Thursday, August 30, 2007

When it rains, it pours!

Bangalore has been getting some really good rains of late. It has been pouring long and hard. If you are home, it is wonderful of course - sipping tea, enjoying the rains from within the comforts of your home, music in the background, etc.

But what happens to the roads - public's best friend? The city's main roads are in very good condition and the rains don't seem to be harming those too much. However, the way the rains have been pouring, the roads are almost always flooded. See pic.

Flooded

The minute you take a turn away from the main roads, and into the secondary main roads, the bumpy journey begins. Typically the prime main roads like the one in the pic above are also those that have some decent pavements for the pedestrians. From the secondary main road onwards the road is the only place for the traffic, pedestrians, animals, vendors, bus-stops, auto-stands, repair-works (road repair, cable, telephone, water supply) , parking lots .... well you get the picture. And when it rains, not only is all the chaos quadrupled, but the roads also acquire new damages. It is as if the rains are eating away the roads. See below.

Potholes
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These pics were taken after the rains, not during. You can only imagine these during the rains. Also these pics do not reflect the worst case!

So when it rains, with the potholes, the mud water splashing, the honks, and the infamous traffic jams getting worse, you are in for one heck of a joy ride. Of course, you learn to take it all in, take a deep breath and "inch" forward. And if you are not frustrated, well then at least you are learning to be patient and accepting!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Know an awesome pediatrician?

Practicing in Bangalore? If you know a good pediatrician and can recommend him/her highly, please share the info here in the comments section.

I have been quite disappointed with the ones we have been to. Especially when we went for our son's 2nd year physical check up. He is going to be 2.5 yrs soon. He is due for another physical now and how I miss our earlier pediatrician at Sunnyvale. I have said it before, and I cannot help but say it again. Dr. Kaye would spend as much time as was needed with us. We would go over milestones, height and weight gained, things to watch out for, what activities can we start doing with him to enable his development etc. Anyway, with our boy's 2 year physical, we had none of those. There was no accurate measuring of the height. We didn't go over his milestones. We definitely were not encouraged to ask questions. The pediatrician may be bored with all the intricacies, but this is our boy and no, we don't find anything boring! Anyway, this was the doc that came with a lot of recommendation! So, here I am asking my readers from Bangalore for recommendations. For a physical, I don't mind going anywhere in town to see a good doc. The interaction with the doc during physicals matters to me, a lot! For fevers and other small things, I don't mind going to the guys in the neighborhood.

What I would have liked is for one office to keep tab on the kids. But, I don't know if any doc's office does that. Like for example with Dr. Kaye, once he took us in, everything was taken care of from the day the child was born! Emergencies were attended to. Nurses were on call 24/7. If you had a child, and had good insurance plan, you were taken care of. Period. And at times, when he was not in town, we could meet anybody else from the Camino Medical group. I have not heard of offices here taking you in, as in keeping your child's medical records, tracking his/her progress, maintaining a vaccination record, etc. Do any docs here do that? This pediatrician here didn't even tell us that the next physical was at 2.5 yrs. We know this only because we have an older child!

I have been told how every doc has way too many patients here, be it a pediatrician, cardiologist, oncologist, dentist, anybody. Nobody has too much time for one patient. They have that many patients coming to them every single day! So, I guess individual attention is going to be pretty limited. Please share your pediatric visit experiences in Bangalore and your observations. It will be beneficial to us and some of the readers here too. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nanha Munna Rahi Hun

... so came my 4 yr old daughter singing from school one day! And I was totally taken in by surprise. When had I last heard that song? I tried to recall. Probably in the 80s, when DD was the only channel available and Chitrahaar was a popular family entertainment program. This cute kid in sepia would sing this song with full fervor. And to now hear my own daughter sing it after probably having heard it maybe 2 decades ago, well it was surreal! I had a silly grin on my face. She told me how her teachers were teaching all of them a bunch of songs. And when I asked her to sing the other songs that they had taught, she sang bits of 'Saare jahan se accha' and some from 'Hum honge kamiyab ek din'. This was in the first couple of days of August and of course it didn't take me long to realise that they were practicing for the Independence Day celebrations.

The sights, smells, sounds from childhood pretty much define home for me. As an adult, though the appeal changes and one seeks for other shores and other sights, the thought or the feeling of 'home' always kind of gives the warm fuzzy feeling. Some of the neighborhood sights of Bangalore, the feel of the lazy foggy mornings when Bangalore is still only waking up, the smell of the sampige, all define home for me. In the same way, though I was never raised in Kerala, the smell of the soil there, the total rustic scenes, the tunes of some of the native birds still manage to tingle this one corner of my heart. Similarly for my husband too, things that define home are, I am sure, pretty Indian. Why am I trying to define home? Let's look at it this way. What if we had continued staying in the US? Our kids would have assimilated the sights, sounds, smells of the place they are growing in. Nothing wrong with that. Just that those subtleties would have slowly defined 'home' for them. The sights and sounds in the US are something that we love too, but it would probably never feel like 'home', with such strong competition coming from various nooks and corners of our own childhoods; those are ingrained. And in this 'if' scenario, lets fast forward a few years. Our kids will still be our kids, but with a totally different concept of home, which is probably ok. But, I am quite sure it would not have been very ok for me. 'Home' is a lot more than a 4 letter word to me; 'kids' is another 4 letter word that means the world to me. And to have the kids not even remotely think of 'home' as anything that is 'home' for me would have probably been hard. I don't know. Maybe not too. I may have started defining it differently for myself also. Either way, I still would have had the warm fuzzy feeling for many things Indian, for things from my childhood here. We would have probably sent the kids to a bunch of Indian classes in the US, but unfortunately that would still not cut it, IMHO. And she may have never learnt to sing 'nanha munna'. :)

The world has changed a lot since when I grew up. So has India. Raising them here is still going to make the nuances that form childhood memories very different for them. Irrespective, at least there is hope that the 4 of us - kids, hub, and I - may end up having a couple of common things to identify our childhoods with. And in my old age, when I sit chatting with my daughter/son over some nice hot chai, if we can talk fondly about a couple of things from our past in Bangalore or India, then I am sure I will have our R2Iing decision to thank for hugely. :) What do you say?



Nanha munna rahi hun, desh ka sipahi hun,
Bolo mere sang, jai hind, jai hind, jai hind, jai hind, jai hind!

Happy Independence Day my fellow Indians! Happy 60th, dear India!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tagged!

I was tagged a while ago actually, but am getting to it only now. Sorry for the delay PoppinsMom and SS. Thank your girls for thinking of me. I must tell you both one thing. I like both of your blogs and can relate to you both. You girls are like my cyber-sisters. :))

PoppinsMom gave me a Thinking Blogger award! Thank you! PoppinsMom is an eloquent writer and is vocal about the topics she chooses to write about. Her writing style is really good too. She is a super-woman who does it all from raising a child, to working outside of home, to having a loving relationship with her hubby dear, to blogging very regularly, and everything in between!

Here are my 5 for the Thinking Blogger award.

  • Usha of Agelessbonding: Of course everybody knows Usha and her 'Agelessbonding'. Usha has been awarded before, but I wanted to give her the Thinking Blogger award myself. I admire you tons, Usha! Love your blog and totally love your style.
  • Vijay of Bangalore Blues: Vijay writes about our city, Bangalore and its issues, but and a big but, without venting! He writes everything with a huge dose of humour. Wonderful. Oh and not to forget his story telling skills. Absolutely delightful narrations from his colorful past.
  • Pradeep of Time and Tide: I have a lot of respect for Pradeep. He ALWAYS has his head on his shoulders. In fact, when I read his blogspot, it is his clarity of thought that stands out. Very mature, and good writing skills.
  • Mumbaigirl: She writes about a variety of things, both from her life and from the happenings around the globe. And whenever I visit her blog, there is always something different there. Very well articulated, her blog is always a fun read.
  • Mahipal of r2i2010: Mahipal started blogging fairly recently. And his blog is geared towards his and his family's goal of returning to Hyderabad from the US in 2010. There is a ton of planning that he is doing to enable the forthcoming move. I have immense appreciation for his earlier investments. He has informative posts about Hyd real estate too. Mahipal, all the very best!
I truly wanted to give the award to you guys. Please pass it on. :)


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SS tagged me for the kinds of people I judge and for the things I admire.

Lets get done with the unpleasant one first. :)

Whom do I judge?
  1. Men who matter-of-factly admit that their folks are not great with their wives and in the same breath say 'but hey that is just the way it is'!!!
  2. Women who openly talk ill of their in-laws to anybody who cares to lend an ear. This is a big one for me. On the same note, women who complain about the in-laws to their moms/parents . I think, this doesn't do anybody any good.
  3. Idiots who drive.
  4. Women who choose to not grow. By grow I mean, 'having the willingness to learn something new'. You do not need reasons to learn a trade, pick a hobby, read a book, watch a knowledge based TV program, anything really.
  5. Neighbors who don't even say a 'Hi'. *Rolls Eyes*
  6. People who do not value their grammar too much. (I am crazy!)
  7. People who are not on the Internet. Not because they do not have access, but because they think the TV is enough!!! I don't even get that.
  8. Older Indians who expect respect just because they happen to be older! What the!
  9. Moms who feed junk food to their kids. Sigh!
  10. Whiners who refuse to see the beauty in life. Life is beautiful, one must just choose to see it.
Anyway, now for the good part. Yay! Things I admire:
  1. Good communication skills - written, spoken, anything.
  2. Good listening skills.
  3. Moms who do their best for their kids. Kudos to you gals and more power to you. I totally believe that the future lies in the hands of the mothers. If we do a good job, we have so much to reap in the future.
  4. Men who actually think they are one half of the whole. Very few do.
  5. Men who do chores around the house, who are supportive of their wives' efforts, and who are great with the kids - theirs and others'.
  6. Good neighborly skills.
  7. People who are in the know.
  8. Kids that are inclusive of other kids. If you notice, a lot of the kids are totally into forming groups. :)
  9. Talent. All kinds.
  10. Patience. It is easy to lose it.

So there, I am done.
And for both the tags - 'Kinds of people I judge' and 'Things I admire' - I tag Vijay, Pradeep, Mahipal, Archana, Sloganmurugan, RK.