Simbly Bored

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

Dinner at 6? June 10, 2009

Filed under: Life in Amreeka,The Way I Am — The Goddess @ 10:41 pm

So, after cribbing for months about the lack of a social life, I finally decided to do something about it. So, I went out to dinner with two new friends (not desi, not from my program, not working in my department). We went to the local Indian place and had a very pleasant dinner. Of course, being the US means dinner’s at 6! 🙂

It always feels good to make new friends. But it feels even better to step out of the desi circle and the “India Replication Program”. It’s a good feeling when you can make friends with someone not based on where they’re from but rather who they are. And talk about little things and big things and realize the world is not all that huge and people are not all that different after all.

It was a great evening. And much needed.

As I drove back, I saw a homeless guy by the stop light. He held up a sign that said something like, “Homeless, Hungry, Will Look for Work”. And I waved at him, handed him my bag of food and said, “I hope you like Indian”. The smile on his face was priceless. And he said, “I’ll go look for work tomorrow”. And “God Bless You” over and over again. And I forgot for a moment that I don’t consider this country my own. Forgot that I think there are enough soup kitchens and shelters for the homeless. I forgot to judge for a moment. And reacted the same way I would if I were back in India.

Of course, this means, I get to eat a cold salad again at lunch tomorrow. But you know what? I won’t crib about the way my life is for a while.

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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

 

New Widgets February 28, 2009

Filed under: Blogging,The Way I Am — The Goddess @ 8:11 am

So, I’ve added a couple of new widgets on my sidebar. I have random song addictions that last a week or two. So I decided to add a video gadget to the sidebar. I also changed my category listing from a dropdown to a cloud. The cloud just about conclusively proves that this blog is highly random and all about me. I considered adding delicious links to interesting articles I read and Twitter updates too but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I’m not too sure how long the other changes will last either. But I thought it might be a good thing to have a song play in the background as you read 🙂

My short lived love affair with Twitter has come to an end at last and my marriage has emerged unscathed. The affair last approximately as long as my collaborative technologies and social media class. Actually, less. I find that I don’t want the whole world to know what music I’m listening to, what news I’m reading and whether I had my lunch. As of now, that’s approximately what these gadgets are worth to me.

With time perhaps, I will be better networked, more popular and worth stalking. I have claimed my simblybored space on all these sites and when the time comes, I shall make it simple for you all to cyber stalk me. For now, I am content with the randomness that has dominated this space.

I toyed with the idea of applying some techniques of effective social media utilization to this blog. I wanted to make this an interactive and engaging space. Elevate it from being a mere blog to being a site you visit everyday. Then I realized that I am not in the portal design business. This blog always has and always been about chronicling things little and big in my life that I think are universal enough to share with you all. It’s not about getting more hits, generating ad revenue (WordPress doesn’t allow ads anyway) or about any of that stuff. It’s a blog that will always focus on text. Play on words, conjure images and recount scenes.

I think the only change I am capable of accepting is changes in template. But do leave a comment if you have any ideas for changes to this space! 

 

Amit Chatterjee February 23, 2009

Filed under: Discovering marriage,Growing Up,The Way I Am,Through a Woman's Eyes — The Goddess @ 11:07 am

For the longest time, I imagined that I would be married to someone like Amit Chatterjee (from my favourite novel – The Suitable Boy). Intellectual, moody, selective, attracting a lot of admirers. A social snob, unexpectedly profound and unconventionally romantic. 

As the years went by, this notion of mine was reinforced. I was convinced that I would never be able to connect with anyone simpler than this favourite character of mine.

Time went by, I was courted and wooed, displayed and evaluated. 

And then, I suddenly found myself “The One”. Someone completely different from the ideal I so carefully cherished. Intelligent but not intellectual. Well read but not a snob. Capable of moodiness but rarely succumbing to it, blissfully oblivious to the world around. Profound when the need arises and romantic always.

Over the last year and a half as I have known this person and loved him, I have realized how foolish I was to want for myself, someone like me. How foolish it is to be a snob. To judge and evaluate. To battle with questions that have no answers, to strive to be someone I am not.

Years later, as I read the book again, I see how I might have imagined a person of this sort to be the right one for me. But now, as I revisit the character and then look at the person I am with, I feel proud of myself for not letting the shallowness of a Convent School education sway me against my better judgement.

Sometimes, in life, it’s not complexity that matters as much as depth. It’s not the approval of those you know that matters as much as you yourself.

 


 

 

 

Dedicated to the conversation this evening.

 

Annoyance and Tolerance February 22, 2009

Filed under: Life,Life in Amreeka,The Way I Am,The Way I See It — The Goddess @ 10:24 pm

So, this morning, I woke up and thought about all the different things that I have to do. I have three exams to do next week, a presentation, work as usual and general stuff around the house. Along with it, over the last few weeks, I have been involved in a musical effort as well. 

Those who know me, know how important music is to me and how much meaning it brings too my life. It’s something almost sacred to me. And for some reason, over the last few years, I gave up singing in public. I still sing for myself. But I don’t sing on stage anymore. So when I got a chance to perform this time around, I jumped at the opportunity.

Yesterdays reharsal was a disaster. For two main reasons. One, no one out there had any clarity of what songs to put in a medley. Two, no one seemed to have any constructive suggestions to make. Just a random imposition of ideas and display of their own musical prowess. 

At the best of times, I am intolerant of fake. But when I see false humility attempting to obscure arrogance in the world of music, it annoys me. Had I been a few years younger, I would have worn my boots (snow all around) and stomped out in tears. Old and wise as I am, I held my tongue and tried to busy myself with my job. There were people cutting off my singing attempting to teach me how it should be done. And that is the musical equivalent of a back seat driver grabbing your steering wheel or someone declaiming your speech for you in a bid to show you how it’s done.

I held back my annoyance, kept my patience, thanked the organizer politely and came home. All the while, I wondered if I should have let her know I found her behaviour offensive. I told myself I’m being too sensitive and calmed down.

The first thing I saw in my mail this morning was a mail from the very same organizer sending a list of flaws in our performance to the entire group of 20 or so. I am kind of old school. I believe praise should be public and criticism should be private. Being the opinionated firebrand that I am, I could keep my peace no longer and I sent out a mail asking to be excused from performing and gently pointing out that in the world that I come from, constructive criticism was delivered in a far different way.

I wonder now what it is that prompts me to react so sharply to things of late. I wonder if I am becoming less tolerant of the world or more supportive of my own boundaries. This is the second person I have been unable to get along with in the last few months. And there have been more conflicts since I moved to the US than there have been in the recent past. 

I wonder if I have changed. If I am now more annoyed and less tolerant or if I am just being more protective of myself. One of the most bitter lessons I ever learned in my life is that if you don’t stick up for yourself, no one else will. If you let people get away with behaviour that both parties know is unacceptable, they will continue to do so. But I wonder if in defendimg myself, I am looking for others to live by a value system that is entirely my own. It’s difficult to draw the line between social norms and personal values. I am led to believe sometimes that it’s ok to judge by socially accepted standards of behaviour but not by personal values.

In the end, I am brought back to the eternal question is it worth it to tolerate something unacceptable just to avoid conflict? Or is it ok to not pretend to like everyone and to get along with the whole world?

 

General Procrastination February 5, 2009

Filed under: The Way I Am — The Goddess @ 11:01 pm

There are a dozen things waiting for my attention right now. Readings, posts on forums, assignments, work (which I happily bunked today), the kitchen, random cleaning, packing for my vacation next week… It’s endless…

But I just don’t seem to want to work! I would rather laze around doing nothing right now than work on anything at all… Does anyone else have these tendencies? Or is it just me?

 

Semester – II February 4, 2009

Filed under: Life,Life in Amreeka,The Way I Am — The Goddess @ 10:26 am

Ever since this semester began, I have been trying to figure out what I really want to do. Last semester, being the first was full of adjusting, finding my bearings, recruiting, falling behind, catching up, surviving the roommate not from earth or heaven, and just generally trying to adapt.

This year is different. I know how much effort it takes to get a good grade on an assignment. I know that an A+ is worth the same GPA as an A. I know that it takes exactly 4 minutes to walk to the bus stop on a clear, warm day and 14 when its snowing. I know the milk needs 1:40 in the microwave and the toaster needs to be set at 2.5. I know how to cook, how often to vacuum, how to accumulate quarters through the week to get the laundry done on weekends, which aisles to avoide in the grocery store and I even know how to store cilantro (corriander) so it stays fresh for two weeks. And I know the best ways to get my homework done between calls at tech support.

But almost a month into the new semester, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with myself. Should I keep myself more busy than I am? Or should I use this time to relax and spend some time with myself? I’ve been oscillating and vacillating. Unable to make a decision. There are so many things I could do at last! I could play that new keyboard, I could sing, get religious, read, read some more, watch movies, write blogs, work out, learn to eat healthy, spend time with the naked (sorry, nude) sculptures at the art museum… The list is endless. But at the other end of the spectrum, I could find another job, get involved in a project, learn some more, make the best of being in a good school, build my resume and generally do “the right thing to do” in an economy like this one.

I just can’t make up my mind!

When I pause to think, though, I wish the pause could last just a little longer. I wish I could get just those few minutes more of sleep. I wish I could indulge my husband by cooking him all his favourite things just this once when he drives down those 200 miles. I wish I could just spend a little time more being myself. A little time enjoying the silence (broken in this house by jarring noises from the neighbour’s house). A little time to recover from the emotional roller coaster of the last few years. A little time to discover for myself what I really like and what I want to do. I want to spend time being a wife, a friend, a musician, a walker, a snow lover, a reader, a writer, a chef, a housewife… I want to spend some time listening to myself, letting myself recover, not think about the state of the economy, watch movies and browse through the rows of dvd’s and books at the library…

When I pause, I realize, I already know what I want to do this semester. And then I realize, I somehow feel compelled to justify myself. And now I wonder why it is so guilt inducing if for once we want to think of ourselves. Why is it that the things we do become more important than who we are? Why are resumes, money, time and other people so much more valuable than us and our own thoughts?

Somehow, we seem to live in a world where everything is about us and the ME. Everything is about making ourselves feel better, indulgence and self gratification. Everything is about us except of course, ourselves…