Little Fingers

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Well, it has become a tradition now. Writing a post a year 😉 !

I haven’t been writing much in the last two years since my life is exactly same as the life of the one who lives next door. X,Y,Z in the IT world, living in some random PG, where some Andra aunty cooks twice a day. Weekends are about visiting family, old friends in the nearby cities. While weekdays are about waking up before the flask in which tea is served goes empty. With few seniors to pamper and spoil, learning to swim in the IT world was not really hard. Enough of this XYZ catch up, let me tell you why I logged in now!

I took a week off from office and travelled to hot Chennai to chill out. Everyday morning without fail, little fingers of my niece woke me up. She would say “wake  up, wake up”. Little fingers would try to pull my bedsheet away and if the fingers couldn’t succeed little tooth would give me a bite. She goes to play school where they sit around a table and drink milk or play spot the color game.

Once the little fingers go to school, I have the whole house for myself and I go around my sister’s well organized kitchen wondering, how to feed myself. I can count the number of times I have cooked in my life with one hand. I get this weird chemistry lab feeling whenever I go near the spice jars in kitchen. That being said I don’t have a kitchen in the place I live, well I have a small room which was supposed to be kitchen, and we girls use that space to lock up the shoes and hair oil.

Day one, chopped onions and tomatoes. Tossed them to a pan and made something out of them, it tasted fine. It was good enough for me to have it and I dared to leave a bite for my sister to taste.

Day two was better, I googled egg burji recipe, followed every step with devotion and ta-da, I had a good plate of egg burji on plate which tasted so good that I didn’t want to leave behind anything for the critic.

Day three, the real game day. My sister had to leave little fingers with me and go. I being the aunt was expected to know the basics of Montessori, cooking. I got nervous, washed the rice and kept it on rice cooker. I was confident that rice would turn out fine, as I had done the same earlier this week. Little fingers love vegetables, I had to prepare something from my 3 days experience. I switched on Rhymes channel on TV and googled on how to make beetroot fry. After 20-30 mins of chemistry lab exam, I finally had something on the bowl for the little fingers.

I asked little fingers ‘nanna iruka?’, she replied ‘nanna iruku’. Even if I know that she says ‘nanna iruku’ for any vegetable, I was content. My self-appraisal rating is 4.5/5.0 and I am happy. 🙂

Happily lost

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Living alone in a city lets you discover yourself along with exploring the city. I never knew I could feel this calm in a lonely subway or in a bus stop at 12am in the morning. I had no idea about the love I had for ‘Kerala rice’ until I moved out of Kerala. I never really had Kerala rice back in Kerala and now I know all the restaurants in Electronic city where I get a Malayalee meal.

I am living with pleasant tamil girls and it’s good to get to know their traditional way of life. My tamil definitely improved even if my cousins don’t agree 😉 . Now no one asks me “Neenga Malayaleeya?” when I speak tamil  😀 and that’s the proof I have. Getting to know tamilians also made me realize how “non-tamil” I am. I have nothing to do with Tamil other than the fact that I speak tamil.

Getting lost, missing buses, boarding the wrong bus is part of my life. Once I got down at a railway station around 6am, train left the moment I got out. I realized I was in a wrong station, I wanted to run behind the train the way Kareena did in Jab we met. Instead, I took out the phone and switched on GPS. All I could understand from the map was, I was lost and I was far away from Electronic City. With no other option, I followed the crowd. My brain assumes that Kannada is a mix of tamil and malayalam, I started asking local people where the bus stop is? After 30 mins I found out the bus stop and after another 2 hours of wondering ‘here and there’ I finally reached Ecity exhausted and happy. 😀

Another time I let the bus for which I had reserved my ticket pass right in front of my eyes. I was so lost in thoughts, enjoying the songs from the movie ‘Highway’, that I didn’t even take a second look on the bus. On the next bus I showed my ticket and the conductor said that the bus on which i reserved a seat just left. I was shouting inside my head while, I asked the conductor if there is a seat in that bus. Thankfully, there was  a seat, I took yet another ticket and  scolded myself the way my dad would have did if he had been in the scene :P.

I remember watching the movie ‘The other end of the line’ during college and wondering how wonderful it must be to talk to people from other side of the world as part of your job. I actually thought that it would let us know the world better. Then a few years later “BAM”, I am working in a support project, in the technical support team. All I do all day is talk to people around the globe, about ‘stock market’. I bang my head on Linux servers.

Well, I am definitely lost in every possible way and its fun to be lost.

In short

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Last year was quite an exciting year of my life. I grew up in a way I didn’t expect. Well I don’t even know if that sentence makes any sense.

I finished my degree in may 2013, I was travelling, reading, watching sitcoms and doing random stuff(like learning to swim) till January and in January 2014 my life took a turn. Some people left my life, college became a memory, things I thought mattered didn’t matter much, in short I was jobless and miserable.

By the end of January I had a call letter in hand from a good software company, which I eventually joined and now I am far away, heading farther away from the place I called home for 22 long years.

I got a small tattoo representing freedom on my wrist from the first salary I earned. I learned to enjoy loneliness and live life without expecting from others. I walked alone as much as I could, read whenever I found peace, used phone/laptop only when I had to.

I met some likely minds with whom I spent most of the evenings (at times till 2am). We walked through the campus enjoying the newly found freedom. I cycled around the campus, walked with a huge green umbrella on rainy days. I stayed in class from 8 am to 10 pm at times, I had nothing else to do other than working.

I shared room with a girl from the other side of the country, the kind with whom I had nothing in common. We both were away from ‘home’ for the first time and never really missed home in our cosy room. We talked about the day, we didn’t judge each other, we didn’t fight for the remote of the television, and we lived separate peaceful lives together.

I travelled at least once a month, crossing the bandipur forest. I was fortunate to see a herd of elephants cross the road, which was best moment I have shared with nature. I used to wake up in the bus and find myself in the middle of a forest or in the middle of a highway or in the middle of a small unknown town. I enjoyed every tiring journey to the fullest, even if most of it made me sick.

I enjoyed every weekend I could spare with my little niece, who is now a toddler with 4 new teeth. I had no idea how sweet a baby could be until I met her. She has got big black eyes and a very bright smile. I learned not to carry her around all the time, since she enjoyed crawling around more than being carried around ;).

In short this is all I did last year and I am back :)!

The Empire

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One of the world’s tallest buildings! I had no real idea of what I was about to experience when I stood under that majestic building. It just looked like its neighboring buildings. ‘All the buildings are tall here so what is the big deal’ was my feeling until I reached the top. Its not often that we get to stand on the 86th floor!

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Your ears feel the difference in altitude while you stand on that lift which takes you to the 80th floor. That is the moment when you realise this is not just another building. This majestic building was completed when my grandma was 10 years old!  To be precise in 1931.

“How did they do that?How!”.

“Maybe they took a long time to build it”.

“Hell no! they finished it in 1 year 45 daysss!”

“This must be a joke”

Well, there it stands shouting to the world “yea! I am the Empire State”. Yes indeed.

On the observation deck, we get confused whether we are in a flight or actually on the ground! Its all beauty, every side, every moment.

I found a spot in the crowd from where I could get the right view of sunset and the golden moment of Manhattan when the lights are switched on. I stood there still for more than an hour. I didn’t want to lose the spot or miss that right moment.

I can’t really express what I felt. I was on top of the world ‘literally’! The scene before and after sunset is so different but, it is nothing when compared to that precise 15 minutes when sun rays hit ever window in Manhattan. “Sunset moment”. The Hudson river, Brooklyn bridge and somewhere far away a 9/11 memorial everything is bright in that golden moment.

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Somewhere in the crowd someone raised a ring and a girl shook her head making it all more beautiful. Friends cheered, crowd clapped.. it was all one amazing experience. Someday I want to visit this place again to see the sunset one more time.

A picture says a thousand words. But, these pictures says nothing. Nothing compared to the moment I experienced.

Manhattan

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Have you seen the movie ‘In America’? In that movie the girl explains how she had to go under a river to enter Manhattan. Before entering the ‘hustly bustly’ part of Newyork which never sleeps you are given the pleasure of silence in those long tunnels. The first glimpse itself will give you a neck ache ;).  

‘The concrete jungle’, ‘the big apple’, ‘the empire state’ well Newyork goes by a lot of names. You get on that yellow dusty Newyork Cab from airport and see an ‘Indian cabbie’ who is more American than Indian. The deeper you go into the Manhattan the busier it feels.

My hotel was near the Times square. Is there a better place to be in Manhattan? I doubt. People rushing in and out of stores, honking of cars, window facing window. Everything they show in “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” exist. You cant get bored walking in Manhattan. Something interesting is happening in every street.  

Real New Yorkers stand out in the crowd. Their style, their pace, their attitude even the way the smile seemed different. Maybe, I was imagining. There is that serious professional glow in their face :P. Its easy to get into those crowd and disappear in their life for some time.

The metro beneath, the road inbetween and the skyscrapers above that’s Manhattan for me. 

I don’t know if I will walk on those streets ever again but, I know how it feels. All of a sudden I can imagine every book I read a little better.  

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Different perspective.

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Those silly differences between the two sides of the world.

1. Switches are ON when they are up and OFF when they are down. 

Why? I don’t know. 

2. They still use measurements like gallons, pounds.

I thought they were members of International standard organisation.! Well being a member doesn’t force them to follow the standards I guess.

3. They don’t understand the word ‘veggie’. They ask if its okay to add meat to your vegetarian salad! 

4. ‘Cheaper by dozen’ is a life style which makes us buy more and waste more.

Is there a way for people to avoid wasting stuff by buying less? Nope.

5. People drink ‘energy drink/ soft drinks’ instead of water. 

Drinking water feels like an old fashioned thing to do.

6. They walk for the purpose of burning calories mostly. That is ‘walking for walking’.

In other parts people actually walk to get to places you know. Vacant footpaths astonish me. I have no idea how poor people actually live in this world. I guess they also have car even if they don’t have money for the next meal.

7. It takes time to get used to ’empty’ shops, parking lots, waiting rooms, movie theaters. 

Quality of life is simply better here. At times I feel like quality and quantity have the same meaning here. ( I know I am just being jealous 😉 . This shop can accommodate 50 people so we must have at least 60 parking slots? 😛 )

( No hard feeling :)! I love the American life style. I am just amazed by how developed ‘developed countries’ are ) 

#lifeisgood ~!

Soumya  

 

New face madness

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For everyone back home :)! . “My madathanams” . Being a new face gives you the freedom to do something really stupid and walk away without feeling awkward. So here you go my top 10 “awkward moments”.

1. Wearing ‘jeans’ on a bright sunny day /no jacket on a cold day / fully covered in beach.

I somehow end up wearing the wrong clothes always. I cannot understand how people dress at this place. Looks like they check climate everyday before getting out of the house. Guess what weather forecast is actually reliable here.

2. Orders coffee and tea in restaurant expecting kapi and chaya

You go to that counter and orders with style “one hot coffee”, as if its saravana bhavan. That polite guy behind the counter will ask “tall?”, without even listening you will say “yes”. He will tell you “Two Thirty five”. While handing over those warm green dollars you calculate in your head “150rs?” He will give you a ‘mega’ cup and expecting that “hollywood coffee” you will take the first sip.

Then the moment of truth. You want to spit :P.

3. Trying everything in farmers market including ‘pork’

Farmers market is just the liveliest place! They slice up fruits and insist you to try. So I went around and started trying peaches, plum, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, watermelon, nectarine. I was enjoying myself and then I noticed a counter where they were selling something like chips. Acting cool infront of my sister I tried those ‘chips’ and the guy behind the counter warned me “hey, that’s pork”. It seriously tasted like chips and looked like one. I believe he was bluffing. (I am a veggie, don’t ask why!)

4. Asks for a tissue paper instead of napkin.

There are like a hundred varieties of tissue paper in this world. Did you know? Honestly I didn’t.

5. Subconsciously multiplies every price tag to 60.. (Dollar to rupee conversion)

Well a very bad habit. “Liked it? Get it quick, trick your brain”. 😛

6. Always checks the stuff available in clearance sale

Shopping? How exciting? Well not really. Point 6 is the reason behind this one. I somehow end up finding myself in the clearance section. “Some day I will travel with euros, just wait till then”.

7. Carries a dslr camera everywhere

Click! Well for memories. “Yea, its bulky” ” Yup, I have a camera on phone” But no, I am going to carry that dslr everywhere even if I only use auto mode.

8. Can’t really handle cents

It doesn’t matter how many coins I have. I am just going to pay using those green notes. I can’t understand these coins. They make me feel like a illiterate.

9. Stares back blank when someone asks “how are you doing?”

“Oops. Asking me?” That’s what that stare means. I am going to practice “good, how was your day?” from now on ;)!

10. I miss fan and mosquitoes the most about home

I don’t miss home, not even a bit. But, I miss that soothing sound of FAN and those humming mosquitoes. You sit on a bench in park in front of a fountain expecting a mosquitoes and ‘nothing’. You enter a room and your hand moves towards that fan’s switch. But there is no fan.

This trip is exciting people! wohoo!