Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Page from the Past

I was reading an Indian web newspaper the other day. I was glad to read that the passengers traveling only on domestic sector on an international route do not have to declare the customs declaration form. For example, if a passenger is traveling from Delhi to Chennai only on a plane that goes form Delhi to Chennai to Colombo, he/she need not fill up Indian Customs Declaration Form.
That reminded me of something that happened a while ago.
At that time we were living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My company sent me there from USA on an overseas assignment. For the weekend, we were going from Riyadh to Chennai via Mumbai. We landed in Mumbai and took another flight from Mumbai to Chennai. That flight’s final destination was Singapore (I think).
We were traveling in executive class. After the plane took off from Mumbai, the flight steward took orders for our drinks. I ordered a scotch and soda. He asked what the madam would like to have. I asked him to ask the madam directly. My wife said she would like to have orange juice. (I have no idea why he cannot ask her directly.)
There was another passenger. He also ordered scotch and soda. But the flight steward told him he cannot give him alcoholic drink because he is flying only on a domestic sector (Mumbai to Chennai). The flight steward explained – in order to get an alcoholic drink a passenger should have arrived from a foreign country or must be going to a foreign country. So no drink for the other passenger.
I am not the guy to let an opportunity like this to go away. I called the flight steward. I told him “madam” has changed her mind. She would also like to have a scotch and soda in addition to her orange juice. The flight steward was puzzled.
He brought an orange juice and a scotch for her and a scotch for me. I took the scotch from my wife’s tray and gave to the fellow “domestic” passenger and said “enjoy the drink”.
The flight steward was witnessing this. He said nothing.
My thought is either give alcoholic drinks to everyone or do not give to anyone until the flight is cleared of all domestic passengers.  What do you say?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Karuveppilai (Kadi Patta)

There is a plant used in Indian cooking. In Tamil it is called Karuveppilai. In Hindi, it is is called Kadi Patta. In English, it is called Curry Leaves.
We use that in almost all our dishes – Sambar, Rasam, Kootu, Curry(poriyal), subji, chutney, thugaiyal, etc. etc. Those leaves produce aromatic smell. It has lot of medicinal values.
People normally think it is a waste to eat curry leaves. When we start to eat, the first thing we do is to take out the curry leaves from the plate and throw it out.
So we use it to enhance the flavor and taste of our food. But we throw it out once we think its purpose is served. Is it not happening in our every day life?
Political parties have alliances for election. Once the election is over, the bigger party gets rid of its smaller partners. These smaller parties have alliances with a different party in the next election. That different party does the same once the election is over.
Many people use friends the same way. They reach out to us only when they need something. After that, they discard us. Don’t we want to avoid that kind of friends? Yes. Once we realize that someone is using us we should put our foot down and say “no more”. We have to trust our guts. We should realize why someone is always smiling and flattering us.
But at same time, we should be helpful if someone is in real trouble.
It is kind of difficult to avoid people if they are family.
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Shooting the Breeze

In April 2013 I wrote a post about Mr. Sri Srinivasan and Ms. Kamala Harris. I would like to rehash here for the benefit of our new readers.

Kamala Devi Harris is California’s Attorney General. She will be running for Senator from California in the coming general election. She is favored to win and become a Senator.
She is the daughter of Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist, who emigrated from Chennai, India. Her dad is Dr. Donald Harris, a professor at Stanford University. When she was young, Kamala Harris learned Bharathnatyam and Carnatic Music. She understands Tamil. Ms. Harris is 52 years old.

Padmanabhan Srikanth Srinivasan (Sri Srinivasan) is a United States Circuit Court Judge. He is a potential candidate to be nominated as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He is likely to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away recently. Mr. Srinivasan is 49 years old and from Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. He was born in Chandigarh.
Within the next 25 years, Kamala Harris has the potential to become President of the United States. And, Sri Srinivasan is likely to become the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Here is my day dreaming. When Kamala Harris takes the oath of office of the President of United States, it will be administered by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Sri Srinivasan.
Since they both know Tamil and their mother tongue is Tamil, why not take the oath in Tamil instead of English.
I showed a draft of this to a friend of mine. That friend asked me who is going to translate what they say in Tamil. I replied: That is not my problem.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Customer Request

Many companies give top priority to customer satisfaction.  One of the best customer satisfaction is to absolutely follow customer’s request and direction.  That is what a delivery company did.
All photos and info - Courtesy Yahoo.
See the Customer’s request:
Please put under doormat.

See how the delivery company complied:
Customer is always right!