Simbly Bored

It's me that's bored enough to blog. The posts are interesting enough.

The Brahmin Thing January 28, 2010

Filed under: Growing Up,Life in Amreeka — The Goddess @ 2:49 pm

So, for the longest time, I never knew what to answer when someone, anyone, asked me, “Are you Brahmin?”

I started out being stunned. I was naive enough to think that because caste didn’t matter to me, it didn’t matter to anyone.

After a while, I moved on to being judgmental. I always looked down on people who asked about “caste” as people unworthy of my attention. But then, I realized there were people right in my (extended) family who I liked to whom caste mattered a great deal.  This didn’t seem right. How could ordinary sane, rational, “good” people care about something as silly as caste?

When I turned seventeen, I identified myself as “OC” for the first time. Suddenly, it started to seem unfair that there were people who attended the same school as mine who were in no way “backward” who would be chosen over me. The system didn’t seem right. But more importantly, it didn’t seem right that there were people who didn’t mind lying about being  “backward” just because it meant they received additional benefits.

I went through college with a kind of resentment for those who managed to get to where “they didn’t deserve to be” just because of their caste. Looking back, it seems very hypocritical to me. After all, I benefited from the “women’s quota” reservation myself!

With time, judgment gave way to curiosity. I dabbled with the shadier sides of Orkut  and joined quite a few of the “brahmins unite” groups just to see what the fuss was about. The larger groups were more of a symbol on someone’s profile. The smaller, regional groups played the same role as telugumatrimony.com. Overall, the experiment was a failure. I learned nothing new.

When I moved to the US I thought caste wouldn’t matter given it doesn’t matter to anyone around. But I’ve heard the question on occasion, “Are you vegetarian? Is it by choice or…” Granted, not everyone who asks the question is interested in knowing your caste. But you can tell when the person is interested in learning about more than your dietary choices.

Last semester, I talked about India in my International Business class. The biggest question everyone had was about caste. “How does it feel”, a woman asked, “when you look at each other and know the difference in caste, but we can’t tell the difference?” Something cleared up in my mind after that. I replied, “All societies find ways to classify people. Caste just happens to be the Indian way. ‘Upward mobility’ and ‘financial success’ are not a function of your caste. Caste is just something you’re born with and you choose what you want to do with it.”

What made me think of this today? I just finished checking the “I am not Hispanic” box on all my grad school applications.

 

My Husband’s Wisdom August 6, 2009

Filed under: Discovering marriage,Growing Up,Personal Favourites — The Goddess @ 8:56 pm

Me: Why should we lie just to spare someone’s feelings?
and that too for someone we don’t like?
especially when it’s wrong to lie?

Him: Yea, it makes life easy :p

 

Insomnia July 31, 2009

Filed under: Discovering marriage,Growing Up — The Goddess @ 12:30 am

I just can’t seem to fall asleep. I’ve done everything I could to put myself to sleep. Had a big dinner, cleaned the kitchen, watched Friends on youtube, commented on random pictures on Orkut… Everything!

I’m back into one of my countdown modes again. This time, I’m counting down till I move out of Evansville and move back to be with my husband. Afer a year and a half of being married, the next few months will be the first time we actually get to live together for longer than ten days.

The distance seems to be taking a toll on me at last. Not to mention the constant moving. I seem to be living in a time of constant, accelerated, change that started the moment I quit my first job in September 07. Since then, I’ve been engaged, married, shuttled between my parents’ home and my in-laws’, quit my second job, moved to the US, moved to school and moved again for my internship. Throw in a bit of disorientation from the worst winter anyone remembered, a roommate from hell, a year’s worth of medication and you’ll get somewhat close to what’s been happening in my life. Of course, before that, there was the idiot God sent to make me value my freedom who destroyed all peace and quiet in the process.

In the midst of this all, I’ve managed to write a couple of hundred blogposts, keep my friends, do well at work in India and at my internship, keep up my grades, sing in public again, not grow too fat (despite the medication), learn a bit of kickboxing, work 12 hours a week, build our marriage, built my habit of daily puja, make a few new friends, earn a drivers’ license and other bla bla bla bla life-in-the-US related stuff and also make killer dal makhani.

I’ve also been able to visit Chicago, New Jersey, Indianapolis, St Louis, Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, San Diego and the Smoky Mountains. Not to mention live in South Bend, Bloomington and Evansville.

There’s more change coming up. We’re going to relocate soon. And I’m going to move into a phase that I’ve never encountered so far (knock on wood). It’s called unemployment and limited income. Well, I’ve been on the second for a year now, so that’s different.

I have no clue how I’m going to survive the next few months and what I’m going to do if I don’t find a job. As each day passes by, the chasm between my life in India before my parents decided to “settle” my life (ha! the settle part is a joke, if I’ve heard one) and the life I live now seems to widen. I seem to be experiencing a range of umm… experiences that no one else around me seems to have. Some have the finances and relationship part, others have the marriage and studies part, yet others have the gave-up-my-job-and-am-quite-broke-part. But not marriage, long distance, almost-broke and studying all at once.

Now, this seems to be a good time to insert a disclaimer that I don’t think I have troubles, I just need a good rant. But then again, I only care for the people who understand that, so…

Where am I headed with this post? Is that the question you just asked? Nowhere.

I’m just playing out the choices I made out loud. Some are choices, others are defaults, yet others are the natural progression of things.

So… It almost seems ok that I’ve not been my “usual self”. It’s been so long since I’ve been my usual self that I don’t even remember what she was like anymore.

Someday, I hope to have the time to get to know my “new self”.And I hope that is before I  change again…

 

You Can’t Have It All… At Once… July 9, 2009

Filed under: Growing Up,Life — The Goddess @ 11:07 pm

Today, I heard some of the most powerful words I have in a long time.

You can’t have it all, at the same time.

We spend so much of our time and energy chasing it all. The best grades I can get, the best our marriage can ever be, the best I’ve ever looked, the most time I’ve ever spent with God, the best friendships I can ever imagine. And of course, there’s money, there’s clothes, there’s diamonds, there’s so much!

So much time goes by trying to balance it all. Yearning for what we cannot have, wishing for more hours in the day, missing the friends we cannot find the time to talk to, feeling guilty for not working on something that makes a difference… So much of life goes by because we not only spend the energy we have on things that need to be done, we also spend it worrying about other things we wish we could do. And at the end, we seem to be left with nothing.

Where does the time go? Do we not know how to prioritize? Are we selfish? Lazy? Stupid? Unable to run our own lives? The supermoms and the Oprah’s would definitely want us to believe that.

Over the last few months, I’ve started to believe that. I’ve started to worry that I’m not as “balanced” as I should be. That maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something wrong. There’s the flab around my tummy I haven’t been able to get rid of. There’s the dull skin and the unopened tubes of face pack. There’s the unused chapati dough in the fridge because I’ve been too lazy to make rotis. The clothes lay unironed and scattered int he closet. There are movies that lie unwatched. Books that lie unread. I haven’t sung, really sung, in years. I haven’t learned to play the keyboard yet despite owning one for a year… The list is endless…

But today, for the first time, I felt free.

For the first time in months, I’ve allowed myself to listen to the voice inside me that has been saying the same thing. The friends who have been telling me I don’t give myself enough credit. At last! I don’t get the feeling I should be doing something else. I’m just happy to be in the moment I’m in.

 

Changing April 25, 2009

Filed under: Growing Up — The Goddess @ 1:36 am

As we grow up, we change, we mellow down, we grow more cynical and wary, we seem to know more, we learn from our mistakes and we lose much of our capacity to be righteously outraged. And yet, curiously, we remain the same!

As I grow up, and I discover the person I am, I learn more about what makes me tick. I find some parts of me that I could just not live with even if I chose to do the pragmatic thing and change to suit the surroundings. For the longest time, it seemed rigid, unaccepting of change, unrealistic and just plain silly to not do what the situation demands. But when I look back on the last few years of my life, it was the moments when I decided to not change and face the consequences that shaped me the most. They’re the decisions that brought with them the best moments of my life. From little things like awards at work, a clear conscience and reclaiming my privacy to huge things like escaping a disastrous “match” with the wrong guy, picking the right one and discovering friendships that survive distance and time.

The part of us that cannot change, is what defines us. I know I’m eccentric, a bit of a know it all, a perfectionist, careful and considerate most times, impatient and infinitely patient all at once.  And I know that to change any of this would be to change me. At some point, we all need to learn that it’s as important to resist change as it is to accept it if we do not wish to kill who we are.

The most valuable lesson I have ever learnt is to treasure who I am. If I cannot do that, it’s foolish to expect that someone else will…

 

 

Accepting Applications April 24, 2009

For the post of onsite best friend.

Requirements:

Must willingly spend time with me instead of succumbing to academic, social or personal pressure and spending time for the sake of future gain.

Must not complain when I call in the middle of the night with intellectual, emotional, philosophical, nonsensical or whimsical demands.

Must be able to appreciate the concept of a sense of space and gauge moods.

Must consume occasional doses of gyan with a teaspoon of salt (or preferred seasoning).

Must be capable of sustaining intelligent conversation not centered around “Academics” or “People Around Us” or constantly compare life with “The Way it Was”.

Must understand that a friend is not someone who fills up time when the significant other can’t be there.

Must live within walking distance of my apartment.

Perks:

Unwavering loyalty

A shoulder to cry on

An ear to crib to

A person who cares

Endless conversations

Amazing coffee!

Closing Comments:

Individuals holding this post in the past will be able to provide further inputs regarding the post and perks

 

Happy Birthday to Me March 18, 2009

Filed under: Growing Up — The Goddess @ 10:45 pm

 

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Getting older, hopefully wiser, definitely will be thinner than last year. Also want to be fitter, read more, sing more, talk less and laugh a whole lot more. 🙂