Happy Ugadi

Sort of snippet

Just back from a MYCycle tour on Srirangaptnam with mother and her son from Delhi.

Everywhere were signs that it’s Ugadi or the Hindu new year. People amassing leaves, positioning them around their entry door, creating ornate and colourful Rangoli, to invite the Gods, girls all dressed up, people splashing and having family fun at the bathing ghats.

Coincidentally, I get back to a new parcel from Amazon. A book …..

The author is an effective self-publicist and has rightly challenged many of the assumptions around the British Raj. This book on Hinduism (which isn’t an ism, just my humble view) is a timely counter to the increasing, unsettling, unacceptable, extremism that we’re currently hearing and seeing.

Meanwhile, Manjula has been back at home getting a well deserved lie in (guest numbers are reducing now we’ve reached the end of the season) punctuated by endless phone calls from our friends wishing a Happy Ugadi, so Happy Ugadi to you too.

Why does it have to be this way?

the Indian Government insists that your national ID card, known as the Aadhaar Card be associated with your mobile number for you to have continued service. As below. (I’m not commenting here about ‘Big Brother’ and will leave that for another time. )

So I dutifully visit my local Airtel shop to do the business.

Young Airtel woman:

Sir, you can now call this number (as she hands me a small card) and arrange it on the phone.


Takes card. Readies his…. Two phones, (one to use and one for password, ok maybe overkill, I am 61), his Aadhaar card (yes foreigners can get one) and phone bill.

Calls number. It’s working. Press one for Indian and press two for foreigner. I press two. Line goes dead. I try again. And again. And again.

Slightly irate foreigner:

“It’s not working”

Airtel young woman

“Come back on Monday sir”


“Why can’t you do it now?”


Some mumbling about not having working equipment.

More irate foreigner.

“This is my third time here to sort this out. (Slight fib as it was my second time). Why can’t you do it! This is ridiculous” or words to that effect.

She calls me over. Gets out her mobile together with the fingerprint reader and does the business. It takes just a few moments.

Now why didn’t she do that in the first place? Why did it take two visits, phone calls, telling me to return in two days and a bit of a fit? To get her to do her job properly.

It’s not just in India but one of life’s conundrums. Instead of just doing their job well, being helpful and informative they give us the ‘runaround.’ Shame really.

well ‘Big Brother’ has just got back to me….