Thursday, June 29, 2006

I miss her...

She is 8000 miles away from me. She doesn't even utter my name. I don't think she even cares about me. She is happy out there, in her own world. She probably doesn't know I miss her so much. No, I am not grieving about my departed girlfriend, or nursing a broken heart. One should never run after three things in life: trains, buses and girls! (You've heard that one before, eh?) You lose one, and there comes another right behind. I vouch for that each morning.. no, not a girl, when I invariably miss a bus to school. Whom I miss the most right now, right here, is my darling niece Jo. Ya, she is this most adorable lil' girl of my sister and she turns one this Sunday.

I have not seen her yet, in person. And today, when I received some of her photographs and videos where she walks for the first time and flashes her two-toothed smile, I wished hard I could be there close to her. Thankfully, my sister captured those moments for me on camera. I would have seen those video snippets some 20 times already and can't have enough. On her first birthday, I wish my niece a really cheerful and healthy life ahead and all the blessings I can shower from across the seven seas. Even with her parents and two sets of grandparents constantly doting on her, I hope she somehow comes to realize that she has this uncle who really misses her so very much...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Boy! Are we rude?

The results of this latest survey from Readers’ Digest caught my eye yesterday. A survey of the metros of the world showed that our very own Mumbai was ranked at the bottom of the list. In plain words, ‘aamchi Mumbai’ is the world’s rudest metro. Quite an irony when Time brings out an issue the very same week extolling the role of India and Mumbai in the world of tomorrow and as leaders in IT and whatnot. I don’t necessarily mean that politeness and leadership go hand-in-hand. Well, for one, they might be two different coins altogether. While Mumbai has London and Paris for company in the rudeness department, what surprised me was that New York City topped the ranking with an 80% score for politeness.
One could think that high density of population, fierce professional competition and a hectic lifestyles would translate into caddishness. In more ways than one, NYC and Mumbai are quite similar, and many would vouch for that. I have probably spent an equal amount of time in Mumbai and NYC, and that’s about close to 10 days in each. Besides bursting at its seams with people immigrating in search for jobs, they both boast of great communication infrastructure, multi-cultural societies and ceaseless economic activity. Why, then, does a NYC shopkeeper thank his customer more often than a Mumbai tradesman? The reasons could be many and varied. The first thing that occurred to me, possibly to justify the Indian behavior, was if the so called New Yorker politeness could be mere lip service. Does the New Yorker really care more for his customer than his Mumbai counterpart, or is he just perpetuating the good ol’ American tradition of ‘How are you…… Good!’ to one and everyone. But that’s another story day. Really, how many in India care about thanking and acknowledging the bus-drivers or the janitors for their work when they see them? ‘They’re doing their job…What’s great about that; I am doing mine!’ True, but does it hurt to mouth a few words that might go a long way in increasing job satisfaction? And that reminds of this Hindi movie where Sanjay Dutt believes that the panacea of all problems is the ‘Jadoo ki Jhappi’, a hug. Well, we need not go far enough to hug each and every janitor we meet (that would be a no-no!!), but a little ‘thank you’ here and an appreciative nod there would be great.
Talking of politeness, I got to thank my roomie Pratap who incessantly insisted that I write a blog. I have never seen him so goal-oriented about anything! First of all, I had to overcome my lethargy of thinking about something appropriate to write and then, writing something that would readable, at least by me. There were other challenges like naming the blog and setting layouts but I rose to them remarkably. You have to remember that I am a doctor (Yes, of the human body) and whereas most of my professional friends rarely go so far as to check their e-mail once a fortnight (can you believe that one of my friends doesn’t even have an e-mail id; or perhaps she didn’t want to share it with me!), I have perhaps outdone many of them in terms of computer awareness and technology stuff. Gloat, Gloat…..