Sunday, December 09, 2007

Of Coorg, Cameras and Camaraderie

It was another Monday at work, you know one of those days you wish you were elsewhere, clubbing in Rio, Skiing in the Alps, Skinny dipping in....ah yes, you get the picture. Anyway it was one such day, and regrettably both those corporate tools - the Email Inbox and the mobile phone were witnessing unpreceedented activity. It was the latter, which was more frenetic, calls poured in, Muthukumar who insisted on offering me more credit to a credit card I never knew I owned, Palani Swamy who couldn't believe his ears, when I told him I didn't need a personal loan and Murugappan who was adamant that I explain to him, why I conferred only a '7' upon him in his customer service appraisal. Yes it was another regular day in the office, until the phone rang again with it this time reading 'Kiruba', 'Kiruba'. Kiruba Shankar, blogger, entrepreneur, journalist, consultant, I sometimes wonder if there is not one but two Kiruba Shankars, anyway one of them was calling me, must be something important, I thought.

So, I said, " Hi Kiruba, What's happening?", he replied " Not much Sudhir, would you like to come on a trip to Coorg?". And I was like, " Hmmm, Hmmm... Errr, I have to check my...", he interrupted, " It's an all paid trip sponsored by Club Mahindra."

The next time I met Kiruba was in the airport, boarding pass in my pocket. Smiling palpably as you can see...

Copy (2) of IMG_0032

I mean, you would too right, a fully paid holiday to the land of beautiful women, flying Kingfisher and staying in one of the best resorts in the land. You probably would've smiled wider.

It was around this time that I learnt that I was to join a group of some of the best travel bloggers in the country. Imagine that, it was only later in the piece that a part of me inferred, that I was only enlisted to maintain the required balance. To maintain the right formula, the group apparently required both the traveller and the 'tourist', the subdued and the 'loud', the punctual and the 'not so', needless to say, I fitted in perfectly at the extreme end of the latter side of those descriptions. The group was hence now a balanced one.

So, there we were then, a motley crew, as you would expect, each figuring out 'who' or 'what' to expect as company for this momentous journey. Soon enough the group began to take shape, with there being a clear demarcation between the intellectual 'traveller' and the 'gawar tourist'. The 'intellectual traveller' easily identified with his manner of speaking. " Have you been to Leh, , 25 Kms south-east of 'Namcha Barwa Himalayas , 890 Kms north of the tropic of capricorn filled with Azure skies and that rarified aroma !". The gawar traveller would look on, looking forward to his next meal, to him the word 'Leh' took on a slightly different meaning.

Another one at the forefront of the pack of 'gawar' tourists was Marketing Head Honcho Dev Amritesh. Dev like me thought he had seen all that life had to offer, but when he came across cameras styled like 'Bazookas' and patience greater than that of the Buddha in awaiting that perfect snap, he too scratched his head, shaking his belly in amazement asking, " Arrey! Kahan ponch gey yaar hum!!?"

Soon enough we arrived, and what awaited us was a true Coorgi reception.

The dance symbolizes the onset of the harvest season.

It was then the turn of our official tour guide, Mr. Joy E. Patel to make his entry.


Ever smiling, fun-loving, effervescent and with immense knowledge of Coorg, Coffee and the 'Kodagu' culture, Joy always had a story to tell. Not least of which, was how he acquired his surname. " Actually, you know, in our community, we only have initial and no surname. But, when I was in the registrar's office, he insisted that I give him a surname, so dada thought for a while and said, "Patel! Let's just go with Patel". As simple as that, and here in the 'city' we hear of couples spending months and years on end in trying to find that perfect name for their pet poodle.

By now, I had become well acquainted with the whole group. It was an interesting bunch indeed, we had Mridula, one of India's top travel bloggers. It was quite clear that she had primarily 2 great interests, Travel and T.T. The latter of which she was so menacing in, that soon enough but for the wall, she had none to play with. Another exceptionally creative person from the group was Anil, for Anil a camera was not something you just went click, click and discard with. For Anil, it was the entire reason for his existence, so much so that we often saw more of his camera than we did of him. The photos on his blog stand testimony to this.

Our first stop on our trip the next day was TalaCauvery, the birth place of the river Cauvery. Set amidst, the mountains, the Tala Cauvery is the spring from which the Rivery Cauvery originates. Truly picturesque, as Dev pointed out it was in many ways ironic to see that the river Cauvery, and all the controversy and heartburn that come along with it, all originated from a spring which is no more than than 3 by 3 feet in dimension.

Didn't someone once say, "Big things come in small packages"

Inspired by Anil, and his long talk with me on Apertures, Shutter speeds and hues, I took the one photograph, I am actually more than just a tad proud of.


To the most of you, this is just a random photo of a few people in front of a bell. But, the discerning few of you would notice how, the sadhu in white looks towards the water, while a man stands next to him on his mobile phone. Is this the oxymoron i.e the new India? A bell is positioned in the center such that it balances and aportions the hues and contrasts, shutter speed - high, aperture - wide, camera focus at an angle of 67 and a 3/4 degrees.

Anil, has quite clearly rub off on me.

An evening of much revelry awaited us. Guitaring, our voices and Simon and Garfunkel, thankfully there was enough liquor to make us all believe that we sounding incredible. The next day, saw us making a trip to the Elephant sanctuary, where the Elephant bath is the chief attractions.

A photographic journey:

Here comes Mr. Elephant


Down goes Mr. Elephant


Scrub, scrub, scrub


Time to eat some chow


All aboard...!


Our trip came to an end that evening, with a sit-down dinner around a bon-fire. From a group of absolute strangers, thrown together from various parts of the country, we had become one group, and the cameradrie built was overwhelming. There is something about a traveling group which brings it together, maybe it's the feeling of togetherness, maybe it's the feeling of going through the same journey, or maybe a holiday is the one time, a person can truly be oneself with little or no pretensions. The group itself, may never meet one another again, but those few days spent together will always remain special.

A big Thank you to Arun of Club Mahindra for making it all happen.

And then en route back to Bangalore.

03122007031(1) 03122007034

The Tibetan Monastery. I guess we could all do with some enlightenment from time to time...

Monday, September 24, 2007

India : Twenty 20 World Champions

In the 2 years of me writing on this blog, I have completely refrained from writing about cricket.Firstly, writing about cricket is probably the easiest thing one can do, for really when it comes to cricket, everyone turns expert and everyone turns expert writer. The other thing is that when it comes to cricket; Indian cricket in particular, everything about the game is so inconsistent that something you might write about could be completely the opposite tomorrow.

And through it all, we the undying legion of loyal Indian fans have stood by the team. Yes, they have been those who broke down the team's houses at every given opportunity and those who sent mass sms's asking everyone to contribute Phenol to burn the team down; they exist and will continue to.

But then they have also been others who have continued to had undying hope, those who have watched and lived Indian cricket through the good and the utterly atrocious, those who have watched in disbelief as India got out chasing 120 on a minefield in Barbados, those who watched with pain in their eyes as India managed to lose 5 wickets for a paltry 16 runs against Pakistan in Chennai, and those who thought the end was near when the unheralded Bangaladesh beat Indian in the inaugural match of the World cup.

This one is for them.

As Sreesanth, caught the last catch and as India made the victory lap of the ground waving the tricolour. All I can say is Chak De!

This one is for me.

Those long hours in front of the television, uncountable days listening to the scorn of friends, missed homework, procrastinated assignments, agony, despair often ending in disappointment leading to tears.

For that one moment, when Dhoni held the trophy, it was all worth it.

I can tell my children, I got back early from work, and watched as India beat Pakistan and became World champions.

Chak De India!

P.S Cricket my dear scornful friend, is alive and well.Be it ICL, PCL or even the gulli version. Only 1 week after our exit from the Worldcup, on an assignment in far flung Koddikerri this is what I saw, and for me that in itself was evidence enough.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The I-Phone

It's here finally, as promised the much awaited demo of the I-Phone on my show on India Interacts.

My guest on the show is Rohit Agarwal, the CEO and founder of techTribe. Rohit was one of the guest speakers at, and gave a talk on 'Effective PR' for the young entrepreneur.
His firm Techtribe is a career networking site based out of San Francisco and New Delhi, and has been making rapid strides since it was launched 9 months ago.

The highlight of the video however, is his demo of the I-phone. Having held it, and seen it up close, I must tell you its a work of art, and if only for its look and feel, is worth all the hype that's been associated with it.

The demo of the I-phone starts in the second half of the video, watch out for the last bit when he..... actually why don't you find out for yourself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I-fixed. Did you?

It was with this speech on this day, 60 years ago that India was awarded its independence as a democratic, sovereign,secular, and republic country.

It's on this day, every year that most Indians feel the sudden urge to be patriotic and jingoistic. Some do it with hoisting flags outside their homes, others do it by making their children dress up as Pandit Nehru, while still others do it by going for Independence day parties, getting intoxicated and taking the concept of independence to an entirely new level.

I felt this urge as well. So come the 13th of August, like every year that has gone by,I too made plans of singing the anthem and hoisting a flag on my balcony. Even more so, as this would be our 60th anniversary. The momentous celebration like every year however, would no doubt be short lived, with the flag making its way back to the attic on the morning of the 16th without fail.

I then got a sms from Vijay(Of fame), which went something on the lines of "Hey, a bunch of us are planning to fix all the potholes in the city as part of independence day, Would you like to join us?" Knowing the bloke,I knew only he could be crazy enough to send that message and actually mean it.

At 10pm, he and Mahesh, an architect mate of his along with a team of 10 individuals got together on the Velachery bridge in South West Chennai and using cement, concrete and a truck started attacking one pot-hole after another. I joined them at 1 AM, and these are some of the sights I saw.

Everyone seemingly chipped in, the industrious ones got their hands dirty with filling the concrete and cement.

While the not so industrious ones like me, helped out with diverting the traffic, identifying new pot-holes to attend to and providing refreshments.

Very soon, as we progressed, open pot-holes which looked like this,

were very soon beginning to look like this.

By 7AM, a total of 40 pot-holes were 'Fixed'.There was another group of individuals headed by set out on the same mission in another part of the city.The two groups tackled drunken drivers, killer mosquitoes and over inquisitive policeman while successfully tending to over 80 pot-holes across the city. Quite an achievement for one night, I'd say.

The group which orchestrated this is titled 'I-Fixed' and believes in the maxim that the best way to fix a problem is to actually go ahead and fix it yourself. In the next few months, the group plans to do their bit to address other local issues which they find consensus on.

As much as this might sound like another Lok Paritrana initiative, another NGO or another social service community, it really isn't. It's just a bunch of individuals, who complain a little more than everyone else, and have finally decided to do something about it. The initiative might succeed, it might fail, it might spawn a revolution across the country, it might be the last such effort, who knows. What's important is that we tried , atleast now we will have some sort of an answer to that voice in the back of our heads which asks, " So, what have you done to address the problem?".

The sight of seeing the logo shining in the night sky, next to every pot-hole we covered simply made the whole experience worth it.

Oh! And before I forget, here's wishing you all a very happy independence day!

P.S Do log onto the wiki here, if you are interested in joining the group.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Way goes the Video way!

Yes it does, thanks to some benevolent folks at Indiainteracts who have very kindly agreed to allow me to host a show. (Wow! There is hope for the world)

My show titled 'Business Bytes' will feature individuals from the business World, big time CEO's, small-time entrepreneurs, IAS officers and basically anybody worthwhile who will take time out on a Saturday morning to have a chat. Yes the word 'Worthwhile' has a very relevant connotation here, and no 'Worthwhile' doesn't necessarily mean that he has to be from the web2.0 industry.

The show has been on for the last 2 months, and I think it has finally reached a level where I can allow for it to gain from a link on My Way!

One of the interviews, I particularly enjoyed doing was this one with Abhishek Dingra of Mr.Pronto. Abhishek's is an interesting story, I met him at a bar one drunken night and out of curiosity asked him what he does. "I repair shoes and bags", he said. I called him the next morning, and he surprised me by saying exactly the same thing. "Damn!", I said if anybody can repair bags and shoes and still afford to buy his own drunks at a bar, he must be worth interviewing. One week later, I found myself in his store at Spencer's plaza with my crew interviewing him.

Mr.Pronto is certainly a journey, especially when you consider that it started only a few years ago as a final year project idea during his MBA in the Philippines. The store now has 3 branches and anyone who has gotten their shoes or bags repaired there, will vouch for the quality of work. You can check out the rest of the show here.

I was so excited after I finished the interview that I forgot I wasn't carrying any money in my wallet to pay for the parking. And the sar 'Press' trick didn't work, which meant I had to park my car near the ticket booth and actually go back in to find an ATM. Well, as luck would have it all ATM booths then decided to close, which meant that in an embarrassing turn of events, Abhishek the subject of my interview had to come back and bail me out.

Another interview, which I thought was blog-worthy was one with Mr. Madhav Das, CEO - Southside Magazine. Madhav is the former CEO of Magnasound Music; is one of the funniest guys I have ever come across and is one of the best people you could ever want to interview! (I really didn't have to do too much talking) Former CEO of Magnasound, I write cause as he tells me in this interview, Magnasound had to shut down thanks to the internet industry. How many of you guys knew that? I for one thought the company was alive and well.

Madhav's claim to fame is having brought out Rahman's first every music album. One of the highlights of the interview, is the part when he tells me how he capitalized on Rahman's fame after he became famous. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.

This is part 3 where he talks about the Rahman incident.

Lots to look out for on the show, the next set episodes will be those from where I even managed to get someone to demo for me ..... hold your breath. The I-Phone.

Now my page views should finally increase!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Everybody is free to write their own sunscreen song..

Yes Everybody is. Not that they need this blog to tell them.

Here it goes my version of the sunscreen song. A bunch of un-connected lines about life, strife , irony with the intention of creating that all empowering reaction - " Heyy!!! That is sooo true... "

For those of you who haven't heard this song. Firstly you should have, and if you have'nt this you tube video should certainly assist you in doing so, just ignore the subtitles - whatever language it's in.

The Sunscreen song - My way

”Choose the girl you see yourself growing old with”

Like most other advice you hear, you even need advice on how you should apply it.
You often hear, " It's not winning or losing but playing the game well"
Life is all about happiness. And if happiness is derived from personal success.
How then, can it not be about winning?
You soon find out that 8 out of 10 quotable inspirational quotes contradict each other

Its amazing the extent of the role economics plays in our day to day life.
No matter which part of the world you live in, the girls always seem prettier in the other town.
No matter how cool your adopted land, and how crappy your home-town you will almost always begin to miss it after a few weeks.
Conversations which create a lasting impact upon you are often had with the most random people.
Its the song you sing every day to work, the tune in your head. the one which stays with you for months that you never hear otherwise. You probably don't even know who sang it.
If you did. It wouldn't stay with you that long

The scarcest commodity in the world today is not time, not water or money but undivided human attention.
People don't even have the time to criticize.
Two innovations have changed the world forever - the internet and the mobile phone.
Believe it or not, we didn't have either 10 years ago and I don't remember any of us being any less productive.
The human brain will forever remain the most incredible creation conceived. The female brain the most complex.
Invariably what you enjoy doing the maximum is financially the least viable.
We all have a habit we wanted to change this morning.

Its amazing how long it takes for us to learn from our mistakes.

As much as we deny it, jealousy and ego play a vital role in our lives. It's how we handle it that makes the difference.
Friends who are acquired to meet a specific purpose will do so. And perhaps do just that.
Friendships made on the fly are often those which fly.

Its amazing how we never remember anything negative about a person we lose.
Of all those who you are close to, you know deep down who you will turn to first when in an emergency. That doesn't mean the others don't matter. They all do.
Its amazing how many problems can be solved, if you simply keep yourself busy.
Sometimes the only way out is for the shit to hit the fan.
When it does - it often works to our advantage. Just ask Shilpa shetty.

The long run can be as short, and the short run as long as the speaker wants it to be.
The forbidden fruit often tastes best while being so.
The world is changing as quickly as we are allowing it to.
Ambiguity plays a larger role today than it used to. Not receiving a birthday gift from a friend could mean 3 things - Too close - too cool - too cold.
Though we often deny it - a phone call not returned affects us.
It should.

A good-looking man is perceived to be 20% more intelligent than an average looking one.
A good-looking lady 20% more dumb.
If you truly completely understand a woman, you probably are one.
We all feel safer liking something someone else already does. This explains the power of word of mouth.

We often experience strange coincidences in the middle of a mundane day, if we analyze them more deeply they often have a hidden message.
If everything in life went our way, astrologers would be out of business.
Making someone else feel good about himself almost always works.
Overdoing it however is certainly not advisable.

If there is one term which best describes the world we live in - it would be user-friendly,
Designers exist who get paid more as their designs get smaller,
Artists exist who are more appreciated as their paintings get more unfathomable,
Poets get away with verses with non-existent rhyme schemes.

Atleast they hope they do. My first attempt at poetry – modern poetry atleast.

My first attempt at regular poetry was way back in the 8th std, when I wrote if I remember right about a mosquito. Maybe I will dedicate a separate post to that one. :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

-Madarasis en Madrid-

It was the end of 2006 - and quite a few thoughts starting flowing through my head :

1. Man - I need a break
2. Man - I need a holiday
3. Damn - The CAT exam is tomorrow
4. How much is Lufthansa - Che - Mad - Che ??

A quick sms to dad - " I've decided to go to Spain. Be good and sponsor my airfare", met with the affirmative and that was it. Some quick online ticketing and I was packing my bags. I was quite obviously going for the art, culture and architecture of Spain. Two days of reading up on the internet and I had my dad convinced. Picasso, Raul and Morientes; I said to him, so what if the last 2 sounded suspiciously like soccer players. My dad doesn't seem to know the difference. :)

The office excuse was simple - "Off to Spain to get drunk; spend new years and party". Hang on that wouldn't work - "Off to Spain to meet my old school mate " . I tried that with a colleague - and from the reaction I got; I knew it had to be changed immediately. Finally, I settled for " Off to Spain for my school mates wedding". This fitted in quite alright; I was instantly perceived to be this great devoted friend who was willing to travel miles for a friends wedding. Perfect !

The visa remained the only minor detail - and the usual desi trick of applying for a French visa regardless of where you are going in Europe worked perfectly. I was now well on my way. Madrid - Barcelona and Tenerife - 13 days and nights (mainly nights) of venting all that built up frustration through the year. Finally :)

On the way... ( Frankfurt Airport)

Our first destination - Madrid. We had quite a tough time convincing a few of our mates that the name of the city was just 'Madrid' and not ' Real Madrid' as they vehemently believed. But then that's a different story altogether.

Madrid - Spain's most beautiful city and its capital has architecture which could so easily take your breath away. And the first sight of it; as we found after an arduous tube journey is simply mind blowing.

Well planned layout, beautiful architecture, great character and the finest looking women. The city has a number of cultural and historic attractions - museums, gardens , sculptures and so on or at least that's what I heard when I returned.

Its probably about the right time now to introduce my travelling companion - the blighter standing to my right. Yup, veteran traveller, frequent flier and online air ticketer extrordinaire - A. Keerti Prasad. ( 680? Gaurav? Lets just settle with KP). KP belongs to that category of the new age metro-sexual. Well bred, well groomed, well organized and well in time . In short everything that I am not.

That was us - just before we embarked to one of the best night clubs one could ever ever go to. 'Pacca' - no connection with Chennai's 'Pasha' - not even by a long shot.

Here is testimony to that :

To say that the women in Spain are just beautiful would be a lie ; almost as much as a lie as saying they are easy to communicate with. The women in Spain are extremely patriotic about their land and its culture, so much so that seem to know only 2 words in English. Had those words been the 2 English equivalents of the 2 spanish words I had learnt - ' Si' and 'Bonito' the synergy would have been perfect. Instead the 2 English words, they decided to learn were "NO ENGLISH". To add to that a mean looking face and you knew that you had committed a grave error by not investing in a " Learn Spanish in 12 days" course before you embarked.

The next day was the josh day ; and we managed to do quite a bit. Amongst them was visiting the Institute De Empressa - one of the World's leading business schools . Next on the list was the Santiago Burnabeau - the home of the hallowed Real Madrid. The guided tour costed us a mere 10 Euros and as you can see; was worth every single penny.

The rest of our touring group had now arrived; making us 8 in all - 'Madrasis in Madrid'. And in true - Madarasi style the first thing we did was search for some food. Very soon we located an authentic Spanish restaraunt and made ourselves comfortable with some Spanish Paella and Sangrilla. Paella is a most delightful dish made up of sea food, chicken, vegetables all mixed with a delicious saffron flavored rice. My love affair with Paella had begun and from then on; every tour member in the group was forced to have a bite with me at every Paella opportunity.

The night that presented itself was another crazy one ending in day - leaving us very little time the next day to do any sight seeing. In that time, we visited amongst other areas of interest, the Royal Palace - the Plaza Espana , Puerta Del sol - and the Anna flyover. Of which everything ( except the last one) was distinctly Spanish - each having its own characteristic charm.

The magic fountains at the Plaza de Espana.

Legend has it that, this fountain like many others in cities across the world has little or no historical significance and is present only to add aesthetic value.

Right in front is the statue of Miguel De Cervantes. Miguel De Cervantes is the author of 'Don Quixante '- the popular book about 8 travelling Indians who tried to impress the Spanish women using just the 2 words 'Si' and ' Benito'. It truly is a great read.

And then it was time to leave. We had to get to Barcelona - and 3 options were available to us. Train, renting a car or hopping onto a bus. We had dragged ourselves to the station, a really beautiful one ( Just compare it with our Chennai central)

And were informed , that there were no options by train. We then surveyed the option of renting a car but for some reason were shooed out of the rental store with the store owner mumbling and closing the door behind us. What on earth was happening ? Must have been time for the famous Spanish siesta , I thought. My phone then rang ; and my buddy on the line was screaming 'patas', 'patas' . I hung up. This siesta fever had struck him as well, I thought.

We then saw it on the news - there apparently had been a bomb blast in the Madrid Airport. This meant our chances of getting out of there further diminished..

Helter, skelter and we somehow managed to book a bus to Barcelona. Maybe the bomb blast , the wild-goose chase and the strange behavior of Miguel De Cervantes had all been subtle signs of things to come.

Madrid had been magnificient, but as you would probably find out soon - not even half as eventful as Barcelona.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

~Chennai's favorite son's~

Welcome to Chennai. The city in which summer, winter, autumn and spring all invariably mean the same thing. Rains ofcourse being the only relief, invariably accompanied by floods; and most often a cricket match.

It’s in this city, that on one Tuesday afternoon, you find yourself running late for your scheduled luncheon meeting. Its 1:30 in the afternoon, and you need all the signals to be green for you to reach your destination on time. Deep down, you have a feeling that isn’t going to happen, but we very seldom actually agree with what we believe deep down. Don’t we ? Anyway, it doesn’t happen, two red signals and some cursory abusing of passerby’s later, you reach your destination.

A quick search for a parking spot outside the restaurant; it’s quite evident, “another restaurant which expects most of its patrons to use public transport”; 15 tables inside the restaraunt parking space for about 3 cars. (And that’s including the restaurant owner’s car) You turn around the bend; it’s your lucky day! A quiet spot, it even has some shade, and what’s more the watchman there seems to be dozing. A quick maneuver and your ready for your meeting; I guess by IST standards you’re pretty much early.

Just when you are about to get out of your car, out of the darkness (sorry out of daylight) he appears

“ Its him”, you think. Yes, I know, you thought he was dozing. So did I. Pointing his fingers at you, and then at various altitudes, he begins viciously

“ No parking, etha no parking”. “ Where do I park my car then?”, you ask. He replies, Enkeyo Park panno park paana saar, Inkey park panna, puddu Hyundai accent ley, Police kaar vaaro. Tyre ley Yovlo peraso lock podovo( with hands wide apart) ,

aprovo unda window ley

BEWARE ! BEWARE! sticker podho, aadha vokay na park pananga.” Ok, translating that isn’t really easy, anyway in short; according to the watchman, if you were to park your vehicle there, the big men would descend from their white Hyundai Accents, put a lock on your tyre and if that’s not bad enough also put a ridiculous ‘BEWARE’ sticker on your windscreen.

For whatever reason, you believe him. You reverse your car, it’s a painful process, and you are back to where you started. You are back to scanning again, hallaleujah! a car in the allocated parking seems to be shifting out, you seize the opportunity, a quick maneuver and your car has found a parking spot, a sigh of relief, a good lunch, a better meeting and a great day await you.

Not quite.

You get out of your car, lock your door. And then you hear a whistle, it’s him again; he decided to make the walk. He objects, apparently the car has not been parked to his satisfaction. He wants you to re-park it. And then the Da vinci in him comes out , konju left saar, Konju right saar, slighta reverse saar, konju pinnadi, you begin to wonder if so many directions went into the crafting of Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal. After another good 5 minutes of aligning, adjusting and re-aligning, he is finally happy; you have managed to impress him. Right saar!, he gesticulates with one hand up and a content smile. You get out of the car, there is only one thing in your mind, to get to your luncheon meeting as quickly as possible, and come up with a plausible excuse to your client for making him wait.

Bang in front of you however, he’s back. Standing as forcibly erect as our very own Marina Light house building, with a crisp water tight salute, and a contained smile, well ok, you can see how he’s smiling.

He tells you, Saar, parking ticket – five rupees”. Why on earth, should you pay parking to eat in a privately run restaurant, you wonder. You ask him, he then says something to the extent of Saar, tea, coffee”. He has you confused now, is it for his coffee or is it for parking, you give up. You rummage for change, manage to get 5 bucks put it in his hand, and flee towards the restaurant.

You enter the restaurant in haste, scan it , you can’t seem to spot him. The door swings open, the two of you make eye contact, almost in unison the two of you say, “Sorry, got delayed; was stuck in a meeting”. Meeting with whom ?, it isn’t even important..

‘IST - Indian Stretchable time’, it is part of the Indian mindset, I hear someone say. But let’s assume, we did have wider roads, designated parking spots and dare I say it, less eager security guards, would IST still be as stretched? Maybe, I’m just getting a little too hypothetical.