More Random Thoughts

More Random Thoughts

The bookmark on bed today was Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life-think if it, dream on it live on that idea. Let the brain muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success”

Swami Vivekananda- India spiritual leader and disciple of the Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

 

 More Random thoughts- I was working and in meetings all day, my travel stories are limited

Faith

 All Gods are honored here. They love Jesus, Allah, Buddha and all those thousands of Hindu Gods,.  Each City has a God. There are Gods for all kinds of purposes.   They are all revered.   I love this idea and wish it could be accepted around the world. We would have so much less strife.   Faith is such a part of the everyday existence here it is not separable, it is visible.  They don’t seem to have a day of worship, they worship every day in every way. It is intrinsic in everything they do.

 

English,

The English language is not the same everywhere,  

Ravi is taking English lessons and asks me to teach him. I tell him we use different phrases in the US. I love the Indian phrases because they are so direct.

Tell Me-   This is used when you are asked a question or need information.

Come- This usually means follow me, I will take you or it is used when you are ready to go someplace.

 I tell Ravi we say “Let’s go.” Every morning when he greets me now he says” Let’s go Madam.”  “Indeed, Ravi Let’s go!” He practices diligently.

Take it- This means they are giving something to you or take a seat.

Ravi and I struggle with lots of words and often have to think of another way to communicate but we manage somehow.  Ravi often asks me how I say things in my English and I ask him how to say it in his English. Sometimes we have to spell to get clear.

There are many sayings for the British occupation. .

Mind the Gap The space between your train and the platform

The Lift - Elevator

Soiled plates- dirty dishes.

Biscuit- cookie

There are also many traditions the Indian observe that are English

They observe tea time. At 4:00 pm you go to the cafeteria and take your tea. In India the tea is Masala or Chai tea. This is small cup of tea with milk, sugar and It is delicious but very sweet.

 At the hotel they serve cookies with your tea.

I think half the problems of the world are worked out over a cup of tea.

 

The Sacred Cow exists

 They walk the streets grazing; the Indians call them “brake inspectors” because everyone avoids them stops to let them pass

The white parts of the cow are painted with Yellow powder for blessings

The horns are sometimes decorated with shiny colored tinsel or they are wrapped with something that makes them glitter.

The cows simply take over. Apparently they all belong to a local owner who lets them out in the morning and they graze in the streets all day and make their way home in the evening snarling the traffic, sometimes taking up whole lanes of traffic.

 

Indian Holiday

The Indians have many Holiday’s: at least one or two a month. Tuesday was Republic Day and they are preparing for some big military parades and luckily for me I get an extra holiday out of it.

 

Take Leave

The bell captain hears me tell my driver I will not need him on Monday and he asks me if I am taking leave. He thinks I am going home. “No, I am not leaving” and I explain that at our company the senior manager pays, so I will be riding with one of my teammates the next few days and he will pay the taxi fare. The bell captain understands and thinks I am very smart negotiator and tells me “Madam you have a very good plan.” I laugh but don’t tell him it is company policy.

 

Electricity

Electricity is so unstable here the company has massive a generator backup. You will be sitting is a conference room and the lights will go out. No one flinches; they keep talking as if nothing has happened. In a few minutes the generators kick on and the lights go back on. They have so many electrical conservation techniques that they employ daily. They turn certain elevators off during non-peak hours; the cooling is kept to a higher temperature and you have to turn an electrical switch on at your desk to use electricity, I found this out when my computer gave me a warning that my battery needed to be recharged.   Escalators do not run constantly. You have to step on them to active. It reminds me of the “brown outs” in California a few years back except this is a whole new level.  The city is bringing in a substation that will come in to the back of the property,  once that happens the electrical situation will be much more stable.

 

Bring Drugs

 I thought I was being ridiculous when I was packing my bags with an entire pharmacy. It is a frightening thought when you are someplace where you cannot read the labels or know the ingredients, especially in third world countries. I would not want to go to a hospital here.  Since I have a full blown cold, Nyquil is my welcome nighttime companion. 

 

Cultural things

You only wear a toe ring if you are married.

Traditional Indian dress for women is observed in the office. The bright colors are amazing in an office setting.   The men dress western style.

Bindi’s are for style and are worn at the third eye point. If the bindi is powder, it is a blessing from the Temple.

 

Work

The office runs on a very hierarchal system.  The senior managers are deferred to and it is considered disrespectful to argue with their decisions.   What they say goes. In the US we express our concerns and opinions freely in an open forum. That does not happen here. Problems are dealt with privately.   This caught me quite by surprise to see the directives in my first meeting with different levels of management. I learned to ask questions so I could get feedback and information. I was the senior person for my job so I needed to make sure I was getting all the information I needed and was not just being deferred to out of respect.

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