My Scratch Pad

To jot down some memorable events in my journey

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Taste of an Art

As a child, during the summer holidays, I have learnt quite some things like embroidery, batic, clay modelling, doll making and different types of painting. Remember the organisation called Bal Bhavan in Cubbon Park, Bangalore which used to offer various such courses at very nominal prices!! I wonder if these courses are still continuing. As an adoloscent, I have always had interest for such things and continued to learn. I learnt Ikebana and mural painting. I know till know this post seems like beating my own drums :D Now comes the real deal. They say cooking is an art. I never bothered to get a 'taste' of this art till I got married, that is till I was 27 years old. There are many reasons (read excuses) for this. Primary ones being:

  • My mom is an early bird. She gets up at around 4:30am or 5am to start the daily household chores. Not that, I used to get up late. During school and college days, I used to wake up at 4am but the early hours of the day were used for 'studying'. I had to leave home early as I had travel to the other end of the city.
  • I thought helping my mother with grocery shopping, vegetable cutting and some odd tasks was great proportion of real cooking. How wrong I was!!
Even after I got married, as long as I stayed in India, I just helped my MIL with cooking but never did the real cooking as I was really pressed for time. But then, few months later I landed in France to run a family on my own. The first month was just out of a horror movie. Once in every two times, I got it wrong!! After 3 months of cooking, I can confidently say I have improved leaps N bounds. I know there is a long way to go but still!! This is not just my story. Many of my friends were like this. Never learnt cooking and after few months they are quite good!! So unmarried girls reading this, a tip for you, dont worry about cooking, its our second nature!!

Anyhow, there are some primary requirements for cooking. My two cents on it:
  • Time: In the initial days, it takes a lot of time. It used to take atleast two hours for me to prepare 'Sambar'. If the salt was correct, it used to be very spicy. If the spice was correct, it used to be too sour. When all these turned out to be correct, it was too watery. So I had to cook Dal yet again, and add it to the Sambar and start again to adjust the salt and spice :( It takes some patience in the beginning to get the combination right!! After some time it is 'bhaaye haath ka khel' :D
  • Good Recipes: Nothing matches mommies recipes!! Of course :D But with technology, we get a lot of good recipes from various cuisines on the internet. In the initial days, when my mom used to say, use 3 or 4 chillies. I used to ask, is it 3 or is it 4 and what size each :D
  • Creativity and Innovation: Improvising a classical recipe. Thats gives a lot of satisfaction. Trying out new recipes is quiet interesting. But then, you need a lot of time for the same
  • Last but not the least, you need a really Good Guinea Pig. Husbands are the most easily available and vulnerable category :D Shan has been really patient and very helpful. He is quite a good cook himself and thinks cooking is a very good relaxation!! Uff, I have not reached that stage yet!! He always volunteers with new recipes, to cook as well as to get experimented with :D
After few months of cooking experimentation, I have the following achievements, if I may call so :D

  • I have hosted many parties for my husbands friends and colleagues. I have prepared an entire repas - full meal with an entry, main course and dessert, that too tailored to French tastebuds :D
  • We celebrated our first anniversary with a barbeque picnic party on a hilltop after 1.5 hours of cycling :D
  • I prepared continental dishes like the French tarts and the Italian pizza. Prepare, does not mean get the base etc from the supermarket. I prepared it from scratch!! Yippee!! Man! Actually, traditional continental dishes are quite complicated!!
  • I have celebrated all the festivals till date. The latest one with a 13 item menu :D
Most newly married women, may have similar stories. I just shared it :D I have done nothing great!! Till now the story seems good. But all stories, seem to have some bad part embedded. My mother got recently operated after being diagnosed for a gynaecological problem. After her operation, she obviously is suggested bed rest. My father is not a great cook but helped my mom quite a lot. So, he is currently struggling with my mom totally out of kitchen. I am so many miles away from them and cannot help my mom now, when she needs me most. That too when my culinary skills have improved!! What an irony of life!!

Signing off!!

Contrast of the Moment:

In France, people cook for 20 minutes and eat for 2 hours. We cook for 2 hours and eat in 20 mins :D

Next to Come: By your side!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

People People Everywhere...

I come from a country which has the infamous reputation of being the second most populated country in the world even though it is only the seventh biggest country of the world :( The cities are just too flooding. Most of us might have seen the road crossing scenes in Mumbai or the traffic jams in Kolkata over the television. Uff!! One of the cities which has recently exploded(yeah!! exploded not expanded) in population is Bangalore. Till 2001, I was able to travel around 22kms in less than 40 mins with my puny two wheeler. Last 5 to 6 years, two wheelers are considered non existent. I have taken around 2 hours to travel 12kms from office to home. Pchh!! Why am I ranting yet again?

With so many malls, multiplexes and other hyped-up places mushrooming all over Bangalore, I end up dashing into some not expected people in 'candid' situations. Its worth to mention a few:

Incident 1
In my neighbourhood, lived my brethren, the IT professionals as it was the nearest decent residential layout(those days) to the IT park. There is real bad taste joke about my neighbourhood - "When you throw a stone, it either hits a dog or an IT professional" :-/ Chuck that.

I am not a fashion freak. However, I do visit the neighbourhood beauty parlour at regular intervals to get my hair trimmed to avoid the constant cribbing from mom about split hairs!! One Saturday, I pushed myself to the ever-crowded beauty parlour. Voila!! There I see all those known faces seen almost daily at my office campus. Placed myself next to more known lady and started chatting with her as we were waiting for the girls at the parlour to be liberated from two fatty aunties covered with some white and pink cream all over their body. (Wo)Man!! These women spend so much money on their bodies. One lady paid around Rs3000, right in front of me!! God knows what she did!! She didnt look anywhere close to Aish!!

The girl next to me chatted continuously inducing instant headache! She was from another part of the country and complained continuously about Bangalore-its traffic, the people, the pollution. She behaved as if it was not in India!! Irritation level was increasing. Thanks to the girl at the beauty parlour who understood my agony!!

I know this parlour girl 'Ammu' for a long time. She was giving me suggestions about increasing my hair volume and the best hair cut for me though she knows that I always end up getting the conventional step cut for myself. As she was describing a hair cut, one of the fatty ladies had washed herself and ended up wrapped in a towel right behind me. I could see her in the mirror. Man! It took some time for me to recognise her sans cream. She was my instructor during my training days!!

I dislike it when someone forces syntax of a programming language and ask us to mug it up!! She exactly did that!! So had run into rough weather with her and she had 'tried' to embarrass me many times!! But in this situation, she was really caught in a very embarrassing situation!! Standing in front of around ten ladies just in a towel and lot of mass around her waist!! I controlled the bubbles of laughter evaporating from my stomach and wished her with a timid 'Hi'. "How come here?" was the incontrollable question to follow as she was not from our area. She said she came to her sister's house (the other fat lady) for the weekend. Man!! What an unfortunate weekend is what she would have been thinking after that!!

Incident 2
There are lot of malls in Bangalore. I really warn claustrophobic and sociophobic people, to avoid such places!! I had been to the PVR multiplex in the Forum Mall. This is quite close to my home in Bangalore, just about 2 kms. I was not married then (olddd story). I met a friend of mine and her would-be hubby, another good friend of mine. We planned to watch a much hyped movie. This friend of mine is quite crazy about how she looks even in a dim lit theatre. She made yet another visit to the rest room to make up the make-up! Meanwhile, her to-be hubby and I were joking about her real girly trends. He commented that she would take half an hour to shop even a plain white handkerchief :D

As this loud laughing and bitching behind the back was going on, one of my neighbourhood aunties dashed into us. Timing, I must say!! It was sight to watch!! She scanned from head to toe the to-be hubby. Hope I could tell her that he is the to-be hubby of my friend and not mine!! By then, my friend had decided to be kind on us and came to the dramatic scene. I was quick enough to introduce my friends to this dear aunty. What a relief! Not for me but for that aunty :D

Incident 3
Chat(eatable ones :D) centres are not a rarity in Bangalore. They are spread all over. There is one good chat centre called Anand Bhavan in Koramangala. I was introduced to this chat centre by a good friend. After that I frequented this place with various groups. Once I had been there with friend and ordered for my favourite Katori Chat! These chat centres are really crowded and you need to have a hawk's eye to catch a good table for your group. I was successful in getting a suitable table for us.

The sumptuous looking Katori chat arrived and salivary glands became immediately active (To tell the truth, mine are never inactive :D). As I was about take a big bite of the Katori Chat with my wide opened mouth, I caught the eyes of my ex-manager, right across the table. Suddenly, an "Eve's apple" seemed to grow!! Quite a scene!! Laughed my heart out that day, remembering that scene every 15 minutes :D

Incident 4
This was my second meeting with my not-yet-decided-to-be-hubby. I should have turned nuts to give him a rendez-vous in Bangalore Centrale. Man!! It was people people and more people. Being short, I could just see feet of people and at his height, he said he could just see heads!! We took some time to find each other! We were trying to call each other standing at different doors of the same store!! Meanwhile, as usual, met a couple of colleagues there!! I was hardly interested to talk to them and one must obviously know why!!

I had seen such situations in movies. It is way different to experience this and behave human! Some of these situations are embarassing, some cute, some unfortunate and others irritating. But then, these are the ones which spice up life. A bit of gyan there :D

Signing off!!

Contrast of the Moment:

The office campus, I worked in Bangalore supported around 25,000 people. The city, I currently live in France has a total population of around 17,000!!!

Next to Come: Taste of an Art

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Over the Tower

Remember those cute games which we used to play during our childhood days. Such sweet and such innocent games!! One of the games (rather riddle kind of thing), I vividly remember goes as follows:

"Which is the biggest pan in the world?"
. The answer is ............"Japan"!!!

"Which is the biggest gate in the world?"
. The answer is
............"China Gate"!!!

Another version of the same is:

"Which is the smallest gate in the world?". The answer is ............"Colgate"!!!

I know, I know!! I know for some of you this might seem silly. Then!! mebbe you have switched off the child switch on your dashboard.
Why all this tippani (intro)? Last post, I said I flew to France and this post, I am talking about a tower. Its child play to guess I am talking about the much 'hyped' "Eiffel Tower" in Paris. I visited the Eiffel tower 4 times till date. Each time saw it in different light set up, in different moods and from different heights.

First Visit: 11th February 2007

Thats the day, I landed in Paris for the very first time. We just went out for a stroll in the evening. The light set up in the night is real good. There is one rotating light at the summit. I have heard that the light is very powerful and can be seen from real far away, even the suburbs of Paris.
The lights on the Eiffel Tower flash on the strike of the hour, hour after hour. That was mesmerising.

That's my first snap with the Eiffel Tower. Man!! the lowest temperatures I knew till then was around 8°C in Ooty. It felt more cold due to the wetness in the breeze. I was freezing!! This snap is taken from a place called Trocadero. Many beautiful snaps of the Eiffel Tower is taken from this place or the gardens on the other side!! Now, dont squeak where else they can be taken from!!

This visit just lasted around 15 minutes. Firstly, I was tired and secondly, I did not wear proper shoes and the chill air was biting my feet!!

Second Visit: 11th March 2007

This was the day I was returning back to India after my one month visit to France. Mood was low as cribbed about in the last post. This time saw the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero and the gardens in daylight.

This is my favourite snap. Isnt it picture perfect? As it was a weekend, there were many kids practising roller skates and one guy was performing on his bicycle. It was a treat to watch these stuff. Along with a cotton candy (known as barbe à papa in French. Yeah!! I have to learn French equivalents everytime now), these cheered me up a little. Shan too tried some cycle stunts and 'tried' to ride with me on the front bar. Man!! This was a laugh riot. It was nostalgic too for him with memories of roller skating and cycling in Trocadero during his student days. These memories are so wierd. They can churn up a concoction of feelings.

Third Visit: 14th July 2007

This visit was after I came to france on a dependent visa. 14th July, Bastille Day, commemorates the uprising of the modern France. We came over to Paris to watch the parade (défile) along with Mr. New President, Mr. Sarkozy. Missed him in a whisker :(. In the evening, we went near the Eiffel Tower once again to watch the fireworks (feux d'artifice). We reached at 6pm. Note that 6pm is still mid-evening in mid-summer days. For a Bangalorean, worst case the sun is down by 7pm and here our dear soleil is up till 11pm!! The fireworks were to start only at 10:30pm and we thought 6pm should be quite early. Man!! did we guess wrong!

There was a concert on. I 'think', some classical French songs were sung. The entire pool of people was humming to the songs. We too set to hum some catchy and peppy numbers. The spirit was overwhelming.

The concert ended and the fireworks started, dot at 10:30pm. MAGICAL, is the word. It was a pleasure watching the fireworks, red, pink, green, blue, white, purple, silver and golden dance to the tunes of songs from all over the world. There was the song "Diya" from the movie "Devdas" played too. Some Indians in the crowd whistled :D

Shan and I had missed our Tale Deepavali, our first Diwali after marriage, thanks to French visa. I commented that not many have the luck to celebrate it at the Eiffel Tower to which Mr.Hubby grinned ear-to-ear.

Fourth Visit: 14th September 2007

Recently, we were back to the tower, this time with the intention to mount to the summit.

This is Mr.Eiffel for you. More about him and the tower here.

There are 3 stages for the Eiffel Tower. One could opt to go to the first and second stage by foot and then to the summit by lift. Initially, we had planned to go by foot to the second stage. Long queues and shortage of time insisted to act otherwise. Following is the view as we went up the Eiffel Tower.

The first thing we saw is this placard with distances to India.

I liked this concept. However, Shan just sidelined this saying it is a tourism gimmick. Yeah!! I do agree that certain things are blown out of proportion for tourists. But, whats wrong. They know how to market even the least impressive things. In India, there are much more beautiful things, just orphaned due to inadequate touristic marketing. Difficult to debate, which is correct. Both have pros and cons.

Some other shots taken from the summit are as follows:


Garden beside the Eiffel Tower

Rugby Stadium

Bird's eye view of Paris

Finally, my favorite

This is the view all the way till Montparnasse (the black building), the tallest structure in Paris. It is prohibited to construct tall buildings in Paris. This is to ensure that the monarchial beauty of Paris is preserved. Wow!!

Later, we took a lift to the second stage. The snaps taken there just seem zoomed in :D Savoured the cool breeze with a sip of hot chocolate and cappucino and window shopping (rather peeping) of souvenir shops.

The first stage is a bit commercialised adorned my expensive restaurants and banquet halls. Cool idea to have a conference over the Eiffel tower :D Someone game!! There are some "Did you know?" stuff like Did you know that the tip of Eiffel Tower sways around 10cm with the breeze. Lots of boards with details about the visits of the dignitaries were also displayed. France is the host of the World Cup Rugby 2007. So a huge rugby ball like balloon swayed around.

After an enjoyable mount and descent, we rushed to meet a friend. Though, Eiffel Tower(Tour Eiffel) is adorable , I personally dont think that it is the best thing in Paris. I wonder why it was the "Wonder of the World" (It is not anymore). There are better things in Paris like The MontMarte or The Sacre Coeur. Come to Normandy. You will see wonders in every road you take. Or the Mont St Michel!!

Did you get to know what are the topics of the coming posts? ;) Nah!! Though some memorable moments and fascinating facts will be scribbled down on my scratch pad.

Signing off!!

Facts of the Moment:

Rajiv Gandhi inaugarated the Indian Mela in France in 1985 and had presented a baby elephant to France!!

Citroen used the Eiffel Tower as a billboard for mannnny years.

Next to Come: People People Everywhere...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Flight to France

Last post, I celebrated my first wedding anniversary with a return on my blog. This time will do a little flashback of my first year of marriage. No!! It would not be written as a series like my “Me in Chinkyland Series”. I would not bore you so much. Just a quick update on my life in the non blogging days!!

To speak my heart out, the first year of marriage was not all that colour filled with the honeymooning, travelling and all those sweet filmy moments. It was way different!! The first 16 days of marriage was tightly packed with travelling to Tirupathi and Kerala, a pooja at home and lunches at relatives’ houses. We hardly had some personal time. On the 16th night, September 12th 2006, exactly a year back, Shan left to France :(. Actually, I did not feel anything at that moment for the following reasons

-I usually never miss anybody!! I am kind of strange!! Maybe thanks to the development of technology that I am always in touch with family and friends through e-mails, telephone and even video chat.

- Secondly, I had prepared mentally before marriage for this 'separation'. I had quite some things on my checklist to be completed before I left India.

- Thirdly, as per the details collected by us, the dependent visa would take about 9 to 12 weeks. This time frame seemed encouraging!!

The visa took a great deal more!! It was as if we had misread 9 months as 9 weeks!! Yes, you got it!! It took 9 months!! It seemed longer with constant enquiry from family, friends and colleagues. I do agree that they were genuinely concerned but at times these enquiries were really like adding fuel to fire!!

Life was going a bit monotonous. A work day was as follows:

- Get up at 4:45am!! Ya!! I had just one office bus from my in-laws place to office at 6:45am. After getting up, put the water to boil and help my MIL with the breakfast. I must admit I hardly had time to cook. My MIL and FIL were really very co-operative in getting my breakfast ready and lunch packed for me by 6:45am. After taking bath and having breakfast, off I went to the office bus.

- In the office bus, listen to some damn FM channel playing a devotional hymn!! Badly, needed this to keep it going!! Then do some French reading for about 30 minutes during my bus travel! Then listen to some songs and bak bak going on the FM channels!!

- Then 8am to 'God knows what time' were my office hours. Usually, worked till 7 or 8 in the evening. Of course, very well intervened with lunch and tea breaks with colleagues! I could not work longer as I had no bus after that!! Uff!! Even if I tried to leave early, I would be stuck in the traffic jam!!

- After work, reach home around 10pm. Thanks to all the traffic jam on the clogged roads of Bangalore, I would be dead like a dodo by then!

- Dinner was an exercise. I call it an exercise as I hardly felt like eating after such a hectic day. Just ate to keep up the routine!

- After dinner, chat with hubby deary. Thanks to just 4.5 hrs time difference, I could catch up with him at around 10:30pm. So talk about an hour or two. By then, the needle of the clock has already crossed midnight! Remember the next day starts at 4:45am!!

So, I was managing with less than 5 hours sleep day after day! Shan used to plead me to go to sleep and suggested we would talk only over the weekends. The head listens to such practical suggestions but what about the heart!! It is a cribby machine throwing tantrums all the time!!

That was about the weekdays!! What about weekends!! They seemed to fly, one faster than the other. Weekends were utilised for French classes, visiting my parents and some odd chores including cheering up myself!! So that was 3/4th of my first year of marriage!! How boring! Lesser talked about the better!!

Was it all? Nah!! After 6 months wait for visa, I could not wait anymore. I took a month off from office and flew to France in February. Why! Just a month!! Nah!! It was not office that was holding me back! My boss was quite co-operative that way!! I did not get tourist visa for more than a month though I applied for 3 months!! Really cursed the French consulate for this!

Shan and I were teasing each other, if we would recognise one another in the airport. We did!! I was so relieved to see him! That one month in France

- We visited various well known places in Paris. We live away from Paris, in the beautiful land of Normandy.

- After a week in Paris, we reached ‘home’. I must say, it was a wonderful feeling when I stepped into my new home. We caught up with some lost time at “Home Sweet home”

- We had some lunches with Shan’s colleagues-cum-friends here. We went on a trek too with them.

But heck!! One month just vanished in thin air!! Don’t call me greedy now!! The day I left to India, I could feel it, almost for the first time. I ‘missed’ him.

After returning to India, I was cursing myself for not having waited. After having lived with Shan for a month, it was all the more difficult. My brother was pulling my leg that it was not Shan, but France that I missed! Sick timing for his jokes!!

Finally on May 15th 2007, I had my dependent visa interview. I was really nervous about this interview after the tourist visa episode. I got my visa with just 2 minutes visa interview. I was not able to believe it!! I checked and re-checked the stamped page on my passport. Shan took 2 weeks off and landed in India. After these two action packed weeks, both of us flew to France on 10th June 2007.

In spite of all this drama, I must say I had a wonderful and fruitful first year!! The long calls with Shan were such a boon for strengthening our relationship. Some cheering moments, lots of cribbing moments and lot more understanding moments over the phone added great energy to our marriage. I strongly believe that “communication” is the key for a marriage or any relationship for that matter. Ironically, I miss those long calls these days!! Touch Wood!! Me == Weirdo!!

Signing off!!

Photo of the Moment:

Next to Come: Over the Tower

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fruits of Labour

I am back !! I am back on my blog after a long gap. It’s really difficult to ‘invent’ excuses for such long breaks. I would leave it to your imagination.

Initially, when I put the title of this post in the “Next to Come” section of my previous post, I had planned posting some good snaps of the spring blooms in my office campus. However, sometimes things do not work as per ‘plan’. Blog post is still a small thing. What if things do not work out in a similar way in the big picture of life. To some extent, it did happen to me. In searching my life mate. I had to go through the conventional ‘arranged’ marriage method. Quite a long, complicated and frustrating process. I was ‘presented’ to all kinds of people. Even ‘unknown’ people used to come forward with ‘best’ match for me. I used to wonder if telepathy works. Most of the time I never met the prospective groom. Well protected!! Whenever I did a get a rare chance to meet, I found some really strange and unexpected characteristics. Let me deal with just the ABCs

* Attitude: This one was really unexpected. I met one guy who wanted his future wife to be a ‘house wife’ (not home maker). Moreover, when I asked this guy why he wanted to meet me knowing that I am a working woman. He said that all his friends’ wives are educated and working. So, he wanted someone to be in that social circle!! I was perplexed!! So he expected that I will quit my job for his whims!!

It is really not demeaning to be a home maker. In fact, I feel it is one of the very tough jobs. Many times the efforts go unrecognized and job remains the least thanked. You don’t even have a promotion!! Nevertheless, I personally feel it should be left to the choice of the woman to choose her way of life: as a working woman or as a home maker. If you note closely, it is not about a job but it is about the attitude. I have many such incidents to quote about the attitude of literate (Meaning: has many professional degrees but no education) prospective grooms.

* Beliefs: Horoscope plays a huge role in arranged marriage. Many people believe that horoscope match is the most important thing. Though I respect their belief (it is their choice), I feel that a frequency and wavelength match of the future couple is the most important thing.

Another primary belief I have observed is that guys tend to get prepared to marry an ‘unknown’ girl when their mothers like the prospective bride!! I do understand that men really love their mothers. It is called criss-cross inheritance in genetics terminology. Then, is it not important for the couple to understand each other first!! And how about the girl liking your mother!! Please don’t get carried away by those sodium chloride dripping saas bahu serials and think if you mother likes future bride, you can avoid those jhagdas at home. The two women are going to have differences and ego clashes because the fulcrum is the GUY. He is the common element and both try to prove that they love HIM more!!!

* Charming looks: Need a tall, fair girl with long wavy hair and brown eyes. Oh no!! This is not an ad inviting models for a cosmetic product range!! I saw this on a partner preference in one of the matrimonial sites. Are looks so important? They might be important for some but is it the sole distinguishing and deciding factor? I am still wondering.

I can go on and on about the D to Z strange characteristics but that’s not the idea of this post. Am I trying to demean guys and generalise them into the aforementioned categories? Definitely NO!! I have heard really crazy requirements of prospective brides too!! Among men, there are really precious gems, one better than the other. I have really good friends among men! In fact, closer friends than the girl friends I have. I just had to meet all these namoonas before I could find my “gem” (ahem!!). Should I say that HE is my ‘Fruit of Labour’. Maybe, this entire process was to ensure that I understand the true value of my future hubby. I hope, Shan (Shanmugam), my husband, tomorrow morning, does not get up with horns (grown on his head ;) ) after reading all this.

It was not a typical arranged marriage! We first met over a matrimonial site. Could I say it was love at first sight … err … chat. Then over my request and to satisfy my parents and his, he came over to India for just 2 days to ‘see’ me. From there the arranged part starts. And who says arranged marriage sucks. It seems to be working!! Fingers Crossed!!

Signing off!!

Memory of the Moment: Last year, same day, we got married. Yep!! It is my first Wedding Anniversary!!

Next to Come: Flight to France!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Me In Chinkyland - Cross Cultural Sensitivity

In my organization, individuals traveling on assignments to client locations are advised to undergo a soft skills training of Cross Cultural Sensitivity. This is to ensure that we are adequately sensitized about the general etiquettes and mannerisms of people spread across a vast geographical canvas.

Some behavior I noticed among the few Chinese I met is as follows:
(Donno if this is applicable to the entire populace of China :D)

1) Extremely inquisitive. I was a foreigner in their land and they wanted to know about my land. Whenever I wore a salwar kameez, they were deeply interested to know about the fabric, the styles etc. The embroidery on my kameez and the bindi on my forehead used to be crowd pullers :D. They used to ask me the significance of the bindi. Based on my little “naalej” of Yoga, I cooked it up quite well and said that there is one prominent Chakra of the human body on the forehead where the bindi is placed :D Unfortunately, these were followed by more questions on Yoga where my little “naalej” dint help :D

2) Youngsters used to feel very fascinated to see a foreigner in a small town of China. They used to run around me to catch a second glimpse (Yep!). Some of them trying to practice the little English they knew. There was one instance where I met a young school girl at a local restaurant. She chatted with me for few minutes and then was emotional enough to kiss on my cheeks!!

3) They are always smiling. They greet you with a broad smile and bow. Extremely courteous and kind to strangers. How I miss this courtesy from people of current “Namma Bengaluru”. People are always in a hurry here with no time for any courtesy :-(

4) The official work hours are pretty long there, around 12 hours (In India unofficially most of us work around 12 hours :-() . After lunch, they used to have an hour break for sleeping!! They used to have small bed under their cubicles on which they used to couch. I remembered my days at the nursery school, where we used to have a sleeping period after the 10am snacks break!!! Good ol’ days :D

5) Very Chivalrous. They would always open the car door for me. Pull the chair at the dinner table. Carry my things wherever I went. But then, I used to feel suffocated and more importantly dependent. How would you feel if your client manager carried your laptop wherever you went!!!!

I can go on and on about the ‘n’ number of memorable instances I have had and ‘m’ number of people I have met. But then, a post on my blog is just not enough to put those wonderful memories in words.

Signing off!!

Question of the Moment: “Do you see elephants on the roads of India?” – In our cross cultural sensitivity program, we were told this is the question most of the Indians face very often in a foreign land. I dismissed thinking the facilitator of the session is just hyping it. But believe me I was really asked this question!!!

Next to Come: Fruits of Labor

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


My frequency of writing posts to my blog has been very low :( Is it that the beginner’s enthusiasm and addiction to my blog diminished? I pondered over this point and could get a very clear answer “NO”!!! How do I prove this? Ok. Here it goes.

  1. I talk blog, walk blog, think blog, dream blog. That’s an exaggeration!! But I am thinking in blog lines whenever some incident happens in my life. I keep thinking how I could blog that incident, what would be the title, the contents etc.
  2. I carry my camera most of the time with me to capture some beautiful moments.
  3. I already have quite some ideas in my head running. Put down some in writing too. At least the concept is on paper…err…MS Word
  4. I want to write a Blook (Blog Book). I want to write a book too on a topic I have in mind some time soon in future ;D (I know some of you would be terming this as “Day Dreaming”. But… )

Ok!! Whats stopping me from writing. I know you would be thinking this lady is going to come up with lame excuses. But, as I have mentioned over and again, I am quite insensitive to what you think and here is why I am not able to blog frequently

  1. Monday to Friday – Weekdays are pretty long for me. Start to office at 7a.m and come back only at 10 p.m. No No!!! I am not one of the work worms. Just that I even gym in the office campus!!! This is just to avoid the peak time Bangalore Traffic jams!!
  2. Weekends just fly.
  3. There are sometimes, I have the concept, idea and content ready. But the flow of the post just does not satisfy me. Even the last post, I posted it half hearted!!
  4. The “Next to Come” section in my blog also is holding me back in posting alternate posts. No!! I am not going to stop it. This section is my challenge. I need to retain it around and overcome it. Life should not be smoothened by de-weeding challenges (OK!! A little gyan there. But what the heck!! This is my blog. I can do whatever I want ;D)
  5. Lots of other personal and professional commitments take higher priority :(

Having said all this, how am I going to handle this

  1. Write shorter and crisper posts – This way I can get some time to work on my ideas even on work days.
  2. Accept a post need not be written in one shot. You can have many sittings and fine tune it every time.
  3. Dedicate some predetermined time for blogging (Anybody out there who has an idea if this works, please let me know through comments ;D)

Let us see how things uncurl going forwards. Suggestions / Comments from my dear readers are welcome :D

Signing off!!

Resolution of the Moment: Write one post at least for one week. (Do resolutions work? :D But lemme try)

Next to Come: Me in ChinkyLand – Cross Cultural Sensitivity