The World & Me

This is my reflection of the events in the world and my life. If something catches ur interest, do leave ur ideas and comments on the article.

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Location: New Delhi, India

I am a simple God-loving person who believes in simple pleasures of life and loves hanging out with friends and family and have lots fun.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Homesick, I am

If someone said to me that I didn't know the difference between reality and fantasy land, I would've accepted it. But not now. I'm not as naive as I was 2 years ago.

2 years ago, I started living on my own because I tranferred from New Horizon College of Engineering to Drexel University, in search for greener pastures to satiate my hunger for a better education.

It was then I started living on my own. And I realised why ma was so overbearingly protective over us and why she has become a little cynical over the years. Coming out of the protective confines of the 4 walls of my home was easy. But, living like that for 2 years hasn't been easy at all. It has been a constant struggle.

Simple things like 3 staright meals, which were a commodity have now become a luxury. Especially in US where house-maids are luxury, I had to learn to ration my time between full time classes, part-time work, cooking, cleaning and laundry (even before a big exam) because you can't concentrate on your studies on any empty stomach...right.

The transition also took its toll on me emotionally. No longer could I expect to come home after a rough day at school or work and dump it all on ma. No more fights for eating the biggest guavava or the biggest piece of cake. No more endless discussions and arguments with papa on country, family and world matters (those used to drive ma crazy). No more going to HAL market to buy veggies and fruits with papa. I miss all of it a lot.

I'm writing this piece in the ascending order of what I miss the most. So, the thing I miss the most is coming up:

For the people who know me isn't a big brain exercise, for the ones who don't the answer is: India, my motherland, my homeland.

A desi through and through, I got a big cultutre shock when I got here. It wasn't that I hadn't been to US before, but to live here was another thing. And I realised it first hand. It was through these experieces that I grew a better understanding and appreciation of our culture. I also relaised that things we take for grnated back home is actually a luxury here.

I miss everything about INDIA, the feeling of being a first rate citizen. The ability to walk fearlessly with your head held high. The small streets, the amrood wala and the aam wala, pani-puri, chaat, badam milk. The sense of being an integral part of a bigger entity, the feeling of having a say in the matter of national affairs. I miss all that very much.

A good friend of mine who I was discussing this article, asked me why have you written about it today?....And I realised that I haven't stated my inspiration for this piece and wouldn't be right not to give a reference to my inspiration. My inspiration for this article is the conversation I had today with a really good friend of mine....he knows who he is and for the rest he can be called Lt. X. Lt. X and me had very insteresting conversation about my Indianess and my understanding of reality and fantasy and my love for my country. Nothing more needs to disclosed from the conversation because these are baseline concepts that propelled me to write this piece today.

-A homesick Indian

A cool summer look Posted by Picasa

Akshay's Scoop

In a country where the first prime minister after independence was called Chacha Nehru because of his fondness for children, its heart-rendering to see children being treated like this....and now over to my dear brother Akshay for the Detail News Akshay's great scoops :-).

Friday, July 14, 2006

I finally did it!!!!!

Yes, I finally motivated myself to go to the gym.

Yesterday was my first class. I have joined the Bally's @ center city. Its kind of expensive, but for two months I guess its fine. After that I can go to the my university gym and carry on from there.

Credit also goes to my dear freind Rohini, who is visiting me from Florida. She joined the gym first, and then seeing how happy she was....I could finally push myself to come out of hibernation of almost 2 years.

Yes, its been 2 yrs since I worked out at a gym. Since, the time I came from India I had been struggling to fit into the country, region, people and coursework. There were also some other issues (which don't need any mention) which were keeping me busy.

But, now it was like my fairy Godmother waived her magic wand and all the issues disappeared. I only work 2 days a week and my courseload is balanced, so I can find time to do things for myself. I've finally learnt to tackle the loneliness and stopped feeling bad.

Now, back to good things in life. Yesterday was my first workout session. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was like I was back home in the gym doing my thing. And just like the first time I had started going to the gym, today morning when I woke up, my whole body was sore. But, I felt really great.

And, I guess that is the thing with going to the gym. Keeps you in shape and the endorphins keep you happy!!!!

And as Reese Witherspoon said in the movie Legally Blonde "Happy people don't kill their husbands." I would say Happy people stay happy and strive to keep everyone around them also happy.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It is really the City of Angels

Yes yes.....I'm talking about LA aka The City of Angels.......quiet literally for more ways than one.....the main reason will be elaborated upon my later articles....but the one reason is also pretty important one.

Not a lot of people know that mamma and papa had gifted me a digital camera for my 22nd b'day. This is the second digital camera I own because the first one got spoilt during the Thanksgiving Vacation last year.

And an even lesser known fact is that the second camera had also gotten spoilt. The lens was stuck and so the upon switching off the camera the lens wouldn't move and thus the zoom also didn't work. I started keeping the camera in my mp3 player's bag so that it doesn' spoil further.....but today when I asked my friend to click a pic of me. She did so and returned the camera to me. Habitually, I moved the dial to switch off the camera and guess what happened....the lens retracted and closed.

I couldn't believe it so to reassure myself that I wasn't dreaming I opened and closed the camera thrice. I also tried the zoom button and that also worked. I don't have any idea how my camera was fixed or who or what fixed it. Its times like these the presence of higher being is strengthened. I thought long and hard and couldn't explain how my camera had magically gotten repaired. It was almost like and Angel waved her/his magic wand over it and it got fixed in a jiffy. Looks like LA has more than Angels for me. Whatever, the case its always been the case that all my problems seem to simplify or get solved whenever I see bhai. He is definitely My Angel.

The main reason why LA is also the City of Angels is 3-4 part story which follow this post pretty soon. So, stay read more interpretations of My World!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Back from Holiday (Part I)

Disclaimer: The following post is really long. I've described, in quiet detail, the events leading upto my trip to LA and also the fun I had there. So read at your own risk.

Before Leaving
The week we got off for; not only marked the Independence Day for US but also marked the day of my liberation.

There was a slight hiccup to the program, which people related to the incident are already aware of, so I don't intend to mention it again. And those of you who don't know have to die out of curiousty....I might sound cynical.....but can't help it. Somethings are best not displayed in public.

As the sun rose on friday June 30th, I woke up and realised that I hadn't even packed for my 4 day holiday in LA. It didn't take me long to pack my bags for my holiday. I had two classes on friday and I had already taken off from work. So, I finished both of my classes and came back home. I completed a final check of my bags and books I had to keep to finish my assignments that were due right after the holidays. I was excited to go visit Bhai. I hadn't seen him since Thanksgiving last November. Some people thought it wasn't a very long time. But counted in Neha Years it was a lot. And I also wanted to go see his university and hang out with him becasue the last time we went there we weren't there for long and hadn't been with him for more than 1 day when all 3 of us went to Universal Studios. Anyways getting back to the topic, I left home in time to catch the train for Airport. I caught my train and reached the Airport in time.

At the Airport
Since I didn't have any check-in luggage I just used the self check-in kiosk to check myself in. My "original flight-plan" (you'll know pretty soon why I name it so) was to reach LA through Orlando. After the security check when I reached the gate, I noticed that the flight to Orlando was late by 1 hr and 30 miins. This simply implied that I would miss my connecting flight to LA from Orlando. I went to the Customer Services desk and informed the clerk of my problem. The clerk took a look at my ticket and transferred me on a direct flight of US Airways to LA. I took the new boarding card and reached the gate for the newly assigned flight. I realised that I had a lot of time, so I called bhai and informed him of my change of plans. Also called nanima and papa (in that order), since both of them wanted to talk to me before I left for LA.

After I finished all my calls, I figured I still had time on my hands. I was feeling really hungry because I hadn't had lunch. So, I took out the littis and bharta I had packed for the flight and started dipping the litti in the bharta and eating them. This american girl sitting opposite to me was looking at my dabba with eyes wide open. She couldn't figure out what I was eating and why I was eating it like that. I think twice or thrice I caught her stare, but she continued staring. People who know me, know that I don't get threatned by such actions. So, I went on comfortably eating my littis despite her stares.

As I finished my lunch, the clerk at the desk next to the entrance to the gate announced the boarding for the flight. Since I was Zone 6, I had to wait a little more (a couple of mins). When my Zone was announced, I got in line and presented my boarding pass to clerk. The clerk tore the small detachable stub on the right side of the boarding pass and gave me the stub and kept the bigger part of my boarding pass. This is where a grave mistake happened which cost me a little while returning to Philadelphia from LA (you'll come to know).

Back to June 30th, I boarded my flight and thankfully the overhead compartment had place for my suitcase. So, here I was all set to fly from the "City of Brotherly Love" to the "City of Angels" literally so for me, as described in the paragraphs below. Here I was taking a non-stop cross country flight. I hadn't taken such a long flight since I visted papa in San Diego and co-incidentally I had travelled US Airways at that time also.

In the Flight
The flight took off 20 minutes late from Philadelphia. Once we were in the air, the reality hit me that I was going to be in the flight for 5 hrs and some mins, which is actually a very long time. But, the next second I realised that only because of this I had packed my Competitive Intelligence book in my bag and not my suitcase which was safely secured in the overhead compartment.

I took out my book and started reading. The book, I must say is pretty interesting. I didn't realise when the time passed and I reached the sixth chapter. After the 6th chapter, I decided it was time for a break. I had also taken a few short breaks during my reading to glance at the moving scenes of the in-flight movie "Anapolis". My neighbour (I still follow the british spellings)was watching "Glory Road" on his Powerbook(Apple Inc). So, I was trying to watch two movies at the same time; but later decided to watch Glory Road as I wasn't watching Annapolis from the beginning anyways.

I didn't regret my decision....Glory Road was a really nice movie. Its times like these that my dream of having a study full of books, movies and music gets re-enforced. I hope one day I can realize this dream.

And no, I'm not going to share my dream on this virtual space.So, after the movie I took a short nap and woke up just in time for the descent into the LA airport.

After Reaching LA

The descent was very beautiful, a city surrounded by mountains. After the aircraft came to a halt,we got off the aircraft and started making our way towards the bagaage claim and the exit. As I stepped outside the plane, I called my dear bro to let him know that I have arrived. He then asked me to wait outside the airport exit, so we can get out the airport quickly. I waited for sometime and he then he appeared.

I had a really warm and nice ride to his place from the airport. The best part was the view from the highway to the city. Especially, at a certain point when you are high above the city, you can see all the hustle bustle guarded by the mountains. Its so nice, its like the mountains are watching over LA to keep all the unwanted away from its people, just like our brave friends guarding the borders of our motherland, the young and valient knights of the Indian Armed Forces.