elections

I donated blood today. It was a little odd, the setup was in the parking lot of my office building. I had to let go of my over-sanitized, too safe mentality to sit down for it. The Rotary Club and a decent hospital organized it. I made sure that at any time things that were really important were appropriately clean and come from sterile packaging. The funny thing is that it just made me realize that we’re on opposite extremes. I think here, they could take things a little more to the safe side, and there, we could relax a little bit. My HB was a little low. They dropped a bit of blood into some liquid and because it floated told me I couldn’t donate. The doctor came over and they put a little more blood in the same machine we use in the US and then, I didn’t see, but he said I was safe to go. They wouldn’t let Susie donate because she had wine last night. I didn’t know that was a criteria. Anyway, for the first time ever, I was able to successfully donate a litre of blood. I felt happy. I got a certificate and a card that says I get a bottle of free blood at Pune Hospital for donating. In a country with so many people, with so many accidents, I feel like I helped out just a bit, even if only superficially.
I’ve had visitors in my house for almost a week. On Sunday I came back from Mumbai with my friend Vipin who teaches Kalari. I’ve written about how amazing I think it is, so I’ll refrain from doing so again. He has some free time on his hands so he’s been hanging out here ever since. Gayatri has been here as well. It’s like a complete change of pace. Manoj has gone to Andaman, apparently one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. He’ll be back tomorrow night or Friday morning and things will slow down again.
We’re planning a small trip to Baroda to visit Gayatri’s family. I’m excited. It’ll just be for a weekend, but it’ll be nice.
Tomorrow is Election Day. Apparently 48 hours before Election Day all propaganda needs to come down. It’s been quite a nuisance really. Yesterday I got stuck in a huge amount of traffic on my way to a center. They block everything. Last week I had a funny encounter with a candidate. There’s one party called the Shiv Sena. I wrote about them briefly last year when my office was closed for a day due to a possible Shiv Sena attack against someone because the city moved a statue of Shivaji. Anyway, while I was on my computer and Manoj was playing the guitar, the doorbell rang. Confused, Manoj got up to answer it and we opened the door to find politicians and their groupies outside. They handed a paper to Manoj and told him to vote for the candidate in the new election. Typically, a Shiv Sena would not want to see a foreigner in an Indian’s living room. They don’t want people outside of Maharashtra here actually (if I understand correctly). I know they’re not friendly towards outsiders though. Manoj and I both looked at the group of ladies outside our door and smiled, said ok, and closed the door to laugh. Tomorrow, being election day, the schools are closed, the centers are closed, and I’ll sit in the office all day.

    • Kanchan
    • February 20th, 2012

    OMG Anna, when u go to Baroda, please have some shirikhand. I also remember eating lovely fresh sweet yogurt in small earthen pots, but this was back in the 80s so may have changed heaps from what I remember.

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