Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shopping for Wheels?

Loyal readers are probably aware that we bought a car a couple of months ago. Somebody requested that I post our car buying experience in India. How did I miss that? The experience was definitely blog-worthy .... so here it is!

Buying a car in India is very different than buying a car in the US. The fact that every major manufacturer (ranging from Hyundai to Rolls Royce) has a dealership out here and cars have turned from luxury items to necessity, there is a huge market out here. Couple this with the service orientation of Indian businesses and you have a car buying experience that you would cherish.

Once we had selected the make/model, we called the two major dealerships in town. A sales representative was at the doorstep of our house within 24 hours with a car for a test drive. I test drove the car around the house after which we were given a complete run-down of features, costs etc. ... at the house! Auto dealers making house calls! Visit to the dealership may actually be optional. We went just to check out the different colors etc.

After we had decided the exact car we wanted, the negotiations were done on the phone. All paperwork was brought to my office to be signed off and the car was delivered at home with a red ribbon tied around it!

Healing - the Indian way

I have had a mild case of psoriasis on my elbows for some years. Nothing serious but I none of the traditional treatments have worked. I have even had a couple of dermatologists look at it and prescribe treatment.

Since I am in India, I decided to give the ancient Indian school of medicine - Ayurveda a shot. I signed up more for the experience than an actual cure. If this treats the problem, then that will be an added bonus.

The visit with the Ayurvedic physician was interesting. He attributes the condition to impurities in the blood and prescribes treatment to remove the toxins from the blood. The treatment includes two herbal syrups - 5 tablespoons each to be had three times a day after meals. Along with that is a paste that is supposed to be eaten at along with the medicine. The thick greenish black paste tastes awful!

The treatment also includes seven days of a procedure which includes a head massage and 30 minutes of an oil drip. Basically, you lie down on a large wooden table. A head band is tied on your head and your eyes are covered with medicated cotton. A brass pot is hanging above your head from which medicated oil drips on your forehead for thirty minutes. I am not sure of the effectiveness yet, but the procedure is definitely relaxing.

Stay tuned to see if this procedure and treatment actually works. I will update the status in a couple of weeks!

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Show Must Go On ...

Yesterday, the William Joseph Academy of Fine Arts had it's fifth annual music program at the St. John's auditorium in Bangalore. Both Aanish and Ayaana are students at the academy. Aanish is learning guitar while Ayaana is continuing with her piano lessons. Both of them performed yesterday in front of about 300 or so parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and fellow students and of course their own proud parents!

The show was in an outdoor amphitheater which has a beautiful setting. Around 50-60 students performed with their music teachers. This was Aanish's first performance ever and he aced it! Ayaana was her usual confident self and did her piece flawlessly. It was a formal program and all the boys were dressed in white shirts, black pants, black shoes and red ties while the girls were in white tops and black skirts or black pants. Everyone was looking very smart and professional.

There was even a special treat for mothers (for the upcoming mother's day). Dr. Ashley, who heads the center, sang a tribute to motherhood while roses were distributed to mothers in the audience.