Miles to go before I sleep..

Let me start this post by saying – It has taken in-numerous attempts to get to a point in life where I can finally say that I’m actively focusing on getting fit.

For someone who isn’t very disciplined about food (cos I’m a foodie!) or health (cos I’m still young!) it took the company of friends (to kickstart an exercise routine), family (I’m married into a family that is very positively health focused) and a lot of enthusiasm and motivation (from within).

Today I ran 2.25 miles at a more or less steady speed of 4mph in 33 mins.
While it’s really not an achievement to write home about.. It is a milestone for me, and I’m mighty proud of it.

Will celebrate tomorrow with another run – hopefully a 2.5 mile run at 4.5mph in under 30 mins 😉

Oh and.. Here’s the view where I run!


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The right to self-expression

Recently, someone I happen to know posted the news story of a 5 yr old girl’s rape in Delhi, India. His post conveyed the anger he felt with expletives; words that made me wince and detracted me from the news story itself. I, in my good faith and naivety messaged him saying that shouting obscenities on a Facebook status message is about as helpful as doing nothing. Why bother? Besides, if u really want to create awareness, make ur words mean something! Else just, leave it at that – spread the word. That’s enough.

I understand his helplessness, his anger, his frustration. We ambitious young people want corporate jobs with big salaries. But we often find ourselves at odds with our own expectations. Our helplessness comes from prioritizing our own needs. At the end of the day, we feel like there’s nothing we can do “because I’m too young and I need to concentrate on my own career” or “because I have so much else on my mind”
But we’re quick to anger. Cos that’s easy! Just update ur Facebook/twitter feed shouting obscenities at perpetrators, curse them and we feel better! Like my friend said, “I need to vent for my own sanity”

During my interaction with him, he also said something that made me furrow my brows and think hard before I opened my mouth again, or in this case.. typed another admonishing message to him!

He said that while he was fully aware that his anger and facebook status achieved nothing, it helped him vent and finally, it was HIS page and that he had the right to self-expression.

I took a pause and realized that while what I was trying to say was now besides the point, his right to self-expression had encroached my privacy.
That’s when I thought to myself, is that what social media allows us? The right to be obnoxious without reprimand to anyone and everyone present on a social media platform like twitter/Facebook?

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I miss those balmy nights of summer and the salty breeze of your beach. The beads of sweat & water in the heat and in the rain. I crave passionate conversations with friends in the quiet haunts of  your lonely streets.

But Bombay, you were not the city of my dreams! You’re the city of my nostalgia; the city of bittersweet things!

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The newness of everything should have been engaging. But it isn’t so.
Yes it snowed throughout the first 2 months. At first, I loved it. 
For the first time I was experiencing a prolonged period of boredom.
I started watching stuff. It didn’t bore me. 
I watched people running to get somewhere.
I watched the snow slowly swaying in the air till it melted on a black jacket.
I watched white fluff enveloping everything like someone pushed down on a giant can of white frosting.
I ate different kinds of food, relishing some, disliking others.
I watched my weight remain a constant which did draw out an emotion from me – Anger.
I craved for the sun. The novelty of snowy, wet days made me ache for warmth.
I watched into windows and then into walls.
I stared into space.
I fell silent.
The chores at home feel burdensome. Eating feels like a task; “too much effort” a voice mumbles inside my head. Let alone dishes and laundry.
Gadgets, books, pencils, charcoal – nothing seems to change it.
Its disturbing. To watch yourself do nothing. To feel yourself feeling nothing.
My body refuses to move. I could lie in bed and not wake up. 
Maybe I’d feel nothing, just the same as when I’m awake.
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Halfway around the earth!

In chronological order, my life changed like this.

August was the harbinger of good news.
He had been transferred.
To New York.

September made us wait with bated breath.
The visas were expected.
They didn’t come.
They needed to be filed in a different category.

October brought much work.
Refiling the application.
This time, we were rewarded with a shiny page on the passport.
Permission to enter the United States!

November saw planning.
Lists of things.
To buy, to sell, to send, to give, to discard.

December – the day was soon arriving.
Packing, packing and more packing!
Some shopping.

When the day finally came, New York was experiencing a snow apocalypse.
Phone calls, emails & canceled flights deflated our enthusiasm.
Some more phone calls and emails later, we were on our way.
Farewells were exchanged with friends & family.

December 30th – 11:35 am Eastern Time. New York greeted us with a sunny smile.


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The end of a challenge!

The end of this academic year has finally come!
And it feels good to have pulled it off. I thought it would be easy. Besides, everyone who heard about it felt it would be so nice to go back and so much fun. Well, it wasn’t. This was a difficult year in many ways than I could imagine. Apart from a full-time course & no work (which therefore = No Pay) it was demanding. It was VERY demanding.

A very dramatic start with entering National College first and then finally securing the last available seat in my alma mater – Mithibai College… the road was rocky already. My Vice-Principal whom I quite like personally but hated as the HOD of Psychology made it her personal goal to pick on me. And as luck would have it, even though I’d make sure it wasn’t her lecture on the day I chose to bunk, she’d land up and ask specifically for me.

When you have teachers and the HOD expecting so much out of you and expressing it by behaving like they are hungry for your blood, waiting for the smallest error you make & talk of it as if it were unforgivable – Now that, is not fun! Trust me!

Keeping aside the cribbing, coming to terms with the fact that I was going to study with students 5 years junior was easy. But coming to terms with the fact that I’d learn from teachers my age (some who knew far lesser than students) was NOT.

To summarize my year’s activities I…

  1. Wrote 2 journals (= 500 pages worth 15 marks) that almost gave me a slip disk.
  2. Conducted one research project that took the life out of me!
  3. Mugged like my life depended on it.
  4. Shivered while giving instructions to my subjects (A shocker, considering I’ve given lectures and workshops to a crowd of 350 plus)
  5. Had study sleepovers. (they’re always fun)
  6. Lied to my vice-principal and took a trip to Singapore and Bali. (tee hee hee)
  7. Took an overnite trip (minus the hubby = not easy)
  8. Lived in a 5×5 feet tent with 3 other girls
  9. Visited a mental hospital
  10. Talked to schizophrenics, addicts & other people suffering from mental disorders.
  11. Enjoyed the view of the sky from the top of a hill at midnight.
  12. Sang wonderful songs to the tune of a guitar while sitting around a bonfire.
  13. Swam in a lake (after a few banana boat rides)
  14. Shot a hat-trick (after learning how to shoot with a VERY heavy rifle gun)
  15. Made one friend for life!

Now that the university exams are finally over, I’ve done everything that was in my control to do well in this year. Eagerly awaiting results and safely assuming I’ll pass, I’m basking in the warmth of the knowledge that I’ve stayed true to my quirkiness with this double graduation.

A soon approaching birthday (May 29) reminds me I’ve grown a whole year – in age, knowledge & wisdom. All in all, I gained more than I lost. A good year! I hope that what lies ahead is as delightful as what lies behind.

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