Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Looking back, looking forward

It is now over a month since I returned to India. Although there is some clarity on where I am going next, it is time to introspect at this juncture. I completed 4 year-long contracts in Saudi Arabia. It has been a journey of discovery. I have not only discovered this country and its people, I have also discovered many new facets of myself, many hidden strengths and a few weaknesses. On the balance, I guess the strengths won out, and I am a better person than the one I was when I left India on the 16th of November 2011.

I have already written about this in many previous posts, so I am not going to repeat those things again. Back in India, things are happening so fast. My family is in their present continuous mode, of course, but Hannah had a knee injury within days of my arrival, and is off work since then. Inas goes on as does her mom. I have been meeting my friends and contacts periodically. I try to renew my relationships with as many people as possible, but I have come to realise that some friendships and relationships have been missing that something extra - that something that differentiates between a true friendship and a mere acquaintance. And, so, it is once again a journey of discovery as I separate the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the milk and my true friends from thousands of acquaintances.

The next thing I would like to mention is that my wife and daughters are now completely independent in most things, but, when I am around, they take the maximum benefit possible! In a way, that is quite cool, because it gives me immense satisfaction to do things for them that I am otherwise unable to do when I am thousands of miles away. I would illustrate this with a few examples: giving me a slew of repair tasks to do - mobile phones, electrical appliances, etc., governmental work such as submissions for privileges, shopping for essentials from a supermarket, and for luxuries and other stuff from malls, taking them to dinners at new and exotic restaurants, planning short holidays, medical appointments and consultations, etc. It makes me feel good, because I find that when I am active, and particularly when I am on a job for my family, I feel a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. 

So, yesterday, I met up with my favourite classmates Rakesh Ghildiyal and Sudhir B Rao. We dined at a popular Chembur restaurant called the Grand Central. It has two storeys. The ground floor is the usual, but on the first floor, they have a live music and song performance. Hence, while the ground floor has a normal restaurant look, the upper floor is full with guests enjoying themselves. The performers included a tabla player and a singer who crooned soft Hindi songs from the past. We had a table farthest from the performers, but could appreciate his singing. We ordered a couple of starters and three main-course dishes, and all the items were superb. They had a dim-sum festival, so our starters were basically a lamb dimsum and a vegetable one (Rakesh was going totally vegetarian). For the main course we had a Veg kofta curry, a Rogan-Josh and a Butter Chicken with rotis as per our preferences. Finally, we ordered one caramel custard for dessert, but both my friends did not eat the dessert at all, claiming that they were both "full to the head" with food. 

Any other items? Not really, not for now, but I will return to entertain you all within a day or two ... with more interesting stuff from the city of Dreams, Mumbai. 

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