After a couple of weeks in India I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of communicating with locals without speaking. Essentially you’re good to go in India with three gestures

1. Wobble your head right to left and smile to mean ‘no’
2. Wobble your head right to left and smile to mean ‘yes’
3. Wobble your head right to left and smile to mean ‘thank you’

Another neat one we discovered was to hold out your hand to street beggars in mimicry when they come asking for change. Somehow it disorients them. Oh and don’t forget to wobble your head right to left when doing that. You may look a little clumsy and awkward at first but the wobble is so contagious it’ll soon become second nature.

As I tried to keep my head wobble as unexaggerated and authentic as possible I chuckled at the thought that somewhere in these tall buildings of the Bangalore skyline young Indians were being trained to mimic accents of other countries in order to authenticate the customer experience.

From the backwaters of Kerala we’ve arrived at the back-offices of Bangalore. The pace of life picks up once you set foot in the capital of Kanartaka. This is after all India’s third largest city and its fastest-growing thanks to the booming tech industries. BPO and software companies are the biggest employers in Bangalore. Many of the India’s wealthy cluster here.

Bangalore’s lesser known sobriquet is “Garden City”. Being a hub for India’s wealthy surely fired up its real estate sector but fortunately this hasn’t obliterated its green spaces. Two well-maintained landmark parks are worth a visit, weather permitting. Lalbagh is the botanical garden planted by Hyder Ali, the 18th century rule of Mysore and Cubbon Park is a construction of the British in 1884. Temperatures were too high and the air too still for a long stroll so we scurried over to a pub – the other biggest draw in Bangalore.

Desperate to cool off, I order a lager from the tap, wobbling my head with delight when the bartender placed the pint before me.

Let Madam Araisia’s Airstrology cards read What’s Your India at

AirAsia’s “What’s Your India” Contest terms & conditions

1. The “What’s your India” contest [“Contest”] is organised by AirAsia Berhad [“Organiser”]. The Contest will run for 9 weeks commencing from [“Contest Period”]: 10:00 (GMT +8) 9 February 2010 and end 23:59 (GMT +8) on 11 April 2010.

During the Contest Period, one (1) winner will be picked at the end of each week. The will be nine (9) winners to this Contest and each of them will receive the following prize:-

• ONE (1) souvenir from India by AirAsia Berhad.

2. The Contest is open to all members of the AirAsia blog except for the following [“Participant”]:
a. Permanent and/or temporary staff or employees of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd and its immediate family members;
b. Representatives and/or agents (including advertising & promotion) of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd.

3. By virtue of an entry to the Contest, Participants signify acceptance and agreement to all terms & conditions set out here.

4. To qualify for the Contest, participants will have to do the following:
Contest Mechanism:

Week 1: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 9 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 14 Feb 2010
Week 2: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 15 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 21 Feb 2010
Week 3: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 22 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 28 Feb 2010
Week 4: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 1 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 7 Mar 2010
Week 5: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 8 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 14 Mar 2010
Week 6: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 15 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 21 Mar 2010
Week 7: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 22 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 28 Mar 2010
Week 8: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 29 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 4 Apr 2010
Week 9: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 29 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 11 Apr 2010

a. All participants need to be a registered member of the AirAsia blog.
b. A new blog post about a city in India will be posted every week. (Total 9 posts in 9 weeks)
c. Participants need to submit a comment describing why this city (according to the blog post) resonates as their India, and to end the comment with the sentence “What’s your India?”

5. Only entries in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Chinese will be accepted.

6. All entries must be submitted and received by 23:59 (GMT +8) on 14 Feb 2010, 21 Feb 2010, 28 Feb 2010, 7 Mar 2010, 14 Mar 2010, 21 Mar 2010, 28 Mar 2010, 4 Apr 2010 and 11 Apr 2010.

7. Only Participants that fulfill the Contest Mechanism stated above shall be eligible to win the Prize. Incomplete entries and/or participants that fail to fulfill the Contest Mechanism will automatically be disqualified from the Contest without notice.

8. The winners will be selected based on the most relevant and creative answer by a panel of judges appointed by the Organizer.

9. Selected winner will be contacted, at any time deemed appropriate by the Organizer, via email.

10. Under no circumstances shall the Organizer (including its respective employees, staff and agents) be liable for any loss (including loss of opportunity and consequential loss arising therewith) and/or damage suffered by any Participant and/or winner in connection with the Contest.

11. The winner is bound by the terms and conditions that come with the prize. The acceptance of prize indicates the acknowledgment and agreement of such terms and conditions.

12. The Organizer reserves its sole right and discretion to delete, remove, not consider or reject comment with content that is deemed by it to be improper or offensive in whatever nature.

13. The Organizer reserves its rights to publish or display materials or information, including but not limited to the names of all Participants for marketing, advertising and publicity purposes in any manner it deems appropriate. The Organizer further reserves its right to use any personal data of Participants in any manner and/or for any purpose it deems fit and Participant is deemed to consent to such use with no monetary payment.

14. The Organizer reserves its right to cancel, terminate or suspend the Contest with or without any prior notice and reason. For the avoidance of doubt, cancellation, termination or suspension by the Organizer shall not entitle the participant to any claim or compensation against the Organizer for any and all losses or damages suffered or incurred as a direct or indirect result of the act of cancellation, termination or suspension.

15. The terms and conditions herein shall prevail over any inconsistent terms, conditions, provisions or representations contained in any other promotional or advertising materials for the Contest. In the event of any inconsistency, conflict, ambiguity or discrepancy between the English version and the Bahasa Malaysia version of these terms and conditions, the English version shall prevail at all times.

16. The Organizer reserves its right to vary, delete or add to any of these Terms and Conditions and/or substitute or replace the gifts from time to time without any prior notice.

17. By participating in the Contest, it is deemed that the participant agrees to be bound by the terms and subject to the conditions herein set out upon submission of entry. The decisions of the Organizer in relation to every aspect of the Contest including but not limited to the type of prize and winner shall be deemed final and conclusive under any circumstance and no complaint from any participants will be entertained.

18. The decision of judges appointed by the Organizer are final, conclusive and binding and no further appeal, enquiry and/or correspondence will be entertained.

  • Geetha

    I am proud to step foot in Bangalore, a large and growing metropolis. Besides being recognized for the well-recognized colleges and research institutions in India, thsi city houses numerous software companies, aerospace, telecommunications, and defence organisations. Also know as the Silicon Valley of India due to its position as the nation’s leading IT exporter, Bangalore is my India. What’s your India?