The long way to......

essays about my daily life. It will be something about India since it makes me happy and bothers me a lot.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

law and rule

An editorial in the Times of India, “We are the law” by Arun Misra caught my eyes. Not because the article was very good but because I had to think related things which happened at my office the previous day. The article starts with the remarks made by Meghnatd Desai, a political scientist, that even the Prime Minister’s car is fined by breaking rules in Britain. Mr. Misra throws a question to us “What should we citizens do when we are required to observe rules made for our convenience? Should we wait for our leaders to first learn to respect rules, or should we observe rules nevertheless?”


I am indeed bothered by this “nobody keeps rules and those who keeps rules are stupid” culture. I am often offended, agitated, freaked out and ended up feeling so miserable. It is just one of the instances, but I often receive phone calls from someone who is a friend of my boss or secretaries of high officials of Gov of India. The other day, one secretary of one joint secretary of one ministry (not so important ministry, I am sorry) called me regarding about visa. I told him to talk to visa officer since I am not in charge of the matter. His demand was to issue visa in a day. (With all proper documents, you can get visa issued by next morning.) He kept telling me that he does not want to talk to a visa officer since his boss is a friend of my boss. (Well, I never heard of his name….) I managed to transfer the call to my colleague saying that our officer is very partial and they do not manipulate their power as Indians do. Later, I talked to my colleague what happened. He said “Simple, I said not to them. Because they are planning to visit our country in April and I do not see any reason why getting a visa tomorrow is a problem for them!” He continued “I even asked him like is your boss relative is in hospitalized or someone passed away? It sounds like an urgent matter! Then the man laughed and understood.”

Yes, we sometimes help these matters but only when it is really serious and urgent. According to the theory of Indian secretary, his boss should get a special treatment since he is in high position. However, we are working under the rules, which make us to provide equal service regardless of their position, casts, religion or gender….

I was bothered. It is easy to say that these Indians do not have civility or common sense. However, I well understand why they need to do this. Since rules are often manipulated and arbitrarily implemented in India so they are forced to do something which ensures their purpose. What surprised me as an civil servant (yes! We are servants for our tax payers!) is that in India, it is a right for one officer whether to issue, to approve, to sign for citizens whereas it is our duty to serve citizens in Japan. So, if you go to government office to get an official documents, it is your right to get it issued and it is a officer’s duty to issue it without delay. You do not need to cajole them, plea them, not to mention to give them money! In this situation, you do not need to be worried. You know that things will be done with proper documents that are required.

Well….in other words, “we are the law” in India….it is just in bad direction.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rome is far away

Hindi is like an Achilles’ heel. (Well…there are many other things but one of them.) I do not want to be talked about my Hindi especially at the office mainly because of the embarrassment. I know well that my Hindi is far away from what is supposed to be and I have no idea how long it will take, what is worse, there is neither incentive nor motivation for me now. It is different from enjoying Hindi films. Although there are some Hindi-speaking diplomats in our ministry, it is the reality that we do not use Hindi for official purpose much (almost zero). But it is also true that those who can speak Hindi well are successful at the same time. In other sense, we are also in a dilemma between Hindi and English as for some Indians. (Well, now days, everyone will go for English.) I felt helpless especially after I could not do well when my boss took me as translator in his meeting with Mylayam.

I took aHindi exam yesterday. We, young diplomats, have to take linguistic exam once a year to be checked out how we have achieved so far. I got so scared this exam. How can I understand an editorial without consulting a dictionary! I am even more scared to be revealed how bad my Hindi is officially. The result was…OK. However, what my senior told me was something different from what I thought.

He said that I am in a borderline between “I want to learn Hindi” and “I hate Hindi”. In my head, the base for mastering Hindi has been made up but I am not ready for building something on it. He also said that my reading comprehension is fine; I can understand easy articles ( of course, I need to work on to get more vocabulary) and my listening comprehension is also fine. However, I cannot reproduce what have been said or told by using my words in Hindi. (For example, I can understand Hindi film and discuss about it in Japanese and English but not in Hindi) In addition, I am not used to talking in Hindi. Therefore, he recommended me to read a small article from paper everyday and listen Aakashwani for 10-15min everyday to brush up. It may sounds normal to you. But what was surprising to me was he told me that my current level is OK and not depressing as I had expected. Rather what is more important is keep on going. I was ashamed myself not being able to master Hindi like my seniors therefore I almost gave up my Hindi. It was encouraging to hear from him that I do not need to be so hasty to master Hindi. It is more important not to give up and to be patient. (Yeah…it took more than 15 years to speak English and it is still far away from perfect.)

Rome cannot built in a day, huh?_

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Koffee with Karan

My recent secret behaviour is to watch Koffee with Karan on U-Tube. (I have a TV but I do not know how to use the newly installed device to watch!) I am not a big fan of Karan's films. I think they are cheasy and pathetic. However, I am enjoying to watching the show somehow. Why is that?

For one reason, it is interesting to watch actors and actresses speak as we do. I am curious how they behave off the screen. How they speak (Do they really speak English?), what they are thinking and stuff. The other reason is that I want to watch someone is bitching about someone.

But I am just long does it last? Karan will end up meeting with same old people and talk about same old things? Once is enough for listining to SRK is making a joke about the rumour that he is a gay and he sleeps with Karan. I am not that bitch that I want to listen bitchy talk over and over.

According to the filmfare I bought today, Karan in is NY writing his next film. (Why does he need to be in NY? To be inspired or to get away from the heat, dirt and powercut?) I hope he would do something different for the show next time....Cuz I am getting bored with them and nothing to watch after long and boring hour at my office!


not too late

mmm....I gained two kg in a month which scared me and I decided to lose weight.What I did first is to order books from Less than a week by express delivery, I got those books about pilathis, how to make your legs look beautiful, how to do massage (for detox) and stuff. book...caght my eyes. The title was like to lose weight without fighting.

As far as I remember, I have been constantly trying to lose weight in all my life. In joniour high school, I did not take lunch. I gained weight in high school, I stopped eating on the second year and got sick ended up going to hospital. I did not have lunch after that during my three years high school life and I was much thinner.

The book told me what I was doing was wrong for my body and my mind! (Yeah, you can say that. But you do not know the pressure that we Japanese girls are going through) When I want to lose weight, I just have a piece of chocolate and just fight against my hunger. According to the book, suger actually disturbs the level of insulin which disturbs my nerve and the control of appatite. It is more important to keep it in a certain level so that we can have serene wave of appatite. For this purpose, beans, brown rice, whole wheat or atta should be taken. ( I can eat as much as I can!) We should avoid taking too much fat, rice or white bread. And not suger! Suger is bad for us not because of calolrie but it distrubs our nerves inside brain!

Impressed with new way of thinking, I started (at least started trying) to eat well and eat things which are recommended in the book. Well, I do not lose weight much but I stopped eating too much sweets when I am working. There is not crazy, sudden and long lasting hunger. I think I am keeping normal hunger.

I do not know why I wrote about weight here. might change my way of thinking or my mind by eating well. Cuz foods are all source of all our activities. (Hope it works for my rash!)