USA

This post was supposed to come out long back. Anyway, better late than never.

It has been 4 weeks ~4 months since I’ve come here, to Tucson, Arizona. This place is was astonishingly hot! Landing in the peak of Fall, I should probably not be expecting this place to be like Bangalore, least of all, when I knew this was a valley city, surrounded by hills and having very low humidity. Lot of people have said that this is the worst part of the year and it gets surprisingly pleasant in a month or so. I sure am looking forward to it. [It did become pleasant. I’m loving the weather now]

First week of Grad school has passed smoothly. There was hardly anything to make it a bumpy ride. Barely into the first week, we were looking at a long weekend, thanks to Labor Day. It gets warmed up pretty quickly after this, they say. Well, it better get warmed up. That’s the whole point of coming here in the first place! [It did warm up, revved up my brain more than it was used in a long time, and thankfully so!]

Experiencing this (higher) education system firsthand has really been a new awakening. It is amazing how the “one-size-fits-all” system of education is desisted here. Each student has the choice of learning what he wants as per what his long-term goals are. If there are no goals, they say that going by the tried and tested path laid out by a few seniors is a safe one to follow. After all, who cares what kinda job one lands into as long as it keeps you contented and pays you well. [Well, being in an education system that decides what is good for you didn’t do any good to my decision-making abilities. I’m still confused about my career plan, even though if not as worse as earlier in life]

Things that are both good, and bad, at the same time happen a lot. Almost immediately after we land here, we fall into the habit of being judgmental about many things here. Specifically, the people. We brand them as Chinese are like this, Mexicans are like this, Indians are like this and so on. It really spoils the mood of being in an International setting, where we have the chances of our lives to find things about the big wide world firsthand. [This mindset is slowly receding.]

We become stereotypical and ask for directions. Right from streets, to food joints, to courses, to professors, to research activities, to job referrals etc. I hope that everyone realize that one size doesn’t fit all and the future is not far off when we come out of the needy shells and get ready to embrace things at their face value. I am happy that a few of my colleagues here are embracing that attitude already.

One of the best things that has happened after being here is an initiative called International Friends. American families in Tucson have come forward with this initiative to get to know students of different countries, thereby hoping to know more about how cultures are. I had been invited to a dinner like that and had a good time talking to my hosts.

[Added on the day of posting from here on.]

As it has been quite a while since the first draft of this post went into a slumber, I am delighted to update a few things here.

I got a research position in the university and I’m happy being an “employee” as well as a student at the same time. I’m not missing my days at Samsung/KPIT anymore. Feels awesome to experience and share it.
I had a wonderful Halloween and a tummy-licious Thanksgiving, thanks to my International Friends hosts Louise and Pam.
My cooking skills have improved. Oh damn, that would be an understatement!! I cook great enough to keep my easily bored taste buds on their nerves. šŸ˜‰
Semester is getting to an end and it is unbelievable that time flies so fast. Lots of activities lined up for the last few weeks, right from term papers, lab assignments, home works, projects and final exams. The ride is about to get adventurous!

Wish me Luck.

Of friends, love, and marriage

There he is! Shows up now, after this half-an-hour of agonizing wait. But, why is he ducking behind the flower pots! Oh, I guess he’ll play his usual Surprise! trick on one of us. Silently, I told this to the others and we were waiting to see what happens. As usual, he targets the well-pampered, innocent-looking, but not-so-innocent girl of our group. 3 years since we all met and he is into his old shoes already. Within no time, the old-time chit-chat starts and continues into animated banter. People taking about jobs, companies, and future plans. And, suddenly starting to tease the married guys and gals about their marriage and kids. It was all so lively and fun. I thought we would take sometime to get comfy after all the ups and downs we’ve had in life. I mean, once upon a time, we were thick friends and came to each other during trying situations. But, a long gap can pull people apart. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the case now and God! I was glad for that!

“So, how come you haven’t married yet? I thought you would have had 2 kids by now!” he started his usual mockery. Hadn’t it been for my engineering, I’d have got married at 18; and hadn’t it been for my MBA, I’d have got married at 22! Now, being 25 and still living free as per my will was something that didn’t go down well with my family. But still, if not now, when could I ever be so independent? This discussion seemed to have enlightened to him that I am no longer the daddy-says-marry-this-guy kinda gal. There was a sudden swell of appreciation in his eye and I kinda felt proud that it came from him. This guy was my closest friend in engineering. He dropped me home, gave me advice, enquired about my crushes, settled fights between me and my boyfriend. Heck, he had the audacity to challenge me to take up an MBA and convince my dad against marrying me off. So much for being independent for a small time in my life!

Soon, other stories started coming out. None of us who were committed in college continued to be so. After listening to 2 marriages, 3 break-ups and this guy’s ever-growing list of could-be-lovers, we headed out for lunch. I felt we were no longer our daily selves of well-groomed, well-behaved 24-25 old employees. It was college days again. Everyone was elated at being together. The food session began: after some glass clanking, fork scratching, and spoon fighting, we were on our fingers. I bet that hanging out with college buddies over a morsel of good food is 10000 times more satisfying than team lunches with colleagues. The sense of belonging to a group and still being able to become kids in a matter of few seconds has a nostalgic, yet heartening feeling to it.

Soon, the married guys had to leave and we were making fun of them that their mistresses were not too pleased with them hanging out for so long. Gradually, each one of us were put into that situation and others gave the verdict as to how each would react. People told that coupla years earlier, I’d have been my husband’s permanent unpaid chef.But seeing me now, they were convinced that I’d rather make him cook for me before giving in. I tell you, it was a secret pleasure listening to that! šŸ˜‰ Some time later, this guy’s verdict is passed and people told that he’d be his wife’s yes man! I knew him very closely and knew he was a romantic and that he’d love his wife a lot more than she’d expect. But my friends thinking that, it would make him a yes man shook me a bit. For a second, I thought if it was gonna be true. I despised the thought that he could become like that. My close friend, in fact, my best friend becoming his wife’s yes man was unsettling.

I argued against it and took people by surprise. Even he was giving me questioning glances and I told them in strong words that he’d treat his wife as an equal. Sensing that the situation would become serious, he cleverly deviated the topic and all was forgotten. But something had stung me. It was neither small enough to be ignored nor strong enough to be termed ‘love’. Or, was it? His part in my life flashed before me like a movie. For some part in my life he was the cynosure, and arguably, they were the best days! I could be a princess in his world and I had the feeling that he’d never let me be unhappy. OMG! The seeds of love are planting themselves in my head and I’m drifting away from reality. Suddenly I turned crimson and started blushing whenever I glanced at him. I couldn’t meet his gaze. Oh damn! that was too fast for me to handle. I was in sweet trauma, revelling in the feeling of new-found love and the inability to express it! Restlessness and excitement seeped through every part of me and I was dying to vent them all out!

I was so engrossed in keeping my emotions under control that I missed something that was being said. I was sure it was about some person out of this group. I listened a little more intently and realised a bitter truth.

He was about to get engaged to the love of his life.

It was late!

The Celebration Continues…

Well, I was extremely happy to celebrate my first birthday in WordPress last week, which marked completion of two decades of my ass moving onto Earth. After one week, the celebration continued, rather resumed šŸ™‚ . Taking up coaching for GATE from past two days sickened me because of 10 hrs of classes in Linear Algebra. But, the silver lining was unexpected and wonderful.

Today, exactly one week later, its one of my closest friend Pavan‘s birthday. I was lazy yesternight and missed out on giving the first birthday wish. However, i wished him in the morning and resumed my daily chores. The class-time between morning 9 and evening 4 passed like a millennium, because, we planned to treat our friends together, and the treat was scheduled at 4:30 pm. The story common to all teachers continued today too. Their love for the subject is so immense that even after standing in the class for the whole day (barring a break of one hour,) and having to put up with the sleepy faces of students desperate to leave, the class was extended by 15 minutes šŸ˜¦ . In spite of the loss in time, a break-neck-speed drive for around 10 kms, helped me reach promptly šŸ™‚ .

The initial greetings between friends viz, “Yeno macha isht latoo, bereavru ella yelli?” was very refreshing to my geek-ified mind šŸ˜› . Shortly later, the “gang” assembled. I almost forgot to mention about the venue! Its a good hangout for a couple or a gang. Its called Lumbini Gardens – a lakeside place with some cool eat outs and some fun-filled atmosphere. The cake was ordered – i don’t know what it’s called, but it was a full chocolate – iced base one having a load of cream and cherries šŸ™‚ .

Me and Pavan cut it together amidst the ever famous song, but we sang it to each other like – “Happy Birthday to us” šŸ™‚ . All the pomp that a celebration deserves was present and it ended with painting our faces with snow-white cream (hmmm…, my cheek still smells of the butter! šŸ˜› ). Light was fading and the curtain-time approached because the girls were eager to sign off for obvious reasons. A part of the gang left and only two were remaining. Me and another close friend of mine – Anupam.

The two of us roamed about the place and came to the entertainment arena. We went for a bull ride which simulates riding an arrogant and powerful bull bent upon throwing you down. Later, we went into a Twister Vortex which, again is a simulator for a gyrator or a rotating chamber. We were about to leave the place when another friend who was supposed to be at the party, called up and said that he’d be joining us in 15 minutes. So, the party extended in low profile for some more time, after which i had a zooming drive back home on a superb road with music thumping from my W810i šŸ™‚ .

Cast : Me (Su), Pavan, Sharan (Shar), Namitha (Nami), Apoorva (Appu), Anupam Biswas (Anupam ‘Boli’ Bakwas), Ramesh (Rummi, the last person).

Celebration extended

Celebration extended

The cards were from Pavan and Apoorva. Namitha did the sweetest thing possible, by adding cake to the party! (Pavan is the taller one)

All Happies! šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

Being single

after seeing myself with me always for the last 19 years…., I’ve started feeling awkward of being alone. every person who was single while we were friends in the beginning is now committed. it doesn’t matter as long as they r just acquaintances, but if the r really close, u cant stop havin feelings like envy, boredom, loneliness, frustration, and all these get magnified if they are on a roaming spree…..

i cant help but wonder whether all those who fancy love in their late teens or early twenties, will be able to sustain it when the time for real responsibilities crop up. will they be able to make the choices clear between home and potential partner… can they foresee at least the near future so that their foundations of married love can transform into a fruitful life of endless love…..?

all these sound philosophy to me, myself…. but r u not living the present in such a way that it is a gift of the past to be passed on to the future…. if everyone were living for just today, i could kill or steal or do anything today and say that I’ll start a new life tomorrow…. thats just impossible…. and immoral.

and when all these things come into my mind its the clash of thought titans…!! the rigid part of my character planning out a nice future…. and my volatile self craving for that oomph factor…! and if i tell this is what is going on in my head to my friends at home(my parents) they are either too concerned abt my stability…. or they blast me for my irresponsibility and remind me of my duties with a bang on my head….!!

after all… this is life… a set of dreams in ur heart, another set of realities in ur mind, and a fierce battle between them all along….!