Thursday, May 28, 2009

But i don't WANT to go!

We were planning a holiday to Leh-Ladakh for a few days. I was cribbing to a friend about how the expenses are way above our budget for this holiday. She asked me "How much are you spending on this?" I gave her the figure. She said "Arre itne mein to aap foreign holiday kar aao!" (you can do a foreign holiday with that much money)
I looked at her with very wide open eyes and then said "But i don't want to holiday outside India!"

I still have to do Shillong, Sunderbans, Musical pillars at Hampi, Ajanta Ellora, Khajuraho, Kaziranga, Belur, Pondicherry....there is so much to see in this country! Way more than other countries where, usually, the only thing we see are the joy rides and the malls. (Come to Gurgaon or Noida for that too)

Do we take a "foreign" holiday just for the heck of it? Is it about what we want to experience or about what we want to tell our friends?

Want help? Here is what you can do in India this summer:

Kashmir: Enough said. A houseboat cannot be explained. A pashmina cannot be described. It can only be experienced.

Ladakh: Stark, high, lovely.

Sikkim: Green, beautiful, pristine. Dont miss the Gurudongma lake.

Uttaranchal: Get off the beaten tracks, and you will like it.

Manali: The eternal favorite. Though i prefer areas around Manali more.

Chamba: Lovely hills.

Eastern Himachal: Kinnaur district in particular, is beautiful.

Vindhya Hills: in Madhya Pradesh.

Goa: Off season discount too!!

Assam: Its too green to be hot. Likewise for Sunderbans, methinks.

Chail, Himachal: Its in the middle of a reserve forest, and its incredibly nice.

Mount Abu: If you have not seen the Dilwara temples, you have not seen craftsmanship yet. They take your breath away, and more than anything, made me realise how this country is FULL of incredible things everywhere you go!!

if you are planning a summer break, this is a shameless promotion of India. Do go!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tell me about children, again.

Help Required: What do u do to establish good brushing habits in kids? Ishaan's gums can't stand the softest bristles and tend to bleed. Also, he does not like anything in his mouth, except the baby toothpaste, which he devours like a food group.

Increase my GK please: There was an activity that Ishaan stopped doing at 5 months of age. Yesterday, he saw something related to that activity and instantly said the name of the activity. Do all kids have such incredible memories for a while? For how long does this last?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yes Brutus, me too.. A Baby blog

There, i have resisted the temptation for too long... to not have a blog for my baby(for multiple reasons, primary being privacy on the net.)
And finally, parenting has pervaded all my life, and there, Brethren and Sistren, is a blog for my baby. Mercifully for you, its only open to invited readers.. but what is below, i wanted to share with everyone..

Where do i keep
the precious pearls,
that you drop
into my life
The small memories... of little things..
like gold coins..
the moon sightings.. like silver pieces..
where do i hold
the treasure?

For paper ages
and ink fades
and memory
is a strange friend
turning up
only at its whim.

Here then, under lock and key,
I bring my treasures to keep...

Guess that's true of all moms who blog - or isn't it?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Go Babe Go!!

The Babe in this case is Indian democracy.
One more time, the Janta has emerged as the Janardhan and all the troublemongers are out.
The biggest message is this:
  • We do NOT want troublemongers - of ANY kind.
  • We vote for hard work - Delhi seats are because of Sheila Dixit.
  • We are NOT STUPID.
Even though i could not vote(an inquiry has now been instituted by the Returning Officer of Gurgaon into the wrong voter rolls of new Gurgaon) , this feels like a personal victory (not the Congress win, the stability and the ouster of CPI)
Go Babe, Go!!
Part Two: If any of you is hooked to city building and Tycoon series(of the business simulation variety) of games, please point me to freeware available for download or places from where it can be bought at low rates. I will be eternally grateful and more. In particular, there was this game called "Building" which was freeware. It came from Japan and am just not able to find it anywhere any more.. if anyone has an old copy, PLEASE let me know..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Investment in sustainability aids profitability - Agree/Disagree?

This was a discussion in office today.
A person who disagrees with the statement gave this example: "I am a shoe maker in Kanpur. My toxic waste goes into the river. No expense to me. "
My answer: Yes, you're right. Then your child drinks that water and promptly catches a respiratory/stomach infection. Off to the hospital you go and spend 5000 rupees over the next few months. Then the same thing happens to another member in the family, then in the neighborhood. Then one day, someone from WHO or BBC comes to your town and blames the pollution. From there, you also start blaming the pollution without realising that you caused it, and what you saved in sustainability initiatives, you paid at the hospital.

Example 2: You are JP Industries Limited. You win all the tenders of hydel power projects in hilly states in India. You are required to reforest, but you don't. Repeatedly, the entire region is inundated in a flash flood, or in a landslide, and there goes your expensive machinery with it. OR, the flow of water reduces till the power plant is not profitable. Or even sustainable. And there are no more sites left to do hydel power work.

Moral of the story: Investment in sustainable development is not a motivation factor any more. Its a hygiene factor. We will not profit from it, but we will perish without it.

Monday, May 04, 2009

मेरे युग का सच / Our Times

आओ, प्यार और सौहार्द की बात करें,
लावे में बैठ कर हम तुम
बर्फ और पहाड़ की बात करें

Friday, May 01, 2009

Main Parauna...

main parauna
aana si tere ghar , par tu
us vele bue te killi la ke guvand gayi si
jadon main tere bue aan khalotta
Je tu hundi ghar
te main,
khaure ki kuchh kar chhad-na si -
tere ghar nu, dera banaunda,
tainu jogan
te tere bue di killi
main laa suttani si
ki ishq da bua,
sada hi khula hai..

Punjabi transliteration will happen as soon as I have my laptop back..
This poem is about the time when Love comes visiting. Most of the times, love lies in small places like a little child in the park, a small smile from someone on the road, a random act of kindness, and am amazed at how effectively we block out these little pieces of love from our lives.. this piece is about that.. the translation is not too good, and not too bad.

English translation:
Me, the visitor
that would have been , your guest ,
but you
were away when i came
and the door was locked.
Good thing, perhaps,
for if you were home,
who knows what i would have done..
I would have converted
your house
to a dera(hard to translate, but roughly, the work-living area of a yogi or guru)
you, to a jogin (a yogin)
And the lock on your door
would stand uprooted
For the door to Love
Is always open..