Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
When I went to Pittsburgh, I had with “Interpreter of Maladies” which made my travel pleasant and enduring (not to mention that I was darn well excited about meeting the qurious quester more than a year later).
I like her books, because they are a collection of short stories and not novels with a plot.
I like her books, because she talks primarily about people in Boston and mostly about those you came from Calcutta and about those who had a short stay in London. And what else could I relate to more, this year.
She writes with a plot simply and characteristic. She writes of second generation Indian Americans. She writes up people trying to grasp anything they can grab that reminds them of their far away lands. She writes about women and she writes about men and she writes about parents and she writes about children. And the young, the old and the middle aged. She writes about love, duty, responsibility, helplessness, need for community and compassion.
She writes about the lives of people.
And she writes beautifully.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
I fell in love with Bombay in 3 weeks, London in 4 weeks and New York in 3 weekends and half a week.
I came back from London all romantic about it which wore off in time but I do still like the city a lot. I am currently still romantic about New York and will have to wait and watch if it will wear off. Boston is cute and nice and peaceful which I like but not at the moment designed for me. But Bombay …
My heart leaps up every time I am to land/take off from Bombay at night time. I love it when I am landing in Boston during the day when you feel you are landing on water and just when you thought you would, the runway appears out of nowhere. No such airport stories about London and NY looks nice during the day with the Atlantic and everything but not half as wow-ing.
Inspiring! That’s the word for NY though. London shows you memories of empires that stood through thick and thin for generations together. New York shows you empires that were built from scratch over a single lifetime. Bombay shows me (don’t know about you), the empires to be built. Bombay shows me dreams.
In Dec 2007, not so long ago, I thought that I would be honored to work in Nariman a few years from then and that was my dream! This summer, it did come true even if it’s for a few weeks. Now I need a new dream and it looks like I have one!
My last few days spent in New York were fun, fast and fascinating.
I ceased being a tourist and then, I fell in love with New York; its city lights, noisy crowds, dirty streets, obnoxious people and vibrant environment.
Walked on the chilly streets of Manhattan, stared at the high rise empires built from scratch for inspiration, visited a Vegan restaurant, saw a few upper end (read, out-of-my-league) cars in real life, stopped by at Hoboken to view NY on the left and NJ on the right over the Hudson, drove past Edison Township, made more friends, submitted a final paper due for a course at Simmons, all in the middle of a ticket fiasco.
On Wednesday morning, I left to the airport (without a ticket). A few airlines, few counters and few explanations later I got my ticket and hung around a bit before I got on my 14 hour flight to Delhi. On reaching Delhi, my India phone began to work and I had to make two phone calls and send two emails to let people know that I arrived safely (mind you, I had to notify all of them just before I sat on the plane too). I spent the next 20 hours with less than 5 sentences off my mouth before I landed safe and sound and with a stamp on my visa, in Hyderabad.
Home. Sweet, Home.
Psst: Here ends 'Exchange Dairies' and is my 500th post!!!
Update: This also happens to be my 100th post of my 5th year in Blogging :)
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
- Introduction to Telugu: language and alphabet (2 classes)
- Incredible India: a crash course on Indian culture (2 classes)
- Blog Your Way: Blogging 101 (1 class)
- Airport like security
- The freezing view from Empire State
- The soft flooring in the kids zone at Central Park. So that kids who fall don't get hurt. It was like styrofoam or something. It was absolutely awesome.
- Big Big Bubble; at Central Park, there was this guy who had a bucket of soapy water and two sticks connected by a loop of string. So you could make like insanely lasrge bubbles, the size I have never seen before.
- Lego store, Lego land was mindblowing. I could spend like days if I get locked up in Lego land!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
- Unaccustomed Earth
- Interpreter of Maladies
- Breathless in Bombay (when I finish)
- My Sister's Keeper (already blogged on another site)
- NY I Love You (But I think I'll get a different perspective after going to NY this weekend :P )
- The Day I Became a Woman
- Tum Milo To Sahi
- Veronica Mars (it's actually a series)
- Like Boston and NY have a lot of rats
- Like I am not worried about traveling by T after dark anymore because it gets dark by 4.30 now
- Like how the fact that i finally know what day light savings is and how freaked out I got about it :P
- Like how I had a discussion with a blogger who believes I am a different "type" and the weekend awakening conversation was not expected out of me and how I reacted very violently to it. (ah well, may be I won't blog about it).
- Like how I called my long lost friend yesterday and felt great talking to her (we have been on fb for a while).
- Like how I called my long lost friend today and was hesitant to tell her who I was.
- Like how I made three new friends out of acquaintances.
- Like how I realize I only have a month left and lots and lots and lots of stuff left to do!
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
"You'll find it very different.""Excuse me?""Once you have been here, India will be very different.""Different?""It won't be like this. Once you get used to this, it's so, so different.""I like it back home!" (stone faced)
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
My nica friend (ivo) and I made friends with this guy we met through our friend from college when we to the beach. He is doing his PhD in elec (will be done soon) at Harvard Faculty of Arts and Science! So we asked him for a tour and he agreed. But we are all busy people. Busy. Busy.
So we finally made it on Thursday (which also happens to be ivo's birthday!!!)
We were late by an hour before we turned up at Harvard T stop. And then our tour began when we started walking through the Harvard Yard where all the dorms were. There was this old building (massachuesettes hall) that is out of use and then there was the first dorm to have flowing water (before which people had to use the handpump in the yard).
And then were was a statue. The plaque says "John Harvard, founder, 1638". But actually it is not John Harvard and it some early grad and John Harvard was a benefactor and not a founder and it was founded in 1636. So! The statue is called (nicked) the statue of three lies.
Then, we went to the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library built by Eleanor Elkins Widener (Harry's mother) in his memory after he died on the Titanic! It was beautiful! It had stuff about Titanic and this grad student Harry.
Then we went to Memorial Church for the alumnae and students of Harvard who gave their lives in WW I & II.
We saw the Sever Hall, and this one has an awesome thing about it. At the entrance, the archway, it was acoustically designed such that if you stand to the one side and whisper you would be heard brilliantly clear and amplified on the other side (Which is just a few feet away, yet) it is AWESOME!
We took a look at the theatre but could not go inside since rehearsals were on, and we also saw a couple more buildings.
We were then joined by our friend and went to the Harvard Business School. But since we did not know anyone there, we jsut walked around the campus, peeped into the library, sat out in the lawns and had cookies and cupcake.
And then we went to this little cafe (the name I will find out) which is famous for it's hot chocolate. When we walked in and were waiting for a table, we saw a famour string theorist Lisa Randall. We got her table and enjoyed hot dark chocolate!
PS: I know my post looks like a wiki page :P
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Four Stanzas. Each Stanza Has Four Lines. Each Stanza Begins – “I am from…”
Fourth Stanza: Friends
And here is mine (since it's not really a poem, I did not put it in my poetry blog):
I am from the rainbows lair
Of bright and bold sprinkled everywhere
A billion throng loud with laughter
Rain soaked earth with a mixed mutter
I am from the land of spices
Pickles and masala chai form our vices
A spread of color on your plate
A spread of tastes for your palate
I am from a culture rich of hyperbole
Praise less subtle in humor relay
Of theatre and politics bearing the name
For the games that they play all the same
I am from a circle of trust
Differences lie only on the crust
Share a laugh about the bad times
Share it till everyone joins and rhymes
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
But I attended a little bit of the Opening Our Doors by The Fenway Alliance (of which my school is a part). I wanted to do a lot of things, like listening to music concerts or look through art galleries or watch some short films or some plays. But I didn't do most of it.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
We went to the popular Pittsburgh Sri Venkateswara Temple. It was beautiful. We had traditional South Indian food and filter coffee as well.
We then went to a Catholic Church. And then to a Catholic Cathedral where I paid respects to a good friend who passed away a few weeks ago.
We then went to a Scare House and got really really scared!
Then we made our way to Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh modelled after the legendary Hofbrauhaus in Munchen (and not Munich). There was also a man dressed in Bavarian clothes who played nice Bavarian music who looked to me like a German version of Santa Claus.
A lot for a single day!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
The funny guy in school
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
While I was enjoying the beauty of the rain at JFK, I did not realize bad weather meant flight delays. I did for a fraction of a second wonder how the flight would take off but did not spend much time on it. I should have. My flight got cancelled.
I was stranded in JFK with no phone, no wifi, no flight on my first trip to the USA.
I tried to get on the next flight but only ended up sending my luggage to Boston. I tried to get on the next one but it got even more delayed.
All this while I was in touch with the world through a pay phone to my sister who was in touch with the rest of the world for me. Luckily I ran into an old friend from IIT who was also waiting at JFK for her flight to Ohio. At least I was then reachable.
Finally, I left the airport, left my confirmed ticket for a flight that is to take take of late at night and reached a family friends’ place. It was a pleasant feeling to stop worrying. We had dinner and I got a phone and slept like a baby till the next morning with no jet lag what so ever. The airlines said they would keep the luggage for 5 days if required. I woke up the next morning to a heavy breakfast and a rainy day. Then ran up to the bus stop and took this bus to Boston which would reach in about 45 minutes to Boston.
I do not want to say with finality that my adventure is over as yet.
Funny, I had never had to wait for more than 3 hrs at any railway station in India as far as I could remember.
Perceptions! They are so important. If I had read ‘Keep Off the Grass’ at any other point of time in my life I might not have appreciated it as much. It would have seemed to me like any other of those IIT or IIM books written by people from IIT or IIM leveraging the ‘mediocrity’ and praising it like almighty because mediocrity is ‘considered’ a sin at these places when they attended it. It’s funny that they pass out of these institutes and publish a book that contains nothing but stories of how crazy students can be or how crazy the system is or how it pushes people to commit suicide or how people drink, smoke, stone and waster their lives and literally do anything and everything to strip the institute of all its glory and yet this book will sell only because it is written by the guy/girl who passed out of those portals in the first place.
But then I don’t know because this book is genuinely not about the life and times of students in IIMs or about some love story in the times of cat and jee or about a bunch of three idiots who do random stuff and the smart one still aces the course.
It is about three men. I say men because they are no longer little boys. They have all spent quite a bit of their life alone deciding what to do and what not to do and have consciously taken up the choice of the pursuit of an IIM degree.
Vinod: the ex army chap who was awarded the Veer Chakra for fighting for the country at Kargil and is pleasantly comfortable with his mediocrity in class.
Sarkar: the IIT grad who is perennially stoned, hardly pays attention in class and yet can answer any damn question when cold called but gives two line answers to essay questions in OB.
Samrat: our American born confused desi and protagonist who leaves his high paying investment bank in Wall Street earned by topping at Yale for an international MBA only to discover that topping at an IIM is not that easy.
But this is not a story of how to survive a b-school without killing yourself. It is not about “what not to do at an IIM”. It is a journey of self discovery. Though not written as profoundly as Paulo Coelho, it is nearly the same. At least it meant the same to me. It gave me the same light hearted feeling or not being the only confused one and not being the only one with a million questions and no answers and believing in ‘feeling’.
It’s about the stoner topper who passes out as the 100th because in real life you can’t stay on the top if you don’t care as much.
It’s about the confused soul who leaves his millionaire path of an iBanker at Wall Street and finds contentment in selling soap to a woman whose life is all about her husband and children on the ghats of Benaras.
It’s about an ex-army man who prefers the dusty roads and crowded local trains of Mumbai to the luxuries of a country whose soil he can’t feel for.
It is about belonging somewhere, anywhere.