Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Difference of Opinion

Today was an eventful day at work. Less work more talk he he.. Learnt how to make Baingan - South Indian style from a co worker. Cooked some shrimp for dinner. The kids loved it.

Doston, there is a quote which says -  Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stink.

It’s rarely a good thing to impose one’s opinions on others; it usually doesn’t result in a good outcome. Disagreements are bound to happen whether it is with family, friends or at work.Without differences the world would be a boring place to live. Each person has a unique way of viewing the world, so conflict isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, differences of opinion often foster open communication and change. So then what is the best way to handle a difference of opinion? My experience says change the topic for that moment and come back to the point of difference when both parties cool down. Most of the times there is a good common point that can be reached. Let me give you a simple example of  my recent episode of "difference of opinion". I was discussing the importance of having a second child with a close friend. I told her it's more for the sake of the first child that parents should have the second child. That child should have someone to call his/her "own". My friend's argument was - how many people today can rely on their siblings for support of any kind? Her own experience was not so pleasant with her brothers and sisters. So, in her "opinion" having  a second child was not very important. The first child can always make friends who he/she can be close to. At the end of the discussion, we agreed to disagree and parted peacefully. I know, never to raise that topic with her ever again as it led to some uncomfortable moments.  Nevertheless it was very interesting to discuss the topic with her. SPICY baby!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh"

Visit a Gurudwara and you are bound to hear this Sikh salutation. This means "khalsa belongs to God and to God alone belongs the Victory". I had the privilege of visiting a Gurudwara last Sunday. It was a 15 minute drive from my house. I was on time to attend the Gurbaani (words of guru). It is compulsory for everyone to observe the Gurudwara discipline, which includes sitting in a group, bare footed, with head covered, dressed in traditional attire listening to gurubaani. The first thing that a Sikh does after entering Gurdwara Sahib is to bow before Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This is called "Matha Tekna". On entering the hall, devotees walk slowly and respectfully to the main throne (called the takht) on which the Guru Granth Sahib rests. I found the devotees to be completely lost in the prayer as they recited wahe guru, wahe guru....  At the end of a prayer, one person out of the gathering says "Jo Bole So Nihaal, and the rest of them say Sat Sri Akal. There is a sense of pride when they utter this in the grace of god.  It literally means "Victory belongs to them; Who recite the name of god with true heart". - blessed are thee. (Sat Sri Akal).  The gurubaani is usually followed by "Langar" which means community kitchen. Every Sikh is expected to help out in a gurudwara. The Sikhs refer to this as "Seva" - means voluntary service. Please see below for pictures.

Whoever visits a gurudwara does not leave hungry. When they serve the food the volunteers say "Prashada ji" which means food from God. People from any and every religion are welcome at the Gurudwara. It was a one of a kind of spiritual experience for me. A sense of calm prevailed around me throughout  the day when I came back from the Gurudwara - the gateway to the guru. The prayer wahe guru, wahe guru kept playing in my mind...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet my BEST friends

A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~Lois Wyse

You have friends and then you have BEST friends. Meet my BEST friends.

Sorry guys. I have not been paying attention to my blog lately. I was a little busy.  My best friends were here with me for the weekend. It was so much fun. Let me introduce Sharda first. She lives in New Jersey. We were college mates in Manipal. If not for Facebook, I would have never met her again in life. She lived so close to me, for the past 16 years and I did not even know about it. She is smart, confident and Independent. You never want to stop listening to her when she starts singing. She has a divine voice. It is not surprising then, that she is a RJ in New Jersey. Her shows goes on air every Monday's at 5 PM EST. Please log into if you get a chance.

Anu, is my other best friend. She is like my younger sister. I met her in 1999. Found out that she is related to me. Blood is thicker than water. I realised this after meeting her. Anu, is a sweet girl. Her simplicity is her best characteristic.  She lives 7 minutes away from me here in VA. If you love to eat cakes, then Anu is your contact. She makes the yummiest cakes that I have ever come across. Got to try her black forest cake. This cake is my personal favorite for many reasons. I have fond memories of my Manipal days associated with this cake. She can instantly make you happy when you are feeling low with her giggles.

Both these girls have one thing in common. They adore me! They did not know each other earlier. They met through me and hit it off instantly. Both of them can forgive me a zillion times. I must be the luckiest person to have friends like these. They make me complete. They praise me for nothing. Simply put, they make me want to wake up every morning and enjoy life! Thank-you girls. I love you too! Can you guess who is who in the picture? Please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Guitar - The Instrument that rocks!

Ok friends, so Ash is pregnant. All the hungry journalists must be thrilled! They can write about it for the next nine months. I ate Lychees for breakfast today. In South India, this fruit was considered as the fruit for the rich. It was not easily available.  I worked late again. Burnt my right elbow when I was taking the chicken tandoori out of the oven. Ouch!

I have to admit guitarists (men)  have a droo...ol effect on me. These men look so charming when they play the instrument. No matter what age, guitar remains the symbol of cool, hip – whatever new adjective strikes you. It has always been my dream to be part of a music group. It's another story that the dream never got fulfilled. Guitar music is relaxing and enjoyable for the listener. Mention guitar, and immediately the song "Fast Car" comes to mind. Tracey Chapman was mind blowing in this song. Even today it is so popular. It's even played in clubs. Foot tapping music to say the least.  No matter, which song, if the guitar is the primary instrument that is used, I have noticed that I have fallen in love with that song and I tend to listen to it again and again. Songs like Neele neele ambar par, Chura liya hai and lately Sham from the movie Ayesha and Te Amo from Dum maro dum. The guitar can be played standing or sitting. Both ways the player looks so sexy. The confidence that the guitarists ooze attracts me. That's my son's guitar in the picture. He is taking classes for the past 6years. I am hoping he will be a good guitarist in the future. To some it comes very naturally. They are the lucky ones. Others can get there with practice and hard work. "Talent is the natural gift you were born with. Your "ability" is the result of working to develop your talent. The simple equation is: ability = talent x work." Recently my son learnt how to play the chords for the song "you are my sunshine" from the movie 3 Idiots. That was so cool! I sang along. I felt like I was living my dream!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers day

Happy fathers day my friends. We had gone to a bowling alley to celebrate fathers day today. I am a very competitive person. Unfortunately, I woke up with a neck sprain this morning and therefore could not bowl. We had 3 teams who played. That's my older son in the first picture. My friends wanted me to play too. So I obliged. My right side was hurting so badly. I used my left hand as you can see in the second picture.  I know, I was not dressed appropriately. Left hand proved to be lucky for me. All but one pin was left to fall. Not bad for playing only one ball. I actually brought the score up for a little girl. (I was playing for her). Every time someone scored a strike, we decided to buy a plate of french fries and share. The fries proved to be motivational. Someone decided to kick it up a notch by adding pepper and ketchup to the fries. Women who were initially conscious of taking in too many calories, soon gave in to the finger licking good fries. The dad's won both the rounds of the game. That was the idea anyway. I am sure they felt good about it. The whole macho thing. It was now time for dinner. We decided to go to a pizza buffet place. "Kids heaven". Enjoyed some great pizza and conversation with all our dear friends. Plans for a beach trip was being materialized. So, watch this space for that experience. It will be interesting to say the least.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Milestone for my blog

Just came back from work. Yes! on a Sat. Whatever! I plan to enjoy the rest of my weekend. My best friend just called me to tell me that she was the 1000th person to click on my blog. A big thank you to my blog friends who have been reading my posts so far. My blog counter boasts the number 1030 today. Makes me so happy. Please keep reading and do comment. It keeps me motivated and encouraged. Motivation is important as it wipes out the fear of success. Milestones are concrete evidence of progress. They are primary checkpoints to see how well you are doing. The lack of objectives and milestones will undoubtedly lead to inactivity, a state that we often naturally derive to, whether intentionally or not. Both personally and professionally. Blogging is a new discovery for me and I am enjoying it thoroughly. I started my blog on an experimental basis. I was procrastinating starting a blog for the fear of getting into something really hard to attain. When I found out that creating a blog only took 5 minutes, my joy knew no bounds. Now, I am on a roll. Every project can be measured by milestones. Little milestones lead to an ultimate goal. I am setting my next milestone to be 2000. Friends, will you help me get there? I really hope so.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rain is falling chama cham cham

Oh friends, a small fly went into my left eye today, when I was taking a walk. It was so painful. I managed to get it out. But my eye is still irritated. It is raining over here after a long time. Feels like the first rains of the year.

The first thing that I feel like doing when it rains is dance in it just like a peacock in it's full glory. The water falling on my face adds to the enjoyment. Everything suddenly smells good and looks fresh. The whole atmosphere becomes so romantic. Nothing like it. The cool, moisture filled breeze which comes first confirms that the beautiful event of rainfall will be experienced shortly. The rain is so beautiful and healing. The greenery is so soothing. The cows appear content grazing. Getting wet in heavy rains offers quiet a thrill don't you think? The dark cloudy skies makes for a freezing cold erie situation. Dil goes dhak! dhak! dhak!. All the sorrows of life seem to get wiped off and everything appears to be so calm and peaceful. The bright lightening is gods way of taking pictures of the world that he created  followed by the deafening thunder that rumbles through the skies leaving behind the scare that it might tear the sky into pieces and fall on your head. I can associate rain with some great childhood memories at my grandparents place. My grandma and some of my aunts used to make some rainy season delicacies like, Jackfruit papads, Alvathi, Alambe ambat, Mango halwa etc. while we cousins (some 15 of us) played in the rain. Grandma used to wait for some relief from the rain so she could put the freshly made wet papads out in the sun to dry (natural baking). Rain brought the family together. We would later sit down (all 40 of us) lined up on the floor and grandma used to serve all home made food. She had a sense of pride in doing what she did best - Feed us! I miss you grandma. She always said I was her favorite grandchild.  I want to believe that. I want to be that child again. Aww.. I am sure not a single person in the world, can say that they have no connection with the rain. It's magical!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love Vs. Arranged Marriage

Friends, highlights of today. My older son graduated from middle school today. Just came back from the graduation ceremony. Spoke to a friend after a long time. Felt good. Eating cadburys chocolate (yummy) as I am typing this.

Funny thing when people discuss Arranged marriage Vs Love marriage.
It is like asking someone is suicide better than being hanged…

Love aur Arranged Marriage mein kya faraq hai?
Love Marriage mein aap apni girlfriend se shadi kartay hain. Aur arranged marriage mein kisi aur ki girlfriend se.

These jokes have some truth to them. The topic is highly debatable across the globe especially in the eastern countries where arranged marriages are more common. Both types have pros and cons. In love marriages, you fall in love first and then get married. People might expect more from their partner. Knowing the person too well before marriage may take away the excitement of mystery after marriage or actually help understand the person to avoid any clashes. Not sure. People have told me that parents use their experience and wisdom to make the choice for their children in an arranged marriage. Do the parents come to find out if their children live happily ever after? It is a fact that women remain in abusive relationships to maintain their family pride and respect. Parents would have selected the other family based on mutual interest between the two parties. How many times have we heard the word "status"?  In this way, the arranged marriage can be considered a business merger or even an alliance between two families. Good or bad not sure.  I have noticed that two people cannot agree on everything, all the time. It's impossible!  Each person has his or her own mind and has their own identity. It's only after living with the other person for some years, would you know that person fully, or else the other person is always trying to put his or her best foot forward and there is no scope to understand the person completely.There is no correct answer.  I believe in the institution of marriage and I agree that it's a gamble either ways. Mine was an arranged marriage and from my experience, I think, COMPROMISE is the right word to describe a successful marriage. Are marriages REALLY made in heaven?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

House plants - Ghar Ki Shaan

It feels like I have no green thumb when it comes to house plants. Having mingled mostly with South Indian friends, I observed that at parties the topic of conversation quickly boils down to "mogra and kadi pattha" plants.  It's not easy to get these plants here in the US. You pretty much have to beg for it from a friend who considers herself  an authentic South Indian cook. This lady usually will have a 5 ft. tall, healthy kadi pattha tree in her kitchen. Her house will be filled with the fragrance of the fully bloomed morga flowers. A treat for her carefully selected choice of guests on  the auspicious evening of some religious function. There is no doubt that the deity will be adorned with a garland of fresh mogras that she would have made herself.  So, to fit in, I decided to plant some at my house too. Talk about peer pressure! Fortunately, I did not have to ask a good friend more than once. She was happy to give me one of each. She said she had a bumper crop that year.  As you can see from the pictures, I have not been very successful. These plants are one year old. I was advised to take them indoors during winter and take them back outside during summers. It's been outside on our deck for three weeks now. I see some growth in the kadi pattha plant. Infact, it has laid some babies. I am planning to re-pot the baby plants. The morga plant however, refuses to give any flowers. I did use the fertilizer "miracle grow" on both plants. I give these plants more attention than I give my kids. Let's hope, before the next party these plants give me some fruits for my labor, so I can participate in the conversation with full practical knowledge. Wish me luck friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Carrots anybody?

Lazy Saturday so far. Woke up a little late this morning after a late Friday night. Read about the crime reporter who got killed. Sad news seems to be prevailing in India. The country still survives. Amazing! Hey, did you all check out the new Google logo? These people simply "wow" me. The guitar is so cool.

Come weekend and we konkanis can ONLY think of food. I wanted to cook something interesting today. Unfortunately, the only vegetable that we had in the fridge was carrot. Great! My mind worked overtime to think of a yummy recipe with carrot. I could imagine my kids going ewww, carrots! We had some frozen pizza. That would take care of the kids. But what about my dear konkani husband's palate? Good news. I had some cooking oil. What could I possibly make with oil and carrots? Aah! Carrot fritters. Yummy! I am not kidding. Try it! Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. A perfect combination. I also made carrot "upkari" (konkani for steamed), cooked some rice and dal, fried some papad and had a sumptuous vegetarian lunch. So I thought, till my hubby reminded me that I had to go grocery shopping and we should try the new Italian restaurant for dinner. Got to go now. Carrots anybody? ;-)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Turning 40!

Friends, I had a very challenging day today. Both  physically and emotionally.  Usually, I start my day with a cup of coffee. I opened the refrigerator to find out that my favorite creamer was over. Darn! I settled to read some news. Vidya Balan must be very sad today as the newspapers had M.F. Husain's death as headlines. Her portrait is still "adhura".  The coffee at work would be my saviour. My mind must have been on the coffee that I could not have, because I almost met with an accident while driving to work. Came to work to find out no one had made any coffee. I was already late, so decided to skip the coffee. With a disturbed mind and a cranky outlook, I started my work only to be faced with the most extraordinary issues. Of all the days today! Ended up staying late at work. On the way back home got stuck in traffic and pouring rain. Sucks. I know. Got to think of happy times. My 40th B'day!

Like most people, I did not look forward to turning 40. Thanks to some of my dear friends my 40th B'day was the best till date! Every little detail was planned to make my day. It was a nice excuse for me to get some more attention. These are the same people who have listened to me and taken me what I am for so many years now.  Thanks guys. Life would be meaningless without all of you. That was the year I discovered Facebook and made some new friends, some of who turned out to be God sent and some.... hmmm. The two years since then have been nothing but an adventure with unexpected travel, trying new things, exercising, doing things on the spur of the moment (I highly recommend this, good fun), being independent, etc., etc. I have learnt a lot and lived a little. Suddenly 40s started looking, feeling, smelling like the new 20s to me. I was on a high! I know every good thing must come to an end. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech??? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Adolescent Surprize!

Adolescence - An age where we think we know everything!

Hello all! Never judge anyone anytime in life! I learnt this today. I just came back from my normal everyday evening walk. While on my walk, I saw a boy and girl walking a couple of yards in front of me. It felt like I had seen them somewhere before. Not sure, I decided to call out the girl's name. The boy happened to hear me and turned around. Yes, it was that boy. But wait, why wasn't the girl responding? Maybe it's not who I was thinking it was. She did look a lot..I mean a lot thinner! I had to confirm. So, I called out her name yet another time. This time louder. This attracted the attention of some other walkers who gave me the stare. Ignoring them, I focused on 'my" girl. At this time the girl flipped her gorgeous, thick, black hair and turned around for a few seconds. Enough time for me to see that beautiful face and confirm that it's "my" girl. Wow! what a stunner she was. I asked her to wait. These two kids (sister and brother) were now adolescents. I had not seen them in a loooong time!  I knew the girl as a toddler and then as a pre-teen. She had bushy eyebrows, bad teeth, thick long hair that was always braided and wore the geekiest clothes. I remember comparing her with "Jassi" from the TV serial "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi". Today she was standing in front of me with perfect teeth, perfect skin, perfect eyebrows and perfectly styled gorgeous long black hair. Boy! was I wrong then! She is going to crush many hearts soon. I think every stage in life has it's own charm. But the confusing yet colorful years of adolescence are the best. Full of surprises. Remembering mine now. Seems just like yesterday...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

How meaningful is "sorry"... Really?

When was the last time you said you're sorry and really meant it? It's hard to swallow your pride and say sorry. I heard it today from a very dear friend. My friend, I really want to tell you that your apology meant a lot to me. I too am sorry for accusing you of something that you did not do.  It was clearly a misunderstanding from my side.

They say an apology is one of the best methods to bridge the gap when a hurtful situation has occurred. I have always been a bit cynical about people really hurting other people, and then coming up with a feeble "I'm sorry". How can a word like that ever fix things? Well, today I realized that it can. An apology doesn't come with strings or expectations. I think when a person apologizes it is important not to apologize for what happened, but to admit that you did it and apologise for the same. It's also important for us to forgive meaningfully. I will simply quote Mahatma Gandhi " The weak can never forgive: Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." A good apology has 3 parts - 1) I am sorry 2) It's my fault and 3) How do I make it right? Most people miss the 3rd part. Saying sorry is the purest cure of all heart aches and heart breaks! Admit to yourself that you have done wrong and say sorry. It does not only touch the heart but also touches the soul. Today, my dear friend you have actually touched my soul.

O->One Is,
Have A wonderful day!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Give me a break!

People, as if it was not enough to watch this man churning his stomach on your TV sets every morning, he is hogging space in all newspapers, tabloids and magazines these days. Frankly, aren't you all tired of the hype around Baba Ramdev? Yet, we cannot ignore the cause he is protesting for. So why do educated people worship these preachers like they are God? The likes of Ramdev Baba, Satya Sai Baba and Sri, Sri Ravishankar come to mind. Satya Sai Baba has been shown materialising objects from his hand and barfing up golden eggs. There are videos which show that this is nothing but magic. We heard stories of Sai Baba engaging in molestation and scam. Yet he had so many people who believed in his divinity. This just goes to prove how easy it is to become god. And now we have Sri, Sri Ravishankar. What is he teaching that people don't already know? His Art of Living foundation goes through great lengths to show what is so special about it. For somebody with a bit of background into yoga or meditation in general there is nothing new that he offers. Their programs promise reducing stress, reduction of depression, peace of mind and serenity, better health and well being, increased energy and stamina, making you more self-aware, harmonious relations at home and work, and so on, you cannot help but wonder in what way do they offer anything different than any other form of meditation? These programs are ridiculously expensive too! And then there is the famous Osho Guru (formerly Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh). He tops the fraudulent and hypocritical gurus by owning 96 Rolls Royces. It is a well known fact that neither him nor his ashrams were quite like he pretended. The whole 'free love' idea did not work. Such are the Gurus of yesterday and today. I often come across educated followers who keep persuading me to join one of these programs. After knowing the facts, should I take it up? Give me a break! I think there is only one religion and that is the religion of Humanity.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Seasonal Fruits and the winner is...

My dear "frooti" friends, God has been so thoughtful when he created the world. He made fruits available at appropriate times in the year. The likes of  berries, apricots, and pineapples in the spring, cantaloupes, watermelons, mangoes, papayas, lychees, and grapes in summer. Pomegranates, pears, oranges and bananas in winter. People have enjoyed these and appreciated them at different times. My favorite fruit has and will be.......... MANGO! Rightly called the King of fruits in India. Currently it's the mango season here in the US. The mangoes mostly come from Mexico to the local grocery store. We are enjoying all kinds of delicacies connected with this fruit. It can be consumed in many forms. Straight from the tree, extract from the fruit as juice, it's pulp can be processed as jam and chutney, spicy as pickle, mixed with milk as shakes ( mango lassi). So, why is it called the King of Fruits? I found many answers. Mango visits us only once a year like a king paying an occasional visit to his subjects. According to the Hindu scriptures it is believed that mango leaves and fruit have religious connotations. Mango is the favored fruit of Lord Ganesha, the deity who can remove obstacles. All those who wish to have their desires fulfilled string a garland of mango leaves on their front doors.  It could also be because of the mango's excellent flavor, attractive fragrance, beautiful shades of color and health benefits. My Dad can vouch for the health benefits. He told me that when all other doctor prescribed medicines failed him, mangoes came in handy. This season, it is because of eating a lot of mangoes fresh from their garden, he felt a little energetic and gained some weight which he had lost because of the recent surgeries that he had gone through. Mangoes come in all different sizes too. It is enjoyed by "mango people" errr "Aam Aadmi" - one and all alike. No doubt it is the King of Fruits..

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Biking on W&OD Trail

Friends, I woke up this morning with an open agenda for the day. There seemed nothing that could beat what yesterday provided. Sitting at my kitchen table, as I was drinking my hot cup of morning coffee, I noticed that it was a beautiful day outside. The sun was out and there was a light breeze. I had 2 hours to kill before the kids were up. A bike ride was very tempting. So, I pulled my "best friend" out of the garage and into the street. As I was biking along, I saw a narrow dirt path. I followed it only to find out that it joined the famous W&OD trail. There were so many bikers, joggers and walkers on the trail. All with one motto. "Enjoy nature while burning calories". Nature is rich with the most extraordinary color combinations. I can see it being a fashion designer's inspiration. I could feel the energy that surrounded me. The smell of yellow jasmine filled the air. The crisp wind slightly touched my face as I was riding. Birds chirping was like music to my ears. Bike trail has it's own lingo. "Passing, on your left, excuse me" are some of the words I picked up. All of these mean the same thing. - "Please allow me to overtake you". I heard at least 6 different sounding bells.  After riding for about 30 mints., I came upon a rest station. It was such a beautiful area. Reminded me of a hill station in India. I stopped to fill air in the bike tires. I overheard some bikers talking about how beautiful it was further down the path. It motivated me to continue. I rode for another half an hour. I was starting to get tired. I did not want to overdo it. So, I turned around and headed back home. I had some slopes now. So the ride back was a pleasure. I had a treat waiting for me at the end of the trail. It was a beautiful orange turtle. I had never seen something like that before. I examined it closely, like a student in a biology lab. It was so beautiful. I was wondering if anyone even cared for it's existence.  I thanked god for making me a human being and resumed my bike ride back home. I feel a lot better now. So far it has been a constructive day..

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Shop Keepers in India!

Doston, last summer my friend and I went to India for a vacation. It goes without saying we did a lot of shopping. The shopkeepers in India are hilarious. I wanted to buy a Kurtha Pajama (KP) for my husband. Afterall I had left him with the kids here in the US. I was on a guilt trip and wanted to take back something for him that I thought he would enjoy. Little did I know. (topic for another post he he). After careful screening of shops, I decided not to go for a high end shop. I picked a shop that read "Rajastan Readymade Wear". Confident of my choice, I asked the shopkeeper to show me some KP's  in the traditional "cream" color. The shopkeeper disappeared into the back of the store never to be seen for what seemed like an hour. When he finally appeared, he had a stack of KP sets that were neatly folded in a plastic bag. He showed them all to me like he was shuffling cards. After going through at least 50 of them in all different colors that one could find in the spectrum of a rainbow, I did not see a cream colored KP. How? What exactly was he doing in the back of the store? Language issues. He did not understand "cream". I noticed a slight irritation on his face because he had wasted his time. What about me?  I was irritated, tired and hungry too. It was also hot in the store. I noticed that there was a fan, but nobody wanted to switch it on. Hmmm. I thought to myself, I might as well look at some Salwar Kameez while I was there. I was sure to find at least one. Had to make the shopkeeper happy. So, I followed the shopkeeper up a narrow ladder which was so shaky and rusty that I was praying that it wouldn't break under my weight. When we got to the top, I saw that there were two people who could help me. Again, I asked  them to show me suits in my favorite color - yellow. The visibly bored shopkeepers did not want to help. They were actually enjoying the fact that I was struggling to reach the topmost shelf. Self service at it's best! Oh, whatever! I randomly picked up two salwaars and climbed down the ladder. At the cash register was a sign in bold that read "Fixed Price". Someone had told me not to pay attention to that. I decided to ask for a break in price. Big mistake! The owner was called and we had an argument. I was so upset by the end of all this, I decided to walk out of the store with nothing! Would I ever walk into a store again in India? Absolutely! I loved every minute of it. It was such a pleasure. No shopping mall in the world comes close to shopping on the streets of India. Try it!