a India Rant and Raves: November 2006

India Rant and Raves

Globetrekker's life in India starting Oct 06 ... a first hand account ...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How do I put this into words ?

Err, dunno how to describe, but this is an actual photo taken of a new road here in the town Jalandhar.

End of story.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Airport at Amritsar

Fresh from the airport, I have uploaded some photos of Amritsar Airport on my photos site.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dhoom 2 - my first Hindi Movie experience

2 hours ago i was still sitting in the cinema of a hindi movie - "Dhoom 2" - staring Hrithik Rishan, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen. See the links here and here. Talk more about the plot and the movie later but more of the movie experience first.

Ok, I mean, I have passed by the movie complex a couple of times and I've lived here for a while so well, my expectations are managed. So, when my friend the owner of the hotel coyly asked me "Neil, want to see a Hindi movie", I stopped in my tracks and then said "why not ?" "Ok, you go get changed, we leave in 5 minutes." Well, I was running off to get changed but then asked him "err, are the English subtitles ?". "No, not really but you'll enjoy it anyway" "Ok, I trust you !"

Seriously it was not as bad as I expected it to be, sure it's a little stuffy and the seats were like springy and all, and we were really lucky that my friend actually knew the owner of the cinema and she arranged special seats for us, because you know why, as we are already seated there in the hall and thinking "Umm, not bad eh, not many people today" suddenly the door was opened and the whole place just changed mood, hordes, and I mean, hordes of indians poured into the cinema, grabbing seats as fast as they can. Err, yes every person is suppoed to be assigned to a seat but err, well, doesn't happen.

We spent the next 5-10 minutes as people were pushing and shovelling and quarrelling about the seats. I was really wondering when this would end, but as if he read my mind, my friend turned around to me and said "Don't worry, when the show starts they will grab seats and seat down like as if they were playing musical chairs !" TRUE ENOUGH !!! 5 seconds. All were seated.

Movie started. Male lead appears, whistle and cheers. Male actor jumps of helicopter with parachute, whistles and cheers. Male actor lands on moving train and strikes a pose. Whistle and cheers. Aiyah you get the idea, it was like "interactive cinema" man !! Of course when Aiswarya Rai appeared the indian men went crazy......... well I must admit she's damn chio too.

So much for that...... I survived and thoroughly enjoyed my first Hindi movie in India, seriously. Will be looking for more to watch............

Friday, November 24, 2006

Chilly Chilly Cold Cold

It IS getting colder by the day here in Amritsar, North India. Over the past few nights we had a couple of rainy overnights and then well, I guess it was about 12 degrees at night if you are just standing outside. The weather reports show mostly 22-23s for the days and 8-12s for the nights in the coming 5 days. I meant degrees C there of course.

Well, time to put my gear into good use yesterday night I was really really glad I did not scrimp on the thermal and winter wear during the post winter sale in Aus. Now if I really freeze to my bones here I have only myself to blame for just being lazy not to just wear it.

In between the last paragraph and this, I went to my MSN and typed "Damnit, 2nd Winter this year" but then decided to change to "Yeah, 2nd winter this year".......... well, I do like the cold better than the hot, though of course on SOME days you really really really wish you don't have to keep wearing the bulky stuff etc.

Well, this weather is understandable, given that areas up north have started snowing, Himachal Pradesh and all.........


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Was that Dengue ?

Suffered greatly over the past 4 days with severe headache, diarrheoa, nausea, body aches..... was supposed to be on a biz trip but came back early to recuperate, else I think it wouldn't be productive anyway...............

Saw the doc............ nope, he never did mention those words.......... it was not dengue fever as I feared it to be, just a stomach infection which caused those agony........... advised me to be careful about what I eat............ ok.

Well, it's part and parcel of the travel experience isn't it......... even the diarrheoa is a must have experience else how to tell people I stayed in India ? Ha Ha.......... but err........ not another time please............ not in a million years...........

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Why not contribute to Mother Theresa's Home in India ?

Hi Friends,

If you have old clothes or shoes or whatsoever for children aged between 02-10 years old, why not donate it to me so I can bring it to India for you. I'll help you make a difference to this orphanage in Amritsar - the Mother Theresa's Home.

SUN last I had an opportunity to visit this Orphanage at this city where I'm living now and ....... it was quite nice.

Those were the active kids coming out to pose for the photo. <<<

Aged between 2-8 these were the active bunch and were jumping around, playing around all the time.We spent a good time taking photos and boy, were
they intrigued by the camera, after every shot, everyone rushed to the camera and wanted a glimpse of the display on the LCD screen, ha ha. They were like, "hey, take me, take me" as in prompting us to take a picture for them and then show them how they look in the picture. You know, it's like such a simple thing and it gives them great joy.

Ok, I must admit that the children are very well taken care of, thanks to the 6 kind sisters who work there day and night to ensure the well being of these 25 children. But then they still have pretty bad living conditions and will always need support from us.

Many of these children are simply left outside the orphanage or by the roadside because of the poverty here. The sisters were telling me, sometimes they open the gate in the morning, they find a baby outside the gate with a note. Ok, I don't know if the families practice birth control but apparently they do not have the means to bring up addition children in their family and so......... the simple way out...... give them away.

My point is..... these children are innocent and should not be suffering because of the decisions that their parents made....... so besides living on the donations of money and clothes/shoes etc. they are having the opportunity to go to school etc and that's great.

So............ if you have old clothes, shoes etc which are lying around anyway and sellling them to karang guni will only give you like SGD2, why not pass them to me so I can help you bring them here ? Contact me for more information, I'll be back in Singapore in December.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Everything can be done in India.........

ok, I admit it....... i was visibly shocked when my colleague put a metal tin can into the microwave oven and was going to turn it on with the chapati and the daal and the green beans in it. I shouted "wait, you sure that the thing will not explode ?" I mean, all my life I have stuck on to the belief that you should never ever put anything metallic into a microwave and then turn it on, cos sparks will fly and then the whole thing might explode. Right ? Wrong !

"Everything can be done in India" was the reply I got from them. Everything you believe to be true "doesn't apply in India". Ha ha. That was a big paradigm shift really. I mean, apart from the very fact that the crockery really managed to uneventfully heat up in the microwave, it was really as I mentioned, that a "rule" I took for granted all my life was simply just "broken" like that.

Ok...........let me get the fire extinguisher and try it for myself at home.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Of course we are very familiar with the term Singlish in Singapore, where the "la"s and the "lor"s come into play in our daily conversation and also our horrible sentence structure like "you got go to market ?" instead of "did you go to the market?". Well, surprise surprise, here in Punjab, there is also the Punjabi slang of English affectionately called Pinglish - Punjabi English. Ok, I won't be able to share with you the most advanced Pinglish we have here 'cos I'm not an expert at Punjabi yet, but here's an idea.

The use of the word "only" seems to intrigue me these days. Eg. in a restaurant setting, you and your friend are sitting and waiting for another friend to come along. Typically your friend would say "I'm just waiting for my friend to come", here they say "I'm waiting for my friend to come only". Well nothing wrong grammatically but it just sounds funny. And it happens everytime. Instead of saying "I'm just going to the toilet" which implies that your visit to the toilet will be quick, here we say "I'm going to the toilet only" which is like more saying "trust me, I'm really going to the toilet and will not go anywhere", well, if I must say it, it's like your kid telling you this to like earn your trust.

I think there are also Chingish, Inglish, Vinglish......... right ?

Ok, I am going to the toilet only.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kidnapping, a high profit industry

This country is amazing, apparently there is a "kidnapping industry" going on here ! On this Monday just past, the three year old son of Adobe India CEO was kidnapped while he was waiting outside his house on the way to school with the maid. Obviously until today he has not been found but the police say they are "very close" to finding him.....

No further comments......

There's this article on IBNLIVE (Indian version of CNN) on this topic if you are interested in further reading.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

"UPS" - okay I'm not referring to the courier company

I'm referring to this, UPS - Uninterruptable Power Supply.

Common to enterprise hardware like banks, servers etc. But not quite that common in the Singapore household 'cos well, I've never really experienced a blackout in Singapore before except for the time I was living in a kampong.

In India, if I get by a day w/o a power blackout, it's my lucky day...... in fact I'm crossing my fingers that as I'm typing this the power doesn't play me out cos... err I'm still charging the unit and not put it into use yet.

Apparently the power grid system can't support the power use throughout Amritsar. So, when say one section of Amritsar consumes too much power, like everyone turns on their washing machine at the same time... ok, sorry I forgot that not everyone owns a washing machine here. Ok, say everyone turns on their lights at the same time or...... aiyah you get the idea, the power station like turns off the power to certain areas in order to provide that power. Makes sense right ? It's like if you got a pipe flowing at 100litres/minute, there's only so many taps you can support. So.... well.... life goes on.... now without any interruption of the power for me from today onwards !

Friday, November 10, 2006

33 thousand Sir............

.......ok, my mind goes to work at my 27 times table again, I silently mumble 33 thousand divide by 25 (for convenience's sake) equals..... err ok, 25000 rupees make 1000 sing dollars. so 32500 rupees will make 1300 sing dollars, ok around there...... wah ! expensive man.....

Of course the item in question was a 20" LCD screen TV that I was eyeing to connect up my puny thinkpad screen so I do view everything at one go.... talk about typical Singaporean kiasu-ism right ?

My third completed week in Amritsar India and life is really getting good man...... starting to love this place and seriously I think the beauty and charm of this place exudes itself after some time. Nothing like the hustle and bustle of Singapore, high stress environment where everything moves faster than you. Ok, let me correct that, on Mon, Tue, Thu and Sat my life is more relaxed cos I'm not working on those days....... envy right ?

This part of India is particularly not developed yet, being up north near to the Pakistan border and not the main centre of economic activity. However there ARE changes coming up in the coming years with major hotel chains coming in and setting up shop here.

Cee Tee Mall <<, just opp where I currently live, this is one of the most developed malls here. With Nike to boot ok ! Not bad eh ?

Visitors welcome. Jet Airways, Air India, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Transaero, Singapore Airlines flies here from various destinations......... just bring sgd500 will last you a whole week (including accomodation ! )