoming mechanical and electronic components and raw materials  
  • Handle hazardous chemicals
  • Manage inventories of raw materials, components, and chemicals
  • Clean and organize workplace
  • Maintain a safe workplace for self and others
  • Troubleshoot and perform analysis of failed hardware
  • Build and set‐up production and test equipment
  • Calibrate and maintain equipment  
  • Assist engineers and scientists as needed

Hard skills:

  • Math skills (High School level minimum)
  • Computer skills (e‐mail, Word, and Excel, CAD experience a plus, Linux experience a plus)
  • Operate electronic and mechanical measurement instruments  
  • Comfort with IOT products communicaĕng to smart phones
  • Soldering electronic components
  • Plumbing
  • Capable of lifting 30 pounds unassisted
  • Operate machine shop equipment
  • Perform laboratory measurements including interpreting color strips (cannot be color blind)

Soft skills:

  • Fluent in English  
  • Good attitude  
  • Meticulous record keeping
  • Keeps workplace clean and organized
  • Safety oriented (understands industrial safety)
  • Enjoys being creaĕve
  • Takes direction readily
  • Able to direct self when other direction is not provided
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Interested in and enjoys early‐phase start‐up experience
  • Wants to learn and grow professionally as the company grows


  • 5‐15 years with a variety of experience as a calibration technician, maintenance mechanic, electronics technician, or R&D technician
  • Consumer product experience
  • Familiarity with pool care is a plus

Analog Engineer – San Jose, CA

This opportunity requires 8+ years of analog design experience, preferably for class 2 and class 3 medical devices.  It is a senior level opportunity ideal for a candidate who has passion for hands on engineering and is good in managing a team.

Firmware Engineer – San Jose, CA

This opportunity requires 8+ years of firmware/ embedded systems experience for class 2 and class 3 medical devices.  It is a senior level opportunity ideal for a candidate who has passion for hands on engineering and is good in managing a team.

Patent Attorney – San Jose, CA

In-house opportunity in medical device company with disruptive technologies to solve pressing health problems, requires 15+ years of medical device patent prosecution experience.

Patent Paralegal – San Jose, CA

The position will be assisting in-house counsel working on USPTO and foreign filings, office actions, assignments and other related USPTO filings for a variety of medical device and pharmaceutical related patent applications. They will be proofing and editing patent applications and office actions and prepping office actions. They will be developing and tracking dockets (US and foreign), filing on line assignments, working with the deposit accounts and reviewing IP related documents and agreements.

Field Clinical Engineer (FCE) – Germany ( several locations: North Bavaria and Thüringen)

Requirements: BS in Engineering, Science or related; 5+years experience with use of invasive cardiovascular medical devices; knowledge of device-based cardiac rhythm & heart failure management; Prior experience working with clinical studies; Ability to quickly analyze & resolve clinical/technical issues; Frequent traveling to investigational sites, corporate offices, investigator meetings &  industry meetings.

* Develop a strong rapport with clinical sites by acting as consultants to support the site’s needs.
* Responsible for supporting all field-based activities at clinical sites.
* Drive enrollment by ensuring that investigational sites receive the necessary support in order to enroll, implant, and follow patients in a manner consistent with the clinical protocol.
* Support implant procedures and follow-ups at clinical sites
* Share clinical / technical experiences with other personnel in order to improve understanding of product behavior, improve product performance and product acceptance by customer.
* Communicate activities and issues at clinical sites with other company personnel
* Fulfill all administrative requirements including the collection of relevant technical data and completion of necessary documentation

Leave a comment

Tale of two Americas influencing #Election2016 & Open Letter to Hillary Campaign

Here’s something to think about… the country is soooo divided that Americans are living two distinctively different realities; it is almost like they are living in two different nations.

America 1

Imagine that you live in the Appalachian mountains off of Virginia or Ohio.  Jobs in mining and manufacturing that were once plentiful are gone and no one has offered you re-training to operate in a different reality that has been emerging.  Opioids & alcohol are easily available to dull your pain (in fact, in parts of Ohio, first time more people are dying from opioid addiction than natural causes).  You see yourself as having no future; the best is behind you. You are enormously proud of your heritage, hard work ethic, and your religious values.

Church used to be your anchor but now church attendance has fallen; you have no anchor. You just want someone new at helm in this country, to shake things up – you don’t care how or who it is as long as the person talks to you in a language you understand and holds someone; an outsider responsible for your plight. Your current reality is so painful that you believe you once lived in a phenomenal nation, and you are losing it to outsiders who steal your jobs. Perhaps you don’t see many immigrants where you live, but you hear statistics of jobs being offshored, terrorists rarely target your geographical areas and you don’t often see women in hijabs but you hear about terror attacks when they happen and it scares the s*&^ out of you. Lowering or raising federal minimum wage has no impact here because there is no economy, no jobs. If someone tells you they will build a wall to keep immigrants out then it resonates with you.  If someone promises to bring back outdated mining jobs back, you are filled with hope.

America 2

Now imagine  you are living in a place like Silicon Valley in California, a place on the cutting edge of innovation.  There is a different social and economic reality.  You work with Muslim engineer, Chinese American scientist, Mexican American patent attorney, Iranian American realtor and your child’s teacher is lesbian.  These people are not aliens but your next door neighbors and share similar interests and values, as you.  Price for 2 BR condo in newly built (and fraught with problems), millennium towers in San Francisco costs around $2M and when economy tanked in 2009 (right after George Bush left office), California was hit harder than Ohio and Indiana.  The number of people filing for bankruptcy protection in the first quarter of 2010 ranked California at number one for bankruptcy protection. Right after Florida and Nevada, California also had one of the highest foreclosure rates with 1 in every 192 houses being foreclosed.

I can personally vouch to the impact of extremely high unemployment, while living in a state where everything is more expensive.  Both my businesses died.  I offered recruitment and soft skills training, but no one was hiring and no one had budget for soft skills training.  In 2009, I made less than $10,000.  I sold my house and while my business continued to remain in a nearly dead mode, in 2010 and 2011, I pounded the pavement for hourly jobs at Starbucks etc. for which I was always considered overqualified.  But California is back in business and so am I; better than ever before.

How did California do it?  I think California did it by leveraging the global trends and with a unique blend of cutthroat captialistic competition and compassionate socialism.  Corporations may not be people but both companies and people in CA exhibit this blend of competition and compassion.  I have some more thoughts on this and if I am not distracted by other things, I may study this more and write another blog.  But for this post, I want to focus on what is required of a political leader to bring the two Americas together. 

Open letter to Clinton Campaign

Henceforth, Ms. Clinton must maintain a laser sharp focus on issues that matter in the swing states.  All focus should be solely on large percentage of undecided voters who swing back and forth between Trump and Hillary.  Stop talking about how racist Trump is or that he is adhering to Alt-Right.   More people learn how racist he is, more votes it is getting him. Trump’s entire candidacy is based on inciting hate and division and taking his message to the masses is only enabling him.  Besides, he has so much air time, everything he does and says is covered.

While American women would largely care for issues like equal pay for equal work, do not focus on sexism in Trump campaign.  In California, I saw ads targeting women, with mention of Trump’s abominable remarks denigrating women.  But California is tuned in already,  In the swing states, there are likely to be more women in committed relationships and more than right to choose and equal pay, they care more for jobs for their husbands.  Still for many, it is a man’s serious and primary responsibility to earn a living.

Do not mention immigration.  Trump has made entire immigration dialog in the country about sound bites (big wall, beautiful wall, Mexico will pay for it, deporting etc.) and more confident and more racist his sound bites, more they are striking a chord.  He effectively created an environment of fear where soundbite solutions are very appealing.  I don’t believe Ms. Clinton can give any effective soundbites on immigration.  That is simply not her style and people are not in the mood to listen to logic on this issue.

Do not mention environmental issues.  While this has been President Obama’s crowning achievement, it does not figure in top 10 priorities when you put it on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Americans are generally more present oriented but are certainly focusing squarely on short term and immediate benefits during this election season.  The more Trump talks about how things will change on November 8, less concerned people are about benefits to future generations.  

Also, do not focus in the debate on Trump’s lack of foreign policy experience.  Americans often care little about foreign relations.  President GHW Bush made great strides in foreign relations and he got little credit for it.  Besides Trump scored a victory looking Presidential in Mexico.  More than that, no one cares.

Image result for maslow's hierarchy of needsThink of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that goes from fulfillment of basic needs and only after they are satisfied, it progresses to focus on social needs.  When people’s basic needs of healthy food, clean water, and safety are not satisfied, focusing on social issues like women’s rights, race relations, immigration, pay equality, and equal rights for LGBTQ, are a luxury they can’t afford.  While Trump may be trigger happy to get access to the nuke button, for America 1, it does not feel like a looming disaster; instead, it enhances their feeling of safety.

Here are the issues that Clinton campaign should singularly focus on.  

Focus on JOBS

Image result for jobsForget all incredible and horrific things said and done by Trump that make him unfit to be the President. Stay singularly focused on jobs and the economy and his lack of concrete plan to create jobs.  In his post convention interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump was questioned about jobs.  See clip below at 11 minutes, where Trump when asked why he brings in people from overseas to work at Mara Lago resort in Florida, he tried to duck the question by taking talking about other companies offshoring jobs and Stephanopoulos keeps bringing the discussion back to his issuing almost 500 offshore visas since 2010 and Trump deflects it again saying everyone does it because they can’t find American workers.  Hummm, they can’t be re-trained for low level jobs then how is he going to pressure Samsung and Apple to bring skilled jobs outsourced to Indian and Chinese engineers at fraction of the cost, back to America?  Use this clip with Clinton’s concrete plan to continue to create job growth in America.  This is not a sensational piece of news that elite media (largely favored by America 2) will play over and over but you must capitalize on.


Respect & concrete benefits to America’s Veterans

Image result for war veteransAmerica owes to our veterans.  But that sincerity must be expressed with something more tangible than “America loves you and is deeply grateful to you for your service”.  If one vet feels strongly enough to give away his purple heart to Trump then that is one too many vets disillusioned, and whom we must re-engage with.  Our vets must have certain level of job security, access to constant retraining, access to healthcare, including easy access to mental healthcare.  There must be early intervention before PTSD takes an enormous toll on their lives and the lives of their loved ones.  Talk about how Obamacare has enabled easier access to healthcare for so many people.

Access to mental healthcare and PTSD treatment

Image result for PTSDTrauma has become a significant part of modern life.  It is not only our vets who need access to treatment for PTSD, but also foster care children who are often shuttled around from family to family, from one location to another.  Children who witness domestic violence, often suffer from PTSD, while their needs may be completely ignored at home and outside.

Concrete plan to deal with opioids and other drugs

 Image result for opioid addictionAs mentioned above, in parts of Ohio, first time more people are dying from opioid addiction than natural causes.  Obama administration and FDA has been deeply concerned about escalating use of opioids and other drugs but how frequently do we hear from Hillary campaign about the plan that is in process?  For instance, the Obama administration is making it easier for doctors and law enforcement to use anti-addiction drugs.  FDA is putting in place steps so that companies seeking approval of any new opioids, must include abuse-deterrent properties and appropriate labeling. But more importantly, there are concrete steps in place to deal with current trends of opioid abuse, including additional training to prescribers on pain management and safe prescribing, encouragement for abuse deterrent formulations, make naloxone more easily available to treat opioid overdose, and encouraging new class of pain medicines without the same risks as opioids.  Ms. Clinton must relentlessly address opioid abuse and significant strides being made under Obama administration to counter that.  

Finally, I humbly suggest that Hillary campaign and the media stop playing over and over and over Trump soundbites that show his racial, gender and other biases – contrary to people being turned off by such bigotry, in the climate of fear he has created and the foundation of hate he has laid, his bigotry gives people a feeling of safety and hope. Considered dialog detailing the history of events and people as done by Rachel Maddow and others and late night shows (Colbert, Noah, Bee, Oliver and others) that point out ridiculous aspects of Trump messages with humor, are however excellent.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Gujarati Story: “અનુરાગ” – Chapter 7

આ વાર્તાનું  ચેપ્ટર સાતમું અને છેલ્લું ચેપ્ટર છે.  આની પહેલાના ચેપ્ટર નીચેના લિંક ઉપર વાંચવા મળશે.
chapter 1 – http://bit.ly/2b6t9Gw
chapter 2 – http://bit.ly/2bpzXgh
chapter 3 – http://bit.ly/2bKsUmb
chapter 4 – http://bit.ly/2bVwYBf
chapter 5 – http://bit.ly/2bIoXfC
chapter 6 – http://bit.ly/2bqY3tJ

પ્રેમની પરિભાષા – Chapter 7

ચંપાબેને આલિયા ને કહ્યું કે તેઓ મારી જોડે થોડો સમય વિતાવશે તો તને ખાલીપો નહિ લાગે?  આલિયા કહે “બેન હું તો રાહ જોઉં છું કે છોકરીઓ કોલેજ જતી થાય અને મને મારા માટે થોડો સમય મળે.  મને કાવ્ય અને સાહિત્ય માં એટલો રસ છે પણ સમય જ નથી મળતો।  અને ઉપરથી તેમને સંભાળવાના.  પ્રેમ હોય તોયે જીવનમાં થોડી સ્વતંત્રતા પણ હોવી જોઈએ “.  

પહેલી વખત કરસનલાલ ચંપાના ઓરડે ગયા ત્યારે મનમાં થોડો શક અને સંકોચ હતો.  ચંપાની અલમારી ઉપર એક ફ્રેમ માં ફોટો જોઈને તેઓ ચૌંકી ગયા।  તે ચંપા ને કહે “આ ફોટો?  સુનામી માં બધુજ તારાજ થઇ ગયું હતું તો આ ફોટો કેમ તને હાથ આવ્યો?”  ચંપા કહે “હું, તમે અને માસા  માસી જોડે આપણા લગન ને દહાડે લીધેલ એક ફોટો મેં બધા ફોટામાં થી સરકાવી લીધો હતો અને તેને વાળીને મારા પાકીટ માં થોડા પૈસા સાથે મારા બ્લોઉસ માં મારી છાતી સમીપ રાખતી હતી.  સુનામી માં બચી ત્યારે તેમાં રહેલી વી રૂપરડી ખુબ કામ આવી પણ પછી તો આ ફોટા એ જ મને જિંદગી જીવવાનો મારગ ચીંધ્યો।  જયારે હતાશ થાવ ત્યારે તમારા ચેહરા જોવ અને  એમ લાગતું કે જાણે તમે બધા મને આપણા વંશ ઉપર લક્ષ્ય રાખી ને જીવવાનું કહો છો.”  કરસનલાલ ચંપા ના ખોળામાં માથું નાખીને ધ્રુસકે ધ્રુસકે રડી પડ્યા।  

કરસનલાલ ક્યે પણ આપણો એજ વંશ, મારો એક નો એક લાડલો દીકરો મારી સાથે વાત પણ કરતો નથી.  એક બે વાર તેમણે  પ્રવીણ જોડે વાત કરવાની કોશિશ કરી તો પ્રવીણ બોલ્યા વગર ચાલ્યો ગયો.  ચંપાબેન ને લેવા મુકવા અવાર નવાર ઘરે આવતો અને રત્ના જોડે વાતો કરતો પણ કરસનલાલ ને જોઈને તરત વિદાય થતો.  ચંપાબેન ક્યે “નાનું લોહી છે ને આડોળાઈ કરે છે એમાં તમે દુઃખી ન થાવ.  ધીમે ધીમે ઠેકાણે પડશે”.  

એક વહેલી સવારે ઘંટડી વાગી અને દરવાજો ખોલ્યો તો સામે પ્રવીણ ઉભો હતો.  તેના હાથ માં મોટા મોટા પેકેટ હતા.  આલિયા કહે “આવ આવ બેટા।  બહુ સમયસર આવ્યો છે.  જોગાનુજોગ આજે ત્રણેય છોકરીઓ ઘરે છે અને આજે હું બિરયાની બનાવવાની હતી અને મને ચંપાબેન કહેતા હતા કે તને બિરયાની ખુબ પસંદ છે”.  પ્રવીણ ક્યે “તમે આજે રહેવા દ્યો।  આજે તો રસોઈ કોઈ બીજુંજ બનાવવાનું છે”.  સમજ ન પડતા બધા જોઈ રહ્યા।  ત્યાં તો રત્ના આવી.  તે કહે “બોલ પ્રવીણ શી સરપ્રાઈઝ છે?”  તે ચંપાબેન ને કહે “જુઓ માસી, ગઈકાલે કોલેજ માં મારી લેબ ઉપર આવેલ અને મને કહી ગયો કે નગીના, મલ્લિકા અને તું બધાય ઘરે રહેજો અને કોઈને કહેતી નહિ પણ એક સરપ્રાઈઝ છે”.  પ્રવીણ કહે “સરપ્રાઈઝ એ છે કે આજે તમારે ત્રણેય બહેનોએ ભાઈ માટે રસોઈ બનાવવાની છે.  આજે રક્ષાબંધન છે ને?”  ચંપાબેને ત્રણે બહેનોને રક્ષાબંધન શું હોય તે સમજાવ્યું અને કહે પણ રાખડી તો છે નહિ.  પ્રવીણ ક્યે હું બહેનો ની ભેટ સાથે રાખડી પણ લઇ આવ્યો છું.  પછી ચંપાબેન ત્રણેય ને લઈને રસોડામાં ગયા.  તેમના માર્ગદર્શન અને મદદ સાથે તેઓએ રસોઈ બનાવી।  આલિયા ક્યે હું રસોડા માં જાવ પણ પ્રવીણે તેમને જવાજ ન દીધા।  પ્રવીણ, આલિયામાસી અને કરસનકાકા જોડે વાતો કરતો   રહ્યો.  અંદર રત્ના કહે “માસી મારો ભાઈ પણ ખરો છે ને પહેલા  ડેડી જોડે વાત કરતો નહિ અને હવે વાત કરવા બેઠો તો ઠપાકા માર્યે જ જાય છે”.  ચંપાબેન ક્યે “એના ડેડી જેવો છે, આપે ત્યારે તન, મન અને હૃદયથી બધુજ આપશે”.

પછી તો ઘર ખાલી થવાને બદલે ઘણી વખત ભર્યું ભર્યું થઇ જતું।  જયારે છોકરાઓ ભેગા થાય, તેમાં આ ચાર જોડે, રત્ના નો ફિયાન્સે અને પ્રવીણ ની મિત્ર સવિતા પણ જોડાય।  આલિયા કરસનલાલને કહે “સારું થયું કે આપણે ડુપ્લેક્સ ન લીધું।  આ ઘરમાં મોટું ફળિયું છે તે સારું કામ આવે છે”.  તેમાં અચાનક પાકિસ્તાન થી અમ્મી અને અબ્બુ આવ્યા।  તેઓને મળીને ચંપાબેન ખુબ ખુશ થયા પણ તેમની લથડતી જતી હાલત જોઈને તે આલિયાને કહે “તેમને અહીંજ બોલાવી લે ને.  ત્યાં બેન સૌ બાજુમાં તો નથી અને હવે તેમને બાજુમાં સહારો હોય તો જ સારું પડે”.  આલિયાએ કરસનલાલ જોડે વાત કરી અને પછી અબ્બુ અમ્મી જોડે વાત કરી.  અબ્બુ અમ્મી એ હા કહી અને તેઓની ગ્રીન કાર્ડ વગેરે ની કાર્યવાહી શરુ કરી.  અમ્મી અબ્બુ રહેવા લાગ્યા અને ચંપાબેને તેમની પુરી સેવાની જવાબદારી પોતાને માથે લઇ લીધી।  તેઓ કહે “મારુ આખું કુટુંબ સુનામી માં ચાલ્યું ગયું અને મારા સદ્ભાગ્ય કે મને પાછા મારા માતા પિતા સમાન અમ્મી અને અબ્બુ મળ્યા”.  ત્રણ ચાર વર્ષમાં અબ્બુનું અવસાન થયું અને પછી છ મહિનામાં અમ્મીએ વિદાય લીધી।  તે પછી ચંપાબેન, આલિયા અને કરસનલાલ લગભગ 29 વર્ષ સુખેથી જીવ્યા।  પુત્ર પુત્રીઓ ની અમુક વિધિઓ પણ તેમના ફળિયામાં કરી અને પૌત્રો અને પૌત્રીઓનો હર્યોભર્યો સંસાર માણ્યો અને એક દિવસ હાર્ટ અટેક માં અચાનક કરસનલાલનું અવસાન થયું।  તે પછી ચંપાબેન અને આલિયા બહેનો સમાન એક સાથે જીવનના આખરી શ્વાસ સુધી જીવ્યા।

આ વાર્તાનું  છેલ્લું ચેપ્ટર છે. વાર્તા અહીં પુરી થાય છે.

1 Comment

Gujarati Story: “અનુરાગ” – Chapter 6

આ વાર્તાનું છઠ્ઠું ચેપ્ટર છે.  ટૂંક સમયમાં વાર્તાનું સાતમું અને છેલ્લું ચેપ્ટર મુકીશ।  આની પહેલાના ચેપ્ટર નીચેના લિંક ઉપર વાંચવા મળશે.
chapter 1 – http://bit.ly/2b6t9Gw
chapter 2 – http://bit.ly/2bpzXgh
chapter 3 – http://bit.ly/2bKsUmb
chapter 4 – http://bit.ly/2bVwYBf
chapter 5 – http://bit.ly/2bIoXfC

“પ્રેમ ને ઠોકર નહિ મારુ” – Chapter 6

પછી તો અવાર નવાર ચંપા બેન આવતા થયા.  એક દિવસે આલિયાએ ચંપાબેન ને રત્ના ના જન્મ દિવસ ની ઉજવણી માટે નોતર્યા.  ચંપા ક્યે પ્રવીણ તો આવશે નહિ પણ મને કમને મુકવા આવશે।  આલિયા ક્યે તમને બધા મિત્રો પણ મળશે અને હું ઓળખાણ પાડીશ કે આપણે બાળપણની સહેલી છીએ.  ચંપા ક્યે હું હિન્દુસ્તાન માં ઉછરેલ અને તું પાકિસ્તાન માં!  આલિયા બોલી તે વાત સાચી.  હું એમજ કહીશ કે અમે બાળપણ થી પેન પાલ્સ, કલમ મિત્રો છીએ અને સુનામી માં ચંપા બેન ના માં બાપ ગુજરી ગયા પછી હું હંમેશ તેમને મારે ત્યાં આવવા બોલાવતી પરંતુ પાકિસ્તાન કેમ આવી શકે અને હવે આખરે અમેરિકામાં મળવાનું થયું.   આ બાજુ રત્ના પોતેજ પ્રવીણ ને નોતરું આપવા ગઈ.  પ્રવીણ ક્યે રત્ના આમ તારો બિલકુલ વાંક નથી પણ હું તારા ડેડી ને મળવા માંગતો નથી.  રત્ના ક્યે તે આપણા ડેડી છે અને હું તારી બહેન છું.  પણ એ વાત જવાદે.  આપણે આટલા નજીક ના દોસ્ત બની ગયા તો એ દોસ્તી ખાતર તું આવ.  ઘણા મિત્રોને તો તું મળીજ ચુક્યો છે અને મારા બોયફ્રેન્ડ ને પણ મળ્યો છે.  મોટાઓ સાથે તારે વાતો કરવાની જરૂર નથી.  

એ પછી આલિયાએ અમ્મી અને અબ્બુ જોડે વાત કરી.  અબ્બુ કહે “આલિયા તું આ ઉંમરે તારી આખી જિંદગી શાને માટે ઉથલ પાથલ કરે છે? અને પછી કોઈ મુશ્કેલી આવશે તો તું રખડી જશે બેટા।  તું આવું પગલું ન લે”.   આલિયા કહે “અબ્બુ, તેમને મારા માટે કેટલી લાગણી છે.  તેમણે બધી વ્યવસ્થા કરેલ છે. મેં ખુબ ના પાડી છતાંયે બધીય મિલકત ના બે ભાગ કરીને એક ભાગ મારા નામે જુદો રાખી દેવા માંગે છે. અને અમે નવું ઘર લેવાના છીએ તે પણ તે મારા જ નામ ઉપર લેવા માંગે છે અને ક્યે છે કે હવે પછી ઘર ચલાવવાના બધાજ પૈસા તેઓ જ ખર્ચશે”.  અબ્બુ કહે “બેટા, હું પૈસાની વાત નથી કરતો.  પણ તારા હૃદય ઉપર ઘા પડશે તો તેને કેમ કરીને રુજાવીશ”?  અમ્મી બોલ્યા “તમે કેમ સમજતા નથી.  આ ઘા તો કરસનલાલ ના હૃદય ઉપર અત્યારે પડ્યો છે અને તેનું દુઃખ આલિયા ને થાય છે.  આ તો આપણી સમજુ આલિયા મરમ પટ્ટી કરે છે.  મને તો આલિયા ની સમજણ ઉપર પૂરો ભરોસો અને ગૌરવ છે”.  આખરે અબ્બુએ વાત ને માન્ય રાખી.  

હવે તો એક પ્રવિણજ આ વાત માં બિલકુલ સહેમત નતો.  એક દિવસ ચંપાબેન ક્યે “બેટા આપણે દેશનું ઘર કાઢી અને પૈસા લાવીએ તેમાંથી મને અડધા આપ અને તું અડધા લઈને તારું ઘર લે.  તને મોર્ટગેજ વધુ ભરવું પડશે પણ મને પૈસા ની જરૂર છે.  પ્રવીણ ક્યે “મમ્મી તે મને ભણાવ્યો તેજ પૂરતું છે.  તને જોઈએ તો બધા પૈસા તુજ રાખ.  પણ તારે એવી પૈસાની જરૂર કેમ પડી છે?”  ચંપાબેન ક્યે “અમે ત્રણ સાથે રહેવાના છીએ અને બાજુ બાજુમાં ડુપ્લેક્સ લેવાનો વિચાર કરીએ છીએ. તો આ પૈસા કામ લાગશે અને જરૂર પડે તો વધારે તારા ડેડી નાખશે”.  પ્રવીણ બિલકુલ સહેમત હતો જ નહિ અને પહેલી વાર મમ્મી જોડે સખત ગુસ્સામાં બોલીને ચાલ્યો ગયો.

આ બાજુ ઘર શોધતા ડુપ્લેક્સ ની બદલે, આલિયા ને એક સરસ ઈન લૉ કોર્ટર વાળું ઘર મળી ગયું.  તે કહે ચંપા બેન આ સારું છે.  તમારે પૈસા નાખવાજ નહિ અને આપણે બધાને કહી શકીએ કે તે જગ્યા તમે ભાડે લીધેલ છે.  બધાને આ વાત પસંદ પડી ગયી.  પ્રવીણે પાછી મમ્મી જોડે દલીલ કરવાની કોશિશ કરી કે “મમ્મી તું મારા થી જુદી થવા ઈચ્છે છે?”  મમ્મીએ સમજાવ્યો કે “બેટા, હું દર મહિને પંદર દિવસ તારી સાથે રહેવા આવીશ.  તને મારા હાથના રોટલા ન જમાડું તો મને ચેન નહિ પડે.  પણ આખરે આપણને એમ પ્રેમાળ કુટુંબ મળે છે અને મને નાની બેન મળે છે.  મારી જિંદગી માં ઘણી એકલતા હતી તે દૂર થાય છે અને હું તે પ્રેમ ને ઠોકર નહિ મારુ”.

આ વાર્તાનું છઠ્ઠું ચેપ્ટર છે. વાર્તા અહીં અધૂરી છે.  બ્લોગ ઉપર છેલ્લું ચેપ્ટર ટૂંક સમયમાં મુકવામાં આવશે.

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: