Monday, March 29, 2010

Of affiliations and keeping them that way

Not sure how everyone's sentiments go on this but I went to a campus college of engineering. Which was a big deal back then. So we said "we went to JNTU" and now I notice almost everyone says "we went to JNTU". Only when you probe deeper, you figure that they actually went to some XYZABC private college almost outside of Hyderabad. If you put it that way in resumes, it is OK, I think everyone needs a little fib to push themselves up in life, but I did catch some people saying something along "we used to do this when we were in JNTU" and I went "What, you went to JNTU? Which batch? What a small world, how odd that I missed seeing you on campus ever" And then they'd go "Ohh no, we actually went to XYZABC, but it is too long (and maybe too embarassing) to pronounce, so we just say JNTU".

I completely "opposite of heart" this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I voted, did you?

The much-awaited BBMP polls were today. Although all candidates came campaigning, only the BJP guy actually showed up at our door-step. But even to him I couldn't pose questions like will be make sure water supply is regular, why is trash not being taken out every morning etc. But I sincerely hope it will do BBMP a good turn, these elections. Today, we went and voted.

Did you?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

6 month old am I !!

People, see my time ticker. I am a 6 month old mamma today !! Yay!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exams Done!

It is that time of year again. Heat beats down on you. Children start having morning schools and eventually summer vacation.

Our colony kids are finishing exams one after the other. One of the last ones gets done tomorrow. Every time I see kids wishing each other Happy Holidays, my heart does a jig! I am truly happy for them. Summer vacation is the best time of year! And when it is June and they slowly start to go to school one after the other I feel really sorry that summer is over.

It all starts with morning schools. Damn the heat in which you have to get home. All I can remember is that the school days were short. You go at 8, come back by 12. Every day is a half day for a full two weeks at least. Can anything get better than that? Yes. The raw mangoes sold on the bandi outside school. I used to love those days when  could buy a raw mango with salt and chilli powder mix sprinkled in it and eat it in the school bus after spending just four hours in school. Of course, no lunch box, you get home and eat. I used to listen to my favourite songs of the time and day and finish homework soon and it would still be only 3 :D Time for Swabhimaan during some of my adolescent years. Of course it all meant only one thing, that exams were just around the corner, but who cares about those.

Unluckily for me, I was born in April and somehow or the other, it would always be Maths exam on that day and inadvertently I'd do bad and get scolded by my Dad. Then mom would say since it is my birthday he shouldn't scold me. So after a couple years, I figured it was best if I had Maths on my birthday. Of course this also meant I never got to distribute chocolates and enjoy wearing a civil dress for one whole school day. Ever in my life.

Summer vacation. What can I say? Mangoes, Heat, Rasna, Ice and water. Heat, ability to sleep on the bare floor with no need for anything like sheets and rugs. Turn on the cooler. Sleep right in front of it on the floor in the afternoons after just hogging on a couple of rasalu mangoes. Shower at 11 AM or even later if the fancy caught, with cold water!

We also used to stay over at grand mom's place or aunt's place. My aunt used to live in LIC quarters and we used to religiously go up, me, my sis and my cousins, to the terrace, pour a bucket of water on designated sleeping spot, come down and have dinner (which would invariably be mixed and served in morsels direct to the mouth :D), and go back up with bedding, by this time, the hot terrace would have cooled down because of the water and be all set for us to lie down. Talk till we fell asleep looking at the sky.

Pure bliss!


OK, I know this is a beaten to death topic, so I decided no harm in beating it once more.

Prelogue: I was never a forwards person. Even in the nascence of my internet familiarity, I hated forwarding. All forwards were read and promptly deleted.

This morning I got an email. About some official announcement. OK, I thought. Actually I knew it about last week itself, thanks to one more email. I made a note of then and moved on.

Now the guy who forwarded the mail last week, again re-sent this alias email I got this morning. Again! It was exactly the same line he sent last week too. I thought, well, OK, one new email no harm, deleted. Till I got some 4 more emails which were essentially people forwarding the original announcement email to different aliases as they thought fit.

I say, if I got it why should I be bombarded with the same information 10 times? If you got it and if I got it then obviously the rest of the team also got it so what is the sense in forwarding to different sub-aliases saying, "in case you haven't seen it", "in case you missed it", "FYI" etc?

Either you think I don't read my email well or I can't get it unless I am told 10 times.

If I am the former, then chances that I will read your email are minuscule. If I am the latter well, maybe I don't deserve to get it.

Either ways, just because we are in the business of making internet faster, it doesn't mean we test our own muscle from time to time by repeatedly forwarding emails I think.


PS: I wish I could induce more humour in this post like KrishAshok does, but I confess I have not the talent!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today is Ram Navami which is six months after Maha Navami. Which means as per the Hindu calendar my son finishes six months today. And to commemorate this occasion he had his first banana meal today :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


One of my friends has this simple signature for her email:

"Attitude is the mind's paint brush, it can colour any situation"

Normally I am blessed, I have a healthy attitude to things. I don't nitpick too much and pay undue attention to ridiculous stuff. But at times there is a demon lurking. And when the demon surfaces, it discolours everything. So true what my friend says. How you think can colour anything and everything :)

And whenever I get over the demon, it is like a fresh lease of life :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

US and movies

A sudden thought hit me today. In our movies somehow the protaonists always go on a vacation to Pacific Asian countries, or even Europe. But never to the US. Why is that?

I mean a lot of movies are made where the protagonists are based in the US or go there for long term assignments (Hum Tum, Kal Ho Na Ho etc) but they never visit for vacation as part of the storyline :)

As always maybe there are exceptions but in general this is true of both Hindi and Telugu movies.

Movies do take a lot of inspiration from real life maybe after-all? :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The six tastes of life

Today is Ugadi, the Telugu (and Kannada and Marathi) new year. We make Ugadi pachchadi (Ugadi chutney) to signify the six tastes of life: sweet, bitter, sour, vagaru, spice and salt. Today is Rohan's first Ugadi. Already the Indian year in which he was born is past :) Time is flying with large wings!

Here is what my pachchadi looked like this year. They say, whatever taste dominates, your life in the coming year will be that way. And spice definitely dominated my pachchadi today. It was spice in the taste and after-taste ;) So I am looking forward to a spicy life this coming year!

I kept the menu simple this year. Just Raw mango pulihara and dadhojanam :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quick Q

With Blogger giving pre-dated post options, I wonder how people will contest plagiarism claims anymore. Any hints?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pulao fest! - Recipe added

(At least three people asked for the recipe so here it is. Will post pictures next time I make it and move the recipe there, for now, it is at the bottom of the post)

Yesterday I made Pulao. And I think it was the fine Basmati Rice. It turned up looking, smelling and tasting great. Subhash as usual was effusive in praise and I as usual was on cloud 9 when I heard him :)

Cut to today. I asked him what we should eat for lunch and he said Pongal. I said that is boring, I find I cannot eat Pongal these days, I am bored of it (these are temporary bouts I have, at one point in life I got bored of Idli and couldn't even eat one for the life of me, now I am back to hogging idli phase). So I said next. He said Pulao. I said why, you want to eat Pulao again. He said yes, why not.

Pulao and Biryani, unlike say Pulihara, I don't mind eating consecutive days. Since they are filled with vegetables and add all the nutrition you want to put in. So I made Pulao again today. I was contemplating pre-cooking vegetables in the microwave vs just putting them in the cooker, I decided on the cooker and went about it. I made sure I didn't burn the onions when deep frying them, remembered to add kaju and saffron and thought it was perfect since I filled up the shortcomings of yesterday. When voila, I remembered on opening the cooker, that I forgot to put potatoes!! Wow! In that microwave vs cooker debate I forgot to peel and cut and add potatoes.

Pulao turned good even today but potato-less. I consoled myself saying eating potatoes every day is anyways not such a great idea. I think the perfectly done onions and the raita made it delicious, between yesterday and today I'd probably pick today's as the better one (just for that crisply fried onion!, what a junk eater I am!!). But Subhash didn't wipe his plate clean as fast as he did yesterday so I am assuming he really missed his potatoes (apparently he was going to ask me to add potatoes when he remembered that I added them yesterday and assumed I'd do it today so didn't mention! Whoa, think of your luck, I was not destined to eat potatoes today!)

Maybe I will fry and add-in potatoes when we eat the Pulao at night :) :)


Its actually pretty simple - Basmati Rice, vegetables (I usually put potatoes, beans, carrot and peas), cloves(6), cardamom (6), Cinnamon (few bits), Kaju (if needed, fry in a little ghee and add), kala jeera, salt to taste, saffron (if you have the mood for it), green chillies (based on how much spice you want), all mixed in and cooked in the pressure cooker. I use 2:2.5 water for good Basmati rice :)

I usually separately deep fry onions and garnish it when serving.

Raita - Good bodied, lightly sour curds mashed/blended  in with finely chopped tomatoes, onions and green chilly, I like to keep my raita simple and cucumber and carrot-free :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Laddu quota - UPDATES added

That is what we used to call the seats reserved for out of town AP-origin candidates in engineering. Because they used to get seats like, you guessed it right, laddus. Its a shame since some of them were really smart and would've gotten in anyways, but they got branded laddus all the same.

And all through my professional life I've always been aware of a slight shadow of shame because I used the 33% reservation for women in engineering. (Although I would have still graduated out with the same degree from the same Univ, reservation or no reservation. Still, I didn't need it, and I hated falling under that cap)

And now my government decided to further insult my intelligence and capability by reserving MP positions for me.

Great! Now when I go to the parliament, some moron can refuse to listen to my opinion because "I only got there by reservation".

Seriously, when will we stop fragmenting everything into quotas. I think that time is not far away when there won't be any general pool left for people to vie for meritoriously. It will all be "mil baant ke khana".

The nasty Congress guys have taken this reservation thing so much further (pervaded IITs and IIMs too), I have no words to react.

I am outraged. Period.


1) I forgot to include the viewpoint of this bill doing anything for the upliftment of rural unempowered women. One of the first questions that came to my mind was how are they going to ensure that a woman wins the election. Because reservation or not, you still have to fight and win right? Then Subhash mentioned that 1/3rd of the constituencies are going to be declared women constituencies. And only women can fight it. Wow! So now it gets murkier. How are they going to decide which constituencies be made women ones? More rural ones or more urban ones? And  how are they going to ensure that this is the best divide of all the combinations? And any day, reservation is a top-down approach. And I think what India needs is a bottoms up approach. Which is more difficult to do and so people pick the easy way out.

2) Reservation in AP engineering for women - One reader had a comment on why I used the reservation if I didn't want it. Well, the only way I could have avoided using that quota was not declaring that I am a woman. Which I don't think is possible. Whether I liked it or not, whether I needed it or not, after I took my choice of seat, one "woman slot" would be struck off from the pool. And also, the degree with which I graduated (ECE), I got, not because of my EAMCET rank, but because I topped the University (and all its affiliated colleges I believe) in the first year and actually took a branch transfer (from EEE). So it didn't affect me in the end anyway, this reservation thing. Except for casting a shadow.

3) I just checked the number of women in the Congress Working Committee. 4/25 including Sonia Gandhi. You'd think that a person pushing for a women's bill would do better than that for her own party. This is nothing but prepping for the next elections. How can I guarantee that most women will vote for me next time around. Let me reserve some seats for them so I can blow this trumpet in the next GE. This vote bank politics has become Congress's "baaye haath ka khel". They play it so deftly now that no one takes anything amiss. Lest it sounds purely as Congress bashing, other political parties and their internal setups resemble the same. Eg:

4) If any rural or urban woman, underprivileged or otherwise, has enough persona to be able to come to the fore, please lets not insult her intelligence and capability by implying that she cannot win against a man. This is sorry, really. If she can only win against a woman, then does she really deserve to sit in a parliament. Actually, considering the average intelligence level in the parliament, she still can deserve it I suppose but that is a different matter.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Subhash was suggesting the name "Shruti" to someone when I remembered that I always wanted to do a post on how much I like the name Shruti. I know a lot of Shrutis and all of the Shrutis I know happen to be great gals!

From the Shruti I know for the longest time (who is one of my besssht friends) to the Shruthi I know for the shortest time, (she is the most awesome diva!) they are all super girls!

I fell in love with the name so much that I was toying with the idea of naming my baby, if it was a girl, Shruti. In spite of me knowing so many of Shrutis :)

Here is to all the awesome S(h)rut(h)i s I know!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Of toys and stereotypes

Since I totally loved our two ELC toys, Subhash got me one of their catalogues when he went to London. I was browsing through it and in the section for toys of older babies and kids there was a marked difference between those for boys and those for girls. The boys ones were mostly tool sets, railway lines, cars, copters etc and the girls were predominantly cooking and dressing up stuff, crockery, kitchen in a bag (some of them were real nice, four grill stove, oven, microwave and what not, and all life size, as tall as the kids were), powder room stuff, dolls to dress up etc. Predominantly pink.

I made a comment saying whoa! why are they segregating toys into neat slots for boys and girls, they are encouraging stereotypes that girls cook and boys work with tools!! (I mean secretly, if you asked me to pick the toys I'd go for that kitchen set anyday, but still!).

So Subhash asked, well, if you had to buy something for Rohan what would you buy? (Trust my husband to deflate me when I am pumping up thinking I made a remarkably clever statement ;) )

Well, it is true, I would never buy that pink stuff for Rohan. (I mean I'd still buy it since it was so cute, but it would be for me, not for him. But if I had a girl, I'd never shy away from buying her the tool set, the railway lines etc, although they were shown with boys playing.

It then hit me that a guy's life is hard. When women dress up in guys clothes like jeans etc, it is all too cool, in fact in this generation you can no longer call trousers, a "guy's apparel". It is universal. But if a guy was to wear a skirt? That would be so no-no. (except in Scotland, but then we are digressing)

We have pervaded and taken over for ourselves everything that was exclusively men: clothes, occupations, lifestyle and habits (drinking, smoking for example) and have at the same time more than zealously guarded and kept our domains to ourselves (anything slightly womanish that a man does and we immediately suspect him to be gay). Poor guys! I feel sorry for them. One of my friends was once saying, you guys can wear mini skirts, shorts, 3/4th pants, capris and what not, and all we are left with is shorts and full length jeans. If I was to wear a 3/4th jeans, I shudder to think what people would make of me.

How true! ;)

Friday, March 05, 2010

V said..

Tags: Return to India, R2I, Bangalore, Move to Bangalore.

I was reading a blog about life in Palm Meadows and stumbled on this very long comment to that post.

I think I agree with almost everything that V says :)

Do read if you are planning on moving to India. I am posting it here since I myself get a lot of questions. It is a fair bit of advice and probably the same that I'd give and I don't think I could have articulated *all* the things I wanted to say in one shot like he/she did (this also tells me there is no word limit for comments on blogger ;) )

My own summary: If you want to be happy in India, you will be. If you want to nitpick and find faults, you will find. It all depends on what you want to do.

Here is the original blog. Thanks Sujatha.

BloggerAnd here is the stellar comment.
My India!

Hi Friends,

Good day to all of you.

I want to share my thoughts on ‘returning to India’ topic. I am a ‘Gulfie’ having lived in Muscat and Dubai since 1987, so I am qualified to enter the discussions. I want to contribute my thoughts for both people who want to go to India for a change and who want to consider seriously going back for good. I am also qualified to write from one more angle, I own a villa in the paradise on earth – Palm Meadows.

In this topic of going to India, the Gulf Indian and the USA/Canada Indians are not in the same field. All reference to Gulf in this paper is to the Arabian Gulf. Gulf Indians have been in touch with India and have made their properties there, always wanting to return back ‘home’; they go to India once, twice or even more number of times every year. The ladies have the luxury of going back home for child birth and getting back much later when their mind asks them to. But Gulf Indians also crib a lot about everything Indian; they live in frozen state of India when they left; now a days, the cribbing is somewhat less once India starting ‘shining’ and the general image of Indians outside went on a high tide.

Western Expatriates in Canada, when they went, they closed their doors to become Canadians. First generation Indians still hold on to India with a hope of returning; many first generation families split with one branch staying back and one coming back, with a pendulum approach to family life. U.S. Indians stayed back mostly because they grew into what they are in challenging situations. They make U.S. their home; their ‘thought honeymoon’ with India is mostly a sweet nostalgia, better left intact. U.S. Indians are probably more realistic and less fantasizing or fearing India. Many Canadian Indians probably did not migrate to Canada to become Canadians; they went to live in Canada with an Indian expatriate’s mind set. This is true of many Gulfie expats who migrated from Middle East.

So experiences of Indians in general getting back for short time or permanently is likely to be different depending on the world they come from.

For all of us, a positive mind set and acceptance of brutal facts will help be happy in India. India is a great place; it is a place of people with such endurance, such positive vibrancy, such festivity amongst statistically absurd chances for success and survival. I have always wondered and asked people in India - what makes them laugh and smile so much sitting where they are! You can enjoy India if you go with a sensitive mind. Imagine this – you live in a 30 apartment building, all 30 have cars, children, friends, outing, et all of best life; you laugh and return boisterously every night at 12 o clock – and the security man has to watch all of you 12 hours a day, with not an Indian dime in his pocket, does not know when his next tea will come from, his total take home of $ 72 a month vanishing in 7 days flat; he cannot touch with his money, what you can afford to throw, he has an orbit of rice and sambhar day in and day out. Can you be sensitive to him or do you habitually sermonize on how these incompetent security people sleep in duty? You will enjoy India if you are able to sensitive to lives. Otherwise, my advise will be, don’t go. Enjoy South of France. Remember one thing, no one is waiting with bated breath in India, they have their little lives to battle with.

I am not sermonizing and am not lecturing morality or social consciousness. Vital for you to enjoy – can you love people as they are? I think the arithmetic percentage of good people to the total population will be the highest in India – absolute numbers we win hands down, except for China anyway. Of course, myself having interacted with at least 40 nationalities, I can say, humans are humans, basic traits are the same. Am I contradicting myself? No; due to many cultural differences, the general comfort levels when you go to India are much higher than most countries – one good competitor could be Japan.

It will help your psychology very much if you remember simply this fact – India is not living there to make your life comfortable. India has 1 billion people and majority is poor. India is trying hard to make lives of that majority better and is striving for the same. Every year there is improvement there. India is busy with itself, making its life better, its life tolerable; your comforts and Palm Meadows are immaterial to India. The main point is, can you make yourselves comfortable in what is India? It is a place where abject poverty interacts with Palm Meadows residents; the poverty goes back to T.V. and sees serials where people laugh and eat and do things which seems out of reach eternally for them. In an aggressive country, probably Palm Meadows residents routinely will get their throats cut; in India maids short change them for 2 dollars. I was amazed when a Palm Meadows resident was passionately out pouring about how a patch of grass has not grown properly due to bad maintenance and the unfairness of the same.

This is a good place to address the issue of a maid cheating; firstly, I have not been exposed to blatant theft; yes they try to make little money here and there – they have to survive. Mostly maids cheat, because we have no long term commitment to their lives; because we will pay a Rs. 2000/- bill at Pizza Hut or Baskin Robins, but negotiate the salary with the maid. If I approach a maid with a mentality that I am here to make one Indian family live well, you will see a long term relationship. None of us would have survived their lives, believe me and kept up the ethical and moral standards they have kept. The beauty of India is that moral and ethical standards are indirectly proportional to the social status. Why does a driver change jobs with no commitment? Because there is no commitment from the employer; what they pay is an immaterial small sum to the driver; his downsides of losing the job are not enormous. If he get a 40% raise with the neighbor, what is wrong in shifting? You did it in your career, didn’t you?

In India you will live happily and comfortably, if you treat all your servants and maids as you treat them in New York. We expatriate Indians want to have the cake and eat it too. We want the service and commitment levels of the advanced societies at the costs of ‘old’ India. A driver gets Rs. 6000/- - exorbitant and prohibitive? It is US$ 120 for the whole month of 12 hour duty for God’s sake!

I have a home in India and my maid has a key. Trust them; also give them long term solutions to their miserable lives, see how comfortable you are! It makes perfect business sense for you to pay the school fees for one year for your drivers’ child. Do it and see how loyal he is. Saying I am there for a short time is an excuse. You get committed to the country; the country gets committed to you. Otherwise, please you are there as an extravagant attachment, India is busy with its life. Approach your trip from this mental get up and I guarantee you a comfortable and lovely stay. What these small people need is not even what your money w ill do in their unsafe lives; the reality - a generous person like you is such an enormous comfort; such a lovable safety net. Like belief in God, it is not important whether you live up to that belief or not – you are a great psychological comfort; remember this, you will enjoy India.

Someone raised the issue of safety. Safely is no issue in Bangalore or Chennai or Bombay or any other parts of India. I can personally vouch about interiors of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra. I have a belief that other places will be as safe. Individual experiences are bad luck, it could happen in NY. It is like I hear about some students in USA getting shot by a horrible monster and I cancel my trip to USA. India plods along. However unfair it is to the poor masses there, the well to do have an organized life. They are well taken care of. Go there in the safe thinking that there are two Indias inside one – one India of you and me enjoying life and another India of maids and drivers and security men, taking good care of us; and a Police system which protects you and me well, not them please. Interiors of India are heaven to enjoy, but with that special mental make-up; go to the streets of Ahmadabad and talk to the auto rickshawallahs; visit the temples of Tirunelveli; come back and tell me I am right! Wow, India is great man.

Majority of the poor people in India are – surprisingly - taking their lives with dignity and strength. This is the training of centuries of our culture. Put the burden on God and carry on. Majority are honest. Globalization has its own impact by disturbing their minds. There are too many things and life styles beyond their means. This is opening a new unnecessary struggle in their small lives. But you must treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Enjoy that little flower vendor who cannot go home even if she has a wet day and has a splitting headache – get her an aspirin and hold her hands. You want to enjoy India to the hilt? This is where a treasure lies. You will never be disappointed. No other country (talking from a position of pride and not literally, I do not have statistics) has such majority of helpful and well intentioned people. No other country has so many numbers of people spending their lives helping others (here I am statistically correct, we are huge in anything).

Depending on your budget and comfort levels you expect, choose your apartment or community. There are plenty. Are you ok with a pent house near Palm Meadows? There is Purva Fountain Square, you get a three bed apartment, with an open terrace total 2800 sq ft for Rs. 18,000/- pm. Convert again, it is US$.360/-. This is a good time - too many properties too cheap. Again safety is no issue; having said that, if you are unlucky you could get robbed in your country too. No one is after your money; all you need to be is to be generous to the poor people servicing you.

Now for comforts – well, internalize a few facts:

- India is noisy; you can do nothing about it. Get some nice ear plugs; get an apartment in the 11th floor. India is not going to change for you and me, it will remain noisy.
- India is congested, it is horrible traffic, it is completely undisciplined, and on the street it is rule of the Tarzan.
- India is dirty; it is horribly dirty in some places; have you seen slum dog millionaire? Erase the filmy aspects of the movie and see the slum scenes, you think it is exaggerated, please do visit Dharavi. People live like that, it is a fact. If you are going to Bangalore, remember you will live on the streets, if you have to go to places. You cannot imagine how terrible it is, unless you go there.
- For personal living comfort it is dusty, you can’t walk without chappal inside home too.
- It is polluted like hell in some cities and places. Nothing will change in a hurry.
- If you are going to Chennai – 8 out of 12 months, it is horribly sticky and impossible to enjoy living even under a fan; love for Chennai makes people like us blind to this fact.
- It is greatly unsophisticated; most times you have intruders and you have nosy millers.

You can do nothing about the above – like you can do nothing about street robbery when you go to Rome. Then how do I make myself comfortable?

Well, when I go to London, I spend well for my comforts, my sightseeing, my visits; where I don’t mind spending is the common infrastructure, the rail and bus, which are very comfortable and far cheaper for the quality. But then remember, if you want quality in a country which does not have quality common infrastructure, you are ordering quality custom made. So you need to pay like the West; in West you pay for different things and in India you pay for different things. Once you pay about half of what you spend in the west, you get almost the same quality, with which you can cocoon yourselves. Cocoon yourselves is the concept.

You need to cocoon yourselves; have a driver, if necessary have two maids, have a car at your disposal. If you are ok, then hire a chauffeur driven car every time – it is cheap; remember to use only the modern cars with air conditioning. Ambassador, niyet. Have a good accommodation, free from all ills above – not noisy, not dirty, dusty and not hot – or enough air-conditioning around.

Power is a problem sometime, so have inverters.

Food is the best part of India; you have food and food and food at unbelievable prices. You can go to any level you want, idli dosa camps to vegetarian authentic Italian joints – bars, wow, you can’t get enough. But what is lacking again? There is no great entertainment and places to go to daily inside the city, like what you have in each city in the West; you have to go to eating joints and bars with company, you can go to movies, some malls. Having said that, this is not entirely true too; do you have interest in traditional visiting places, culture, history, temples, and authentic food, you have enough to do. You can go short distances to great places. Socializing in India can occupy your whole life time.

You must be having relatives and friends who opted to stay back and make a career there, when you wandered out. Have you seen them enjoy their lives? It is fascinating to watch how they permanently cocooned themselves to be comfortable. They have big enough cocoons to be butter flies and fly around. To be comfortable, follow their model.

Summarize –

a. Nothing like going to India, whether short stay or permanently.
b. Be a people person when you go. Small pleasures come from being sensitive to small people dealing with problems of existence with no tools in hand. Try this, surprise an old lady (I hate to call her a beggar) by giving her a 100 re note – see the pleasure and gratitude – see the karma credit you get by giving 50 Rs – you get 50 $ worth.
c. Pay international level to servicing lot of people, after all they need to make lives out of this.
d. Get committed long term with small people.
e. Safety is no issue at all.
f. Accept brutal facts and cocoon yourselves; organize well before you go; get your own comfort universe, insulated from the mayhem around you.
g. Enjoy the food.
h. Enjoy your social circles – you make friends easy in India.
i. Remember – India plods along right! Finally it plods right!
j. Also tell yourselves, India is there for the Indians there, they are busy trying to survive; they need not create a world to suit me. Don’t expect the India you left behind.
k. Budget well; don’t cut your budget because it is India, but surprisingly Rupee goes much longer than what it is worth in US$.
l. Relax and enjoy.

Cheers friends. Finally, this issue of whether I will be happy in India is not an external question, it is an internal one. I have to be happy where ever I am. If I am completely happy in where I am now, why should I be asking questions about returning to India? Go to India from a happy position of being happy where you are and go to India to be happy. Happiness is in the mind. Really!

March 19, 2009 2:28 PM

A Damsel in Distress

No, I am not the damsel and I am definitely not in distress.

I am only referring to the book I recently finished (yes, I also find time to read books, thank you :) ). It is a PG Wodehouse and I picked it up at the Bangalore airport on the way to Hyd four weeks ago and only yesterday managed to finish it.

It is a short and sweet story and I am somehow feeling sorry that it is over. It was delightful while it lasted. I felt really sad putting it away on the bookshelf this morning.

(Image courtesy: Flipkart)

If you have the time and the inclination do give it a read. I loved the rhythm and pace and humour in the book. Without giving a spoiler alert I will say I enjoyed the climax. Somehow the fulfillment of what you hitherto thought unrequited love is always a joy :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Six worded life!

Saw this on Shilpa's blog and like it. Was thinking of what the essence of my life and my philosophy towards life is. And undoubtedly it should be

Living my life with minimal regrets.

Really, I hate regretting. Though I do a decent amount of stuff that I regret immediately, I hate the feeling they call regret so much that whenever I am in a soup, I try to turn things around as best as I can. I think this has done me plenty of good all my life :) And luckily with the limited vision of the future that we are usually presented with, I have not made any life-atlering decision which I've regretted later :)