My Beautiful Bride

23rd May 2013 is one of the landmark day in my life, the day I got married to the most beautiful bride, Shruti Anand Bagalwadi. I always dreamt of marrying the prettiest bride, as most men would dream. I wanted everything to be perfect on this day. Right from the day we both got engaged, the preparation for this special day had been going on. But on the day when my dream was turning into a reality, I just could not believe my own eyes.

I would like to continue this post by going a little back in time.

Shruti and I got engaged on 6th Jan 2013, just 4 days after we met for the first time. All I remember is saying yes after our first meet and since then there has been no looking back. It’s been 8 months since I’ve known Shruti and almost 3 months since our marriage, but it feels like just yesterday that I met her for the first time.

When I think about the day we got engaged, everything seemed magical. I was getting engaged to this lady in front of me, who was everything and more than what I had asked for. She was beautiful, pretty, caring, simple, adaptable, matured and much more. Unfortunately, I was leaving to Germany the very next day. So I just wanted to spend rest of my time with her, talking to her, getting to know her, just being with her. We decided to meet in a coffee shop later in the evening. It was still a weird feeling, the thought of being engaged was not just sinking in 😀 I reached there a bit early and was waiting for her. When she arrived I was dumbstruck, didn’t know what to talk about. She got me beautiful gift, a watch, with a small note and I quote “I hope this time between us shall pass soon!!!”. Reading that made me very happy and sad at the same time. Happy because now there was a person in my life who would care for me more than a friend and liked me for who I’m, and sad because I was flying so far leaving this wonderful person behind. After our meeting we went together to one my close friend’s wedding and there she met all my other ‘chuddy-buddies’. From there I dropped her home, during which we had a nice long conversation. It was very hard to leave her knowing that I’ll not be seeing her personally for next 5 months. Somehow with a simple smile we were able to say it all.

The next day at the airport, after my parents saw me off, I called her to tell her that its very hard leaving her behind. She just said one simple thing… “Think about it this way, the next time you will be at the airport, you will not be alone, I’ll be with you” and I held on to that thought till I saw her next 🙂

After landing in Germany, I got busy with my work and things went on as usual. Thanks to Skype, we were able to talk and see each other and got to know each other better day by day. The time was actually running and the big day was getting closer. I was planning on surprising her by landing in Bangalore 2 days in advance. I wanted formally propose to her by going down on one knee, at her favorite spot – her terrace, lit up with candles, roses spread on the floor, in front of her family. And it did happened exactly the way I had planned it. The look on her face on that day was simply adorable and was worth all the wait 🙂

And then 6 days later the day had finally arrived. We had a small ceremony on the day previous of our wedding at the convention hall. My family and I, along with all the relatives left for the convention hall at around 4 pm. I was pretty excited about my wedding and was totally looking forward to the changes it would bring along. At the same time I was quite nervous about the whole marriage thing. It is a big deal going from a Bachelor to a Husband. As we reached the convention hall, we were welcomed by my in-laws with a garland and a tilak on our forehead.

Welcoming from Father-in-law

Welcoming from Father-in-law

At this moment I thought Shruti would come running to greet me… just kidding ;). But on a serious note, I did expect to see her. After all the welcoming formalities, we were invited to have snacks and get ready for the rituals. Instead, I stood there wondering if I could get a glance of my fiancé. One of my sisters saw me standing near the dias and asked me to join her for snacks. I told her that Shruti would be walking across the stage now and I would like to get a glimpse her before eating. She got excited and replied and I quote “Then we will wait together, you should never miss a chance like this.” We both sat on the chair, waiting, hoping that we get a look at MY beautiful bride (lets keep this part between us ;)…). Well, the effort was well rewarded when my eyes caught sight of Shruti in her orange saree looking absolutely stunning. That was when I first thought to myself… “wow… I’m marrying the most beautiful bride :)”.

After we were done with snacks, there was still time for the ceremonies to begin and I was looking for an opportunity to see and talk to Shruti. To get to her I had to first bribe two of her bridesmaids (my sister-in-laws a.k.a Saalis), then convince her parents that I would be quick and would not disturb her :D. After all that I got 5 minutes to sit with her and have a casual chat. Quite a paradoxical situation considering I was marrying her.

Post the ceremonies, it was dinner time and we (Shruti and I) were planning to go together for dinner. She was sitting there surrounded by a few of her relatives, waiting for me to join her for dinner. I went to her and she was still not in the mood to get up and go for dinner. So I asked her if I should carry her to the dinning hall. At first she nodded her head in agreement and when I went close to her she shied away. And then as we were about to get down the stairs, we stopped again waiting for Shruti’s friends. Somehow I felt she wanted me to ask her again to carry her. So, I asked if I may carry her in my arms, down to the dinning hall. This time, along with saying yes, jokingly, she made the mistake of turning around making it easy to lift her. I don’t know what I was thinking then and to her surprise I literally swept her off her feet, taking her in my arms and walking all the way down to the dinning table.

In my arms!!

In my arms!!

All the people around were as shocked, as was Shruti, and they started clapping and whistling and the people eating dinner started wondering what was happening. It was one of those moments that both of us would cherish for life 🙂 We ended the day with a nice long chat after our dinner and looking forward to our big day!

The big day was here… it was 23rd May 2013… the wedding day… I was getting married to this most beautiful bride I’ve known. By the time ceremonies were over and before realizing what was actually happening, the day had come to an end and we were married!

Gatti Mela (Tying of Mangalsutra to the Bride)

Gatti Mela (Tying of Mangalsutra to the Bride)

I started this post after 3 months of our wedding and am finishing it after 5 months of our wedding. I must admit that during this time my love for my wife has only grown exponentially. This post is for you Shruti, my beautiful bride.

I love you!

India after 2.5 years!

Actually I should have written this post 3 months back, but it’s never late to share the thoughts. It was in the month of February, when I was attending lots of job interviews. And it was the same month that I got confirmed for job from couple of companies and I planned to visit my “Homeland”. It had been nearly 2.5 years since I left my home in India to pursue my Studies in Germany. So, I was totally excited to meet my parents, brother, friends and enjoy all tasty Indian food. The other thing I missed apart from family and friends would be food ;). And the best part of visiting home was that I had my Master’s degree and a job in my hand. The only thing that was missing at that point of time was money :D.

Anyway, I will skip all the minute details and take you guys directly to my experience in India after such a long time. Let me start with my journey from Bangalore International Airport to my home. My parents and a close friend of mine were there at the airport to pick me up. We went to the vehicle and decided that we will straight away go to a restaurant, as I desperately wanted to eat a Masala Dosa (one of my favorite Indian food).

Masala Dosa

It took us 30 mins to come out of airport parking lot. I thought to myself… “Welcome to India!” After that we hit the road. The last thing I remembered was my travel to the airport from my home and trust me it was good when compared to the normal city traffic. And I was shocked to see how they had dug the entire road for some reconstruction. The first question I asked my friend was “why people are driving like this?” (LOL!) This was completely unexpected of me. My friend just replied back asking “you went from here to Germany right…?” What I actually meant from my question was why don’t people follow traffic rules and lane discipline. People drive really reckless in India. And when I say it includes me too but before coming to Germany.

Continuing with the same topic, I once had had to drop my mom and aunt in the car. I had been long time since I drove especially in India. I also got my license done in Germany (by the way its not as simple as in US and I had to shell out nearly 1000 Euros for it… sounds crazy right?) and had driven on couple of occasions. So, I start from my house, at the end of the road it connects to a main road. I stop there for the traffic to clear so that I can cross the road. After 2-3 mins my aunt from back tells me “maga.. idu Germany alla. Ninage yaaru nilsalla illi.. nugtairbeku” (Son… this is not Germany, no one gonna wait for you.. keep driving :D). After she said I was like how shall I do that? Suddenly it felt like I don’t belong here any more. While we are on this topic, another day, I wanted to cross a road. First, I searched for the traffic lights to check for green signal for pedestrians, which I didn’t find. Anyway, I am standing there along with few other people who also wanted to cross the road. The only difference was that I’m still standing there after 5 mins, whereas others didn’t even bother to wait. What I want to point out here is not the mentality of other people, rather how my mentality was changed after being away from home so long. I was actually afraid to cross the road. I was thinking if I may feel like this, then what would the foreign visitors might feel? And no matter how hard you try its next to impossible to drive in lane in India. I, myself tried and failed miserably. If you want to reach the destination safely in time, then you have to follow the Indian traffic. There is absolutely no escape from that :P. Never the less, I was back to normal in couple of days ;).

Another incidence was kind of funny which was in RTO office. I wanted to get a duplicate license, so I went to RTO office. There is this “Help Desk” at the entrance, so I went there to ask for the information. As I saw a person already in conversation with the officer, I waited for my turn. He was not yet finished, and there came another guy asking for something. I got annoyed but still waited for my turn patiently. The officer was about to finish with the first person; there came another one to ask something. It was very pissing off. Though I was standing right in front of the desk, even the officer didn’t bother to ask me what I want. This continued for some time. I thought if I stand like this then I would be here all day. So, finally didn’t bother for anyone to finish, I threw my question and got the answer in 2 mins :).

Of course the system has to change. But more than system, it’s the people’s thinking that has to change!

Leaving all these annoying yet funny moments, I also had my memorable time. Spending lot of time at home, having home food. Though I had promised my parents that I would cook for them, I was in no mood to cook. My first visit to ‘Food Street’ during my stay in Bangalore was one among them. It was a Bliss to eat so many tasty food at one place.

Pav Bhaji

Sev Puri

Those hangouts with friends, watching movies, drinking together, still playing fifa 2008. And last but not least, the usual visits to temple. I might say every time that it’s boring to go to temples but it’s also true that one feels a weird kind of calmness.

Hanumantha Swamy on a Chariot

Looking forward to my next visit and this time it would even more exiting for other reasons. Stay tuned.. 😛

Happy Independence Day – INDIA

Jai Hind!

Wishing all my readers and every individual of my country a “Happy Independence Day”.

Before I start writing any further, let me tell you that I have never felt so strong till now for my country. Suddenly, there are these emotions and feelings that are running through me, that I do not want to let this energy go waste. I have a lot on my mind to share on this day and I want to communicate across as clear as possible. And this post is just a start in this direction. I dedicate this post to all the people who have devoted and sacrificed their lives for this country.

I believe, and you guys also agree with me, since independence our country has achieved numerous things in all areas and I feel proud of those. But, today my writing is more about, why our country is still a developing country after 64 years of independence. I think it’s a question that all youth of this country should ask oneself. Recently, I have read and known so much about what is happening in my country, that I feel it’s high time that the youth of this country come together and do something about it. I want to go through one of the movement that is happening presently and share what I feel about them.

This movement has inspired me and has provoked me to do something for my country. It is called “Jan Lokpal Bill” started by Anna Hazare. From past few weeks, I have been following it very closely and I have to admit, it’s quiet a step against corruption. As we all are aware of Jan Lokpal Bill, which talks about creating an independent organization consisting of highly qualified people having integrity and commitment, as the members of the committee headed by a chairperson. This Bill also says that all Bureaucrats, Judiciary, Private Organizations and Government employees including the Prime Minister of the country will come under scan by this committee, if they are found guilty of corruption. It’s natural for the politicians, to firmly oppose this, as our Country’s politics has deeply rooted with corruption. Since this committee, which is proposed in the Bill has the power to investigate and also to prosecute if found guilty, without any intervention from the Government. So it is obvious for the Ministers to feel threatened and they speculate the Bill as a more Anti-Democratic than Anti-Corruption one. This point cannot be overlooked, as our country is known to be the biggest democratic country. I believe the claim is not completely irrational and the Bill may have to be revised to ensure that Democracy of this country is not disturbed. According to me, whatever the argument may be from the Government, never the less there is an immediate requirement for a strong check on the corruption, which is eating all our money to satisfy few greedy politicians.

In response to the “Jan Lokpal Bill”, Government has also drafted their own version of Lokpal Bill and it is so clear the proposed Bill by them, have no intension of fighting corruption. Their draft also excludes the Prime Minister and Ministers of both Houses. There are so many black spots in the draft, that it is just a waste of time to even discuss about it.

I somewhere read that the “Jan Lokpal Bill” was first drafted 42 years back and since then it has been an open bill in the Parliament. I simply fail to understand what is taking for the Government to take their decision. What we have, is the present moment and who knows what happens tomorrow. There is no point in waiting for anything any longer. This has to change, and has to happen right now. I strongly feel that the citizens of India should take this situation very seriously and see that this Bill gets passed. I know this will not entirely solve our corruption problem but atleast a step taken to do so. The Jan Lokpal Bill represents the voice of the people and the Government just cannot neglect it. If they do, then we have to protest the election itself. I mean, what is the point in electing the politicians, who do not listen to common people?

Almost from past 2 years, I’m living in Germany, pursuing my studies and have never felt so “Indian” before!!! Especially after seeing the people here and the authorities, how they function, how responsible most of the people are and so on, I started to think why cannot we have all these in India. I’m not claiming that the people and authorities here are perfect. All I’m trying to convey is, a little discipline in what we do will bring a lot more than what we have now. Being a part of my country’s youth, I want to be more responsible and do something for my country, be it in fighting against corruption, or providing eduction to the poor or anything else. In this direction, I and few friends here are meeting on the Independence day and we are writing a letter to Anna Hazare showing our support for the anti-corruption movement. This is only the beginning of what has to come and I promise more to follow in the coming days.

I may be 26 years late to realize, but never the less, I felt it now and I will be responsible and act accordingly from now on.
“Jaago India Jaago”

From India to Germany

Doing Masters in Germany was not a planned one but was a dream come true. Since the time I took Mechanical in my Bachelor’s, heard a lot about Germany and its excellence in the field of mechanical engineering. Even today most of the machine tools in India are imported from Germany. The technology in Germany is so advanced that, the small-scale industries in India invest in the machines that were used by the Germans 10 years back. And through this blog I want to highlight few of these simple technologies and practices that would make our life easier.

Let me start with the Bus. Believe me, in Germany if it says 10:21 (I mean time), it means 10:21, not a minute before and not a minute later. Every Bus is given a schedule and they are supposed to reach a particular Bushaltestelle (Bus stop) at that time and for my surprise they follow it precisely. At the maximum, a Bus will be 2 minutes late. So, if you want to catch any Bus all that you need to do is check the schedule online and make sure you are at the Haltestelle 1 minute before. Coming to inside of the Buses. Every Bus is equipped with a screen that shows up the name of the current and the next Haltestelle. And there are number of ‘Stop’ buttons provided in the Bus, which needs to be pressed if you want the Bus to stop at a particular Haltestelle. So, it becomes very important to know your stop and to press the button, which was bit of a problem to me for initial few days. And regarding safety, I must mention this, all Buses do not move until their doors are fully closed and it does not matter how crowded the Bus is. In India, if see any car from Mercedes, we will be like ‘wooow’ and ‘OMG!!!’ and so on but here even Buses are from ‘Mercedes’ and they are so well designed. When I visited Berlin, I was shocked to see the connectivity that was available to go to any place. There were plenty of options like S-Bahn (Stadtschnellbahn – Urban rapid railways), U-Bahn (Unterbahn – Undergrond railways), Straßebahn (Trams) and of-course Buses also. The planning that would have gone into all these would be simply brilliant.

U-bahn in Berlin

Trams in Berlin

Moving to next one let me see what I have… it would be printing of photos. It had never been so easy before. Though now a days we get the film printed in an hour, we can still do better. Like here, there are automated machines that are available in some shops. One might ask what so special about these. And my answer to that would go like this. Firstly the options you have to print the photos from. You can use a pen drive or a CD or a camera’s memory stick or even scan a photo and print it again. You get to choose the size of the photo from normal postcard to an A4 poster size. And one also gets an option to make a calendar or a post card or a collage and many others out of the selected snaps. And I think this is very efficient as it is fast, flexible and effective.

One another important thing, which I want to tell you guys, is about the garbage separation and people’s concern towards having a clean and healthy environment. It surprises me how people follow them so strictly. Here, all ‘Müll’ (garbage) is divided into recyclables (Gelbmüll – yellow garbage), papers, glasses (again divided them based on the color) and others (Greymüll – gray garbage like vegetables, fruits, etc). And plastics are treated like rare element, I mean in terms of usage. If you buy any drinks in a plastic bottle or for that matter in a glass bottle, you will charged a minimal amount called as ‘Pfand’ (deposit amount) which we will get only after putting these bottles in their respective recycle machines. We need to pay even for the plastic covers in the super market. That’s how serious people here are.

Garbage separation

These are some of the things that I really liked here. I really wish that each one of us in India start taking responsibilities and start to incorporate this level of integrity and discipline in their lifestyle then, the day is not all that far where we would be telling ‘Developed India’. ☺