Anku's Cyber Graffiti

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Full Circle

Last night I visited my Uncle at his parents' house. He's been staying there since his Dad is counting his last days. I have known his parents for a long time and have had some good times with them. I wasn't really sure how my meeting was going to be since I was going to see his Mom and his Dad who is on his death bed. So I got there and was quite amazed by how good the space was in their house. There were no regrets, just the joy of someone about to complete the full circle of a wonderful life and who was ready for the next phase. I sat with my Uncle's Mom and she still had the same smile on her face as always and we had a wonderful time. There's no denying the fact that he will be missed, however, instead of making it miserable for him to complete his life, they had made the whole process a lot easier and joyful. My Uncle told me he had been playing his Dad's favorite classical music during the day which he could probably hear sub consciously. The whole thing was just beautiful. It completely changed my whole idea about death. Now that's how I would like to complete my circle of life.

I am back!!!

Haven't posted in a long time. Just been really busy with life and work. But its all going great. My Europe trip is happening. I am travelling with some very close friends (one of them I didn't even expect would ever make it... I don't think even he did!). Dom's a close friend that I used to work with back at Commsec in Sydney. We shared a cubicle for almost a year and what started as a working relationship grew up into an awesome friendship. It really hurt to say goodbye to him and some other close friends back in Sydney when I moved to San Diego. But... I'll get to see him soon. He's visiting me here and then we both fly together to London where I am meeting some high school friends from India and some other friends I worked with at Westpac, back in Sydney. Can't wait for it! Then we'll travel to Barcelona for 3 nights and then to Rome where I'll meet couple other friends that I went to Uni (College for u Americans... who always frown at me when I say Uni) with in Brisbane. From Rome, we're travelling to Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and Zurich. Then I am going to Delhi for 7 days to attend a friend's wedding and then back to San Diego. Watch this space for pics!!

While I was away not blogging, I still wrote some pieces in my own time... just never got around to publishing them. So I'll do them anyway since I am on a blog updating mission.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Here u go...

This is the home I am living in since I left Sydney... did I hear some one say... "You lucky bastard"... I sure am!! Most of the pics were taken outside on the property. I promise I'll get around to taking some pics of my room and inside the house. I would love to do writeups with each pic... but it'll have to wait for another day!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Can't wait to get my hands dirty

I started writing this post last month and then completely forgot to post it. It's been sitting in my Drafts folder since then. But I thought I'll post it anyway.

Last night, I saw some exquisite pieces of Art that my Uncle brought from his recent visit to Bali. In the past, I have appreciated an art piece mainly by thinking how difficult it must have been to create it. But last night one wooden sculpture absolutely blew me away. My first reaction was... this can't be real. This artist had carved dry cracked land with a footstep on a beautiful piece of wood. The inspiration to do something as wild and beautiful, was more significant that the craftsmanship for me. I actually got chills just by looking at how beautiful it was.

Well, the plan is for me to start sculpting with my Uncle once I return from my big end of the year trip. I can't wait for that.

Finally I get it...

The last few weeks have been quite interesting. Something has shifted and I have been experiencing immense satisfaction and peace. One thing I realised is that being peaceful is all about being powerfully related to reality... not to stories or interpretations. Even a good story or an interpretation doesn't get you peace coz its still a story. Being peaceful is not about being right. Being peaceful is about being in the present, grounded in reality and be able to be with it just the way it is. There is no right or wrong in the way it is. Again comes down to getting to the truth...the source of everything. For me being peaceful involved giving up being in a rush to be somewhere... but being here, enjoying this moment...the next... and the next. Its a great feeling!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Hero Departs

I was shocked to read this morning about Steve Irwin's death. Its a huge loss not just for Australia but for humanity. He was a true hero who loved the wildlife, loved being close to the nature; sometimes too close. In the end, that's what got him. He attracted a lot of negative publicity for doing crazy stunts like holding his year old son while feeding the deadly crocs, but he was a showman; not that it gave him a license to risk a kid's life. He was a loudmouth but you could not not admire the man for what he was doing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Crikey... you legend... you will be missed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A word on Integrity

I am currently enrolled in a Landmark Education seminar called Being Extraordinary. In my last seminar, our seminar leader talked about Integrity. I took some notes which is very unusual for me. But she said some things about Integrity which were like pure gold and touched me deeply. Here are some of them:

Everytime you are not keeping your word you are eroding your power!

I am sure its been said before but the impact it had on me was amazing. I started looking at areas in life where I did not have any control or power. And surprise surprise... one thing which was missing was that I wasn't keeping my word.

Another one was:

Integrity without Action is no Integrity!

This actually relates to me really well. I often have these a-ha moments when I do a reality check on how things are and where I stand and I would get a great insight about how I am missing integrity. But because I don't take any action, the whole experience is worth nothing.

I'll write more about some of the other ones I liked in another post.

E-3 visa for Australians

I've been getting questions about E-3 visa for Australians. So I thought I'll just do a quick post writing about my experience about getting a job in the US and applying for the visa. Please remember, I am not a migration attorney and I am just sharing my experience. I should not be held accountable for any damage caused or visa refused.

In order to get a job here, you should be physically present here. I came here in April earlier this year for 3 weeks and started applying for jobs through If you apply from Australia more than likely no one will contact you. When they see a local number and an address on your CV, they will contact you. Also in all my cover letters, I used to mention that I do not require H1-B sponsorship, which is actually true. Because for E-3, companies do not have to file a petition (which is what makes H1-B so hard to get and companies are usually unwilling to do it). When you talk to the company tell them that E-3 is like the Canadian TN visa. Most companies understand that. Tell them, the only thing you need from them is a job offer and a document called LCA. LCA stands for Labor Condition Application. LCA is just like a notification to the Department of Labor that the company is not getting cheap labor from outside and that they are paying you the same wages that an American citizen will get. Here's an excerpt of the email that I used to send to the companies to educate them about LCA.

LCA can be applied for online at
So that you know what questions will be asked, you can see a PDF format of the form here :
However, the form must still be lodged online using the link I provided earlier.
There is a guide available at to help you answer the questions. Now as for the duration of the visa, E3 is granted for 2 years, so that's what you can write for the period of employment.

For all questions, when filling online, there is a question mark (?) symbol next to each question. If you click on that, it will provide you with Help on that question.
Section E in the form asks you about the prevailing wage, when you are filling in the form online, there is a search wizard which takes in the zip code where the position is being offered and the position name (eg. Computer Programmer) and it gives you the prevailing wage for that position. The salary being offered must be higher than this to satisfy the labor department. Its not very hard to do as it gives you various levels of salaries.

The biggest difference between H1-B and E3 is that for E3, you just have to lodge this form with the labor department and send the LCA certificate, (which is given straight after the form is submitted) to the candidate. You do not have to file a petition with the US immigration like you do for H1-B, which is a headache for most employers.

After that I went back to Sydney. Went for my interview with US consulate and got my visa. Flew back here in 3 weeks to start work. Pretty straightforward.

Yasser has a great post about E-3. You should definitely check it out.

Change of Employer with E-3 Visa

If you are on E-3 and wish to change an employer, you will need to obtain a new LCA and file an I-539 with the USCIS. At this stage this is the only information I have available I will post it here if I find out more.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Gen-Yers : Where are we heading?

Generation Y - Cohort of people born in the 80's, typically in their early 20's or late teens now. Gen-Yers have been known to be very career focused, highly competitive and almost factory made to get into the job market and start earning a living. I started my first real job after college at the age of 23, and I was one of the older ones amongst my peers who started in the graduate program. Some of them had their 21st B'days after having worked there for almost a year. We were all making good money and ready to climb the corporate ladder. At 24, a lot of them had bought investment properties and invested a bunch of money in the share market. A generation ago, at 24, most people were still trying to decide what they wanted to do in life. People were into travelling, arts and just learning skills that would be useful for the rest of their lives. Not having lived in that generation myself and learning mostly from the people from that generation, it appears there was less pressure to be in the workforce and start making money. People had time to really see for themselves what they wanted to do unlike today where it seems everyone wants to make easy money fast!

I think one of the main reasons for our generation to be the way it is, is the dot com boom of the late 90s. Most of us were in schools when fresh graduates or school dropouts were spinning out ecommerce businesses with the most crazy ideas and becoming millionaires overnight. Although the dot com crashed post Y2K and the businesses were greatly affected by Sept 11 attacks, there was enough expectation generated to change the mindset of the entire generation. Growing economies of China and India have caused a huge demand for goods and services, which in turn is booming the economies of the rest of the world. However, I wonder if India and China can sustain the growth in the coming years. Outsourcing to India is not as profitable anymore as it used to be. The level of service in India has definitely gone up as the outsourcing industry is maturing. But, so have the salary expecatations. I read in an article recently that the salary rise in India (especially in the tech sector) was the highest in the world. India may become an expensive place for western companies to do business with. And like the dot com crash, the whole "outsourcing to India" storm may settle. It won't be the end of the growth but will be more like correction of the growth which I think right now is overheated. How will it impact the world economies and more importantly the Gen Yers. What is the shelf life of Gen Yers? Are we all going to retire by the time we turn 40 because we would have already worked in the industry for 20 years and made enough money. Having worked in the corporate world for the most part in my short career span, it gives me a great sense of relief and a breath of fresh air when I meet someone of my generation, who is still looking into things that really matter, and who is working on growing their career the traditional way - trying to discover what they really want to do. They may not be making a lot of money but are probably happier and have more to contribute. There's still hope!