Saturday, September 29, 2007

Grocery Shopping in LA!

Some things never change.

This is the thought that went through my mind as I was pushing my shopping cart at Ralphs in Glendale earlier this week. I was back in Los Angeles and made my mandatory visit to the local grocery store with Mona's shopping list. It's been nearly ten months in India but there are some things that we still miss. Such as Mexican Food!

So I am here - 10,000 miles away from Bangalore and still shopping at the store for salsa, beans, tortillas and cheese! Of course, I can't forget the muffin and biscuit mix.

Most other products are now easily available in Bangalore but for some reason, supplies for Mexican food are virtually impossible to come by. But we are well equipped now for our next meal of fajitas, enchiladas, spicy salsa and spanish rice!

Buenos Noches!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

'Jet'ting to London

I flew Jet airlines on my recent trip to London. For those among you who are regular travelers to India, Jet is a well-known name. They are one of the premier domestic airlines known for great service, terrific cuisine and friendly staff. The airline has recently been granted licenses to fly on overseas routes and has started flights to Singapore, London etc. The New York segment is scheduled to be operational soon.

I was not disappointed flying an international route on Jet. The 777 was designed with passenger comfort in mind. Subtle design changes (like moving the handset/remote control from the side of the seat to the back of the seat in front) make flying more comfortable. The TV screens are huge and are equipped with touch screen control. Seats are ergonomically designed with built in comfort such as lumbar and neck supports.

Service is exceptional as expected and the cuisine is top class.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In the eye of the storm

The monsoon season in India is a unique experience especially in an urban center such as Bangalore. September is supposed to be the highest rainfall month and as the resident expert here, I can certainly vouch for that. While Bangalore rains do not come close to Bombay rains, they come down hard.

I have written numerous times about the traffic in Bangalore so my regular readers can imagine the impact of the rain on commuting. Without a decent drainage systems, roads are generally flooded within minutes of a heavy downpour. The traffic clogged streets get further congested and the vehicles (except for bicycles and 2-wheelers) come to a virtual halt. And of course, this is precisely the same moment when the drivers of vehicles on the roads (especially the large buses) take leave of their senses and rather than heading for their destination, start moving in the direction of any empty space that comes in their sight.

You must have the ability to set aside your anger, frustration and other negative emotions and learn to enjoy this (unless you are an hour late for an important investor meeting). If you can do that, it is quite entertaining and in some ways uplifting! The fury of the rains is insufficient to quash the human spirit here. It is amazing to see children playing in ankle deep waters or pedestrians bravely making their way to their destinations with minimal protection against the rain. And the patience of the drivers – to my knowledge there has not been a single incident of a person shooting some one else due to road rage.

Now that is Nirvana!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It's a dog's life

Mona joined a Yoga class last week. An instructor from the Art of Living foundation offered a week-long course (2 hours daily) at the building. Over two dozen residents from the building participated in the class. Mona has been gaga over the class and I spent an hour learning the basics from her today.

Of course, tennis lessons are still going on (thrice a week) for both Mona and Aanish. They have been learning for months and I suspect they are both getting pretty good at it. Ayaana makes a new friend every week and with her new and shiny bike is out every evening.

I am trying to visit the gym twice a week and a gym trainer has developed a customized one-hour workout plan for me.