Friday, August 31, 2012

The end of August

I was thinking about this phase last year for the past few days. My mother in law was hospitalized yet again. And today last year, for the first time we heard the docs say, she might not survive. And be prepared for the worst. And tell all near and dear ones to be prepared. And it was a black day. I remember there being a depressing quietness about the house. We were hoping things would not be as fateful as pronounced. We waited and she recovered and came back home, was around for Rohan's birthday and all that. But with this hospitalization, she had to go from two dialysis a week to three. And it sapped all her energy out. Her life to her seemed like an endless journey in and out of hospitals. And we could do nothing but feel sorry for her :( Every alternate day, going for dialysis, with her weak frame of mind and body was no joke for her. She used to say that the one day break she got in between 6 days of alternate day dialysis, she felt like it was a weekend for her. Painful.

Yesterday Rohan had a freak temperature suddenly in the middle of the day and I got that dreaded summons from the daycare. I had to pick him up from the daycare mid way like this after many months now. I almost lost touch with him falling sick. We gave him two rounds of Calpol over the day yesterday. Today I've been checking with his teacher. She said that at meal time his temperature spiked a little, but he is normal and playing again now. Hope he goes through fine with the rest of the day.

This morning was a particularly grueling one. The daycare insisted on a medical certificate, this is something new, for one half day of absence. And I had to carry him from his building to mine (the doc on campus is in my building) and back. I think this commute might be 10 minutes of walking in all. The doc lectured me about him possibly still being infectious, was offended that I was not listening to him since I was trying to multitask between listening to him and my son at the same time - I assured him that I was listening to him and that I got him since I thought he looked perfectly normal. Then I finally dropped him back, drove the car from the daycare to the parking lot and came back to my building, only to realize I'd forgotten my badge+keys in the car. This time with a smaller sized kid (AKA my laptop bag), I did the whole distance again (I park closer to his daycare). By the time I got to my office it was a good 45 mins since I first entered the campus! Phew!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I've always had a grouse about this - I am just happy that the SC has also agreed:

Thanks to Ravinar for sharing!

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a waste!

Literally. Please take a moment to read about Bangalore's trash woes and BBMPs impotence and arrogance as a civic body here.

And they are also going to raise the garbage cess this year. How sad!

For the past four days, garbage has been piling up in front of homes, on streets, everywhere. Everywhere I drive, I see the trash collecting and mounting in heaps. This is pretty much the only thing BBMP has done about the stay issued WRT Mavallipura - we cannot dump, so we stop collecting. Or at least it looks like that. How pathetic can it get!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Comings and goings

After a delightful 10 days, my aunt left this Friday. It was fun to have her over. She is one of my favourites and we spend many a childhood day with her in our maternal grandmother's place. She had asked my uncle and cousin who came over last week to bring her wedding CD along. I was her thoda pellikoothuru  for her wedding and was 8 then. It was fun to watch it. We are a BIG gang of cousins on my mom's side and it is always fun when all of us get together - although it's become very very rare now, with each of us having our own married lives, kids etc. But when we do meet up - like for a cousin's wedding - we manage to re-create that magic  :) Anyways, so she left on Friday, so did my uncle and cousin, I wish they could have stayed a little longer. But my aunt was getting worried about her pet Rocky - apparently he had become very dull since she left.

Subhash is in Goa for an off-site. He left Saturday morning and will be back tomorrow afternoon. Luckily my parents are around this time and the son and me are not alone! The son whined for dad a good one hour or so after he left. This is an experience that is very new and very rare to him. He is used to always having both mom and dad around and the last time Subhash was away was when he was visiting the UK on work a good 1.5+ years ago. This is more than half his lifetime for the son and so he seemed pretty upset about the whole thing. That last trip he was sick as well. Hopefully we will get through the remaining one day without much ado [-o<

It was my mom's birthday yesterday and we went for a quiet dinner @Leela. I love Zen and its food. And somehow the dinner experience there is always very pleasing and soothing. The son ate his curd rice (courtesy Jamawar) and finished his dinner over there as well and so that was the icing on the cake. They arranged for a small complimentary cake and it was awesome. All in all a great evening.

It is great to see son bonding with tatha and ammamma. He enjoys their company and incessantly talks about all and sundry! It feels good and happy.

Now also looking forward to my father-in-law coming back. Another week and a half to go!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A top cop in BMTF "dares" to charge-sheet officials in BBMP. It is widely covered/reported online (I do not read papers, so I confess I do not know if it was also repeated in print media). Then he is transferred out of BMTF to another position. Again this is widely covered by the online media (same disclaimer above re print media). I feel happy. At least a percentage of the Indian population gets to know what murky games are played behind public service departments, police etc. It is like watching a movie. I am glad for social/online media. For more details, please follow Rajvir Sharma's story here. You can also follow other related articles in the same magazine.

I think social media is working in a big way to enlighten anyone with an internet access and a will to know what is going on. I login to Facebook primarily to gather bits and pieces of all kinds of information. My Reader gives me a lot more news than if I scrolled through the whole tome of ToI junk. And more often than not, it is not "fed" to me. People express opinions freely and I have the choice of drawing my own conclusion based on what is being written by various folks. I trust a few sites more than the rest and some times even blindly align with their opinion if it "feels" right.

It is heartening to see this.

But on the other hand is Sibal and the gang, trying to gag it all out. Hopefully they do not succeed. [-o<

And the NE violence->Mumbai violence->Bangalore/Chennai exodus->Lucknow violence story gets murkier by the hour..

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


From a whirlwind Hyderabad trip. For the first time, we left home with parents and aunt (mom's youngest sister) staying here and us traveling to Hyderabad. It was a new experience ;) My parents managed the house very well while we were out I think.

Trip was fun, just enough agenda packed in so as to fill the days well but not tire us out too much. It looked like the son was on the verge of a diarrhea spree before we left but luckily it was not very bad and we all came back safe and healthy.

We went by train and for the first time the son was able to catch some glimpses of life outside a train's window in the little daylight that was left. He enjoyed it I think. Also the first time after he is fully potty trained, so a new experience there as well.

Since my parents were here while we traveled and since my father in law is in the US, we stayed with my mother in law's sister. It was lovely. She kept cooking and feeding us. And their place is so much in the heart of things, that it is simply awesome. We were also visited by Subhash's uncle and his whole family thanks to his kids who were also visiting Hyd that weekend. And ohh, that paan!

We also caught up with friends - another long pending agenda item.

And most importantly, we met my sister's newborn! This was a long overdue trip made exclusively to meet the little brother. They have decided to name him Sohan, and the two cousins are namesakes but for one letter ;) Of course, in his usual style, the son did not pay much attention (he normally ignores kids younger than him) - he was rather amused to see such a small baby I think.

We also managed to find one half an hour in between to take a walk with the son on Tank Bund. And I also got to eat corn on the cob! How better can it get :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


So, that unthinkable thing that I finally did a few days ago was this - to go shopping for cloth on Commercial Street! I went with a very trusted cousin and she took me and got me back in 2 hours flat! And we fixed a tailor there itself. I am usually a very ready-made clothes type person, and dread going to any tailor. The whole process somehow intimidates me!

Now today was a great suspenseful day. The guy was supposed to give me the stuff on Sunday, then Monday and then finally this afternoon. We had an independence day celebration at work and wanted the stuff ready in time. Only for it to end with a nail-biting finish! I waited and waited and waited with friends, till 2 (event started at 1.30 PM) and then asked everyone to go back to what they were doing, losing hope of the guy ever showing up and somehow finally half an hour later he did show up ;) Dressed up hurriedly and went to the place where the event was happening. Only to be accidentally caught in the fashion parade and win it. I have no clue how. I think my whole win was rigged. In some vague way ;) But not complaining!!!!

All in all, for a person who never goes to tailors and almost dreads it, this experience was novel. In fact it was a lot of fun waiting for the guy to show up till the last minute. Thanks to friends S, S and R who made the waiting so much fun!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ohh 11!

It has already been one year since I wrote this!

Today I got over one big mental block and did what I never thought I could or would do! Stay tuned to find out how successful or dud it turned out to be (of course also to even know what it is!) All thanks to a very nice cousin and friend :)

In recent times, back to doing what I love best - teaching. Coaching an engineer at work on technical topics and it brings out the teacher in me totally. Including the pop-quiz type questions! I think when I am tired of the corporate job, I will go back to teaching.

Not many people know that I used to take tuitions when I was in engineering and actually made some pretty nice money out of it which paid for my fuel (I loved roaming the roads on my Scooty/Kinetic/TVS) and also for my street food fests! :) And to think of it - I started off completely against my will thanks to the repeated insistence of that aunty who would not leave me alone till I started teaching her daughter M, Maths. I actually never took any money from her. More so because that way I could stop when I wanted if I felt it was intruding on my free time too much, which I valued far more than anything else.

Since I have anyways said this much, let me also mention that I count that as one of the bigger accomplishments in my life. M was sent for tuition because she barely got passing marks in Math in 9th standard CBSE and after she started coming to me in 10th she got some cool 90% types in the CBSE boards :) Her parents came home and gave us sweets etc - you get the drift. Cannot forget that satisfaction - only a teaching profession can give you that! Later more people started coming and I actually had a paying job in tuitions ;)

 Fond memories..those engineering days :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

From good to bad and back

Yesterday one of my mentors (whom I really respect a lot) sent a very flattering email and asked me to be a guest speaker in one of the cohorts he leads - topic was work-life integration. I was not very sure what to say, so we discussed it last night and he told me a few things I do that I can talk about. So, I was feeling really nice in the morning planning out what to say and the works.

The son wakes up pretty late these days and I dont try to force him out of his sleep either since anyways these are his last golden days, once in school he will have to wake up like clockwork. So, to induce him to wake up early today so that I could reach work on time, I devised a brilliant plan of drawing back the curtains at around 7 so he would wake up at the ideal 7.15 to 7.30 which would let us get out of the house on time. (he wakes up almost immediately when light hits his face)

Everything was going well and like I planned. He woke up at 6.45 itself, without me having to do anything and then he got ready to eat in good time and everything seemed to be going rather well when my domestic help decided to start being cranky and complain about too much clothes put for wash and how she is working way too much etc and then started the downward swing. She also forgot to clean his bottles, so I had to spend an extra few minutes doing that and all in all only got out of the house 10 minutes later than planned. Only to find a huge bore digging truck block the entire road without letting me get out of our colony. Luckily that beast moved faster than I feared.

Then all through the road, the folks just decided to drive slower - tailgate huge trucks without even attempting to pass, be extra gentle to their shock absorbers by maneuvering ditches at 0 KMPH etc - you get the drift. Somehow I managed to get to work just in time for the session. But then I did not exactly pull it off like I had hoped to. I did manage to go over all the notes I made but in a piecemeal style - not sure if the other managers in the cohort really got any take-aways from it at all :P

Then I came home, mentally preparing on how to deal with the household help. I had given her a raise not very many months ago and carefully I thought over what to say and said it like I hoped to. From the looks of it (or at least till the next argument), I think I won this round. Ironically just last night I was planning to finish a long pending blog on how life learns from work and how work learns from life - and cite this particular example. Last time she did this, I managed to wade through it very well and was particularly proud of it since I was certain that the same situation would have ended with me changing the help if it was a couple of years ago, simply because I was too .. hmm .. whaddayacallit .. unpolished, maybe? Definitely all credit to Subhash and my learning on the job. One of the main reasons why I chose this career path in the first place. It was the perfect opportunity to get over the handicap I had in dealing with all kinds of people. Of course it is still a long way to go, but I can clearly see my own improvement in the past few years! Thanks to some honest and relentless mentors at home (read Subhash) and at work.

Olympics is definitely heartening to watch this time around. Whatever we win is all credit to the athletes, since they definitely did not have it easy going all the way there. All power to Mary Kom and hope she brings in the Gold. We as a nation do not deserve to tag it on ourselves saying "India" won the gold - but hopefully it changes a little bit of our attitude of neglect towards the seven sisters :) (There are a lot of articles being flung around on this one so I wont write anything more for fear of having nothing new to say)

So back to the day, all is well that ends well :)

Friday, August 03, 2012


Writing a political opinion after a while.

I am glad that the whole IAC team has decided to bring the thing to a logical conclusion. Political involvement. This is something I have been hoping for. The dawn of sense on these folks. Or maybe they knew it from the start but wanted to get some adrenalin pumping with the fasts and the protests. Pre-entry publicity for the political party (which may or may not see the light of the day). I am not sure. Either ways, I am happy. No more painful embarrassments from this quarter. And not to mention - no more uncalled-for mud-slinging against the very rare able administrators we already have (ohh, how useless was that!! It is almost like the ruling government paid them to do it!)

Why people fail to realize that imposing another dinosaur law on the already heavy and obese laws is just going to create another arena for more bribe giving and taking is quite beyond me. It will just raise the stakes higher (10 crores to a judge for bail, 100 crores to the Lokpal for looking the other way).

We need the entry to politics and power to be made simple. I should not have to be stinking rich (in all probability this already means I am corrupt) to even be able to afford a contest. That day, the country will make a U-turn. Till then, we are all deluding ourselves that something miraculous will happen.

I've always lamented the lack of one person or party to vote for. That is the opportunity creation I am hoping for. When we have better leaders, things will change, surely and steadily (and faster than you can think). I also hope it will inspire and motivate our so called educated, middle class, upper middle class folks to get off the couch and go cast a vote (because now, there is no excuse for apathy, there is at least one guy/gal who deserves to be voted to power!)

And the lesser the government meddles in people's business, the faster it will help the country prosper. Archaic British Raj license rules, extorting people in the names of various taxes and cesses etc. - the whole thing needs to be over-hauled. There was a joke in my lunch gang recently when I told them I don't understand why I need to pay an education cess proportional to the tax I have paid for the year, on top of the said already-paid tax. And a colleague joked, that it is a cess I am paying for being an educated person. That is the state of affairs literally in the place.

Bottom-line is - we need to do away with the fat. Trim the junk. Keep things simple. Let people behave in their best interests (we are humans, we all do that expertly and naturally). Encourage activities that bring in prosperity. Stop meddling. Stop fining. Stop handing out sops. And many more.

Shantanu says it very well. I will just be rambling if I write anymore. Go read it if you do not already do so :)