Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Lonely Lady

There is a homeless lady who often sits on the sidewalk in the local strip mall, leaning against the wall outside a store. She wears a tattered jacket, always, and sometimes has a crumpled can of iced tea next to her. And always, she is staring blankly down in front of her, not looking at anybody or anything.

It's starting to get cold outside at night now, and it was cold when I walked alone past her today. I was looking forward to getting my shopping done and heading back to the warmth of home, back to my family. I teetered and tottered and weaved a little before walking back to her and saying "Hi."

She looked up at me immediately with a smile, and said, "Hi." This was surprising because she seldom had any expression on her face. But now her eyes were bright, with her smile putting wrinkles around them. I quickly told her that I was heading to the grocery store and asked if I could get her something.

The smile went away just as immediately, and she said, "No.". Her eyes were back looking nowhere again. I was embarrassed, and I was afraid that I had embarrassed her. It was painful to see her sitting like that on the sidewalk, and I did not want to feel guilty while driving back home in my heated car, with bags of groceries in the trunk. I was selfish, because though I wanted to help her, it was really me that I was trying to cheer up, because what would a sandwich and a drink do for her? She would still be out there in the cold, alone.

I walked away from her quickly. Not every day has a feel-good ending.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Truth is in Here

The purpose of this blog was to open my mind to its own thoughts. While I'm writing, I find that I'm sometimes more honest with the world than I am with myself. I write down a sentence, like the one above, and then realize that it's true, and that I've never admitted it to myself before. I'm saying this because I promised to be truthful in this blog, though it sounds absolutely crazy.

There was a popular quote from the TV show "The X-Files": "The truth is out there."

In my case, the truth is in here (tapping my head). There are just many obstacles to letting it out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Loving this, Missing that

Eight months after R2I (Return to India):

What I love in Bangalore: The newspapers. Even the worst ones have more information than the lame news that I used to read back in US.

What I miss from the US: Being able to go anywhere. Once I went to Disneyland with my daughter on a daytrip, and was back by the time my husband was home from work. And made dinner too! Waffles at home, Mickey Mouse and Space Mountain in the afternoon, Rice and dal and storytime back at home again.

What I love here: Everybody delivers. The food, the groceries. Yesterday a tailor came home to measure our sofas, and today, a laundry service came home to tell us they'll pick up and do our laundry, and deliver it back.

What I miss from there: Being able to go anywhere. I miss my minivan, where I used to put my children in the backseat and go driving to the grocery store, to Art class, to Tae Kwon Do. My son was only a newborn, but going everywhere with me, throughout the week.

WILH: Eating that wonderful vegetarian food everywhere. Even KFC has to have a veggie menu here. I still haven't had enough Pani Puri and Dahi Puri. I doubt if I'll ever have had enough.

WIMFT: Being able to go anywhere. I just love driving. I enjoyed driving in my cosy little lane, stopping at lights, and proceeding in a nice orderly fashion. I loved highway driving too. I loved driving so much that I used to dream about it.

L: The colorful clothes. My wardrobe got a beating when I moved to the US. It was mainly black and blue. (Get the pun? Huh? Get it?) Here I wear beautiful, bright colors.

M: Being able to go anywhere. I once drove randomly in a city that I was unfamiliar with, with my little daughter in the back seat, and ended up on a cliffside park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and migrating whales. I wasn't worried about anything, as long as I had my GPS to guide me back home.

Oh, to be able to go anywhere. As one of my friends said, "My wings have been clipped."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inside a Fake Designer Bag

An elaborate (and ironic) label that says:


Atleast they didn't put an apostrophe in its.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Life of a Maid

Judging from the frequency with which I hear it talked about, this is the most troubling issue that India's facing today: maids' absenteeism.

I agree that it's a major problem. No vacation. No holidays. Working Saturdays and Sundays. No sick leave. Major problem.

So when I hear complaints, I think: "Do you work, or have you ever worked at a day job? What about your partner then? Would you have worked there if they gave you no time off at all?

If I can hire a maid, I'm among the lucky ones. I'm lucky I can get help, I'm lucky I can provide a job. I'm lucky to be the employer at this job, not the employee.

Give maids some pre-planned time off too. Have them tell you in advance about time off, and call you if they're sick. Get a substitute, or let the work pile up for a day or two, or maybe even (omg!) do it yourself. "

Friday, August 6, 2010

"I Don't Know"

Overused by store workers in the US, this is one line that is seldom used by salespeople here in Bangalore.

Any store I go to, any question I ask, I always get an answer. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's a little off. Sometimes it's pure fiction. But it's never "I don't know.".

Also, everybody who needs to come home to install or fix something, will always be here in 15 minutes. That's what they say. Nobody ever says that they are stuck in traffic, they have many customers to attend to, and they don't know when they can get to you. They'll always be here in 15 minutes, no matter where they are. Ofcourse, I have got to be out of mind to really expect them to be here in 15 minutes, or even an hour, or even that same day. I know that now. One lives and learns.


in the cinema box office today. A woman saying: "Two tickets for Despicable Me". Now there is someone who needs to learn to love herself :)