Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Life is all kinds of crazy right now. My data is finally begin to pour in, and it is very exciting! The kinds that has me at the edge of my seat, working late, sometimes too excited to even function properly. Yeah, I still don't know what most of it means, but it is exciting to just see the result of all that hard work, even if in files that are several MB huge and need some nifty programming skills to extract the information I need. Even better that I have some of those skills, so I'm plugging away, and generating pretty pie charts and bar graphs and what not. I hope it all comes together as a nice story. It plain sucks that I don't have enough time to see this story through its end. But the kinds of ends I want to take it through will take another 2 years. :)

Time is ticking though. And as much as this is fun, I need to be able to work faster, move quicker, and get a sizeable amount done in the next 3 weeks. I don't know how I'll do it. I hate the discouraging drone of my boss who keeps reminding me that I don't have enough time to do all that I need to do for the paper. Essentially hinting that I stay longer. It's like grad school all over again, the only difference being that he doesn't have to sign a dotted line for me to leave, so I am going to leave when I want to.

I feel very out of control of things right now. Million things buzzing in my head all the time. There's so much more I want to do, science-wise and life-wise. There's so much more I want to stuff into my 21 kg suitcases. Then I take a deep breath and remind myself, that there is also a whole new world out there, full off possibilities that I am just going to embark on. So what if it is lined with smog dust corruption and what not. It is a whole new world alright. :) I can buy more books, accumulate more junk, travel more, and do more science. And all of this with the guy I married a year back. That adds a completely new spin on things.

I have decided not to live the principled life in India. I will grease whatever palms need to be greased to get my gas, phone and other connections. I think I will simply have to assume that it is part of the costs. I will not fight with the autowallah everyday over the fare. At least until I am settled in. I will pick my battles. I am not going there to clean up the system. I will do my bit to be a conscientious citizen, but will not expect the same integrity from others. Lets see how it goes.


amit said...

If I may ask, where are you moving to? As you might know, Bombay has a fairly good auto culture.

ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/Ashwini said...

Well said! you cannot do anything to clean up this system. Welcome to India.. but which city you are coming to?

ferret said...

oh! fighting with the autowallah for the fare you said?

the question of fare arises only when they agree to go where you need to go,,, try giving them 5 options for your destination and it's highly likely they will refuse to go to any of those places, far or close does not matter, rain or shine does not matter.

Instead of defining specifics, just come with a lot of patience.

ps: btw i've never had to pay a bribe for a gas, phone or other regular connections that i needed. It's not as bad as it seems.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

blr. but the autowallahs of bombay are also not the same any more. better than all the other cities i guess.


yeah those were really metaphors for trying to say i'm going to try and stay above the smaller battles.

nitish said...

Auto everyday? Madness. That's what they have Volvo buses for. In any case the traffic goes nowhere so might as well luxuriate in AC.

Sangi said...

Have to disagree. Everyone finds it fashionable to complain about the auto guys here. They are not so bad. Show some interest in them and they open up. Most people don't realize that everyone expects them to be cheats and they after some protesting just fall in. In the 9 years I have been here, I must have had 3 - 4 bad experiences in total. And I travel a lot by auto.

As for greasing palms, one, it is not necessary. Things get done pretty well without bribes. Two, you are not not changing the world but become a part of the corrupt system. Conscientious citizens not only don't pay bribes, they also report those who ask for bribes. A good route to follow.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...


volvo bus will be explored.


Yes, I agree with all that you say in principle (cant comment on autos yet). And wish I could've stood by my own convictions as strongly. But when push comes to shove and I have to choose between getting my paper pushed for something urgent and fighting the system, I'm going to pick the easier way. But lets see. May be I am being too overly pessimistic.

Sangi said...

You can stand by your convictions, what stops you?

We have not paid one bribe to get gas, driver's license (it's a direct swap for the US one, a 30 minute procedure, take someone who reads Kannada - the forms were in Kannada but this is dated info), real estate, police (we reported accidents that happened to us - they hit the car from the back), kids' birth certificates, adoption deed, court proceedings, you name it.

We also do not jump red lights and commit traffic offenses. They have on the spot fines with receipts for that too now.

qsg said...

i think you are allowed 23 kgs.

....you're welcome!


in ME, are you?

TGFI said...

Like I said, I could be pessimistic and have misplaced expectations- if everything goes well for me and I never have to encounter a situation that challenges my convictions, then its great.

An example of a situation where I will not stand for my convictions could include:
autowallah asking for rs. 20 over meter- this routinely happened to me in hyd when i used to visit my parents. one time i walked the entire length (~45 mins) as I kept on asking autos on the way and didnt want to pay over meter. No havaldar in sight to lodge a complaint. I was on vacation then. Can I do this everyday while going to office? No. I will pay the 20 Rs. and be done with it.

TGFI said...


hmm 2 more kg. yeah i can add a book. :) not yet in ME, will be next month.