From Sidewalks to Footpaths

First, I would like to thank my girls Aditi and Ramya for encouraging me and deciding an appropirate name for my blog. This blog is going to be the beginning of a challenging journey for me – one of transformation, growth and self-discovery; both as a person and as a designer.

I recently moved back to Bombay from New York – making the transition from avenues and streets to rastas(roads) and gali’s(lanes) I am slowly beginning to adapt or should I say adjust and aclimate myself to the change in surroundings and environment. My friends and family are referring to this intial step as American Chochlebaazi(antics) since I should be familiar with the way things work here in the motherland. To list a few specific incidents:

At the airport requesting my brother to occupy one parking space instead of two as we loaded my bags was seen as bizzare

Joining Yoga Classes – The history of Yoga can be traced back to 3000 BC in the Vedas, which today is practiced the world over. My family thinks that my reason to practice yoga is because it is a fad in the US.

Within 24hrs of landing in Bombay my dad asked me when I plan to start looking for a job. My response was that I plan to take some time off as I need to organize my thoughts and career goals. According to him I have lost my marbles and need to get my act together.

Installing broadband wireless at home which I was eventually appreciated for….

I do not blame them completely as, I am used to thinking in farahneit and not Celsius and I am constantly converting rupees to dollars. Well, all I can say is that this will definitely be an interesting journey, which has gradually begun.

I still remember when I first landed in Houston, TX en-route to Savannah, GA one of the first few things that my aunt mentioned was, “Here in America we do not say footpaths – they are called sidewalks and we do not say second hand cars we say used or preowned cars. We do not call for a lift we call for elevators.” I am now making a concious effort to going back to metric from imperial. Apparently I am well on my way, as within a week of my return a friend noted that I have started saying, “I do things like that only…”

My first day home, as I polished off my mom’s home made chicken curry and before I excused myself from the dining table I turned towards my brother with a question (which I can no longer recollect and believe me it was not important after the response I got) – the response I got was a loud and extremely unpleasant burp. My sister then turned around and said, “welcome back.”

I guess the song and dance has begun. Looking forward to this new chapter.

Sidenote: I am currently listening to this track – Gal Meethi Meethi Bol. Swing away.

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14 Responses to From Sidewalks to Footpaths

  1. Joe O'Toole says:

    Jasem- good song.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts and musings as you settle back in. Make sure to post lots of great pictures from your walks around the neighborhood!

    Cheers and good luck,


  2. sania says:

    ahahhaha.. AWE some… so true 🙂
    welcome to India

  3. Carmen says:

    Glad to see you joined the blogging realm. I went to a lecture today. It was an industry leader giving us advice and where is career led. His main advice was that we should all learn how to write, how to tell stories. He also said that it was important to do something that had nothing to do with architecture in your free time. I think that this journal is a great step forward for your new journey. I look forward to it!.

  4. Marc says:

    Tell your dad that blogging IS a job in America 😉

    You should do a podcast version so I can still take the N train with you from time to time.

  5. roshan Toshniwal says:

    welcome back Jasem bhai………
    your journey in Mumbai’s proffesional scene has just begun and let me warn you that you will change the way you see things very shortly when things don’t go your way. Best of luck though.

  6. Nick says:

    I’m glad you’re keeping a blog and I’m excited to hear updates from you. I hope your trip was safe and you are adjusting well!

  7. Janet says:

    love this jasem! all the minor little details that you notice when you make a change are so interesting…looking forward to more! you might inspire me to move to the philippines!

  8. Namrata says:

    COME BACK ALREADY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. mani says:

    haha…I like the “that ONLY” part the most…lol!

  10. Ankita says:

    I love the posts! I am so eagerly looking forward to reading/hearing more of your escapades as more and more layers peel around you. One piece of advice to you from personal experience – Hold your nerve for the most! HAha thats anothing thing you need getting used to in this part of the world – advice when you dont need it!

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