Month: June 2014

Thank You India

I was sitting at the local Starbucks located at the intersection of the Oak and Rush Street, an absolutely beautiful place near my room.

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I frequent the place not for my caffeine demands but for witnessing civilization. As usually I was sitting on one of the couches in the corner with my feet on a foot rest, earphones plugged in soothing me with white noise which I prefer when I am working or reading. Few days ago when I was in New York and I was listening to it in office, my project manager and other people were making fun of me on hearing the sound and told me that I belong to the era of Doordarshan (National TV broadcast in India) . Anyway, So I was engrossed in my thoughts and in the text in front of me and few moments later a group of young people joined a table adjacent to me. Disheveled appearances and loud enough to penetrate the white noise barrier between me and them , they were giggling and pointing their fingers on their iPads ,phones and Macs .I was getting disturbed and I decided to move myself to other side of the cafe and started gathering my belongings. One of the guy apologized and told me that they just returned back to US after 5 month sabbatical from their work . I nodded and asked them which country did they travel to and the answer was “India” . I got interested. I asked them how did they find the country and the guy with whom I was talking to told me in subtle manner “Its a Pandora box , you have to open it and explore it. Anything can come out of it .” I said indeed it is and left for the other corner. Around half an hour later I got up to attend call of nature and on coming back I reached for the few paper towels kept near the open area of the floor. A girl from the group with sun tanned face was also standing there gulping water and startled me by asking ” Have you been to India by any chance , I see this red thread on your wrist”  . I said “Yes, I have to India many times because I am from India” . She told me that they spent last 5 months in India and it was quite an experience. I asked her what part of India did they see. She said “New Delhi , Khajraho caves and mostly Southern India” I told her I am from New Delhi and asked her did she like it. She told me She went to Moti Mahal in Darya Ganj , the book market of Sunday , She couldn’t pronounce it but made references to the innards of Chandni Chowk where she had Stuffed breads and Chickpea chana masala, strolled on the lawns of India gate ,attended a play at NSD , enjoyed street food of Delhi and headed for Southern India. I was surprised and ecstatic because she was an unconventional traveler. Yes, Taj Mahal, CP, various historical buildings are important and tourists often carry the myopic vision about the things to do in New Delhi and here was a girl who was standing next to me telling me about the experiences which many of my Delhite friends have not bothered to seek as they also suffer from the myopic vision of fun being confined to the notions of   malls and junk food.I told her that she was very selective in her choices and is actually the first person I have met who didn’t brag about the beauty of Taj Mahal and had planned her travel after a lot of research. She introduced me to the rest of her group and there began the storytelling session in which everyone participated with great enthusiasm ,alacrity and with childlike curiosity .

I meet a lot of people daily  in trains, in restaurants , in buses , cafes and their experiences about life ,places, events add to my knowledge. Talking to people is easy unless one is totally reticent .Few days ago while I was cycling, one lady who was from Canada told me that I should wear a helmet and drive safely, we talked for half an hour on topics ranging from Mickey Mouse(because she bought a cute coffee mug featuring mickey mouse on it) to ISKCON and cult.

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Or if I am dining and I see someone sitting alone , I would simply go and ask if I can join him or her and I cannot recollect if anyone ever denied. Such camaraderie has given me the opportunity to get a lot of views on myriad topics . Some people talk about India as some mystical land with sages and yogis who live for 200 years, some think of it as land of fever , to some its the land of voice support and customer care, some think of Indians as born geniuses and good at mathematics and others simply don’t care . Its very amusing to know that “slumdog millionaire” has left quite an impression on people’s mind .I still gauge the temperature in the metric system than the imperial system,during my apartment hunt I asked the agent what the temperature is .He told me its negative 5 , I quickly calculated (F-32) * (5/9) and told him ok, its around -20.5 Centigrade and he was impressed at my prowess with numbers. Are you kidding me? I consider myself below average when it comes to maths. Another incident worth mentioning is when the red line stopped abruptly and the middle aged lady sitting next to me started talking and asked me from which part of India I was . I told her that she should visit India once , its a beautiful country. She said “Do you actually think I want to get raped , may be I will go there in next birth. Shukriya” and then explained to me how she knows the word “shukriya”.

So, back at the Starbucks I was thinking of getting a balanced point of view about India and I wasn’t disappointed. All the people in the group were between 27 and 35(I got that from their passports that they were showing to me , flaunting the visa stamp . Ha ha !)

According to them  hating India is the easiest thing to do while in India and you cannot actually gauge a culture and its people in a 10 day tourist package trip but in 5 months you can traverse a few parts of a country across their lengths and breadths and learn a big deal. So , if you leave this easiest thing aside i.e. hating India, you will soon realize that one emotion is not enough to describe India. The beauty when you look past chaos, public urination,trash, feeling of being cheated is beyond words.I was wondering here if they are sarcastic here or what 🙂  They were already missing the corner dosa shop, filter coffee,roaming in the New Delhi’s heat in flip flops, the meals near Hampi.They said “India is chaotic but its organized chaos”.How friendly and helpful few people were and how men stare at you turning their necks 180 degrees.Despite all this when they slept under the stars on the bank of Tungbhadra river they felt that they will never have this exotic experience in their lives again. How one of the guy who is a computer programmer at one of the major firms sat quietly for the first time in his life without doing anything  in the inner sanctum of a Hindu temple in Thanjavur. But life is not all rosy , 2 people got their iPhones stolen while sleeping in the local bus , few got their stomach upset from the spicy food . Hot showers are a luxury to them now  and they can manage without toilet papers shows their blending with India.One of the girl said in a teasing tone that its very selfish to have all the roads to yourself, we should share the roads with animals and she felt very lonely when she didn’t see any cows on the road one day in New Delhi. 😀 😀

The best insight was given by another guy named Mark. He said his grandmother had limited education but she was the most learned and cogent person he knew. She always asked him to travel ,see the world and come out of his cocoon shell.Traveling teaches and prepares you for some aspects of life which otherwise remain untouched or very raw.India taught him tolerance, the importance of perceiving things as they are not as they should be , patience(which he had none as a child ), difference between assertiveness and aggression and most importantly how to keep your chin up even when things are not going your way.

It was a group of enlightened and learned individuals and we exchanged contacts as one of them said “I Thank India !! ” at the end.

Delighted I was .

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Lazy vegetarian and Minimalism

I am lazy, procrastination and apathy are not only big words for me but they are way of my life also.

After sitting in office for 9 straight hours, I don’t like to sit there any longer for my general reading and other activities. So, I go to starbucks or argos tea cafe to sit and read. Why don’t I go straight to my room  ? 1. I am a minimalist , I don’t posses a lot of furniture and sit on floor , sometimes sitting on floor is a little challenging.   2. I don’t have an AC , but I live on 9th floor and the cool breeze can fill the room up but it accompanies  mosquitoes who are willing to give love bites to me , so I can’t open the windows and because the apartment is very near to lake Michigan the humidity is always an issue. 

I reach home mostly at around 10 or so and get really tired by then and thus my dinner turns out to be minimalist in nature too. 🙂

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Minimalist plates 😀 🙂

I just hope no one from my family reads this post .

 

BTW I have found one very good formula for yogurts. I don’t actually like flavored yogurts for the simple reason that they contain preservatives and colors. I buy plain yogurt and in a small bowl I mix some yogurt , black pepper and roasted peanuts and this combination is absolutely amazing and works in harmony with my time saving techniques 🙂

Try it once.

Powerless with a powerpoint

I had written this blog 4 years ago and today one of my friend reminded me of this blog to me. So, re sharing it on WordPress .

 

All the facts and incidents in the present context are true to the best of my knowledge and any relevance with anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
The inaugural speech in 3 idiots forced me to jot down my own experience few days back.
Our dept. was celebrating the 40 years of the foundation,and the chief guest was Mrs. Meenakshi Gopinath , principal of LSR. I myself volunteered for the inaugural speech and the introduction of the guest to the audience.
I had one day to prepare ,which seemed more then enough to me, as in engineering I already had many one night battle situations in exams, so I was taking everything in the light banter and was cool enough with all the proceedings, in fact was poking my nose into other people’s matter too rather then cramming the speech.
Next day was beautiful,I dint know that it was beautiful for the crows too and they will virtually devour me after the day.
S P Jain Audi was full,with all the dignitaries,guests,teachers and some lazybones students like me.
I began my speech, after the introduction  I asked for lights to be off and switched on the projector and started my power point slide showing the lifetime achievements ,her contribution for the society and blah blah blah……..
It ended well and got a nice applause for the speech and the guest too was welcomed whole heatedly by all.
but the very next moment the scene took a phase shift of one hundred and eighty degrees, as I was descending down the stairs of the backstage, I saw Voldemort……!!!!!
I saw 2 of my profs. which were not less then Voldemort in their appearance, and the way they were pursing their lips,crooking their nose,they seemed more hideous to me as if the Greek goddess Aphrodite was hibernating somewhere when she created them . Here I was feeling pity for their spouses and was wishing them luck for their next lives I heard a tussle in cacophony and I heard my name too.
The very moment I was taken by arm ,man she had a nice grip, which must have been implicit for her demonic body frame.
what the heck??!!why the hell is she wasting her time in teaching electromagnetic theory to losers like us,she better need some career counselling, India is already way far behind in women grappling ,she can be a good coach,or might be a player too!! Seriously..
She came near to me and hissed like a snake .oh ! I was choked by her bad breathe.
Ewww!!!!!!
At this very moment I started hating the canteen guy ‘anna’ for using too much onion and garlic in his dosa and other delicacies.
Being in those thoughts,I was literally dragged from the backstage into the empty room adjacent to the colossal audi, thanx to my lean frame and the hostel food on which I was thriving for past 4 years.
HOW DARE YOU??? Came a voice behind me….
Rather then looking behind I thought ‘WOW!! I dared’…’that’s quite an achievement’..
Here I was celebrating my achievement , another demon landed in front of me,as he was waiting for me to be slaughtered.
HOW DARE YOU???
Don’t u have a bit of courtesy that somebody has agreed to mark her presence on this special occasion and you are such a scum that you are presenting her on the power point slides.
‘but sir, I spoke for few minutes too!!’
another devil snarled,Which college has awarded you the graduation degree?
‘What type of school prepares material like you which lacks common sense’?
I answered them back in my heart.
they continued with their castigating and denigrating remarks and I was turning a deaf ear to them, and the first time in my life I wished for the earthquakes.
I forgot the name of the land god,if there is any,as I wanted a massive movement of earth plates the very moment.but as usually! it didnt occur !!
While they were blabbering this and that and shooting their metaphoric spears on me I started thinking of all the abuses I had learned throughout my life. Suddenly a very old word for swearing came to my mind,and I started to dissect its meaning. a faint smile appeared on my face.
‘LOOK AT HIM!! NO BLOODY REGRET ON HIS FACE!
YOU WILL SEE FOR SURE.’ cried the Voldemort and HOD together
I tried to fit the curve of my lips according to the situation,but it seemed to be more uncanny and jeopardized the whole scene.
I cursed myself with different hexes for volunteering.
‘YOU ARE PRESENTING A LIVE HUMAN BEING ON A COMPUTER.’
At this moment I got myself another line for the essay ‘technology:a boon or a bane’.
I started hating the lady too,who had assumed her so called BENIGN presence to this devil house.So what she has done so much social work or got a padamshree award for her.
It doesn’t matter to me anyhow.her graceful aura tuned a pandemonium to me.
The barking of profs. went on for few more minutes and then I realized again that I am still living in a free and a democratic nation.
I skipped classes for 1-2 days and after resuming them I sat on the back benches.
Although I have always been the back bencher,but now I got a solid reason for my stance.Earlier excuses included I  have demo phobia or the chalk dust has made me asthmatic and so on.
Days ,weeks,months passed and so did my experience of that day until a week back I checked my mail box and saw a mail with a subject ‘thank you for your speech’.I read it quickly she had mentioned that she was not offended by the way I used the dais for my speech and it was a new way of doing it and she expressed gratitude over my words of encouragement as they meant a lot to her.
Voila!! ‘Sense of encouragement??? Did I encouraged her?’
‘I don’t remember exactly’.
Let it be!!
I read the mail twice. and smile appeared on my face,but this time not any prof. was present to force some curve fitting of my lips.

PS   Its not any happy ending.The profs. have continued to see me with their evil eye which surely has  magnified under the extra large glasses they use and I have got another reason for my 3 ‘E’ and 1 ‘ C’ grade in the examination.

What Non Veg friends of mine say to me on tables ?

Thousands of times people ask me from where do you get your protein when I tell them I don’t eat meat .

Today a women who lives in my building and is very irksome asked the same question and after getting the answer from me extolled herself how she can eat tub of KFC , and how she cannot live without meat.

WOW! YOU WILL BE RECEIVING A CALL FROM PRESIDENT SOON FOR THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT. YOU WILL BE AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE AND MEDAL OF HONOR.

She provoked me to pen down my thoughts here.

Th italicized are my expressions and voices in my head to such questions.

 

1. What ? You don’t eat non vegetarian food? 

Am I committing a crime, did I just ask you for your kidney? Why this expression?

2. But then from where do you get your protein ?

Go and read few 7 and 8 grade science books and you will know about nutrients .

3. You are in wrong company, hang out with us and you will be a non veg soon.

Wow ! So Tempting ! 

4. Don’t eat the meat, just taste the curry.

WTF !

5.Does anyone in your family eats meat or not?

How does it matter?

6.You are so religious.

Yes, I haven’t been to any temple in a couple of years.I haven’t prayed at any gathering. But it’s fun to know I am religious. You have laser eyes, just saw me through.

7. Hindus don’t eat cows , rest is fine. Why don’t you try chicken, lamb etc

“Stupefied”

8. What will you do when you will go out of your country?

I am not only out of my country for a long time now, but I have maintained my diet in places like China and Japan as well.

9. All vegetables taste the same.

Are you sure that you are eating different vegetables and your vegetable vendor is not selling you same vegetable since eternity.

10. Your taste buds are not developed.

Your brain is not developed

 

WTF?! Pics Time!

THE EDITOR'S JOURNAL

Pics for which there is no earthly explanation – but we find one!…For MOST of them!

the sewing machine‘Quick a UPS van just crashed! Bring 2 things: My camera and a sewing machine…like, NOW!

‘But…we’ll be late for the wedding!’

‘I DO NOT care!’

lions gf‘Tony…what have they done to you!’

pink gunThis one is pretty standard…isn’t it??!! I do this all the time. I get my Womble doggy, my baby and a pink rifle and sit in the tub regularly. The gun and the jogging pants with the peace sign go particularly well together!

pony

‘Sir…next time, honour me. I was here first.’

sick orang

Maaaaaaan – that was one hell of a night!

sloth sats

‘I am a sloth and I am taking my GED. I’m not quite sure what the issue is here?’

thistles

‘Um…someone help me?’

dogtail

You’re on your own here dear Readers…

cat shower

Just…aw!

chickens

Nothing I could say here would probably be better than the…

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