Everything that happened today: Happy Valentine’s Day?!

Date: 02/13/2019

2:30 PM – What can go wrong with Wine and Chocolate?

4:30 PM – All roads lead to the winery.

Time Unknown – Back home.

A little after Time Unknown – Bed time.


Date: 02/14/2019

12:48 AM – *Wakes up super thirsty* *Finishes an entire bottle of water* Sleeping with alcohol in the system – Bad Life Choice.

1:30 AM – Still wide awake. It has been a while since I have reflected upon my life and laid awake thinking in circles. I felt happy knowing that I do not do that anymore. Finally, adulthood brings wisdom.

Happy Realization:
Life = hourglass.
Time = sand.
Nothing can be done about it. There is no way you can stop anything. Love, relationships, work, betrayals, infidelity, successes, failures, uncertainty, disappointment… the past few years have been very formative. Time has flown by. A series of events rushed through my mind like the Virar fast local – too fast to be categorized in buckets.
I looked at my phone. Drunk texts.

2:20 AM – I decide to do something with my life.

2:22 AM – I start cooking. Cooking was obviously a better use of time than reminiscing my past. I immediately texted my dinner gang about hosting dinner the next day.

2:40 AM to 2:49 AM – “If it is not happy… it is not the end.” is what I believe.
But is this really it? Is this all there is to life? Shouldn’t all ends be happy? Do disappointments end ever?
Do fairy tales really come true?
Does Prince Charming exist in real life?
Is everyone entitled to a miracle or does it only happen to a selected few? And the average people have to struggle for everything?
I have officially run out of patience on all matters related to heart and brain.
Patience needs Patience.
Faith needs Faith.
Hope needs Hope.
But I’m no Quitter.

I am a fan of SATC, mostly because I wish to be like Carrie. I was reminded of the first SATC movie in which Big left Carrie at the altar after a courtship of a decade. She stayed with Charlotte for a while post the incidence because she had nowhere to go. There is this scene when Carrie reads a book to Charlotte’s daughter, Lily, at bed time. In the middle of the scene Lily asks her to read the bed time fairy tale once more to which Carrie responds “Sweetie, you know this is not true, right?”
I could totally see myself replacing Carrie in that scene.

After Big leaves Carrie at the altar

Carrie and Big do get married eventually.

3:03 AM – The train of thought halted at the ‘positive affirmation’ station. From SATC to philosophy! I know! Brain is weirdly wired. NVM.
Apparently, you can make things happen by the power of positive affirmation. The secret?! A few of my friends swear on it. I wonder if that works. Maybe it does.

3:13 AM – I googled how to positively affirm. Turns out it’s not that easy. Also, can sound really silly at times. I freaked out when I read the first few. But turns out they work!

Life is complicated. The balancing act of (moderately) succeeding at work, searching for love (while googling ‘am i really in love with him?’), trying to get into a relationship (need to google this one + does not mean commitment), managing finances (poorly) and doing all this while maintaining sanity is a tough one. Who knew we had signed up for so much when we entered adulthood. I can’t remember why I wanted to grow up really. It only makes sense on ‘Pay Day’.
In the midst of this slightly negative self-talk I still find myself fixated on one thing – If it’s not Happy, I refuse to treat it as the End.

More to come.

#wontEatWillTravel Roy, WA

Date: 01/26/2019 to 01/27/2019

Venue: Roy, Wa

Fire is now married and moves out of Seattle soon. We are trying to make the most of our time with her and so a few weekends ago we airbnb’d a YURT! And it was lovely.

The yurt we rented was in Roy, WA, an hour away from Seattle downtown. It is 35-40 miles before Mt. Rainier. Saturday was a perfectly sunny day to start our trip.

Do more of what makes you happy. Especially when it’s sunny.

We started at around 11 AM and stopped at Punjab Sweets, Kent, for brunch. I highly recommend the kadhi chaawal. Once we hit the road again we shook up our plans a little. Paradise, Mt. Rainier, was started as a stop. It was an hour’s worth of detour. We hoped to make it till the sunset. The sunny weather promised a beautiful sunset – and i was dying for some colors.

As we approached the Mt. Rainier national park, Fire realized that she had forgotten her national park annual pass. However, that did not seem to matter because the entrances were unmanned owing to the government shut down. Also, the road was open only up to a certain point owing to the snow. Paradise was a bad idea. We took a U-turn.

Rainier looked splendid from wherever it could be spotted. Snowy, reflective, beautiful… plain beautiful. We caught only the glimpse of the sunset on our way to the yurt. There is nothing like a little dash of pink to the blue sky.

The yurt was a part of a larger property. The property had a main house, 2 yurts, a tent cabin… and I am sure we missed something. It was shortly after the sunset that we were escorted to the yurt by the owners. There it was… our yurt… in the backdrop of a pretty dense forest… decorated by Christmas lights. The interiors were absolutely classic, and handmade.

The property
The yurt at day time
The beautifully lit yurt at night fall

Catch: There was no legit heater in the room and only 2 beds. The beds would be fine since they had heated mattress pads. The windstorm had sabotaged the pipes and so the water from the sink in the kitchen had no outlet. The windstorm had also sabotaged the common restrooms. We had a compostable toilet though – which meant we could hear each other pee. The hosts were gracious enough to let us use the restroom and shower from the main house.

The compostable toilet. Pee much?

The hosts invited us to keep warm around the fireplace. We graciously accepted the offer. We stayed by the fire till dinner. Oh yes, girls can talk non-stop.

Dinner was Maggie. As the tradition goes, we slept off gossiping.

Sunday was a new day. Being the first one to wake up i decided to go on a walk by myself. It was a foggy foggy morning.

It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

We joined the hosts for an organic breakfast. It was going to be a lovely morning. I settled on the chair on the front porch of the yurt comprehending how not to give a f***. I occasionally looked around and felt grateful; how lucky I was to be strong, free, independent and happy. I turned back to look inside the yurt – Fire and Water were chilling on their beds – Fire laughing hysterically over Mrs. Funnybones. We left soon to come back home.

A few candids..

A few things to remember if you’re traveling to new formats of airbnbs –

  1. If you look forward to booking a yurt/cabin/airbnb for the summer make sure you do it at least a couple months in advance. The good places go pretty fast.
  2. Carry enough food and alcohol. We fell short.
  3. Carry a hand sanitizer and extra toiler paper just in case.
  4. Carry warm clothes so that you are prepared in case of adverse weather conditions. Socks.Slippers are very important.
  5. Carry comforters just in case.
  6. Carry board games if you like.
  7. Carry bottles of water.

Safe Travels!

Everything that happened today…

Date: 01/24/2019

7:10 AM – Leaves home for work. Realizes that the downtown is busy even at 7 am. Unearthly hour really.

7:17 AM – *Walks to the farthest orca card reader* and *Taps orca card* The last 2 weeks at work have been good. I, somehow, believe it is because I accidentally started tapping my Orca card at the farthest orca card reader. Stupid as it may sound to you, I think it’s working. After a long haul of ‘I don’t know what’s going on!’ I deserve good days.

Yes, I have a master’s degree and I may be agnostic but I still believe in superstitions. Having written about it, I think it’s sad really but…Oh well!

7:20 AM – *Boards the train.* I walk up to my usual section. I realize I like routine. I am completely fine doing the same thing over and over again as long as it comforts me. I have a system – that is yet to fail me. *Finds a seat* *Opens Whatsapp* *Responds to messages* I distinctly feel my feelings shift as I sift through the messages.

I quickly realize that I have conveniently forgotten my eye drops today. Today of all days when I needed it the most. I aim to leave work at 4 PM.

7:45 AM – *reaches work* IMMA got this! Texts all friends to let them know I’ve reached way before they woke up. Earth calls me a ‘loser’. Well, she is not entirely wrong.

8:30 AM – The day hasn’t even started yet and I am half done. I AM GOOD!

9:00 AM – Is it too soon to lunch?

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM – Small wins. Half way there. Long way to go but I am on my way.

10:30 AM – *sends a text to C* “Want to move lunch to 11 instead? I am hungry AF.” No response.

10:35 AM – Walks up to C’s desk to convince her to lunch earlier. No luck there.


11:00 AM – *Goes to the kitchen* *Starts peeling a banana* I see someone heating their lunch – chicken thighs. I compliment her on the good looking thigh and she acknowledges. Meanwhile, I peeled my banana and dolled it up with honey.

Could this moment be any more suggestive?

11:30 AM – I meet C for lunch. It was a casual lunch. It’s been difficult to catch up with her lately. She has been one of my closest friends ever since I’ve started working here. She knows all of my best-kept secrets. She is one of the people I can never afford to fight with because of the best-kept secrets.

12:10 PM – I walk late into a ‘lunch and learn’. The attendance is painfully low but it is well attended by the powerhouse of the company. The who’s who nod and acknowledge the speaker. It takes me 5 minutes to ramp up and make sense of what is going on in the room. I make a mental note of things I had to do that day instead.

Eyes feel dry. Nothing can be done there.

12:22 PM – Suddenly, the speaker announces a game with prizes at the end. No prize for guessing what the prizes are. I realize my disinterest in competing and the coffee. Both. And it was premium coffee.

12:28 PM – Someone gets up from their seat. The entire row of powerhouses turned their heads to look at them. Maybe someone secretly judged them for leaving early? But they had to be someone to have made that kind of impact. I’ve never seen them. Bigwig spotted fo sho!

12:30 PM – I decide to get up and get going – secretly. I say hi to one of my acquaintances on the way out. It is tough to make sure that the door does not make a noise when you leave. I like to be discreet.

12:36 PM – Work time. Realizes how minute details are. Retail is in Detail, baby.

I start an excel sheet to list the people I need to send emails too today. The list is basically a list of people I would never had the chance to interact with if not for this project. Today is the day.

I realize that most of the work I do is so impactful; I do so much more than I could ever think about; to think of what my horizon is… is crazy.

You know how you have a “dream job”? Well… this isn’t my dream job. This is a job that I could have never dreamt about because I never knew something like this even existed; leave alone happen to me.

Shoot me if I take my job for granted.

1:14 PM – I am neck deep in work. I realize music has stopped working for me. Music distracts me these days. Distractions cannot be afforded. This has never happened before.

My mentor stops by to check in on me. I realize I have more work than I can accomplish. We take the divide and conquer approach and decide to circle back during the Earnings call at 2 PM.

1:20 PM – I get up to take a break and shoot an espresso shot.

The most important decision of the day is to be made as I stand here – 1 espresso shot or 2 espresso shots/long shot or as is/extra hot shot or as is. For future reference, It’s one shot, extra hot and always long. I really don’t know what a long shot is and how it affects the flavor profile and/or strength of the coffee. But, it works for me.

I add whipping milk and drink it in one go.

This drink has quickly become my favorite because of its ability to do away with sleep. This drink was suggested to me as a coping mechanism during my jet lag days. It quickly replaced all other drinks.

2:03 PM – I enter the conference room to listen in to the Earnings call. Surprisingly, I was one of the first ones. I take my seat and continue working.

The seats soon start filling in.

2:10 PM – I look at my mentor and signal her to check her email.

The email has been worked upon for several days and today is the day it should go out.

My eyes still feel dry. I am worried for my eyesight. I blink a little more frequently to see clearer. I decide not to look at the big screen that casts the Earnings Call presentation. I continue looking into my screen.

2:58 PM – Everyone comments that the presentation has been short this quarter on their way out of the conference room. I continue typing frantically. It’s not to show off but merely an attempt to finish work. I wish to be on track for leaving work at 4 PM. I know this will never happen but wishful thinking.

3:05 PM – I walk the corridors with my laptop, diary, phone, water bottle and a hanging wired mouse. Yes, I still use the wired mouse. It’s easier to pick it up in case it falls.

Shouldn’t I focus on not performing actions that can result in my mouse falling on the ground when I walk? Well, I could change my gait, leave a few minutes earlier for my meetings and not walk hastily… but all those things require me to change a lot from within… and I don’t think I have that in me.

3:07 PM – Desperate measures to send out the emails. I try to work with headphones again but today music does not help me focus. Work is too important to be messed up. I check the emails, leaders and attachments multiple times before sending them out.

I seem to have conquered the dry eyes syndrome. In my brain, I calculate the time between now and the time I can actually use my eye drops.

4:30 PM – I look out of the pit of my screens to see everyone gone for the day. I still have some work to finish. Wishful thinking! Hah!

4:45 PM – I send one final email. It’s done. I feel content to have sent out those emails. It’s an everyday job for many people I work with. But in my role, I would have never gotten this opportunity if not for this project.

Life is all about opportunities and grabbing them. This is one I may/may not regret. I feel lucky. I feel grateful. I quickly send one ‘thank you’ note to my mentor as a response to one of the emails we exchanged earlier in the day. I felt grateful for the opportunity.

4:55 PM – I pack my bags, wear my jacket and leave. I run into my mentor on my way out. I thank her in person for the opportunity and hug her. I am sure she judged me on that. But I am just so happy. I know my day might not mean much to anyone else except me… but I am genuinely happy.

5:45 PM – I am home. The day is over. Time to change into sweats, eat a lot and West Wing it.

Every day is different. Every moment of every day evokes different feelings. It’s difficult to keep a track. But it definitely helps to note what works for you and what doesn’t. I have tried to make mental notes of things that stress me out and tried to weed them out of my schedule.

Take care of yourself. It’s okay to have a routine and overdo it maybe – as long as you aren’t hurting anyone and yourself. Love yourself and be happy.

#lessonsOfLife #happyRealization 2018

I’ve had an opportunity of listing the things I’ve learnt these past few years. However, I have had a tough time jogging down the memory lane for the past year. I do remember a few things I realized this year though. Please find below a list of things I realized –

  1. I can be a part of a show – Life has been happening ever since I have become a part of Live2DanceSeattle productions. This year we stepped it up a notch and had a show of our own – Desi Detour. It was a beautiful and sweaty journey that ended with a rad evening. It was definitely a proud moment.
  2. Cleanliness maybe next to Godliness – Desi Detour was tough. Juggling work and the dance schedule was impossible. There used to be ‘wait list’ for dishes to go into the sink (because the sink was already full with soiled dishes). But nothing bothered me. Soiled dishes and messy apartment failed to steal my sleep. Me so much chill.
  3. I love my bed – I think it is the only thing that cares about my comfort and sleep.
  4. I love my couch – As do my friends. My couch recognizes my needs. It swallows me when I am exhausted. It’s big enough to accommodate all my friends (all 4 of them). Also, it does not complain when it is messy.
  5. Money is tough – Earning, investing, saving, spending… everything about money is tough.
  6. Travel is wisdom – In hindsight, I have learnt a lot from my #travelDiaries. The rich experiences have made me wiser, more organized, and given me excellent stories to tell!
  7. Try to be a minimalist – One fine day I realized that I was a pretty small for all this baggage in life. So, I got up and donated 2 bags worth of clothes to Good Will and threw away 3 trash bags worth of unwanted items. I couldn’t believe I had so much to let go.
  8. Let go and Move on – My ‘let go and move on‘ game is at it’s strongest right now. It’s amazing how people walking in and out of my life has ceased to matter to me. It’s sad really. But Oh well!
  9. Mental health – I’ve realized the importance of mental health. As Indians we don’t really learn about mental health awareness at school. Mental problems are considered to be first world since real world problems are aplenty. Any discussion about mental health or even consulting a psychiatrist/psychologist is a taboo. However, I have realized that sometimes mental health is more important than physical health. Wrong attitude reflects poorly on you and shows at work and home. Definitely not a good place to be.
  10. What’s your contingency plan? – Everything was hunky dory until we received an email from our CEO about impending layoffs. The world stood still. It forced me to think about my contingency plan – and there was none. My career was everything I have ever worked for and so this experience was a little scary. You start working with a company and you work for it till the end of time or till you decide to go for something better. It is always your choice. You never think about getting laid off. That thought had never crossed my mind until that one email. I obviously did not receive it well. The experience did teach me to make contingency plans and plan better. You know what else I realized? – Nothing is permanent.
  11. Never take anything for granted – In this day, age, country, visa status take nothing, nothing for granted at all. It’s surreal how situations change every minute. That makes me wonder whether or not we should even have loyalty towards a city, state, organization or people. Life is beautiful and you’re living your dream. Shoot me if I take my life for granted.

Hope you remember your 2018 better than I do. And Happy New Year!

#wontEatWillTravel Crystal Mountain, WA

08/18/2018: Day trip to Crystal Mountain.

Crystal mountain, Pierce County, is a ski area. Nevertheless, it is a good place for a short day-trip during summers as well. It is a beautiful 2-hour drive from Seattle. The view is ecstatic.

The view!!

The most amazing time-lapse I’ve ever captured. I swear my head spun after watching this the first time.

Someone was actually getting married there. I thought it was brilliant!! Pretty #Sherpa I must say.

IMG_8541

Plandids/Candids – 

Of Moh and Maya

Flashback: From a long time ago… 

2:30 AM – It was a random morning. I had unexpectedly scored exceptionally well on a test that I thought I would have to take again. I had sneezed 20 times already and the day had not even started. Everything was weird about the situation – the place, my unexpected trip to Mumbai, the time, the weather (very cold; something that I never get to experience). I was abnormally laid back about my early morning flight. I hadn’t even packed yet. Today, I wanted life to take its course.

4:00 AM – We left for the airport. We were obviously running late. My family always takes the pain to drop me off at the airport and waits till I check in, be it any time of the day. Yes, I have been that lucky! Our ride to the airport was supposed to cover all the serious topics on the agenda for this trip. The family meeting began. Thoughts were aligned. Priorities were refined. We reached a consensus. Everything was resolved. Everyone was happy. It is unusual for your priorities to align with those of your parents. None of us compromise on anything. And it was never about ego. Ego does not really exist in my family (Touchwood).

The last month had been terrible for me personally. Life had forced me to take a series of desperate decisions. Desperate times desperate measures. I detested evenings. My parents were worried. My decisions were questioned. I stood alone. All I wanted was to realize my dreams. Every little disagreement killed me a little. I could not settle.

5:00 AM – I checked in and swiftly moved around the airport. Mumbai airport always feels like home. It is as if I belong there. My brain feels and thinks brilliantly every time I am at an airport. I should have taken all my exams at the airport. Who knows I would have aced every one of them!  Mumbai airport is also shopping paradise for me. I checked in at Foursquare, tweeted on twitter and hopped on to the bus that led us the plane. Early morning flights are lovely (read: complimentary breakfast).

6:00 AM: I found my seat, and made a small talk to the Saudi based south Indian seated beside me. I was so engrossed in the movie that I did not realize the plane taking off. I did not realize the turbulence maybe because a- I had grown used to flights or b- the movie was awesome.

And it struck me…how much I was used to the pleasures of my life. Frequent flying, chauffeur driven cars, eating at the best restaurants in the city, staying at the best places, buying the most expensive things impulsively – and not thinking about anything while doing any of these and more. I realized how material-driven life was/is. But how long can a Gucci bag make us happy? Desire is real. Everyone wears brands, every kid wants the best of the toys, every girl wants a diamond, every man wants a Roland…the list is endless. Personally, I am drowned. And I see no signs of recovering.

8:30 AM – While I tried to define ‘simple living’ in my mind the pilot spoke in his supremely sensuous voice. I had never paid attention to announcements but his voice too compelling. We landed. The sunny weather awaited me. I politely left thanking the flight attendant and hoping that my luggage had traveled back with me.

I wonder if material pleasure equals happiness! It certainly means a lot though. The pleasure is way over-rated. I am not really sure why the world has turned materialistic- peer pressure maybe. Everyone believes in ‘If you’ve got it…Flaunt it!’. It is a vicious cycle. ‘Simple living and high thinking’ said someone zillion years ago. I wonder if it holds true in this world and age. I wonder if we can denounce the pleasures and live a really simple life. Probably not.