Friday, December 23, 2011

Henna for the Broken-Hearted by Sharell Cook

Why is Life so mysterious? Why does it always put you through challenges that you don’t wish to face? What all is there in the magical box of Life for you? I am sure we all have come across these questions at some or the other point of time in life and the feeling of being so alone and so helpless just makes us insane. They say, “Those who find the answers to these questions, gets enlightened and find peace in Life but those who don’t, keep wandering in the infinite darkness with a hope that one day they will find the meaning of their existence and the cause of being there”.

I wonder what would be the percentage of people who find or at least come close to the truth or is it that people just compromise to adjust with their life and believe that they have peace. The philosophical stats say that most of us compromise to the situations and accept what comes their way because that’s the easiest way to stay sane and be contended. Those who fall in the minority group are the ones who go in extremes. Some make to the top and some keep struggling. The truth is no matter which band you and I fall into, we never get satisfied and contended but definitely people who compromise are less aggressive and more satisfied than the rest. Which side should we choose and why should we choose?

I have been wandering for very long time now and seems like it would take few more eons for me to find or even reach close to my answers. I have seen ups and downs just like others so nothing new and most of the time I’ve fought valiantly and made to the better side of life. No complaints about anything. Yet there is something that sucks every bit of joy and pleasure out of me and breaks me apart in unfathomable number of pieces. I may be in the most happening parties, around amazingly charming people, amongst glamorous and worldly pleasures, yet just a thought of something will take me out of everything and everywhere leaving me alone in the isolation and then I wonder what’s going on. Where did I go wrong or was it destined and I am to suppose to go through all this.
It’s funny, what I want in my life, I never get it and every time I don’t want something, it comes to me. I wonder how but I somehow manage to handle those hurdles with an exception of some that probably have started liking me and have found fascination in being with me so they just don’t want to leave and here I am cribbing about them. It was a coincidence that one day my brother told me about this blog Diary of a White Indian Housewife and I just browsed it. Since then I have been glued to it and have just fallen in love with the Author “Sharell Cook”. Love not as in Love Love but love as in respect and interest. I once heard that it is not in the vocabulary that you use but the simplicity in the words that keeps your readers happy and wanting more and I must say it is true. Sharell has that talent of being simple yet strong with her writing and that could be easily seen from her fan following and the count of comments even for a simple post that talks about “Jhadoo” (broomstick). In my opinion a person with such a charisma must get recognition and I am glad that Sharell just did that by writing her first book “Henna for the Broken-Hearted”.

I am not a big reader but I do read selective books. I always imagined myself writing about my life some day but never could come up with a plan to bring everything in one single place but when I read this book,I cried. Yes, you read it right, I cried. I started this book in my flight to India and after 4 pages, my heart grew heavy and eyes wet but the best part about the book is that you cry for 2 lines and then the 3rd line brings a sweet smile on your face. I was so embarrassed that someone could catch me crying but fortunately the location of my seat was so perfect that I could so bat my ease. I am sure that there are millions of books out there written by many great and intense writers which can make me weep for probably hours and hours but something touched my heart in this book. Sharell has beautifully woven many of her latter life incidences and events and I could easily relate them to my life over last few years. It is sad that we suffer pain and go through so many things, some caused by ourselves and some caused by others but the truth is life is inevitable and so are the elements and events of Life. You cry or laugh, regret or appreciate, suffer or enjoy, you have to live it and live it long. There are some things in life that you cannot let go, just can’t and they will haunt you forever but what I have learned from life so far is that I would always continue moving no matter what and I would give a little credit to Sharell for the same because when I read her book and saw around me, my pain felt like a grain of sand in a vast desert and that helped me carry a smile again.Though there are still things in life that will never change and will always hold me back and haunt me but I would always keep my chin up for what I chose to do in Life.

If you want to believe in something and are feeling low, read the book. It might help you in many aspects.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unexpected Adventures

What a morning it was today. I don't know should I say Adventurous or Funny but was quite something. As usual after completing my morning chores, I walked down my apartment building for office and had my car keys and small trash bag in my hand. It was 30 Degree Fahrenheit (-0.5 Degree C approx) outside and as usual I was lightly dressed with a thin inner and a hoodie sweater. Bag on one shoulder, phone next to my ears talking to mom and another hand holding the car keys and trash bag. As I approached the trash bin area under my building, I noticed that it wasn't a good idea to go close and better throw the trash bag inside from distance so I did exactly the same. Who knew what would happen next. My car keys got stuck in the trash bag handle and went along with it.

Oh Shit!!!!, you're right, that was the 1st thing that came out of my mouth but softly so my mom didn't hear it. "Mom, I'll call you in a while. I threw my car keys in trash" and hung up the phone.

Damn it man, this is not happening. Had no choice but to walk close to the trash bin and peek inside to see what the damage is. Luckily the trash bin was emptied by the Municipal/Community Department yesterday and luckily no one actually trashed their trash so it was all empty. I stared at my keys for couple of minutes and then thought how to take them out. One option was to grab some stick or something long enough to grab it and get it out and the 2nd option was to get messy and jump inside and work out. Yikes, definitely didn't want to do the 2nd way.

Well, I walked back to my apartment, grabbed my 2nd pair of keys just in case and grabbed my golf umbrella. That was the only nearest long and pointed thing I had in my home to be of some use. As I walked down, I thought again and wished that this umbrella does the trick or else it's gonna be a 2nd shower of the morning and an embarrassment if someone finds me out inside a trash bin LOL.

Anyways, I was at the edge of the trash bin and showed my umbrella down inside and tried to hook it up somehow inside the keychain and after various unsuccessful attempts, finally I managed to take it out. Cleaned my keys with tissue and washed my hands and sprayed a lot of Deo on myself and applied some sanitizer and finally made to the office.

OMG, what a way to start the day. Let's see what else has to happen rest of the day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tonsuring a.k.a. Mundan

For few months I have been going through various religions and trying to understand their beliefs and philosophies and it has been quite a learning and eye opening journey so far. One of my latest researching revolved around Tonsuring (shaving off head completely).

I was amongst family and friends last month in India and it was a very special trip for me and my brother (read my previous post if curious to know why it was so special). One of the reasons was this old Indian tradition of Tonsuring. My younger nephew was due for this ritual so everyone in the family was excited about it.

Usually kids cry a lot when Tonsuring is done and I remember when my elder nephew had his, he cried like hell and I was so scared that I even at one point of time asked the priest to stop and take him to a Salon to get head shaved with electric machine but couldn't have done that, could I? Tradition is tradition and I don't dare to go against it. We went to our family temple in Rajasthan for his Mundan. All males in our family have had their Mundan there and there's a book in that temple in which there is a record of every member by date, day, name, father's name and family name.

(Kesriyaji in Rajasthan, India)

But for my younger nephew we went to Hardwar where my grandfather was trusty in the new Jain temple when he was alive and it was very close to his heart. Now my father attends the trusties meetings as just a member of the group but not a trusty.

 (Chintamani Parshvanath Jain Temple - Hardwar, India)

My younger nephew had a gala time with his Mundan because he didn't had to go through the torture of manual machine, courtesy me who specifically asked for an electric machine for him and he got a VIP attention in the temple by the whole management and staff.

 (Swastika on head made by sandalwood paste)

After my nephew's head was shaved, I was curious to know what is the reason for this ritual and why is it so important to do it. I asked my parents and they answered quite close to what I learned afterwards from my readings. I was lucky to have stumped through couple of articles and old documentations that explained me this old mystical tradition.

It's funny that many religions do the same ritual and they do at different times for almost similar reasons. In Hindus, Tonsuring or Mundan as Indians know, is a ritual performed on boys either when they turn 1 or 3. The belief is that shaving off the head at a Holy premise or shine by a priest or under proper guidance and per tradition, takes off all the negative thoughts and sins of the past life of the baby. After the head is shaved, baby is given a head shower by holy water (similar to Baptism in Christians) and then taken in front of God's idol in a temple to get his blessings. Not in all Hindus but some sects, the tradition is that baby's aunt (paternal aunt) gets the baby's hair tied in a red or saffron colored cloth and then she disposes them off in a Holy river. I haven't found the reason for this custom yet but this is something not everyone does.

There are various other beliefs too behind Mundan like some believes that this ritual protects the baby from evil spirits, one theory brings in some sort of scientific logic saying that the process is done at or around the age of 1 when babies start have teething and Tonsuring process helps in easing that out (I don't get it how a hair cut could relieve the teething pain) and then there is another theory that says that since it is the 1st hair cut to the scalp level, it helps in better blood circulation as it gives a massage to baby's soft head.

Anyways, whatever the belief is, this is a ritual commonly performed worldwide. In Roman Catholics, Buddhism and Jainism, the same process is done amongst adults when they become monks. Tonsuring is also performed amongst various Hindu sects at the time of father's death. Amongst Muslims, it is done (don't know if all do or not these days) when men completes Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Isn't it funny that all religions at the core talk about the same thing and believes in almost the same teachings, yet they are so apart from each other.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dilli Paneeri

After living in Delhi for 17 years, I realized that the only best title that can be given to Delhi in regards to food is "Dilli Paneeri". Delhi has always been known for its delicious and high caloric food. Daal Makhani, Butter Naan, Makki ki Roti Sarso ka Saag, Chole Bhatoore, Aaloo Poori, Paneer Tikka, etc. are some of the top menu items that one will always find in any restaurant and Dhaba.

One of my cousins from Mumbai is so tempted by Delhi food especially the Chaats that he visits us only to enjoy the food. I will probably never forget his visit to Delhi this time because I was the one who was dragged to the Bazaars (Market) of Delhi every evening to munch and hog on the Chaats and Pakodas, Naans and Bhatooras, Daals and Sabzis and not to forget the giant glass of Fruit Beer.

Our trip to the local bazaar always scared me of the high possibility of stomach upset but at the same time, I didn't want to miss this chance of enjoying North Indian delicacies. What surprised me the most this time was that every single menu item at any restaurant was well equipped with Paneer (cottage cheese). Even a simple dish like Daal (lentils) will have fine chopped Paneer as dressing.

Pakodas will be stuffed with a slice of Paneer, a menu of 20 items would have at least 10 items with Paneer in it, Naans and Rotis (Indian breads) will have crushed Paneer stuffed in. You name a dish and you can customize it with Paneer, this is what Delhi restaurants are today.

Meal without Paneer is probably not a complete meal as if Paneer is the salad for the modern Delhi. I was just getting used to this new meal structure when I was hit by another shock. Delhi is not the only city that is hit by Paneeria (imaginary disease of Paneer like Malaria) but all of the North India is under the clutches of Paneer.

It is so amazing to see how people can be so innovative and creative with vegetables and vegetables substitutes, Paneer being one of the many options, and people on the other side of the globe wonder, "what do you vegetarians have to eat if you don't eat Stake, Chicken, Meat"?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Special Day - Deepawali

Deepawali (Festival of Lights) has a special meaning in the hearts of every Indian. For Hindus, it is the day when Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, for Jains, it is the day when the last Jain Tirthankara (24th), Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana or Moksha and for the rest of the mass, it is a day of spiritual awareness and enlightenment when prayers are done for Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of money) and Lord Ganesha (God of Blessings and Good Luck). For the new generation, it is a day of celebration when they engage themselves in activities like playing cards, drinking alcohol, partying with friends and family and enjoying fireworks.

2011 Deepawali became a memorable day for our family. We all were under the same roof after 10 longs years to celebrate this auspicious day. Ladies decorated the house with oil filled clay lamps, flowers and garlands, made delicious sweets, dressed up in traditional dresses like sarees and lehanga, gold jewellery, kids had fun with crackers and fireworks, elders performed rituals and prayers in old forgotten traditional ways, taught and explained the little ones what each ritual meant and why ancestors did them and then everyone filled their tummies with delicious authentic Indian food.

This day will be remembered by all for years and years to come. Here are some of the pictures that I managed to capture with my small lenses.

(Lord Ganesha)
(Clay Lamps)

(Pooja Thali/Tray)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Journey of an Apple from Newton to Steve Jobs


Once in decades we come across people who bring change in the World by turning their imagination to tangible reality. One such "Sifu" (master) was Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs, The Father of "i" World.

During 1660s, a great scientist, Sir Issac Newton, gave an Apple and the theory of Gravity from it (explained what it is) to the World and after 340 years another great man gave an Apple to the World and brought change with innovation and imagination and made a small alphabet "i" a Keynote in millions of lives.

October 5, 2011, will always be remembered as the day when the journey of a great Visionary ended who not only envisioned for a super tech user friendly world but made it possible. Starting a company from a garage and building an empire is a talent which very few people are blessed with. At times I give credit to Luck and Destiny for such achievements and success but it would be unjust to say that people who earn it, earned in fluke because they were lucky. Hard work, dedication, commitment and vision surpass Luck and Destiny by miles for those who strive and are worth every penny of the success. Steve Jobs was one such soul who proved that if you have passion, dedication and desire for your dreams, you would definitely achieve it one day.

Who would have thought about a phone that would change the meaning of telecommunication, a smart display device that would change the way people interact with others, a device so powerful that it would make a person richer than the Country's Treasury and so powerful that everyone around would want to compete and prove. There are hardly few people who belong to such strong category and Steve Jobs joined the Hall of Fame in his short journey of 56 years.

Salute to the Visionary who brought a change. Rest in Peace Sir Steve Jobs.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Then & Now - Food take out

It just feels like yesterday when I went to a takeout eating joint for the first time in US and the person on the other side and I were absolutely bemused by the questions flowing from both sides.

Server: What would you like to have Sir?
Me: Hmmm, what do you have in Vegetarian?

Server: We have number 6, 8 and 10 in vegetarian and if you want I can make number 9 vegetarian too.
Me: Hmmm, let me think for a second (for about 20 seconds I tried to figure out what does she mean by numbers. Then I found the numbers next to each menu item hanging on the wall behind the server). I looked behind and there was a huge line so I let the person behind me take my place. Excuse me, go ahead, I think I might need to think (server looking at me and smiling. I don't know if she was smiling because she is supposed to on job with customers or she was smiling on my ignorance and being "Non American").

...I let 2 more people move ahead in the queue...

Server: So, decided?
Me: Yes, I think so. I will go with number 6. What's the dressing with number 6?

Server: It would be Italian Vinaigrette.
Me: (Thinking what the hell it is) Could you replace that with mayonnaise and mustard and light cheese?

Server: Sure. Would you like any extra toppings?
Me: Hmm, what's spicy?

Server: We have Jalapeno and Giardiniera
Me: (I know what Jalapeno is but what was this new thing that I couldn't even speak clearly). Which one is the 2nd one?

Server: Smiling at me and pointing her finger to the last bucket filled with some sort of mixture that looked hot.
Me: I'll have that (still can't say the name)

Server: Will it be a combo?
Me: What's a combo?

Server: You get a packet of chips and small drink.
Me: I'll be fine with just the sandwich.

Cashier: It would be four fifty.
Me: I handed over the card

Cashier: Credit or Debit?
Me: Credit.

Cashier: Thanks and Have a nice day.
Me: I sat down and started to eat my sandwich when I found that despite the fact that I asked her to add light cheese, the sandwich had lot of it.

Over the years, I learned that with Americans you have to be very clear and use the words they usually understand. Like instead of saying "light cheese", you should rather say "easy cheese or easy on cheese", instead of saying "water without ice" you should say "water no ice".

Present Day...

I walk in the restaurant/take out place, the server sees me and I walk straight to the cashier. I make the payment and I am done in just a couple of minutes. Over these 4 years, they have known me so well that I don’t have to even tell them what I need for my meal. They know that this guy is a vegetarian and orders the same thing whenever he comes. Even if I am back in queue, at times I can just walk to the cashier and pay for my meal.

I fear what will happen if these numbers someday get changed with others. I would walk in and the server will make number 6 and I will pay at the cashier but when I will sit down and unpack my meal, number 6 would turn out to be Tuna sandwich and I will be screwed J But can’t blame anyone, can I?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trip to Wonderland

Last to last Saturday I was out shopping and preparing for my trip to "Ghar" (home) when I realized that the same day an year ago I was with one of my colleagues and his pregnant wife and were getting ready to head out for the Hospital for her delivery, and then I recalled that it was one of my best friend’s birthday as well back in homeland. So without any further delay, I took out my phone and dialed some numbers and connected to my friend in India and wished him Happy Birthday. In return I got some nice hollers as I was late in wishing him but as usual I was ready with my excuse. "Dude, it's still 18th here so for me it is still your B'Day :)" and we both laughed. It is really nice to have friends like him around when you just forget every pain in this world and feel satisfied.

I was so busy in talking with my friend that I didn't even realize that I parked my car in a strip mall (don't take me wrong, it is just a synonym people use here for local malls/shopping complexes and not a nude mall :) ) and was walking towards one of my favorite shops, . I must tell you if you still have that little kid inside you, this shop is a wonderland for you but a nightmare for your pocket. I may have grown old but am still a little kid in my heart and every time I am in this store, walking in the wheels aisle, my mouth is drooling, eyes circling and heart pumping to grab every single of those little and big wheelers and take them home. But the truth is that I am really a grown up person now and not a good candidate for these toys. But that little baby inside me kicks me so bad that I just can't resist and when I watch little kids sitting on the floor of these aisles and taking out every car, truck, scooter, bike, boat, airplane, etc. I just stand there and watch them playing. It's actually fun to watch these little kids and their parents following them ensuring that they don't break anything or tear apart the packing of any toy in excitement. I look back in my childhood and I can't recall if we had so many options with toys or varieties or lineups of characters and themes. Our days were pretty straight and simple with cars, balls, bats, bikes, scooters, etc. but nothing compared to today's toys like Disney Cars, Toy Story characters, Transformers gadgetry robo-trucks, etc. No wonder, why I get involved and lost in these stores.

One of the reasons my elder nephew is so crazy about wheel toys is me :). I can't recall a single trip to ToysRUs or any other baby store when I walked out empty hand. There was always a toy, car, truck, ball, sporting or some educational game. I think I am living my childhood through my nephews and buying them all these cute little toys and things and these things makes me feel happy and satisfied and honestly speaking, I enjoy buying for them and playing with them. I become a kid myself. It’s funny how we keep moving in circles the whole life and live every phase of it again but through our offspring.

For a change, this time when I walked out of the store, I had nothing for my little ones but I still had something for an year old baby, my colleague’s baby turned 1 this year and it was time for me to shop again for the little ones. Just few more months and I will be back in this store but this time I will be for my younger nephew who will turn 1 in December and would be perfect to be spoiled.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bidirectional aging

Sometimes I wonder what growing old means. Is it growing in age or in personality, taste or mentality, thoughts or actions. It is tough to say because all the above applies.

Apparently, in last 2 years of my life, I have seen myself growing old in front of mirror, watching my hair get gray, eyes dark and sunk and slowness in overall me. Surprisingly one fact that came out of me is that as I am getting old I feel like aging not only forward but backward too, as if every year added to life adds 5-6 years prior to my birth. My thinking is getting over matured, body ofcourse old, taste for things like music and lifestyle is stepping backward, I'm starting to get consumed by 60s and 70s which is way before my birth.

I wonder If I'm an old soul locked up in a new body who is finding it's way out or the so called Karma Chakra is bouncing back and forth oscillating my age meter in a bizzare way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moon shot

I was getting bored as usual at home and couldn't sleep so thought to go out for a quick drive and just as I drove out of my drive, I saw one of the most magnificent views ever. It was almost full moon, covered with a thin layer of cloud like silk and the chill in the air was like icing on the cake. I wish I had a better camera, a DSLR perhaps and I were a better photographer.

Anyways, I drove back immediately, parked my car, ran upstairs and got my tiny-miny point and shoot Canon camera and without any further delay clicked some pretty decent pictures. I must admit that standing outside wearing shorts and half t-shirt in 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius, unusually cold at this time of the month) is no fun but I can't miss this opportunity, can I? Couple of residents peeking out of their windows and trying to figure out who the hell is this guy and what is he doing so late in night, is he spying, trespassing or a thief? Trust me, I was as frightened as they might have been, but what I had to do, I had to do. Every time someone walked behind me, I turned back to see if that person was looking at me in suspicion or what. Thankfully, none of them objected me from what I was doing and simply walked away.

So here are some of the shots from a scintillating night.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fusion Karishma

It's been very long since I have experimented with my cooking and cooked something new and interesting. I thought to go out and have dinner at some nice place but didn't find any interesting restaurant around. So I ended up cooking this Fusion meal. As such the dish itself is not a fusion but all the things that made it a meal, made it Fusion and since it turned out fun, I called it Fusion Karishma. Thought to share this with you all if you want to try your hands on.

Tip - Bok choy is slightly spicy in taste, kind of mustard leaves so keep that in mind while cooking to have an idea as to how the dish would taste like.

2 fresh Bok Choys
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 inch thin slice of fresh ginger
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon salt
Pinch of red chilli powder
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 Indian egg plant (thin and long) (optional)

Wash and rinse Bok choys under cold tap water. Cut the bok choys in 2 parts separating leaves and white root. Cut the leaves in small pieces and root in small pieces and slices. Mince or fine chop garlic and ginger. If you want to add egg plant, cut that into small ring size pieces.

Add oil to a deep base pan and warm it for couple of minutes. Now add the minced garlic and ginger to the oil and cook till it turns light brown. Make sure it doesn't get burnt (dark brown). Add Bok choy roots to the pan as soon as garlic and ginger starts getting brown/golden. Mix bok choy roots well with oil and cook for about 4-6 minutes. Bok choy roots are hard so it takes around 4-5 minutes to get soften and brown. Once bok choy roots starts getting crisp and brown add sliced egg plant and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add the cut leaves to the pan and mix them well for about 1 minute. Add the pinch of red chilli powder and just a little more than a pinch of salt. Mix it well and cook for another minute. Now add Soy sauce and water to the pan and mix it well. Remember if Soy sauce contains more sodium, add less salt. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring every minute so that the bok choy roots gets mixed well with Soy sauce and gets the flavor.

Ginger garlic Bok Choy is now ready to be served with steamed rice.

I guess it would taste best with white rice.

Fusion Karishma:
To add the twist, I added fresh watermelon with a sprinkle of salt and crushed black pepper as a side to the dish

and served myself a cool Margarita.
Added 200 ml Sprite to 1 shot of Tequila and 2 shots of Margarita with 4 ice cubes and mixed it well.

Happy cooking

Destination Home

Until last night, that feeling of going back home was hiding somewhere deep inside and the curiosity and anxiety of meeting friends and family was kind of lost, but finally, the moment is closing in and I am starting to gear up for my upcoming trip to Home. I am still not on toes and way far away from that goose bump feeling but I’m sure it’s not too far now.

Last night I finally decided to start the process of my journey and prepared my list of “To Do things”. The first and foremost was to make travel reservations which luckily I made quite in advance by booking my to and fro tickets in the month of May. Second down the list which is by far the most important is to get set for the process of Immigration and Visa stamping. I must say, I never understood the process that USCIS has laid down for Immigrants. You apply for your work Visa, US government does all sorts of background checks and what not and then makes a decision of approving or rejection. The fun part comes now. You are in US and have been there for last 4 years and your work permit is renewed by the US government after all that investigation and background process and finally sends you the approval. But that is not enough. The government doesn’t renew your Visa stamp on the passport within the country. You must fly out of the country and get it stamped on your passport to be able to come back. You are still half way to the fun part. When you fly out to some country or say your home country and go to the US Embassy, they still hold rights to deny the stamping and that too without giving you any reason. This is absurd. US government has done all background checking and investigation and then came to the decision of approving your stay then why the heck Embassy in your or other country denies stamping. It stinks and hurt to the bottom of your butt when you are denied. Is it one of those nasty tricks by which US government attempts to make money or is one of those torturing techniques used to dishearten and demoralize innocent people, it is tough to conclude but two words for the whole thing is “it sucks”. Well anyways, no matter how much I crib and mock, the truth is I have to go through that pain striking experience this time. I was supposed to go through this last year at the same time but probably the US government had some different plans and so they took their own time processing my renewal process and forced me to cancel my reservations and travel plan. So last night, I spent an hour to fill up my Visa application form and trust me, I felt like back in school and college. Such a huge form and you have to fill in every single small minute detail like when you entered US, how long you stayed each time, which date you left, where you worked, who was your employer, who is your employer, etc. etc. etc. OMG was what came out my mouth at the end of the form. I still haven’t submitted it but would do so soon. The third most important task is to get my Visa appointment date and what a pain it is. I have to check 5 times a day to see if the dates I want are opened or not. If I miss a single day I am doomed and I might have to look for some other city which I kind of don’t want to but if that is what I would have to do, I will do it. Hopefully, I don’t miss on my date and get the job done smoothly.

This morning when I woke up, I realized that I don’t have much to do over the long weekend so why not to get going with the shopping and guess what, my credit cards started jumping out of my wallet. To start with, I headed to the nearest factory outlet and got myself a pair of jeans that would be worn for the next 365 days in and out of office and practically everywhere. I’m lucky to have such a cool office where I don’t have to be in formals every day. I used to dress up for quite some time when I joined but if the president of the company comes in jeans and shirt, why do you want to dress up right? Everyone knows me, I am a polar bear, I mean not literally, but yes, I love cold and I guess lucky to be living in Chicago where it snows for 4 months and winters last for good 5 months. 32 degree F (0 degree C) or below, doesn’t matter. Light clothes and maybe just a jacket or a sweater would do perfectly fine for me. I remember one instance from 2 years ago when my HR stopped me in the morning and said, AJ give me your home phone number. I need to call your mom and tell her that you are not wearing proper clothes to protect you from snow and cold and I laughed at her and said, go ahead and call my mother. She will not be surprised. So I bought couple of t-shirts for darn cheap price because Delhi weather in November, I guess would be perfect for short sleeves t-shirts or maybe a light sweat shirt. On the way back home, I realized what should I pick up for my friends and their better halves so stopped by a nice shop and did some cool shopping for the ladies. Still to do for the guys but what, I am confused. If I ask them, I know what’s gonna come my way, iPhone, Bose home theater system, gadgets or something similar and if I really get these things, I think, I am going bankrupt this year J just kidding. But I guess for guys, I would go out on hunting next or next to next week. There’s so much more to do and now I feel like hardly any time left although, I still have practically 2 months but the countdown has now begun.

One most important thing to be done is to legally make someone my beneficiary here which would be someone from my family of course for the worst case scenario if my visa stamping gets denied and I am not allowed to come back. If that happens then I will have to get my assets (I am saying assets as if I own a whole lot of money here) disposed of, lease to be closed, bank accounts to be closed and many more things for which I would need someone here who could do all this legally without any issues. Never thought, going back to home would be such a project.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crazy world, crazy me

I don't know what time it is, all I know is that I am alive. It's hard to understand what life wants from me, from us. Every time it throws something new and interesting it attaches a big baggage of burden, pain and sorrows with it. It has a very funny way of equating joys and sorrows. In the world we live, everything around us seems to be balanced by some or the other thing, there's sky to earth, fire to water, birth to death, hunger to food and love to hate but Life never seems to be balanced properly yet everyone believes it to be.

Everything around is so unexpected, unimaginable and so unpredictable. People say that's the thrill of life, that's what keeps a motion in us to keep moving. I wonder if that's the truth then why it all seems so complicated. I don't know if all this makes any sense or not but whatever it is, I am still alive and moving...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Marriage - An imposed affair or a consented decision

They say pairs are made in Heaven but they meet here on Earth. How true this is, I can't say but whatever it is, I am glad that there are people who achieve what they fight for in their life with commitment and determination. I salute to all those who have accomplished their dreams after a desperate struggle. As such I know many people around me who have struggled in their life for what they wanted and have accomplished their dreams in one or the other way but one of my most favorite cases is of my own friend or I should say friends who fought against all adverse situations and came out bright and shinning. Their story is just like any other romantic fairy tale.

Once upon a time there was a handsome, charming, smart and intelligent Hindu Prince who had everything in his life but was still unhappy because he was missing a part of his heart. One fine day when prince charming was riding to his college he saw a cute beautiful Muslim Princess. For once in his life he felt as if he found the missing part of his heart and it was beating to conjoin with her for eternity. Say it a coincidence or destiny, both prince charming and princess magnificent were in the same classes and just in a short time became friends. Life went on day by day, they became good and then best friends and then they came close enough to feel their hearts pumping to each other’s beats. They were finally in love. Everything around was blooming in bright colors, birds were chirping and singing the love hymns, Gods were happy and the Devils envy. It was heaven on Earth. Then came the day when unexpected happened. Princess was forced to get engaged to a distant known person in her family against her will. Everything around that once looked like heaven turned into hell and once again the happy going love story took a notorious turn. Things changed from this point onward for everyone related to the Prince and the Princess. Friends supported in all possible ways, sometimes to bring them together and other times to help them understand that what is destined will happen no matter what they do and how much they try. Good luck was once again jinxed by the shadow of the dark wills. Nothing was going right at either ends, tragedies and sorrows surmounted day by day and then one day Princess surrendered to the situation and agreed to do what her family wanted. On the other hand, Prince’s heart was shattered in thousands of pieces and just like any other normal person; he too lost his hope in life. But he was not ready and prepared to face this. He was determined and ready to give one more shot for his life. Both of them knew that there was a very slim chance of turning things their way but they had hope, determination, love and faith in each other so they tried one more time to talk to their families face to face and explain them and try to convince them. There were rifts initially from the prince’s side but everyone knew that the happiness of a family lies in the happiness of each member and parents are happy if their kids are. The other side (princess family) had a different point of view. They were not quite ready to welcome this ideology; the whole thing about a Hindu boy for a Muslim girl was scary for the family. Despite numerous attempts by the couple, princess’s family denied and rejected the proposal. Time was definitely not favoring the couple and situations were becoming worse day by day. The wedding day was nearing for the princess and there seemed no hope at all for either of them.

Friends and relatives were supportive and ready for any adversity at Prince’s side but the question remained, was the Princess ready? After going through adverse situations and tormenting time, Prince had to do something to be sure if he will walk with the princess for the rest of his life or not. So he decided to take the biggest step of his life, to rescue the princess from the clutches of society and rules and get married without the permission of the society. But he didn’t meant to disconnect from family and society, he just wanted to get married and convince the families that what they did is not wrong and they both as a couple can live happy and keep families intact and happy too. But like any Bollywood (Indian movie industry) drama, this love story too had twists. Princess backed off after hearing the idea of running away and be unfaithful to her family, go against society rules and bring shame on her family’s name especially when the wedding was just in few days. Yet her heart was not ready to do what people, society and family wanted, she wanted to do what was right for her, what her heart wanted. She was struggling within to make a decision to marry the guy chosen by her family and live an imposed life or the guy she chose and loved and live a free life. After couple of days of intense thinking and determination, Princess finally made the decision of going with her heart but with an aim that no matter what happens in life, they both will prove to the world that there is nothing wrong in loving and living with the person you want to and love sees no boundaries, no religion, no caste, color or creed. Finally, the plan was put in place and prince charming managed to rescue his princess and escaped to an unknown destination where no one can trace them back. Friends played an important role in organizing the logistics and getting the couple married in safe and secured environment. On July 7th 2009, the couple got married and became lawfully husband and wife and returned to their home with a hope that in time they will bring back everyone and everything back to normal and live as a big happy family. Eventually, families from both sides understood them and welcomed them as a couple, as a son and as a daughter and conjoined hands in peace and harmony. And, as all love stories ends, this happy couple too embraced each other for the eternity vowing to stand side by side in all good and bad times by getting married twice after the legal marriage as per each religion’s custom and norms.

I wonder when Indian society will come out of the taboo and stigma of not building inter religion relationships and accepting the fact that a boy and a girl can choose their own life partners and need not be pushed to marry someone who is chosen by the family. People are mature enough now to make their decisions and families should stand by their side for support and guidance but not to push, force and impose decisions against the will of individuals. People would debate for countless hours that statistics show that failure of love marriages is higher than arranged marriage and I for one time will not debate on this because there is no definite answer to this. Tell me of one married couple which has no issues, no fights and no drifts of any sort. Even arranged marriages fail, doesn’t matter if the failure rate is high or low, fact is they also fail. It is not about arranged or love, it is about the understanding and compatibility between couple. At least in case of love marriage, couple cannot blame anyone but themselves, but in an arranged marriage the entire family is as involved as the couple. Different countries, different cultures, different mentalities and different point of views, and yet life continues in all situations and circumstances.

All in all, I just pray good life for everyone and a very Happy Anniversary to my friends who are enjoying their special day somewhere today with no regrets.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another day of past

Sorry folks, but this time I will be writing in my own tongue, I guess I will be able to express myself better.

Hazaar koshishon ke bawjood bhi najaane kyon main mere ateet se door nahi ho pa raha hoon. Kisi na kisi baat aur kisi na kisi mod per zindagi firse mujhe usi chaurahe per laa khada kar deti hai jaha se main badi mushkilo ke baad aage bada hota hoon. Ya to ye meri kamzori hai ki main apne ateet se peecha chuda hi nahi pata, ya fir mera durbhagya ki main ateet ki chaya mein hi apne vartamaan aur bhavishya ko banane aur jeene ki koshish karta rehta hoon. Humesha sochta hoon ki peeche palat kar nahi dekhunga, guzare raasto ki taraf nahi paltunga per fir bhi koi na koi choti si baat ateet mein kheech hi leti hai aur vartamaan ko jhanjod kar rakh deti hai. Kya ye meri galti hai ki mera ateet taqleefo bhara hai ya ye ki meri zindagi mein log hi aise aaye jinhone meri shiddat aur sharafat ka najayaz fayda uthaya? kyon main hi humesha duniya ke samne jhukoo aur kyon main hi is samaaj ke banaye qaayde kanoon ke saamne ghutne tekoo? kya mujhe meri zindagi jeene ka adhikar nahi, ya meri ye zindagi samaaj ke banaye niyamo ki karzdaar hai jise jab chahe jo chahe jaise chahe ghuma sakta hai?

samaaj ke vipreet jake kuch karta hoon to samaaj ninda karta hai, samaaj ke anusaar kuch karta hoon to dil aur dimag jhanjhod daalte hain, main karoo to kya karoo? apno ki sunta hoon ya apno ke sukh aur khushi ki sochta hoon to khud se dhoka karta hoon aur chit ko dukh deta hoon, apne chit ke sukh ki karta hoon to apno ko dukh deta hoon, aakhir aisa samaaj banaya hi kyon humne jisme hum apni bhi na kar sake aur apno ki bhi na kar sake?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cheeburger Cheeburger

Living in a country pre dominantly ruled by meatarians (cousin of vegetarians) and on top of that living in a state which boasts to be the largest supplier of beef, there is hardly any choice for a vegetarian like me to go out and hunt for some nice veggie restaurants. But if I were to be a Vegan, I would perhaps find more options than a vegetarian would. Definitely this country lives in extremes.

Over the weekend, I was visiting my brother in Virginia and he and his wife planned to take me out for a meal to a newly opened restaurant called Cheeburger Cheeburger. A desi would probably make fun of the name as it sounds like "Chee" in Hindi meaning dirty and being a naughty desi I would have certainly said so (if I can think, I can say too) but for a change I opt not to make fun of it.

We had a mini family picnic at Harpers Ferry, a small old civil war historic site and a meeting point of 3 states borders, and then we drove back to home around noon. Little after lunch time we parked our car opposite to this restaurant in a strip mall and walked straight in. We were hungry :-). We were the only desi folks wandering in the restaurant and surprisingly the restaurant was quite busy at that hour when usually gora people are all done with their lunch. The greeter girl gave us a sweet smile and took us to a table of 4. I had heard so much about this place that I was desperately dying to try the food.

A young girl walked to our table and introduced herself saying that she will be our server for the day. To begin with she brought us cold water in a jam like bottle with a difference that there was no lid on top of it and the bottle had no jam but water decorated with company's logo. Quite an interesting imagination to serve water. 

At the back of my mind, my inspection officer character was evaluating everything about the restaurant, from seating capacity to ambience, from furniture to hygiene, from crowd to staff, everything that my eyes were seeing and mind could think. As I opened the menu, my eyes couldn't believe what they saw. 378,000 combinations of shakes. It was like you name it and they have it. Around 80 different flavors of shakes listed in the list and you have an option of mixing multiple flavors to make your own. No wonder how they came up with that huge number of 378,000. For sure I was not going to spend time making my own shake so I had to make a choice out of those 80 listed flavors but man, that list was all mouth watering. Which one to choose, every single made my taste buds drool. But finally, I made a choice and ordered for "Mango Kiwi" shake.

Browsing through the main items list in the menu, I got another shock when I saw that practically in every category of the menu there was an option for vegetarian people. It was little tough to dodge that when I looked around the crowd which had no one except Amroo (American) janta (crowd). I turned back to the menu and without any 2nd thought, selected Veggie Burger and added toppings of my choice like grilled mushroom, onions, lettuce and black olives with a slice of pepper jack cheese. 

My brother ordered for a similar burger and his wife ordered for a Portobello mushroom sandwich. My eldest nephew ordered for a grilled cheese sandwich and we as a family ordered for a family size fries.

After a very long time, I had such a tasty Amroo vegetarian food in a restaurant in Burger/Sandwich category. Quantity was sumptuous and taste was just perfect. The evaluator in my mind silently rated the restaurant and the food 4/5. I deducted 1 point for 2 reasons, first being that I'm sure there is a better restaurant than this and secondly because my sister in-law ordered for a sandwich and we expected a normal bread but they made it in a burger like bun and told us that it is how Portobello mushroom sandwich is made, which I think is not true. That sweet girl probably tried to hide her mistake and saved herself from getting a red mark on day's performance. But no complaints and regrets, sandwich with burger bun was also good. I would have probably given 3/5 but gave 1 extra because of the joy that my eldest nephew had on his face when he got his sandwich in a special tray which was a car and best part was that he was allowed to take the car with him.

So folks, next time you visit any state in US, check out if there is a Cheeburger Cheeburger around your place. You might want to try it. For meat lovers, for every pound of beef burger you eat there, the staff applauds you and announces in the restaurant by handing you a Burger Trophy that they take back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

End of World - The Judgment Day

Okay, so there has been lot of buzz about End of World  and  The Judgment Day on December 21, 2012. Movies, newspapers, websites, magazines, practically every readable source is flocked with stories and all sorts of analysis revolving around the hysteria of Doomsday. People have been going mad about this for last 3 years and the best part is I don’t know if people are excited about it or afraid. There are some who have left their promising and stable jobs, some have devoted themselves to the Almighty pleading him to have mercy on them, then there are some who have left everything besides and have become nomads. No one knows if December 21 2012 will really be the end of world or not but for sure we will know it soon if May 21 2011 will be the beginning of End of the days or not.

Yes, if by any chance you have not heard about these new developments, here is the brief from Mr. Camping who in my opinion is just seeking some name and fame in his end of days. Harold Camping, the evangelist behind this holy hoo-hah, hosts a radio station which is aired almost in every nook and corner of the world. He has been able to convince almost all of his avid listeners that it is the time when the Almighty will show up once again and prepare the herd for the new world, a world of good life and will punish the sinners on the earth to see the end of the so called world we know today. Mr. Camping tried to earn some name fame back in 90s also when he actually managed to gather a huge population in a hall to embrace the moment of End of World but unfortunately that time his calculations went wrong and nothing happened. Perhaps, he never was a scholar student in his school days and lacked analysis and mathematics skills. But he was determined to prove himself and I guess took some additional mathematics and analytical classes after that big disappointment and came up with this new research of his which is powered by evidences stated in Bible which he claims he is able to decipher. So based on his new prophecy, May 21st 2011, 6 PM would mark the Beginning of the End. But did he mention, which time zone should we refer to for 6 PM, PST, CST, EST, or some international time zone? I guess he missed that part. Anyways, I don’t know about December 2012 but for sure I will look forward to May 21st 2011 to see what will happen.

Based on Mr. Camping, the start is on 21st May and the wrath of Almighty will continue for 5 long months before everything as we know today will be destroyed which is on October 21 2011. Oh Gosh, I have a flight to catch on that day. Will I die in air, will I be burnt to death or ripped apart by legs, arms, and head or I would survive the air crash and sink in some ocean and be eaten by a shark or some monster? Hmmm, I need to plan something for that day travel then. I am sure I am not one of those lucky souls who would be chosen by the Almighty for the new world, so I have to be prepared for the torture and sufferings that he who always forgives will be throwing my way.

Now if the world is really going to end, I wonder, if I should even worry about anything or should I just live every moment of my life as if there is no next moment. So I was working on making a list of things I should do if this all actually happens. Here is my short list of things I would probably want to do, of course this list will continue to grow as long as I will survive the wrath.

  1. Kick some billionaire out of his/her house and live my last few days in his palatial mansion for free
  2. Buy the most luxurious cars available in market, of course on loan amount that will be for 30 years terms, whose going to survive then to pay :)
  3. Get some real tigers, panthers and lions to roam around my house freely as my pets, reminds me of the Great Saddam
  4. How about a bachelor party every day and every night with beauties around who I can just dream about that too in dreams :)... well sounds easy and cool but people who know me know that I won't ever drool around coz of the commitment I made to myself and to my half wife, so idea dropped
  5. One thing for sure I would do is kill one person and I know who is that, so beware if you are reading this (although you are not that but you would know who would be that)
  6. A bank robbery and give away all that money to people in need or not in need :) who cares
  7. Charter a plane and go for a World Tour, at least I would see the places before they fall apart
  8. Record the events of those last days to make it as a study material for the race that would live after thousands of years (can always be optimist that my study would be preserved somehow somewhere :) )
  9. Collect some bare essentials to help me survive in adverse conditions like fire or ice (who knows I would become an ancient life form thousands of years from now preserved in a solid sack of ice like a mammoth :) )
  10. Last for the list till this moment but not last on the list, letters to people I love and I would miss. Now that would be something personal so I will be writing them and protecting them by unknown-bit encryption so that no one can decipher them ever but will leave my signature on them so that I can become a person of unsolved mysteries in future :)

On a side note, if nothing happens, then I am doomed and world ends or not, I will for sure be terminated by someone and if no one does that, then the economical pressure and personal acts will force me to kill myself. Who knows the one I am supposed to kill is me only :)

What would you want to do if all this hoola-hoop is true?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Angel of my Life

I still remember the day when I saw her for the first time sitting in the park alone and playing with her dolls. There was something very special about that moment and about her, as if I was attracted towards her and had no control over myself. I walked towards her and stood at a distance to watch her smile and joy. Golden hair, fair complexion, sweet smile and an innocent look in her blue eyes. She was truly an angel. I couldn't resist and I walked to her and sat beside her.

She looked at me and smiled gently. I smiled back and asked her, what's your name sweetheart and she gently replied, Anna. Anna, such a lovely name. What are you doing here all alone, I asked her. I'm playing with Cathy, Suzy, Sharron and Jamie, pointing each doll she had around her. And then I heard a voice from back, Excuse me Sir! May I help you? I stood up, turned around and saw this old man standing with gray hair, white beard, about 5ft 10 inch tall, robust body and a very calm personality. No, thank you, I was just walking by when I saw her, Anna, and couldn't escape her smile, so thought to stop by for a minute and talk to her. I apologize for being in your privacy Sir.

The old man smiled and said, no worries my dear. She is no doubt the darling of all hearts. Everyone stops by to talk with her and see her smile. What's your name Gentleman? Hmmm George. Nice to meet you George. Do you often come to this park? I smiled and said, oh no Sir, I just moved here couple of days ago and thought to explore the surroundings today so someone told me about this park. Yes, this park is the heart of this small town, one of the oldest and the only remaining memory of my childhood, said the old man. I asked him, is Anna your grand daughter? He smiled and said, you can think so. She and I are not related by blood but there is no one for her and no one for me so we both look after each other, right Anna and Anna looked up with such a lovely smile as if she has got all the happiness of the world.

I was curious to know more as usual so asked the old man another question, Sir, if you don't mind, could you tell me why do you say Anna has no one? The old man looked at me and after a pause, asked me to sit by him on the bench. While Anna was busy playing with her dolls, the old man told me that he used to work in a Church when one night someone left Anna in the footsteps of Jesus 2 years back. He tried to look out and ask people coming in the church if anyone saw someone leaving her here but no one knew anything. He contacted the police department, child care centers and various other institutions to find out who she belonged to but got no answers from anyone. An orphanage even accepted to take her charge but there was something about her that I couldn't let her go to live a life of an orphan so I adopted her myself. But now I am growing old and I don't know when Jesus would call me. I am not afraid of dying but I am afraid of what will happen to Anna.

I was touched by the story of Anna and felt it right inside my heart. I left the park and continued with my daily routine life of work and responsibilities towards my family and society. For all these days, I kept thinking about Anna and her life and there was something that was pulling me towards her. Days passed away and one weekend I was back to the park. I remembered the spot where I saw Anna the first time. She was not there today so I walked all around the park to see if she and the old man were there but didn't find them. Then I remembered that the old man told me that he was the father at the Church. There was an old church at the corner of the lane. Without wasting another second, I started walking towards the Church. I don't know why I was doing so, perhaps I was enchanted with some spell or something but it was very strong. As I entered the church, I stopped at the door and sat on the last bench in the corner. Church members were discussing something, something was not right. I couldn't see the old man anywhere but I saw Anna sitting in the center of all people playing with her dolls. I was glad that I could see her again. I walked close to her and as she looked at me she smiled and spread her arms as if she recognized me. There was a silence and all the members of the Church turned around and looked at me. I didn't know what I did. I hope I didn't do anything wrong, did I break any code of Church or I disobeyed any rule. I was speechless. An old nun came to me and said, what's you name child? George. Do you know this child? Not exactly, but I met her couple of days ago in the park with the Father of the Church and he and I talked about for half an hour and he told me all about Anna and her life and how he adopted her. Michael was the Godfather of Anna. Poor child, Michael passed away yesterday. Oh my God, I am sorry to hear about his demise. It is strange, Anna smiles and talks with everyone but she never opened her arms like she did when she saw you George. The only person she did so was Michael. Seems like she likes you. I smiled and told the nun that it is really strange because since the day I have seen Anna; I have not been able to take my mind off her. I asked the nun, so what happens to Anna now? She said, I am afraid we will have to take her to the orphanage where she can be taken care of properly. She then turned back and walked to the members again.

Orphanage, no, this can't be happening. Anna deserves to be a part of family and she deserves to get all good things in life. I had just turned 30 last to last week, single, well established in my job, excelling in career and a perfect candidate for the world of matrimony. My parents were looking out for suitable match and girls in my office were luring around to become my better half. I was ready to start my new chapter of my life, settle down with a nice woman and have couple of children. I was ready to take the responsibilities, and then I thought, if I am ready, then I am ready for Anna too. I think I had made my mind even before I thought about it. I was going to adopt Anna as my child. I walked to the Nun and asked her if I can adopt Anna. This came as a surprise to her and all the other members. She said, are you serious? For the first time in my life, I was serious and knew what I was saying. Yes, mam, I would like to call Anna as my daughter if you all allow me to and I am ready to take all her responsibilities and promise to give her all the best in life she deserves. It was a big decision and a very serious one. Nun said, let us all discuss this and think about it. Leave us your contact number and we shall call you.

I went home and told about my decision to my parents. It came as a shock to them because this was not what they were planning for me. You have gone mad, have you lost your senses, what do you know about parenting, what do you know about the girl, do you have any idea what will this take, were some of their first questions. I said, yes I know what I am saying and I know what I am doing. I am ready for this mom, dad and I assure you I will be as good parent as you have been for all these years to me. It was hard, discussions went on for hours and hours all day but by the end of the day, they all agreed to my decision. I was in love with a person for last 4 years and had an unexpected end to the relationship. She went her way and moved on in her life and I had pretty rough time after the breakup. My family saw all ups and downs of my life and saw me degrading over the period. It was them and my friend because of who I recouped and got back to my life. My life changed a lot, I changed a lot. I was not the same person whom everyone knew 3 years ago. I was a transformed man, and then Anna came as a ray of hope, as a meaning and purpose of life and I knew from the very first moment I saw her that she and I were meant to be together.

Next morning, I got the call from the Church and they said I will have to come by with my family and do the formalities. They will run through background checks and go through all legal formalities to make sure that I am safe and a right person to do the adoption. It took about 20 days for the whole process to complete and I made sure that I spend at least 3-4 hours daily with Anna and the Church members were comfortable with that. Finally the day came and I signed the last document to officially be promoted as a father. I was happy and excited to be the father of this little angel who turned my life in an instance.

Anna will be 21 tomorrow and I am very proud of her. She has been the sweetest daughter and the best friend of me. I cannot imagine my life without her now. I do feel the vacuum in my life which was created when the person I trusted and loved the most walked out of my life 19 years ago and I still miss her and hope that she is in best of her health and life where ever she is but I am glad that I went to the park that day and met Anna. She knows everything and that makes her more special. She keeps looking out for dates for me, she thinks I don't know and she knows that I will never go out yet she looks out for me. I have told her that there is no better date than her in my life and I am proud to be her father.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Movie & Me

After a very long time, I went to see a movie in a movie theater and what an overwhelming feeling it was to be the only one in the theater watching it. It's a multiplex (multiple screen theater) and I went to watch this movie called "I am number 4". I expected a very small crowd to see the movie as it never made it to the list of weekly charts but I didn't imagine sitting all by myself in the theater and watching it from start to end. Personally speaking, the movie was not that bad but I agree people wouldn't be going out to see it after a week or 2.

Anyways, it was a nice experience because I had the freedom to sit with my legs on front seat, keep my phone ringer on and check my emails now and then (although no one sends me email these days) and not worry about anyone sitting next to me and staring me with those devilish looks complaining about disturbance. I wish it were a scary movie instead of sci-fi fantasy movie.

This was the 2nd time in my life when I was in such a situation. The 1st time was with my half wife when I met her on her birthday in 2008 after almost an year (we were seven seas apart) and we both went to see a movie. We had few more couples that day watching movie with us, so it was not an exclusive show for us per say. But this time, it was a VIP show for me with no one around. I was all by myself, just me...

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's on the menu for the weekend

It’s Friday night followed by the weekend. So what’s the plan, asked one of my known ones. Well the answer is simple, the regular doze of 2 vodka shots and a peg of Scotch. But because this is weekend, it would be a little more. Double the vodka shots and Scotch along with couple of Tequila quickies and a glass of nice wine. Will see what else is on the menu after that :)

March 12, 2011 07:15 AM
Just woke up about 15 minutes ago and can feel the aftermaths of what happened last night. It was only when I looked at the table and realized that I emptied the bottle of Vodka last night which was about half before I started. No wonder !!!