Monday, April 29, 2013

Turn down the volume please!

Last month, March 2013, wasn't a good month for my Dad. He is sick and aging. He had multiple surgeries on his back. That has made him to fall sick often. My wonderful brother who is very understanding, takes care of my dad, whenever the situation demanded, though my dad wasn't a good father to us all these years. I guess he is realizing how good we are, now, after seeing us taking care of him during his bed ridden days. He speak more words to us these days, lying on his bed, when we least expect him to utter a word. The bad part is that he choose to speak when we want to retire to bed in the night, tired. But we can't blame him. That is the only time of the day when he finds us free for him.

We have a very noisy and foul mouthed neighbor, who keeps shouting at his helpers around the house, irrespective, of the time of the day and night. He moved in to that house three years back and since then, we are having a hard time to maintain quietness near our home. He is the only person in the whole neighborhood who makes such a lot of noise. We grew tired of requesting him to talk softly at least in the night. The TV that he has installed, in the verandah, for his helpers blares 24/7. We sometimes mistake the cry of a woman in any movie on the TV, for the cry for help of some one at his home or on the road or on the neighborhood.

They were those days, when my dad felt better and was managing himself to walk around the house. It was 4.00am that morning. I heard a feeble voice from some where that woke me up. I heard it thrice. I thought that was from the TV from my neighbor's house. I came out of my bedroom. I didn't hear any noise. I went to rest room and then came back to bed. I was about to close my eyes and go to sleep. I heard the same voice again, four times. I still thought it was from the TV. Suddenly, I heard my brother, who was sleeping in the bedroom next to my dad's, stumbling on his way to dad's bedroom, yelling,"Yeah, Am coming". Only then, I realized that it was actually my dad who was calling my brother, all these time. I rushed to my dad's bedroom and saw my dad lying on the floor, near the door with his face down. My brother lifted him from the floor and set him on the bed. He said that he felt dizzy while he was returning from the bathroom and that he couldn't manage to reach the bed and fell flat on his face on the floor. He said that he has been calling us for five minutes. And that he was lying there for more than ten minutes.

And later that morning, he complained of severe headache. He couldn't remember whether he hit his head either on the chair next to his bed or on the door or anywhere else. We took him to the doctor. The doctor asked us to take a CAT scan. The scan result showed a blood clot on his brain. He is under medication now.

If  only, we had a more quieter environment, then we could have saved my dad from the mental trauma of lying on the floor without any clothes for more than ten minutes. Probably he waited for me to come to his bedroom to help him, while I past his bedroom to go to the rest room. He later realized that I wasn't coming and then started calling again for help. I felt sad for him and bad of myself for not checking his bedroom. My mom told us that she too, heard the voice many times and mistook it for the noise from the neighbor's TV.

Friends, if you have the habit of watching TV and sleeping without switching it off, then please change this habit. Some body, some where might need help and you would miss the chance to help them. If you used to watch TV at a high volume, then please reduce the volume. You will be helping your ailing neighbors and their family, by doing so. Thanks for listening to me.

Luv u all

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kamesh's Haikus

Here are my collection of favourite Haikus:
I don't talk religion,
but have you ever worshiped
                        - a goddess?

Steamy room
the tulip petals
spread wide

     of the salty sea
        Sunrise now......

Speaking in tongues
my body understands
every word of you

I Love You
My name drowned in your tongue
but you still want me
to tell you I Love You.

Peach Tree
Keep straight down this block,
then turn right where you will find
a peach tree blooming

Your Haikus?
Did you love reading this? Share your blog links, in the comments, if you have written any Haikus. Would love to read them.

Thanks for coming.

Friday, April 19, 2013

An overview of May day celebration in Shanghai, China

I continue to write my experiences during my visits to China. My second official visit to China was in April-May 2005. On 30th April I was in a city called Suzhou, 110 Kms from Shanghai, a well developed  beautiful City. 1st of May, is a public holiday in China.

Since I had to travel to another City on May 2nd, I took the road to Shanghai on 1st of May. I always make sure that I take a local representative along with me, whenever I travel on the road, in China. We left Suzhaou in a car after a light breakfast on 1st of May. China's infrastructure development is phenomenal and travel time is much reduced because of the same. You would find for miles and miles high rise roads taking you from one city to the other. Only four wheelers use these roads. The roads are divided into 3 lanes. One lane is meant for the slow moving trucks, one for the medium speed vehicles and one for fast moving vehicles. You can choose the lane depending on the car's speed.

Travel from Suzhou to Shanghai, a distance of 110 Kms, take approx. an hour across the Industrial towns. You will find most of the manufacturing Industry in this belt. The western countries started to set up their manufacturing units even before India started to weigh the pros and cons of its ventures in its neighboring country. Many American companies have their manufacturing bases in China. We always think that the products made in China are low quality products, which is not true. Chinese are quick learners and they produce best quality products when they are trained properly. China is the home for many Automobile companies in addition to Electronic goods manufacturing units.

I was curious, when I started my journey from Suzhou, to see how the Chinese celebrate the May day. My travel was through the Industrial areas between the two cities. In India, May day celebrations are organized by the Communist Labor Unions in the Industrial Areas. They celebrate the May day by hoisting red flags, taking out processions etc.,. To my surprise, along the route which spanned more than 100kms, I didn't find a single red flag or any sort of meeting any where.I reached Shanghai in the afternoon. I asked one of my colleagues about the absence of any May day celebration in a communist Country. He surprised me by saying,"These people quietly enjoy the May day. You got to be in the banks of Yangtze river in the evening to see the real celebration". This river flows right at the center of the city. I was told to get the feel of the famous river cruise amidst the beautifully lit buildings on both sides of the river.

I took some rest in my hotel room and went to River Yangtze in the evening, to watch the celebration.  When I got down from the car around 7.30pm, I just couldn't believe my eyes. I saw sea of people walking on the banks and the street vendors selling various eatables. Quite naturally, the scene reminded me of our ever crowded Marina Beach in Chennai, India. But this crowd was atleast 5 times more than that of Marina's crowd during summer weekends in the evening. I took photographs of the celebrations, but they are not in the digital format, right now. I will scan and post them here, later.

My notion, that May day would be celebrated in a communist country with much more fanfare than in India, was false. If only people of India learn to celebrate May day as calmly as Chinese do! Or any celebration for that matter! Sigh!

In my next post, I am going to share with you, the life style of Chinese people and their hospitality to Indian visitors.

Bye my dear friends, till I meet you all with my next blog,


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Very Interesting Experience in China - Chengdu

After a gap of a few months, I start writing again. I want to share some of my interesting travel experiences  in India and abroad.This post is about a very interesting experience in China.

This was in June 2005, my third trip to China. The trip was mainly to find a suitable JV partner for setting up a manufacturing unit in one of the newly developing provinces of China.

I was travelling from one place to another on this assignment. I always used to reach Shanghai either via KL or Singapore or Bangkok to make it cost effective. I made this trip via Singapore since I already had acquired permission from my bosses for a break in the journey to visit Singapore when I return. I went to the Singapore Embassy and applied for the Singapore Visa. I handed over my original Indian Passport for the Visa stamping, as per the procedure. They gave an acknowledgement slip, for having collected my passport. The visa stamped passport is due to be given back to me on the third day.

As per planned visits, the next day I have to leave for Chengdu, southwest of China, to visit one of the manufacturers. I got the boarding pass in Shanghai to travel to Chengdu. I showed the Xerox copy of the passport after explaining that the original passport is with the Singapore consulate. That day evening after finishing my official work, officers from the company dropped me back at the airport and asked me if I need any help, " I said, no, thanks" and bid goodbye to them as it was too early for boarding time.

About an hour before the departure of the flight, I approached the check in counter for the boarding pass. The official asked me, for the passport along with ticket. I showed him the xerox copy of the passport and the acknowledgement slip given by the Singapore consulate. He refused to issue boarding pass and called in the Security in charge. I tried to explain to the security in charge in English. But he could not understand what ever I told him. Very less people in China understand English.

I started getting butterflies in my stomach. The thoughts that crossed my mind - I don't have my original passport. What will I do, if they detain me and don't let me fly?

By then a young female officer at the security check who was watching what was going on, came to my rescue. She started explaining things to the officer in Chinese but he didn't look convinced. I guessed that she suggested him to talk to his superior. He rang up some one and talked for few minutes on the phone. He came to the check in counter and told the officer something in Chinese. The boarding pass was issued. I went through the security check and boarded the plane. I started to breath only after the flight took off to Shanghai.

Later, I learned that the Chinese government had made English, as part of the school curriculum. So that the younger generation can interact with the international business groups, when China opened up its economy to the global market.

These days, I find young students interpreting in all the business meetings, which is a welcome change in China.

What could have been my plight, if no body understood English, then?