He smokes, she smokes…

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is amazing to sometimes take a step back, and see things around you. What astonished me, and continues to, is to see the increase in the number of girls smoking these days. 

Accepted that this is not something new. I remember attending a hangout of photographers and being close to mocked at when I insisted I don’t smoke standing with three girls and a guy. But things seem to have gone to a much higher gear now. 

Let me start from our friends. Put together I think about one half of my friends (who are girls) love inhaling & exhaling tobacco. Would have loved to see equality, but not for this! And that takes me to the thought of why things are changing – 

– Stress : That has to be the number one reason that I hear from people. It somehow gives people an outlet. 

– Just for kicks : Mallory once famously said when asked “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?”, “Because it’s there”!

– Equality and being considered equals : If men can do it, why can’t we? Are we any less?

– Weigh loss? : Heard it a couple of times yet. Implied from the fact that a lot of people tend to gain weight when they quit. Scientific explanation being smoking destroys your taste buds. Quitting revives it and the food tastes good!

What do you think is the reason? Would it get any better?

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Food & hunger…

Posted: August 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Recently a couple of incidents make me really think hard. Let me jump into it right away –

– I, along with my wife, took a train to come back to Delhi. The train that we took, as we were told, has a very good system to seva considering it terminates at one of the biggest Gurudwara in India. As a result we did not carry any food with us. Maybe because we were travelling in the A/C compartment that was not to be. To our utter disappointment the train did not have a pantry either. I could not help catch myself stare at the food others in the compartment were having and at the first opportunity

– I had to rush my dad to the hospital at one time. Since the trouble happened right in the morning I did not have the time to catch even a bite before we had to leave. After the admission was done when they brought the something for dad to eat, it was almost mid-day. And I immediately had to “rush” to eat something myself…

We love to talk about how, it is only the human being that can think long term. But from both the incidents I concluded…if we don’t have something to eat…we are no different from all the animals. We will not be able to “think”, let along “think long term”. Has anything similar happened to you?

This round of update would be about the Brussels Trip! As you might be aware of the fact that Brussels is like the capital of the European Union and hence is one of the nerve centers of EU! Studying at a place that close of an important center is a big advantage specially for management studies. You can have guest lectures by some really influential people who shape policy for the Union. More about it in a few minutes…
 
Along with the other student who came with me from India we were given company by a Russian international student that we met here. Elina had already been to Brussels a lot of time and hence she was our unofficial guide! To my mind I wanted to see the Atomium and the European Parliament out there.  
 
We got off at a station which was nearest to the Atomium. But since it was a Sunday there were no tellers to give us the tickets. Only automatic vending machines which accepted only coins..and as luck would have it we did not have enough of them. Somehow managed. There is a strange system that they have here. The token or the ticket is valid for one hour at the entry. Hence if you think it would take more than time you need to punch it again after an hour! Anyway we took a daily pass which proved to be a smart decision. 
 
Thereafter the day was spent walking around the streets of Brussels. Before the end of the day I was able to see the things I wanted to see. However it was very cold and windy. The good thing is that the sun is still warm and not an illusion as of now!!
 
I am not too impressed with the pace at which things are done here. As an MBA student from India I am used to the frantic pace of things, however here everything is slow and calm. Off all the courses that I have Debating Development is one course that I am really enjoying. In the year 2000 the developed world set some goals called the Millennium Development Goals to help the developing countries on a number of fronts like education, IMR, poverty, gender equality etc. The deadline was the year 2015. Each week they get 2 influential people to debate on where were are and where we are going in that endeavour. Proximity to Brussels helps!
 
Leaving for a extended weekend trip that would take me to Amsterdam, Berlin & Zurich. Would get back to you once I am back!

This is coming after a long long time…I hope to be more regular from now on!

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The week started with an unsuccessful trail at scanning some parts of a book at the college. There were three of us who wanted the scan and so went to the library to check it out….but guess what? All the instructions were in Dutch and so we could hardly make any head and toe of it. Only common sense seemed to be working…the button enclosed in the green box must be ok! At the end we were able to take care of it 🙂

By the way the best thing that happened was that I was able to locate an Indian store. Even better that they have ready to eat stuff from Haldiram! So no more fries (on a regular basis that is!) and burgers! Now I have dal makhani, chhole, aaloo matar et al for food. Yippieeeeee 🙂

Another good thing was that I figured out a way of calling India. Thanks to very decent wi-fi connection I bought skype credit. And it feels awesome to talk home. Without it catching hold of dad was a task in itself! And it did help me a lot when I had to call travelocity to advance my ticket…and so I am coming home early now. If everything goes to plan I would be in Bombay on the morning of the 3rd of December!

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…to be continued…


Ever wondered how we always want to look towards the future even at the cost of neglecting everything we see in the present?

It is the classic case of contentment versus ambition! Most people maintain that it is this desire of trying to see beyond what we see, that propels us forward in life. The effort we make to get what “others” can’t, sets us apart from the “crowd”…

My simple argument is…till when?

Song on my mind –

Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours, to see. Que Sera, Sera. What will be, will be…

One thing that is common between the place I was studying in India and Antwerp is the fact that nothing is open on a Sunday. Call it a day for the family all the shops are closed! Just can’t understand how the retailing industry does not make use of that fact and close some other day of the week like we have back in Delhi!

The important thing was that I did not have any stock of things to eat and it was a Sunday. Luckily I, along with my friend, was able to locate “Quick” near our place of stay which was open and therefore able to survive that Sunday!

Some people eat to live but with me it is the other way around, I live to eat. I was excited about coming to a new destination so that I could try a lot of things however it just went away because I think they simply survive on junk. I actually googled what they exactly called food here and it was interesting to come across a lot of what I would call snacks and no major meal as such. By the way did you know what the world calls French Fries is actual Belgian in origin? So here it is just called fries and it sells like fries (I think I will use this new phase from now on…so instead of hot cakes it has to be fries!)

I borrowed a pan from Chinese student to make myself Maggi. Can’t tell you how happy I was to have a warm dinner 🙂 Looks like I am going on and on with food…but if you have known me for some time you would know how important it is for me 😛

If someone asks me how is Belgium treating me my standard reply has become something like this “Since I am not really a party animal nor into drugs, it is not as wild as you think!”. 

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…to be continued…

Time Pass…

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized