Snippets of a Conversation for Lunch

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Overheard during Lunch hour:

(All names changed to protect the identity of the speakers)


Tom :  It looks like every developed country ought to have a developing country to support its economy. USA has Mexico, Singapore has Indonesia. So the developing countries have a ready market for their goods while the developed countries can live in their own bubble of consumerist economy.

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How to Wake Up Late and Still Make it On Time

Towards the end of my sojourn in Italy (refer to my post Viva Italia), I was working all kinds of hours and finally on a Friday, had the entire thing wrapped up. But by then, I was crazed for sleep and ready to nod off at a moment’s notice.

My flight to Trivandrum via Rome via Dubai via Bangalore ( makes me tired even to think of that flight itinerary now) from Naples was scheduled for 6:30 am the next day. And I was back in my hotel room from work by around 6 that Friday. I decided to take a nice leisurely bath, have dinner and then go to sleep, as I was supposed to be up at least by 3:30 in the morning to get ready and make it to the airport in time for 6:30 am flight to Rome.

I set my alarm clock for 3:30 and decided to nod off by reading one of the books I had brought along. I read…and I read….and I read…and I read till I was almost at the end of the book. That is when I ventured a look at my watch. It was 12 am. So much for getting a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

Discoveries in my Neighbourhood – Books and Malls

CrosswordsThis weekend has been spent in discoveries around my neighbourhood. I have located my favourite place around my home – Crosswords bookstore right behind my home 🙂 I haven’t set foot inside and I already know that it is going to be my favourite place. In addition, I saw them advertising an 80% off sale. Yum Yum:-)

Then, I discovered Total Mall – at 8 minutes’ walking distance from my home. It a cool place if you don’t mind traversing across all the 4 floors just to buy a kilo of green beans. Total MallAll essentials (namely, staple foods, veggies and meat) have been placed at the topmost floors and at the farthest corners, so that you have to wade through all the other stuff before getting to the things you really need (Yes, I am referring to the things you have jotted down in that list and not the things you feel you will need).

You have to start your journey at the Ground floor, take the escalator up to each floor (I looked for the lift but it was broken down), then walk across the floor (in the meantime covering all items on the floor), and continue the process till you reach the floor you actually want (which in my case is usually the top-most floor where they carry the veggies). Shopping CartFor instance, at the floor where they have the greens, the moment you step out of the escalator (they call them ‘Travelators’), you are greeted with the sight and scent of all kinds of baked goods and savouries, and unless you have real good self-control, it is a tad difficult to escape the clutches of the sugar monster. So, they tempt you with lots of the non-essential things and only then do they let you get to the actual things you need.

Actually, the store strategy is excellent – something all marketing guys ought to copy. Using the kind of floor layout described above, they make sure that customers breeze past all the wares at any visit, thus guaranteeing that shopping carts are filled with things that are not in the sacred List.

I know, because it happened to me too. I ended up buying a wall hook, a pack of pens, a writing pad and a memo pad, all because I went past that floor, and felt that I really really needed them.

A Tryst with the Feisty Traffic Cop

During the weekend I was out with Hubby, scouring for an internet connection for my new laptop (Yes! Yes! Yes! I have a brand new lappie…my very own…More about it in a future post).

And we were getting ready to cross the road in front of Forum. For those of you unfamiliar with the Garden City (as well as those in it) , the traffic junction in front of Forum Mall is like a jungle – with cars going every which way, pedestrians crossing at every possible opportunity and the traffic cops simply gawking at all the proceedings.

Well….Saturday evening was a different matter altogether. Tom SelleckThere he was,  a real hunk of a cop, standing in the middle of the road directing the traffic and pedestrians alike.

First off, a bit of description. Unlike his usual overweight counterparts, this one was a real looker. Tall and well-built, he looked a lot like Tom Selleck. His uniform was impeccable and reminded me of those motorcycle driving cops in American movies, with their huge helmets (this guy was also sporting a helmet). Well, you get the picture now, don’t you? Also, he looked energised  and electric……and that he meant business (the usual look for an Indian traffic cop pictured below).

A usual Indian Traffic Cop

A usual Indian Traffic Cop

Not a single person was allowed to cross his turf (i.e., the road in front of the Mall) unless the light had turned green for pedestrians. Any wiseguys who decided to ignore him were given the full blast. Two wisecracks (must be IT professionals) thought it would be funny to cross the road right under his nose, and they were made to back up all the way to the next zebra crossing before crossing the road 🙂 Some were threatened with a fine and a ticket for attempting to cross him :-D.

Another guy holding a baby tried to cross the road and the Traffic cop was on to him in a jiffy, made him go back to the kerb and patiently explained to him the dangers of crossing the road before the pedestrian light turned green. There were wide-eyed college girls on either side of the road, watching him covertly and tittering and giggling with friends about how handsome he was 🙂

For a change, here was an Indian Traffic Cop who actually knew his job and was doing it. Kudos to you!

Psst…Wish I had a real pic of him to post here. Unfortunately, my Hubby did not think it prudent of me taking any pics of hunky cops 😦  Hmphhhh.

A Bit of Chinese @ Office

Now that I am into the 4th week ( can you believe that? 4 weeks have passed since I arrived at the Garden City), maybe I can tell you a bit about the Office.

The office is located in a prime area dotted with restaurants, colleges, shopping malls – all at walking distance. The famed Forum Mall is just a stone’s throw from here, though I haven’t visited it yet.

ReceptionNow let us go inside the office – the reception is manned by three – 2 security guards and one receptionist. The Receptionist is an all-in-all – he takes care of the office switchboard, connecting calls, stationery requests, finding accommodation for newcomers and is a veritable directory for the best eateries in the area.

The ground floor has the HR, Finance and Systems people together. I guess they have been banded together being the Support functions of the organisation.

Then comes the Mezzanine floor, where the Center Head and head of various departments are seated. It also holds a huge Conference Room.

Levels 1-3 house the different projects and its members. Yours truly is seated at the 3rd floor. And the pantry covers all of the 4th floor, with some part allocated  to a Gym and a library.

The Lift is an abominable thing – tiny and cramped and always 3 floors away from where I am stationed. So, I usually use the stairs to walk down and the lift to go up.

Since there are just 320 people here in office, everyone is very helpful and friendly. That does not mean that in places where there are more that 320, everyone is very frigid. But, the smaller group makes for more closeness among the employees.

There are 8 people in the room where I am seated – all techies – along with their Project Manager. The PM keeps them on their toes with frequent admonishment, and she reminds me of how a Mother keeps an eye on her kids:-)A2B

Right in front of the office, there is an Adyar Ananda Bhavan which serves piping hot dosas, idlis and vadas, as well as a good variety of sweets.

At Home, the mornings and nights are chilly and we cuddle up in a great big blanket to keep warm at night. However, Baby is an extraordinary creature – he seems to thrive in the cold. The moment one places a blanket on him, he has arms and legs shooting out to get it off him (even in his sleep :-))

Chinese RestaurantLast Friday I got a taste of authentic Chinese food at a nearby restaurant, where I stuffed myself so much with the starters, that I had no space left for the main course!! In retrospect, maybe I should have been a bit more discreet about my gastronomic tendencies, especially since I was out with my new colleagues.

More on my food adventures in upcoming posts…..signing off for now.