Friday, March 10, 2006

India beats China

A recent list of billionaires published by Forbes shows that, there are more Indian US Dollar Billionaires than Chinese ones. Among the 793 US Dollar Billionaires of the world, 23 are Indian compared to 8 Chinese ones.

I looked through the list with quite an interest. As predicted, Lakshikant Mittal, the steel king, is the top Indian billionaire. But he's followed by Azim Premji of Wipro, the software company. Then there is the usual march of Ambanis, Birlas etc.

I was quite impressed to see Anurag Dikshit , a 33 year old IIT Delhi Grad. Apparently, he's the co-founder of , which makes his net worth at US $ 3.3 billion!! Who says coding doesn't pay!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Squirrels love M&M!!!

As anyone living in the midwestern USA (I guess any where in USA) knows, Squirrels are quite pervasive here. They'd hang from trees, climb down to pick a nut, and occassionally fight among themselves, mess around with trash etc. I have often seen people feed them nuts.

Well, the other day, I found out that Squirrels do have a knack for sweet things as well. This is what happened:

I was coming out of the Illini Union, the student center at UIUC. I happened to have a pack of M & M's with me (if you haven't seen one, it's a kind of a chocolate). While I was unlocking my bike, I took one M&M out, and was planning to nibble on one. Suddenly, 2 squirrels came down from the tree next to my bike, and they sized me and the M&M out with interest. After a few seconds, they decided that I was a gullible one, and they can extort the sweet-smelling-nut-type-thing from me. So, literally, they stood up, and started waving to me. REally!!!! I wish I had my camera with me at that point, the scene was so funny, two squirrels standing up on their hind legs, and extending their hands!! Reminded me of how beggars in Bangladesh used to extort coins!

Anyway, I was so surprised and amused at the scene and their attempt to bully me into giving up the M&M, I spoke out in Bangla, (automatically) telling them "Dicchi baba dicchi" (wait please, I'll give you the nuts!!) (which reminded me again of my friend Suman's dialog in a similar situation on a train, India, in 2000)

So, I picked out 3/4 M&Ms, and gave them to the squirrels. They grabbed the chocolates, and finished them in 5 to 10 seconds. The way they devoured them, it looks like they really liked the M&Ms.

Ultimately, they managed to get 10-12 M&Ms from me that day. Next time, I'm taking my camera there, and will either get some stills or a video to show their "bullying tactics".