America, Black and White, college, life, life lessons

Stories

My workload for this semester is pretty hectic. A few months back all I used to do was watch terrible TV shows. But now, I do not have time for such things (sob). One of the projects we are doing requires us to interview patients with a terminal or chronic disease. So yesterday at 9 AM I found myself chatting with a fifty year old man – M who has been HIV+ for twenty one years.

We spoke about our project and about different support groups for people with HIV for a good hour. Slowly he started opening up and telling us his story. As he told us his story of how he found out about the infection, how seemingly dark his days seemed, how he came out of that depression, decided to take matters in his hands and help the HIV community, my life and my problems felt so pointless.

He talked a lot about forgiveness and letting go. All I could do was list the times I’ve been hurt and brood on it. He said the more you keep that hurt in your heart, the heavier your journey becomes. If you want to feel light, just say I forgive, wish the person the best and let go.

Next to M, my problems seemed so fickle. I am such a procrastinator. Every time I’m given a task I sit on it for a while before I get to it. I don’t know why I do that but I just do. M said he never leaves anything for the next day, because he never knows if he will get to live it. And then I realized the only difference between M and me is that although we are both going to die eventually, he knows that his time is, possibly, closer than mine. Shouldn’t I live the same way then? I am alive today but I don’t know what my tomorrow brings so why do I keep putting things away? This whole interview might have been for a school project but it made me look deeper in to my life.

I love listening to peoples stories. Because once I hear something as heartbreaking as this, I realize that my story is just a tiny speck in this universe. People go through so much, and most of the things I take for granted are of extreme importance in their lives. This helps me reevaluate mine and see things from a better perspective.

And maybe this passing of knowledge is one of the purposes of life.

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America, Eating Out, Food, life, life lessons

Twenty four

Yesterday I turned twenty four. A year older. A year wiser? I surely hope so. I want to feel wiser and smarter but its taking me baby steps to get there. Year after year I try to work on how I present myself. I try to be a good person to others. But I forget to work on me. And me has been needing a lot of “me” time lately. For a long time I’ve struggled with the person I am. I was confused about what was expected of me. I was continuously pleasing people around me, ignoring what I wanted. By the time I could get that idea out of my head it had become a habit that was hard to shake off.

Now I am trying my hardest to take the reins of my life in my own hands. And I want to ride fast and strong. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want that number to tell me what I’m supposed to do right now. 

Here’s to a positive year with nothing but happiness and sunshine, something I need a lot of in my life right now.

***

I declare October first Annual Cheesecake Day. Every year on my birthday I intend to eat a slice of cheesecake. Last year it was a Godiva chocolate cheesecake. This year – dulce de leche cheesecake with almonds and crunchy caramel bits. It was beauty in a take out box.

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America, Food, life, Marriage

How I Make Dinner

My experiences in grocery shopping was limited to driving my mother to the store and later, pushing around the cart while she did the shopping. After moving out (and being married) I have to do my own grocery shopping. Living in the Bay Area it isn’t hard to find an Indian store. You’ve just got to follow the saree clad Aunty and she will lead you right to it.

I love the store we go to. They always play old Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi songs. My mum listens to these songs endlessly when she cooks. So now every time I’m at the store I feel like she is next to me shouting at me for picking up the wrong tomato . The only veggies I know how to make reasonably enough are okra and potato, and the staple of any Indian kitchen onions and tomatoes. So I made them for a few weeks oblivious to the fact that there were other vegetables in the world.

One fine day we were sick of okra and potatoes. Jay was being spontaneous and picked out a random vegetable. We didn’t know what it was called. So we did a Google image search (thanks technology!) and found that it was Bottle Gourd. Another Google search later we figured out what we could do with it. And thus lunch was made.

As a novice in the kitchen, I would be right where I started if it wasn’t for technology. But I have now surpassed my own expectations. While I’m not yet a wizard in the kitchen, I can cook a tasty meal to survive. I have to give credit where credit is due and I thank all the amazing food bloggers who help me make dinner. If it weren’t for you, this household would just be a Maggi fest all day everyday. So thank you Nags from cookingandme, The Pioneer Woman and Haathi from Hungry and Excited for doing what you do.

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The Wedding Philosopher

Rule # 4

You will look at the familiar and cry. The thought of moving on to new territories will terrify you. The unfamiliar will seem like a hurdle too big to cross. When you reach this point you will start to reevaluate your decisions and will arrive at the chance you took. The chance you took listening to your heart. And you will pray with every breath of your being that this will be worth it.
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The Wedding Philosopher

Rule # 2

Every bride needs to be able to differentiate between her dreams and reality. It is very important to have a firm grip on reality and not live in the clouds. She needs to know that what her mind’s eye visualizes and what her real eyes see are two entirely different things. She might have an image of a pinkish, peachish dress but what she sees is a pinkish, coralish dress. It may not work in the wedding of her imagination but it has to in the wedding of her reality. So she has to learn to make do and not be a fusspot about it because, let’s be serious, nobody likes a fusspot.
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The Wedding Philosopher

Rule #1

The first thing you need to know while planning your wedding is that the wedding is not about you. When a friend told me this few months back I laughed it off. Now, I’m experiencing it. There are a hundred and one things to be taken care of, and a million and one people to please. What you really want is out of the question. I know it sounds drastically unromantic. But it is what it is. The sooner you get your head around it the lesser is the heartbreak.
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