Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weight Loss Challenge 3

So finally after I have decided to take some action. 

One was to enrol in a boot camp class - the Palm Beach Boot Camp. They were great! I could go for as many classes during the six weeks I was enrolled. I would go twice a week but later it turned out to be only once a week.  The boot camp was good, but I felt I was always behind even though no one was really looking, but still. The other thing was that I felt I was not energetic enough. used to feel really good after a session but there were certain times that I felt physically sick from the hyperventilation.  The leaders were good, they did not push anyone more than their capacity, but I would feel a little embarrassed sometimes for not being up to par with their standards.  I would highly recommend this boot camp to anyone.  I learned some new moves and I will try and do them at home.

The second thing I have done is to monitor my diet. First I joined MyFitnessPal, where one can fill in all they are eating and see how many calories they have consumed.  It is quite comprehensive in the variety of foods it has. It covers a lot of Indian food and so many brand name foods.  It has helped me keep on target with how many calories I consume daily. 

But the major difference came from joining the second site: The Weight Monitor. This is an Indian web site monitored by a nutritionist from India.  She gives daily feedback on my daily intake of food.  It is something else when someone is actually monitoring what you eat.  You have to be a little bit more conscious of what and how much you are eating.  And it is better not to lie, because she is not the one wanting to lose the weight - you are!! So better to be honest and follow guidelines regarding her nutritional advice. 

So far it has been one week since I joined the Weight Monitor and I feel like I am doing well and feel lighter, my appetite has gone down, but not my energy.  It seems more like a eating lifestyle change than anything else.

So keeping my fingers crossed....hopefully I will lose about 15 lbs by the time I done with all of this....wish me luck!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weight Loss Challenge 2

2012 summer brought on another 5 lbs of gift to my body. So now I have about 20 lbs to lose before I am my old healthy weight. 

Ever since I came back from India in 2011, I brought back some different ideas about eating. I got into juicing and sprouting.  My diet plan changed during the fall of 2011. I substituted my lunch for a salad of sprouts and veggies.  I just added a bit of salad dressing and croutons and made sure that it was not all a total of more than 200 Cal. That was my lunch from Sept 2011 - April 2012.  Dinner was my main meal. But it also never exceeded 400 Cal.  In between I would have tea and some snacks.  All of the eight months went by without losing one single pound. In fact I regained the 5 lbs I had lost in India during the summer of 2011.  OH!! What to do?

Nothing seems to be working. 

I added fresh fruit-vegetable juice to my diet. So 3-4 times a week I would drink juice instead of snacking.  No weight loss....

In February I joined an online website - Calorie Counter to keep a track of what I was eating. The website calculated that I had to consume about 1200 Cal to lose 1 lb a week. Sure I can do that. But did I lose any weight after 3 months of doing that? NOPE. Not a single pound.

In April I started getting ready for my summer travel to Kailash. So I started walking about 3 miles per day. In keeping with the same diet I had all the time, I still did not lose a single pound.

What is it about the body that it does not want to let go of that fat?? 

And then in summer 2012 I went back to India.  It was hot this time around as well.  I did not walk around as much as I did in 2011 but my diet was very different this year. I still had the good breakfast, but hardly ate any lunch or dinner.  And I still managed to gain 5 lbs.  This is getting to a point of annoying.

So now it is war!! I cannot back off now. So, I made a pact with a good friend that I had to lose the 10 lbs this year starting from September 2012.  Now that I have said it aloud to a friend, it would be embarrassing not to come through.

Weight Loss Challenge

For the past 6 years I have been trying to lose 10 lbs that I suddenly gained in two months.  I could see the pounds sticking on me but could not do anything to stop them! Why did I gain 10 lbs in two months? I don't know: maybe I was not feeling well, maybe it was my age, maybe I was stressed, maybe, maybe maybe....But whatever the reason, I have been trying to get rid of those 10 lbs ever since.  Before that 10 lb gain I was trying to lose the 5 lbs I had gained earlier on! So now it was a total of 15 lbs that I needed to lose. Darn!

It has been six years and I have not lost a single pound. Well I lost 5 but gained them back in one year.  This is an ongoing challenge I have in my life. I am so tired of carrying out these extra 15 lbs. And since this summer, I have added on 5 more! So darn it - now it 20 lbs that I need to get rid of!! The saddest part is whatever I put on just does not want to leave me!! What the heck is going on??

So here is what I have done in the past 5 years to lose the extra padding on my body.

The first try - The Gym: I have been an avid fan of the gym ever since I came to the USA. University of Toledo had a great new gym and I had lost 10 lbs of my body weight working out 4 times a week.  Oh those days were something else!! I continued going to the gym in Buffalo, Vancouver and then in Parkville.  I enjoy working out. It is very satisfying and I feel good about myself.  One hour is the typical amount of time I used to spend in the gym.

Anyway, so I joined the gym in Winchester also. It was a great gym called Anytime Fitness. I could go anytime and workout without anyone interfering in my routine. And since it was a new gym all the machines were new and there was hardly any crowd.  My teaching load was not much, so I started going 4-5 times a week.  My routine was a combined 40 mins of walking, elliptical or the stairmaster.  And then about 40 mins of weight training.  Since I used to have a personal trainer in Park University, I know how to mix and match.  After 5 months of this routine guess how much weight I lost - a big fat ZERO!! 

That was very disappointing for me.  But I had the membership so I continued to go but the enthusiams was not there.

The second try - The South Beach Diet: This is based on high protein and low carbohydrate diet.  Okay...I am a vegetarian, this would be hard for me, but I had to give it a try.  So much so I cut out all the sugar, which is the hardest thing for me to do since I had to give up my favorite thing - tea.  But I gave it up for 2 months.  I became creative in my cooking and very stingy in my eating. I developed a taste for Diet coke with lime which was my alternative to tea. As per the South Beach Diet plan, after 2 months I added little bit sugar to my diet - only in tea and in once a week dessert.  How much weight did I lose after 3 months of this routine? A big fat ZERO!!

Another big disappointment for me! But I knew there must be something going on in my body. So I got my hormones checked.

The third try - Thyroid + Gym: So it turned out I had a little, teeny tiny, hypothyroidism.  No problem. Bring on the drugs. I took some of the hormone and still went to the gym with the hope that the thyroid would help in boosting my metabolism. But no - zip - nothing.  My body was in love with the 10 lbs of fat.

It was time to move to Florida in 2009.  The first year was very stressful for me, buying a house, adjusting to the new college and new city. But I still managed to find time to go to my community gym.  As usual, I went but my fat did not. 

So comes around 2011 summer time, when I spent my two and a half month vacation in India.  It was the months of June, July and part August. It was bloody hot in India with only a fan in the room. No problem. It was my decision to go to India in the hot weather and I would bear the hotness.

I ate very simple food for lunch and dinner, but always had good breakfast. I had tea/coffee whenever I wanted. I did walk a lot during my first month of being in India and during that one month I managed to lose 5 lbs!! I was beyond happy!! Unbelievable.  This was awesome.  I never did lose the next 5 lbs. And the saddest part is that I gained those 5 lost lbs right back when I came back to USA.  So I think the stress my body went through during the first month of being the hot weather caused me to lose the weight but not sustain it.

All of this has been anticlimactic for me.  But my determination is not gone.  I am still on the path.....keep reading!

Friday, August 3, 2012

India and I

Ever since I was 8 years old I have lived out of India.

I was born in Dehra Dun and Papa admitted us in a good school there, Convent of Jesus and Mary. But we left India when I was in 4th grade there. I did have the good fortune to come back to India and study in Vanasthali Vidyapeeth (near Jaipur) for one year for 8th grade. I was 11 yrs old then. It was the first time I learned all my subjects in Hindi, except of course English. It was a very challenging year for me, but that is another blog. I also did my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in India. Also quite an experience for me.  During my two years of B.Sc. I lived in the girl’s hostel, in Meerut, with my uncle as my guardian. M.Sc. was in Saharanpur with the joint family of my aunt. Again, that is for another two blogs. After those four eventful and wonderful years, I have only visited India every 4-6 years or so.

I have always felt a strong connection with India and want to keep coming back to my motherland, but since my immediate family is in USA, it was tough to come to a “home”. Whenever we came to India, we came as gypsies, ready with a suitcase and ready to move to a new place every third day. We would visit and stay with relatives or stay in hotels. There is a great freedom in doing that, and I got to travel all over India, which really has been a treat. India is beautiful.

However, for some years I have had a very strong urge to come to India especially to do some volunteer work. I tried that 7 years ago also, but it did not quite work out. So last year in 2011, I braved it and came to India on my own, which was a big step for me, as I did not even know who would pick me up from Delhi airport. Luckily, everything worked out (Krishna’s will) and I spent two months in Haridwar at Dev Sanskriti University, which is associated with Shantikunj. I had such a nice experience and met such good people that I could not resist coming back again this year (2012). The most important thing during these two years was that I stayed in one place and enjoyed one place rather than constantly packing and unpacking.

I don’t know what is going to happen in future. Coming to India in summer means no working in USA, which means no income and leaving my home and family for 3 months. So as much as I love my experiences and want to spend my summers here, I don’t know if I can do this every year. I wish it was easier......

My Second Summer at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyala (DSVV)

After coming to DSVV last year and meeting such good people, I thought I should come here at least once more and recreate the magic. My experience was good last year because I came with an open mind and was ready for anything and everything. I had 2-3 projects to do which involved going to different offices and collecting information. As much as I hate introducing myself 5 times to 5 different people in one day, I did it, because I needed to do it. I did end up finishing all the work I was given and actually did more than was expected.

There were 2-3 people I met last year who will be ingrained in my mind for the rest of my life. It was partly because of them that I wanted to come back again so quickly.  Also the beauty and fragrance of the flowers on this campus, the greenery and the just the peacefullness of the enviroment is hard to find anywhere else.

View of plumeria outside my room.

As before, the Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Chinmay Padya, gave me good projects to work on: making departmental brochures, proof reading, finalizing the induction book (an orientation booklet to DSVV) and some other work.

And just like last year my challenges began………last year also I had felt the differences in how academic institutions work in USA and India, and this year that difference became even more pronounced. Of course DSVV is not your typical university. It has a different philosophy, it does not charge any fees from its students and all faculty and staff work mostly on volunteer basis. The entire campus is like a big family, everyone lives on campus and knows each other etc etc.

The first few days passed by quickly and nicely as I was meeting with some old friends and working independently on the induction book. But as soon as I had to start going to the various departments to get information regarding the brochures, all my feelings of the previous year came back to me. I cannot image in USA that faculty will not be available in offices the week before classes start. There is generally very poor communication, people are not too email oriented, and if they do check emails then they don’t reply. But my thinking is that with little bit professionalism a place can be made even better.

Or maybe this is just my view……some people say I am a perfectionist, but the truth is I take pride in my work, I value the people around me and I prefer to finish my work on time.

This year was somewhat different than last year. Work was a little slow just like last year, but last year I got to do a lot more reading on SharmaJi’s literature than this year because this year I had my laptop. Because of this I could finish the work ChinmayJi gave me a lot faster. I was not tutoring anyone this year so my evenings were more free – which I think was good and bad. The good - I finished all my blogs on Kailash; the bad – I ended up watching movies sometimes instead of reading some good books.

All in all, the one month at DSVV was good this year. When will I be here or even in India next? Only Krishna knows………he is the driver of my life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


For the first time in sooo many years I am not feeling the light headedness of the end of the semester as I used to. What happened this year? Why this feeling of emptiness?

At work I have been supremely busy. It is not just the teaching, but being the chair of the department, being on two search committees (for the same darn position), having routine study session with students, teaching two night classes, participating in college stuff, making the schedule for summer and goes on and on.  On top of that trying to make travel plans for summer. 

This year the biggest drains on me, mentally, were three people - A, B and C.  All three of them have been so entrenched in my life this year that they have made my very normal routine life an emotional one.  They could have made it easier if they were just normal but I am realizing more and more that people are not normal.  They are mostly selfish, self-centered and immature and don't realize the effect they have on the other person. 

Just trying to keep my head on straight has been tough.  I had to try much harder to stay focused, practical and emotionally stable this year.  And it has been hard - very hard. I am so exhausted that I don't even know what I want anymore.  I keep getting this feeling that I have to go to work on Monday, when I am on vacation for the next three months.  That is how preoccupied I have been.

As much as I feel supported by a lot of people around me, I also feel there are very few people I can really trust and talk to. Everyone seems to have an agenda.  They are only looking out for themselves, whereas I am looking at the big picture.  

ABC were definitely not my friends (read my blog on friends) but sadly they were not even the normal kind of people; I seriously misunderstood their intentions.  I so badly wanted it all work out. But the harder I tried the harder I fell. I want to give the benefit of doubt to people and trust them. But of course I learnt the hard way that trust is earned not given. Yet again my romance with life taught me lesson.  As a result I became this discontented kind of person who was always complaining about people and things, when really I am such an easy going person.  And of course all this came out as anger in some cases but more often it comes out in tears.  Which can be really emotionally exhausting. 

All in all this year has been anticlimactic of what I was hoping for.

I am hoping that the summer can bring closure to some things and rejuvinate my spirit.  And finally I can just hope that the next year is better than this year. 

Timing in Life

"Timing is everything in life"

I truly believe in this statement.  If you don't do things on time then you can do them as much as you want, it is not going to have the same meaning.  There is a saying in hindi "sona mitti kar diya". There are many examples I can give to make my point. Here are some...
  1. Listening - when one is talking to someone, it is really important to pay attention.  If a statement requires a response and you don't respond at the right time.....well...that shows your interest in the person! If you keep ignoring them then they will get the message that you don't really care about them.
  2. Visiting - when an incident happens to anyone (especially a sad event, eg a death in the family) you have to visit at the right time otherwise you might as well not visit.
  3. Calling - some incidents require a quick call.  This lets the person know you are thinking of them.  And that is an important part of maintaining relationships....thinking of each other.
  4. Email - this is the hardest one these days as this is now the slowest kind of communication and some people don't check emails everyday.  However, etiquette says that if someone has asked you something via email then they deserve a quick response.  Again, if not done in timely manner, you have lost your chance.
Sadly, we get lazy or we are procrastinators and keep thinking -
  • oh I'll get to it;
  • I will do it tomorrow;
  • let this person calm down - then I will call;
  • there is no rush;
  • this is not important (enough to justify my few minutes of time);
  • why should I call? they never called me.
All of these are just excuses for someone who does not want to communicate. These are not real reasons.  What timing also tells us is that taking action is important.  One has to act in a timely manner.  It may not be important to you but the other person may be waiting only for your response. Sometimes, rarely, you have to wait and then respond (again it depends on the nature of event).  But sometimes when you wait too long, you lose the moment. And then no matter what you do time will not come back.  This reminds of a sad/nice hindi song....

Don't let it happen to you! Take action at the right time otherwise there is the risk of losing relationships.

Of course you will do all these things only if you want to maintain relationships and care about people. If you take them for granted then they will also know that you mean nothing to them. In that case you can do whatever you want :-)

One last quote..."Lost time is never found again" - Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creativity defines creativity as "the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination".

As my semester is coming to an end and I was sitting and wasting time on facebook, I saw a posting of Ken Robinson's six year old speech on the lack of creativity in our current educational system.  It rang very true with me.

Lately I have been griping a lot about how I have to keep giving instructions to my students about every single thing.  At what point did these kids become so dependent on just getting instructions and being told what to do (which they eventually don't do)? It is as if they have lost the capability of having an independant thought.  "Just tell me what you want me to do," .... is their attitude. 

In some career choices this attitude is just right, like in the army, where you are required to follow rules.  But in a place of higher education you are supposed to open your mind, think outside the box, express yourself and have an open discussion about your ideas.  But it seems like the current generation is not ready to express themselves intellectually or artistically. 

What's going on??

I have also been having discussions with myself and one of my chemistry colleagues about the way we teach chemistry.  Sometimes I don't even like what I have to teach then how can I inspire my students to love chemistry the way I do? These days we teach what is in the text book and what is prescribed to us, not what should really be taught in the at a particular level of student intellect.  So, in reality, we are also becoming like our students, unthinking machines, just teaching right out of the book or just from the power points.  Where is our creativity? We make our students memorize facts and equations as if memorizing those will solve all the problems and help them reach their goals.  When really what we should be teaching is problem solving and critical thinking (another day.......another blog)

After hearing the speech by Robinson, I decided to write about what I have been thinking about for a while. my humble opinion I think we are all falling victims to the system.  Up to secondary schools we are taught to be disciplined to the T and in college also we are told what classes we need in order to "make the money" we will need to "live" life.  Everything has become about "making money" rather than following one's passion and to live the life they actually want to.  This system works for a person who likes to follow orders and cannot think much for themself.  And then of course, there is the lucky one - a person who can make money while following his/her dreams!

I thought I was the lucky one when I got my first job teaching chemistry, a subject I love, and a profession I love.  It all began very well, but somewhere in the last 7-8 years my love of this profession has suffered a set back. I don't feel like the students are what they used to be and I don't think I am able to convey to them the passion and love for the subject as I was able to before.  We are repeatedly told to accomodate the new generation and adapt the new technology - as if that will solve all the problems that students are having with their ability to think.

Most students just sit in my class looking at me to finish my gibberish; they think I am teaching them a foreign language (which sometimes chemistry is).  The amount of content and books don't make it easy to get creative in class.  We are recommended by some higher ups that we have to finish these 10 chapters in class in 15 weeks, and if we don't do it then the students are not prepared for the next level of class.  This does not sit well for the creative types like me. I want to do something new, I want to take my time, I want to go over the material in a different way, I want to....oh so many different things. But this silly preparing the students for the next level is just killing me!! creativity.

The students don't make it easier either.  They don't feel they should have to do any work outside the class, they don't feel like they should have to make any effort to learn the material themselves so I can do more creative things in class. My class has become like a recorded script of last year and the year before....

I really need to get my creative mojo back!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Self Determination

I am not going to even pretend that I am the first person who said that self determination is important for sucess in life. But I can surely say from personal experience that if I did not have self determination and self-confidence, I would not be where I am now.  I am not in a very high level position, rich or a famous person. But I am comfortable in my life and in my own skin.  What is my measure of sucess for myself? I have a secure job, a lovely house, good health, good friends and so much more freedom than many people. 

I have had good experiences that I will cherish and also had the bad ones which sucked the life out of me.  The saying that "sticks and stones can break me but words will never hurt me" is really quite not true.  Not only do words hurt people but the lack of words, silence, can equally hurt people.  Also the saying that "time heals everything" - ehh! not really true.  One may heal in some ways but the scars are always there.  So in our own ways we need self determination to get through life's challenges.

For self determination one needs to have faith in something.  Keeping myself centered on that faith and believing in myself made  me ready for anything.   I may not be able to control the outcome of my decision, but I can control how I react to the outcome.  It takes a lot of self control and self determination to not always "react" to incidences.  Having faith in the fact that everything happens for reason, helps a little bit, especially when bad happens.

My faith in my own abilities and judgement made me stronger and self reliant.  After I started living by myself, 20 years ago I had to grow up.  My first time living alone for one year in Buffalo taught me some tough lessons in financial management (another time, another blog).  After that whatever decisions I took, good or bad, were mine to make and I was the one to face the consequences.  I kept the frame of mind that I was the only one responsible for my actions.  That way I could not blame anyone for my decisions and took full responsibility for them.  That made me a little lonely but stronger. Of course, now I understand that my decisions are not really mine to make - someone up there is making them for me.

Making a decision, especially big ones, have not been easy.  I have to make sure my values are well grounded, I have weighed the consequences and my intentions are good.  I will not be right all the time and I may also hurt people with my actions, but those decisions hurt me too because they are the hard ones to make.  (Sometimes in those cases other people are happy you took those decsions instead of them - so they are not held responsible.)

In any case I wish that people would:
  • believe in themselves,
  • be true to themselves,
  • be responsible for themselves,
  • take actions that are morally right (for most part) and 
  • not depend on other people all the time.

I have been called self-righteous and too independant, neither of which is true, well....maybe sometimes its true :-)  But I do like my independence and I do like to play fair. I am what I am - I am not pretentious. I am what we call in America - WYSIWYG.  And that comes from being honest with myself and the people around me.

This blog entry would be incomplete if I did not mention Gabbar Singh from the hit movie Sholay.  His dialogue "jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya." (He who is scared is dead), has been my motto for the past few years.  That dialogue has given me more self confidence than I can imagine.  Thank you Gabbar Singh!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friendship and Betrayal

It is the 15th of March.  It's a special day for me (in a good way).  However it is also known as the Ides of Marchthe day of betrayal - from Shakespere's Julius Ceaser. It was the day Julius Ceaser was betrayed by his closest friend Brutus.  All Julius Ceaser could say was "Et tu Brutus?" when Brutus stabbed Julius to death.

There are many stories of friendship and betrayal in this world (another one is Judas's betrayal of Jesus).  I am sure all of us in our lives can remember a friend who lost our trust, who told us lies, who was not there for us when we needed them or they were just not the person you thought them to be.  And then we also have friends who have stood by us - no matter what and no matter for how long.  These are very few. (If you have them - cherish them!)

Read my previous blog on Friendship.

Betrayal means a loss of trust and/or to be disloyal to someone.  There is a saying that keep your friends close but your enemies closer.  I think sometimes we are more prepared to deal with our enemies than with our friends because we spend too much time observing them and analyzing them.  So much so that we sometimes lose sight of our friends.  These friendships, if not maintained, have the potential to turn sour.

There are hardly any friendships across genders because the truth of the matter is that men and women can never be "friends" (personal experience also).  The only "friendship" (if it can be called that) is between Radha and Krishn; which is more like pure love rather than a friendship.  But still, it is a relationship without the cultural boundaries of marraige.  But apart from that one example, male-female friendships are not possible.

So, my wish for everyone today is to hold your friends closer ..... rather than your enemies. That way when it comes time to fight with an enemy you will not be alone.

So instead of the "The Day of Betrayal", lets make it a "A Day of Loyalty".

Monday, January 30, 2012


Hang Loose....Hawaii-an Motto!
I cannot imagine living life without traveling anymore. My travel bug came from my family. My father started traveling when he was young, within India and then once he travelled abroad one time, there was no looking back. I grew up in different countries, went to school and then worked in different countries.  Even from childhood I have visited several countries, first with family, then with co-workers and friends.  And now frequently I have the yearning to see some place new.  I explore my local area and also try to travel abroad.

Depending on how one travels, it can do more to a person than just introduce them to tourist destinations. One can go an exotic destination and stay in hotel and not venture out of it – that is not even tourism, just a waste of time. 

To travel and learn something from it, one has to immerse themselves in the culture and experience of it. Traveling within ones own country can also be as exciting as traveling abroad. It’s the experience that counts.

Traveling can open our eyes to so many wonders. We learn new cultures, languages, cuisines, way of life, transportation etc etc.
- The more diverse you make your travel plan the more you will learn.
- The more open minded you are, the more you will understand the culture and people better.
- The more acceptable you are, the more you will enjoy your travels.

By traveling to a country and culture alien to ours we also understand ourselves better since we are out of our elements. Being out of our comfort zone teaches us about survival, alertness and being practical.

Having traveled to a number of places with different groups of people; with parents, with brother, with a group of strangers, with student groups, with colleagues, as a leader and of course by myself, I can confidently say that I have enjoyed all my travels, no matter with who (or whom) I go. I make it a point to experience as much as possible and enjoy every moment of my time, even if I am waiting for one hour at the bus stop for the bus to arrive!

Some of best traveling experience has been within my own country, India.  I learn more about it every time I go.  It could be because I did not grow up in India and I look at India as a foreign country also :-)

So how do you make your travel a memorable one?
  • Learn about the destination before going there.
  • Try to learn the basic vocabulary, if the language is different.
  • Once there, talk to the guide, be polite and culturally sensitive while asking questions, but ask questions.
  • Speak to as many locals as possible (if language permits).
  • Observe all customs and rituals of the country. You are a visitor, so you have to conform to their customs.
  • Try not to show off with lots of money or gifts.
  • Be patient of everything and everyone.
  • Always have a positive attitude.
  • Don't forget to enjoy the local cuisine!!
Everyone is not like you and your differences will only make your experience more worthwhile, so relax and enjoy it rather than getting all worked up and judgmental.

And make sure you bring something back!! You never know when you will ever go to that country again.

Click here to see some more of my travel photos
(The magnificent Macchu Picchu, Peru)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have such romantic notions of how life should be.  In my world, everyone behaves the way they should; a student studies for his course just because he chose to enrols in it; strangers are polite to each other; people return phone calls and reply to emails; a tour guides works without the expectation of a tip; and so does a waiter (waitress).....etc etc.  But my grandeur of romance gets shattered every single time!!! But sadly I don't learn from it.  I go on to my next broken romance.

When am I going to realize that reality is so far from idealism? People don't behave like they are supposed to and sometimes they just don't know how to behave, and so things will never have the same outcome as I want them to be.  I will just keep getting disappointed at reality.  Instead, I should start getting amused....."Oh look it happened again!! - haha!" But there is no haha when things don't go the way they are supposed to.  It is depressing, causes anger, resentment and shakes my faith in humanity and sometimes common sense.

I just wrote my blog on "rules" - well, it is certainly true that most people don't know (or don't care to know) much about the rules of nature, of how things are supposed to be.  They make up their rules as they live life.  Their personal background, culture and experience makes them create their rules, which they follow and believe to be right.  So of course if I have expectation of ideal behaviour, then it is my problem, not theirs.  Obviously! (Can you see me rolling my eyes?).  Or maybe I have created my own set of rules by which I behave....and expect everyone else to abide by them....I will not know unless someone tells me.

So at this time my problem is incurable (the problem with die hard romantics).  Knowing all of the above, I still have expectations of ideal behaviour. I want to have faith in humanity that it can behave the way it is supposed to. I want to believe (I sound like Mulder in X-files).  Human being is the only species which has the ability to think and reason but it does not excercise it.  I would like humans to start behaving like the elevated species they are.

Thank goodness I do have some people in my life who make me believe.....thank you!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


"Rules are meant to be broken" - that is a common saying.  Well.....but we need rules in order for this world to function properly.  If we don't follow rules then it is just anarchy, why bother having societies and laws?  So then I have these questions:
  • Why do we have the saying "rules are meant to be broken"?
  • Whose rules are we breaking?
  • Who makes those darn rules?
  • Really....I am wondering where does it all start? Who had the moral backbone to start making all these rules?

I don't  have a problem with rules :-) I just wonder why people break them so frequently.  The world would be such a peaceful place if everyone just followed some simple things:
  1. speak the truth;
  2. do their jobs as it is meant to be;
  3. penalize people who don't do what they are supposed to do.
Sometimes following a rule can be as simple as driving properly on the road or throwing the trash where it is supposed to be thrown.  But we don't even do that! Why don't we like conforming to rules? (hence the saying - rules are meant to be broken).  I think some of us (myself included) do not like being told what to do.  We know what we have to do and most times we do it.  If we don't follow a rule then it is was for a darn good reason.

I must say that as much as I have been a dependable and responsible person, I have not hesitated to break a rule if I needed to.....or wanted to.  There is some fun in it, while sometimes it is a neccessity.  Most times no one gets hurt.....most times.  I am not the conventional/traditional Indian girl as one might think or maybe I am.  I don't know - I have not met anyone like me yet.  Although as I am growing older I feel the need to follow rules more than before (I still break 'em though!).  It makes life more disciplined and easier to follow.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot as to how breaking a rule can change your life completely.  If I had followed on the path laid out for any typical Indian girl - my life would have been so different.  But it did not happen that way because of my destiny.  So, really do we break any rules ourselves? Or is it in our fate to break those rules? So many scientific discoveries would never have been made if one had stuck to tradition and conservative thinking. So...I feel like it should be okay to think outside the box once in a while.