A Few Things I Love – from India

I had a wonderful time traveling to Bangalore, India recently.

 Coconut Water on the Streets

This was a familiar sight in Bangalore – a man selling coconut water by the roadside, with a sickle in hand to cut open your coconut right in front of you. Fresh, and natural. They were definitely a lot more expensive than the last time I was in Bangalore, but I totally love it.  Each time I see canned and branded coconut water in a store, I crave for simple coconut water from the roadside like in Bangalore.

There’s other delicacies sold on the roads and in street carts in India – in much the same way rice platters are sold on every block in New York or Philadelphia.

Street Cart

My family, and most people in Bangalore consume Chai (doodh-patti chai) several times a day. Someone flicked a line from Dunkin’ Donuts for Bangalore. “India runs on Chai.”

Chai

I do cook every once in a while, but I’m more known for burning my chicken curry. I tried to use my time in India to improve my cooking skills. Here I am, making a mean Roti from scratch, kneading and all. I was quite proud of myself.

Roti

What did annoy me sometimes was that some people tried to speak with me differently, and not as though I was any other Bangalorean. The auto-rickshaws and taxi-wallahs could figure out that I wasn’t living in the area and charged me exorbitantly, despite protests in my broken Kannada. Everyone speaks some English or Hindi/Urdu/Hindustani in Bangalore, which came to my rescue.

India

Buying Halal Chicken from the store. If you’re not buying from a fancy store with an inflated price, this is how the poor and middle class get their chicken from the store.

You get the (poor) live birds from their cage …

chicken

You weigh them to bill your customer appropriately ..

chicken

And then, Zabihah them.

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For the record, except for my severe allergies in Bangalore for which I was on nasal steroids, I never fell sick.

I came back to freezing weather while I was relishing the sun back in Bangalore.

temperature bangalore

I love Bangalore so much. The family of course, and the city, its people, its diversity, its temperate climate. Until next time.

PS: Google Now on my Android phone was a pretty good companion throughout my trip, and intelligent. Traveling through Bangalore and Abu Dhabi, it helped me in sightseeing, translations, and currency conversions without having to search for any of them.

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Uncollecting Things

My mom jokes that I’m a hoarder. My mom and I obviously disagree on the semantics.
I like to preserve things. Too many things, she says.

I have saved bills from restaurants, movie tickets, grocery bills, screenshots of phone calls, autographs, newspaper cuttings, old fliers,  Q-cards from events, coins from other countries,  hand-written notes and letters. You get the idea.

Hand-written notes and letters. I have a special thing for them. I still carry around a handwritten letter my dad sent me in 2009 in my wallet.

It reminds me of what I shared here in 2011.

Oh, my wallet. My sister gifted that to me more than ten years ago on my birthday.
Everything I preserve has a history behind it that I cherish, such as this wallet.

Ironically, t
idy and organized that she is, the same sister is quite the opposite of me in this regard –  she had made me get rid of my notes from a class in middle school to clear the “trash.” I’m sure they would have been a fond addition to my collection.

We’re different. We’re wonderful and distinct in our own ways.
But I understood why she was more efficient than I was at organization after I spent hours together sorting through my belongings and cleaning my room the past weekend. It’s only been months since I moved.  Given how much money changes hands for every hour I spend working, it wasn’t a feeling of success.
I raised the threshold of the importance occasions or people would need to have to preserve  memories associated with them. Needless to say, I can travel much lighter now that I got rid of so much stuff.

Really achieving your childhood dreams is all about breaking the cycle of procrastination

I haven’t been writing here lately, and have a lot of catching up to do as far as getting up to speed with new posts in my Google Reader full of subscribed blogs is concerned.  I would have liked to say I was quite busy the last few weeks as the semester is ending soon, but those who know me would know that it was more of being stressed out about submissions  than actually staying busy working on these submissions that kept me away from many good things in life (there are exceptions )

I checked my virtual countdown timer again – I have FIVE days to finish my thesis work. That this deadline was set by myself was enough motivation to not be motivated to try to finish it on time.  As things, are, I am nowhere close to finishing this on time. Someone famously said:

Go ahead, do it. Don’t wait. It won’t get easier. There won’t be a better time. So start. Right now. Just stop procrastinating, already!
:-)

Talking about procrastination (something about which I have shared here before), I spent a weekend choking up reading Randy Pausch and his battle with pancreatic cancer.  It brought back tearful memories of the time my family went through when  two uncles went through  horrific and painful battles with cancer.

Dr. Randy Pausch

Image via Wikipedia

His talk on time management was actually played in class last semester. His message hit me strong because he was showing how little time he had before he would die of cancer, and how there was the need to get as much as possible done in that time.

We all have limited time ourselves to get our work done, and limited time to get the things that we want in life to be done.
Another landmark speech that pushed Randy Pausch to worldwide fame was called – The Final Speech – Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams shows how he goes on to achieve everything he wanted to in life, and this was no surprise considering how he lived his life going by his Time management talk.  I could relate to him because he had been a Computer Science graduate student at a top school, and later on was a professor at the same school. A lot of this lecture spoke about his life in the academia which I am in and frequently go through similar situations and conversations.

He is my newest hero; an inspiration to achieve what we want to, and live up to what we are worth,  indeed !

Check out his battle with cancer (twitter style ) here and his page here.