Life and what-not

View of the hill from the nearby Mutt where we had lunch.

Happy New Year! Hope it works out for you as you wish. I have stopped interacting on Whatsapp and Facebook groups. Too much distraction and irrelevant information makes it not worth the while to stay connected unfortunately. This boils down to targeted exchanges when needed. So no Happy New Years, Good Mornings or wishes on festive days. It has to be in person or in specific exchanges with near and dear ones if we meet of talk. Takes a lot of pressure, eh? I break the rule on Facebook intermittently.

Shiva Gange betta (hill) – view of the gopuram from the temple entrance which is about 150 steps up from the gopuram.

The past two months has been momentous personally. After two and a half years at one of the top consulting firms, I decided I should move on. By God’s grace, I got a great offer with significant increase in responsibilities and I am looking up to the challenge. As your career progresses it is important that you don’t keep doing the same thing. Increase in compensation, responsibilities is always good but more importantly letting the mind stagnate isn’t so good. Keeping up with that sense of security is important as well. My job hunt was interesting. I had applied to this top software firm in the world once and was rejected. As I was thinking of my options, I got a call from this firm’s recruiter. I turned down saying I wasn’t interested as the job profile was more technical than I was looking for. Then I had to roll off the project I was on and this made me change my mind amongst other reasons. I looked at the role description again and called him back. From there, it was a series of interviews and finally a presentation I had to make. It all went well, I would say. There was a few days gap after the presentation that made me think it isn’t going to work out. Moreover, I had not done super on the tech interview but thought for the role I was aiming, it was a sufficient enough job with the message I could pick things up. Two days and a weekend after, and an email prompt – I got the good news. I can’t be more thankful to God for this opportunity.

Monkeys are always around Indian temple as food is available and easy to grab from visitors.

With the job scene set, and holidays coming in, we decided to go to India for a home-coming. It was a great two weeks with a lot of celebrations. Happened to visit Shiva Gange –  a hill in between Bangalore and Tumkur popular for the temple of Lord Shiva. The temple is sandwiched between slabs of huge stone – a sort of crevice in the womb of the hill. The sanctum sanctorum is barely six feet tall and converges at the end. The linga has some unique aspects. As the priest rubbed ghee on its top (called abhisheka – or coronation), it turns back to butter. The hill is itself a hard climb if you are up to it, taking about three hours on average. We stuck to the steps leading to the temple. On the way back, it was nice to stop at a roadside shop where the owner was just offloading fresh tender coconuts. I couldn’t argue for a better price despite all my experience with the villager. The visit was memorable for one particular reason. A gentleman we came to talk with recognized my father as his high school teacher and went emotional when he heard the news of his passing away. I haven’t seen someone so distant in our lives and far off from home go through an emotional outburst in remembering our father. He even prostrated himself in front of my brother, who was at least ten years younger!! The drive into the town was via a narrow opening in an arch.

The climb up the steps is a fitness challenge for many.

The street was lined with shops selling all sorts of items – food, snacks, flowers, etc. Food was stacked in glass bottles like in the olden days or in baskets exposed to the air. They were very colorful and tempting to looking at, though we knew it was a huge risk to try them from a hygiene point of view. We had lunch at the nearby Mutt, simple food but traditional, sitting on the floor and eating of plantain leaf. I still marvel at the amount of rice that the average person eats in the interior parts of Karnataka. It is rice and dhal or rice and sambar and rice and butter milk. They lead such an active life that they burn away the calories much easily than me.

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