Known Stranger

Who are Friends!! Friends are those creatures who make this world tolerable. Can you imagine your life without a single friend? No.

No individual in this world is living without friends. You laugh, cry, share secrets, eat, drink, travel and enjoy together. There are different categories in friends – casual friends, best friends, close friends, childhood friends, facebook friends, temporary friends (you can think of few more). In this blog, I will tell about my few friends to all my other friends. 😛

Sometimes I get this strange thought that once upon a time, all the friends in my life were complete strangers to me. Doesn’t it feel weird when you think it in that way? Whenever I am hanging out with any of my friends or group of friends, I think of the time when I met them for the first time, how it was then and how things have changed now. Usually what happens with me is, whenever I meet a stranger, a question pops in my mind that whether I am going to be casual friend or close friend with this stranger and my answer turns out to be wrong 90% of the time. My guessed casual friend becomes my close friend and my guessed close friend becomes my casual friend. This is why I always rewind my memories and think of our first meeting. I have lot of such memories and like to share a few.

I had recently joined Continental Automotives (Sept, 2012), which was my first company and was totally new in the corporate world. I was told to attend freshers training for 15 days. There were about 8-9 freshers in the training along with me. During the break of my first day training, I got to know that the batch of freshers who were attending training with me knew each other from past 2-3 months. So, I was like odd man out there. But they were very friendly enough and I made few friends very soon (Sharath, Tejas, Swathi, Sumith etc). In later days of our training, I got to know that they have a friend group of around 30-35 people who were undergoing training from past 2 months and now they are divided into 2 different locations of Conti. One fine day during lunch break, I met their other few friends who were in the same building. Sharath had told me there is one more girl in our group who is from your place(north karnataka) and I will introduce you to her. I was happy to meet all their other friends and the count of my conti friends was increasing. I met Richa, Karthik, Raghavendra, Bharath, Mahima, Gaurav, Archit, Naveen, Yadnyesh, Vijaybhaskar and there she was girl from my place Sowmya :). Soon everybody became close and I started feeling that I too know them from long time. I was mostly seen with Sowmya, Bharath and Karthik as they were kannada speaking guys. December came and there was conti running day (Sports day) where employees of conti from all the locations in bengaluru will gather for the event. So there I met the rest of their friends group, few of them were Nirmal, Sujay, Ranjitha, Anurhea, Tejaswi, Anand, Avjeet, Sujay Yerwa, Lokendra, Suhas, Vinay, Rahul  etc. It was a very fun gang to be with and I already had a rough idea that who will become my close friends 😉 . At the end of the day, Me, Tejaswi and few guys were left and we were saying goodbye to each other. One guy asked me where do you stay and where are you from? I replied him and asked back the same questions. I asked him are you in Bommasandra location because I have not seen you in my building. He said, No I am in the same location as yours. I felt awkward, because I had not noticed him in the office and asked him his name. He said my name is Yadnyesh. Then we all said goodbye to each other and left for the day.

After few days, I saw Yadnyesh during lunch break and I recognised him and we just greeted each other. We all used to go for lunch at a fixed time, but Yadnyesh used to come at his own time and didn’t mingle much with others. Anyways, I did not bother as he was in my casual friends list. I had my own friends circle whom I had considered as my best friends. Very rarely I used to see Yadnyesh sitting with us for breakfast and lunch. But we never spoke to each other. Few months passed and friends from my casual friend list started to migrate to close friend list and one among them was Richa. In past few months we had become good friends which I had not expected and I even shifted to her flat!! One year passed and we all friends had played Holi together, had many birthday dinner parties, watched movie and had been to a small outing to Nandi hills. Before one year, all these friends were strangers to me and now few among them were my best friends. I had never thought that I will stay in flat with Richa, who was not much close in initial months and who knew that one day I will marry the guy whom I had hardly noticed or spoken to in office. Yadnyesh. 🙂

The same thing happened when I joined Bosch. It was very difficult for me to leave conti which was like home away from home for me. Though I was not new to corporate world, I was feeling lonely without my friends. Bosch has been very unstable for me in the matter of friends (Informing before hand so dont complain if you come across lot of names). On the first day itself I was given seat beside my manager (who took my interview) and asked to install all the tools required for future use. My first Bosch friend was Sahith, who helped me whenever I had doubts about installation. For almost 1 week, I had only one friend in bosch. 😦 All the people in my team seemed to be very serious and I was getting bored. I used to go for lunch with Sahith and few of his other friends used to join us, Sarthak and Praveen. Sahith told me there are lot of north karnataka colleagues in our team, they are on leave, I will introduce you to them once they are back. After 2 weeks, he introduced me to Shweta, Vijaylakshmi (who were from NK) and Vandana (Lucknow). When I met them as usual i classified them as casual and best friends. My lunch group changed and I started going with my new friends. They introduced me to one more friend of them, Vibhay, whom I put into casual friend list immediately. Few months passed, and I made few more new friends in the team, Karthik, Mallan(also from NK) who were helping me in project tasks and were in my casual friends list. After a month, I was put into another team. But still I used hang out with my old friends group. Among everybody, Vibhay became my close friend which was again opposite of my perception.

After 2 months of my joining, a guy called Srinivas joined to our project, who used to ask a lot of doubts. I used to get irritated a lot and I had not put him in any of my friend list. I used to ignore him a lot and try to avoid his doubts but i was helpless as we were in the same team. Meanwhile, Vibhay put paper and he had to move to Chennai for his new job 😦 . Few weeks later, I made few new friends, Girish (through mallan), Akshay(who was my TL), Harish(I first spoke to this guy in sports room while playing carrom 😛 ).. Few months passed and our TL(Akshay) got engaged and his marriage was in Mysore. We all friends attended his marriage. By now, Srinivas was somewhat tolerable and I had put him in my casual friend list 😛 . There were few other colleagues from north karnataka, Ranjani, Amar Patil who became my friends after almost a year. It is natural that people from same place become friends soon and are more comfortable. Then slowly things got changed and as always unexpected happens, Harish, Mallan, became my best friends and I never imagined that this irritating guy Srinivas will become my very close friend. 🙂

I am sure everyone can relate their friendship story with mine in one or the other way. You all might be having such weird stories, which, when thought about gives nostalgia. To get a good laugh and bring back your old memories, go to your flashback and remember how your friend was once a stranger to you.  🙂

            

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Indian Driving

How many of you know driving? I guess almost about 80% of people know driving, whether it may be Cycle, Bike, Car, Truck, Bus or any other means of transport. Everybody enjoys riding/driving. But, how many of them drive properly by following the traffic rules? I guess there are very few. Don’t think that I am here to tell you about the traffic rules and how to follow them, because we have traffic police and RTO for that. So I won’t bore you with those stuffs, instead I am here to express my feelings/thoughts about Indian driving mentality.

I have no idea about the traffic or how people drive in other big cities like Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata etc but I have seen Bengaluru from past 10 years. The traffic here is increasing year by year like increase in the engineering graduates every year. People get really crazy while driving. They don’t know when they should stop, when to horn, whether it is one way or two way. Nothing matters to them. What matters is they are going somewhere and all the people on the road should give them way as if they are driving an ambulance. My main focus here is on 2-wheelers, Auto-rickshaw and private buses. Two-wheeler drivers just need a space of a walking man to pass through and auto drivers assume that they are driving a bicycle and they follow the path of two-wheelers. How small is the area doesn’t matter to them, what matters is they should go first compared to others no matter what. On the other side, there are these great private buses or tempo whatever you call them. I don’t have enough words to describe them. They seriously don’t care about people’s time and their ears 😮 . They stop their buses in the middle of the road without bothering about other vehicles. Please dont horn on them, because their drivers are deaf. One more advice is if you think of commuting in that bus then make sure you have extra 2hrs with you because they won’t move until their bus is full. And as I said the drivers are deaf, they assume their passengers are also deaf and play the TV at ultrasonic sound. Ya, that’s indian mentality and they will never change. Moving to our main topic.

So, why everybody wants to overtake everybody? Are they in any kind of race? I am sure everyone will be having their own work to do but why the urgency? What if something happens on the way? Do they don’t want that work to be done? In the evening, after the day off everybody will be heading to their respective home. But why hurry? Drive slowly to reach home safely. Is someone out there giving you medal if you reach your home in minimum time? If everybody drives properly then you can avoid the unnecessary traffic jam which will save more time as there will be some mannerism in everybody’s driving. Even though we are driving properly few people come out of nowhere and leave you behind. Which gold mine are these people going to dig with that speed? For few people traffic lights are just colours which they studied in school. For them red, yellow, green are meant for non-veg, eggitarian and veg items. Few people are so restless while driving, that they start using the most important part of the vehicle, no not brakes, it’s horn. They think horn is a multi-functional device which does both the function of sound and accelerator. When people can give you way with your continuous honking and accelerator, then why the hell brakes were inserted in vehicle? They just don’t know.  And the green signal in traffic lights is directly proportional to the horn in the vehicle. They just start blowing themselves off when they see green signal. Driver has nothing to do with this, it is automatic. Why to make the irritating sound unnecessarily people? Nobody is interested to stay at signal once the signal is green. Everybody is busy in their work. 5-10sec of patience won’t harm you. Horns are provided to use only when necessary and not to use them as substitute for everything. Now, do you have any idea whether Indians know the meaning of one way and two way? I think our India is educated enough to differentiate between them. By going in the wrong way you are creating trouble to others who are in correct direction and causing unnecessary traffic. You take short cut to save time, but because of you, people who follow traffic rules lose their time.

Few reasons for such driving according to my analysis are that people might be late for whatever work they are going for or few may be doing it for stunt or show-off purpose. For such filmy guys I don’t have anything to say except “Please don’t do such things” because that understanding should come from within and cannot be forced into mind. For them, bad experiences will be their teacher. But for the people who drive fast in order to cover the delayed time I want to give some advice. I understand that sometimes people get late and they need to hurry and when they use this as an excuse, they hear a very familiar sentence  “Why didn’t you leave early or Try to leave early next time”. But practically, being a human being it is impossible to do everything at defined time on daily basis. So my point is, nothing is more important than your life, so whatever important work that might be, never ever rush or hurry. If you are late, utmost what might happen? You may lose a job, or miss a flight/train/bus, or lose huge amount of money, or have a breakup, but still you will be having your life with you. If you hurry and something bad happens, then it is as equal as losing the job, missing flight, losing money and permanent breakup. I am not being negative here, but life is full of surprises and is  unpredictable so you never know what is there in your destiny. Always safety comes first, then comes the other things. 

I am uncertain regarding the improvement of our country with reference to traffic and driving, but at least I expect from the people who are reading this blog to comprehend and try to follow the things which I mentioned. Following proper traffic rules will just take extra 5-10mins of your time but it will be worth it for your own good as well as for the country’s betterment. Change is within us. Let us be a part of change of future India. Thank you for reading. 🙂

Bengaluru to Frankfurt

I was nervous, excited, tempted and getting butterflies in my stomach as the time to take off to germany was nearing. All the boarding processes were finished by 8:30 PM. I was roaming inside the airport to kill the time and calling closed ones to say goodbye for two months. And to show off I had to put facebook status that I am travelling to germany and I am very excited and bla bla. Then at 9:10 PM there was an announcement that boarding gate for my flight was open. So, finally I was going to board the flight alone for the 1st time. I entered the plane, searched my seat (window seat 🙂 ) and got settled. At 10:10 PM, I watched outside my window to get a beautiful night view of bengaluru as the plane took off.

I had a connecting flight from Abu Dhabi at 2 AM (Indian time- 4:30 AM). The plane landed in Abu Dhabi at 12:40 AM (Indian time – 3:10 AM). I hurried through the transfers and finished the security check and waited at my gate to board my next flight. It was around 1:10 AM. Meanwhile, I connected to wifi and started checking my facebook notifications :P. Then a call was made to board the flight to Frankfurt. I got into the plane and again sat in my window seat. (I love window seat 🙂 ). I was feeling very sleepy, when a girl came and sat next to me. I think she was German or french, I am not sure. She was accompanied by her male friend who sat in the next row where there will be three seats. After few minutes of settling, she requested me whether I can exchange seats with her friend so that they can sit together. I thought for half a min, giving away my fav window seat and sitting in the middle…hmm…then I thought, if i was in her place and if someone had done that for me I would be so thankful to them. Seeing me thinking, she added, “Only if you don’t mind”. Then I said “Ok, no problem”. Her friend thanked me saying “Its so nice of you, thank you very much.”. I went and sat next to an old couple, who, I can say for sure were Germans, and were smiling at me for exchanging the seats. I gave a smile back and sat in my boring seat. The plane took off at 2 AM and this time I couldn’t get the beautiful view of Abu Dhabi. I watched some telugu movie (don’t remember the name.) then I slept off. I landed into Deutschland at 7’o clock in the morning 🙂

I was super excited to be in the country once I had dreamt of. I wanted to go outside airport as soon as possible and see how Germany looks in real after hearing from so many people. I connected to airport wifi, and msged my husband that I have reached. Once the immigration and baggage collection was done, I finally stepped out of the airport and stood there for a moment to feel the cold air. I was tired from the journey of almost 13hrs. There were some 4 to 5 taxis standing in a row in front of me, I went to the taxi which was straight in front of me. I went to the driver and showed him the address which my husband had sent in whatsapp. With the expression on his face I could make out that he was unsure of the place. He did not answer and went and opened the trunk of the car. I was unsure of the response whether it was yes or no. So I stood there for a min and again asked him “Are you coming?”. He just nodded and I took my bag near to car and he helped me in putting the bag inside the trunk. I had heard that, in abroad even taxi drivers use high end cars. I was in a hurry so forgot to see in which high end car I am going to sit. The car was moving fast and smoothly as the roads were very nice and was feeling weird by seeing less traffic 😉 . I was enjoying the ride by looking outside the window when I remembered that the driver was a bit confused about the address. So I asked him again, whether he knows the address exactly. He told me to show it once again. This time I showed him the letter from the hotel. Then he seemed to be okay. After about 15mins of riding, I saw my husband standing near a corner of the road, he seemed a bit tensed. I was delighted to see him after a month. I waved him through the window. Then the driver gave a halt in front of the hotel and my husband came running behind the car. I gave the taxi fare and said thank you to driver and got down. First thing I did after getting down the car was seeing in which car I came. 😛 . It was Mercedes-Benz. 😀 . I felt royal after knowing that 😛 . Then we headed towards hotel room.

I had expected the room to be like the ones which they showon TV or movies. Reality struck me when I entered the room. When the doors were opened, I entered directly into the kitchen and opposite to it was bathroom, and attached to the bathroom wall outside, there was a big mirror. As I passed by, I checked myself in the mirror, which is obviously human nature 😛 . I was looking terrible. Then I entered inside the hall/bedroom/room (whatever you call it) which was quite big. There were around 3 big cupboards on the left side and double bed on the right side. Straight in front of me was a big window, almost equal to one side of wall, near to window there were 2 plastic chairs and 2 sofa type chairs and a round table. At the right corner of the room was a study/computer table which was quite big. A CRT TV was placed next to the study table. It was 9 AM, and I was so exhausted and desperately needed some sleep. Once I settled down and got familiar with the room, my husband left for office. I needed some sleep more than food. So, once he was gone, I took a warm shower and jumped onto bed and immediately went to deep sleep. I was woken up by hunger at 3 PM 🙂  

Maggi – Mood spoiler

I had heard a lot about Germany/Europe from my friends, colleagues, relatives etc. I had in my mind that when I am around 40 yrs I will go on Europe tour but I never expected that I will go to Germany so soon. After a lot of struggling I got my visa to go to Germany. (yay!!). My flight was on Sunday, Apr 2nd, 2017 at 9:40pm. I had got a small list from my husband to carry few things for him, who was already in Germany. He had given very small list because the Ethihad Airways had a baggage limit of only 23kgs (too less 😦 ).

There was no weighing machine in our house. My brother enquired about it near our house at paper selling store. They said they have weighing machine and they will weigh for us. We had enquired about it on the day of leaving and the guy did not show up till 5pm. It was getting late for us, so me and my brother weighed it by lifting the bag with hand and approximately calculated that it won’t be more than 23kgs . I had just packed only the important things. My husband wanted me to bring lot of maggi packets, but as I was unaware of my bag weight I did not take any extra items along with me. We took a cab and arrived to airport at 6:30pm. There was a weighing machine outside the airport and we weighed my bag there. To our surprise, the weight of my bag was just 19kgs!! This made me very upset as I could have brought so many other things and esp maggi packets which was item no. 1 in my husband’s list. I was thinking why dint we enquire about the weighing machine 2 or 1 day before. I was regretting so much and I informed my husband about this and he also became upset, as this was the only chance for him to get what he wants from India. All my excitment to go to germany was gone. It was 6:40pm and my reporting time was 7:40pm. I was desparetly searching for some shops in or near by airport if we get maggi packets. If not anything from the list, atleast we can get maggi packets. Seeing me in tension, my brother asked shall I go and bring from any nearby store outside the airport area? It was impossible to go out, search shops and come back in one hour. We searched in google for nearby stores and the nearest shop was in sadahalli gate which was approx 7 KM from airport. But going in this evening traffic and coming back was highly impossible. As we were running out of time, hastily we took the decision and my brother booked a cab and left in hurry to sadahalli gate.

I was sitting there alone in tension worrying about whether my bro will reach on time or not. Then at around 7’o clock I got call from my brother. I was so happy that finally we made it and he is on his way back. But, he said that there is too much of traffic and his cab has not even crossed the airport area and it is not possible to reach and come back by 7: 40pm. He also told that it doesnt make any sense to come back to airport as it will simply cost cab charges and also it was one way, so to come back to airport by taking U- turn, it will be around 7:30pm. So we will get only 10mins to meet. So he decided to continue the same ride to home and that was the only sensible thing to do. So he said goodbye in phone itself and it was like literally of no use of him coming till airport as he couldnt spend even 5min properly with me.

Then there I was, standing alone in airport with nobody on my side to say me goodbye while I board flight alone for the first time. I was very sad and was cursing myself so much that why dint I weigh the bag before itself or why dint I just bring the things what I needed. That was a very foolish decision to let go my brother to get maggi packets. I was regretting so much for my stupidity. All my excitement to go to germany was gone. There is a saying which goes as “Whatever happens, happens for a good reason “. I dont know for what good reason did this incident happen but I will never forget this incident in my life. With a heavy heart I entered inside airport to check-in at 7: 40pm.

At last I want to say one thing : Take whatever and how much ever you want along with you while travelling by plane but make sure you have someone with you to give back few stuffs if it is exceeding the baggage limit or in simple words always weigh your bag before leaving to airport . 🙂 I know it is a very basic thing which everybody knows but this is an example of what may happen if you dont weigh. 😛

P.S. – From here my solo journey to Germany began which i will update in my next blog.

Why Blogging?

Dear readers, as you continue reading this blog you will know that this is my first blog ever. So I may be bad in this but gradually I will cope up as its never late to learn anything. So Why am I blogging? Even I am wondering the same 😛 . Truly speaking I never imagined that I will be doing ‘this’ at some point of time in my life. So let me tell you the story.

My brother, has his own blogging page since past 7 years. From childhood, I have always admired him of his intelligence, his cleverness and innovative thinking (no jealousy there, I mean it.). So for me, him writing a blog was just normal because he is intelligent, he can do anything. Blogging is only for clever people like him. And I was a little less bright student from beginning, so I never thought of doing such a brainy thing. Then why now? Let me tell you.

Whenever I used to hear somebody saying, “Hey, this is my new blog, please do read it” or “I have started to write blogs” I used to think, how the heck do these people get time to think so much or from where do they get the blogging contents or the ideas. Its like 6 out of 10 are into blogging. This is supposed to be intelligent people’s thing. :-o.

So, I am in a train going to Paris with my husband and he tells me “I have always thought of blogging about my travel experience, wish I had done that 😦 Even my sister loves to write.” (Oh no, everybody around me wants to write). My husband is a lover of solo travelling and he wants to travel the whole world. So he dint had time to do what he loves. That struck in my mind. Why I cannot write? Here I am sitting in Germany taking a break from my professional life doing nothing. This is a very precious time, not everybody gets this much of time for free. Utilize it. It is all yours. Oh! Hold on, this is supposed to be for bright students, not me. What will I write? How to start? Who will help me? Then I thought, Why cant I write one? I am no more the dull student I used to be. I have the capability to do whatever I want to do. I have enormous time to think and do research.

So the day I came back from Paris, I started to read all about blogging, how to start, what to do and read my brother’s blogs. So, it was easy, anyone can do it. Pick a topic you are more familiar about and start putting your views about it into sentences. And that is how I am writing my first blog ever which is now almost finished. And I have lot of topics in my mind to write about. So let me put those into your minds too.

I don’t know if you enjoyed reading my story on why I started blogging, but if you are reading this very sentence then am sure you wanted to know the reason of my blog title 😉

Thank you for your precious time. Liked it or not let me know with your comments 🙂