Highlights of 2010.

family, friends, Musings

1. I made a major major decision regarding my career.. no doubt it was tough.. i still dont know where am heading.. but gut feeling says its the right path.. so thats good for now..

2. I have taken some major major decisions in my personal life… they have turned to to be great! Much better than what i expected.

3. I have fallen sick only once last year.. dint get my usual cycle of cold-cough-fever every 6 months.. so double thumbs up!!

4. The fourth consecutive marriage took place in out family this year… assuming ill get married in 2012 or 2013.. people wondering who’s going to fill the gap for the next 2 years.. but i feel its best we break the trend.. the sooner the better!

5. After school i think this was one of the best years… not to insult my intermediate and college days.. i did have fun then… but this is completely different.

6. The maximum number of hours spent away from home was in 2010. Thanks to “DELUXE”. Certain people will know what i mean. I have also made some very good friends.. again thanks to DELUXE and Cognizant. Thanks Srinija and Keerti! Wouldnt have survived without you.

7. 2010 has also marked the arrival of 2 new members in the family… am talking about two sweet, cuddly babies waiting to get pampered.. of course they have not yet arrived technically.. but they are on the way!!!

8. My first real foreign trip happened in 2010.. and incidentally the longest one.. ok well second trip.. but i dont consider Mauritius as foreign somehow…

9. Went on my first official business trip to bangalore.. typical executive meeting.. catch a flight in the morning- attend meeting – catch the evening flight back home.. except that.. i spent the “attend meeting” part shopping with my cousin, while my dad acutally attended the meeting..

10. Am finally driving my car.. and by that i mean regularly.. i learnt for the first time in 9th class, and it was followed by one long break after another.. Finally happened in 2010!

11. I put on weight. Haha.. now thats the true Highlight!

12. This marks the end of a very busy year and the start of an even busier year. (The only difference is in the things that am doing)

                         A special ‘Thank You’ to all the people who have made a difference in my life this year
Mom & Dad – For everything
Sri – For eating my brain as always and for all the nonsense and sense that we talk 🙂
Shwetha – For all the fun, gossip, never ending philosophy, lots of laughter and lots of crazy stuff, for the time we spent together, for considering me your best friend. Still . (haha)
Rashmi – For being the awesome person that you are. No matter after how long we meet.. nothing ever changes!
Srinija – You helped me survive deluxe. I guess we helped each other out! For all the cribbing sessions that we had(how i miss those!), and the plans that we made (and the ones that flopped… like ummmm… tattoos? i dont think i can mention the others here!).
Keerti – For being the (sometimes exasperating) Miss. Perfect that she is 🙂 For all the motivation to get out of office at sharp 6! and for going shopping at 9 in the morning !
Gopal – For being the mentor and guide that you were and still are.
Amuktha & Anusha – For all the things we went through and shared.. for 6 years! Its only brought us closer.
 Bharath –  For talking.. just talking.. after 23 years! No i actually i dont even forgive you!
Apurva – For being back to how we were before 🙂  The moment we meet… we are lost in talking.. there is no stopping us!

     And also to many more people… strangers who have been an inspiration… acquaintances turned into friends… poeple somewhere who have somehow touched my life.

     The New Year spirit is becoming infectious.. I think i have caught some. I was never a New-Year-Celebrating-Kind-Of-Person. But this time i thought i’ll just go with the flow… Just like how i optimistically think that “Its a new day tomorrow!” whenever am down in the dumps.. i thought ill extend that to “Its a New Year!”.

So…
HAPPY NEW YEAR!    

Part 2 – Choice A?B?C?All?

Musings

 ** In continuation or in relation to this post **

Sometimes am possessed by an urgent need to express and write but i dont exactly know what.. am concious of the fact that am thinking deeply, but its hard to put it into words.. that ever happen to you? well ill try… i was just wondering why almost 90% of the people are not satisfied with their jobs or the kind of work that they do.. work is something that is essentially a part of your daily life.. it takes up more than half of your time and life.. and something that is so important, something that is supposed to not only provide you your bread and butter but also help you learn, gain knowledge, leaves you dissatisfied. Its disheartening that 80-90% of students and by that i mean fresh graduates have no clue what they want to do with their life.. and am including myself in the list.. are we to blame the education system? Are we to blame ourselves? Dont we have choices staring at us from every possible direction? Is that what makes it harder to choose and decide?

From what i observed i feel there are three categories.
One – Students who just follow the ‘old beaten path’, that is they either blindly give their gre/toefl/gmat etc and go for higher studies.. or join whichever company they are recruited into.
Two– They have a fixed goal, to be a doctor or an architect or a pilot.. something thats been embedded in their minds since they were kids.. either by themselves or by ambitious parents or idol brother/sister.
Three– Now this is where most people are.. the clueless ones.. the want to do something with their life.. give it a meaning.. achieve something.. not just blindly follow their peers into something.. Now what is that something u ask?? No one knows.. The bounce around ideas in their heads but dont settle upon any single
one. One option for such people is to be pushed into something by someone (hopefully by someone who knows whats best for them).
The next best thing is to pick a few fields based on the following parameters.
1. Is it relatively interesting (by interesting i mean something that will engage ur brain cells, wont make you cry to come to work everyday, will NOT turn you into
a zombie by doing some mechanical job over and over again)
2. Pays well (It doesnt have to make you a millionare, just a regular comfortable life. As long as you dont end up on the streets its ok)
3. Has a future (There is no point in doing something interesting and well paying if its going to last just an year. Might as well go in for something with long term stability unless you want to again end up with choices as to what to do next after an year)
4. Its nothing illegal – no point explaining anything unless you like jail food among other things.

For a long time we have been saying that giving an option of choosing subjects which will define his career, to a student right after 10th grade , is wrong. Children of that age are not capable of making a decision. After all what exposure do they have for them to make the right decision? How do they know which field is lucrative and what they are passionate about? We always say that, that decision should be made at a later stage, when they are more mature, experienced, can analyse the pros and cons of each. My opinion is that, maybe it should be given to them sooner, not later. Maybe we should adopt this method from the western countries where school students are given the option of choosing their subjects (apart from a few mandatory ones). This could work in favour all the three categories of students that i mentioned. The ones blindly choosing would continue to do so (They are happy with that and also do excel so no issues there). The ambitious ones would choose subjects according to their ambitions. The clueless-intelligent achievers will have the option of picking/dropping whatever they want, and this could very well help mould their ideas into something solid by time they are ready to graduate.

To make a long post short (i think its too late for that) its time.. HIGHTIME.. we bring about a change… and adopt new methods.. explore new ideas.. to make it easy for all the other clueless generations yet to come.. and give them some direction!

Year End Cleaning!

creativity, thoughts

Finally done! I started clearing out the junk in my room and it took me two whole days to finish it (Yeah spring cleaning in winter) The amount of rubbish (things that i once considered too precious to throw) that i have collected is enough to start my own Year End Clearence Sale – ofcourse no one would buy anything because its all junk! I dont know what it was doing sitting in my cupboards and wadrobe. But the good thing is that i have a whole lot of space, which has suddenly become visible to me 🙂

Everytime i clear up my room and make new space, i do so only with the aim of filling up that space. Clear old clothes – make space – shop – fill up space! I did that for everything – cothes, books etc. But this time am going to keep that empty space empty. No filling up. No shopping. (I thought it would help if i made this public 😐 )
And am suddenly filled with ideas as to how to re-decorate my room. I dont think i have done anything different or creative over the past one and a half years because i was busy with office. Thats a looooong time according to me. The last thing i remember doing was what every typical college going girl does – putting up photos of myself/friends/family/cousins and few weird posters(?!?)

So now since i have time on my hands or rather i can do what i want with my time, i totally want to change the look of my room. Will post a few pics as soon as am done.

Any creative ideas/inputs??

Fire on the mountain.. run..run..run..!

family, weekend

So we had a little bonfire at home yesterday. It was all our driver’s idea… He decided that we should have a bonfire and fry a few ‘kandulu’ (Red gram) and sit around it and pop in a few. Of course my mom and grandma were instantly ready. And me – well i anyday prefer sitting indoors and frying the same in a microwave… but after they called me to come down 4 or 5 times.. i decided to go… and watch.. just watch.. from a distance..

It seems they do that in their village.. Especially during winter evenings, when they all gather around a warm fire, fry them (directly on the fire), keeping picking them, and all the while chat and gossip. I really dint understand what was so nice about breathing in smoke and almost burning your hand as you picked them directly off the fire, and get soot all over your fingers, and it was a healthy snack (maybe too healthy for a cold winter evening.. think of hot pakodas and coffee or hot chocolate).

Anyway he started the fire in an instant.. and i hung around and took a few pics and videos, just to avoid going near it.. i had to act like i was participating right? So i said i would record it and send it to my sis in Australia (There is a history behind her and that tree). Its a different story that even i ended up picking them and eating them , yes, with soot all over my hands. And they are damm healthy, full of protein, so shoot me! I have become very health concious over the past few months!

Anyway this reminded me of the huge bonfire we had for New Year’s eve a couple of years back. And i had really loved it back then! We had spent the whole evening collecting dry twigs and leaves.. and had a bonfire on the terrace, with pillows and blankets all around, and some music and games(Remember Fire On the Mountain?) and watched the amazing fireworks as soon as it was midnight. There is something wonderful and cozy about bonfires (Yes am the same person who was cribbing about it at the beginning of the post) and that was one very special New Year. Sadly most of our gang is spread across the world now, so am just hoping that some time in the future we can do this again!

Click!

thoughts

What is it about photos that makes us so crazy about them? We have around 20 albums or more lying in our cupboard… and hundreds of folders in the pc thanks to digi cams. Of course browsing through albums and going over each photo, each place, each scenario…. well nothing can beat that but of late we seem to be going click! click! click! at a rather crazy speed.

The first time we bought a digi cam we were sure we wouldnt use it much. Clicking pictures and giving the film for prints, waiting for a couple of days to see how they turned out, holding the actual photo in your hands when they are still fresh and sticking to each other…. that was something we grew up with our entire childhood and never expected (or wanted) digital cameras to replace that. Until we started using it… and the rest, as you say, is history!

Anything and everything needs to be clicked. I find a drastic difference in the way we used our digi cam over the first couple of years and now. 150 photos for a 4 day trip was a huge number. Now 150 photos per day on a 4 day trip has become “normal”. The number of photos we clicked during our Euro Trip drove me mad! Not just sorting through them and uploading them and sending them to people… but just looking at them, was so tiresome. But somehow we just cant resist clicking.. Birthday = photos, Friends meeting up after a long time = photos, puja at home = photos, Function = photos, Marriage = get ready to be buried in photos, Vacation = i dont have to explain i guess!

Although it is fun to look back upon life through photos, i was wondering how it would be if there wasnt a single photo to remind us of the past. No pic of your first birthday, no pic of you in your lkg uniform, no pic of your cousins marriage – absolutely nothing. Would we be more cautious in storing everything in our mind? If we were on a vacation to an exotic place without a camera… would we actually, truly observe every detail, by actually looking… and be content with the fact that we made it here. We made it, we are here, now, right now, so just feel it and enjoy and be thankful. Imagine the same thing with a camera. You are stepping of the tour bus – click! standing in front of some famous statue – click! walking down the road – click! having lunch – click! hotel room – click! hotel entrance – click! single pic – click! whole family – click! along with the bus driver – click! …well you get the point right..

I feel like trying to live without photos but somehow we are so scared of letting go of the past.. we want to hang on in any way possible.. we want to remember in every way possible. Our cluttered mind cannot hold onto images of a beautiful lake, your firend’s birthday party, or your own content smile anymore.. It just slips off your mind, but you are desperate to hold on, to record every second.

Or maybe we just like it. *sigh* As usual.. being too cynical and complicating things. We like it. As simple as that. We like clicking the damm pictures. Get it now?

Art Classes with Fido!

Art

I finally joined Art Classes, which i had been planning to do for a while now (if you can say that 4 yrs is ‘a while’). I have been painting and sketching since as long as i can remember without any professional training and i must say that am *ahem* pretty good. But i have always wanted to learn, rather, see what they teach… I was always under the opinion that “Art” cannot be taught. Maybe because i had managed pretty well without any formal training.. And i also had the feeling that it would somehow spoil my natural style.. Whenever i paint i do so intuitively… my own free style… and obviously i can make it come out the way i want it to…

I dont believe in producing an exact replica of anything that am painting. I agree even that requires talent, and am sure i can do even that if i sit down patiently and set my mind to it. Of course i lack that patience and as i said the idea of replicating it to the last brush stroke never appealed to me. My art has always been for me. Something that i enjoy doing, something that makes me feel good. I dont think i have shown them to my family members or my friends either ( That was before posting a few on my blog ).

Anyway, today was the second class.. and am actually quite happy with her “way of teaching”. I think she is someone who goes by the talent of the student.. am just doing my own thing there.. with her giving me a few tips and pointers (my natural style is safe then!) And since am not at home, i cant tear up a sketch just because its not to my liking and start over again. Which is good in a way.. its teaching me to be more patient.. Hmm… so much in two classes eh?? Well ill post a few finished “masterpieces” 😛 as soon as… ummm… they get finished..

p.s Fido is the lady’s dog’s name. She brings him to the art class every morning because she doesnt want to leave him alone at home. He’s an adorable lil fella.
Included Fido’s intro in the end because i dint want another post about dogs! Although he is so cute that i dont think ill be able to resist in a few days! 😀

Well what next?

Humour, weekend

Well.. well.. well.. the rat is becoming too much a part of my life (and the blog) so.. here’s the end of the story.. caught the rat.. set it free.. Our maid servant took it out and set it free.. far far away from the house.. actually thats what i thought until she came back and said she’d been too lazy, and walked just a few steps and set it free… and she kinda says she saw it run in the direction of our neighbours house.. Good luck to them!

So enjoying my moments of freedom i finally comepleted the book “Lance Armstrong: Its Not About The Bike”. I usually never read biographies/autobiographics. I have always been too much into fiction to find bios even remotely interesting. I may be prejudiced, but the first one i read was Hitler’s – Mein Kamph, which was during my college days. And Oh My God. I was bored to death right after the first page. Just to be polite i kept the book with me for a few months, which i considered would be the approx time the book would be finished, and returned it the person who gave it me. I think that was the first time i ever left a book half-way. Needless to say it totally put me off bios. I have been gifted something by/about Gandhi and something by Abdul Kalaam (I think) , but never did i touch them till now.. People know i love books, then why cant they gift me somehting new.. thrilling.. exciting?? Anything fiction. (Supposed to be a not-so-subtle hint people)

Anyway the next one i read was by James Frey, and i was bowled over. It was nothing like what i expected. I read all 3 of his books non-stop! So i braved an attempt to try one more.. and this one of Lance Armstrong’s was pretty much ok.. It dint put me to sleep even when i was having a heavy cold and just swallowed some antibiotics and cough syrup (am already such a sleepy head and with these babies there is no saying how long ill sleep!).

Today lunch was at our neighbour’s place because of some function, so happily, readily spent the afternoon out! And back to work from tomorrow (At last!).

And Oh Oh before i go here are few pics i couldnt resist uploading *he he he*
First the story : An orphan doggy and an orphan kitten who have become beshttt friends 😀 . They live outside my cousin’s apartment, and they have become pets to everyone in the building.

I know what you are thinking.. First i go on about rats.. and now cats.. and dogs! Yeah i felt that too.. so am going to stop. No more from tomorrow i promise!

                                                                            ♥
                                                                     Chandana

Ramblings #3

Coffee, Random ramblings, thoughts, weekend

Todays turn of events:

I feel much much better today. Maybe bcoz i woke up late had breakfast and then again slept like a log. Its been days since i had such a deep sleep. Very refreshing.

The trap used to catch the rat ( read RatStory first in case you dont know ) has been moved from its place (by the rat?) . The trap is closed, the food has vanished, but there is no rat. I guess we are dealing with a super-rat here. Apart from vanishing from a closed cage, wonder what other powers its going to show.

I fell down today.. i was getting down the steps at dominos and at the last 3 steps… THUD!! Am down on my butt.. and i felt so bad.. not embarassed, even though a few people laughed, i really couldnt care less! but i fell down.. its frustrating coz i dint trip.. no one pushed me.. my heel dint break.. i just fell.. no idea how that happened..

And.. am happy today.. today is an overall happy day 🙂 ( NOT bcoz i fell)

Mouse hunt… err… of a different kind.

Humour, Madness

Am stuck with a rat in the house. Since a WEEK! Its a big, hairy monster of a rat.. which is currently living in my aunt’s room and occassionally visits other rooms. I hadn’t actually seen it until yesterday. The first time it showed itself was in the middle of the night.. chewing the lid of one of the biscuit tins in my parents room. My mom woke up with a start, saw the rat, shooed it and went back to sleep. I stared at her in horror when she told me the next morning. She must have understood what i was thinking by my incredulous, horrified expression and she said “Dont worry, it wont really come near you”… “But we are getting rid of it!!” she added hastily as i opened my mouth to scream….

Since then i have been making sure that every door to every room is closed. Except my aunt’s bedroom and the balcony, with the tiny hope that the rat would kindly let itself out. As if. It would anyday prefer the cozy, dark corners of the bedroom (There is too much stuff in there so it definitely has around 10 to 15 corners) rather than a 10 foot dive from the balcony. Hmm… i still dint give up hope though…

A couple of days back i was grabbing a post-dinner snack from my parents bedroom when i heard unmistakable rat noises… obviously i fled from there, locked myself in my room until my mom came… She bravely started poking around.. and then it came! Before i had a chance to scream properly (all that came out was a terrified squeak) and jump on the nearest bed/chair/table… it shot past me, back into my aunt’s room.. We put up a bait for it.. like in ‘Tom and Jerry’ where Tom puts little pieces of cheese from Jerry’s hole leading right to a trap..which Jerry always escaped. Well the same thing happened here… this jerry was too clever.. it polished all the snacks.. no trace of them at all.. the pieces of food or the rat!!!

*sigh* And now am alone at home… locked up in a room… jumping at every little noise… listening at the door… trying to hear any squeaks outside…. running out… getting whatever i want… making loud noises and walking like an elephant to scare away any approaching rats…and locking myself up again…. Ahhhhh… reminds me of a poem i wrote in class 9, for an english assignment.. its called the ‘Mouse Hunt’. It was pretty good and my teacher loved it. Only thing i never thought it would come true. Anyway am positively sure this room is rat-free now, and all the squeaks i heard are imaginary, so…. settling down with a book until my mom comes home! I seriously doubt if I have the whole house to myself or the rat does! 😐