23 December 2010
- I have absolutely no inclination to write a decent post. Not because I don't have anything to write about, but because I don't feel like. So hence, writing this arbit, non-decent post. ;)
- Christmas is in the air. I love this time of the year. Feels like Diwali time when I was in India. The lighting outside houses, Christmas carols, holiday drinks at Starbucks, the relaxed work atmosphere in office, the Boss calling in to say that we all can take off at noon on Thursday.. :) Enough to spread the cheer around, aint it?!
- In keeping up with the festive mood, I tried my hand at baking the traditional Christmas fruit cake. A combination of fruits, nuts and heavenly rum. It turned out great, much better than my last cake baking attempt, and was in fact even appreciated by my group mates, when I took it to work to share with them.
- Work at new place has not yet picked up pace, but I am happy to have nice group mates, with whom I can hang out and have lunch everyday.
- Did I mention, I love the bay area?! I mean, I am really in love with this place. I feels like a hill station. It is in fact surrounded by awesome mountains, which have different forms everyday depending on how the sun and clouds are. It feels great to be getting out of work and watching the clouds over the hills as I drive home. :)
- It is hard to believe that this year is ending. I mean, it feels like it just started!! So many things happened over the year. Got married, studied for interviews, left my beloved first job, started a new one, staying with the hubby, a new city, 2 major illnesses in the family, making new acquaintances, saying goodbye to old ones... Its been an eventful year. Though now that I think of, it all seems as if it went by so smoothly, and quickly.
- Even after moving to the bay area, and being surrounded by nature, I did not touch my camera the whole time. Or most of the time. Yesterday, while driving home from work, I really started missing my camera, and hence did an intense photo session of random things the moment I came home. It felt great!!
- Staying with the hubby has been all fun. The fact that I have to cook only 50% of what I was doing when I stayed alone, adds to the fun :). And eating hubby-cooked meals for the remaining 50% of the times, adds more fun the the fun. :)
- What is with the movie Eat, Pray, Love.??!! Its the most moronic, boring, pointless movie I have seen in a while. Rather, I have yet to finish it, because I dozed off yesterday while watching it. And now I feel bad because I blackmailed hubby into watching it with me, and the poor fellow had to endure the torture as well :D
- Lately, I have been feeling grateful for whatever I have in Life. I know it sounds all mature and wise, but maybe I am getting a little wise with time ;-). By that I mean, I have been saying silent prayer (to no one in particular) whenever I realise how lucky I am to have something I have. Even if I need/want a particular thing, the intensity of that want seems to have reduced. I feel as if I am more at peace with myself and my situation. I sincerely hope this state of mind is not temporary.
- Reading a very nice book on kindle over the past few days. Uncle Tom's Cabin. I got kindle on my birthday as a gift, and though initially I was apprehensive about leaving my books and switching to kindle, I have found that it has some pros as well. The dictionary feature is what I like the most about it. If I come across any difficult word, I can just scroll to it, and its meaning will get displayed at the bottom of the page. In case of books, you cant do this.. unless you carry a dictionary with your novel every time.
- Will try and post some cake pics if I don't scarf down the cake before I reach my camera :). Till then, happy holidays and Merry Christmas!! Ho Ho Ho!!
17 November 2010
I sold my car today. My first car. It is a part of the whole cross country relocation programme I am involved in :D.
And surprisingly, I didn't feel 'that' sad seeing my car go. I mean, I did feel a teeny bit of pang, but that's it. Maybe it is because it was not a great car in the first place, that's why. And I was having some issues with it for a while, and it did contribute to a major part of my agonies in the past couple of years. But even then, letting go a possession can induce a bit of sadness.
I have learnt a major thing in this whole relocation project. Yes, I have given this project a name, have made notes, lists and what not. The reason: I am absolutely terrible at this kind of thing..you know, packing, organizing, sorting... And I was dreading it, like I dread going to the gym! So anyways, I thought why not treat this relocation as a project, an assignment with a deadline. That way, I would complete it, and maybe even enjoy it a little bit. And it has really worked! Just the completing part..not the enjoyment part ;)
Anyways, as I was saying, I have learnt that no matter how hard it might seem to let go your stuff... your old clothes, your hand picked furniture, you car, your dingy little rented apartment that you so loving decorated (and loving messed it up on a regular basis), its just the inertia you need to overcome in this whole "letting go your stuff" process.
Few days back, when I started packing, I decided not to take the clothes that are too big for me, or the clothes I had got from India during the first visit which are too small to fit me. So basically I created a heap of clothes which I eventually donated. And now that I think about it, it was just the first piece of clothing (a jeans) that went into that heap took me hours to put it in that heap. I spent a considerable time thinking whether I will ever fit into it? It does have some awesome college days memories attached to it. Its not that faded or threadbare.. But then once I put that first jeans in the "clothes to donate heap", the rest of the clothes went in it pretty quickly. And I realised that it actually felt good. Giving away clothes that I never touched, had even forgotten they existed. It felt like a cleansing process. It felt like something old was coming to an end, and something new was starting. And it did feel good! After that one jeans I had trouble parting with. Even though the rest of the clothes had their own stories behind them, their own memories, I realised that clinging to them in the name of memories was just a waste of space and a waste of money.
So anyhow, by the time it was my car's turn to go away, I had become almost cold hearted. And that's why, the lack of any earth shattering emotion. :)
But I guess, once you really make up your mind, it is easy to let go and move on.
03 November 2010
Riding this festive wave, I bought a ticket to CA few days back so that hubby and I could spend our diwali together. I agree this was an impulse buy and that I had promised myself that my last trip 2 weeks back would be my last CA trip just 'visiting' before I move there.
I have been told that the couple's first diwali is supposed to be a big deal with lots of celebrations and the likes. Well, I don't know about that, but I am just glad that we will be together during the festival. I am also looking forward to the nice meal hubby has planned on cooking for me ;-). Anything for home made food not cooked by me. The 'not cooked by me' part is crucial... I have been so sick of eating food cooked by me for the past few months. I mean I don't cook 'bad' per se, but its just that I am tired of the same taste and the lack of variety in my food. Anyways, I digress.
This post was anyways just for wishing you guys a very HaPpY DiWaLi!!! May your life be full of happiness, light and fun :)
27 October 2010
The most recent song that I have loved in this sense in the song 'saiba' from Guzaarish. I know people around me are going ga ga over 'tera zikr' (which i loved too), but for me, 'saiba' struck the chord. It is just so poignant, full of love and longing ( a strange kind of longing ) and has a very subtle sadness to it. I have been listening to Guzaarish songs in a loop for the past 2 days, and I keep going back to this one song. So yesterday night, I was lying alone in my apartment, lights shut, pin drop silence around me and was listening to this song. And I was surprised to find that at the end of it I had tears in my eyes. I know this sounds a bit stupid, because the song is not really a sad song, per se. (plus, who cries on listening to songs!!) But I had tears without me even realizing i was silently weeping. I don't remember at what time i had started weeping, but when the song ended it was like I was jolted back from a dream. I had to pinch myself to make sure i was not actually dreaming. That was some experience. I am still trying to find out the exact emotion in me that was stirred by this song. But I am not able to put my finger on the exact emotion.
I have been humming this song non-stop for the past 2 days and cant get it out of my mind :-)
Do you have any particular song that makes you cry? (or emotional at least?)
25 October 2010
But 'Can you keep a secret' was very nice, and I actually found the protagonist quite cute and could relate to some parts of her. And plus, the hero is absolutely gorgeous... I mean really awesome. Geeky, multimillionaire, funny and sexy. I think I have a miniature crush on him. sigh.
Next in the queue is the Asimov foundation series. I have had the books for a long time and never got to reading them. Now is the time.
My weekend was actually very nice. As expert as I am getting to being an ace couch potato, I think I broke all my records over the weekend. Spent the entire weekend reading the above mentioned book, watching random Hollywood flicks, talking on the phone and catching afternoon siestas. Plus, its actually been a long time I have had a tension free, travel free, headaches free, work free, study free weekend. So it was welcomed with wide arms :).
Saw Robot the last weekend. I still cant get over how HOT Aishwarya Rai looks in that movie. I was seriously considering shifting loyalties from Abhishek to Aish after watching the movie. Planning to watch the movie again in a few days. It has some mind blowing and logic blowing concepts. Need a second time watch to fully register the movie.
Hope you guys have a good week ahead :)
07 October 2010
When you don't get the opportunity to directly help anyone facing domestic violence (or any injustice for that matter), then the next best thing to do is create awareness and spread the message. And that's what I am doing here, in this post. I also posted a link on my facebook page about the DV awareness website, and I was indeed saddened that I got no response to it. I mean i get f*#&*%& 10 messages and "likes" to my lame "flying to CA" status updates, but to this one, not a single response. Neither did anyone re-post the link on their page. Why cant this issue raise the same amount of public uproar that a Rajni movie gathers? Why are we, as a society so mum about these issues. Govt had started some schemes link but I have not seen their awareness commercials that frequently on TV, especially in recent times. This is one awesome scheme that we all MUST be aware of. Please read through this link. Why cant we let the victims know that we as a society wont shun them, wont question them, wont sneer and gossip about them if they walk out on their husbands to avoid DV. Or has the society not reached that stage yet. Maybe the society needs more deaths, dowry incidents and abusive marriages to make it "AWARE" and do something against it?
I wonder.. are the people on facebook lucky enough not to have comes across DV before (or know someone who has) or whether they simply just don't care about this issue? There is also a possibility that people in my friend list are actually out there helping others with issues like DV (but I have decided to be a skeptic, and ignore this possibility). And as I said above, we ought to be more vocal about such issues that are still considered as a stigma by the society. Imagine what we can do if we use these social networking and mass media channels for issues that really matter?! Issues that can save lives. Issues that can make the society 'humane'. We underestimate the power these mediums have to create a positive change.
Anyways, whiners are wieners, and I don't want to be one. So I shall just do my bit and write on this topic. I have grown up knowing people who have suffered DV. Right in my family. 2 such cases to be precise (that I know of). In one case, one relative xyz (now, no more) hung herself because her husband and in laws were torturing her physically and emotionally. She had a son. xyz was very close to my mom (but never mentioned the torture to her or any other relatives), and I was a little girl at the time she died. At the age when I didn't even know what domestic violence meant. Her death (and many other incidents i witnessed in my childhood) have left impressions on my mind. They are indeed responsible in making me more aware, more independent and more confident. (I am using xyz here because I am trying to keep this post as 'general' as possible without any mention of names or my relationship to them) But I still remember this incident with crystal clear details. When xyz died, and we came to know about the whole torture that she was subjected to, I had cried. I was shocked that someone would physically abuse anyone to this extent. And i was even more shocked that xyz's own parents had sent her back to her husband's house after she had come to them for help. The first time. And every time after that. Even me, a child, knew that this was wrong. Parents are supposed to protect their children. But its shocking her parents were more worried about what the society would think of them. For them, protecting the family name was perhaps more important than protecting their daughter. I read a nice line in an article: Duniya me sabse bada rog: kya kahenge log?!! Well, I don't know what the society thinks of them now, but I absolutely detest them for sending their daughter back to die. As for xyz's husband and in laws, I have nothing to say apart from the fact that they repent. They repent so badly, that their conscience does not allow them to live peacefully. And I also detest the society I live in which thinks less of divorcees and single mothers. And I also detest myself that I can do nothing other than write this post about an issue I feel so strongly about.
The other case in my family is exactly the same as above. The only difference being the lady finding enough courage to walk out of the marriage after 25 years. She is sane, happy, with her children making her proud. And yes, I salute this lady for her courage. Though late, she did muster the courage, and did an awesome job of raising perfectly sane children single-handedly.
Other than these 2 cases I have come across in my own family, almost EVERY domestic help we have had till now has been a victim of DV. Few months back, Mom was telling me about this lady she had hired to clean the house, has her own miserable story behind her. Husband is a drunkard, beats her, makes her work (while he himself sloths around the house doing nothing), and takes all her money to be incharge of all the finances (which are all spent on booze). He wont divorce her. When she left the house with her kids, he attempted suicide and left a note holding her responsible for his act. He did survive (i think that was his intent), but then to get the police case off her head (as a result of him blaming her for suicide), she had to pay some hefty amount, putting her in debt. And in the meanwhile the husband is back to troubling her and beating her up. She has no support from her family, and that single woman with no money finds it impossible to go register a complaint with the police. The police and the corruption and the horror stories that involve them is another day's post.
But just listening to her story sent shivers down my spine. This is something that is not new. (According to UN, 2/3 of married women are subjected to DV, according to a report that gave year 2005's statistics. I could not find more recent stats from a trusted source.) But I wonder if there will ever be a moment of peace for that lady? will she ever sleep a good nights sleep, knowing she will not be beaten up later that night?
Some would argue that she herself should be strong and fight it out. But how? Is it her fault that she was not educated when she was little, because her parents found is more important for her brothers to educate (which they will make use of by being sloths when they grow up and beating their wives). Was it her fault that she has not a single channel of support? I know, and have seen some people fight out of these situations even without any support. But what about the cases when the victim seems to think this sort of abuse is a part and parcel of life. It is something every one has to endure, Because her mom also had to endure?
Mom did all that she could do to help her out, but she left after few months and we have no idea where she is or what she does.
In most of the cases, the victim does not know that the abuse he/she is being subjected to is wrong. The social conditioning we get matters a lot. If a son grows up seeing his dad beat up his mom, chances are he will turn abusive. There are exceptions, and I am not generalising anything, but unless you are taught that violence of any form is wrong, you wont learn.
I request the people who read this, please spread the message around about this month being DV awareness month. Also, keep your eyes and minds open. DV victims (women, men, children.. DV is not gender specific) can be around you, in your circle of acquaintances and you might just end up helping them in some way. Be aware, be safe, help others by making them aware. There is another article I had posted on my fb page a while back: pink saree gang. This article had inspired me a lot. These are what I call "modern" Indian women. Women who don't need western clothes and english accents to prove they are modern. They don't even need to "prove" it. They are the people who "are bringing about a CHANGE". Who are not just writing articles but actually going out there and saving lives. I salute them.
05 October 2010
Anyways, with cooking made easy with scores of online recipes and videos, I chose a recipe that had the most awesome looking cake. ahh...im drooling already. Again. So, I gathered everything I needed but at the last moment realized I didn't have any measuring cups/spoons. And I decided to use 'estimation' to remedy this. Turned out it wasn't a good idea after all! Though I finally managed to get the 'cup' measurements correct (found an old shaker that had it marked) I approximated the teaspoon/tablespoon measurements. Though nothing went wrong catastrophically in the end product, I think I ended up adding more baking soda than required. And a little less sugar than it asked for. Anyways, once I got the things measured, then came the daunting task of "beating" the mixture. An electric beater might have made this whole process a 'cake walk' , but i just had the hand whisk at home, and had to use it. The first 3-4 minutes of beating the butter and sugar was actually fun. I was all excited to see it become nice and fluffy (just as the recipe said). But I was supposed to keep beating it for 10 minutes, and after the first 5 minutes, things started getting hard. The 10 minute beating session soon turned out to be a short gym session when I do my arm strength training (which has been off for about 2 months).
But the sunny positive person that I am, I decided to concentrate on how much workout my arms were getting and how nicely toned they were getting (true or not , I don't care. But that's what I kept telling myself) The beating/workout did not stop here. After that, I had to put in 3 eggs and beat them up. (easy). Once that was done, I had to add some of the dry mix (flour + wrongly measured baking soda) to it and keep beating. The mixture had turned nice and think and my arms were sweating it out. I put the rest of the dry mixture in it to torture my arms some more. (mission was accomplished, if you are wondering). Then the remaining ingredients followed, making the batter easy to work with. Once I got it at the desired consistency, my joy knew no bounds. I was happy maybe because of the adrenaline rush you get after a workout? Anyways, the last step turned out to be my favorite, pouring the batter in baking trays and chucking them in the oven!! Voila!!
I was indeed very happy and hopeful after seeing my cake rise beautifully in the oven. And my apartment smelled great!! It was a smell I associate with my childhood. My mom used to bake birthday cake for us when we were kids, and the house would smell of vanilla and chocolate and orange! *drooling*
You might be thinking reading the post that my cake was a disaster, but it actually was not. It wasn't a success either. It was just on the border. I am not quite sure what went wrong with it. The look and texture and color was perfect, but I knew I had screwed up the taste with my wrong measurements. Even the taste was not disastrously wrong, but it was not perfect.
Things learnt in this expedition (and will keep in mind if i ever bake a cake again):
1) use measuring cups/spoons.
2) Don't try to make the cake healthy (unless you are an expert cook and know how to make it both healthy and tasty). I cut back on the butter and sugar (responsible for the lackluster taste)
3) ALWAYS use electric beater. Unless you regularly go to the gym (and don't bunk it for 2 months like me) and your arms cooperate.
4) Be patient for the cake to cool down and then cut it properly. *Never* take a spoon and scoop off a bite from the center just because you are impatient to see the results of your hard work!! Not only it is bad manners, but you are also at risk of burning your tongue.
On a parting note, I have decided to find other channels to express my happiness when hubbie visits.. something other than cooking grand dishes.
26 September 2010
The husband and I were discussing something over the phone the other day, and what started out as a fun discussion, soon turned out to be the start of an 'idea'. We realised that 'this' can be done, and one thing led to another and the idea soon turned into and orgy of discussion which which both of us could not stop talking about. That feeling of ecstasy (is it the right word for this?) is something to be felt and i cannot quite describe. Something a small child would feel, when it sees a toy and squeals and runs towards it. Or something Kalmadi would feel when he signs a contract for yet another batch of imported toilet paper. It is more than just joy, this feeling. Whether that idea take shape of any actions, and whether it gets utilised or not, is another thing, but the very fact that you have got this idea is exhilarating.
22 September 2010
- I love love love (does it put extra emphasis if I type it thrice?) their coffee. By coffee I mean, the filtered coffee mixed with milk and sugar. The very basic one. I'm not too fond of the fancy frap-something-cchinos.
Me, being a coffee person have tried coffee drinks of many different places here and in India. Be it dunkin donuts, seattles best, peets, panera, CCD, barista or the very-in-the-neighborhood 'durga'. But somehow, no one gets my coffee perfected as starbucks. For my taste, the roast, texture and taste which they serve is just right-on-the-spot-perfect!
-The other thing i like is the atmosphere. I can sit for hours in a starbucks (have not tried sitting for hours, but im sure i would enjoy it). The coffee, the jazz music (that's what they gen play) and the comfortable soft and cozy chairs make a killer combination.
-S and I have had some very fond memories of this place. We have talked, discussed and enjoyed each others company in this place (still do). One of the things i look forward to when i go to CA is going to starbucks with husband. Simple pleasures of life :)
Man, am i going to miss this place when i go back to India..
20 August 2010
The reason I decided to do a post on Mr Darcy was because i watched Pride and Prejudice yesterday... the 1995 television series in which Colin Firth plays Mr Darcy. I have seen almost all the versions of Pride and Prejudice out there in the market and I cannot imagine any other actor in front of my eyes other than Firth when I think of Darcy. But this isnt about Firth, its about Darcy. Why do I (or for that matter any girl in her right mind) have a crush on him? To start with, he is handsome, well read, honest, arrogant and proud. And yes, i forgot, has the most amazing estate in Pemberley. What attracts me to the character is not his tough arrogant and proud exterior but the fact that he is willing to analyze himself. When he is turned down by Elizabeth Bennet, was his ego hurt? im most certain it was. But he used this hurt ego in a good way. He did not hide away from Elizabeth just because she rejected him. He did not deny his arrogance. But on the contrary he introspected and changed what he felt was wrong. That I feel gives a 'real' touch to the character. Even after accepting his mistakes the character does not undergo a 180 degrees turn. Till the very end, the character maintains its exterior of pride (but maybe to a lesser degree). He changes himself not because he wants to impress Elizabeth (he hides from her all his involvement in helping her sister Liddy. If he wanted, he could have very well told her his involvement improving his chances of her liking him back), but he truly believes what he has done was wrong. This whole helping behind the back is very genuine. Without any expectations of a return gesture from Elizabeth. (How often do we help people without expecting a kind word or appreciation in return?) His sole intent being seeing Elizabeth out of misery and ofcourse his blaming himself for inflicting that misery on her. The sincerity in almost ALL his actions is what attracts me to the character.
Another important factor that adds to the attraction (not to be confused with being in Love ;) ) is that he is 'almost' unattainable. This, I feel is crucial. A character disconnected from reality, someone who you cannot quite touch is not attractive. And so is someone who easily gives you attention. Someone like Mr Wickham. He is seemingly friendly and easily gives you attention. Attention you might like, but I doubt there will ever be any 'attraction' towards the character. But Mr Darcy.. he is on the edge. He seems like someone you cannot touch, but then he also has this human layer just beneath this arrogance layer that shows up once in a while. Especially in scenes where Elizabeth hears the Pemberley estate people and tenants talk good about their 'master'. That i feel is crucial in subtly showing Mr Darcy's softer side.
So there you go... These are my reasons of having a crush on him. The longest crush duration-wise i have ever had (first time i read Pride and Prejudice years ago - Present).
28 July 2010
About the pic: That is my camera, Nikon D80 you are seeing in the pic. I had just bought a remote for the camera and was trying it out. Location: the bathroom of my apartment!! (what! I dont have a mirror outside the bathroom..what to do!! ). Anyways, I have broken my promise to keep this wednesday wordless.
22 July 2010
So, ladizz and gentlemen, presenting to you today's special: pasta a la colorful!!
Ok, ignore the name, but i must warn you that this recipe I tried out yesterday for dinner was hugely successful and widely appreciated... by me of course!! Anyways, I decided to cook something grand, but what I ended up cooking is super easy, super healthy and super yummy. Killer combination, I think :) And more than the taste I loved the varied colors in the pasta. A feast for the eyes as well. I got out my camera and clicked some pics as well. Anyways, without further ado, here is what I did:
For the pasta sauce:
3 ripe tomatoes
few sweet baby tomatoes, halved
1 small sweet bell pepper
a bunch of basil.. the more the better
4-5 cloves garlic (i used more coz i love garlic)
freshly crushed pepper
some red wine vinegar (opt)
1 tb olive oil
Cut tomatoes finely and put them in a bowl. Cut the peppers finely and send them off to give company to the tomatoes. Finely chop the garlic, chiffonade the basil and add them to the bowl. If you like your pasta tangy, as I do, add about 2-3 teaspoons of red wine vinegar (I am thinking lemon or any other vinegar will do as well). Add the pepper, salt, olive oil and give all this a good mix. Cover it, and let it sit in the refrigerator for sometime. It is important to use fresh, high quality tomatoes and basil as they are the main ingredients. I generally buy my groceries at the farmers market here, and so the quality and taste is a LOT better than what you get at walmart and other grocery stores.
Meanwhile, I cut up some zucchini and yellow squash I had and coated it with little olive oil, garlic and pepper. Broil it till the veggies turn little brown and crisp. I also added some green peppers and baby tomatoes. (though, I wouldn't broil the tomatoes the next time... I think the baby tomatoes taste better raw than grilled.) . Once grilled, let the veggies cool down a little bit and then sprinkle a little salt over them. I did not add any salt while grilling as the veggies ooze out water and become soft, which I don't like.
Cut veggies ready to be grilled:
Also, Put a pot of water to boil and cook some spaghetti in it, as per the box instructions. Once done, drain and keep aside. Now mix the cooked pasta in the prepared pasta sauce, topped with some fresh cut basil, more crushed pepper (and cheese if you like). Serve with grilled veggies on the side. Mixing the veggies in the pasta will make them soggy, so I prefer them on the side.
Once you do this, well, what are you waiting for, sink the fork in the pasta and tuck in :).
21 July 2010
16 July 2010
In the snap below: This was written on one of the boards inside the Denali national park. The lines below describe best, what you feel when you see those high mountains..everywhere. If you notice the time of sunrise and sunset, it is quite fascinating, because of the sunset at midnight (And believe me, the sun never actually sets completely in summer. The one week i was there, we did not see darkness!! )
That Wonderful World of high mountains,
Dazzling in their rock and ice,
Acts as a catalyst.
It suggests the Infinite,
But it is not infinite.
The heights only give us what we ourselves bring them!!
14 July 2010
How can this sentence "aur ek bakra bali chadh gaya" be true, even in humor, when statistically there are greater number of women 'unhappy' in marriage, greater number of women 'abused' (physically/emotionally) in marriage and greater number of women filing for divorces in a marriage?!! This is the condition, i know of, in India atleast. So why make such comments that someone is being a bali ka bakra, or bali ki bakri by marrying?! It pains me even to hear such jokes. I wish i could go cool my head somewhere. :|
06 July 2010
So, in dearth of any interesting writing material, I forced a tag on myself, picked up from Richa's blog. I found this tag interesting. And the moment i read it, I could think of a list of things I have done that does not fit the stereotype of a 'girl' .
Well, I am not fond of breaking stereotypes, but I am fond of doing things i like. And it so happens that the things i like, most often do not fit in the things that girls generally do. Following is the list:
1) I absolutely HATE makeup. I guess the only time i was forced into using it was during my wedding . I thought i looked like a clown :( and felt extremely uncomfortable under the layers of cosmetic products. The makeup lady got the shock of her life when i told her that at 26, i have never used makeup :|
2) Something that just struck me... I don't own a purse/hand bag. not even one. I have never used it. I find it extremely inconvenient, as it is very impractical to carry my camera (which accompanies me most of the times), or my books/laptop to work. I find the combination of a wallet+backpack more convenient and comfortable.
3) My walk, I have been told resembles a person who is on a rampage, with the intention of doing serious damage to anyone that stands in the way. Well, i exaggerate, but you get the point, no?
4) I have been in fights with guys.. a LOT when i was young, and a few fist fights when I grew up. Ok, these grown up fights were all in good humor, but they were 'hatha payi' for sure!!
5) I absolutely love to handle gadgets and i feel I am actually good at that (there i go..blowing my own trumpet ;) ). Be it using a hammer/drill or handling a camera.. I feel a sense of pride that I can assemble the most complex of ikea stuff easily when some of my guy friends actually crib about assembling it. I know its not rocket science, but it makes me happy that i can do it very easily! (Ikea is this furniture store where you get furniture in its dismantled portable state and you have to assemble it using the stuff provided) And moreover, I love assembling/dismantling stuff. I do the household mechanical jobs myself .. like fixing the drain, or a short circuit or a broken window. A few months back, I single handedly did all the lighting of our garden for my wedding reception. I was actually fixing the wiring and the sockets a couple of hours before the reception, when i was supposed to be getting ready!! I love handling machines..be it driving a car or driving a nail in the wall. Period.
6) I love photography... I don't know if its a guy thing, but I don't know of any girl (other than a few ones online) in my friend circle who loves clicking around. So I am putting this point.
7) I travel light. Most of the times, its just my back pack and that's about it.
8) I dress in a way that is generally typical of guys... wrinkled jeans and t shirts being common. Not that I try to wear them often.. but just that i find them very comfortable.
9) Im not very fond of shopping. I hate to shop, especially for clothes. In fact im not very fond of the shopping malls here. They make me claustrophobic.
10) I am messy.. I am absolutely not proud of it... But i seriously dont feel the need to keep the place neat and sparkling (ah well... who am i kidding.. i am lazy.. there i said it. That the main reason ;))... I mean I wont object to living in a clean house, but you would rarely find me keeping the house clean. Again.. working hard on trying to change this habit.
11) I am not sure if this is a stereotype or not, but nightflier pointed out recently that there are very few girl coders.. So that's another thing i like to do.. I like electronics, and coding and my job, which requires me to do both.
So that it! that's my list. Though I do have some qualities that are stereotypical of girls.. I love chocolates , absolutely love mushy flicks and the Jane Austen type books/movies. I do like occasional cooking of complicated recipes (though i never guarantee their success), and i am fussy about my hair :|
So go ahead and take up the tag.. girls and guys alike!
28 June 2010
09 June 2010
The thing that triggered the cry-baby inside me was a friend of mine sending me his wedding pics. This friend got married few days back in India, and I could not attend
Its not that I haven't been to india in a long while. I payed a visit and squeezed in my shaadi during that visit just 3-4 months back. And I did meet all my friends (the very same who were dancing in front of the baraat horse) during my shaadi. But the very fact that I can afford (in time and money) just one visit a year to india, is pissing me off. And by every passing day, I feel happy about our decision of not "settling down" here in Amrika. I realise that I would be giving up the material comforts here, the clean air here, and that life in India is more physically draining than life here, but still having a life in india just "fits" in my mind. And I would like to tell the people who express shock, concern or amusement over the fact that I have voluntarily chosen to go back in the next couple of years, that I will be just fine :P . I have lived in my country for 22 years, and living here for just 4 years (or maybe 5 when i actually make the shift), will not require much adjustment to go back to living in India!! So please dont be surprised, it really pisses me off ;) .
07 June 2010
Anyways, the main intent of this post is to brag!! to do 'maaz' about the fact that I won the travel contest!! woo hoooo :D Man, I needed this boost!! seriously. I was almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown when my Alaska vacation ended yesterday, and I read the results right on time!! gave me the much needed pepping up!! Thanks blogadda and Ashu (who judged the contest) :)
28 May 2010
I have to pick 5 photos (only) which i took while travelling on vacations and put a description for each one.
So following are my picks:
The above snap was taken at a very nondescript lake 10 minutes from my place in Boston. This remains one of my favourite snaps till now for may reasons. I have spent some good memories by this lake, and it always reminds me that I am closer to home! It is also a place I go to when I need to spend some lone time with myself..to organise (or maybe to dis-organise) my thoughts!! Its by no means a tourist spot, infact the lake is surrounded by dead tree trunks as seen in the pic, but it surely adds to the place's charm.
Title: Welcome to Florida!!
This snap was taken (as the title says) in Florida (more specifically, at Key Largo) during my 5 days vacation last year. The snap, in my opinion looks like a (perfect?) Florida postcard, with Florida (or for that matter any beach side place) trademarks of palm trees, thatched huts, clear blue skies and oh yes, the water!! Florida, apart from giving ample opportunities to try some awesome water sports and adventures, proved to be a photographer's paradise!
Title: chow time!
This snap is from 2008 summer when my parents were visiting me in Boston, and I had taken them to visit the Nantucket island which is 1 hour ferry ride from Cape Cod. As much fun as I had shooting (erm, with my camera, of course ;)) the birds, it was more fun to actually watch the ferry passengers feed the birds with cake and other edibles. Looked like party time for the birds! This one bird was brave enough and kind enough to oblige me by coming close to the lady's hand, so that I could take this shot! Thanks for posing for me, birdie!! :)
Title: a sunny paradise!
This was taken at Lake Tahoe during my trip to Tahoe and Yosemite last year. Though we were at Tahoe for only a day, it was enough time for me to appreciate Tahoe's beauty. A perfect vacation spot for both summer and winter. I really did struggle a lot for this snap in order to get the sand, the lake, the mountains and the sky all in one shot. All I had to do was lie flat on the sand (which was super hot due to the bright sun), keeping my camera at ground level and take the shot. Though on the downside, some sand particles somehow entered into the crevices of the camera and I had a lot of trouble getting them out! But, it was worth all that ! :)
Title: Love birds
This one was taken sometime back in Miami. Well I literally had to sacrifice my sleep for this one!! We wanted to catch the sunrise on the Miami beach, and so ended waking up at 5 in the morning (which is like midnight for me!!). My grumpy mood due to the lack of sleep was soon replaced with pure awe when I saw the sunrise. It was SO beautiful! Maybe because I was seeing the sunrise after ages!! ;) . There were many birds on the beach, and I wanted to take their silhouettes against the fire-lit morning skies with their vibrant colours. So again, I was flat on the beach, with the camera pointed a little upwards to get the dark ground, providing a good contrast to the orange skies. And the birds were kind enough to share their private moments with me :)
Well, thats my small contribution to the contest. So go ahead and take it up yourself!! It is a lot of fun choosing and describing the snaps.
The contest is organised by:
17 May 2010
- You're a disgrace to depression.
- Some of us have great stories: pretty stories that take place at lakes, with boats, and friends, and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. To a lot of people, that's their story: good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good.
sad, but true. We cant help but compare our lives with other people
- Police! Donut-munching morons! Help me!
- How can you diagnose someone as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and then act as if I had some kind of choice about barging in here?
talk about a movie being hilarious yet making your eyes wet!
- I guess what I'm trying to say is: you make me want to be a better man.
This one takes the prize!!
Being a total follower of mushy movies, this dialogue makes me dream, swoon and fall down with a thud!
14 May 2010
We get affected by criticism, by rejections, by praises, by acceptance. For almost all of us, the way people think about us, matters to us. But then among those people, there are people, who define the way they think about themselves, based on what people think about them. That is something I have been conciously trying to change. I have till now always been the kind of person who did not care what people thought about me (well, for most of the times). I have never done something because I wanted to "fit in". But these days I am finding that I am letting people decide how I feel about myself. My belief that I am good enough for a particular task gets strenthened when someone says something positive. I feel completely crappy about myself, completely demotivated, completely worthless when I face rejection. I feel that only for a few days, and after that I do get up and get moving. But the point is for those few days, I let other people decide the way I feel about myself and my capabilities. I dont know when this change in me happened. But nowadays I find it extremely difficult to face rejection. I remember while applying for MS, I had faced a ton of rejection letters before I got accepted into a good school. I dont remember being heartbroken at those rejections. Not even a little bit. But something has changed after that. I dont know what. But I dont like that what has changed. There are always going to be some people that are going to be better at doing a particular thing than you, and there are always going to be some people that are going to be bad at doing it than you. So when someone praises me about something, I should not feel good about myself, coz there are always some people better at doing that than me. Similarly, when someone rejects me, I should not feel bad coz there are always some people worse than me at doing that particular thing. Main thing is to know that today, you are better at doing a particular thing than what you were yesterday. That is all that matters.
My "running" project is going well too. I ran yesterday for 10 mins out of 20 (dont laugh!! 10 mins for me its hugh! remember, I couldn't run continuously for more than a minute before). With intervals of walking and running, I plan on running longer intervals without walking breaks. But I do sense improvement. (pat on my back)!!
I finally ordered a wide angle lens for my camera. Something I have been planning for a year!However the Nikkor one I wanted was still very pricey so I got a Sigma one. Cant wait for it to be delivered to me!! I also registered for shutterchance. It is this photohosting website, where you can create your own photoblog. I am thinking of migrating from flickr to shutterchance. I like their simple blog structure and the fact that you can view the photos with an option of a black background, which is important for some photos. Keep checking out this space for recent photographs! Considering I have got a new lens and I will be vacationing soon, I promise to keep that space updated. Link on the right!
05 May 2010
30 April 2010
Now if you will excuse me, I shall go back to enjoying this luxury!
27 April 2010
22 April 2010
One of the utilities guy at work, who is mexican and does not speak much english was chatting with me (with a lot of gestures and broken english) in the lounge the other day when i was getting coffee. The conversation ran like this:
E: I think you is very nice shape.
me: nice shape?
E: Yes, you is not round.
me: (lol in mind) I am a little round.
E: no no, very nice shape. You run?
me: I run towards chocolates, if that counts.
And so went the funny conversation for few more minutes.
But that conversation made me realise that I decided something, and stuck to it. Believe me, it rarely happens. Last year around the same time, I had decided I would increase my fitness level, which had hit rock bottom ever since my grad days. I never had any health issues or weight problems back in India. I guess I was inherently fit, with all the sports I used to play in school and all the cycling I used to do till junior college. If i remember correctly, I used to bike to Fergusson college for most part of my first year, and only got my spirit in the second year. But come grad school, the exposure to all the sinful chocolates, cookies and other junk I love, I had literally ballooned up during my RPI days, and the trend continued after I started work. It was only last year that I realised how low my immunity to fight minor things like cold had hit, that I decided to start improving my health again. What it meant was, I got myself a membership at my local gym, and went there 3-4 times a week. "They" say a balance of exercise and healthy eating habits ensures good health. But chocolates and sweets being my weekness, I knew I had to rely on the 'exercise' part to get back in shape. Well, I wouldnt say im 'in shape' even now, but I am definitely healthier than what i was 2-3 years back.
Ever since getting married and coming back from India, I am feeling very .. something along the lines of feeling down. Rather not-cheerful would be a better word. I am super happy to be married and all that, but really pissed off that I (or rather we) cannot enjoy the the togetherness more often. I never knew getting a transfer to the west coast could be such a pain in the a.s.s. And this whole coastal exchange programme (thats our east meets west monthly programme) is bogging me down. There are quite a few good things happening in my life right now, if I were to look at my life from an outside point of view, but the one thing "I" want it to happen, is not happening. grrr :|. Just fogetting about my job and shifting there without work does not appeal to me. The fact that I would be living off my husband's money, does appeal a little bit ;). But I seriously hope that all this is sorted out.. and quickly.
On a lighter note, as if I wasnt travelling enough already, S and I have planned a trip to Alaska! Actually I was a bit surprised at the fact that we did not argue at all on where to go for a vacation. Signs of growing up, eh ;) .One week in Alaska. yay!! There is still some time for the vacation, but I am pretty excited about it from now! I have been told that couples go on something called 'honeymoons' after marriage. Well, we didnt go on one, and so decided to go on an adventure trip and call that trip our honeymoon. I still dont know what is the difference between a 'honeymoon trip' and a normal touristy trip you take as a couple. Not exactly food for thought, but just a musing. Seeing the aurora borealis was one reason (among the many other) that we chose Alaska, but I only found out much later that they can be seen only around the equinoxes , that is around march/april and
august/september. But then the excitement about Alaska had already built up by that time to cancel it only for this reason, that we decided to go anyways. The fact that not many tourists go there, was the most attractive reason. Both of us love wilderness. And Alaska is still pretty much untouched by commercialism that follows the tourism. So all in all, hoping to get some peace and quiet coupled with fun during the trip :)
That was my attempt at blogging after a long break. If you made it till the end of the post, pat yourself on your back!
09 March 2010
25 February 2010
If I was sitting besides the window, drinking coffee, watching the rain outside, pondering over nothings, im pretty sure it wouldnt feel grey, wet and depressing. Maybe I am missing out on all the good things in life. The things that actually matter.
I wish I could do this.
I wish I could go to Starbucks (I have a special attachment to that place) "right now" for a hot chocolate.
I wish I could sit by the window and read a book. (I know I can, but I cant/wont :| )
I wish I could have mom and mugdha come and stay with me here.
I wish East would meet the West.... and fast!! I am hating this distance every passing day.
I wish I didn't feel so damn pessimistic about everything!
I wish I could 'somehow' vent the thoughts out that are bogging me down.
I wish I had the courage to do the things I actually 'wish'.
A looong sigh
12 February 2010
This trip to india is going to be memorable in many ways. It was eventful, to say the least!
I never knew I would enjoy my wedding so much! I belong to that species who hate socialising, attending functions and weddings, getting decked up etc. Now for such an anti-social creature like me, the wedding turned out to be one the the best times, and one of the fun filled times I have ever had.
To start with, I was meeting all my relatives (who had taken the trouble to come all the way to calcutta where the wedding was) after god knows how many years. And this set of relatives who had turned up for the wedding are among those funny, jovial and awesome set of relatives! So all of us literally had a ball. I have laughed till I had tears in my eyes in that one week i was in calcutta.
And secondly, bengali weddings are SO much fun. I have only attended maharashtrian weddings till now, and sorry to say, but I have always found myself getting supremely bored at them. Compared to MH weddings, I found bengali weddings so full of activites. I felt like i was in a movie scene... holding the betel leaves to cover my face, with my poor uncles having to lift me up on a 'paat' and take me round 'S' 7 times. One of my uncles claimed that he couldnt attend the remaining of the ceremonies because he broke his back :| .
And in the end, my relatives lifting me up and S's relatives lifting him up in the air and seeing who goes the highest. The final verdict, given out by the pundit said we did a draw. I guess he only said it to avoid the bashing from me and S's aunts ;). I totally loved the conch shell they blow on every 10 minutes and the "uluulu" noise they make. Though I hope someone should have warned me about the "ululu" noise before. I found it exceedingly funny and most of my pics have me with my teeth in their full display.
One person marginally escaped getting bashed up from me. And that was the makeup lady. In the 4 hours we spent with each other on the wedding day and reception in calcutta, I am sure I have not cursed anyone that much, and she must not have cursed anyone so much in her entire career. She made my life miserable in those 4 hours, and I made pretty sure that I made her life miserable too :| . I am the kind of person who hates to even use a moisturiser on my face. Vaseline is the only "cosmetic" I use. So with that known, it pissed me off royally when she used about 50 different things on my face. My warnings to use minimum makeup went un headed. It was like it was her wedding. urgh! But then she was quickly forgotten once the wedding fun began :)
The second reception we had at Pune was awesome too. S's parents and sis were visiting us in Pune for the first time and they loved it there! I got to meet all of my friends who had turned up in large quantities. It felt nice meeting my project guide, my friend's parents and my aunts who couldnt make it to the wedding in calcutta. And I felt more comfortable in my own skin, with no make up ladies bugging me :)
At the end of all the festivities, I heaved a sigh of relief... why? Because I was wearing saree for the first time in my life, and didnt fall down. Not even once . yay!!
09 February 2010
I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three
The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine
For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic
I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality
When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three
As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer
We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands
Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed
-- From the movie "Harold and Kumar"
02 January 2010
But I have to say, year 2009 rocked! Been a good year overall... both professionally and personally. No major upsetting, shattering, frustrating events (touchwood!) Travelled a LOT!! Had a chance to catch up with friends staying in different places. Im kind of sad that it is ending and keeping my fingers crossed for so many things lined up to happen this year!!
Finally mustered up the time and enthusiasm to catch up on the movie front over the xmas vacation. Now, im not very good at writing reviews, but allow me to voice one line opinions about the movies I saw over the vacation.
1) Rocket singh : Liked it. 3.5/5 stars.
2) 3 idiots: Went without any expectations, but it failed to make a mark in my mind. Found the movie entertaining (but not well made), too much of a caricature and goes over the top to make the point regarding the worthless-ness of the education system. 3/5 stars
3) Avatar: CLASSY!!! totally loved it. One of its kind movie made on alternate existence (that is if you at all go into the story part, beyond the mindblowing graphics) 4.5/5 stars
4) The Ugly truth : a romantic comedy, with the comedy element greater than the romance. Nice movie. 3.5/5 stars
Missed my chance to watch Paa. Its out of the theaters here :( maybe will watch it in India.