Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Digital De-tox

We just came back from a short 3-day vacation at Kodaikanal - a beautiful hill station in Tamil Nadu. Had a great time doing absolutely nothing for 3 days. I was determined to take a complete break and managed to pull it off. I did not carry my laptop and switched on my Blackberry just to set the wake-up alarm! The kids could not manage a complete withdrawal from their digital toys but lost their music and games within a day when their iTouch devices ran out of power. True detoxification from the digital world!

We were staying with Marsha - Mona's childhood friend who teaches at the international school in Kodi. So we were practically living on the beautiful campus. The only intellect-challenging activity we did during the 3 days was to address a group of high school students at the school who wanted to learn about the university education system in the US. Rest of the time we spent strolling through the charming town, taking a boat ride in the lake and hiking a small but beautiful Coakers Walk.

We also had a couple of brief encounters with wildlife. Returning from Coakers Walk, we were chased by a couple of cows who appeared to be seriously interested in the roasted corn that I was eating. A neighbor's dog tried to steal Mona's sandal which I valiantly rescued! Ayaana was attacked by a bee and I jumped to her rescue.

So I guess I can categorize this one under the nature adventure tour - right below the Tanzania safari that we did last year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Angry Birds!!!

No, I am not talking about the best selling, highly addictive game about birds, pigs and slingshots. Rather I am talking about the nasty pigeons in our building that insist on resting, roosting and romancing on the windows and balconies of our apartment. These guys have become a real nuisance over the past few months. Mona and I tried multiple ways to get these pigeons to stay away from our apartment without much success.

We tried covering the windows with newspapers and plastic bags. We hung old mops over the balcony thinking that these might scare the persistent pigeons. I even installed a mask on the balcony - sort of a scarecrow! But guess what - the pigeons found the head to be a convenient place to hang out.

After a few frustrating weeks of battling with these birds - Mona came up with a brilliant idea of covering the open windows with a mesh. We managed to install one today and SUCCESS! Just goes to prove - where there's a will, there's a way!

And as far as the actual game is concerned - yes, we are all addicted to it.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Moving closer to the cup

India played Ireland yesterday in the 2011 world cup tournament at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. Mona and I were guests of our friends Ritu and Alok (Managing Director, ESPN Sports) at the ESPN box and got an opportunity to see a live cricket match ... after nearly three decades! And it was worth every minute.

The atmosphere in and around the stadium was electric. Street vendors selling Indian flags, t-shirts, posters etc. added to the festive look and feel of the event. You could get an Indian flag painted on your face as you stood in line to get into the stadium. But despite thousands of fans arriving to watch the game, everything was well organized.

It was a treat to watch cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, on the field. The match itself was a lot of fun. When India bowled Ireland all out for 207, it appeared that this would not be much of a contest. But after the quick and steady loss of a few Indian wickets, the teams looked evenly matched for a while. There were no explosive batting performances but Yusuf Pathan provided some entertainment towards the end with a few big hits.

The crowd was awesome! And you quickly realize why all the teams love to play in India. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they will not hesitate to cheer the visiting team and boo the home team if required. Great music and a huge hosted dinner spread made the evening a memorable one.

India won and moves to the top of the table!