Foreword

There is neither a structure nor a texture to this blog. The subject matter can be anything and everything under the sky that I feel about at any given point that I happen to sit and blog rambling about everything in general. My thoughts and views are basically influenced by what I read, hear, gather, and ponder... if there is any copyright violation which I have not duly acknowledged, kindly let me know.

My world comprises of LO the little one, OA the other adult at home, kiddo the brother :)

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Dec 31, 2007

Farewell and Welcome!!

As the year comes to a close, it is the time to summarize and sum up as to how it went and how it had been personally, professionally, financially, and health-wise. For me, it was a year of new beginnings and discoveries and visiting many places that I could only dream of or errr.. could not even dream of.


"Beauty of Fall Colors"

Spring and Fall are undoubtedly the best seasons out here.. Spring because everything suddenly blooms and it is green everywhere you look at. Fall because of all the colors you see along the way and all those beautiful leaves that fall down on the roads covering them with colors. It has been a wonderful experience looking at these nature's marvels though I missed full-fledged fall experience because of my trip to India.


"The Mighty Niagara.. Reinforced The Power of Nature. Just too awesome view to put in words"

Niagara, when seen in person reminds you of the power of nature, the sound of the water falling on to the rocks, the mist that can be seen from miles away, just the feel on being there.. experiencing the falls from "Cave of Winds" is an amazing experience. The closer you get to the falls, the more you fall in love with it. The number of rainbows that you get to see in the daylight is a treat to the eyes. The ferry "Maid of Mist" takes you to the horse-shoe falls and it is a great feeling just being there below the falls and getting drenched in the tiny water droplets. The drive from NY to Niagara is a great one, especially that greenery just like a fairway and the landscaping. You just fall in love with acres and acres of unending greenery.


"Lady Liberty.. A peaceful place away from the usual NY rush"

It was a nice ferry ride to this island and seeing the green "copper lady" statue of liberty was good but when you look at the NY skyline from there, I really missed the twin towers and being there at that spot, Ground Zero, brought tears to my eyes. It gave me shivers even thinking about the crash replays that I had seen years ago in TV. Being right underneath that place where the towers once stood, I felt kind of a vacuum and re-shocked at the mindless violence.


"A Busy New York Night"

I had always been a Friends fan, and used to see those buildings and fire escape views of NY and also "Law and Order", "Sex and The City" etc. Being there in NY downtown, I really really felt good, looking at those tall skyscrapers, the Empire State Building with more than 100 floors, The United Nations Building, World of Astoria and some great hotels there, World's Largest Macy's, Ripley's Believe it Or Not, Madam Tussuad's Wax Museum, Statue of Liberty, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero (the place where the twin towers stood). Man, this is the most happening place in the World. So many things happening, so many people around, the cabs racing past, the glitter and gloss of the place, everything about it left me awe-stuck, gaping at everything with awe. I simply fell in love with this place. It is a small world in its own.


"The Shamu Show... Awesome is the only word that comes to mind"

Seaworld in Florida is a place for joyrides, water shows, etc., a nice theme park with really great fireworks every night at 9. It is a must watch if you happen to be in Florida, we waited for hours to just catch a glimpse and it was worth all the wait.


"Universal Studios.. Florida"

Universal studios and the theme park are the "must-go" places for all the fun lovers for the scary rides, the simulated movie environments, everything about that place spells fun and yup one needs a lot of patience walking around acres and acres of land but all the effort is really worth the entertainment and enlightenment that awaits us :).

I worked, I resigned, I travelled a lot, I had fun, I had my depressed and sad moments but each time I fell in love with life afresh. In all, I lived life king size in this year and I leave you with the glimpses of the same.

The best thing has been that I have been in touch with most of my friends and the people who mattered to me through the net and of course this space even though I had been physically thousands of miles away from you all. Thank you, each and every one of you, for being there and sharing and caring. Everything that you did mattered a great deal in making this year a very special one. Hope everyone had similar wonderful experiences all year through and I wish each and every one of you a Very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year - 2008.

Dec 30, 2007

Summing it Up!!!

This is what I have been doing these days, thinking that is.. I have been wondering, as the year comes to a close what is that I have done and what is it that I intend to do in future. I have seen a lot of changes in life, been to a lot of new places and interacted with a whole lot of new people who now are a part of my life. I lived a whole new chapter in my life.. being someone's wife, living with someone who has been a stranger all the while and with whom my life is now intertwined.

Had initial hiccups in the relationship where everything seemed to have suddenly changed. I mean it is one thing to know a person for almost a year, be in touch with him over the phone and on the net for most of the time and totally a different thing staying together in person. That taken-for-grantedness and that realization when it dawns is a bit too much to take but as the fact sinks in and as time passes by you become more mature and everything falls into place, just like it has now (touchwood). There are these loads of new relations who are just trying to get used to you, the way you are trying to get used to them, lots of insecurities on both sides and a few misunderstandings and a few patchups and by the end of the year, it feels like that is what is life all about. Changes and getting used to those changes and coming out winners or just getting lost in the flow giving in to emotions. Luckily, I chose the first one and began to see things in a new perspective.

One thing that I have learnt is that you can never satisfy everyone at the same time, someone somewhere at some time or the other will have something or the other to point to and blame you, so why bother to be so nice to everyone when there is no need to. Just be yourself, do good, be good, and live the way you want to without stepping on someone else's life. If someone has a problem with it, it is his/her problem. Just learn to love yourself and take care of yourself.. 'cos if you dont love your own self, dont expect others would.. what say of my new funda???

The world will tell you who you are until you tell it yourself!!!

Touched..

These past few days have been emotionally quite taxing for quite a lot of people across the globe for quite a few reasons.

I have seen two deaths in 2 consecutive days, one a violent one and the other sudden and unexpected. Both of them had left a deep impact not just on the immediate families but also their respective political parties and people in their constituencies who had a lot of hopes pinned on them.

I actually know nothing to judge as to what is wrong or right and why it happened and how and all that, but the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though expected given the previous attack on her life in October had been a little too hard on me. Extremist groups, ruling party, not giving importance to personal security and moving closer to the crowds in a dangerous situation, whatever is the cause, it is too early and too violent a way for a life to end. I happened to see her in Rendezvous with Simi Garewal a few years ago and got an impression as to how well-read and clearly focused person she was and now I saw Frankly Speaking with TOI and liked the no-nonsense way in which she dealt with the interview. Fearless and Clear is what came to my mind when I saw that. Fearless she is, for who else would dare to go to a land knowing fully well there is a threat even after seeing her father and brothers lose their life. I admire her for the guts she had though not completely understand why she was the way she was. Just hope there is no anarchy in the neighboring country which in fact was a part of my homeland until 60 years ago. Considering the concept of global citizenship, I just wish there is peace and harmony everywhere.

Another person is our very own PJR or P. Janardhan Reddy, a politician from AP. Though I do not totally agree with his political affiliations (purely personal opinion), I admire him for the ability to get along with any group of the society and doing good for the people in the constituency. His sudden demise, infact just outside a political meeting which he was attending came as a shocker as I had not heard of his ill-health any time. I sure think this is a loss to many poor people who would have benefitted and his loss is undeniably is an irreplaceable one in the party for sure.

May their souls rest in peace.

Shoba De's Tips on Happiness :)

I saw this article by Shoba De in a social networking website, shared by an online community friend. I really liked the way it has been put across, so simple and easy and so contemporary. Nothing out of ordinary, everything put well together and showing a well sorted-out thought process. Must say, I agree with all of them and it is nice see them in words, things that we know but are just too lazy to put together and follow!!

1. Be selfish: If you dont give your own self priority, if you dont look after your health, appearance and well being, you cant make anyone around you happy either. Being constructively selfish is very different from being mean and self centred.

2. learn to let go: learn from it, but discard the negative emotion generated by the memory. it serves zero purpose

3. teach yourself to trust: agreed the world isnt the most amazing place, but it isnt all that terrible either. these days suspicion rules. but the minute you surrender your doubts and stop being cynical, you realize just how many wonderful ppl there are out there, who may actually risk their own lives to save yours

4. express gratitude; articulate your feelings when some does you a good turn.

5. slow down: there is nothing that compelling, nothing that cant be kept on hold

6. touch and go: really, thats all, one tiny touch before you get busy.

7. listen with your heart; cacophony has replaced conversation.

8. confide: betrayal can be devastating, but its still better to seek advice by sharing those troubling problems then living with a constant feeling of being choked.

9. shut up: keep quiet. not every argument needs a resolution

10: have a heart: this is about compassion, yes but on a more selfish level, it is about following your heart too.. if your heart isnt in what you do walk away. you cannot succeed in either a career or a relationship that your arent embracing- whole heartedly. imagine being stuck in a job or marriage that only gives your grief? what for, as the cliche goes, life is way to short to throw it away on activiites that are devoid of joy. the minute you opt for something or someone you love, you will succeed. the heart has its reasons-- as pascal wrote years ago, listen to it.

11. stop being a control freak:being reasonably organised is one thing, being obsessive about it another. so strive to find the right balance

12. count: to control your temper, to or before making any important decision

13. compliment ppl: why stinge on praise, who doesnt like to be appreciated walk up to the person who has earned your respect and say so , it costs nothing

14. music: it is the balm of the soul. it alone has the ability to calm, soothe, heal, restore and musc asks for nothing in return.

15. cry your eyes out: go on its such a great feeling theres nothing as destressing as a really good cry

16. extend help; if you find yourself in a situtation where your intervention whould lead to a positive outcome, go ahead and extend your hand. dont walk away when you see someone in distress

17. grow a garden; taking care of plants makes you feel responsible for life itself

18.money madness; agreed moolah helps, we all need money, but do we need to chase it at the cost of all else, health, family, fun, the only thing that can save us reconnecting with one another and our past

19. eat, drink and be merry; yep, but be sure you do so munus guilt, food- whether its comfort food or a gourmet meal-is the provider of elemenatary but immense pleasure. to remain indifferent to the everyday act of eating is to deny yourself a great source of happiness

20. learn to lose; it really ok to not win every single time. and its also ok to feel terrible when you lose. losing with grace is an art in itself. wins some, lose some, that s how it goes, and always will

21. sleep; catch your eight hours of sleep

22: dance: dancing for the love of dancing frees you from self consciousness, even if you think you lack the grace and rhythm to move to the music, who cares, you arent going to be judged, and you arent being watched, it s not naach baliye and you should tell yourself to just let go, whilr, twirl, jum and swirl.

23 embrace life: as the cliche goes, life is way too short to begin with, why fight when you can love, when you embrace life unconditionally, you value each and every moment. and when each moment becomes precious enought, you derive the maximum enjoyment out of it.

24. daan: charity does not begin and end with writing a fat cheque and sitting back smugly thinking youve done soemthing commendable. giving in the true sense goes beyond donating money it involves giving of yourself, sharing time and emotions, interests and ideas

25: just do it: impossible is nothing.. go just do it..dont waver to do things you want to get them done.

Dec 20, 2007

It Is True..

It is so true

... that life changes after marriage and you no longer are the same person to those around you nor are they to you.

... that priorities change and no matter how far you want to run away at times, you realize that this bond is going to be there forever and ever.

... that our very own blood relatives get you wrong some times and it is but obvious that someone else's will have their own doubts.

... that is okay to shout at and blast at times but it is impossible to take back what has come out at that time and it is better to watch out!!! drink loads of water to soothe yourself, all you end up is a few more trips to the toilet but are saved of taunts later on.

Random Musing!!

There is so much for me to say to myself and so much to focus on and regroup together but me being ME am trying to brush it under the carpet and hush my inner self up rather than acting on it.

Does this happen to everyone. Knowing fully well that there is something constructive to be done to make your life and living better but just letting it go and lazing around??? that lack of motivation and take-it-when-it-comes attitude???

Been There, Seen That!!

I had been to India for short while.. (ahhoo, ahhhoo) 45 full days :)and been there on my mom's retirement day, the day which is begininning for so many more to come with a new approach to life and new focus on things. Being there, I would never regret not being there ever and yes, I certainly have a different view point based on a lot of things out there. Wishing her a happy, healthy, and peaceful retired life!!

Unfortunately, the rest of my stay had been full of health-related issues dogging me one after the other and believe it or not I have lost 5-1/2 to 6 kgs in that period... awww.. I am glad I am slim but I look like a Somalia-returned person rather than one who had been to eat, enjoy, and have fun out there. Back here, my health is almost on track with gradual weight gain and a biiiiiiig reduction in my allergic cough, almost gone now. This visit left me wondering on a lot of things and yes, it certainly had been an eye-opener in many ways and had cleared out my mind on a lot of things.

One thing that really surprised me is how my body got used to the clean environment here and how it reacted to everything out there. The place I have grown up all my life and will stay for the rest of it is the place where I have taken a lot of time to get re-used to. Well, this scares me on the possibilities... awww, how will a kid born here adjust to the climate over there.. (no conclusions, not mine!!, just wondering in general).

Nov 20, 2007

In Motherland!!!

Back home for a while, it feels good to be back here but it is like half of me stuck back there with OH.. finished half the stay, confused as to whether I want the rest of the stay to get over fast or let the time linger on!!! well, I sure am one crazy crazy person!!!!!

Oct 22, 2007

bReAk!!!

Family is something which really matters to an individual, that is where we spend our formative years and their decisions, good or bad, will have a profound impact on the rest of our lives. There are times when I wanted to take a break from my own and rather be left alone but then again, heart is where home is (for me at least). Just when I think I am done with all the responsiblities and have a life of our own (me and OH) I feel this absolute need to go back and check on my mom. Well, for some it might seem extravagance, less-thoughtout action, not-needed thing, a big financial dent, etc., I think it is the least I can do for her, be there on her retirement and see to it that she is settled well after her long service to the office and the family. So, here I go after a lot of thought, agreements, and disagreements to be there with her at the time that is really a turning point in her life, which leaves her at cross-roads to make some crucial decisions. If nothing I would just be a pillar to lean on and just be there!! Old school of thought says parents are the son's responsibility, so that leaves my brother with the load, well I feel it is high time he takes up some too and I take a back seat, but still I think it is my duty to be there, a moment which I would never want to regret missing. Wish my mom good luck and a good life after retirement!!! Miss my amma all the more :((

The eternal India US debate

I think this must be the most common thing guys out here going to India face... being loaded with stuff to be handed over and last minute purchases no matter how long earlier the trip had been planned!!!

It is really amazing how people expect us to land with costly gifts and take it for granted that it costs us just the same as it does there!! Requests for digicams, handycams, ipods, watches, handbags,perfumes... aaah!!! those lists.. come on we can get the same stuff back there and you can pick whatever you like more.. it is all the more irritating when they say bring it and we will pay for it!!! aahh,bring it, listen to the comments as to how they would have gotten a better piece for a lower price in India and then wait eternally for them to pay back!! Thank God, our immediate families and close friends are not in that category, but you know the others best to ignore!! I have seen a lot of victims of such, people requesting digicams as if it were chocolates.. FYI, we earn the money too... no one gives it free even in US!!!!! I feel so bad for them.

After coming here, it is true we earn a lot more than the indian counterparts but we need to spend in dollars too and why do people forget that!! We slog here day and night to work in the offices and at home doing everything at home ourselves with no help whatsover from others. Tell me how many of the people out there clean toilets,wash dishes, iron all the dresses by hand (aww the maid, dhobi, curry point, home foods luxury). Agreed we are here knowing that fully well, but i think we need to at least keep something of what we earn here out to ourselves!!! So cribbers out there,just rethink!!! Being in US is not a luxury, it is a difficult choice that we make for a little better,pollution free, corruption free life!!

When I go back, I wont regret going back there but I do have a better understanding of why people chose to stay back here!!

Movies Of Late!!

All the talk and hype about Happy Days, watched it,it is yet another paisa vasool movie from Sekhar Kammula.. out and out feel-good entertainer, made about the engg and s/w aspirants, the very-in-people after the s/w hype. I for one,had not been to a college other than for intermediate (distance education by choice), so it was a good learning experience, but could see OH associate with it :).

Athidhi.. Amruta rao looks so yuckkk in the first half with some garish makeup and outfits but that is one cute on-screen pair.. violent to the core, illogical to the point, it is a mass entertainer made just for die-hard Prince fans..I see myself moving away gradually from his regular follower bandwagon!!!

Oct 9, 2007

Time Flies..

There was a time..

When I was just lazing around doing nothing and someone to take care of my every need and then there came a time when I was slogging out to make a name and place for myself in this world and marched on.

I feel so ancient at times..

The cricketers I knew and followed were Jadeja, Kumble, Srinath and the ones I liked a lot were Kapil and Vengsarkar.

Fairytales, Spider Man, Mahabharath, Ramayan, Vikram Betaal, Tom and Jerry, Micky and Donald were my favorite TV programs.

Chandamama, Bala Mitra, Tinkle, and Archies Digest were my favorite books.

Gorbachev, Jail Singh, Kumud Ben Joshi, Margaret Alva, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Regan, Saddam (you heard it right) were my favorite leaders.

Tape recorder was my favorite gadget.

Now, looking at the kids these days, I wonder even if they know such things even existed. Well, looks like I already started my late 20s blues :((!!!

Get a Grip

Internet has come kind of late into my life to be precise, I just used net to mail and at times chat with my friends who were out of India that too once in a while. Google was the only website that I used to visit regularly and got hooked on to in the work hours, nothing else.

Now, when I look back, everything I do is in and around net. I sometimes feel that the situation is out of control and I need to get a hold on life, get a grip on what is mine. I end up postponing doing necessary things just to catch a glance of some blog or check the communities that I am a part of in Orkut to see what is happening there and come to senses only after hours and hours have passed. Now that I am working from home and needless to say working from home calls for a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation as it is very easy to get distracted, I need to cut down by non-work browsing hours to bare minimum. I badly need to!! Well, for the starters let me not log in to the personal laptop as soon as I wake up and even if I do, just switch off the lappy when at work.. at least for those 8 hours.

I am really amazed when I see loads of working people manage to take time out at work and participate so actively in all the forums, maintain blogs, take care of kids, family, etc. Well, hats off for all of them to be able to do so, I for one am just not made for it... I better cut down my on-the-net time!!

I SHOULD stick to this rule no matter what!!!!

Seasons of Life...



It is very true when one says travel expands one's knowledge. I have gathered a lot of information and I guess a much better understanding of life in general after I came to US. I have learnt to watch and understand everything silently and am slowly learning to keep my opinions to myself and pondering a lot before I actually speak up.. well cant say I have succeeded yet but yes I have started trying!!

I like the leaf life cycle over here, very similar to a human life cycle going through every phase in life at a particular time. Even though the fall has not arrived full-fledged yet in Atlanta, it is beginning to show and I am glad I am here to see all these beautiful moments. Thanks to OH for taking me through all these phases. It is hard to believe it is almost a year... 10 months since I have left home, not seeing anyone back there in person.. well, this feeling that it is our home has set in. Not that I am singing the US tune just like every other person, I like this place a lot more because it is the first home we as a couple have set up. Whereever we are, I think they will always be secondary. This is the place where we actually began life, understanding each other and bearing each other's mood swings and trying to make a life of our own for the rest of our lives.

Crazy, Lazy....



There are days when I just don't feel like doing nothing, not that there is lack of energy or anything but just don't have the inclination to do anything. Those are the days when yours truly comes up with such crazy ideas :).

Cook rice, mix up the curries, pickle, rice, etc into bowls and that whole day whenever any one of us feels hungry, just take a little into the plate and savor it :))).

I guess when it comes to laziness, I am one of a kind :)

Kitchen Experiments :)

Inspired by caps' cooking, I have tried this one out and yup, it has turned out really well :)



Butter Chicken :)

Prawn fry is something that I loved as a kid, especially when made by my ammamma. When I first tried it over here with deveined and boiled prawns, the smell was yuccckkkky.. but after improvising bit by bit, boiling the prawns in buttermilk, turmeric, and salt for while to eliminate the odor, etc., I ultimately got yummy yummy curry :) this time around. This US is making me doing what I never ever dreamt that I would be doing, experimenting with recipes and mastering them :).


Prawn Fry.

Sep 21, 2007

If there was..

If there was any way to know about the complexities of a human mind and its insecurities, I would give anything to get a hold of that. When a person resorts to some act (of course they do think it is right, why else would they do it) why do they resist another person doing the same. If one laws applies to one the same to others too right!!!!

Little reminder..

What do you want the most in your life???

This is one question that kept cropping up every once in a while when I was alone thinking about the future or when with friends or family discussing the future course and the answer has been more or less consistent from ever since I remember. "Happiness" yup, that is the only thing that I ever wanted, even as a kid, not riches, not material things, not anything only one thing predominantly "happiness" and I strongly believe that it is we ourselves who decide whether or not to be happy. My other choices had been freedom, financial independence, peace of mind, friendship, love.. but one thing or the other I wanted happiness. I will not let anyone, ANYONE.. ruin that dream of mine and take away the precious moments of my life.

Rambling....

Religion to me is something I have come to identify myself with. There has been no control on what I was born into but I have decided to go with the one I was born into because I was taught to believe every religion has its own significance and for me, it is like okay in this life let me carry on with this one :).

I am not overtly religious or superstitious. Prayer of any form to me is to bring peace of mind and some clarity to my cluttered mind. Church or a Temple when I am there I feel that powerful sanctity around me. Mosque, I had never been to, so cannot say. I cringe internally when I see people abuse any religion... well, well, why am I talking about all this, no specific reason, I am not here to champion any cause or ridicule any belief, just to put in my random thoughts and beat around the bush for a while.

I feel bad when someone questions my motives or intentions. My feelings are hurt real bad when the question of why do pooja when you dont respect the husband.. excuse me!!! My idea of respecting a person, be it husband or any one is to respect him as an individual and be honest and fair to the other person, not act "you are my God".. gimme a break, I can assure no one can think like that 100% of the times. When i say something it is because I have the freedom to say so or at least i think i have when I realize I dont, I wont.. that is it!!! At least I am not like those hundreds of housewives who do pooja for the gold, clothes and showoff or mint money from the husband and the family in the name of customs (I have seen loads of them myself).

Awww... now that I have come out with what I have been feeling for a while I feel good.. :).. so true, blogging is really therapeutic just like the spring cleaning. :)

Sep 14, 2007

Vigna Raju Vinayakuniki Jai!!!!!



Wish each and everyone of you a very very happy Ganesh Chaturthi...

On nature and moods...

Why the hell are there these mood swings in humans??? one extreme to another, the balance is something which is rare and shortlived!!!

This adds another question to the long list of to be answered, unanswerable ones.

Why cant a person's feelings be independent of another's. The human mind acts so differently. It always wants to control the other person's life, mind, feelings and everything, well to make things clear when we dont listen to our own inner self why the hell do we expect others to do things according to our wish. Why does a person need to exercise control over the other???

Sep 13, 2007

Any Difference??

Well, how different is working after marriage??? This is one question the people I knew prior to marriage ask me..well, it is a lot more different now.. to explain that I need to get in a little more deeper.

My job is such that it needs a lot of concentration and undivided attention while proofing the medical reports (I am an MT remember). When in office, there is obviously such an environment to be able to perform the task on hand but when working from home, it is a tough balance. People don't realize that you need to really work to get paid. They just see the good pay, the comfort of not going to office in the traffic, and working any time you want to. All that perks aside, it really is difficult working from home, getting into that mood to work, working in solitude, and no one to talk to in person while at work really gets to you after some time. Fortunately, back at home I had a good balance of everything, a separate room all for myself, and a friend circle from the same profession who understood what is actually needed. Life back then was royalty!! the day beginning with dad making fresh pomegranate juice, mom making the breakfast, coming back from office (we stay in her office campus) to serve hot lunch and then evening snacks. No household responsibilities nothing!!

Well, compared to that life my work has obviously doubled up but I don't actually feel the difference as of yet because I am still in the training phase and the workload is relatively a little less initially. I see more order in life now, wake up on time, cook properly, eat regularly on time, keep the house clean, and maintain it. The social network has cut down gradually but I don't really miss any of that. Sometimes a little hectic, but I am actually content the way it is going. I appreciate the work, the off, the people, and even OH more than I did earlier. My mind is a lot more clear of negative thoughts and that is the best part. I am not scared or worried about anything. Job, I think, gives me the feeling of security and stability. Marraige gives that sense of security too but standing on one's own feet along with the support system actually makes the vital difference.

Sep 12, 2007

NY and 9/11...

This post is going to bring together two very different emotions that I had been through when I visited NY.

Had been wanting to do a post on NY for quite some time now, actually since the time we had been to NY in July. I loved all the skyscrapers and the busy life there, not a dull moment any time in that huge place. Now, those who know me in person know that I am a bundle of contradictions.. one such example is I like peace, calm, quite and serene atmosphere but at the same time the busy crowded, fast-paced downtown life is something which I would love to be part of. We had been to our friend's place near White Plains which was located in a place which is an easy drive from the busy NY life and also Bear Mountains which is full of greenery, the kind of place where I actually want to live in.

Whenever I watch Friends or Law and Order or catch some glimpses of Sex and The City, King of Queens, or for that matter most of the programs on TV, I know I have seen them and been there. All the life seems to be in and around that place. To me, it is the most happening place that I had ever set my foot on. Standing in Times Square at 9 p.m. on a weekend I felt like I am in the ocean of people, so many different people, different races, languages, busily carrying on their with their lives, all together at the same place but each in a world of their own.

The one thing that almost brought tears to my ears is the fact that we were near the Ground 0 or the place where the twin towers stood. I felt like I relived the moment that I saw on the TV. That image of smoke through one tower and a fireball through another, is probably etched in my memory forever. I could not even bring myself to imagine what the people present there at that particular moment would have felt at the impact and that chaos, not knowing what has happened or what would happen.

Being here on 9/11 this year, six years after the actual event, I got to know a lot of things which I never even try to find out back in India. The conspiracy theories, the people still struggling with the fact that it had happened at all, the victims who are yet to be identified, the rescue workers and the nearby residents suffering from chronic illnesses arising from all the rubble and dust... a lot of things that just make me wonder WHY???? WHAT DOES ONE GET OUT OF ALL THIS??? so many questions unanswered, so many new questions that arise, so many questions that will probably never be answered.

Back in India, when it actually happened, it was just another disaster that happened in the world, nothing that actually bothered me because no one I knew was involved and it did not change anything in my immediate world, nothing really!! I dont really know what to feel now.. just consider Ignorance is Bliss and carry on with life undisturbed.. NOT until something happens that effects me and my family or DO something to make a difference.. God!! why am I so helpless or am I really?? This is the internal conflict in me which makes me question my very existence when it raises its hood, but most of the times it is dormant..

Me, Work, and Off :)

One thing that I missed about work when not working is the anticipation of the weekend or the weekly off. I did not really appreciate all the free time that I had on my hand when I did, but now when I work and am occupied constructively for most part of the day, there is much more order to the life and I truly appreciate those precious 2 days. After a long long time, I had that feeling this past week.. oops weekend!!! I love it!!!!
I love the feeling that I FINALLY work.
I love the feeling that I get a break.
I love the feeling that I am no longer a parasite just killing the time doing nothing and trying to keep myself from going crazy.
I love the sense of doing something useful.

Most of all
I love being myself!!! because without realizing work has become kind of my identity and I missed it like hell.

Added Bonus!!!


I work Tuesday through Saturday which I think is the best part of the deal. Sunday to chill out with OH and Monday for the essential exclusive "Me" time. This way OH gets to have his space on Saturday and me on Monday :)).

This might seem strange, but I need some exclusive "Me" time to feel refreshed and look forward to life, not that I dont like the time spent with OH but it is just how I am, I need to be Me to go on. Call me crazy, cranky, or nuts but I cant just survive without that personal space.. I actually do nothing really personal or whatever in that time but the mere thought that I can spend it however I want gives me immense satisfaction.

Sep 6, 2007

But for you :((



There are a million faces around me whom I can reach to if I want to but the one person I really want to reach is nowhere... I see a glimpse of you in all that you left behind but I want to see the actual you and feel your warmth... miss you amma.. miss you soooo much :(

Sep 5, 2007

Geeee.... Me Awarded :)))))




Yup.. I finally have this brag badge too :))) thanks to Caps and Keerthi bestowing that on me :))).. you know what, I would be lying if I felt it did not make a difference. It did.. a whole lot more than I expected. Of late, blogging has been the only consistent activity in my most inconsistent schedule and to get recognized for what I do to vent out my feelings and feel therapeutically fresh, is an awesome feeling... so there I go bestow the same on

Aysha
Anand
Andy
Kodis Mom
Itching To Write....

Take it up guys and display it proudly if you have not done so already and pass it on and make someone's day :))))

Glimpses...

This month has been pretty hectic with a lot of changes, finally into job, hectic pooja schedules, two trips to Charlotte to meet friends, and then amazing fun trip to Orlando. I had been busy finally... yup after a long wait and yes this month has been really really eventful..



Yours truly beginning to take baby steps back to job in the cluttered home office :).

I always liked pooja not because of the blind beliefs attached to it but because it gives me that immense sense of inner peace and the strength to go on.. this month has been a feast to that part of me... :)



Ended this past month with a blast in Orlando coming back refreshed and with the much needed break for a new beginning.

Sep 4, 2007

Silent Inspiration...



Never Believe what the lines of ur hand predict about your future,
Because people who dont have hands also have a future... Believe in yourself


When I look back at life and ask God why me?? I always seen answer right infront of me.. I am way better off than a lot of unfortunate people out there in the world. It is so inspiring just to look at these challenged people who come to terms with their limitations and it is simply amazing to see them overcome the hurdles and go ahead in life.

I Feared UNTIL.... Beautiful!!!



I feared being alone
Until I learned to like Myself.
I feared failure
Until I realized that I only Fail when I don't try.
I feared success
Until I realized that I had to try in order to be happy with myself.
************************************************************


I feared people's opinions
Until I learned that people would have opinions about me anyway.
I feared rejection
Until I learned to have faith in myself.
I feared pain
Until I learned that it's necessary for growth
****************************************************************


I feared the truth
Until I saw the ugliness in lies.
I feared life
Until I experienced its beauty .
I feared death
Until I realized that it's not an end, but a beginning.
*********************************************

I feared my destiny ,
Until I realized that I had the power to change my life.
I feared hate
Until I saw that it was nothing more than ignorance .
I feared love
Until it touched my heart, making the darkness fade into endless sunny days.
*****************************************

I feared ridicule
Until I learned how to laugh at myself.
I feared growing old
Until I realized that I gained wisdom every day.
I feared the future
Until I realized that Life just kept getting better.
I feared the past
Until I realized that It could no longer hurt me.
*****************************************

Aug 23, 2007

Saying Thanks.. Good One

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey
Let's Make Today a Day of Thanks

Your Health

Next to life itself, health is the most important thing. Keeping your health, therefore, should be your most important goal. Examine what you are doing to maintain good health. Are you eating well? Sleeping enough? Getting sufficient exercise, socialization, and sun?

If you don't spend time trying to stay healthy, you can't complain if you wake up one day very sick.

Your Mental Well-Being

Happiness comes from two habits. First, you must spend a good deal of your time working on something you value. Second, you must avoid thinking about (and especially feeling sorry for) yourself.

Be honest. Do you really care about the work you are doing? Is it something you'd do anyway (and for free) even if you didn't have to work? Ask yourself: "Do I frequently find myself thinking about how tough my life is? How much easier things would be 'if only'?"

Depending on your answers, you may need to consider making big changes in the coming year.

Your Family and Friends

Life is endlessly ironic. The way friendship works is no exception.

Some people treat friendship like a seesaw, always looking to make sure both sides are equally weighted. But that's not how it works. You get more out of a personal relationship by putting more into it. So don't worry so much about getting your equal share. Focus, instead, on what you can give.

Your Financial Well-Being

The love of money is addictive and destructive. A sensible pursuit of wealth, on the other hand, is a necessary good. Wealth gives you the means to accomplish your goals, to take care of your needs, to support the people for whom you are responsible, and to make important life decisions with confidence and independence.

Your Personal Accomplishments

Make a list of the things you've done that you're proud of. Think about what you can do in the future. So long as you are alive, you have the capacity to create and to achieve.

Intelligence and Ingenuity

Even if you don't have the wealth you want or haven't accomplished all your life goals, be thankful that you have a sound mind and natural ingenuity. Use these gifts shrewdly and there will be no limit to what you can do.

The Things You (Really) Enjoy

We all want to like the better things in life (art, literature, fine wine, etc.) - but we have personal passions too. Even guilty pleasures. Sentimental music. Old shoes. Greasy food. Don't be embarrassed by them. Be grateful that you are able to enjoy them.

Most important..............

Be thankful for the freedom you have to think your thoughts, to feel your feelings, and to dream your dreams. There is no one else in the world exactly like you. You are a unique being - a wonderful cluster of energy that has never existed before and will never be again. Enjoy the greatness of your very particular, very special, very wonderful existence.

Aug 22, 2007

60 Full Years!!! Freedom To Me Means....



We have come a long way ahead since the day India was declared independent and in the same vein split into two. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of fighters we enjoy the freedom that we have today and dare to dream and struggle to achieve them. Though not overtly patriotic, I take pride calling myself an Indian love everything about India. There are times when I criticize it for being prone to corruption, blind beliefs, etc., etc., but then I can do that and get away because my country allows me that freedom of speech and expression and that is what I call, my friends, true independence. Not being shot at for speaking something against it, not thrown into jails for no reason. Though there is rampant corruption, I can still make myself heard and make a difference if I commit myself to it. India is my home and when I crib about flaws in India, it is just like how I crib about the flaws in my bro or any other person I know.

I now know appreciate the freedom that my motherland provides me for being born in it more than ever when I see so many restrictions in what I do, say or want to do when away from it.

There is so much that I want to say, yet so much remains unsaid because I just cant focus myself.

Freedom for me means everything. I feel suffocated when someone wants me to do something because I am supposed to and not because I want to. I cant tolerate when I am pushed into a corner and ideas are imposed on me. If I value any onething more than my life, it is my freedom and my sense of being free. If I compromise on that, I am not being me. When I value my own freedom so much, I realize how important it is for us as a nation to be free. Hatsoff to all the soldiers out there giving us the life that we lead and I sincerly bow to all those unsung heroes who struggle so that we can lead our lives in peace.

Too Many Changes..

There has been so much to say and so much that I had been feeling over the past few days but just could not time or inclination to post anything.

Too many updates
Resigned my Indian office :(
Got my EAD and SSN :)
Improved Cooking :)
My best buddy Caps in US :))
Got a job in the US office :)
Tensed about the training starting on 27th. :(

I feel free and am looking forward to the day my training starts.. just hope things go good and I regain my confidence and perform well.. Amma, I need your blessings.

Away from the job, I realized its importance and what it means to me in particular. For me, it is a sense of liberation and freedom not that I lack it now, but the job security is something else altogether.

Remind me all my 8-month struggle if and when I crib about being overworked.

In The Moment...

Living in the moment.. Is it possible as a grownup??? I am beginning to realize.. NOPE!!!

Why are there grudges hanging around, egos looming larger than individuals, hypocrisy reigning the life. Why are people so concerned about a dead person and rituals thereafter when one does not even bother to enquire about the well being when alive. Strange world and stranger customs.

It so happy to see the kids living a hassle-free life not having to bother about anything, I so long to be one. I guess living with childlike innocence is just not possible with so many people questioning the motives with their own fears and feelings and rubbing them on others. I pray the people get freedom from finding happiness by inflicting their opinions on others, transferring their fears and their own malicious motives as other unsuspecting individuals. Sigh! will average person ever change.. nope I need to change myself to steel myself from being affected.

Aug 19, 2007

There Goes...

Me and the OH religiously follow Indian Idol-3. Both of us wait eagerly refreshing the website for new episodes to be posted. I was hoping for a girl to be in top 3 at least. Twice so far, it had been the guys ruling in the contest and actually speaking in the contestants left, I wish Emon wins the title and deservingly so.

With Charu, Deepali, and Finally Puja being voted out, I dont see Ankita hanging out for much longer. No offense to her talent but if music is taken into consideration and not just the performance, she should have been out quite a few episodes ago. She is sure a terrific performer but the rest of them, I feel, with my limited knowledge, sing a lot more melodiously..

Anyways, since I dont vote, I cant blame those who do and vote out the deserving ones.. but just pray Emon hits the bullseye.

Aug 9, 2007

Aug 7, 2007

Weird..

I can make the wierdest possible associations on people's looks. Today I was watching Koffee with Karan with Himesh Reshammiya and that suddenly reminded me of Rakhi Sawant. I mean I dont know why but I felt like they were long separated bro and sis from Kumbh mela. I know fans of either person would kill me for that comparision but I just couldnt help it. Sometimes, the looks dont match, they are not from the same field but still I find similarities between two people.. sigh!!!!

Aug 5, 2007

Deep Blue Sea...

For the past few days, I had been at the bottom of the deep blue sea ;)... blues, that is the worst phase in life.. nothing seems right, everything seems wrong.. listless, spiritless, and mostly felt like lifeless. Reason?????? My overactive hormones I guess :).. well, that is the easiest blamable target 'cos it is so true that no external factors can bother you unless you let them affect you and these days I seem to be extremely vulnerable.

PS:
For clarity sake, the hormones mentioned here are the general estrogen stuff, nothing else.

Aug 2, 2007

Guppedanta Manasu... (fistful of heart)

I love this expression and so true it is.. our heart is just the size that can be easily held in the fist but still it can hold stuff that can fill oceans. Every problem, whatever it is, how much ever big or small, I think it is there in the mind and the biggest power is to have it in control.

Ee guppedu manasuni mana adheenamlo pettukuntey prapanchanni jayinchinattey.

Jul 24, 2007

Winds of Change...

I sometimes feel like my wings are clipped and I did that to myself most willingly. Sometimes, I remember my free flights and rue and sometimes I am quite content that I need not fly, strange and self-contradictory, well that is what I have been all my life. I am really happy (hope telling it time and again does not jinx it) at this point, kind of gotten everything I ever wanted but there are little things that make me hyper and momentarily forget what I am blessed with.

There was a time when I just woke up every day and decided what I wanted to do for that day and did a lot of things just on the spur of the moment, no one to question, no one to answer to, absolutely nothing. I was a free bird, a wild one at that. Total freedom at home, corrected when wrong but never ever been stopped as I was supposedly "the responsible kid", the strong one who had her feet firm on the ground and dreams high in the sky working to hard to achieve the goals that I set to myself. Even now I am free, free to do anything but still I feel bound, just the need to think a 100 times before doing anything is getting to be difficult to a spontaneous person like me. The need to think about what others might think or what others might make out of it is something really bothering my free spirit. All the while, I thought if you dont have negative thoughts and bad intentions and just be true to yourself that is it.

Not that I am forced to do or not to do a particular thing but somehow it is just not the same. I am not me anymore.. it is we.. well, it is good in almost all the ways most of the times but there are days when I just feel like being ME as in me. I sometimes I feel like I have lost the vital elements of my old self just like that.

Jul 23, 2007

Raining Blogs :)

HeeeHaaa.. so much happening in the blogger.. a lot of people are joining the blog community, mostly food bloggers. That is a treat to my gastronomic adventures and a feast to my eyes with all the wonderful pics they keep posting.

Welcome all and just keep teaching me :).

Something From That End Finally.

After such a long wait.. nearly 4 long months, I got some reply from the USCIS guys requesting for more info, filled and sent the data required. I just hope I dont end up waiting another 90 days in the process.

It feels so nice suddenly doing stuff after a long hiatus, no matter how small it is, it feels good to see the progress... just root out for me guys, I have rusted real bad professionally :((

Jul 19, 2007

Heading To...

Checking all day long for mails, i.e., forwards from friends, nothing official; checking out if any of friends had blogged for the day; checking out the threads in the different communities I keep browsing; waiting all day for someone close to talk to; wondering what I am doing the whole day other than just killing the time; catching up all the episodes of Law and Order, Everybody Loves Raymond, or Friends :((

Where am I heading to?????????

Stooping Low!!

There are times when a person gets carried away with insecurities, fears, and some times about the most trivial things in life to the extent that it ruins his/her peace of mind. Why does one have to stoop to such a low level, below dignity, to do and say stuff which they dont really meant to but have just been triggered by some inconsequential fear. Why is that there is no control over the mind when in panic and tongue when in anger? When is that I learn will ever learn to hold my thoughts and feel secure!!! What is it lacking in me to gain that unique power of letting things go and stay undisturbed by every little thing that happens!!

God Grant Me the Serenity To Accept The Things I cannot change,
Courage to Change The Things I can...
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Jul 18, 2007

Reminder To Self...


Amazing Pravs Quote

I so need to remember this one. Why do I get distracted with silly things in life. Is there any difference between the distractors and me. I refuse to travel in the same wavelength (affirmation to self).

Woh Yaadein...


Some of the beautiful trip memories...

The Food Express...



So, the latest craze going around in our household is me trying out Andhra delicacies..

This is the easiest one by far..

1 cup sooji rava
1 cup sugar
4 ground cardamoms or a pinch of cardamom powder
4 tbsps ghee
1 cup milk
Cashew and Raisins..

Fry the sooji with ghee.. mix sugar and ghee-fried raisins and cashew with the fried sooji.. add milk one tsp at a time and make it to round balls and lo, the sweet is ready.. yummy yummy.. takes max 15 to 20 minutes for 2 cups...

Jul 17, 2007

My Kitchen Experiments!!

As a child, I always took it for granted when my granny used to make us whole lot of delicacies.. canfuls of chekkalu, kobbari boorelu, paala kovalu, kajjikayalu, karapposa, boondi, etc., etc. Hats off to their patience, cooking stuff on "kattela poyyi" (stove made of clay and which uses wood as fuel).. Yesterday, carrying forward my amma's legacy I decided to make chekkalu, (made of riceflour, butter, green chillies, ginger, chanadaal, salt, etc.)




With a little help from a friend and the OH, I managed to make the process a success and I miss Amma now, just felt like giving her a biiiiiiiiiiiiig hug and kiss and say thanks to all that she has done for us all the years. I love you Amma.

Recipe


Rice Flour 4 cups
Green Chillies 6 big size.
Ginger 2 inch piece
Jeera 2 tbsp
Saggubiyyam (sabudana) 1/2 cup.
Yellow lentil 3 tbsp
Chana Dal 1/4 cup
Salt per taste
Butter 3/4 stick.
Hot Water to mix the contents.
Curry Leaves

Soak the lentil and dal for 1 hr, drain the water and keep aside.
Grind the chillies, ginger, curry leaves into coarse paste (quantity can be varied as per the taste)
mix the contents into dough without lumps.
make small balls and using a hand or the poori presser just make them into small rotis.
Heat the oil and fry...

Yummy Yummy Chekkalu ready.. easy to make!!

Jul 16, 2007

An Overdose!

There are a lot of things that are happening in my life.. made lots of friends, not finding free time these days, doing nothing really constructive but at the same time I am not crying about being bored. The past few days have been really tiring at times with a lot of people dropping by and we going around.

When I began to crib about not having any Indians to talk to when I came here, it has come to a point now that I am cribbing I dont feel like I am in US any longer, it is so full of our people here in the apartment :(!! Well, it is good in one way and bad in many others. For once, I could see why some people prefer to stay away from the desi crowd.. believe me, there will be no moments of privacy or peace when the constant downpour of visits start. Too many people gathering at the same place, the competition which starts suddenly or maybe I am noticing it for the first time that it stands out. Comparing everything, the furniture, kids acheivements, my God!! It is good when you have a couple of really close friends to share your feelings and thoughts with, it just becomes a mess when the crowd begins to gather. I love this place and the beauty it has to offer us, the opportunities it gives us to enhance our life.. and yup, I am beginning to love the loneliness... err, the time that we have for ourselves that comes with being here.. check me again and remind me if and when I crib about being stranded here without people to talk to. I was doing way better with my books, TV, and the net...

A Humbling Experience..



I had been to a live dance concert as a child once but I had never ever been to one since then, so when there was a chance to do so, after pestering my OH and grouping up with some friends from Virginia and NC, we went to the AR Rehman's Third Dimension Tour that happened in Atlanta last month 23rd. It had been postponed and maybe that was the reason the show was not a total sold out but it was really amazing just being there. The music system, the energy in the participants, everything is so bustling with energy and high spirits that it soon caught up with us.

Most of the songs were Tamil, which I dont speak but since we had the same songs in Telugu and Hindi as well, we sang away to glory in the language we knew and no one really seemed to bother about the language. Even the extremely shy OH dancing away to glory speaks volumes about the show. The whole gang had fultoos fun and Vandemaataram at the end was the highlight. Missed Chitra in the show but Sadhana, Hariharan and the rest were too good to complain.

Watching Sivamani play the drums was really a dream come true for me, I just wished it would go on and on for longer time.

I was never really a big fan of Rehman. In fact, I dont like his songs from the first time, his music just grows on me as I listen to it. I just merely acknowledged him and his hit score. But seeing him perform, he proved it once again that all great things come in tiny packages. He was so unassuming, simple, and involved in his music and that made me re-think again!! Man this guy is so simple and humble and that moment I became a big fan of his. "Pray For Me Brother" was too good a rendition. Man, you have one loyal fan in me now!!! This man simply rocks!!!

The Work Permit..

.... and my woes still continue.. it has been nearly 7 months since I landed here on L2, supposedly eligible to work with EAD, which is still no where to be seen. Had taken an appointment with the immigration services office and been there to no avail. The employee made me wait for nearly 1-1/2 hours just to say that she has no info about the case and will mail me when she gets to know of the same.. :((... it was disheartening to get this response after going in a cab early in the morning, waiting there for quite some time... coming back, I came by a bus and train waiting for another hour or so just because I did not want to end up paying lots of money to the cabbie. Well, S gave me enough money for the round-trip but I was so down with nothing happening I just took the bus :(....

The site clearly mentions that we need not wait another 30 days after the 90-day processing time limit but no one seems to acknowledge the same even in the office. I guess Bureaucracy is same anywhere in the world or perhaps worse at some places :((

Jul 14, 2007

The Aftermath..

It is really nice when we go out for a vacation. The plans that we make, the places that we visit, the people that we meet, everything is so nice and perfect but God, it is so difficult falling back in to the routine.. We had been to NY for a real long 10-day trip, planned it some 4 months ago. The trip had been total masti for us and total tiring to our friends who had been hosting us for that Long time.

Got used to the luxury of not doing regular chores or cooking and being with friends playing, shopping, visiting new places etc.. Now, after coming back, even though it has been a week, I am yet to fall back into the old pattern. The house is full of small bugs which refuse to go despite of two pest-control treatments :((.. the weather is gloomy and so are my spirits as I am still awaiting my EAD after 7 months of stay in US.. :((((.

Jul 13, 2007

Inspiring

We are what we are because of the values given to us by our elders... let us pass on the same to our next generation and try to make them better individuals.. I am so moved and touched when I read forwards like this...


1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.



2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The MN took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..

It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."


Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole.



3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a
10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.


4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.


5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it, if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
`
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Jul 9, 2007

Back From The Break

Hey guys, am back from the self-imposed blogging break. Had been too busy the past few weeks, hosting little get-togethers, going to some, going to concert, cleaning the house, packing for the long trip, etc., etc. Finally, with everything done, I am back and will list out what all had been happening assuring to bore you all lot. Catch you all soon :).

Jun 25, 2007

SS in US - 13

Travel, adventure, fun are the three things which I can say are a little less in middle-class life in India. One thing I am falling in love about US is the concept of weekend outings, planned group outings to visit various places and enjoying nature by just letting ourselves go with the flow in that particular moment. The first thing we did when the OH got the driver's license was to go out for the long weekend for the Memorial Day. Went to Charlotte and then to Virginia from there and had the first taste of actual US. If traveling by MARTA (public transportation in Atlanta) is one experience, hitting the road and catching up with friends is an entirely different feeling. Well, we still do not own a car, neither do we want to due to the uncertainty of our stay here but still renting it on weekends is the best alternative, albeit a little expensive.

Now, when I look back I have been in 7 states in US GA (gee I live here) SC, NC, NJ, NY, PA, FL. A lot more than I ever expected I would. I realize one thing, travel expands your command over life.. it gives us a whole lot of different sets of experiences at each and every place, different sets of emotions, different people, different lifestyles. Set aside the expense factor, checking out these wonderful places makes me wonder how amazing this God's creation is.

Jun 21, 2007

This Past Half-Year...

Well, six months after I had been here, when I look back at my life, is it all the time that has gone down the drain??? Nope, not at all.. then why do I feel as if I have lost everything...

The time period between 2005-2007 has been a destruction and reconstruction phase in my life. Everything that I had based my life on previously suddenly vanished and I was forced to look at life from a new perspective and move on with what was left on hand. I lost then only stable and supporting force in my life, my grandmother, and had been exposed to many of the harsh realities in the life. Yet, I met my OH and set about a new life with new hopes walking hand in hand towards a new horizon. I have evolved as a person, the anger which was once a trademark Sushma feature is nowhere to be seen and I am a better individual than I was before.

When I keep cribbing I had been jobless for the past 6 months why do I forget that I have been building a life of my own, a home that I always yearned for, a secured zone where the OH is there to take of my every single need and be there. This is what I have always wanted and yet when I have it I search for something else. Is this human nature that you always keep looking at things you dont have at the moment and in the process fail to enjoy what you have on hand. I need to refocus my thought along these lines and be thankful for what I have rather than crib and cry for what I dont.. 'cos for sure when I have what I want to have right now, I will have another reason to crib about.. So all in all, this past half-year has been uneventfully eventful in my life and thank God for the small mercies like keeping me sane despite my propensity towards insanity :)

Life is.....

It is sooo true that..

"Life happens to you when you are busy making other plans."

Jun 20, 2007

Time Flies

It is hard to believe that it is already 6 full months since I have been here.. time just flies.. each day passes with great difficulty at times but on the whole it is hard to digest the fact that I am still sane after all these days of no work or am I????

Work Woes...

Everything seems to be good in a moment and then suddenly things go wrong, well they dont actually go wrong but they just dont seem to be right. I am confused about life with a big IF in between (lIFe). Agreed, it is all in the way we see things but how do I change the way I see and approach things is the biggest question of all.

I gradually seem to get used to the fact that I am a housewife or a homemaker or whatever is the latest trend to call it being at home doing daily chores and nothing else really constructive but browsing, chatting, and planning parties and outings with friends. Is it what I wanted out of life is what haunts me all the time. After 6 complete months in this so-called land of opportunities, I still await my work permit.. :((.. Agreed, I have a life of comfort with everything on the platter, no hardwork at all, a dream life for any person but then what am I doing with myself in a way it is useful for anyone other than me is a biiig question...

The website clearly states that if you apply for I-765 for work authorization and do not get any info for the past 60 days and complete the processing time of 90 days, you dont need to wait for another 30 days to query it, but the customer service guys refuse to see the point and ask me contact for another 20 days after keeping me on hold for 1 hour 12 minutes in total.. awwwwwww.. what the hell??? When they ask us see the website for the most updated information, do they actually do that???? I think the beurocracy is the same anywhere in this world.. the only difference being no corruption at this end of the globe or maybe I do not know it yet... sigh!!!! I just hope this EAD stuff comes to an end soon before I go crazy over it and kill my OH out of sheer boredom.. :(((

Back and Up..

Dunno for how long but my lappy is up and going.. need to take very cautious care about this one now.. had been missing n a lot of things without the net but now I have ample of time to do anything.. so itz my time now.. :)

Jun 10, 2007

Pause

There has been a calm after a storm.. after a spate of posts in quick succession, there is a lull.. thanks to the lappy trouble.. my system has been sent to repair, came back and is back at the repair :(.. so that explains the dull phase.

I know a lot of you would think and say :get rid of that silly thing and get another", well I would like to too but there is some time to do that...

catching up with all your blogs.. but just no time to post :(.. thanks for all the concern.. will be there with a bang soon..

Talented Youth

Anyone following the Indian Idol - 3 that is being aired on Sony TV these days. This year, the group is loaded with talent and yup!! like many of you out there I would like to see a girl win that title this year.. Yayy Girls!!! You can do it.. and Smita you are the most beautiful person inside out just do not let the judge's remarks on your presentation bother you...

For those of you out here who would like to watch.. HERE and HERE

May 23, 2007

Tag

Varuna tagged me and here I go looking back at my life and putiing it out for you all out there :)

Smoked Cigarette - Once.. took one puff from my brother who is a Chimney Smoker.. yukkk!!! did not cough like they show in movies but I had this very raw and terrible feeling in throat for a couple of hours.
Crashed a Frnd's car - No such luck.. cant drive
Stolen a car - Never, no inclination nor guts to do so.
Been in Love - yup!!!.
Been Dumped - Twice.. but it proved really lucky for me.
Shoplifted - Nope.
Been Fired - Not Yet.
Been in a fist fight - yup, with my hubby and earlier with my granny.
Snuck out of yours parent's home - Not Ever.
Had feelings for someone who din't have them back - I still have towards a lot of people.. Nagarjuna is one of them ;).
Been arrested - No WAY!!.
Gone for a Blind Date - Naaah.
Lied to a frnd - yes,several times.
Skipped School -
Seen someone die - My maternal Grandma.
Had a crush on one of ur internet frnds - Nope.
Been to canada - Nope.
Been to Mexico - Nope.
Been on plane - Yup.
Purposely set a part of urself on fire - Never.
Eaten sushi - Yup...
Been jet-skiing - Yup.. in Virginia Beach.
Met someone in person from the internet - Married one ... :).
Taken pain killers - Yup.
Loved n missed someone - Yeah.. miss my granny like hell even now.
Flown a kite - Yes,long long ago when I was a kid.
Built a sand castle - Yup.
Gone puddle jumping - Yup as a kid :)
Been lonely - Yes.
Fallen asleep at work or school- School.. Many Times.
Used a fake ID - Nope.
Watched a sunset - Lots of times.. it just looks heavenly.
Felt an earthquake - No... touchwood
Touched a snake - Yup... in a snake awareness program in Bangalore.
Slept beneath the stars - Yup.. as a kid listening to Jana Ranjani from the neighbours radio and listening to granny's tales.
Been robbed - Yup.. by my maid..
Been misunderstood - yes, sometimes.
Petted a reindeer/goat - Nope
Won a contest - nope.
Run a redlight/stop sign - nope
Been suspended from school - no.
Been in a car accident - Naah.
Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one nite - Not yet.
Had deja vu - Whatz it???
Danced in the moonlite - Nope.
Witnessed a crime - Nope.
Been obsessed with post-it notes - Nope
Squished barefoot thr' the mud - Yup, many times as a kid.
Been lost - yup.. mostly with my dad in the driving seat and twice with my hubby.
Been on the opp side of the country - Nope.
Swam in the ocean - No.
Cried urself to sleep - Yes a lots of times.. after my granny's death it was kind of a routine
Played cops n robbers - yup.
Recently colored with crayons - Yup
Sung Karoke - No listeners ;)..
Paid for a meal with only coins - Yup.
Done something u told urself u wudn't - Yup.. kya kare control hi nahin hota..
Made prank calls - yup.
Caught snow flake on ur tongue - Nope.. no snow in Atlanta.. it is HOT-lanta.
Written a letter to Santa Clause - Nope, will he accept now ;).
Watched The sun rise with someone u care abt - Yup.. with my granny.
Blown bubbles - in the exhibition.
Bonfire on the beach - Nope.
Laughed so hard u pee ur pants - Nope.
Cheated on test - Yup.. at times.
Been kissed by Someone u din't like - nope....

Tag Yourself...

May 20, 2007

Volunteering.. SS in US - 12

Finally, I had been to library as a volunteer clerical aide for a few hours. It is a great feeling, doing something other than the housework for a change. Been there by 10, browsed a lot of books and net for a while and got to my work around 2 p.m. I was assigned to the circulation department for the starters and my job was to sort the books returned into categories to be sent to the respective floors, sort out books to be sent to the other libraries, fold the paper ads in multiples of 30, stack the cds and lock them. It was pure manual labor but felt good putting on that tag and interacting with the staff like an insider.. was assigned a cubicle and am allowed to read between tasks too ;).

Looking forward to my other tasks like homework help aide, interacting with kids' activities, etc.

Little Big Steps, Fear Factor .. SS in US 11

Thank God for the small mercies. My OH never stops me from doing things which I very much want to. I see a lot of women being scared to get out on their own, mostly because of the spouses retricting due to fear factor. I get lectured by a few ladies in the apartment about going alone to Target, Michaels, or Steinmart which are just a couple of blocks away from home. Well, it is true we need to be cautious but not so much that we miss out on simple pleasures like walking or meeting friends is what I feel.

The other day, my cousin had a gap of 3 hrs between flights in Atlanta and I was thrilled on being allowed to go on my own!!! I went there on my own, cab and train to airport, spent some time with the kiddo, had lunch at a sandwich shop in the mall on the way back in downtown and stayed in the library until OH was done with his office work. This might not be a big deal at all for a lot of you out there but for me who is dead scared of the seemingly never-ending escalators and crossing the roads alone, it is a huge leap. I love the busy life of downtown where we see a lot of people around and for once felt a part of it, doing something on my own that is.

Spur Of The Moment

There are a lot of things which I do just in a moment of rage or after certain amount of boiling within.. Well, me being the peson who hates negativity, always end up hating myself the most for that. Will I ever learn??

I have everything at this very moment, but still my heart yearns for something unknown, which I am sure will go unnoticed when I have because I dont really know what it is.

May 17, 2007

Meet The Desi... good forward

We are like this only.. so true, so very true .........

1. Everything you eat is savored in garlic, onion and tomatoes.
2. You try and reuse gift wrappers, gift boxes, and of course aluminum foil.
3. You are Always standing next to the two largest size suitcases at the Airport.
4. You arrive one or two hours late to a party - and think it's normal.
5. You peel the stamps off letters that the Postal Service missed to stamp.
6. You recycle Wedding Gifts , Birthday Gifts and Anniversary Gifts.
7. You name your children in rhythms (example, Sita & Gita, Ram & Shyam, Kamini & Shamini.)
8. All your children have pet names, which sound nowhere close to their real names.
9. You take Indian snacks anywhere it says "No Food Allowed"
10. You talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone's house.
11. You load up the family car with as many people as possible.
12. You use plastic to cover anything new in your house whether it's the remote control, VCR, carpet or new couch.
13. Your parents tell you not to care what your friends think, but they won't let you do certain things because of what the other "Uncles and Aunties" will think.
14. You buy and display crockery, which is never used , as it is for special occasions, which never happen.
15. You have a vinyl tablecloth on your kitchen table.
16. You use grocery bags to hold garbage.
17. You keep leftover food in your fridge in as many numbers of bowls as possible.
18. Your kitchen shelf is full of jars, varieties of bowls and plastic utensils (got free with purchase of other stuff)
19. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (and travel means any car ride longer than 15 minutes).
20. You own a rice cooker or a pressure cooker.
21. You fight over who pays the dinner bill.
22. You live with your parents and you are 40 years old. (And they prefer it that way).
23. You don't use measuring cups when cooking.
24. You never learnt how to stand in a queue.
25. You can only travel if there are 5 persons at least to see you off or receive you whether you are traveling by bus, train or plane.
26. If she is NOT your daughter, you always take interest in knowing whose daughter has run with whose son and feel proud to spread it at the velocity of more than the speed of light.
27. You only make long distance calls after 11 p.m.
28. If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you've eaten, even if it's midnight.
29. You call an older person you never met before Uncle or Aunty."
30. When your parents meet strangers and talk for a few minutes, you discover you're talking to a distant cousin.
31. Your parents don't realize phone connections to foreign countries have improved in the last two decades, and still scream at the top of their lungs when making foreign calls.
32. You have bed sheets on your sofas so as to keep them from getting dirty.
33. It's embarrassing if your wedding has less than 600 people.
34. All your Tupperware is stained with food color.
35. You have drinking glasses made of steel.
36. You have mastered the art of bargaining in shopping.

May 13, 2007

Me 'N' My Mom 'N' Her Mom

THIS is what I wrote about my mom last year for mother's day!!! Before I realize, it is another year and everything has changed so much in this year. My getting married is, I guess, one of the giant leaps in our relationships. I understand her situations better now and what she has done for us more than ever and appreciate it more. I do not regret knowing her much late in my life, I am just thankful now that I do.

She is one of the gentlest souls that one would ever come across, her helping nature is what used to irk me no end all my life and it still does at times. My God!!!, if someone asks her something that she has, all that she does is simply give it, mostly money, gold, sarees, stuff at home, anything and everything and my constant crib was "why dont you give me away someday too??" Each time I went over to granny's place, I used to find most of my old dresses, books, etc., gone.. the worst hit were my toys.. waaaa. It is not that I am not generous but I found that most people take advantage of her, she used to spend all her money giving away and the ones taking used to consider us fools, they still do at times. Her reply to this is "Gods sees it all, he has to give us and what he does we need to share" and tells this story which goes like a scorpion falls into water and the sage protects it by taking it out with his hands. As soon as it is out, it just stings its benefactor. When the passersby ask about this he says, kindness is my nature and stinging is its, we are both doing our duties".. phew!!! This Mothers Day I pray that she gets wise and starts taking care of herself as she is at the verge of retirement and almost penniless when she comes out thanks to her ultra-kind deeds!!! I feel so protective of her from across the seas but I know that she is the one who needs to help herself and understand people think it is madness and not kindness.

Well, before you think I switched my loyalties from my Amma, it is she who comes first always. I love her very much, the grief still hits me in waves just swirling me with it at times, but for the most part I have come to terms with her loss, it is my second mother's day without her. I still the remember way she used to be so happy that I wished first every year and ask what she wants for the day and all she ever asked was for me to be happy.. yup!! I am happy now, but she is not there to see that :(.

May 11, 2007

My System Woes :((

I have yet again managed to ruin my system.. waaaaaaaaaa...... it just wont start, so yet another long wait maybe.. but will try to be as active as possible and as and when my OH hands me his system.

May 9, 2007

Wonder Why?

I sometimes wonder why of the all the living creatures I know, man is the only one who has to clean, cut, and cook the food he eats :(((((.. he is the one who has to wash, groom, and dress :(((. Why cant we just follow them at least in food habits :)!!!

May 8, 2007

In The Middle of a Circle called LIFE!!!

How beautiful was the world when we were little. The only bond we knew was of our parents or the primary care providers (maternal grandparents in my case). Just eat, drink, sleep and total masti. No problems whatsoever with the grownup terms boredom, frustration, depression, etc. to deal with. The most selfish yet self-less stage of our life, very apt to say that the little bundles comes with a huge heart, so pure, so innocent away from all the malice in the world, so giving, so tender, so secure, trusting the hands that hold them, bawling and making ruckus one moment and just giving those disarming smile at the others...

Then comes the phase of education, running round and round from school to college to university, grasping the concepts of geography, physics, chemistry, math, civics.. this, that, and everything of which only 1% or less is used in what we choose for our livelihood, i.e, earning our bread and butter. Thrown into harsh reality, out of the warm cocoon, we struggle to get whatever we want money, fame, kids, family, etc. Then caring about the kids, their lives, taking care of our parents and grandparents and then watch helplessly as they leave us one by one.. kids by becoming independent and in search of their own destiny and elders to an unknown destination leaving their imprints deep in our hearts.

The old age where people become enriched with their vast experiences in life is something really precious. With the daily run for survival almost past, they have loads of time to spend with us and make our lives richer by just being in them. Yes!!! life is a full circle and I find myself in the midst of the same looking at one generation (grandparents and all grand-relatives) gradually disappearing making the next (parents and their siblings) their representatives to carry forward the family name and of course, the LIFE.

So True..

One line definitions for Confidence, Trust and Hope.

CONFIDENCE
Once, all village people decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all people gathered and only one boy came with an umbrella.

That's Confidence

TRUST
Trust should be like the feeling of a one year old baby when you throw him in the air, he laughs......because he knows you will catch him.

That's Trust

HOPE
Every night we go to bed, we have no assurance to get up alive in the next morning but still you have plans for the coming day.

That's Hope

HAVE CONFIDENCE,
TRUST OTHERS &
NEVER LOSE HOPE.
In Life do the ordinary, GOD will do extra ordinary,
Do the natural, GOD will do supernatural
Do the possible, GOD will do impossible.

May 4, 2007

Yaayyy!!!!

One great news finally from my mom's side... she has finally cleared the accounts test and is eligible to climb up the ladder when she is about to retire in about 5 months from now. Over the years, when she had an opportunity she just did not take it up 'cos, promotion would inevitably mean transfer and that would mean disturbing our already disturbed family equation, new schools, new house, a mad rush. Finally when we were all set, her only ambition was to clear up the test just to prove to herself that she could do it and it had become a burning desire to her. I did not realize how much that mattered to her until the day before when she announced that she has cleared the test finally after a couple of attempts and failures. She was all choked up when she told me that she did it finally and after sleeping on it for a day, I have tears in my eyes too. Agreed, it is a small promotion, small test, millions have taken it before her but she doing it after braving out everything in her life andtowards the very end of her career is something which means a lot more to three of us, mom, bro, and me... Congrats mom and we love you!!!!

She has rejoiced our every little success as much as her own through all the ups and downs in her life and when she wanted something to do by herself, we were making fun of her inability to clear the test, sorry about that mom and we know as usual you would have forgiven us at that very moment..

For Evil Eyes on LO