Too many cooks…

I have been oblivious to this one rather typical indian mannerism… until now. If there is a problem to be solved, it is rarely tackled by the one person who has been designated to handle it; all of a sudden, there is a impromptu conference that surrounds the designated person.
I saw this at the Airport. One of the passengers had an immigration issue and she was directed to the officer who stood behind the counters. Immediately, without any prompting, a couple of his colleagues appeared {If only they had appeared to sit at the 3 empty counters that could have handled the early morning rush}, and all three heads bobbed in perfect rhythm while listening to the passenger’s lament. One can only hope they were able to solve the issue at hand. I saw this {newly observed} curious phenomenon at the bank. During my first visit, I sat at the desk of a “personal banker”. As I was explaining my bank woes, chronicled here, to the person behind the desk, we were joined by a couple of more people; Before my “banker” had a chance to respond, one of the uninvited guests started offering his 2 cents; and this started a to-and-fro between the three of them. Not only did the wunderkids not solve my problem, the solutions they offered turned out to be insufficient, requiring further visits to that desk.
This hasn’t bothered me at all but i’m aware of it so I can identify instances when it happens, as well as the rare times that it is absent. Why does it happen? Does this have to do with our national past-time of interfering in other people’s beeswax? Or is it because there is a certain level of incompetence that is acceptable here? With the latter, if you are willing to accept some level of incompetence, why should it be the face of your organization? This gets me thinking about a related field – availability of cheap labour. We have tons of it. we can crow all day about how we do not have a dishwasher in Indian homes because it is cheaper to pay for a person to do the dishes but it does not take away from the fact that most, if not all, of the cheap labour is unskilled. You need skills and training to develop competence, and that does not come cheap. Coming back to the 3-heads-are-better-than-one, is this mini-crowd sourcing useful at all? Your guess is as good as mine.

Memories…

I saw this sign at the post office this morning… felt a bit homesick even though I was home.

An ad at the post office
An ad at the post office

“Of all the post offices in all the towns in all the world, I walked into one featuring my two hometowns.”

And yes, all mail in the post office gets sorted by hand on the table that you see in the background

Boogers!

I’ll spare you the embarrassing pictures but i experienced a major upsurge in booger activity in the first two weeks. It’s hit a plateau now; but there are upticks in production when I venture outside.
this is what I call a proxy indicator for air pollution; just how good of a proxy it is needs to be tested.
Should I register a N-of-1 trial at AllTrials?
Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Is it me becoming more sensitive to the booger issue or has there been a surge in the number of people who overtly conduct deep excavations of their nasal cavities? The proxy indicator would be strengthened if I was tracking this previously-private phenomenon and had data to relate it to the air particulate concentration.

Hello Bangalore Traffic

..or should I say, Bangalore madness.

I grew up in Bangalore; life in the 80 and 90s was as pleasant as the salubrious weather, the teenage problems notwithstanding. I admit that I was a daredevil rider when I started riding/driving, mainly focussing my skills on the two-wheeled seats of death and destruction. Those days, my speed riding was confined to a stretch of road near my house known as the “Suranjan Das road” or “test road”. I don’t know the provenance of “test road” but I took it to mean, a “Bike testing road”. The road was usually devoid of traffic in the afternoon, of both the mechanical and human variety, and that time slot is when I made it my personal Utah salt flat. The approach that a novice bike rider takes stems from the sense of invulnerability that envelops him, and the need to push-the-boundaries thing {akin to what kids do to test their parents, but I was testing the traffic gods}. I touched the boundary. More than once. The first time, the adrenalin rush and the crash made me feel sick to my stomach, when I had to decelerate from 60 km/h (37 mph) to zero in a few seconds to avoid hitting a dog {i think, it may even have been a large squirrel). Eventually, i got inured to the shaking and the dry heaving and continued on my mad max ways. I did not get into any accidents, though there were more than a few lucky escapes {for the animals, that is}. Ironically, when my first (and only) bike accident happened, I was going at a sedate 20 kmph (12 mph). I found out what a massive adrenalin rush, and subsequent crash, does to my mental and physical self [and to the skin of my knees when I was dragged under my slow moving vehicle for about 10 yards; i still bear the scars]. Once that happened, i became the very epitome of a safe driver {I have blurred out the outlier instances when safety was not the norm; i assure you that those instances were exceptional indeed 🙂 }.
In the past 3 weeks I have been out on a motor vehicle about 10 times, that is when I’m behind the wheel. As an indication of how safe I feel on these roads, I have to tell you that on day 1 of my return, I vowed to never honk at another vehicle or pedestrian unless there was a risk to life, either for me or for them. the result: In the 10 instances I have been out I have gone honk-happy exactly three times. The first time, it was on a highway when I was coming back from Thanjavur {see previous post}, when a truck swerved into my lane when we were both at speeds of 100 kmph. I honked and braked, and my brother, who was sleeping during his break from driving, fell out of the seat. Similar situation on a bangalore road, this time it was a smaller van and the speeds were ~70 kmph. The third time, I was going at a below-the-speed-limit 40 kmph and a family of people surged across the highway; honking had no effect, they blithely ignored my now-suddenly-stopped-from-40-to-0kmph car as they went about their still-alive lives. I have shown remarkable self-restraint in not creating a noise machine in response to how aggravating I find the disregard for the rules of the road in everyday motorists and pedestrians. And this is not some newfound decrease in sensitivity after spending 9 years on the US roads. There is some of that, but remember my daredevil past. The Motto of every vehicle on the road is this: See a Gap, Fill it. Every time a space is created between two vehicles, a surge of traffic heads to the gap to fill the hole. No matter that you are two lanes away, the immediate imperative is to point the nose of your vehicle towards the new space and move towards it. “oh wait, another space”. lets change direction again! My cousin expects that my over-reaction will get muted as time goes by, and I don’t see why that cannot happen; but I do not want to numb myself to the reckless disregard for the laws of orderly road traffic that passes off as the norm. And road rage is not the answer. 🙂 What wil I do? Time will tell; watch this space.

How bad is it on the road? In 2011, Bangalore had 4.2 million vehicles on its roads, if a combination of potholes of varying shapes and sizes can be called roads. Now it’s more like 5 million. Let me take you on a mental journey down a Bangalore road during regular traffic hours – I’m trying to give you a “road map”, if you will [ha ha ha ha].
Imagine the most dickish of Massachusetts’ drivers – King Masshole. To that dry mixture, add 1 part defensive drivers, 1 part drivers who should not have been given a license and pour that mixture into 4.2 million drivers (subtract at least 10 to account for drivers who do know how to drive and are courteous, orderly and law-abiding; yes, it includes me). Imagine all these drivers on the road, all of them want to be the first to get to where ever they want to go, and all of them care not a white about the others on the road.

An example from earlier this morning,

Holy Close Bus, Batman
Holy Close Bus, Batman

He was trying to squeeze his fat-ass bus into a space meant for an autorickshaw {Google it!}.

As we started moving, the lanes which were blurry to begin with, all merged into one unholy lane

Holy Claustrophobia, Batman!
Holy Claustrophobia, Batman!

I’ll wait to see traffic in other cities before I stereotypically declare the end to good traffic in India {I’ve had many good experiences when I lived here before}.

PS: I will document this with a pic but I believe Bangalore is the only place in the world where there is a speed bump placed at a stop line for a traffic light; and not just any bump, the Mother of all Bumps. Way to go, urban planners. What were you smoking when you devised this ingenious {not!} way to control traffic? Vehicles stop before the bump, and when the light changes green, all of them inch forward slowly, clear the bump and then burn rubber, as if to compensate for the initial crawl. Safe, yeah, and oh so smooth {again, not}.

PPS: It appears that rear/side view mirrors are optional {pretty sure they are not but I’ve seen plenty of vehicles doing without them to give doubt to that belief}. Do they expect that their larger-than-life presence on the road {at least larger than 1.5 lanes} will protect them from the speeding vehicle coming up behind them on the adjoining lane when they attempt a lane shift? I see little evidence that drivers use their rear view mirrors when changing lanes, leave alone a cursory look at their blind spot.

PPPS: If I were to describe the madness in one word, I would call it “surging”…like a slow-moving tidal wave

“Out of the mouths of babes…”

… oft-times come gems

My 4-year-old precocious nephew is a hoot. Chatty, super-intelligent, and he listens to, and registers, everything around him. He says all the darndest things.. and more. An example:

Bangalore is famous for its speed breakers, humps that would put Mohammad’s mountain to shame. We are four adults and one 10-year-old niece in my brother’s car, coming back from dinner; aforementioned nephew is sitting on grandma’s lap. As we go slowly over one of the demon speed humps, the bottom of the car gently scrapes the top of the hump. The ensuing silence is broken by Nephew, who pipes up, “Dad, aren’t we all too heavy?”

Another time, different day: he’s sitting and playing with his Lego blocks. I ask him what he does in school. He looks at me, puts his right index finger to his temple, and announces “I think”.

You can’t manufacture these moments in a sitcom. 🙂

Life [could use some more] beautiful…

..but the weather is absolutely brilliant. Bangalore temperatures have ranged from a blissful 70 F to a just-on-the-edge-of-lovely 85 F; there’s little rain falling everyday (aah the monsoons), and the sun is shining bright and strong when it is not raining.

The view outside my window when it is raining:

Holy Rain, Batman!
Holy Rain, Batman!

The same view, with no rain:

Holy Clear Skies, Batman!
Holy Clear Skies, Batman!

My three weeks in India have been part aggravation and part frustration (resulting from the aggravation!). It took 2 weeks for a bank and a phone company to recognize that (1) I am an Indian citizen (2) I now live in India. And the roadblock that stumped everyone was that my Indian passport, renewed in New York, had a Boston address listed in the address field. It was inconceivable to the many heads/eyes that viewed this document that any Indian passport that was not issued on Indian soil could be real…”haanh, this must be a forgery, yaar; this guy thinks he is very smart, he is trying to get one over us; i can’t approve this, I have to cover my a**” I’m offering them my money and they don’t want it because I lived in Jamaica Plain. *sigh + facepalm”

My plight highlights the red tape-ish bureaucratic backbone that still lives, and feeds, on the optimism and hopes of millions, nay, billions of Indians. I talked to my cousin who incidentally moved back to India 2 years ago, exactly to the date. And his wise advice was to take a deep breath and roll with it. I would have, if this happened 9 years ago. Now, having read about the fantastical (as they now seem!) stories of how “India has changed”, “This is the new India”, blah blah blah, etc, I have come to expect something better than “the same old, same old”. To clarify, those who know me are aware that I am a pretty flexible/adaptable guy. And I do not think I can ever be described as “entitled”. But this really gets my goat; what I see before me, based on my experience, is truth to the saying, “the more something changes, the more it remains the same”. On an upcoming obligatory post on traffic, remember another paraphrased quote,”the more something changes, the more terrifying it becomes”

My homecoming was tinged with a bit of sadness. A dear uncle passed on to the great Drama club in the sky. A lawyer by profession, an actor by hobby, he was a man full of humour and zest for life. Even though we have not been in touch for a while, I feel a tug when I realize that his smiling face will no longer greet me as he did, every time I walked into our ancestral house in Thanjavur. I travelled to Thanjavur a couple of times in the past three weeks, which is more than I have in the past 18 years. As a kid, I used to spend every one of my summers vacations in two cities – the ancestral (paternal) home in Thanjavur for 2 weeks every April, and then 1 month in Pune (maternal grandparents’ home) till mid-May. The trip to Thanjavur was usually a family affair, with the family (dad, mom, three sons) crammed into a Maruti Suzuki 800 for ~8 hours. Madonna’s material girl was the soundtrack for those journeys. Not all 8 hours but often enough that the song stuck with me. MJ’s Bad, Elvis, and the Beatles filled out the rest. The trip to Pune was by train, a 20 hour journey. It was usually me and my younger brother, or sometimes me alone. The Udyan Express was the preferred train, leaving Bangalore at 8.30 pm and reaching Pune at 4.30 pm. Those were the days when it wasn’t considered dangerous to send a 12 year old and a 9 year old alone by train. Parents saw us off in Bangalore, talked to the families seated around us, asking them to keep an eye on the two brats, and make sure that we did not get into any trouble. I was in charge of the younger brat, to make sure that he did not get down at a station stop and get left behind on a station stop midway (and he vice versa, though it did lead to some what-we-then-thought were hilarious pranks where one of us got into the car behind ours and when the other had all but given up hope that he was on the train, we would present ourself with a flourish and a “ta-da”; i believe some of my {and his} mental scars from those “jokes” still exist). Word soon got around and “the two brave kids travelling alone” were adopted by the whole car full of families, We were never short of food and drink. I miss those days – trust came easily, not just to us but to everyone on the train. We were picked up by the maternal relative units on the other end of the journey, and our newfound friends and family on the train disappeared along their own paths. But while we were on the train, the cohesion and unity felt solid and real.
I haven’t reflected much on how these vacations away from my family but they gave rise to the independent me, the one making his own decision, whether good or bad. What I think I missed was a way to evaluate and get feedback on my life, my choices and my decisions. I’m doing that now, albeit on the will-o-wisp of a fragile memory. I increasingly find myself turning to these thoughts as my mood “glooms”, and for some reason, childhood always lessens the load.

More on that later, i have a traffic rant to write

Stranger in a should-not-be-so-Strange Land

Let me tell you a story,
Of a man who returned home,
To restart his life again,
In the country of his birth,

In Bengaluru he landed,
With nary any proof of his identity,
Save his passport, renewed in the land where he had lived,
Believing that one booklet was all it would take,
To get himself started with a phone connection, bank account and ID card,

Oh, was he in for a rude shock,
When he found that his country had forgotten him,
And wanted him to prove he was who he said he was,
In the words of Yoda:
the documents they demanded, he did not have
In frustration he was, pulling out his meager hair,

Bank after bank he visited, more than once
oh the irony, he wanted to give them money,
And they would have none of it,
He got them a rental agreement as proof of address,
But in truth, they grudged him his passport,
In the Land of milk and honey, was it renewed, they said,
the address is Boston, they said,
No mention of India, they said.
But, it is an Indian passport, he said,
Why do you care where it was renewed, he said,
I have a separate proof of address, he said,

Cursed the British, he did, for introducing red tape
To the country world-famous for Customer Service since the times of Alexander, and before,
“Athithi Devo Bhavah” [The Guest is G_d] would have ensured a smooth passage, he thought
What options do I have – wail, rail and rant,
Or ask nicely,
So he did, ask nicely that is,

One Bank, HDFC, said, thy brother is you,
You are your brother,
Prove his identity and address, and
Prove your blood link to him,
And you have then proved who you are,
Aah, a DNA test, he said aloud,
now there is something I can understand, he thought
No, No, you need more more papers, they said,
And signatures, don’t forget the signatures
*Sigh*
He set about getting those “more papers”
And two days later, he had money in his account,
Rather than in his suitcase/mattress,
But the respect for professionalism was all but shattered

Wait, there’s more,
To spare you the gory details, the phone shop took his money
And his application for a phone line,
And 10 days later, they say the same things that the bank says,
Stand up and face your accuser, Aircel,
you of the double standard,
You want separate proofs of identity and address,
But, like the bank, you want the address proof within your identity proof
Indian passport with Indian address
Why then do you ask for a separate proof of address,
Why, why, he ranted, at no one in particular,
Another battle to be fought, Welcome to India!

Ah, he thought, opening a bank account took a week,
And nary a phone connection in sight,
Which each would have taken all of 30 minutes,
In the Land Whence He came,
Is this the “New India” that he heard about,
I would prefer the “old India”, he though,
Where expectations of service and punctuality were not sky high,
Built by ad-meisters into a vision of utopia and heaven merged,
With no mention the gross inequality and greed that is evident before ones eyes
(But that is a story for another day )

“I carry a lot of baggage…”

Traveller’s Log, Stardate: July 4th 2013, Day 1 of my re-entry into India

First, let’s take a detour into a time past…

It was 2004; I was “Fresh off the Boat”, having moved my life from Bangalore to Boston. The airline was Lufthansa, the flight time was 22 hours. I got off the aircraft at Logan Airport, still suffering from the after effects of a food toxin I ate on board the aircraft {Damn you, Lufthansa (DYL)}. I picked up my two heavy suitcases  and I was looking for my green carry-on strolley bag that Lufthansa forced me to check in at the gate as it was too heavy {DYL, if I can carry it on board and it can fit into the overhead storage, I don’t see why it should be “gate-checked”; the weight and destination of the aircraft will not change with the change in location}. Yes! I saw my green bag, picked it up and headed out to meet my cousin, who drove me home. I reached home and took a “second” look at the green bag, and realized that it is not mine! *horror, panic and mortification all mixed into one* I called Logan and they asked me to bring it in the next day; I was assured that my bag is there to be claimed, and not on a flight back to my homeland. I slept on my worry and panic and the next day, took the commuter train into the city, and the subway to the airport; on presenting my passport and handing over the wrong green bag, I got my green bag back. The exchange took all of 2 mins, thanks to a super efficient Customs and Immigration agent.  I took the T and commuter rail back home – no drama, no fuss.

Hark back to the present: It is 2013, and this time it is Bangalore International airport, i’ve just landed after a 22 hour journey from Boston to Bangalore, sleep deprived and tired. This is “The Return” that I have talked up for the past month. I look for my green suitcase (how about that, entirely coincidental!), see it, pick it up, go outside, and take a 1.5 hour cab ride to the house. The driver unloads the suitcases  and horror!, the green suitcase is not mine. The same feeling of *horror, panic and mortification all mixed into one* overcomes me.

{The Force was strong with this one, the force of deja vu!}

I call the number on the suitcase to return it, and find out that the number belongs to a young man whose elderly father was traveling with his green suitcase. I hope that I have not given an elderly gentleman a heart attack when he did not find his suitcase on that carousel. *ouch* The time is 3.30 am. I call the Lufthansa office at Bangalore airport and tell them i made a mistake. They said that my bag was held up at customs and asked when I could come in with the wrong suitcase. I said tomorrow morning at a decent hour, and they told me that it will be “too late” (a term that they didn’t explain but which i took to mean a multilayer process with Customs which might involve , in order, me being asked for money, me refusing to pay a bribe, lots of choice words, me getting in touch with the few IAS officers I know to intervene, the said officers intervening, and finally me getting my bag back; this would take too many days and I did not want to start off my return with this battle)  I was told that if i came to the airport before 5 AM (1.5 hrs from the call), they could intervene before the customs’ officers work shift ended and get my bag out without a bother to me. So my brother and I get into his car and start for the airport. But wait, more drama… I have left the suitcase keys in my carry on bag {my black carry on bag, which I did remember to take home} and I realize that we may need the keys in case we are asked to open the green suitcase by Customs. Now, some backstory again: my brother did not want to pick me up as it would essentially kill his sleep for the whole night; my time of arrival coincided with multiple flight arrivals and the streets leading to the airport would be filled with traffic. He would have to leave his house at 11 PM to get to pick me up at 2 AM and we would get possibly get back home by 4 AM. So he decided to put his sleep ahead of my money, and asked me to take a cab; I can’t blame him. Too bad, he Now back to the story… it’s 3.50 AM, we have the keys and we are heading back to the airport for the second time. We estimate a travel time of ~1 hour leaving me about 15 minutes to get to the Lufthansa counter to get my bag. We are on the road, and i’m watching every minute change on the dashboard clock, willing time to slow down and praying for a smooth bag retrieval process. Side note/observation: there is a ton on traffic on Bangalore roads at 4 AM, and having noted its volume, I pray that I do not have to be on the roads in peak rush hour traffic. Back to the story again: It’s 3.35, were still 10 minutes away, and the traffic is slowing down. If I chewed my nails, I would have had a feast of keratin by now. The line moves forward, i see the problem, its the dang roadblock at the entrance to every airport, manned by a sleepy jawan behing a machine gun post who probably would not do anything unless there was a massive frontal terrorist attack on the airport. now what are the chances of that happening? Anyway, it’s 3.45, i get dropped off while my brother decided to drive around to the “unofficial” cell phone lot which taxi drivers use to avoid paying a parking fee. 🙂 I run to the Lufthansa window, heavy bag in tow. Since I can’t get into the terminal building without a ticket, i am placed on the outside looking in. I get to the window; the shades were drawn but I can see the people inside, chatting away {presumably, chatting away merrily}. I knock, the shades are pulled apart and as soon as i state my case, everyone inside nods in unison. “oh, it’s the guy who called, the one in a million case of a passenger leaving with another passengers suitcase” “I remember hearing of a similar case in Boston in 2004, are they related?” I have to get used to this. If there is an issue or a problem, there will be a “congregation” of officials/employees who will gather around the person, in this case me, to figure out a solution. There is never ONE person with whom I have a contact; it’s always a group of heads who have to work it out together. Anyway, they take my passport, my luggage tags, and ask me to fill out forms *what? forms? In India? I thought this was the new India?* I filled it in, the minute hand moved closer to 5 pm They spent an inordinate time behind that pane of glass – be it speaking on the phone or having Lufthansa employees confabs while looking at me pointedly, or generally chatting around drinking coffee. Finally, at 5 pm they brought my bag out. *Mission accomplished* I get home an hour later [finally home], 33 hours after I left Roslindale, MA.

Some take away points:

1) If this isn’t a case of the Karmic Circle fo Life, then I’m a Jedi Knight

2) If you are going to let Karma be your guide, do not travel on Lufthansa.

3) What’s the deal with Indian airport security? It’s way worse and more illogical {if that were possible} than my last time. In Bangalore airport, all passengers who clear immigration after arriving on an international flight have their bags scanned by an x ray machine. The logic defies me: these passengers are leaving the airport, they have been scanned by atleast two far-better-trained security systems and apparati, and this whole process creates a queue and slowdown in the line of people leaving the airport. DId I mention that these people are leaving. There can only be an irrational reason to do this, and i would like to hear it. This is not customs related as those guys have their own x ray scanners for their job. Talk about unnecessary, inefficient and probably incompetent security.

Why now, and Why this blog?

In 2005, I started blogging at Anna Mosaranna; that effort was more a travel aide during my summer in Israel rather than a true blog. When I returned to Boston in the fall fo 2005, the blog metamorphosed  into a somewhat weird version of an online diary, recording my thoughts and opinions {the updates were fairly infrequent, averaging 4 blog posts per year [a skewed representation as 2005-2008 were relatively prolific by my standards, at 41 posts/year, while 2009-2013 saw 2 per year]}.

In 2013, I underwent a battle with depression. I state this as a matter fo fact, rather than expound on the causes. It has been hard to admit it, leave alone talk about it. While I am fully aware of the biological impact, I remain blissfully unaware of societal and social impacts of depression {I’m looking at you, medical school training}. In my new role as a patient, I have come to understand the depth of social stigma that depression invokes {I expect the reception in the country of birth to be more extreme, though I won’t know until I re-enter polite society in India; the lack of understanding can be a heavier burden to bear than the symptoms themselves}. If I were in India when it all happened, I am sure that I would not have lacked for friends and family to rally around me, though I [probably] would not have been able to get the help of a therapist when I needed it the most; there is no blame to be passed around for that, only more education and awareness. Thank the Great-Social-Network-in-the-sky, I was bang in the center of the People’s Republic of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and employed by a hospital; needless to say, I passed the worst stages with flying colours. I was helped through this have a great support system [friends, family, colleagues, you know who you are!]. What I went thorough may have merely been a Big Boy variety of the traditional “i’ve got the blues” but it is not something to be glossed over. For me, as with any other person who feels like this, it was real, and it was tough. As a high functioning individual, it was as debilitating to find that I was unable to do the simple things in life; what made it worse was the feeling that no matter how much you try to “work through it” or “push through the bad times”, it was not working. It wasn’t until I admitted that I needed help that I started getting wrapping my brain around the situation.

..which brings me to my blog(/s). One of the main strategies that I {re} discovered about myself is that I express my feelings and emotions better when I write, as opposed to verbal or other means. In addition to this being my travel aide during my upcoming trips {like my previous blog effort}, I’m also using this blog as a means of therapy and to enlarge my horizons during my travels {and my further life journey}. You, my readers, are now MY armchair therapists {I can provide a certificate, if you so request!}. I don’t expect that I will be able to maintain any pre-established frequency, coherence or standard, so I haven’t set any of that. So what can you expect? More than a few random stream of consciousness thoughts, {i expect} a lot of rants, some photos {i’m not good with a camera so the strike rate of a bloggable picture is 0.03, i.e 3 passable ones among the hundred pics i’ve taken}, work stuff {i’m trying to redesign the site to link/host items related to evidence based medicine and nutrition, public health, program monitoring and evaluation, teaching statistics, and random other “stuff”}, and dramatic adventures, as they happen {I’m in India, land of Bollywood – even the simple act of buying milk can be turned into an adventure!}. My blog is my attempt to reconnect, and also make fresh new connections, both of which I’ve not been able to do well in my life; I am making an attempt to remedy that.

From Boston to Bangalore: I’m also coming back to {my olde towne} Bangalore, part of the “new” India, after 9 years in the comfortable cocoon of Boston. I expect some of the comparisons between these two cities might turn into rants, and some others into aforementioned adventures. For my perspective, nine years is a long enough time period to get accustomed to a particular way of life, but short of the time to required for my adaptability mechanisms to atrophy. I’m hoping that I will dive into a new {or a new but old, if one is picky} way of life with an open mind and wide open eyes {especially when crossing the road; I found out the hard way that my old Frogger skillz are not what they used to be}. I expect that I am now better informed and equipped to cope with whatever life has to throw at me, in comparison to my greenhorn ways when I landed in Boston in the fall fo 2004.

As Alexander III, of the Great fame, was rumored to have said, “Onward…”

The Episode wherein I return to India

Some of you already know the news. For those who do not know, I leave the Tufts Medical Center and the Tufts School of Medicine for the wondrous unknown that is the world. I’m headed back to India , enroute to {a journey across} south east Asia. From that point on, I will put the “world is my oyster” cliché to the test. It’s been 9 long years for me in the US with the best friends, family and colleagues that one could ask. As the almost-immortal bard Jim Morrison told us many years ago, “There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors”. As I leave through a door, I follow his advice (and also mix metaphors with song lyrics)  – I will keep my eyes on the road but not forget the forest for the trees.

All blog posts dated before July 4th 2013 were imported from my other Blogger site, Anna Masaranna