09 July, 2015

Lakeside living in Essel Towers Gurgaon

Like many other apartment blocks in Gurgaon, we woke up to find that there has been around 20mm (or some such number which is not alarming at all) of rain overnight.

Essel Tower Central Pier

Essel Tower Central Canal

The sad thing is that this happens every year in Gurgaon and in many other cities of India. It is even worse that a lot of this happens in the newer parts of town - the so-called 'planned extensions' of a city, which are always parts of a masterplan.

Gurgaon Manesar 2031 plan

Take a look at this plan - there are no rivers or canals here. There is no thought given to natural drainage. The idea probably s to budget for manmade drainage and not build it and pocket the money. Or, there is no idea.  I work for myself. A lot of my capabilities are channeled towards creating maximum possible money for myself - whether I do a good job or not is debatable. I think that government officials (Especially the Urban development variety) are experts at this skill.

Gurgaon is new - there are parts of Gurgaon which were farms less than 5 years ago. New or old does not matter really when it comes to incompetence of town planners or the indifference of town dwellers. No matter which part of such cities does one live in, we all go through this every year in the monsoons and do not really do anything about it.

For a country and a media which does not tire of aggrandizing itself ("India's PM has a 56" chest, Indian origin kid wins spelling bee, Granada now supports India's bid for UNSC permanence and so on), we should all hang our heads in shame.

03 July, 2015


She turned one this week. And it was a very happy occasion. It was made special by so many people and so many big and small things. I want to record as many of them as I have already started forgetting...
All except T2 part 1

All except S2 part 2
So many who  care about T2 the most were present (the only exception was her Mama who wasn't here so that everyone else from Ranchi could be) - both sets of Grandparents, her Aunts and her Bhaiyas. So many of our friends - school, college, neighbours, childhood Uncles and Aunties turned up on a Tuesday evening to grace the occasion.
All my life party
There were quite a few who have known me all my life and I am 35 years old now.
I was thinking back of a time 5 years ago when S and I had started off on our life together when a similar gathering had taken place. And yes, also when S2 turned 1. S2 and T2 are the latest additions to this family. Further growth will come through husabnds and kids M and K. Eagerly awaited.
T2 - she is quite something.
There is a healthy, happy and well-developed head on those small shoulders - no question

She does not speak yet. But no one misses that. She puts forth her needs, wants, demands and expresses joy, satisfaction, disapproval and anger with murmurs and smiles and pointed fingers and short cries. An entire range of emotion  expressed with ease and confidence that speech seems overrated and at times, inadequate.

She is growing up so fast. S and I have talk about how much we will miss this time when she grows up. I want this time to pass slowly. Even though some times I cry out in frustration, I want time to slow down. I will not remember all the small things that they do – the first words, the baby talk, the walking and falling and the smiling.
[Ah the smiles. I think that adults, even when they are delirious with happiness, can not smile the way children do. I think that is because a child has not ever held back an emotion. Adults have their emotional pathways polluted  - holding back, distracted are just some of the things an adult does.]. If as a parent, I had to do anything differently, I would create a few hundred hours of video for S2 and the same for T2
T2 also enjoyed this birthday - S2 was not moving as confidently on his feet on his first. Not T2, she walked, moved, fell, crawled, played, was picked up, asked to be picked up, asked to be left alone and so on. She also pulled out gift wrappers, punched balloons, grabbed at gifts and food and had a few bites of the birthday cake. She happily held the knife for cutting the cake. The one time when T2 was a bit shaken and out of it was when everyone started singing 'Happy Birthday'. It was loud and unexpected and T2 was surprised for a bit. It did not lead to any crying - that's not her style.
Both of them are growing so fast - pictured below with my mother, who misses them the most!

T2's world

As a parent, I want to fill her life with hope and happiness. I want to her to also respect her environment and be conscious of the implications of her actions and inaction. I want her to read well and get through an Ivy League MBA as well, so that she can settle in Canada (given today’s world and weather) or the Sahara (who knows what will happen with the world and weather in 20 years).With the kids and the kind of random crime that we read about in the papers every day, I wish that I had not come back from the UK. Definitely a better life.
T2’s world is a world which is very strange. There are all kinds of bad things happening – global warming and climate change; wars for religion
and wars for water. There is a case to be made that some of the conflict the world has today is because of climate change. I feel sad that the world T2 and S2 will grow up will be a worse place than what it was when I was growing up. It will be hotter , with more extreme weather, richer but very unequal, healthier but with an accelerating species extinction rate and lesser forests .
We have no one else to blame as we hurtle down this path but remain deliriously happy in our little lives.