Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friday Update....

Dateline: Hyderabad -  It seems like it must be time for another update.  So much is going on, I'll try to stick to only the highlights.  Despite the fact that she is working like a madwoman every day, I think the biggest thing going on right now is that Amy Suzanne and I are continuing to do our nightly yoga.  This is amazing, especially to me!!  I can hardly believe how addicting it can be.  I rembemer that back in 2007, I purchased an introductory three-lesson package from The Yoga House in Pasadena.  They are supposedly quite good for beginners and more the advanced yogis as wellI only went to the first was very frustrating for me.  I could hardly do any of the asanas (poses) and it was much, much harder than it looked!  I never went back.  Now I realize that a person has to be ready to adopt yoga as a part of your lifestyle.  It took our coming all the way to India for me to GET ready...but I thank God for that!  I continue to eat as healthily as I can.  I have shed 46-pounds since we left Pasadena.  In the local vernacular, that's 21.0 Kg.  Needless to say I'm pretty jazzed and feeling really good!!

Except yesterday.  Hoo boy!  I've been experimenting with a vegetarian diet.  Just to see what I felt like.  It was pretty first.  I'm going to bounce back from yesterday, I can feel it already. M-W this week I was eating no meat, (which was actually suggestion from Neeraj (the yoga man).  I was shying-away from drinking my protein shakes for some stupid reason (they are milk-based and I had cut out dairy, too!) ...and - I worked out yesterday in the late morning. I was kinda hyper all afternoon. Not the good "energy level" sort of "hyper - but the jumpy and a little irritable kind. I took no nap because of that... and then Neeraj was over an hour and a half late coming in from Madhapur (the roads here can close for 20-minutes-or-more at a time for these daily "motorcades" for local ministers (political ones, not religious!). For legitimate security reasons, I think. But I'm always convinced because of the timing of these things that they are probably just going to dinner!! Anyway, I was as weak as a kitten at 7:00 when we started yoga. Neeraj told me that his vegetarian experiment with me was now officially over...and today I'm gonna have me a big ol' chicken breast!!

Dateline: Banjara Hills - At our home, we have this wonderful patio area out by the pool.  It's just screaming for a few pieces of outdoor furniture.  Krishna and I drove around to some places that he thought might have something.  It's strange, but the larger "department" stores that carry furniture? They have no outdoor stuff whatsoever!!  I'm thinking that it might be because it's just too hot and humid to sit outside here - - but that's not year-round.  I was trying to explain to Krishna that we have entire stores dedicated to nothing BUT outdoor furniture in the U.S.  Anyway....the traffic was ridiculous, so - we saw this place on our right that looked interesting.  They had cane and rattan furniture - - not exactly what I was looking for, but it was a start!!  We overshot the place by about 300 meters - - so Krishna pulled over.  Now, you need to understand that, although u-turns are a common move here in Hyderabad's streets, you can travel up to a Km. until you find a place to pull one off - - and in this case, the traffic going the other way was gridlocked.  So...I jumped out and walked back to the store.

Now - - the Indian salespeople here make the most effusive car salesman you ever met look like a guy on too-much Xanax!  You get used to it after a while, but the sales-people here (the men far more than the women!) are pretty aggressive.  Amy told this one fellow at a very nice rug shop that she admired the workmanship in this one rug (it was pretty stunning!) ... and for the nest fifteen minutes he had his people grabbing rolled-up rugs from the upper bins and rolling them out - - despite Amy telling him to please stop!!

So - - I walk into this cane-furniture store... and immediately the sales guy sees me and comes over and starts pointing and quoting prices: "This set comes with a table, sir - and a glass top and two chairs - and you can pick the fabric from a wide variety of patterns.  Only Rs. 11,000.00.  This one sir, is very, very nice.  You take it?  Today only - 10,000.00 rupees.  You like this one? - I have a catalogue!" 

As per my usual, I told him that I didn't want to buy anything today, that I couldn't buy anything without my wife's approval...and that I was "just looking".  I started snapping some pics with my Blackberry.  He said, motioning to this pretty nice (too nice for outdoor - but perfect for a tiki-bar with the right Hawaiian floral print!) rattan living-room set: "O.K. - today only - you take now?? - 8,000.00 rupees!!"  We were making serious progress here on "negotiating a deal"... and I didn't even need to say anything.  I just smiled and said I'd come back later with my wife.  I put my trusty Blackberry into my pocket, said a quick but smiling "goodbye" - and started heading for the open front of the "store" and was walking down the steps when he called after me: "5,000 rupees, sir!!"

Just amazing!!  And just think... I could have spent Rs. 11,000.00 just five minutes ago!!  BTW - 11,000.00 rupees is about $235.00 USD and 5,000 rupees is about $117.00!
While we were coming back home, we ran into this little temple dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey god.  (See photo above!)

Dateline: Gachibowli - According to our Hyderabad friend (and one of my usual lunch mates at the Thursday Ladies Luncheons!) Eve (she's the wife of Wally, who is one of the people Suzanne works for here at Deloitte) - - Suzanne and I "have arrived"!  We got our picture in the "You and I" Magazine!!  When we were invited to the polo match (a couple of Saturdays back) at the NASR Boys School - - we had no idea that we'd be in the "front row" - and that there would be paparazzi there.  Because she is so fair and so blonde, Amy gets her photo taken quite a lot here.  With her "Hollywood" sunglasses on, she was twice the target!  We had forgotten that we had out picture taken...and - this week people started mentioning that we were in some magazine!!  Sure enough, we found the link to our pic in this week's edition of "You and I" online - - it takes a bit of downloading time - but - as Amy said - "That's a good picture of us!"

Here is the link:  You and I Magazine are some short little videos from our Saturday afternoon at the polo match:

NASR Boys School vs. RBS Polo Match

2010 Independence Cup Polo - Hyderabad

NASR Boys School Bagpipe Marching Band (Polo 2010)

Polo Action from the 2010 Independence Cup (Hyderabad)

Halftime at the Independence Cup Polo Match (Hyderabad)

The End of the Game...Independence Cup, Hyderabad Polo

Dateline: Secunderabad - On Indian Independence Day, (15 August every year - which happens to coincide with The Feast of the Asumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - and this year it was on a Sunday!!) - Krishna and I were planning (for the longest time!) to go to St. Mary's Church over in Secunderabad.  It was to be their Patronal Festival - - with the Pontifical Solemn High Mass being celebrated by the Archbishop of Hyderabad +Marampudi Joji.  We didn't make it.  As it turned out, the roads into and out-of Secunderabad were closed for several hours due to the Independence Day celebrations and preparations!  So we went back to St. Alphonsus right in the neighborhood in Banjara Hills.  As Krishna said: "I like St. Mary's better!"  Yeah, do I! 

Here is a link to the photos from last weekend on my Facebook Page:

Assumption and Independence Day Weekend - 2010