Play it safe

Houston

December 2018

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Comme ci comme ca

Oct 20, 2018

Chennai

As loneliness bites at me while waiting at a concert of ” When Chai met Toast”, i remember what Nits said.

Comme ci comme ca

So is the case with me. I am numb. I hear, I see, I laugh. But when I am with me, I am lost. I feel small, lost and numb. I dream of lost friends, chance of a new found love all the while amid the constant urge to jump out of my skin. My body, my spirit and mind hurt and cry.

Not thinking about the hurt is the only thing that works now.

Simple

Aug 10, 2018

I tried out a new coffee house this Saturday, Doshi House. I was enchanted by the beautiful owner, delicious food and the lively community vibe of this place. People were actually having discussions at this Cafe.

As it happened, this Cafe was in the Third Ward, an underprivileged black neighborhood. I was continuing my reading of “feel the fear”. A couple of people started talking to me. One woman, Nikala remarked that I liked writing and literature. Her intuition told her that I wanted to do something for women. She spoke about self publishing on Create Space and becoming the designer of one’s life. It was quite interesting that she remarked on a bunch of unrelated things..most of which were on my mind. I was particularly intrigued by her comment on over helping. She explained that it’s great to give back to the community and help it grow but not at the expense of one’s own dream and life. Over helping is imbalance and balance is key to a peaceful survival. Once again, the powerful force of manifestation blew me away.

I walked with her to a new art opening at Project Row houses. It had several art experiences and one in particular stunned me. It required the participant to complete the phrase – ” I wish to go back to a time when things were ——“. I uttered “simple” into the recording microphone. As I walked through the exhibit, the original word kept getting distorted and from simple… It came down to “similar”. Or that’s what I heard. I couldn’t believe my ears and listened hard to find the same.

As it turns out, memories like these words are distorted. We distort memories and use nostalgia to create a cushion from our current reality. Everything in retrospect looks invaluable while reality seems dull and uneventful. The force of life tried to tell me that today is as simple and similar. Perhaps, it’s all a matter of what you make of it. Again, attitude seems to be the key.

Dr.Koris

17th July, 2018

My Groupon chiropractor,Dr.Koris was a rather queer fellow. He had one of those voices that sounded like a perfect answering machine message.

He remarked about the anatomy of the body… All of us have the same number of bones but the arrangement might be slightly different. Opinions are like anatomy, he remarked. Everyone has one. I don’t walk flinging mine at you and I expect you to keep yours to yourself.

Funny that he should speak about right to opinion.

Better is the enemy of good

July 14, 2018

Casually, Akka verbalized what I had been thinking for a long time, “Better is the enemy of good.”

Of late, I have been trying to understand the cause instead of just reacting to the effects. An issue I have often experienced is extreme anxiety bordering on nausea while making decisions, sometimes even simple ones.

Whether it was buying a car, booking a hotel, planning a trip…my days and nights were spent oscillating between different options, weighing pros and cons repeatedly but never reaching an equlibrium. And often the more time I took, I was pressured to take a decision soon. I loved it when a decision was finalized… My mind was at peace. But another kind of conflict would usually start to brew. If things went wrong, I would start to feel bad, go back and beat myself on miscalculated moves and bad decision.

I realized there was a pattern. I wanted to be in a good place always..I wanted the best of all possible outcomes. And I wanted myself to somehow magically always anticipate the best option and cut myself no slack for being WRONG.

Of all my evils, this one was surely killing me, especially as an adult.

This is why I always sought second, third and so many opinions… On my love life, career moves and what not. It’s good to get some guidance and different views, but ultimately I need to respond not in the best way but the way that’s best for ME.

Far too many times I have been apologetic for being myself. I was usually the stupid and wrong one when there was a conflict. But, whenever I have tried to be someone else, it failed as well.

Increasingly I am realizing there’s no right answer but only a right attitude where I don’t kill myself for taking a stand. I could be right or wrong, just or biased. It’s OK to be on either side – I AM NOT PERFECT.

Wild West & the Wolf

May 13th 2018

I have gotten back in the online dating game. I met this guy, Parag, at Pinkberry frozen yoghurt. He was a wide-eyed, expressive and talkative American Indian. I usually avoid awkward dances with guys I am dating but when he offered, in the spirit of new beginnings, I gave it a shot. As we walked into the bar, I notice two of his girl friends are already there. I am a bit surprised but decide to just go with the flow. What follows is an awkward hour where he shows no interest of dancing or talking with me. At some point, two more girls show up and he is merrily chatting with all the girls with not a trace of guilt. I am shocked at the turn of events and frankly, quite amused. What the hell was happening!

Meanwhile, I had danced with every single guy in the room as the girls merrily rotated dance partners during the dance lesson. It is sometimes ghastly to touch everyone’s hands and smell them up close. Not to mention all the twirling had left me quite nauseated. I chatted up the bar girl, Monica. I was surprised at how animated I felt tonight and extremely positive. My vibes were only heightened by my idiotic chipmunk date. I shook him off and decided to have a blast. I danced with every guy who came up to me. I danced to East Coast swing, Polka and two-step. Sometimes the dance was mechanical and sometimes, just so much in harmony that the step did not matter anymore.

Out of the corner of my eye, I picked on Wolf, a handsome guy I practised with twice, sitting by himself. I walked up to him and asked why was he not dancing. He asked me to dance with him. And we danced. It was not at all magical. He was counting every time and it was all math for him. But he was cute and adorable. We spoke a bit and he danced with me for long. After a while, I drifted to drink water and he said he would ask me for a dance later. I plucked my courage to stand tall despite being alone. I was not going to pine or lament for love.

As I was merrily engaged in a conversation with Monica, Wolf  came by again to ask me for another dance. Between a few more mechanical dances, quite a few laughs, the funny story of my first and last recent date, we were finding a rhythm. He asked for my number – one in and one out – not a bad track record and brownie points for living another memorable story.

Perfect storm again

Mar 28, 2018

It was Anisha’s farewell. Anisha, Sainee and I have had a whirlwind friendship. We became such good friends so soon. Just three months in, Anisha had to leave to Arizona for work.

Again I was amazed by how things that you had so long ago yearned for, happen finally. I had hoped for a college/ hostel comradeship. At the age of 27, I finally had a group of friends who spoke about nothing and laughed about everything, who looked out and cared for each other and who thought each other’s stupid idea was a brilliant one. We spent the evening in merriment and jubilation, made oaths of meeting every year and wished for a wholesome life.

That night as I lay coiled in bed, I woke up to a bright thunder. Amid the storm, I felt the warmth of living with loving hearts. I realized that that moment with these young wonderful women might never come back. The likelihood of all of us being this carefree, almost single will be rare. Anisha hugged me in her sleep, almost as if to hold onto this moment forever.

I could no other answer make but thanks and thanks.

Much ado about nothing

7/18/2015

For a person who says writing is a favorite activity, I rarely write anything. I have three journal entries which basically explains how excited I am to start writing again. So, this time I am going to begin without much ado. Today is a saturday – a real saturday after a long time. I have been working my ass off the last two years – either working on assignments, projects, presentations and more recently job search. My only reprieve from work on weekends has been my outings to round rock. But today was different – had a grand indian buffet at Asiana with friends, watched ‘Spirited away’ at home with Eva, filled a couple of applications (my new favorite past time), and played tennis in east park. It felt so good to really chill out. In the past, I have been a little hard on myself but now that I am really trying to build myself and my life views, I wish to change my life style too. The last few weeks have been instrumental in making me feel more confident and positive about myself. I realized that I could never find a job unless I feel I deserve one. I would never feel deserving unless I felt good about my accomplishments. And I would never feel good about them unless I stop being super-critical and look at myself from the view of an outsider. With this being said, I am really trying to stop being too Indian and start appreciating myself for my achievements. For starters, I feel a ringing positive wave with the assertion that I will get a job sooner or later. The interesting aspect would be where and with whom. This mindset has had a positive impact on my personal life too. Without the sword swinging above my head, I have been able to make my life style more enriching to my soul. For now, I am happy to be happy but I hope to make this a habit!

At Austin

8/22/2013

It has been a long time. I have statrted a new chapter of my life – UT Austin. The journey from India to Austin was amazing. I dont know what was better – the fact that I was going to study at UT or the grand farewell that I bid to India…

The emotions I felt in the last month were overwhelming – meeting every possible relative in rajasthan, covering 5 beautiful cities in 5 days, dancing my head off with my cousins and eating like crazy. It was just truly awesome. And back in Chennai, the crazy shopping and hanging out with friends was amazing. I struck a new chord with my childhood friends during this phase, that will stay with me all my life. Somehow I always feel theres never enough time to bid goodbye. You can travel the whole world and feel amazed but only people who love you can fill you with overwhelming emotions and bring the world to you.

So I reached Austin with no visible excitement but just the reason that I am going to study at UT Austin. The first week was uneventful at Round rock but I was so amazed by arjun, my sweet little nephew. Akka and Anna helped me settle down and finally I was on my own in my apartment with unfamiliar room mates.In a way it felt good being on my own and getting my own space where I decided and lived on my own terms.

 

Austin finally