• Missing India?

    I write and write about Indian and US life and I never get tired! 🙂 Here is one more…

    Most of us who move to foreign lands to pursue different interests, try and re-create the Indian magic in different ways. We miss India in more ways than one as we adjust to a new life in a new country. Having lived for almost 14 consecutive years in the US, and having seen numerous families, students, couples move abroad, I can recount  a few of things that one misses sorely about India:

    1. The beautiful social life 

              Going from a country of billion people – we see people everywhere in India. That might not be the case particularly in a foreign country  and that too if you are in a cold place. We seek solace in online relationships which keeps us going.

       2. The festive season

             The festive season is particularly hard because of the authentic way of celebrating it seems to be missing in the new land. This can only be replaced by replicating the exact things that were done in India(for example, for Diwali – get together with other Indian families are arranged and the culture of the Indian festivals is passed onto newer generations)

     

     

    3. Missing Indian values and trying to pass them on

    This is probably one of the toughest things to do in a foreign country, at least in my view.  Raising kids in a new land brings with it, its own challenges.

    We do not want our kids to lose our own Indian values and heritage but at the same time, we want them to blend well with the foreign country’s values and habits too. Shuttling from ‘Bala vihar’ class and Bharatnatyam classes to soccer practices is the new norm for Indian kids growing abroad. 

    They are expected to speak, read, write their own mother tongue with ease as well study languages in the foreign country too.

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    4. Healthcare is not so complicated

    I am not sure whether missing healthcare in India is the perfect way to say it – but suffice it to say that simple healthcare in India is not very complicated. We do not need to carry our health insurance card for every visit to the doctor.  The most important distinction between Indian and a foreign country’s health system is that we can choose our own doctor!!

    The insurance does not dictate whom we should see for simple ailments. 

    Simple medicines are relatively cheap too(A strip of paracetamol only costs 30 Rs. – that is just about 50 cents!!)

    5. Higher education is not so expensive

    Actually, this can be restated as “education itself is not so expensive” – at least not for the middle tier and upper middle tier population of India. While school education is easily affordable, college education is manageable too.

    Parents are never advised to start saving for their child’s education from the day they are born! 😉

    6. Cricket

    There are very few individuals who don’t miss the gentlemen’s game in a foreign land. As it is said, cricket is a religion in India and even though other sports like basketball, ice hockey, baseball and American football are around us, the heart always seeks the religion that unites India! 

    These are just a few ways that I have seen many families miss India. I am sure there are plenty more…

     

  • What is Zero day vulnerability?

  • School education in India and US

    When we moved to India, 7 years ago – the first thing that stumped me when we were looking for our kid’s admissions,  were the different boards in India. Even though we had done our schooling and undergraduate education in India, staying away for 14 years, totally erased the Indian school system from our minds. We were used to the US elementary school system but the Indian system was a lot different. This post lists the differences between the Indian and US school system.

    The US education system:

    The US has only two school systems – the public school system or the private school system. In the public school system – education is absolutely free from kindergarten up until 12th grade! (very,very difficult to think  of the term ‘free’ for good school education in India! :)) 

     

     

    Private schools in US charge for their education system.

    If you are in a good school district, we are fairly certain that we will get good,free school education up until 12th grade in public schools of US.

    The Indian system:

    Now, the Indian system of school education involves many boards. We as parents are constantly trying to navigate the different boards comparing, analyzing and contrasting the different boards.  The two pre-dominant boards are CBSE (Central board of secondary education) and ICSE (Indian certificate of secondary education)  While I do not have not much experience with the CBSE board, I can safely say a few points regarding the ICSE board:

    1. It is a thoroughly exhaustive syllabus(read – extremely vast!) with the curriculum increasing in thickness as you go up each grade.
    2. You have to appear for 10 subjects for the 10th grade board exams(yes – 10 subjects! )
    3. This serves as a good spring board for the 11th grade syllabus and eventually the other competitive exams. 

    Now, each city and each locality might be more inclined towards a particular board. For example, I suspect the city of Chennai is more inclined towards the CBSE and State boards. The city of Bangalore is more inclined towards the ICSE board. 

    In addition there are the IGCSE(International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and IB boards as well. IGCSE and IB are the boards that offer international curriculum. 

    As parents we are constantly navigating the board maze in India which constantly changes. No sooner do we think that we have understood a board, that a few changes crop up, confusing us again! 🙂 

    Good luck on deciding the perfect board education for your child if you are in India and deciding on a private school or public school if you are in the US!

     

  • Definition of the day: Trojan virus

    The more connected we are with our tablets, mobiles, desktops, laptops, the more we are susceptible to an attack. The connected world boasts of different types of attacks. Some of them are viruses, worms, phishing emails, Trojans and so on. Malicious writers are constantly seeking new ways to exploit new vulnerabilities on new devices. We will explain the term Trojans in this post:

     

     

    Similar to the fabled horse in the Trojan war (wherein the Trojan horse was used to stealthily get soldiers inside the enemy camp) –  in computer security,  a Trojan virus is a malware that disguises itself in everyday files. When an innocent user clicks on the file disguised as the Trojan a virus with extraordinary capability is unleashed. Most common Trojan viruses are used to create back doors on systems, steal data from personal and business systems and remotely control a computer. 

    They do not replicate themselves and propagate by common social engineering techniques and duping the innocent user. 

     

  • Anatomy of the Shellshock vulnerability

    If you thought, remotely seizing a machine and making it obey your orders was what sci-fi movies were made of, think again! The Shellshock vulnerability or the Bash bug vulnerability discovered in September of 2014 by Stephane Chazelas, a security researcher at Akamai firm allowed hackers to do exactly that in reality!  It was different more

  • The ‘Interview’….

    Several years ago, a young lady wearing a salwar kameez, walked into a quiet place in a hesitant way. The environment was fairly formal and the people in the place made her feel quite warm and comfortable. This was the first time she was meeting them. Her father had already hinted that this might not more

  • Java 8 – Default and Static Methods in Interfaces

    Before beginning this post, I would like state that this post assumes some knowledge of Java.   Prior to Java 8, all methods in an interface had to be ‘abstract’. However, in Java 8, default and static methods could also be defined in interfaces. These are discussed in the following sections. Default Methods: A default more

  • The ‘Apple’ of my eye! :)

    For most of the Apple lovers possessing iPhones, iPods, Mac books and iPad and so on, this week was an exciting week as it saw the  launch of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8S and iPhone X. How will the new iPhone X be? Pronounced iPhone ’10’ and not iPhone ‘X’, this is the thought for more

  • Types of hackers

    In today’ post, we will see the different types of hackers:   Try Club Mahindra today!

  • Should I or shouldn’t I?

    After having written about the ‘Beauty of life in India’    and the reasons why we returned to India, I thought it would be a good idea to put the reverse into perspective too. Most of the students in colleges all across in India (undergraduate or post graduate education) are always wondering the same thing more