Thursday, July 28, 2011


It was such a revelation to the kids when they were made aware of this phenomenon!  We travel at jet speed to the other side of the globe, almost through 10 time zones, in a matter of a few hours making our hunger and sleep rhythms go haywire. This is one jetlagged women typing away at the middle of the night waiting out the 10 days of jetlag.  Waiting for my body to become aware that its travelled through all these time zones in a matter of a few hours. Waiting to catch up with Hubby as he functions regularly while his other part, is jetlagged!

After being back from our vacation,  I enter my dear home with this nervous feeling of what condition I was going to find it in. How well had Hubby dear treated it?! How many of my plants had I lost to the absence of my TLC.  In case you wonder how well the home had treated hubby dear? Well, we’d already met Hubby dear at the air-a-port and was happy to see he was doing good. And why not?!   They don’t just make movie dialogues like “No Nagamani…Enzoy!!” for nothing?!

After one such vacation, we had returned to find that I had left a couple of plants inside that totally dried out. My home had turned into this giant dehumidifier. It had even shrunk some of the grout on the wall and had made it crash to the ground..decorating the kitchen floor with a weird pattern of white. 

This time around I was careful enough to leave all the plants outside, to leave it to the care of the elements because that seemed like a better option than relying on Hubby to water them. The weather god had been really ruthless this year with the recent heat wave that the east coast experienced. I did loose some good ones. On the brighter side, most of my jasmine plants had survived..although they were engulfed in weeds.

With Hubby closely watching for any change of expressions on my face, I entered my home and everything seemed to be in its spot. Returning from a dust ridden place..everything felt cleaner although I couldn’t resist myself from letting Hubby know that the counter tops could have been cleaner.

Hubby dear had cooked us a sumptuous south Indian meal but, the girls were more interested in the basics.

Bread and milk!  

These basic “ruchulu” that, they had been deprived of, during the vacation. How can anybody go wrong with such fundamental tastes, they had wondered. How can milk taste so bad else where?  How could bread not feel the same as it did back home?! It had been a shock to the kids! How could people go so wrong with the spice?! Don’t all of us have the same feeling on the tongue?! They had wondered.

Every morning, it had been a pain to get a glass of milk into their system.  Richa used to come to me, and pointing out to my mom with that furtive glance of her’s, she would say…

“I don’t like her milk!”

We had burst out laughing, the first time we heard her say that..then, would start my task of distracting her so she could, would forget that she’s actually drinking up that weird tasting liquid which although, looked like milk, was far off in taste from it.  She had already decided her menu, on the flight back.

“Mama, when I’m in the big red house, I am going to have toasty bread and milk!”

She hadn’t forgotten it when she got home.  The girls had their toasted bread and milk and realized that they hadn’t had such a satisfying meal in some time now.  The bread was soft again and the milk tasted like milk again!!!!

It was the euphoria of “Home Sweet Home”. They had also missed their trampoline. They ran to it as they got of their vehicle. Then started the task of keeping us awake so our biological patterns would find themselves again.

As the day progressed and I heard Hubby talk, it had just felt like a lullaby to me.  While he spoke of a bike trail that he had discovered and the girls were screaming in the other room busy with their play…it all sounded like Brahms Lullaby to me! I just needed to get my sleep!

Hubby had saved a few episodes of “Law & Order, CI” and “White collar” among others that we usually watch together and was waiting to share them with me!  So, after we settled the baggage we sat down to watch TV.  He watched as I fell asleep. He brought tea to wake me up with my favorite snack…and I drank it in sleep, while he waited beside me, hoping to talk a few words.

I tell you, this jetlag thing, as much as its supposed to affect everybody who travels across time zones at high speeds…it truly doesn’t affect people who don’t know or don’t care about it.  I say it from experience, you know!

Take my kids for example. They sure know about it..but, I don’t think they even cared about it, as they lost themselves in their games. They seemed to be doing good. In fact too good to say! They slept regularly, woke up just a little bit early, while I am up at 1am for the second day in a row.   Its always worse when your spouse is in jetlag and you are able to function normally.  When do we talk…when do we catch up..How nice if Hubby dear would stay up with me at this hour!

Not knowing what to do, I had started to empty the bag gages. When that seemed to disturb my sleeping hubby, I went on to my computer. When the sound of typing my blog, seemed to make him restless, I just waited for the clock to move faster Open-mouthed smile 

Can’t that move at high speed too?! Well, then it’ll get jetlagged and then there’ll be another movie to beat 2012! No, I couldn’t risk that thought of another movie like that.

So, I’ve decided that waiting out is a better option. When does any mom get such legit reason to relax and do nothing.  Its getting close to 1pm and I’m going to let myself dose off now……..,mfsdknnnnnnnnnvksiehfaf jlskd oiwef zzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Driving in India


A few weeks ago, we once again experienced driving long distance in India. My adrenaline glands got to exercise a lot more than it had, when I got up on the supposedly world’s highest roller coaster at Cedar Point, in Cleveland, more than a decade and a half ago. It had been a thrill or lets just accept, a life altering experience for me at the time. Well, it’s been replaced now. 

Actually, it had well been replaced a few years ago when we drove from Hardwar to Delhi.  Except for the driver, none of us in the car were sure, we would reach the airport to take the flight back to Hyderabad.  Luckily, and by gods grace, we did.

A few weeks ago, my family had started from Tirupati to travel to Hyderabad by road with a stopover in Vijayawada,  The road between Tirupati and Vijayawada is a good 4 lane one with the on coming traffic clearly separated by a wide divider. It would have been an easy ride even if the driver had wanted to touch 100k and some more.

This brings me to another question. What is the speed limit on an Indian Highway?  Would anybody know that? I failed to find any sign related to that on the highway. One thing became clear to us…its for the drivers to decide the speed limit on these highways.

In spite of such clear highways and a few obstacles..that could easily be tackled…


we took well over 8 hours to reach Vijayawada.

Mr.Driver’s adrenaline was taking a rest. It must have tired out during the previous ride. Surrounded by a gang of pukers who were waiting to drench me in their vomit with a slightest bump…with great mental tenacity, I had stopped my hands as they moved towards the driver’s knees, to push it down with all my might, so the vehicle would gain some speed.

Being at his mercy…Hubby dear had offered him yet another cup of coffee, hoping it would wake the driver’s sluggish mind and body.  It didn’t. Given up, both Hubby and me took refuge in the thought that this way is much safer. We tried hard to ignore the 10000 times 4 of

“How much more time to reach Vijayawada?” 

“How much longer?!”

“Are we there?!”

from our restless kids.

We were clearly excited beyond doubt to reach Vijayawada. After having a great time with friends, I shuddered at the thought that its going to be another 7 hours of drive to Hyderabad from there.  Nothing worried me more than handling this hopelessly lovable gang of pukers that I had, around me. 

Armed with enough information, sickness bags and some motion sickness pills we set out on the drive.  Little did I know that there was another thing that I would be dealing with this day.  Although, our driver looked like the same man who drove us to Vijayawada, he was a changed man this morning!!  In fact…he was a charged man today!!!

The road to Hyderabad wasn’t like the one we drove on the previous day. Most of it was a single lane road and the rest, under construction. Guess how one drives on such lanes..? Overtaking the bigger trucks every few minutes is the code to follow. Well, there is a safe way of doing that and then, there is the way, our rejuvenated driver was in the mood for.

The way he overtook these big lorries, it was clear that he had made a pact with Lord Yama of some sort, the previous night. He felt invincible. He was fiercely overtaking the on-coming trucks at close range and as soon as he had joined back the lane he was on, he lost no time in overtaking the next vehicle without even checking for a vehicle on the on-coming traffic lane.

This guy was getting a high, overtaking vehicles at such close quarters. My screams of OMGs and high pitched Nooooos!!! were fading out in the sound of the speed of the vehicle. I must have shrunk a considerable inch or two, during the drive as my heart kept skipping beat after beats as the driver recklessly overtook. Finally Hubby, put his foot down and demanded that he drive with caution.

What puzzled me was this driver’s decision to go slow on a road that was perfectly ok to drive faster..while go full throttle on a road that demanded some caution.

Driving on the local roads is another ball game. It’s a game of who succeeds in letting the other driver know, “I’m the aggressive one!”  It’s a game of who is going to bow down to whom. There is another kind of high the drivers get in this situation. Like yesterday’s incident.

We are going on the road and another car had to join the lane…First, the car sets out to join and when its just short of bumping into our vehicle…it would stop to check…or maybe NOT!  Both the drivers know that the other is approaching but, none has the right to give up and stop, you know!

They eventually will, when the vehicles are an epsilon distance of touching each other. Then they come to a sudden and jerky halt. Now, Begins the sizing up process begins!

Both the drivers will look at each other at this point and exchange telepathic messages…decisions such as,  if they should make their hair rise up ( like the cat does)  to appear bigger and stronger are taken. The one with the stronger, peering gaze continues to drive on while the other one looks on, mesmerized with the glow that he just saw in the other’s eyes.

And, what can one say about the two-wheelers. The way they fill up the gaps like water in sand…Add to this the puddles and man holes that one has to juggle. The monsoons!  The exercise of keeping the eyes open while one drives a two wheeler in rain with a wife at the back and a baby sleeping on the gas tank in the front!  

Its amazing to see how the traffic moves. There is a method in every they say, can be experienced perfectly on the streets of Hyderabad here!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Today was one of those days, I was reminded of my student days in Hyderabad.  The frustrations that I had faced as a student, as a resident of my state, as a citizen of India.  There was this one year during my graduation when almost 60% of the academic year had been lost to bandhs.  I had hardly gone to college that year. It reminded me of that. The final exams had to be postponed. We students were totally confused on when to be in class and when not. It reminded me of that.

The last 48 hours had been declared a bandh, among the many that were, by some joint action committee of nincompoops, to whom the progress of the state didn’t matter.  The pain of a common citizen when every store, every business, is forced to close down didn’t matter.  The time and knowledge a student would loose out, didn’t matter. The crisis that the sick, the old, the travellers would face didn’t matter.

The picture in the newspaper was of a war zone like atmosphere, of the Osmania University campus.  There was scenes of fire, smoke, students pelting stones with faces covered with some scarfs.

Its totally beyond my comprehension, for what mission these maniacs are fighting for or why. Why isn’t the progress of the state holding any value to these selfish and self important politicians. They could learn from states who have already gone through such disturbances and are struggling to bring their economies to any decent level.

But, that isn’t their goal, is it?! Spreading unrest, wrecking the futures of millions of students who are admitted into colleges around the state, unsure of what their next step should be, demotivating the younger generation with non relevant issues rather than motivating them to invent and discover has become the new motto of these politicians.

It has been rightly said that religion and regionalism is a mass business. It is clear, they are cashing in on this  They have enough funds to help divert all the dime-a-dozen-all-muscle-no-reason-no-drive type of people to move in the direction of their choice. 

How outrageously they went ahead demolishing the most picturesque place in Hyderabad.  As we drove around the Tankbund had hurt us to witness all that non-sensical destruction that these waylaid youth had done. Not a thought had been given to the fact that what they where destroying actually belonged to them!!!!

Now, even a humble investor is wondering if they should consider investing in a region whose future is so uncertain.  I’m sure there’s going to be an exodus of the student community who care for their future, from the universities here.  I recently read in the local newspaper that the admissions in Osmania University had fallen down considerably.

Property values could plummet while there are state like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who are treading a path of progress with foreign investments getting diverted to such places because of a much stable environment for growth.

Yesterday’s had been a 48 hour bandh.  The hired chamchas forced everything to close down.   The gundas went around on bikes forcing all the people to pull their shutters down and the people complied lest their properties are destroyed. The police watched all this like dummies. The smaller businesses are the hardest hit on these days, unable to bear even a tiny lose.

Some of the bigger establishments who would suffer crazy loses if closed, resort to paying these activists heavy dough so they could be allowed to continue with their business.  As I read in the newspaper that many politicians have reaped from such situations didn’t come as a shock to me.

In case of the common man, they have no access to everyday needs for the home. An average home in India, mostly shops everyday and doesn’t buy stuff to store for such situations.  As simple as bottled water, bread and milk gets difficult to have in a home with kids on such days.  The supermarkets have to pull down their shutters and let the food rot inside.

So frustrated was I today, on the second day of the bandh. Hoping to find any store which would let me sneak inside,  and buy bread and milk for my kid who were refusing to eat anything else, I set out. 

How could you explain the concept of a bandh to a 4 year old who believes that we can get all that from the store outside. How could a parent explain to the kid, why the milk tastes so weird the next day of the bandh? That it had not been refrigerated well!

How could you explain all these to bigger kids too?! Didn’t we elect all these people to rule us?!  Why would the government let all this happen? They would question us back, already demotivating them from the political system.

Trying to find an answer to all these questions rising in my mind, I kept driving to different supermarkets, until I finally found one that was stealthily letting in customers. I was successful in getting the stuff my kids were in need of.  I did notice the butter, the yogurt in the refrigerators warmer than it should be.

As I drove back..I saw so many kids playing outside today. They were outside, playing cricket in landfill areas and bylanes around the homes. They were oblivious to the effects of all the disturbances around them. They were enjoying their day off ….or should I say…..days, off from school.