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Friday, February 13, 2004

How I learnt hospitality
With every year - there are two trends which i see in my life. One is the diminishing ability of events to excite or to thrill and the other is the waning strength of friendships and relationships. I am sure it doesnt apply to all - I know many who have excellent everlasting friends. A fallout of the same is that of late I donot consider it important to entertain people.
But I realised that I have a lot to learn. Again it had to do with my previous trip to LA. Archit bhaiya has a very busy life. He has something planned to be done all the time. no time for TV, no time for relaxation. Working couple and a young child anyway sounds like a busy life but i never realized that it would be as busy as it is for them.
Even after that they picked me up from hotel everytime i was alone. I almost had a dinner alone even in a place where I didnt know that I knew someone.
They took me around while they shopped. One of bhaiya or bhabhi were almost always trying to entertain me while the other was parenting. It was amazing. I never know what to talk to people. But this was an exception. They always knew what to say.
They took me around to shopping places and to hollywood ( Though I was almost sure not to do any touristy rounds of LA) helped me find items off the amazingly difficult shopping list which Nupur gave me. They even introduced me to thai dishes and Falafal.
Thanks to them. not only for the hospitality but also for teaching me the importance and how to do it.
Next was Ganguli. and his wife. the forgetful me has forgotten her name. I wastreated with all the different dishes. We saw all the movies i always wanted to see. He picked me from office on weekdays too despite the infamous LA traffic. I hope i didnt pain them a lot. Atlease I enjoyed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Stealing from Ikea
I was first introduced to Ikea in Singapore - our sales head Jayesh sold that very strongly to me. And for once atleast what the sales person said was not a lie - in spirit or in substance.
Thats not the story. I am not going to tell you how the creative juices in you get turned on when you see numerous small innovations there. I am not going to say what Ikea sells - but whatever it sells - there are many thing which i cant carry with me as a checked in baggage. They are too big - like furniture.
So what do i think to do ? I will get the catalog and get things made in India. Now the only problem is that the catalogs are not available for you to carry home. I dont know whether you can buy them - even if you could - i wouldnt have been willing to give more than a couple of dollars at max for that. So I have to steal it.
Archit bhaiya and Shubhra Bhabi have taken me to this Ikea in LA about 3 weeks back. I mention to her that I want the catalog - and we concur that we have to steal it.
Now there are two options - either we professionaly steal it - so that no one will know ( something like going to a loo or some corner and tucking it in a bag or something). Or we can do it openly - in front of everyone and if someone catches - we can say we didnt know!!.
I am a man of lots of words and very little action. ( Actually i am inspired by the though "High thinking simple living" so i think great things and do little). so it was upto her to do the act.
She tucked it in a bag. We felt that someone stared at her while she did that. But since the person never approached and asked is to take it out - so we didnt.
Now i am a proud owner of a 2004 ikea catalog - and I am yet to figure out what to do with it - or find a carpenter etc.
But one thing is for sure - I know how to steal (atleast the stuff which is not on sale)

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