8 things I am grateful for (more so than you think I would be!)

1.   For auto-rickshaw drivers who, without any argument, turn on the meter when you get into the auto.

This is a pet-peeve of mine.  In Bangalore, the meter is supposed to be started (cranked) when you get into the auto, however, most often you find yourself negotiating a price with the driver before getting in.   This wouldn’t be so bad if they charged a fair price.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  So as a goodwill gesture, I make it a point to drop a few extra rupees into my fare every time a driver starts the meter without trying to demand anything (this does happen!).

This is a good auto!

2.  A perfectly crafted Masala Dosa

When I arrive in India, I almost always make it a point to have a masala dosa (crispy rice crepe served with coconut chutney and sambhar) for my first meal.  Similarly, my last meal before I board the plane back to the US, is also a masala dosa.   India’s national dish, when prepared correctly, has few competitors that can match it for sheer brilliance and sumptuous taste.

'nuff said!

3.  Finding parking right near where you need to go

Having a motorcycle is wonderful!  However, finding parking in a city of over 9 million people can be a challenge (as any city-dweller will tell you).   Needless to say, when I park the Thunderbird, I am always happy to exhale a huge sigh of relief!

Case and Point


4.  A cell phone that has balance

When Indians talk about a phone that has balance, they are not referring to the center of gravity on their latest smart phones.  They are usually referring to the amount of money (currency) left on the account.  Most use a “pre-pay” system that lets you use the phone for phone calls/text/web/etc., and much like the auto-rickshaw keeps track of how much you are spending.  When your balance hits “0”, your phone stops working.  Not fun in a crunch!

There is a healthy balance!

5.  Chilled fresh lime soda on a hot day

If you come to India, you will quickly realize that you will require various ways to “cool off” and inevitably, you’ll be led to the wonderful glass of fresh lime soda that will not only refresh you, but will restore your coolness quotient!

6.  Empty tree lined roads

I long for these because they bring back childhood memories of life in Bangalore.  This hub for information-technology and the fashion industry was once a sleepy pensioner’s paradise.   As the concrete jungle grew, the tree lines receded.   So when I hit a stretch of road that is covered by green foliage, it makes my heart glad.

7.  Two way streets

As mentioned above, Bangalore is no longer the sleepy little city of India.  This burgeoning metro continues to grow so fast that it’s infrastructure has struggled to keep up.  As a result, to combat the increased traffic, most of the streets have now been turned into one-way streets.   Not only does this make life more confusing, but it really makes two-way streets seem like an oasis!

8. Sandals and linen pants in February…  

My people in the mid-western part of the USA can appreciate what this means.   I have always been built to handle heat…  the cold weather is not for me!

I am sure I’ll think of more in the days to come…  enjoy your day!


8 thoughts on “8 things I am grateful for (more so than you think I would be!)

  1. JP,
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful sites, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes! I love the accompanying images and your beautiful text! My favorite is the masala dosa, although I’ve never had the experience of having one. I know I would like it! Second favorite today is #8, as a mid-westerner on a snow day from work, I can appreciate sandals in February!

    Blessings to all the Sundararajans!
    Denise (and Keith, who is reading with me!)

  2. Hi guys!
    This was so fun to read! Also, I thought Katy was writing it and was a bit surprised when I got to “when I park the Thunderbird”. It took me a second to realize JP was the author this time. Although, I really liked that image at first. 🙂
    Miss you guys!!
    Love, Lor

  3. Bangalore has changed on you hasn’t she? I smiled right through. You’ve done a creative job of capturing your encounters with Bangalore as she is today. Here’s to more treelined empty roads, safer parking, honest auto rickshaw drivers, masala dosas, fresh lime sodas, a healthy balance and to restoring cool quotients especially for little itty bitty ones!! It’s great seeing you being husband and daddy like this in the midst of transition. I’m so proud of you!!

  4. I loved reading this and love even more the photos. You and Katy capture India life so well to share with us at a distance. It brings back good memories for me. Can’t wait to see the Morgan couple with you. How about those dreadful raisins?!

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