How strict is too strict

A couple of times I have seen a girl walks into a disco in really modest clothes (at one time in a traditional muslim burqha) and completely change their dress in the ladies room. I have seen so many people lying to the parents about their wareabouts (esp. when you are in a late night party) is so common that I have even lost the count. I also know a couple of Indian boys and girls who are in a relationship for several years while their parents have no idea whom they are living with. On one occasion a girl even married and the parents came to know about it 2 years later.

However the question remains how much freedom should the parents give their children and what amount of say they should have in determining their path in life?

Should we follow the western philosophy that the kids are emancipated once they hit the teens and severe all tied with their parents? They take their own decisions and are not afraid that their parents might disapprove of it.

On the other hand in several families the kids are expected to seek their parents’ approval and even permission for every action they take. Sometimes this umbilical cord stays even after the kid has a family of his own and is financially independent.

I guess there are merits in both schools of thought and the best way is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. The reason why I am beginning to ask this question is that often I see that the children do what they want to do irrespective of the freedom offered to them or the desires/wishes of their parents.

However by being too strict, a parent might stifle the kid and hence prompt it to hide their feelings, apprehensions and troubles. If the kid indulges in the risky behavior and hides it, is it a fault of the parent of the kid? I am not sure and hence this post.


Mexican Tequila

Today I discovered that a proper Tequila shot is supposed to be consumed with Sangrita and salt and lime. So they design them to look exactly like the Flag of Mexico.

A truly Mexican way of drinking this famous Mexican drink. No wonder Tequila that does not come from Mexico does not taste the same.

Image taken from

Thoughts Travel

I don’t like Asian people

On my second day in France, one of my European friend with whom I was doing a group work declared that “I don’t like Asian people!”
I calmly asked him “Why do you feel so?” while mentally I was clenching my fist and saying “WTF! How dare you say bad things about my people?”
Later from his 5 min long explanation I could realize two things:
Firstly for him only Orientals were Asians.
Secondly, he knew I was from India and even though he knew that India was a part of Asia, he did not consider me an Asian.
This reminds of an episode by Peter Russels who was also making fun of this definition of Indians. Every second in France is like a whole new experience, where I am either breaking one of my myths or learning something new.

life Thoughts


The hindus have it(sanskrit)
punya-opposite of sin

The greeks have it
hamartia-sin (used to describe “sin” in greek versions of bible)
teleos – opposite of sin

The ancients egyptians have it
isfet – sin
ma’at -opposite of sin

The arabs had many, for example(arabic)
fasad – sin
salah – the opposite of sin

There are many other cultures and languages that have more or less almost perfect antonym for sin…but I am yet to find the perfect antonym for the word “sin” in English….Thats virtue maybe.

– Developed on this Thought


Jal Jeera

How do you explain your favorite beverage to a European?

I started with “Jal-Jeera means water of cumin and is a very popular cold drink which is also served as an appetizer. It consists of roasted cumin powder, mint, coriander, black pepper, black salt, lemon juice and sugar. Then I went about describing its taste and how its prepared etc etc.
His reaction: So after eating all this spicy food, you cool yourself off by drinking spices!!!

I am wondering what his reaction will be when I describe to him that few of the best indian traditional meals are made over cow dung cakes. (gobar ke kande)


Diwali in France

Festivals and family & friends are the 2 most important pillars of Indian life around which our entire society is build. Luckily this Diwali (19th of Oct 2009) we got a unique chance to not only combine the two, but also give a glimpse of the Indian life to over 40 friends from 11 different countries. There was representation from all the continents except Antarctica.

We had lit not only the entire floor but also the staircase leading to our 3rd floor. Then there was a small prayer ceremony/puja in 2 languages (Marathi and Hindi) to worship the god before the celebration began. The guests not only got a chance to witness how Indians worship, but they also took active part in aarti and tilak (the small bindi we put on their forehead)

The prayer was followed by a 3 course meals. The menu of the day included:
1. Indian Tea as the starting drink
2. Alu Chat
3. Masala Papad
4. Chips
5. beef boti masala for the starters
6. chowle
7. paratha
8. vegetable pulao
9. alu gobi ki sabji
10. aachar for the main course
11. apple raita
12. Kheer for the main course

“Baatne se mazaa dugna hota hai.” You can have twice the fun if you share.

Arranging for this dinner was a lot of effort, especially since we were preparing since afternoon of the previous day for this event. However seeing the excitement at our guests faces and the joy of sharing our culture with so many different nationals made it totally worth the efforts.

You can find the pictures of the event on 1 and 2



Diwali night

I am a big fan of diwali. This diwali I invited about a 100 persons from 12 different countries to celebrate diwali. However what really amazed me is that while I could throw such a lavish dinner and enjoy the festivities, my friends at IIM-L could not. They have to write an exam on the next day and what is worse is that this exam is on the morning of a Sunday.

I agree when we sign up for a course at IIM, we practically write off all our vacations and free time. However keeping an exam on a Sunday morning is like being sadist. Who will teach our professors the meaning of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

review Thoughts

Retrospection on a Decision – Odyssey

Many of us know the story of the Greek hero Achilles, if not through The Iliad, stories or the internet, then possibly through the film Troy, portrayed by Brad Pitt. As far as I knew, his story was limited to The Iliad, where the great warrior chose death and eternal glory over a long and peaceful life, albeit without fame. He achieved what he wanted. My interest in mythology has always made me put him on equal footings with an Indian epic warrior, Karna, from Mahabharata. I know there cannot be an exact comparison between the two but I have the same awe and respect for both. Anyhow, back to the topic at hand…

In The Odyssey, another great hero, Odysseus, has a chance of going to (and returning from) the underworld, land of the dead. There he meets the ghosts, or shades, of many near and dear ones and converse with them all. What rattled me completely (and caused undue attention, since I was reading in the middle of a class lecture) was what the shade of Achilles told Odysseus. I quote from Robert Fagle’s translation:

“No winning words about death to me, shining Odysseus!
By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man-
Some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive-
Than rule down here over all the breathless dead.”

Despite getting what he wanted, the hero longed to change his decision! I can’t understand why. I think Bill Watterson put it in a rather amusing one line – “How can something seem so plausible at the time, and so idiotic in retrospect?” Seems the so-called modern dilemma of the grass being greener on the other side has ancient roots.


Phrases from Odyssey

Many good English writers have been accredited with the invention of phrases used in day to day life. I am presently reading The Odyssey by Homer (translator – Robert Fagles), written in the eight century B.C. I came across a couple of lines which may have inspired these famous English writers.

Modern Phrase
i Slow and steady wins the race
ii Between the devil and the deep blue sea

What The Odyssey has to offer
i …Slow outstrips the Swift!
ii Scylla to starboard, dreaded Charybdis off to port

Will keep updating this post as I come across newer ones… 🙂


Rotten Mangoes

A mango lover bought a box of dozen of juicy ripe mangoes, just to discover that one of the mango is over-ripe. Not having the heart to throw it away, he consumed it and stored the remaining 11 mangoes for the coming days.

Next day he found that another mango had gone bad, and the poor guy ended up doing the same. Nett result is that out of a box of 11 ripe mangoes he ended up consuming a dozen rotten mangoes.

So many times, to save the best for the future, we spoil our present. Won’t it be better if our man got rid of that lone rotten mango and enjoyed a box of juicy mangoes.