London Olympics

It is an irony of sorts that we were in United Kingdom for eleven long years, but chose to pack our bags to India just a year before London is about to host Olympics. When London won the Olympic bid for 2012 way back in 2005, I immediately signed up for any volunteering opportunity even though we were living at Bournemouth at that time, which was more than 100 miles away from London. Later, around 2010 time frame when LOCOG invited formal applications for volunteering during the Games, I applied for it too.

My interest was in working at the Press area in some capacity so that I could get to know the background function of real time journalism. Although the above was my preference, I was fine to contribute to the Games in any capacity and I had indicated that as such. I was prepared to take 2 weeks off from work for this. Sometime last year, I got an email asking me to attend the interview for a volunteering position at the Press Box. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was several thousand miles away from the venue at that time.

Just because of the fact that I wasn’t able to volunteer my time for Olympics, it does not mean that I regret my move to India. There is absolutely no regret on that count. Looking at it the other way, with our new born just about two weeks old – had I got an opportunity to volunteer at one of the Olympic venues, it would have been a next to impossible job to go there with full zeal. Perhaps, this is what people mean when they say ‘If God denies you something, it means that he has got better plans for you!’. 🙂

New Baby Blues

Our little one is exactly 7 days old today. I have been saving up all my holidays this year for this and I have taken two weeks off from work. Despite having a fully staffed support structure in place (M-I-L, her M-I-L at home), our boy is driving us nuts with the volume of work that we need to do. Anirud has been on his bestest of the best behaviour during this time. He is cooperating amazingly well and till date he hasn’t given any trouble whatsoever. If we ask him to keep an eye on the baby for a few minutes, he wouldn’t bat his eyelid even for a second. In fact, we are guilty of not giving him the attention he deserves.

During Anirud’s birth in 2005 – I was in UK in a laid back mode. I was getting daily updates from my wifey on what was going on, but it is a completely different ball game when you experience things in person. Having said that, there are lots of small, little things that I missed at that time and I am making up for the lost opportunity then. Some one I know used to say, “It is interesting to watch children grow”. Yeah, that is so very true.

Second Bundle of Joy!

Little Anirud is no more the youngest in our family. It is pleasure and pride that we announce the birth of our second bundle of joy – a male baby weighing 2.95 kgs born at Bangalore at around 7:17 am today.

When the nurse placed the baby on Anirud’s hands, his face radiated the glow of few thousand watts. Not sure if he had this rehearsed earlier, he said “Hello Baby! Welcome to the new world!!”. 🙂

Nammura Halli Mane

There is a new food joint / eatery named ‘Nammura Halli Mane’ at the entrance of Bangalore airport (must have started only in the last two months). The food is awesome there and they give one lot of choices even for breakfast. Previously, the passengers had to depend on either ‘Taste of India’ or the dosa shop – both inside the terminal and hence very expensive. A plate of two idlis cost Rs. 95 inside the airport, while it costs Rs. 30 at ‘Nammura Halli Mane’. Apart from the pricing, one major disadvantage with ‘Taste of India’ is their turnaround time and the long queue. With hundreds of passengers queueing up, the man at their only till will normally struggle to cope with the volume. I have had nightmarish experience with them several times, especially on Monday mornings. I hope that it won’t be the case any more.

Talking about food joints, in the last one year – at the neighbourhood adjoining the place I live in, I see that the number of Dosa shops have spring up like anything. While some of them serve the traditional menu, quite a few of them are experimental (like Mysore Schezwan Masala Dosa for instance) and they taste yum! All of them are stand-in eateries and I should say that most of them are neat and clean. No wonder there is a good patronage for these businesses. For foodies like me, more the number of options, the better it is. This is one particular thing I love about India – the ability to taste food of any kind, almost any where.

By the way, would any kind soul enlighten me as what ‘Nammura Halli Mane’ means?

Competition Blues

Anirud is participating in the State level Spelling Bee competition. Of the 23000+ that participated from various schools in Karnataka, around 1900 of them have been selected for this round and this fella is one among them. Yes, we are mighty proud of him indeed.

Unlike the other competition venues, this one (a school in Kanakapura Road) has opened up their auditorium for parents to sit back and they have also arranged a catering vendor who sell tea and snacks. Using this time to catch up on reading. Currently reading, ‘The White Tiger’ by Aravind Adiga. Interesting read so far.

When you have nothing else to do for few hours and are stuck in the same place for few hours, observing people becomes interesting. Don’t know how, the womenfolk quickly form a big circle in no time and one could see them exchange their mobile numbers, recipes, details of tailors and what not. Fathers of seven-year olds are perhaps socially challenged. Most of them including yours truly, chose to bury their heads in their Blackberrys / iPads, while some had a book in their hands for company. Even when they were in conversation, it was more of an one-to-one, as opposed to many-to-many in the other gender.

A crowd of around 500 folks has many weirdos. Like for instance, a parent who took his son away from the competition after reaching the venue, as he ‘thought’ it would take only one hour as against the five hours, which he is not prepared to spend. Looking at that child’s face, I felt like thrashing that moron. There was another idiot who chided the organizers for arranging the competition at this venue, which is very far from ‘his’ home. 🙂

Anyhow, it was an interesting way to kill time without doing much. Hope Anirud participates in many more competitions like this that gives me quality time.