Of Desiderata

Date: 07/27/20
Author: Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952


To beat the chaos, I was looking for a few inspirational words. I stumbled upon ‘Desiderata’ (Latin for ‘desired things’). Exactly what I was looking for! The poem is string of wise yet subtle words by the poet. Here’s the sense I made of it –

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Keep your calm when there’s chaos around you. You lose the game when you lose your calm. Being at peace is more important than winning the argument.
Despite the differences, be on good terms with everyone. If people want to be harsh, let them be. You control your behavior.
Be honest even if the truth hurts. Be mindful of how you speak (something I need to learn). Listen to everyone – age, status, stature, position don’t matter. Develop the ‘art of listening’.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

I’ve been wondering if the first sentence means ‘walking away’ from loud and aggressive people. Usually my mind shuts down when anyone starts yelling at me. I mentally walk away. That brings me peace. Wondering if that is the right thing to do. Probably not. Something that needs to be worked on.
No two people can be compared to each other. Everyone is unique in their own way. Everyone has been built in a certain way. Again, you never know what chapter of life they are on. I have never understood the term ‘rat race’. Life is not a race – it is a journey. I’ve never compared myself with others – maybe with the previous me. I am here to enjoy life – even the 12 AM work calls.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be actively involved in your career. If you don’t do what you love you’ll be forced to love what you do. Success is directly proportional to your passion and involvement in your career.
Beware of suggestions/tips from (not so)well-wishers. Not everyone will be happy at your success. Suggestions should be welcome but implementation of the those should be at your discretion.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

You can’t fake feelings. You can’t fake chemistry. Love will happen if and when it has to. When it’s right, you cannot walk away.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are your best teacher. There is a wealth of knowledge and enlightenment inside of you. Every time you have a question – look inside.
You are stronger than you think you are. Look back – you’ve surmounted unimaginable mountains. Let your spirit shield you from the negativity – even from within yourselves. You’ve not come so far, only to come this far.
Everyone makes mistakes – don’t be hard on yourself. Doesn’t mean let every mistake go. You’re fine as long as you make new ones.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

You are here because you are meant to be. You are here because it is written. You are here because you are destined to be.
None knows the bigger picture. When you feel restless, breathe. Keep calm. Trust that the universe is unfolding the bigger picture. Keep going. This too shall pass.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

I’ve always been at odds with the God. A few events in life had shaken my faith. I have only found faith 5 years later. I know this is not ideal. But now, i feel at peace. Whichever God you worship (if you do) – let the faith be. If you haven’t found faith yet – maybe some day faith will find you. If not, you never needed it at the first place.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Not every dream is fulfilled. It may be easy to break spirits. Bad things happen. Circumstances make you want to give up. Life looks like a bad idea. When this happens, make a list of all the positive things in your life. Be grateful for everything around you. Enjoy the joy of little things. Believe in the goodness of the universe. Most importantly, be happy.

The past few months have been rough for all of us. Being positive has been a tough job. Negative thoughts have been natural to even the most positive people we know. To beat the negativity, do things that make you happy. Try to change ‘not so ideal’ circumstances; if you cannot change them it is okay to walk away. Make peace. Be at peace. Remember, inner peace is more important. Fin.

Posting a happy picture of me –

What will be the new normal?

We all know life may/may not be the same once all this is over. The world has come to a standstill (the only movement being people visiting grocery stores and hospitals. Dark.). You and I have been forced out of our gyms, swimming pools, workplaces, shopping sprees; forced to give up on our favorite party/hangout places, even our favorite coffee shops. All for the one thing invisible to naked eye. The one who must not be named.

Every time my mother and I chill at our new hangout place (read: the ever cluttered dining table) we talk about things we would need to be equipped when we start commuting to work again (almost 2 hours each way). I have suggested the following –

  1. We build a disinfectant tunnel in the staircase to disinfect every person and thing coming in and out of the house
  2. We wear a space suit to and from work to protect ourselves from the outside world

    From the way Aai was looking at me during this discussion I couldn’t say if she thought I was crazy or was considering my ideas.

On a different note, my father was courageous enough to visit D-mart one day. Never thought one would need ‘courage’ to visit a supermarket, did you?
Apparently, he had just missed the action. D-mart had opened the doors that day to a thousand eagerly waiting and angry shoppers. The D-mart authorities had to summon the police and ambulance to handle the stampede.

We have decided to shop online going forward – a big shift from roaming the aisles and judging every product you touch and see.

This made me think how my habits have changed/concerns one would have ever since the ‘one who must not be named’ started creating havoc.
1. I have never liked buying clothes online – despite having lived 10 ft away from Day One for quite some time. But buying clothes right now is important because –
(1) Most of my clothes are inappropriate to be worn at Visa. They’re very Seattle, Starbucks and NYC. Also, half of my wardrobe is in NYC.
(2) The material of the clothes is not suitable for Indian weather.
(3) The style is not acceptable/appropriate/suitable.
(4) Seattle summer clothes cannot be used in Indian summers and workplaces.
So, I ended up buying $300 worth stuff online. Of course, none of that got delivered because everything got locked down soon after I placed my order.

2. A visit to the bhajiwala was enough for me to not want to go again. There was no ‘social distancing’ anywhere. This made me think if we should buy frozen veggies instead. Hoarding would be the next option – buy enough to last at least for a couple weeks.

3. Visit to a (small sized) supermarket made me really furious. There was a long and socially-distanced queue to enter the supermarket (alright) but there was no social distancing inside! I bumped into 3 masked people.
What was the queue outside the supermarket for? Was it not to avoid the crowding inside? This made me wonder if kirana stores/online grocery deliveries would be better options.

4. Eating out is not an option (since everything is closed). I am skeptical about online food deliveries as well. Fomites have been a major contributor to the spread of pandemic. You never know who’s got it. You always hear about Delivery boys getting it – they’re so susceptible. You can never sanitize enough. Some of them claim ‘contactless deliveries’ but how contactless can it be?
Badly missing Pizzas and Pastas and everything else in between.

5. About commuting to work – most of us take multiple hours and several modes transport to reach work. I take an auto (3 to 5 passengers) – train (192928510 passengers) – auto (3 passengers) to work every day. The passenger count in bracket does not include people who I am in close contact with on train stations.
How am i supposed to do this going forward? HOW?!
I have a suggestion – maybe we can ‘fly’ to work like the Jetsons? Maybe we should seriously put our brainpower into developing a low-cost flying solution.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1660125a) The Jetsons (Ani Film and Television FULL COPY: http://www.rexfeatures.com/nanolink/le7r

6. Social distancing – This concept is going to be tougher in high-density areas/countries. I cannot imagine how one would maintain social-distance at train stations where there is usually a long queue to climb on and off the bridge. How to maintain distance in local trains where you can’t differentiate if the sweat on your body is yours or someone else’s?

A few more thoughts –
How safe would throwing parties be? Would you require every attendee to upload their test results when they RSVP?

How safe would pubs/clubs/bars be? Will they check your temperature to determine whether or not you are ‘safe’ to enter their bar? Will you now be carded for temperature and age both?
If yes, forget bar-hopping till we have a vaccine.

How safe would sharing food/drinks/smoke be?

How safe would traveling be in the future? Most of us want to travel the world! How will that look like now? Would you still be open to back-packing and living in hostels across Europe? How would group tours be like?

Will you feel safe to go to group classes – yoga/crossfit/dance/etc? Would people still go to morning walks and laughter clubs post lock down?

How will the GenX learn any more? Will online classes be the way to go? Will schools reduce the number of students in a classroom and run shifts to accommodate everyone for offline classes? How will the kids have fun at school? What about schools in the rural areas that may not be equipped to go online?

How will the workplaces handle it? Most of us travel at least a couple hours exposing ourselves to every kind of virus and bacteria to reach work. How safe will be for other people to be around us? What would team lunches and happy hours look like now?

How safe would dating be? It involves “meeting” unknown people.

How will festivals look like? How does one celebrate Diwali or Ganeshotsav without family/extended family/friends?

What about big fat weddings? I am willing to give up on the auxiliary parties but what about the actual wedding – haldi, mehendi, wedding, reception?

All this and more. We are living in unprecedented times and must take equally unprecedented measures to fight this. It will take some time for us to determine our new normal post the pandemic. The way we live, eat, drink, breathe, love, date, pray, travel, play, have fun is all about to change.

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

C.S.Lewis

Life as we know it is about to change. Something fun to tell our grand-kids, huh? More to come…

So far so good…

2019 was a roller-coaster ride. 2020 has been a ‘Sky scream Roller-coaster’ ride so far. Here’s what has changed.

USA to India

$ to ₹

Retail North America to Asia Pacific

Retail to Payments

Starbucks to Visa

Matured market to a Raw/mold-able market

High visibility to C-suite visibility

Building stores to Building products

SODO to BKC

Link Rail to Local train

8:30 AM – 6:00 PM to 7:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Uber to Ola

Starbucks Coffee to random Machine coffee

Living alone to living with parents

Extremely Single to Extremely Committed (Meet N)

Amazon to Flipkart

Live2Dance to Living to work

Work-life balance to No work balance

Knowing people in Seattle to still knowing people only in Seattle

Strictly Diwali parties to celebrating every little festival

A whole walk-in closet to having 2 divided closets (Mumbai and NYC)

Partying every weekend to having partied once in 7 months

Everything being optional to being obliged to do an array of things

Antonio Spa to Manjiri beauty parlor

Traveling to a new place every month to traveling to work every day

Canon to Capital Social

Wine to Cosmopolitan

I am surprised at the number of things that have changed in the recent past; amazed at how well I have taken them. It’s been a hell of a ride. Hoping November 2020 brings a twist to this tale. More to come.

Image courtesy: http://www.giuseppemorcinelli.com/so-far-so-good

#lessonsOfLife – Time zones

Date: 05/09/2019, Thursday

Venue: Seattle, WA, USA

8:22 AM – A Whatsapp message pops up on one of the groups. It is an article about the time zones of life. I am sure you all must have read it too. The first thing that came to my already messed up mind was ‘how situational!’

4:23 PM – In the middle of an almost ridiculous conversation the question “What do you think about time zones?” was slipped.
Had she read my Whatsapp messages? Or was this a universal concept?
You don’t think of concepts like these when everything is hunky-dory. You never reflect upon life when you’re happy – because you are too busy basking in it’s glory. It is when your yard work has not been done properly do you worry about the value proposition of your grass.

I did not know how to answer that question. Time zones – okay – yes – maybe – just a way of saying focus on improving your gardening skills and appreciate the blades of your grass rather than envying someone else’s. Makes sense. And that is probably a constructive sentiment and emotion to have. Two people from different walks of life had spoken about the same concept in a day. Time to think. My clouded mind (and I did not even have to consume an adult beverage for my mind to be in that state) started gathering the scattered thoughts on the bus ride back home.

I am a woman of science. Yes – vampires, witches, psychics, philosophy intrigue me. But… show me some proof if you want me on board. Yes, I like the concept of the green grass and time zones –

The grass is greener when you water it.

The grass is greener on the other side because well.. it is fake.

My favorite –
I am too busy smoking my grass to notice that yours is greener.

But the bottom line is –
I am too busy working on my own grass to notice yours is greener.

They say patience is the key (lol). They say things happen when they have to. They (loosely) use the term “meant to be” at equal intervals. But i still don’t get it. Perhaps these are multiple concepts intertwined into one and so it shall take some time for me to grasp. Meanwhile let’s decide to do the following –

  • seek help to improve gardening skills
  • water your grass every day
  • know that watering the grass every day may not translate into a greener grass instantly. It is not Maggie noodles.
  • talk to people in the same boat
  • appreciate the blades of your grass
  • respect the present by living in it
  • be grateful that you even have a yard and keep yourself too busy to notice anyone else’s

Let me know how it goes.

It hurts to pay retail…

Disclaimer: This post was created in my brain while waiting to get my nostril re-pierced.

Day of event: 04/12/2019, Friday

Weeks fly by. Earning calls come quick. Weekends arrive before I am ready. Cannot comprehend life at this pace. On a different note, my new nose jewelry was not the right size and kept on falling off. As a result all patience was lost and I removed the jewelry once and for all. Soon my piercing died off.

5:15 PM – I step out of the tarot card reader’s establishment feeling conned (no offence meant for tarot card science. The psychic can feel free to be offended though). I always thought that psychics were not meant to talk negative about their clients. This one did. She was brutal. I was too broken to even fight back (not that I would have anyway). It shall be a while before that gets funny.

5:30 PM – The wait at Deep Roots Piercing & Tattoo was real – 45 minutes. I was at UW and decided to enjoy whatever was left of the Cherry Blossoms and do my favorite thing for healing purposes – get coffee. The Psychic’s words rushed through my mind. Coffee needed desperately.

I figured Orin’s place at the Paccar would be a good place to get coffee. I took the road I traversed while I worked as a Student Assistant at Foster’s. Some things never change – the way to Paccar was still as beautiful.

I worked as a Research Assistant for PhD students at the Foster School of Business during my 1st year of the Master’s degree. It was hard work! Taking care of all of the research studies and the undergrad kids was very interesting. And it was great! One fine day, one of the PhD students took me out for coffee at Orin’s. That was probably my first interaction with Starbucks. I had no clue what to order and the prices looked a lot more than I could afford at that time. So, I went for cheapest – brewed coffee. She saw me struggle with creme and sugar and said, “Boy, you don’t do this often, do you?”

She was right. I’d never bought coffee before then. Never needed to. I lived 2 blocks away from the campus and ran home for everything.

Sadly, Orin’s was closed today so I decided to buy coffee from Suzzallo.

5:50 PM – The Quad.

Call me superstitious but the people I visit the quad to see cherry blossoms or the Skagit Tulip festival with walk out of my life sooner or later. So, I make a conscious choice of not blossoming in cherries and tulips with the people I love.

I walked to Suzzallo to grab coffee from the moderately new and shiny Starbucks they have. If you haven’t checked out the new store yet, you should. I ordered the usual – Caramel Macchiato and paid retail since it is a Licensed store (hence, no employee discounts). Man, it hurts to pay retail! Coffee @ Starbucks IS expensive!

5:52 PM – While I waited for my drink and chilled on the very comfortable and mostly supremely expensive leather couch I was reminded of Thursdays.

During the second year of my Master’s, Thursdays used to be straight 16 hour days. I used to pick a 8-9 hour shift at the UW Athletics during the day and attend the lecture in the evenings. On my way from UW Athletics to Mary Gates I used to pick up Starbucks Coffee from the HUB. It was a routine I loved. Also, my second interaction with Starbucks.

My entire family flew in to see me graduate. I felt blessed. Sending over gifts is a tradition I love. I sent back gifts from the 1st Starbucks in Seattle. In case you didn’t know, the 1st Starbucks store carries exclusive merchandise that is not sold elsewhere in the world.

The first Starbucks Store. Picture from :
http://blog.logomyway.com/history-of-starbucks-logo-design/

A week later, I received an offer from Starbucks.

An offer from Starbucks took me back to connecting the pieces of my life – piecing the puzzle if you will. My first interaction with Starbucks was an introduction to Starbucks in all sorts of ways. The second interaction taught me how priceless it was – Starbucks coffee on Thursdays was the most needed and valuable coffee of the week! My third interaction with Starbucks instilled a sense of pride in me. My most recent interaction with Starbucks made me realize that one can still have a borderline impostor syndrome after almost three years of working with the company.

The point is, I never thought that incidences in life are actually connected; that the experiences you have actually mean something. There IS a bigger picture and every experience, good or bad, helps build that bigger picture. You never know what the experiences you have shall lead to. I have experienced Starbucks in different capacities in the past few years – each one more rewarding than the previous one.

This passing thought gives me hope. Maybe the recent turn of events mean something; the creation of a bigger picture that I can’t see because I am not tall enough. Time to be grateful; time to be hopeful; time to have some faith. More to come.

Also, look how famous working at Starbucks can make one!

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!

#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!

Something to hold on to…

As Instagram suggests, I have been dancing (sort of) for the past 2 years now. I don’t know what this suggests to you. To some it may seem that I have nothing else to do in life. To me it is something to hold on to. It’s something that keeps me sane and going. The funny thing is – I did not even know that. I was asked if i were joining both the sessions and I responded – 

“Yea, I need something to hold on to”, I said.

I studied Engineering. I always wanted to graduate from a reputed school and I did. I have an amazing job that I had never even dreamed of, beautiful set of friends, homey apartment, supportive family, extremely comfortable couch, entertaining TV and 1 and a 1/2 first-world problems and I still need something to hold on to? I was left wondering if this was a first world problem as well. Is nurturing your soul a cosmetic problem? Is wanting to do more than work unnecessary?

Maybe not. Work is not everything. Good grades don’t guarantee you a good life. Mental health is important too. You need something to forget the world momentarily, multiply your happiness, change your mood, be passionate about, look forward to after you’re done working for your dividends; something to hold onto. This ‘something’ is necessary for peace of mind. I realized this more as I grew older.

And by all means, this ‘something’ can change. Be it dancing, meditation, yoga, exercise,reading, writing, running …whatever floats your boat. Do it. We all need that something to hold onto…

#lessonsOfLife

I grew a year older and wiser this month. Here’s a list of things I’ve learned in the last year –

  1. I am fully capable of living on my own… in the heart of downtown… alone… \m/
  2. One can sleep after watching a horror movie because… (see the next point)
  3. Sleep is the most important thing ever.
  4. Earplugs work just fine for the early morning trash trucks.
  5. Some things are just not meant to work out.
  6. People change.
  7. People leave.
  8. Some people leave for a reason. The reason stays even after they’ve left.
  9. Work is life but life is not work – however you want to put it.
  10. Mental illness is real.
  11. Medical bills are huge. Be fit. Stay fit.
  12. ‘Me’ time is a real thing. You need ‘Me’ time.
  13. French fries are an acceptable lunch option.
  14. It is absolutely fine to fall asleep while at movies.
  15. It is okay not to party on a Friday. You can be a homebody if you want to.
  16. It is not okay to be indecisive. Decisions are important.
  17. Let go and move on.
  18. Forgive and forget. Don’t get back in touch though.
  19. If you think you have “problems” in life may be read a newspaper or watch the news for 5 mins. Follow the theory of relativity. Your problems are the uber first world problems most people would die to have. There would be at least a million people on the face of this earth who would be more than happy to live your life.
  20. Family is the real deal.
  21. Travel makes you wiser. Travel as much as possible. #wontEatWillTravel
  22. Milky way is beautiful. Try star-gazing as much as possible.
  23. Netflix is chocolate cake and amazon prime video is the icing on it.
  24. Live life with no regrets.
  25. Past is in the past for a reason. Never turn back. You are not going there.
  26. Some people do not understand the concept of ‘olive branch’ and it is not your responsibility to you to teach them.
  27. Your mood should never be dependent on the people around you. Stay calm. Stay foolish.