Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Entering the Mood Elevator

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Going Up

Writing this blog-entry is a means to an end tonight. I feel down and I'm counting on it to help me feel better.

Today, an important meeting went well; I felt stylishly, yet understatedly, dressed and was complimented on my suit and how I looked in it; the weather was gorgeous -- cool, but not cold, and sunny; and Pat was her lovely self.

So why do I feel morose? Or at least, why did I until I forced myself to write something -- anything?

For example, did you know that barewahanagale means "traffic" in Kannada, or that (yesterday's word) aroge means "helpful?" Or that hasu means "cow" and nai means "dog?"

Food Fight

I think I'll feel even better if I recall why I learned the words, hasu and nai. It wasn't funny, but it was absurd; once the traffic picked up, Channa and I saw a dog on the roadside, growling at a cow, since both were trying to eat from the same trash pile. The cow was not afraid; she ignored the dog, who was trying so hard to be fierce.

The scene reminds me that I couldn't book a room for the weekend we wanted at that Cicada wildlife place. It occurred to me later: Maybe, they rejected us because in the "Special Requests" field, I asked for feather pillows.

Fortunately, one of my friends on assignment here told me about Bannerghatta National Park, which is just outside of Bangalore, and which will enable Pat to see tigers while she's here, which is a fond wish.

We will go there. The animals will be less wild than the cow and dog we saw today, as they're fed regularly.

The Only Way

Today, a colleague complimented me, saying that she learned more from me than what I coached her on -- facilitation. She also said she learned how to be " to other cultures while still getting your viewpoint across."

I told her that I appreciated her receptivity to my viewpoint, as it wasn't always welcome in my experience, i.e., not everyone wants to do more than just share about their culture. By "viewpoint," she simply meant my making it into a cultural exchange more often than not, rather than just exclusively learning about her culture.

Every day, during my commute, we pass a building near the Shiva temple, which reads on the three sides that I can see, "Jesu Krupa -- The Only Way."

"Channa, does 'Jesu Krupa' mean Jesus?" I asked.

"Yes, Ma'am."

It worked.

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