Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Life's Greatest Lessons

Success is more than making money

Life is hard....and not always fair

Life is also fun...and incredibly funny

We live by choice, not by chance

Attitude is a choice - the most important one you will ever make

Habits are the key to all success

Being thankful is a habit - the best one you will ever have

Good people build their lives on a foundation of respect

Honesty is still the best policy

Kind words costs little but acomplish much

Real motivation comes from within

Goals are dreams with deadlines

There's no substitute for hard work

You have to give up something to get something

Successful people dont find time - they make time

No one else can raise your self-esteem

The body needs nutrition and exercise - so do the mind and spirit

It's ok to fail - everyone else has

Life is simpler when we know what's essential


Essential # 1, is being a good person

Friday, November 17, 2006

Oops sorry - excuse me!

Imagine…people jostling for space, yelling, cursing under their breaths, giving each other the nasty eye glare and all this within a span of few minutes. These are the few minutes one goes through every time one boards a crowded bus in India.

These same people who yell and curse at each other turn all respectful once something happens by accident. It involves in somehow being able to kick them or accidentally let their foot touch us. This simple act will banish whatever thoughts they had of you...well at least for 3 seconds. During these three seconds, you will find that we Indians will make a quick gesture of apology and actually will touch you with our right hand and then moving the hand to the chest and to the eyes like you are some sort of God.
Isn’t it a wonderful when someone does that to you, well at least it is for me. You feel good, you feel like you are being given respect. In New York I am used to hearing “excuse – me”, “pardon me” or just plain old “f*** off” while being bumped by someone. This is such a wonderful change but it does make me wonder what silly things can arise from this.

As I was discussing this topic with a co-worker of mine, he brought up a story which was pretty funny and I imagine many of us who have evil thoughts (yes you) can agree and might enjoy doing this. One guy was adamant on doing this gesture while he was in school and lo and behold, he usually and purposefully got kicked by the school kids or the kids would let his foot touch them. That would set off something really funny where the school kids would run off and the chase would begin :-) This guy had the habit of doing the gesture not just once but three times, so that made matters even worse even if he caught up to them, after he completed once, the evil kid would run off again.

We Indians give respect to paper as well, if we happen to step on it by accident, we will bend down and touch the paper and do the whole gesture thing again. Though it is religious because paper (knowledge) is considered to be a form of Hindu God; even a Muslim, Christian would be doing the same because of customs and not due to religion. Living in New York for a long time, I had lost touch with all these things, small things that actually brings in discipline in an individual.

From now on I will try to give respect to the person who I accidentally bumped into and chase him down if they try to run away from me. So if you happen to be near me, please don’t run away as I am not trying to touch you to get a feel or anything. I am just trying to be nice and respectful Indian ish - styleee.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ye jo desh hai mera - this country of mine (India)

So this is my first post in 6 months...just so you know the last post that I did was in New York and right now this post is being written from Bangalore, India.

Its already been 6 months in India, so many experiences and many more stories that I can share. I will slowly think all of them through and eventually write them down. Most are funny, the way I saw things in India and some insightful even.

To start off this blog again,

I seriously thought to myself... heck we cant have that many relatives, but alas we do and its not ending at all. People get married and new relationships are formed and more aunties and uncles are included.

Even the 1st month had not passed by in India, I had attended marriages of two of my cousins. Just being there at their wedding was like a trip back memory lane. Hoards of people with each blink of an eye passing and conveying their hi's and hello's to me at a dizzying pace.

Who are these people I wondered - are they all my relatives, where am I??? I dont belong here at all. I dont know these people.

During the same month, I had visited lots of people and along with visiting each and every relatives house comes the oh so symbolic tea drinking ceremony. If we don’t drink atleast tea in one’s house, they get upset and feel that I have somehow insulted them.

Dont get me wrong I dont mind drinking tea, infact I love tea/coffee but uggh I began to loose the love for tea/coffee because of the way it was prepared; that heavy milky concoction ladled with lots of sugar. Not all was lost though, I finally had to step forward and tell them exactly how to make tea or coffee especially for me :-). I know what you are thinking, oh yes the american going there and demanding stuff to be done for him. It was not that way at all, i just didnt want to lose my love for tea/coffee.

Speaking of tea and coffee, that is for another post which I have in mind about my love for coffee/tea. Just thinking of having a hot cup on a cold breezy evening with clouds hanging over like a bedspread over the soft skies feels soo warm and comforting. hmmm..

Now where was I, yes relatives lots of them…not all of them are as annoying as I first had in my mind while coming from NY. Some are quite nice in their own merry ways. Though they were nice, dealing and getting used to all of them and their personalities was quite a challenge. I feel now that since I have been here for 6 months, I have adjusted pretty well. Got along with them, finally be able to feel them as part of my family and see myself as one of them.

I think being born in India does this to you, the fragrance and the soul of India seeps inside your blood and though you lose touch with it while you are in some other country, it still lingers and waits for the right opportune time to reveal itself. Hmm am I making sense or am I just copying the thoughts that came when I was watching the movie Swades. I believe I am currently living that movie.

Yeh jo des hai tera this country of yours
swades hai tera is your motherland
tujhe hai pukara and is calling out to you
yeh woh bandhan hai this is a bond
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta which can never break

Mitti ki hai jo khushbhoo tu kaise bhoolayega how can you forget the scent of your earth
tu chaahe kahin jaaye you can go anywhere
tu laut ke aayega but you'll always come back
nayi nayi raahon mein dabbi dabbi aahon mein in new paths, in every sigh
khoye khoye dil se tere to your lost heart
koi yeh kahega someone will say

Nice song isn’t it. If you want to hear it.. you can click on this link. Swades songs

This is like me stuck in the middle when I go from bangalore to chennai in a local bus :-)