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New Years in Mohabli Puram

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Michelle and I ended up spending New Years in Mohabli Puram in Tamil Nadu.  Probably one of my favorite sites from our little trip were these children using the side of the cliff as slide.  If you look closely at the picture you can see that the rock has been worn smooth.  I’m guessing water created this natural slide.    dsc03356dsc03359

Written by tankstar

January 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

On Terror

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I woke up in the morning and checked my e-mail along with a first cup of coffee.  I had an e-mail from my friend Scott that read “Hope you’re not in Mumbai…!” From the first line of the mail I already had an inclination that something fairly bad had happened in Mumbai.  I opened up the New York Times online edition and there was a picture of the Taj burning, a hotel that Michelle and I had walked past countless of times less than a month ago.

I kept reading updates throughout the day, needing to discover what had taken place and was still unfolding.   Reading that the terrorist’s had specifically asked for hostages with American and British passports was unsettling.   It set of a number of questions in my own mind: How safe were we in Bangalore? Could the same thing happen here?  Should I stay away from places that are frequented by other foreigners? Should I think twice when replying “Which country”, which is often posed by Indians that I meed on the street?   The fact that the attack specifically target locations frequented by foreigners what was so unsettling.  It made me wonder how people I meet on the street perceive me.  Am I hated for simply being a foreigner?  The thought that stuck with me for the rest of the day was, “someone tried to kill me today.”   At least that’s how it felt. I knew that if Michelle and I had been in Mumbai a month later rather than a month earlier we could easily have ended up on the casualty lists that are currently still growing. 

Since we arrived in India three months ago there has been a number of terrorist attacks across the country.  What I at times  found odd was how little these attacks came up in daily conversation with people that I met. If the attacks had taken place in the States they would continue to live in the national consciousness for weeks if not months on end.  With this most recent attack I can tell that everything has changed, India is waking up to that it has a serious problem on its hand.  What remains to be seen is how India will deal with.  From reading the newspapers and watching the news I have already come across the same rhetoric that was so prominent in the US after 911.  “We need tighter security, “Everyone needs to be more vigilant, India should stand united in the face of these attacks”.  

What is absent as usual are the larger questions:   What is it that makes a man pick up an AK-47 and start randomly firing it into a crowd of people?  Why do groups of young men spend months on end planning to take lives rather than save them?  How can we entice men away from the allure of the gun and have them solve their political grievances instead through negotiation and peaceful protest ? 

Though I myself may not have a good answer to these questions, “Three Cups of Tea”,a book that I recently read had one of the best solutions to the issue of terrorism: build schools.  The author of the book started up a foundation that builds in schools in impoverished regions of Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  By building schools that provide a balanced education for children, he keeps them away from the “Madrassas” or fundamentalist schools that are fueling the terrorist movements in this part of the world.   For anyone who hasn’t read three cups of tea. I really recommend it. 

http://www.threecupsoftea.com/

In the months and years ahead India will need to decide how it will deal with it’s own terrorist problem.  Will it tackle it in a more meaningful way by seeking to create harmony and peace inside it’s borders through discourse, education, and social justice,  or will it encroach upon the rights of its people like the US under Bush.  Will India engage in skillful diplomacy with its neighbor Pakistan, the country of origin of the Mumbai terrorists, or will it launch missiles instead?

Written by tankstar

November 29, 2008 at 7:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Why we love Mumbai!

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Michelle and I spent a number of days in Mumbai recently.  It’s one more the intense places that I have ever visited.   South Mumbai, were we stayed could be any large metropolis, it has beautiful architecture, great places to eat, and is in general well kept and clean.  However, as soon as you venture out of South Mumbai, you come face to face with some pretty staggering poverty.  A good portion of the city is either living in slums or slum like conditions.  The contrasts between rich and poor create a city culture rich in experience that is both inspiring and heart breaking a the same time.  All in all Mumbai is a fascinating place and there are plenty of reasons to both love and hate the city.  

Here are some reasons why I would consider living there:

1. Beach Access

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 2. Beautiful Colonial Architecture
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3. Striped Buildings

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4. Mostly Honest Cab Drivers(during the day)
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5. Domesticated Animals Participating in Traffic 
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6. Tasty Street Fooddsc03100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


7. Places to reflect
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8. Spooky old buildings
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9. Cricket games on the beach
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10. Spectacular Sunsets
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Written by tankstar

November 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Moths

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Coming home from school night, I saw something that almost looked like snow from distance.  When you move in closer you can see that it’s hundreds upon hundreds of moths being drawn to the same street light. 

It’s booth creepy and beautiful at the same time.  It’s strange how they also decide to be attracted to the same light…. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Written by tankstar

October 25, 2008 at 4:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Night Ride

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Bangalore can be a bit overwhelming during the day.  Traffic at peak times becomes a steady stream of buses, cars, trucks, and rickshaw’s all showing and competing for the same piece of road.  It’s not unusual for a trip that usually takes an hour to take an hour and half instead. The night is another thing all together.  The city seems to transform, it becomes a bit more magical somehow.  The traffic, pollution, and pungent smells seem to matter less, and instead you notice the strange quality light, and all the life in life in the shadows.   Here are some pictures that I took on Friday night on my way from school.

Written by tankstar

October 12, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

First Discoveries

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Welcome to “From India with Love”, a blog about our experience of living and working in India.  This is a blog about the discoveries we make, the adventures we have, and all the little things that make living in a foreign country both delightful and challenging.

One of things that’s nice things about living in the same place for a while is that you don’t have to give a second thought to where you buy your groceries, how much they should cost, or even what can of milk should look like.  This off course frees up your mind to work on creative endeavors and other things that you really care about.  The bad thing is, well, that you’re going through your life half asleep. 

Moving to India has changed all that.  All the little things that we used to guide us through our daily life in San Francisco have vanished or are different enough that they have to be rediscovered one by one. This first blog entry is about some of the things we’ve discovered in anew.

The Kitchen 
The big tank you see in the picture below provides gas for cooking.  It’s reassuring to know that we probably won’t run out any time soon. 

Kitchen Gas Tank

Kitchen Gas Tank

Then there’s the water purifier on the wall.  Nothing new here, except that it plays music when the water is ready to drink, another breakthrough in interface design. 

Packaging
The packaging for some of the products here is quite interesting.  The milk comes in these containers.  It probably saves on packaging since you can transfer it to one of your own containers rather than using a big plastic milk carton.  Oil comes in simple plastic bags, which is pretty cool, since it again cuts down on the amount of packaging used.

Our Milk

Our Milk

Our View
We have a giant construction project going on outside our window.  This is not unique to our neighborhood. In fact, half the city seems to be perpetually under construction which adds to general traffic congestion and makes the city a little less livable.   If you look closely at some of pictures you’ll notice that pedestrians will often walk on street rather than on the side walk, because of all the debris that’s on the sidewalk and their general poor condition

Grocery Shopping.
We have a really lovely fruit and vegetable market about a 15 minute walk from our apartment.   It’s quite famous in the city for also having a flower market.  Shopping there is a lot of fun, and the vendors are friendly and welcoming.   I’ll show more pictures of the market in future posts.   In addition to the vegetable market there are also a number of fruit and vegetable vendors that operate out of little carts and stands on the street.

Flower Market

Flower Market

 


Stay tuned for our next entry when we’ll introduce you to some our favorite foods and where to get them in Bangalore.

Written by tankstar

October 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Written by tankstar

October 5, 2008 at 9:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized