Monday, December 29, 2008

Things Kannada That I Like

There's much more to Bangalore than just the malls and the great weather. Here are the reasons that I love Bengaluru for...
  • The Idli-Vada joints - Where else in the world can you get nutritious, fresh, delicious and inexpensive breakfast early in the morning? I must say I am impressed by the efficiency of these innumerous joints that dot Bangalore's landscape. Clean and fast, these joints provide you essentially with what you want - fresh, wholesome, tasty food. And the low prices are an added balm to the heart in these times of economic shockers. In addition, have you ever noticed the speed at which these joints pack and distribute packets? My idli-vada pack never gets messy. There's always a small plastic sheet on which the chutney is spread. The sheet is given a fold on which the idlis are kept, and on top of which goes the Vada. Magically, these never get crushed or soggy... And the pulley system is charming. The guy at the counter just tugs at the pulley and uses a length of twine that comes rolling down to give a neat wrap to the pack.
  • Filter Coffee - True coffee = Filter coffee. Lovers of Espressos, forgive me. But I give full marks to this humble and yet dignified version, that comes in delightfully small steel glasses. Redolent with the flavour of fresh coffee, with just enough milk, the coffee is enough to awaken you from your ennui, and yet gentle enough to let people like me enjoy the strength.
  • HOPCOM - I don't know whether other states in India have this service, but I really likes the vegetable outlets of the Horticulture department. These generally have a wide variety of vegetables and haggling doesn't work. For people like me, who are at best novices in this ancient art, this is good news. Personally, I have developed a good rapport with the Anna at the neighbourhood Hopcom, and I don't really have to worry about the quality of the veggies :)
  • Jasmine in the hair - There's an old-worldly charm in women putting flowers in their hair, especially Jasmine. Naturally beautifully fragrant, these flowers exude freshness ... a worthy competitor to deodorants I must say. Try boarding a bus during the rish hour. The Jasmine in the braids of the woman standing next to you will turn out to be a saviour!!!
  • Alpana at house entrances - Homes in Bangalore are set apart from those in other parts of the country by the intricate designs that appear in front of their gates every morning. Created by the ladies of the house using rice flour, turmeric etc, these designs range from geometric to scenic. But one thing is certain - the art brings the house alive, makes it look habitated and gives a certain warmth to the whole concrete building. If you believe in 'good energy', I think such designs invite 'happy' sentiments into the house...

Ethics of Gifting

It's the holiday and the time for gifting. But does everybody know the ethics involved in the process?
Here are some points that I feel are important:
  • Do not impose your gift - Just imagine someone trying to gove you a present that you really don't want. You'll feel helpless and frustrated! Neither can you express your distaste, nor can you honestly look grateful. Tip: Look for subtle expressions... moreover, if someone does not like something, don't keep on using the theory - "I know what's best for you!" C'mon.... we're adults and this is the 21st century!!!!
  • The gift is not your's after you have gifted it - There are few things more irritating than a friend perennially curious about how you are using their gift. I can understand the sentiment behind buying the gift. But after it has gone out of your hands - just let it go! Tip - It shouldn't be any of your business whether the pen stand you gifted is being used to hold pens, spoons or toothbrushes.
  • You are not doing a favour - Thanks for getting me such a nice gift! But can you puhleeese get rid of your airs??? You are not doing me any favour for God's sake!!!!! Tip - The act of gifting is a reward by itself. Just be happy that your gift was accepted and enjoy that feeling.
  • Stop expecting equal returns - The book that you gifted might have been priceless for you. But was it as important for the receiver? Therefore don't expect the receiver to reciprocate in similar terms. For all you know, a rose, that is commonplace for you, might be priceless for the giver. Tip - Don't spoil relationships expecting people to reciprocate just the way you did. Everybody is different.
  • Give Space - If someone isn't comfortable with surprises, so be it! Why do you have give gifts according to your terms and conditions? If you really want to make someone happy, give them space! Let them be! Help them enjoy things that THEY like to do!!! Tip - Gifting essentially means giving, without expectations of receiving anything in return, to make the receiver happy, and to feel happy because of the happiness of the receiver. How difficult is that to understand???? Duh!