Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No littering...soon

This article caught my attention:
MCD plans new, stricter anti-littering law soon.

News to me: there are already laws against spitting, littering and urinating in public!?
No way. When are those enforced?

If there are fines against demolition and construction waste lying around, the city of Delhi has to fine itself.

This sentence is funny to me: "Besides, all the pet owners who let their pets out into the streets to litter would be charged R500 by the civic body."
The pets are the ones throwing the trash around--of course! Those sneaky pet owners. Why waste time teaching your dog to fetch, when he could be the one to take out the trash. ;)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grieving for the dead gas connection

15 months.
Is that something to be proud of, or does that mean I cook too little?
It took me that long to use up a cylinder of cooking gas. It finally finished while attempting to make some chai.

I spoke--well, no, that's not the right word--interacted with the interactive voice response system to make a booking for a refill. It gave me the number 6 and 0. I don't know what kind of confirmation that is.

Five days, 18 phone calls, five emails, and 3 smses later, I came to understand it was not any kind of confirmation. It doesn't mean anything at all.
And I went to the the gas company office.

The girl sitting at her computer typed in my consumer number and right away told me my account was "dead".
That's what she said: "dead".

My account has died.
Oh tragedy.
And--right on track with moving through the phases of grief--I went from denial (she'd already had to say it twice because of my what-are-you-talking-about face) to anger...

Who let this happen! I changed to a "shocked--how could that be" face.
I need cooking gas. What am I supposed to do if I don't use up a cylinder in less than six months (bargaining phase)!

Calmly, she gave me the list of requirements for reactivating the account.

Oh sheesh. Give up the drama, I told myself, and begin the process of reactivating the account and gathering all the paperwork. Again(acceptance phase).

So I had to return with all the documentation 2 hours later (after lunch) and then I had to write a letter requesting they reopen it (re-entering life phase).
After which, the girl changed something in the computer and told me my new cylinder would arrive the next day. I waited to see.

Nope. Nothing arrived.
Not the following day either.

So it was my first priority this morning. To go to the gas company again and ask them where my refill was.
But it was kind of a slow morning, and I didn't have a chance to go anywhere before the doorbell rang and there it was: a full cylinder.

That's a happier than expected ending. And in celebration, I will go make some chai.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A twist on the classic image

This guy gave me a smile today.
He was dressed up as someone's Valentines' date and I thought I'd share the little details of his wardrobe and personal style.
He had the classic Indian handlebar mustache going on.
But nothing too extreme.

He had the pointy-toe shoes--also a classic.

And he had added his modern touches:
Instead of churidar, he had his striped socks.
Instead of a wide cummerbund and buckle, he wore a stylish pink tie and expensive-looking watch.
And instead of a knife carried at his side to give the image of "I'm-somewhat-dangerous", he had his ear pierced.

I know it's not the overall impression he was looking to make, but he was cute and it made me smile.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Close enough to lick

Riding in an auto really never gets old.
There is always something new and wild to see. Or something wild that has become commonplace. Gone are the days of speeding along at 55mph, safely inside the individual environment of your moving vehicle.
No. In an auto, the entire environment assaults you: the feel, sound and smell of the traffic is right there with you. Inescapable.

You can smell the chickens next door in their truck. (Take a look at those birds and remind me why you like chicken nuggets?)

You can lean over and shake the hand of the man in the colorful magenta sweater, ask him how work was today.

You can reach out and...lick the giant, bright green bus that is close enough to inch over and crush the eensy auto in which you ride.
Maybe "lick" is a gauche word to use about traffic, 'cause you for sure shouldn't lick traffic. Far too dirty.
But the phrase "reach out and touch" just doesn't seem to convey the proximity between you and the next roaringly close vehicle. Really big vehicle with wheels half the size of the sum total of your own mode of transportation.
I mean, those big buses are breathing down on you and all you can do is hope the yellow canvas top of your auto is bright enough to have been seen by the driver.

Adventure around every corner, I tell you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ancient machine

This is something from another century.
Both the machine and the timeless art of sewing sarees.

I'm posting it on behalf of my mom who sews.
Just think, mom: your calves would be so buff. ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This is what I found this afternoon.
The smell led me to it.

About a month ago, Daniel and his family visited me. With all of them in the house, things got stirred up and the mouse that had taken up residence in the library was disturbed. He began exploring other places in the house and Daniel and his brother would spot him in different locations throughout the day.
Eventually, I saw him, too. Running under the washing
machine. Sneaking out of the closet. Leaving evidence behind of where he had been.

"I know Robert has to die," Daniel told me (he had named the mouse Robert), "But don't tell me when he's dead."

Okay. So all of you reading this: don't tell Daniel.
Robert the mouse has departed.
Leaving his decomposing remains for me to dispose of.

I smelled something rotten in my closet and, yes, it was Robert. Dead among my socks and other unmentionables.
Oh does decomposition stink. Yelch.

I hope Robert has no relatives looking to move into his vacated place. It's not available.