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During My Commute to IBM, Friday, 18 August
Disclaimer: The song titles are not necessarily correct, but I'm including at least a bit of the lyrics to clue in more educated pop music listeners than I.
"Rhythm is Gonna Get You" by Gloria Estefan plays as we drive through Palm Meadows toward the exit, passing a barefoot boy, sitting on the curb with a cockerspaniel on a rope-leash; a tiny girl in an orange jumpsuit, standing on the sidewalk with her sari-clad mom, the girl, watching our car as we drive by; the Indus International School deluxe tour bus-as-school bus, imprinted with the school's seal and slogan, In Omnia Parata (prepared for all challenges).
"Volare" by I don't know whom as we pass kids, waiting for the bus in their Indus uniforms, which look like soccer team uniforms, and maybe they are...; leaving the Palm Meadows driveway, across the busy street, a family around a fire, cooking breakfast in front of their cinder-block hut/home; kids in parochial school uniforms, waiting for their bus; coconuts still in their outer, green husks, piled high on a cart....
Commercial: "How about some nice hot chocolate...poured all over you?"
"Want to be as cool as James Bond? Watch and learn on Stars all week, sponsored by Motorola." During the commercial, we pass an official highway sign for the "Air Poart...."
"Afterglow," by Inxs during a traffic jam; to the left of us, a man in a tiny car, with a little girl seated with no seat-belt, leaning against the dashboard expectantly. She's sporting a tiny, gold bindi on her little forehead, with matching gold earrings, a red backpack, magenta cardigan, green polo shirt with white collar; Sri Muneshwara Samy Temple, in front of which wait four women and three men, with corporate ID badges around their necks -- all of the women are wearing various salwar kameezes, and the men, drab, western shirts and pants.
Elton John's "...no sacrifice..." while we're stuck on the bridge over the railroad tracks, to the left of an apartment complex-in-progress that dwarf's New York's Co-op City; Hindu-style swastika on a hut-store that hasn't yet opened for business; more kids in parochial uniforms; another temple with three, stray dogs in front, and Elton John sings, "Some things look better, just passing through...; Rajhbog Multi-cuisine Restaurant on Outer Ring Road.
John Legend sings "PDA" as I eat my breakfast of various vitamins, a glass of skim-milk -- the boxed kind from Nestle that's miraculously fresh prior to refrigeration -- and Dannon plain yogurt with a pear cut up into it and a quarter-cup of walnuts stirred in, too; we pass stone walls made of side-by-side granite slabs that look like extra-tall headstones or a giant's teeth; the New Horizon College of Engineering-in-progress -- currently, just a sign and a foundation built; black-garbed Muslim women; a couple on a motorcycle -- she's riding side-saddle and has her arm around his waist and the other hand holds on to a special handle on the seat that I've never seen anywhere other than India; an older woman in a sari is sweeping the dirt in front of her hut.
"Coming around again..." by I don't know whom as we follow a bus that is labelled, "Freedom International School;" then a billboard that reads, "BIG SPANISH HOMES at Outer Ring Road opp. Intel;" a thicket of almost-woods, but more so fantastically-lush under-brush that grew extra tall and dense with a crowded busstop in front of it; IBLUR Military Camp gate.
Commercial: "August is Accenture Careers Month -- just another day at the office, for a tiger."
"Sweetest Game" as we pass a tent-village, with tents/homes made of blue, plastic sheets and palm-fronds...the singer sings, "If I could escape, I would....;" herd of bulls, sitting on a small hill; traffic jam under the fly-over.
"Hips Don't Lie," by Shakira and Wyclef and there's a Perot Systems mini-bus.
"Fresh on Indigo, 'Inconsolable,' by the Back Street Boys," as we pass the Central Silk Board, including the National Silkworm Seed Organization; a bike with green-husked coconuts all over it, but with no rider in sight -- just parked road-side; following a little Bajaj truck, the back of which is open and features dried leaves hanging down its walls and three little boys, no older than nine, one wearing a tiger-patterned shirt....Two of them lie down and nap.
Commercial: "What's on the menu?" a man asks a woman in a romantic voice.
Disruptive, loud, high-pitched conversation breaks in and spoils the mood.
Voice-over: "Don't let your neighbors spoil your special moments. Move to X apartments." (Couldn't hear the name.) Another little temple on the left, among a row of stores; BOSCH mini-bus.
Justin Timberlake and a woman who doesn't, "...need the cheese or the car keys, Boy; I like you just the way you are." We're following a family on a moped, the young son in the front, the father and the under-10-year-old daughter on the back, with her back-pack; green Kawasaki Caliber 115 motorcycle with a tiny foot, sporting a delicate silver ankle-bracelet of stalks with tiny balls hanging off of each of them, dangled over the seat while the mother rides side-saddle, holding her; Infosys bus, going the other way; James Bond Dry Cleaners; concrete wall painted with, "Nurses, Free Passage to USA."
Sounds like Jill Scott, singing, "Doesn't make any difference to me what the world thinks of us" as two white-clad Muslim boys with crocheted skull-caps pass in front of us; Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology; Allahummaf Tahli...Mosque and then a Hindu altar with cows, resting in front of it; and finally, the tree in the road, which has been paved around, rather than cut down, just before we enter the IBM driveway.
During My Commute Home
It was getting dark, and so I'll just list the songs I heard, or at least bits of their lyrics:
"Pop that thing...Party Like a Rockstar -- totally do...Suicidal....
At this point, Channa, who drives me to and from work, tells me that his mother is coming to live with him this weekend, and that his sister, with her two kids, will come to help her move in; he's bought a place in Bangalore, and he sounds proud and I congratulate him.
"How old are your sister's children?"
"The girl is nine, in 3rd standard, Ma'am, and the boy is seven months."
Channa hands me his cell phone and Akshaya, the baby boy, with a tiny bindi, is looking at me on the cell's screen, and then I ask to see Silpha, and I tell him how cute both of them are and, "Ooh, look, Silpha and I have the same haircut."
Channa laughs loudly; it's true. I ask what the kids' names mean.
"Akshaya is a god, like a dish, for another god, and Silpha means a stone, a black one." I think I misunderstood Channa, as neither name relates to the descriptions I thought I heard him give when I look them up in Wikipedia. Akshaya is part of a festival name and Silpha is a carrion beetle....Wikipedia is not omniscient, though, I need to remember.
"I bet they love being around you," I said.
"Oh, yes, Ma'am. I call Silpha every day, in the morning and at night."
"That's so great." And then I become sad, thinking of how I couldn't call my family from my cell if I wanted to, since my cell service has been disconnected again; the cell phone service provider needs to come to our house to prove we really live at the address we've given, and they haven't yet done so, and so without warning, yesterday afternoon, the phone became "Unregistered" again.
I show Channa the pictures I have in my wallet of my nephews and niece and he is complimentary. "I have to get new pictures. Two of them are going into high school this fall."
Back to the music: ...I want to have your baby...swinging up like daisies....Don't let the sun be the one to cheat you, Baby; I'm forever lost...Looks like it all went wrong. What am I to do?....You have stolen my heart....Just forget the world...Mika's "Love Today..." Ooh, you give me somethin', somethin' no one else can....I'm not here for your entertainment...You don't want to mess with me tonight....I look at you. You look at me. They call it, we call it, you call it, I call it love.