2. Communication & Transportation:
- How do you usually contact your friends? Why?
Well, I usually call my friends on their cell phones or visit them personally to keep in touch with them. Social media like Facebook and Twitter has also changed the way I communicate my friends. There are many friends who stay far away and social media is the only way to communicate them for me.
- Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways? Why?
Yes, as a general rule of thumb, people have their own preferences on how they would like to be contacted or communicated. For instance, my office colleagues prefer to be emailed while my friends’ preference is a cell phone. My parents also prefer cell phone communication while my younger cousins love to do that via Facebook. I usually try to contact people based on their preferences for communication. To contact someone new, I prefer email or text message.
- Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family? Why? Why not?
I try to maintain a balance between my professional and personal life. I often meet my friends or call them to get their updates and try to spend my days off with my family. This is not easy as I often struggle to maintain that due to work pressure and personal preferences of reading books or updating my blog. Sometimes a family member complains that I spend too much time with my friends while friends have similar complaints as well. Thus I would say it’s really tough to keep a perfect balance. However, I try my best always.
- In your country, did people in the past keep in contact in the same ways as they do today? Why/ Why not?
Not really. Postal mail, telephone and personal visit were the most three prominent ways of contacting and communicating people in the past. With the invention of computers and the internet, the scenario has completely changed. The easy access and lower call rate of mobile phones have also contributed to a frequent and instant communication among my countrymen.
- How often do you make telephone calls? Why? Why not?
Well, I own a cell phone and I usually call my parents every day whenever I am outside. I also need to call my offshore colleagues for job-related issues. Apart from that, I often call my relatives and cousins who stay far away from our hometown.
- Who do you spend the most time talking to on the telephone? Why?
Well, my mother is the person I talk to on the phone most of the time. This is mostly because she gets anxious whenever I take a longer time to call her. I am very close to her and I love the way she cares for me. Because of that, I love to talk to her. She is a good listener and a great mentor and that’s why I call her for many advises as well.
- When do you think you will next make a telephone call? Why?
Umm, after I leave this exam hall, I will call my mother. She must be waiting eagerly to know how I performed in my speaking test. So she would be the person I will call in 20 minutes on her cell phone.
- Do you sometimes prefer to send a text message instead of telephoning? Why? Why not?
Definitely, there are times when text messages offer a better way of communication than telephone calls. For instance, if I think that someone might be in his office or in an important meeting, I would send him a text message instead of calling on his cell phone. To congratulate someone or to wish him a birthday, I would prefer text messages than phone calls. Finally, when I need to reach a friend or a relative at night, I send them a text message instead of taking the risk to call them and wake them up.
Text messages are concise and convey the exact information. They could be read over and over again and hence addresses and contact information are more secure to be sent in text formats. Calling might interrupt someone while SMS gives does not.
- How popular bicycle in your hometown? Why?
It is quite popular in my hometown. You only need to visit our hometown for a while or obverse the office or schools to find out how popular they really are.
People in my hometown prefer bicycle mostly because it is environment-friendly, less expensive, easy to garage it, and good for their health.
- How often do you ride a bicycle? Why? Why not?
I used to ride a bicycle quite often in the past but these days I can’t do that. I use my office bus to reach my office and to get back home. My family owns a car and I often use it. I do not feel that much passionate about riding a bicycle as I used to do in my teenage.
- Do you think those bicycles are suitable for all ages? Why? Why not?
Bicycle, common in our hometown, are suitable for most of the people no matter how old they are. I think this transportation should be promoted and widely used for the health and environmental benefits.
- What are the advantages of a bicycle compared to a car? Why?
Bicycles are eco-friendly and require less hassle to maintain and park. The global warming is a treat to our very existence and thus reliance on bicycles could be a great solution to address this pressing problem. Apart from that, people from all economic classes can afford it and can contribute to solving the traffic problem on the roads.
- What are some common transportations in your hometown?
Public bus, metro rail, private car, CNG-driven auto-rickshaw, taxi and bicycle are some common and popular transportation type in my hometown. Students and workers mostly use bicycle while business people and other executives use their personal cars. Metro rail and public buses are very popular among mass people.
- What changes in transportation have taken place in the past five years in your country? Why?
Well, the metro rails were introduced 3-4 years ago and this transportation system gained a huge popularity in the last few years. The number of private cars running on the roads has increased significantly and more people are using bicycles than they did ever before.
Many new roads, buses and flyovers have been introduced to make the commuting easier. Old public transportation has been banned and strict traffic rules have been imposed to reduce the congestion. However, the number of people in the city areas has increased dramatically in the last five years and so has the number of transportation.
Home, Accommodation & Room:
• Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?
I live in a large house with my family members. This is a two-storey building with more than 8 rooms. I live on the first floor and this room is comparatively smaller than other rooms. It is a south-facing room with a beautiful garden and lake view. As I am still a student, the room gives the impression that a student lives there.
• How long have you lived there?
I have been living in this house since my childhood and I got my own room when I was around 9 years old. I still live in this room.
• What do you like about living there?
The room is quite comfortable and has got a beautiful view. I can easily reach the rooftop from my room and I like spending time there. The room has got two large windows and allows enough sunlight and air. I have been living in this room for many years and I love this room a lot.
• What do you dislike about living there?
Well, I am quite happy with my room except that it is not large enough. This is the only aspect I dislike about this room. Not that it is that much small but I have a personal preference for living in a large room.
• What sort of accommodation would you most like to live in?
I like to live in a large house than living in a small house or in an apartment. The house must have a large garden in front of it and should be situated far away from the main road. Having a fountain in the garden would be a bonus for me. I would also prefer to live in such a house that offers enough sunlight and air. My room must be a large one and well-furnished based on my personal preferences. The room must have large windows and proper ventilation system.
• Describe the room you live in?
Well, it is a medium-size square room which is in the northern part of the house. It is on the first floor and this is the room I have been living for a long time. It has got two windows, an attached bathroom, and it is painted with light green colour. I have got my bed, sofa set, some paintings, wardrobe, study table, one easy chair, a computer, a TV set, one music player, an AC and a room heater in this room. The view from the room is quite beautiful and that’s the main reason I love to line in this room.
• Do you have a large family or small family?
I have a small family and there are only five members including my dad, mom, younger sister, younger brother and I am (the eldest son of the family).
• Tell me something about your family.
Well, as I said we have got five family members in our family including me. My father is a Doctor and my hero. My mother is a school teacher and a loving and caring person. We love our parents very much. My younger sister is in grade 7 and she has got all the crazy and creative ideas and she shares most of her secrets with me. My younger brother is studying mathematics at a university and he has got a passion for playing football. He dreams to become a professional football player someday though I have my doubts about it. I have recently completed my Bachelor degree in Computer Science and have a plan to finish my Master degree from a reputed foreign university. We are a happy family and share a strong bonding that makes us care for each other a lot.
• How much time do you manage to spend with members of your family?
I usually try to spend most of the time with my family. But I cannot manage time when I am out for my university. But after my return from the university, I do not make any late to share the day-long events with the family members, especially with my mom.
• In what way is your family important to you?
Well, my family is the centre of my universe. My parents did everything humanly possible to raise me up and ensure my education and well-being. Their sacrifices and contributions for my life are unparalleled. I will always be grateful to be a member of such a happy and caring family. My family members know me better than any other person and they will always be with me no matter what. They are the people who had always been with me and supported me every way possible. I believe that family comes first and that’s why my family is the most important aspect of my life.
• What sorts of things do you like to do together?
Frequently we watch movies in theatres and also go for some day outs during the holidays. Actually, my dad likes a lot to go out with the family members when he is free from his professional engagements. But my mum prefers going to the cinema and thus we, the kids, are to settle the issues.
• Did/Do you get well with your family? Why?
Yes, I get very well with my family members. They are supportive, positive, intelligent and caring. I would not say that we never had any disagreement but that’s usually momentary. Love is stronger among us and that conquers any misunderstanding that might arrive among us. In fact, I am happy to be a part of such a wonderful family. They love me as much I love them.
• Who are you close to in your family?
I am close to every single family member in my own way. However, in terms of sharing personal secrets and spending time, I am more close to my mother than my father. My younger sister considers me her best friend and thus we have a unique relationship.
• Should we rely heavily on our families or is it better to try to be independent?
I believe that being independent does not contradict our reliance on our family. Every single person should be economically and personally independent at a certain age and should be close to his/ her family at the same time. If being independent means living separately and not having a strong relationship with the family, I do not want such independence and freedom. We all possess unique personality and a desire to be independent, but that should not harm our family relationship.
• Do you get along well with your family?
Yes, I do get along well with my family members. We have a strong bond among us and that makes us a happy family.
• What is your special moment with your family?
Celebrations are remarkable, particularly the celebration of any special occasions like a birthday, the anniversary of my parents or any special achievement by my siblings etc. These events have so many special memories and we consider those occasions as our special moments.
• Are people in your country generally close to their families?
Most the people prefer to be with their families and do everything for the members. But exceptions are everywhere. The people living just opposite of our apartment do not have a strong bond among the family members and always engaged in quarrelling with each other which is unwanted and indecent.
• Are your friends mostly your age or different age? Why?
Most of my friends are my age and I have a few friends who are senior to me. The reason I have friends of my age is that they were mostly my classmates initially and then became my good friends. Most of my friends are from my high school and college and that naturally make them to be my age.
• Do you prefer one or two close friends or many friends?
When I was in my early teens, I preferred many friends but nowadays I have few friends but they are very close to me. So I would say, I prefer having few close friends than having too many ordinary friends.
• Do you usually see your friends during weekdays or on weekends? Why?
I usually see my friends during weekends. Weekdays are busy days and after I get back home in the evening, I prefer to stay at home with my family members.
• Do you prefer to stay alone or with your friends?
I usually prefer to be with my friends. However there are times when I need my personal time and in this case, I prefer solitude rather than companies.
• The last time you saw your friends, what did you do together?
Well, we played badminton together and had our dinner at a nearby restaurant. That’s the last thing I can recall doing with my friends and that would about a week ago.
• In what ways are your friends important to you?
I share many common interests with my friends and that makes us having pleasant activities and conversations together. They are quite helpful and supportive to me in times of desperate time. I can share almost anything with them and that makes them special to me. Having good friends is like being blessed and that’s why they are very important to me.
• What do you prefer: going out with your friends or spending your spare time staying at home?
That depends. Sometimes I prefer being with my friends and sometimes I prefer staying at home with my family members. I try to maintain a balance in terms of spending time with my friends and with my family. For example, while playing any outdoor sports, I prefer going out with friends. However, I enjoy watching movies and dining out with my family members.
• Do you have many friends? Why? Why not?
As I’ve already said, I had many friends when I was in my high school. But these days I have comparatively fewer close friends.
• What do you usually do with your friends?
I enjoy playing outdoor games, watching movies in a theatre, having conversations related to recent political and international issues, sharing my updates and concerns, going long drive with my friends. The best part is the open conversation we can have related to almost any topic.
• Are friends as important to you as your family?
To me, my family is more important. However, this does not make my friends less important to me. Naturally, family comes first for almost everybody and then the friendship. I am no exception.
• Do you think friendships change as we get older? How?
Yes, I believe so. In early ages, we are prone to make many friends and only a few of them remain for a long. At this stage in life, the friendship is not that deep except in some cases. On the contrary, when we get older we prefer to have few friends but most of them remain as loyal and close friends. In young ages, our expectations from friends are to enjoy their companionship and doing all the crazy things with them. However, in older ages, we expect far more from our friends and they become more like family members than being simply friends.
• What do you expect from a good friend?
Well, that’s a tough question! Not that I have not thought about it, but I have never drawn a solid conclusion about it! Umm, my expectation from a good friend is that he would be a good companion, good listener, would criticise me whenever needed, would be supportive and positive. He must be honest and would have a sense of humour. Finally, I expect him to be more like a family member than an outsider.
• What would you like to change in your daily routine?
I would like to get up earlier in the morning than I do now. Next, I would like to take up regular exercises in a gymnasium. Apart from that, I would like to leave office/ university early to walk in the park for an hour. Apart from that, my current daily routine is all good.
• Are all your days the same?
Not really. My usual office/ university days and days off are quite different. While on a typical day I remain busy at office/ university, I mostly stay at home during my days off. The routines are quite different as well. During my longer holidays, my routine changes and they are quite different than other busy days.
• Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend.
Well, on a typical weekday, I get up early in the morning, take a shower and eat my breakfast. Then I hurry for my office/ classes and the bad traffic kills some time on the roads. After I reach the office/ university, I need to concentrate on my work/ study & classes and I return home at around 6:30 pm. I eat my dinner at around 8:30 pm, read the daily newspapers or a book, watch the news channel and browse the internet. I study/ spend time with my family till 11:30 and then prepare to go to bed. I usually sleep at around 12:30 and always try to read something or listen to music before I sleep. If I have an exam/ office deadline, I study/ work till late night.
On the contrary, during my weekend, I wake up late in the morning, grab the newspaper and look at the headlines and in some interesting news sections. Then I take a shower and eat my breakfast. I watch some TV programmes and then go outside to meet my colleagues/ friends who live nearby. I spend some time outside and then return home before lunch. In the noon I take a nap and in the evening I either go to a shopping mall to buy necessary things or visit a theatre to enjoy a movie with friends/ family members or go to a park to walk. In the evening I either play video games or spend time reading books or browsing the internet. I usually take my dinner at around 10.30 pm during my days off and go to bed after 1.30 am.
• What is the balance of work/study and free time in your normal day?
Well, I think I can maintain a good balance between my work/study and free time in my daily routine.
When I am at home, I spend my time with my family members. I have some of my personal interests and hobbies that I have not quit. I can manage time to spend some quality times with my family members even during the weekends. I meet my friends regularly and spend time with them as well.
Overall I am happy with my daily routine as it let me maintain my work/ study life separate from my personal life.
• Do you have any hobbies or interests? What are they?
Well, I have numerous hobbies and interests including collecting coins, collecting stamps, reading books, watching movies in the theatre and updating a blog.
I like to update my blog and spend around 1-2 hours daily to write for this blog. This is a blog related to technology and I am very happy to notice the increase in daily visitors.
I have more than 300 coins from different countries and they include many old coins that are no longer in use. I love to collect new coins and stamps whenever possible. I love to read books, especially fictions and watch movies in theatres with friends and family members mostly in days off.
• How did you become interested in (the interest or hobbies you have mentioned)?
Well, I got interested in collecting coins mostly because one of my uncles had this hobby and in my childhood, I found it both fascinating and educative.
I started collecting stamps possibly because this is a common hobby when I was a teen. This is something I still feel passionate about. Reading books is a habit and hobby I possibly inherited from my grandmother who was a voracious reader and a wise woman. Watching movies in a cinema hall is something I myself found enjoyable and attractive.
Finally writing the blog was an academic requirement at first and then I realised the usefulness and possibility of it later on.
• What is there to do in your free time in your home town/ village?
In fact, there are a variety of activities someone can do in my hometown. Enjoying the sunset beside a river is a common interest of local people. They often enjoy boat riding, playing football, fishing and similar activities. Young people often play cricket, badminton and table tennis. There are also few large libraries where book lovers can enjoy their time.
Someone new in our hometown can visit the local photo gallery, museum and public library.
• How do you usually spend your holidays?
I mostly spend my holidays with my family members. Typical days are busy days and I scarcely get time to spend the whole day with my family. That’s why my first preference on my holidays is to spend some quality times with my family members. Apart from that, I often hang out with my friends in the evening or play outdoor games with them.
• Is there anywhere you would particularly like to visit? Why?
Well, I would love to visit Rome because of its historical significance and tourists attractions. It’s been quite a while since I have I planned to visit this city specifically to see Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza del Campidoglio and Vatican Museum.
• What do you usually do in your spare time?
As I told you, I mostly spend time with my family members and friends in my spare time. I often watch movies with them, play football and chess, and go out for shopping. I also read story books and maintain my personal blog in my free time.
• What is your favourite colour? Why?
Blue is my favourite colour. This is probably because it is the colour of the sky and represents serenity, tranquillity, nature and a decent personality.
• Do you like the same colours now as you did when you were younger? Why/ Why not? Yes, blue has always been my favourite colour. Apart from that, I had little interest in purple and green colour in my childhood that I started liking in my late teen ages.
• What can you learn about a person from the colours s/he likes?
Colour preference can represent the psychology and personality of a person. From the preference of colour of a person, we can learn about his background, personality, choices and many other psychological aspects.
• Do any colours have a special meaning in your culture?
Yes, white and red is the colour of our nationality and flag. White represents peace and serenity in our culture. Though red has a different meaning in our culture, it is perfectly okay to use red to show our respects to our country and freedom.