A Tale of Two Monkeys

I don’t know what’s with monkeys and me these days. They seem to be displaying this special affinity towards me all of a sudden. Two incidents within a span of two weeks is a bit too much for me to take.

A couple of weeks back, I had invited a few colleagues for dinner at my place. While N and I were cooking in the kitchen, I suddenly saw a monkey standing right at the door of the kitchen. We were trapped in the kitchen, with no exit route. With no prior experience at handling monkeys, I was completely psyched off. N, on the other hand, had encountered monkeys entering his office and trying to steal things. He started making some loud sounds with a pan and ladle, and managed to drive the monkey off. On the way out, the monkey managed to spoil the cucumber that we had grated for raita, and made a mess in the entire dining room.

Last week, while we were on vacation in Bali, we visited the Uluwatu temple. The temple is very beautiful, on top of a cliff right next to the ocean. There were tons of monkeys around there. We were quite careful to secure our belongings. However, the monkeys were smarter than us. Just as my attention got diverted while watching one of the tourists feed some nuts to a monkey, another monkey sneaked up behind me and snatched off my eye-glasses. Thankfully it did not scratch my eyes or face. The bananas and nuts that we offered to the monkey were not enough for it to give the glasses back to us. It just ran off down the cliff into the trees. I was left vision-less for the rest of the day, and am down to wearing contact lenses for a week now.

The positive side of the whole thing is that now I am all set for the next monkey onslaught!

Adoption by Same-Sex Couples

This weekend I landed on youtube after a very long time. The first video that I immediately felt like watching was one that I had seen quite a long time back. It’s a wonderful video that just stays on in your heart.

In the video, the adopted son of a gay couple sings this song about how proud he is of his parents, and about the love and care that they shower on him. He sings to an audience of a bunch of school kids. The song is really beautiful. And the response from the kids is amazing.

Watch the video at: Kinderen voor Kinderen song

Not surprisingly, this video is from the Netherlands. Currently adoption of children by same-sex couples is legal in less than 15 countries, the Netherlands being one of them. I very much am in support of legalizing it, and I really wish more countries were in favor as well.

Martin Luther King: I Have A Dream

I had written this post on Martin Luther King day, but never got around to posting it. Although the blog was supposed to be specific to India move/experiences, it was too difficult to resist putting up this post. So here goes.

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Every time I hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, it cuts straight through the heart. If this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, I doubt anything else will…

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

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Return to India…

I’ll start off this blog by quoting what I had typed up about about 4 months back (8th Sept, to be precise), on the way from San Francisco to Chennai via Singapore…

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The decision has been made. And the time to act on the decision has finally arrived. N and I are moving to India- for good. This is after 8 and 9 years of stay in the US for N and I respectively.

I am sure that the “reverse adjustment” is going to be a challenging one, even more so than the challenges when we moved to the US. Time will tell whether we are able to make the adjustments fine enough.

Over the last few months, I have had numerous conversations with friends who have been toying with the idea of moving back to India. Some have reached a conclusion, and others have not. A few of them suggested that I write my experiences down in a blog; that’s the reason this blog exists.

The point of this blog is to pen down a few of my thoughts and experiences as N and I make the move to India. These are just personal experiences/opinions that my friends have asked me to share on a blog. These are not meant to serve as anything more than an example of the kinds of things one might need to think about when making the move to India.

I owe a lot of these tips to three friends of mine who moved to India 1-3 years before I did. Two of them- V and D, a couple that I knew from my grad school in the US- moved three years back to Hyderabad. V has a blog that I gleaned some of the pointers below from. Another friend, M, whom I have known since my high school/junior college, moved about a year back to Bombay (Thane). He had also given us some suggestions on email and phone, that I am adding to this blog. A few other experiences, that I have heard from other friends that have moved to Madras, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc, will also appear once in a while.

Whether the decision to move back is the right one or not- only time will tell. I believe that all decisions are always for the good. They either turn out to be the right ones, or they turn out to be not-so-good ones, that just make you stronger by teaching you to face some realities in life. We shall see!

The bottomline is, I am very much looking forward to my move to India. India, here I come!
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I have put in the above note verbatim, without editing a single word. Those were words written on a very important flight in my life, hence they shall stay un-edited!

However, on further thought, I would like to mention that apart from the moving to India topic, I would also like to write about my different experiences in India in general, especially after having gotten used to life in the US. A colleague of mine from the US has been asking me to write such posts, and so it shall be.

In summary, here are some accounts of my journey back in India.