2Oth April 2017 was an amazingly difficult but fulfilling day

I thought my world as i knew it was falling apart

My box broke

My devices didn’t record any information

But i had an Indian God’s namesake/ friend (Ganu) help me pick up the pieces

My fav cuz helped me by giving me some much needed pep talk

Mom and dad told me not to stress as much and made sure i was eating right

Polar bear ensured i had dinner on time and we spent some time watching couple episodes of FRIENDS while i worked in the pack lab

My testing completed around 00:25 HOURS on 04/21/2017 and now i should rest.

Tomorrow is another exciting day

All in partial fulfillment of my complete Masters Degree!

 

Exquisite Marathon Invitation

I am at it again. Missing a few days of writing then using multiple prompts to help me build a story.

So Jan 15-17 are: Exquisite, Marathon, Invitation and to me they’re perfect in just that order.

Exquisite Marathon Invitation. Exquisite Marathon Invitation! I ponder and repeat those three words in my head a couple more times before it finally begins to make some sense and take some shape. First, I think about what the beginning of the year has been to me. It is something to do with hope, achievement, life improvement of all sorts and the want to shine and excel in everything i do. Sounds exquisite.

Second, it is definitely a marathon. I need to sustain it for 365 days – 17 since those have passed.

Third, the fact that my conscience keeps beckoning me to do better/ want to do better each day is an invitation.

Makes perfect sense, no?

The Daily Prompt: Jan 15- 17: Invitation

Thinking to himself

Last year, i tried to blog continuously for a period of 30 days using the daily prompts. It was a mildly successful effort and i don’t see why i shouldn’t try it again this year. If i think about it realistically, i have enough time this year to achieve these little things i want to do. I fail when it comes to my willpower to shut Netflix off and go to bed early the previous night instead of watching, “OH, but  just ONE more episode” before i finally go to sleep  in the wee hours of the morning only to wake up a few minutes before noon. As a student who is on a break from school it seems like a great idea, to be in bed that late but as someone ambitious who has some dreams and goals to achieve in the next 24 weeks, it is a terrible, terrible idea.

So, like anyone else who has worked smart instead of hard, i am going to cheat because i am lazy enough to not want to make 14 different posts since i missed blogging the first 14 days of this year. I am going to attempt to use these 14 prompts in a single post

The words are:

Year  Interior  Gone  Crossing  Tempted  Float  Specific  Infinite  Shine  Uneven  Cling  Someday  Capable  Unseen

Here goes-

He was a very capable man,

Life to him was all about infinite possibilities

He yearned to shine at work,

He worked very hard.

But there  were times he felt physically drained & tired.

He was very well guarded about his feelings and beliefs.

There were times when all he wanted to do was cling onto something.

He was tempted to cry for help but he was too proud to do so.

His 30 something body felt like it was 50 because of his sedentary lifestyle.

When he was home at night,

He would love to lie down on his bed for specific amounts of time – motionless

Almost trying to make his soul float around the room or hover over his still body

He’d try not to think of the year gone by, it had been a tough one

He’d try not to let random thoughts crossing his mind distract him

Then he would get up and sit by the window

Grab his pack and light one up

In the middle of smoking his cigarette

His eyes would wander off to the mirror at the other end of the room

He’d look at himself and what a mess he is and try to fix his uneven hair

He’d then look  down at the pandemonium that ensued due to a traffic jam

In a city like Mumbai, where nothing ever stops, he hoped for a silent minute.

He looked at the mirror again, this time his gaze piercing through the reflection of his being

The demons of his psyche, the interior of his spirit, all came out to play at once

And not unlike the smoke of the cigarette in his hand

The toxicity of his true personality, couldn’t be unseen.

 

The Daily Prompt: Jan 14: Unseen (Jan 1- Jan 14)

Looking backward, looking forward

I am trying to think back 364 days. I had an amazing end to 2015 with a glitch that made it not so amazing and it carried on into 2016. Fortunately I had great teachers at school who hired me and that helped me financially. Then, I braved a blizzard spent six hours at a bus station waiting for my bus back to Rochester before I could finally move down to White Plains. When I think about it, it seems like small stuff, some of which I was sweating and some of which I decided not to sweat and that was good.

Personally, 2016 had a lot to offer and therefore it is imperative for me to chronicle this. 2016 in general taught me to watch for signs and read them. Though I am trying, I am no expert yet when it comes to reading signs.

Here’s what I learned in 2016 in no particular order

  1. People can be greedy. If you see signs of it – speak out or move away. Greed shows up in little things that might not be of any significance to you and just because you choose to ignore it, it doesn’t go away.
  2. People are willing to help you out. Especially if you genuinely want to learn something. All you have to do is ask. Ask even when you’re uncomfortable.
  3. Don’t think you know everything until you do. BE OPEN. You might be surprised as to how much you don’t know because you chose to shut down the other side before LISTENING. Listen for the sake of learning not for the sake of asking questions – someone once said. This goes for both older people (Parents, Teachers, Friends) and younger people (Siblings, Students, Friends)
  4. If you want something – make a goal, think about it often and then work towards it. My goal was to want to graduate with the highest possible honor and I am working towards it.
  5. Everyone’s time is valuable – including yours, if someone doesn’t respect it. You shouldn’t have any obligation to respect theirs. That doesn’t mean you show up 30 minutes late for the next meeting with them but let them know. Having said that, give of your time to others freely if you can.
  6. Have the foresight those friendships that are made fast can end as fast as they began. Everything of importance in life takes time and work. Everything is an investment that you’re either going to gain or lose. If good soil, sun and water in the right combination are not given to the plant – it won’t grow up to be what you hoped for. Also, some plants cannot be made into BONSAI (early 2015 lesson)
  7. Sometimes you will have to compromise and settle for less than the best. Is that the right thing to do? (I don’t have an answer to it yet)
  8. If you are truly passionate about something, it will show when you talk about it to others. You will be beaming and excited. Some aspects of it will make you angry but you know doing it is going to help you in the long run. So sometimes you have to suck up the bad parts because you know the reward and pain is worth it to gain something you love.
  9. Spend time with yourself – a lot. Go on long walks by yourself. It might give you an insight into you.

2016 has been a great year for me; the year has been so kind that it’s set the bar really high for 2017. I do hope good things happen this year, there’s hope for humanity and more good than bad comes out of this year. People in position of power will take steps to change the world for the better. Wars will hopefully end.

Now onto my personal list of goals for 2017

  1. Healthy eating, healthy living, leading a more active lifestyle.
  2. Keeping in touch with my friends and family on a more regular basis. Writing more handwritten letters and sending it to my friends across the world. Yes, my mission is to keep all postal services across the globe in business.
  3. Being intentional in all that I do. (Personal, professional, financial decisions) Deliberate and decide.
  4. Being more kind and humble.
  5. Doing my best at my job whatever it may be (Teaching Assistant, Student, Employee)
  6. Being slow to speak and slower to criticize.
  7. Learning a language and or a musical instrument or both.
  8. Reading more and watching more documentaries than popular sitcoms and series.

I am sure there is more on my personal list but these are the ones that encompass them all.

Wishing you all lots of joy, happiness, love, luck and health in 2017. I am ready for the next revolution around the sun, are you?

Achieving a tiny dream

About six months ago, i attended my friend’s graduation ceremony. As one of the spectators and a potential graduate student for the Class of 2017, i thought to myself – “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to be up there on stage as a Graduate Student Delegate.” That thought stayed with me throughout the next six months.

I would be caught up in my work and classes and interviews but when i had a few quiet moments the desire to be the best would come to me. It made me aware of how badly i could want something. Of how badly, i really could want. Awareness of a desire.

Then in the following months, things unraveled in ways i never imagined and i happened to achieve the dream. The biggest hurdle/opportunity was The panel interview. I heard there were to be about 10-12 people in the room and the pressure seemed to build. I almost got late for that interview, thanks to a bus driver who was doing his job right and making sure the bus is safe to be driven around – safety checks and all. That’s when i let myself lean on my friend LM, who was kind enough to drive me to school. I had a few minutes before the interview started but i wanted to have enough time to drink some water before they locked me down. I sprinted across campus in heels. LM who watched me run thought it was really funny and said i ran like a penguin. The interview was great. My nerves were eased seeing DJ and MI, two professors i knew. I made them laugh, made them think but most of all, enjoyed myself. At the end of it, the outcome didn’t matter since i felt i gave my best and that i had a great time.

The big announcement happened on Wednesday. I made it and i was so thrilled.It was great and then MI invited me to a quick coffee + chat session to talk about the preparations for the big day. I had to write this note as a reminder of what a great, profound conversation we had about cultures, life, students, gratitude, countries, people, administration, religion and food, parents, weddings, and at the end of it we ran out of time but not out of topics to talk about.

Safe to say- one dream’s been achieved but many more are still to be dreamed up in my sleep or while i am awake and then there’s going to take a lot of work to achieve those. Stay positive, stop and smell the flowers, keep dreaming.

The last of

Tomorrow is the last day of my last exam of my last semester of my Masters Program. I feel terrific, anxious about what’s to come, happy that my friends are graduating and sad all the same. This semester has given me the opportunity to explore my potential as a Teaching Assistant. I have loved every moment of trying to teach a group of 20 odd students how to use certain lab equipment. I hope i have done a good job, i often wonder to myself. I know i have probably let them down a few times (missing lab because i overslept, not being able to answer their questions always) but overall i think i have grown as a person.

I have become friends with a lot of my students, it has been so amazing. Especially in the past two weeks, my friend T (without whom grad school is unthinkable) and L (one of my students) and I have become such a dream team. Staying up late in the lab – overnight as well but having fun all the same and getting work done. I probably won’t have the opportunity to do that again for school. Not anytime soon i think.

It’s just been great and i am beginning to see myself transforming this blog of mine into a collection of all the good things in my life because I have a lot to be thankful for. Earlier this evening was my last Zumba session for the year. I started Zumba in August in an attempt to finally lead a healthier more active lifestyle. After what was an amazing session of dancing to be fit, i walked back to the locker room and realized that i not only learned new ways to be active but also have now become an expert combination lock opener. At the beginning of this semester, i could barely open that lock but now i can do it so fast and do it right.

I guess God is in the details. It’s been a great year and i am excited about the next few days until the close of the year and also hoping that 2017 will be as good if not better.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a very good time with friends and family over Thanksgiving. I hope it was a happy one. Honestly, ever since i started living in the U.S. I feel like i have become much more grateful for all the wonderful things people do for me, the opportunities and love i’ve received. There are days when it feels like i am an alien here. Days when i don’t understand what’s going on even though i do and days when i can’t keep up because that’s not how i learned to live.

A few days ago, i was talking to my good friend, we were sitting in the computer lab discussing job openings and applications when i told him how lucky he was to not have to deal with being an international student and that every job he applies to, he stands a very good chance. Pat came his reply, “I am sorry you weren’t born here.” I know for a fact, he wasn’t really “Sorry” about it but it enraged me that he even entertained the thought that i would have preferred to be born there. I was quick to respond, “I am happy that i was born where i was, I am glad i was born in India and that i see things differently.”

That incident happened Friday before the Thanksgiving break. He forgot all about it but i just can’t take it out of my head. The weather was bad on Sunday and V (another friend) happened to get into some trouble with that. School was closed on Monday due to snow showers and bad weather. Good for us I also had to fly out for something but my flight was cancelled and i think i am glad it was. Another reason to be Thankful. Tuesday we reconvened in the class and later in the lab. We were supposed to grab dinner outside but had to drop another classmate home. She lives near his parents so we decided to make a quick stop at the parents’ place. His mom in the meanwhile kept some soup and pizza ready for us. I was tired and hungry from Zumba and couldn’t bring myself to decline the offer, so we stayed. We ended up staying there for over two hours, eating dinner, me fielding questions about my country, defending some policies, being candid about some state of affairs and playing with the dog. It was a fun time and i am thankful for that.

Wednesday was uneventful for the most part except my friends decided to take me out at night for a drink, it was just V, G and me. We spent time engaging each other in a nonsensical conversation and trying to be rational about it. What would i do without those two. The day i was waiting for all week was now finally here. Thursday. Thanksgiving Day. Turkey Day.

I have been here in this country for three Thanksgivings and each year has been very different, while the first was spent in my house, last year was at an Indian family’s but the food was mostly American but this year was my first real American Thanksgiving and i was the only Indian in the room. I was lucky to be invited over by J to the M household to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. It was her parents, grandma, uncle, aunt, cousins, herself, one of my Professors and me! Oh, and the two dogs. I was treated like one of the grandkids, i was gifted a Christmas ornament with a $5 bill in it. It felt like my own grandma gave me this gift. Also, their family tradition is that you need to bring the Christmas ornament back to the house the following year to receive more money!

It was a great time eating all the wonderful things prepared by J’s mom, grandma and aunt. I stayed there from 3pm to 10pm and it was just J, her mom, grandma and me having a discussion from 7pm until 10pm. Grandma had to work the next morning so she excused herself at 9pm and went to bed. I felt welcomed. I felt Thankful for having a friend who thought of me and wanted to include me as part of the family celebration.

Anyone who knows how American things go know that it’s few times a year that families come together and Thanksgiving is a big deal celebration. It’s very different from Indian celebrations because most of ours are a “chalo sab aa jao” and “Everyone’s welcome” kind of celebration. Here a lot of emphasis is on celebrating with very near and very dear ones.

The fact that i am considered to be near or dear or both is what i am most Thankful for in this moment. It makes me feel positive, it helps me feel less pain for all the  times people have not given back as much as they should’ve or could’ve. (This part is something i am taking from Amarllyis, my friend and fellow blogger who is so much better than i am )

Link to her post: http://amarllyis.com/2013/11/because-it-matters/

I am lucky to have been part of this journey, my journey. I know exciting things are in store in the future. I want to believe in everything positive but that belief stems from the realization that there’s more good in this world than bad. There are more kind people than unkind. That in the end things always work out or they eventually will and for all these reasons i have to be/ am deeply grateful and thankful.

Until next time, Peace Out!