Monday, September 28, 2009

Alone times or Lonely times..

There are some couples I know, who love to do everything together, work, activities,
Shopping etc. I have never seen one without the other person. The lady shakes her head off every time we recommend a girls only night. She said, what’s the need for that, let rather go out with the guys.. Hmm! The husband seems to enjoy it as well. Seems always anxious to be around the spouse and so on. When I first met them, I found it cute. I still do!
I don’t know if I can do that. SD and I both love to do new things together, do something the other one enjoys, and cherish others company (I mean we got married for a such reasons!). We both have learned to enjoy the others interests; for example, this year i am looking forward to the football season.. to cheer along with him and enjoy the game nights. He actually watches some of my favorite series. I have tried my hand at golf.. and he is going to very soon try the jump! (Rolling eyes!) You get the idea, as couples we do stuff together even if it was not our primary interest. But at the same time, i cant imagine doing everything together.

At a recent do, SD asked a friend of ours to join him for Sunday morning golf and added he had already hit the range on Saturday morning. The girls oohed and aahed and looked at me:” Are you okay with this?" I was thoroughly confused: "Him going out for golf.. hell yes". Someone chimed "But two days in a row!" And I said- Hmm.. why not. Conversations changed quickly. (Thankfully!)
But it got me thinking, does it make me weird by not wanting to spend every weekend minute with him. By not objecting to his weekend golf rounds. (In my mind, I am already relaxing in the play area with V and singing our songs). Of course there are times when I have asked him to not go out for cricket or golf.. just cuz i wanted him around the house, or just because! But more often than not, I love it when he is out for the sports which he enjoys. Why not.
He does the same, encourages me for my girl night outs, my cooking expeditions (Yes once in a while.. all i want to do is cook some hearty meal on a Saturday morning!), shopping trips (which i am sure, he thanks my GF's profusely for!) or may be just me wanting to be snooze...while he takes V to the park. Bottom line, both of us enjoy our time with other activities.. and not necessarily together!
It doesn’t mean, we don’t miss the other person! So far, luckily for us, we are completely okay doing something without the other person. It can be as simple as curling up on the couch to read a book, while the other is out. SD calls it "lone time". Rightly so.

In my na├»ve years, someone once told me, if one looks for alone time in a relationship, it’s headed for loneliness in the long run. As a couple, one must be ready and willing to spend all the time together.
Now, I am not so sure about that... It might be love evolving . To each there own, I think it perfectly fine to be doing everything together, something’s together whatever adds the spark in the relationship, whatever makes you wink after you are all dressed up to go out, whatever makes you smile when you see the other walk though the door!

Enjoy your time at golf, spas, dinners, drinks, bowling... Whatever together and separately…but make sure to share stories... Its always fun for me to know if SD's team kicked ass in cricket ;-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Follow Your heart...

Hmmm... No this post is not one of the mushy-mushy ones talking about following the heart for the right man/woman... it is more practical, more real and definitely still very personal: It is about following the heart for a profession.
All our growing up years, we were told by parents, teachers, and others we cared to listen to- "Follow your heart in your choice of work and the money will follow! If you chase money, you may have it, but not the satisfaction of work!" Ahem!
Is that true? Some of us are in the beginning of our careers, some in our formative years, and some in settled years and some "can’t wait for retirement" years! Whichever phase we are in- are we following our heart in our work? Are we doing something for the passion of it or the comfort (and may be money) in it?
I really enjoy my profession, and am pretty good at it. But per my qualifications, Ii should be a lab or a research project working towards developing wireless sensor technology for expanding commercial use!
But I am not. I am far from it, but I am in the field I really enjoy! But yes, in the long run- my heart lies somewhere else; alas its still not wireless sensors! I want to be doing something else, and tell myself time and again: What I do now, is a path of security and building up the base to do my own thing! Luckily the path is something I enjoy a lot as well… Hopefully soon will do my dream job!
So in some ways, may be I am not following my heart. Though, I am very passionate about my work.
Luckily for me, I was not forced into any degree or profession. My parents gave us independence and support to choose our own path, do our thing and become our own person. And yes, hence until recently, I was the only one in technology in a family filled with financial geeks! ;-)
Some are not that lucky: I knew someone, who was forced in engineering by his parents, but his heart was in fashion. He was really good at that. Another dear friend, who wanted to be in financial side of the world but forced into engineering. Almost ten years out, guess what she is doing- Financial management. She did follow her heart. I knew some, who were studying there course just to make parents happy or to get graduation degree. They knew the minute they have the diploma, they will be joining the manufacturing plants, diamond trade, teach, trade, whatever else. Then there were the others. I very close friend of mine; for the fifteen years or more that I know her, always wanted to be an architect. She is one now; she is following her heart, her passion in her work. But she always jokes:" I am still waiting for the money to follow!"

I do understand the fact that this is "real life" and one can either follow the poetry side of life or the prose side of it. For me, right now, I am on the prose side. The safe, secure, less risky path! I bow down to people on the poetry side, which is following the passion, the heart, the more (much more) risky side. Sadly, I know few (Very few) people like that.

In this "real world" Is there something like: "Follow the heart and money will follow?" Are you doing something because you love it or is it means to get you somewhere else or you are doing it for the security it may bring. Mind you, none is bad! It’s the path we have to choose in this very "real world"!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The morning cuppa coffee.

There is something about the warm coffee, with the right amount of milk and sugar in the morning. It has to be perfect... there are no second thoughts about it. I make a point to make my own coffee no matter where I am. I am sure they will do a swell job, but somehow I like the coffee 'my way'. Nothing fancy. If its Nescafe, then it needs to be done in one style, if it’s the brewed kind... is needs to be done in another way.
I am generally easy to please and definitely easy going, but not when it comes to my coffee.
Mornings are rushed, amongst all the insanity, I do manage sometimes to fix my cup, put it in the travel mug and sip along in my drive. If we are running late (which we generally are), i have my own coffee machine in office, I will brew morning cup and before i reply to the first email, i will sip on the delightful coffee...
I don’t think i am addicted to the caffeine(!).I keep giving it up every two to three weeks for a couple of weeks.. just to ensure i don’t get hooked on it. The longest i didn’t sip on it while we were expecting and beyond. Those were long months. Yes I would occasionally sip on the decaf, would love entering a Starbucks just to get a whiff of the smell, walk by the coffee isle in whole foods over and over again... (Sigh!)
In my growing up years, I didn’t have coffee or tea. I would stick to milk or the nimbu paani or juices or anything else. Tea... we were told, Kids don’t have tea, since it tans your skin; I believed them. Didn’t touch tea (minus the herbal ones), until after marriage! For coffee- it was those, once in a while treats that mummy would whip up.. It would be the cold coffee.. Shaken and served over ice!
My introduction to hot coffee came with the JATC and the Barista's opening up at every nook and corner of my city.. They helped me develop my taste and empty my pockets. A very dear friend of mine back home, would whip the Nescafe for hours while studying; and then serve me one of the most yummylicious coffee while the Bandra breeze touched my face! Aaah!
Slowly and surely, I started loving this hot coffee and kept getting more and more particular about the flavor. In school here, my roommate and I would always bump in the kitchen every morning and fix our coffee's> She would take her's with a dash of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.. and me... my plain Nescafe.... done right! Never once in our years as roommates did we ever volunteer to fix the other one's coffee; we both knew better!
SD and I love to frequent newer places, and try different foods and I will try their coffees. I love the Ethiopian kind with beans roasted in front of you, the Puerto Rican kind.. With the strong smell, the flavored beans is something which I have not developed a tastes for. Coffee needs to be coffee.. done right! My brother, always teases me that he will invest in Starbucks stock; just cuz of my love for their roasted brews.
So I type this, with my coffee in tow, I think, this is the perfect way to begin my day.. and the warmth of the liquid is perfect.. and i am definitely not addicted to coffee, but am just in denial of the fact!

Friday, September 4, 2009


For some strange reason, today, I am thinking about when I first landed in this country for studies. Landing with excitement, anxiety, fright and yes tonnes of books and two big bags to LAX. Yes, I had visited LA before, but as a tourist, and had only seen the 90210 side of the city. As my uncle drove me in his mini-van (where I had to sit on the right side and not drive!), through the shady neighborhoods, and low buildings to my apt. in campus... man.. was I shocked!
The next few weeks and months, were a blur while I adjusted, met old friends, made new friends.. And studied and gave exams with professor recommended "cheat sheets" and open books! Wow, it was so different.

Here are a few funny incidents that happened around me when my friends and I moved to this melting pot..
A very dear friend wanted to cross the road, and like a responsible person waited. (We were told in orientation not to 'Jay walk' ever!). So the crossing light sadly never turned green (for over 3-4 minutes) for her, she kept waiting. Then in her words: "A firang came, pressed this button on the lamp post, and the signal turned green, he crossed the road! I stood there once again missing to cross the road.. cuz I was laughing so hard at my own stupidity!"
Now, this friend has learned to cross the road but I still have preserved the email from her confessing her ignorance! (Hehe!)
Another friend of mine, would always wonder what was this (writing in exact pronunciation!) "pedzing" on the roads. She wondered, one late at night she came to the library where we were burning the midnight oil and asked: "Guys, What’s with this 'PedZing on the road! I don’t get it". We wondered what she was talking about, went out, checked the roads.. there it was written "Ped Xing" in bold letters on the road. It meant"Ped Xing = Ped Crossing = Pedestrians Crossing".. and yes once again, all of us laughed till we fell on the floor. I am sure, more than half the people who laughed that night, didn’t know the meaning of it until then!
And here is another one... (Not that funny though!) A friend of mine; staunch vegetarian, and a very bad cook. Would every evening go to McDonalds and ordered a Cheese Burger. He ate is, liked it and thought it was a nice patty. He did this for a couple of weeks very ignorantly, never once questioning what the patty was… come on, he had enough McD’s in India to know. One night (again one of those midnighters) we all went to the campus food court. We got the Sub's and he his "Cheese Burger" Needless to say, our jaws dropped and we were all bewildered. He honestly didn’t know, that the patty which tasted yumm... was actually uh.. not veggie or soy based. He felt bad.. very very bad. We could tell...But then after some soul searching he said "Ab kya, ab to kha liya naah, chuck it" [Translation "What now, have already eaten it."] As per him, he still is a staunch vegetarian but loves the McD cheese burgers (Yes my eyes roll every time!)

I can go on and on; with stories of grad school, initial work culture, my adjustments in this country.... some funny, some very funny and some extremely hilarious(!). I am sure you have some too.. so please do share!

It’s always fun to sit and reminisce about these stories. These past years, have been an experience...I have learned a about the culture and traditions of this land and that of my home land. And created some traditions of my own

And if you are wondering, why I haven’t shared my own stories about the adjusting times.. hehe... as the author(!) today I choose to not make a fool of my self... but am sure the "charrrriiiismatique.." story is sure fresh in every ones mind.... and as SD says: "Let everyone figure out your personality themselves.. why publicize it!" ;-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chersih them

I mean it... I got this email first thing in the morning, of someone telling me
FAMILY = (F)ather(A)nd(M)other(I)(L)ove(Y)ou/ I am not a big fan of forwards, but this one made me smile... and say- oh that’s so true.

The day goes by with rushed meetings and deadlines as usual, me keeping my head high working through, sometime looking at family pictures on my wall. They are my mid day break :-)
I write this post is to remind myself and you, that we should take the breaks, cherish the pictures, live in the moment and greet the family with love and respect they deserve.
A friend of mine was visiting home to celebrate her dad's birthday and spend some time with her family. I just found out that she lost her father on that trip. I was devastated and cannot imagine what must be going through her and her family. I have never seen without her cute smile and the only tears I have seen in her eyes are those she would get after uncontrollable laughter. I am so sorry for her loss.

The day became somber then, and I tried to continue on with work. Only to hear another bad news about another friend's loss... just one of those days I tell you. I could not go on.. I did stop everything, composed myself.

And now I write this... Savor all the happiness, the moments and the time. Call your parents, just to say hi. Say sorry like you mean it and most importantly tell the loved ones.. that you love them just one more time.
Count your blessings, keep my friends in your prayers and cherish your family.