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Week 37: The One with realization

Sunset time today in New York was 7:57 pm. I remember it was around 8:35 pm just a month back. Days are getting shorter, summer is coming to an end. Seconds, minutes and hours, days and weeks are passing by so quickly! Today as I sat back with a cup of chai, watching the setting sun, I realized we have so less time and so much to do; so much that we want to do. Food for thought!

This morning I made a couple of calls back home. Talked to mom for a few minutes and to dad for a few. Dad reminded me of how the frequency of my calls was decreasing every month. I made a mental note to give them a call every Sunday.

Making a cup of chai, around noon, I started reading random scuba divers’ blogs. Read a bit more about scuba diving, the expenses, the lifestyle, the ups and downs. A couple of hours into it and I found my reading travel blogs. Few of them were very good! Started surfing the idea of being in their shoes, doing what they were doing. Started chalking the idea of how would I do it, if I were to take that path. Thought about a few things, tried to make a to-do list and assigned a timeline to it. I don’t want to reveal those things just yet because I am afraid that if I do, the pressure of performing and living up to them might affect my actions. So let’s see how the it all works out. One thing I must do is track my expenses. I have no idea of how much money am I spending monthly. And that is a scary space to be in.

The week, overall, was not bad. Work-wise, it was a bit taxing. Remember about my big Tuesday meeting of this week? It went well. Turns out this coming week looks scarier. Let’s see how this one goes. Health-wise I did not make much progress. But a positive from this last week was that I wrote a poem and it made me feel good, very good. Also, I made dabeli (It is an Indian dish). I love dabeli! Have a look –

dabeli

I watched Jab We Met and Wake up Sid after so long! Classics, both of them. One goes through tons of emotions during and after watching Jab We Met. That happened today while I was in the corner of my room, sipping morning coffee by the window. This was a quiet week and a calm Sunday. A calm before the storm? I hope not!

PS: I am still contemplating the December trip to India.

PPS: Yes, I had two cups of chai and a cup of coffee today. But, hey, it was a Sunday!

 

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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Week 36: The One with a Broken Cup

Ever thought about why do we indulge ourselves with mindless distractions? What is it that we are avoiding? Is it something that we are avoiding because we are afraid of the answer or its consequences? Or if we don’t know the answer at all and are afraid to never find it? I know I am struggling with a few such questions, and I don’t know when will I be able to untangle those threads. It is important to talk these things out. It is important to have a human connection, a conversation. It is important to ask for a hug when one wants one. Conversations help. The one with Nikita helped this evening. You haven’t met her, have you? Here, say Hi to Nikita. And till you do that, let me be right back with my coffee…

I kept my coffee in the microwave for 2 minutes and it spilled over a bit. Lesson learned the hard way – don’t keep your coffee cup (that is more than 3/4th full) in the microwave for that long, 1-1.5 minutes is enough.

This reminds me – I broke a cup. This afternoon I was cleaning the utensils and a cup slipped from my hands. I know it is not a big deal but this is the first time I broke a cup (or any utensil) in my life. Mumma, if you’re reading this, don’t worry I neatly gathered all the broken pieces, threw them in the bin and vacuum cleaned the floor.

On a completely different note – remember I told you about a typewriter I bought from Ohio? For some reason, I had not put up a picture last week. Here it is –

typewriter

Lovely, isn’t it? Yet to publish a poem I weave out of this one.

Moving on, I have a big meeting day after tomorrow, and a rehearsal meeting (for the big meeting) tomorrow. Honestly I’m a bit stressed about that. Will work for a few hours tonight. I realize I haven’t told you anything about the last week yet. It went by pretty fast. All I remember is going to the gym three days, eating salad for lunch twice, eating Thai twice, attending a quiz, and sleeping in very early (around 9:30 pm) on Friday. Weekend was spent resting, cleaning the house, watching FRIENDS and riding the bike. Woke up very early today, around 6:30 am (it’s a Sunday!). Went for a bike ride around 8 am, felt good. You see how I did not mention a single good conversation I had with anyone throughout the week? Because I had none. There were many superficial ones, the ones which I don’t remember at all. The ones that were majorly office small talk. You can do all the right things, go to all the right places, but if you don’t have meaningful conversation(s) with people in-person, it becomes very difficult to be in the right frame of mind.

I am planning to make a trip to India this December. Not very sure if I want to yet. Let’s see how that thought ripens by next weekend.

PS: I need a hug. It’s been a while since I got one. I might not ask for it in-person if I don’t know you that well, but if you are reading this – the next time you see me, give me tight hug.

PPS: It is 8:30 pm, I shouldn’t have had that coffee!

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Week 35: The One with 5 States

I know these posts are becoming more like a monthly thing than weekly, but things are about to change. This time for real.

First things first – I moved to a new apartment in June. A house where I live alone. It is a good feeling to sign a lease with just your name on it. On the one hand, you have complete freedom – you can cook whenever and whatever, sleep wherever, read at peace, roam around naked (yes, you read that right), keep the house as clean as you like and want it to be, play music at the volume you like, and paint the walls as you please! But on the other hand, you know that you are the only one responsible for anything and everything that goes wrong with the house. You are the only one who has to take care of all the bills, seal that leakage in the bathroom, fix that broken knob by yourself, take out the trash from time to time, and make peace with the walls around. But I like this I-got-responsibility-now kind of scary feeling. It makes me more diligent, more efficient. Been just eight weeks in this new house and I am already proud of myself for making this happen. Let’s see how this goes! I would’ve put some pictures of the house here, but I have a better idea – come over for a coffee! Also – don’t come unannounced – you read about the roaming around naked, didn’t you?

Moving on, I want to tell you about how I went to five different states in last two months (New York/New Jersey are not counted in this list).

I went on a road trip to the West coast – San Francisco, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Malibu and Las Vegas. Basically California, Arizona and Nevada states. This was in mid June. The highlight of that trip was a day at Yosemite, the long drives to Napa Valley vineyards and awesome breakfast and dinner in Mariposa village.

Napa ValleyNevada FallsSan FranVegasVenice Beach

For more pictures, click here

Second trip was to Atlanta, Georgia. I mean, Hot-lanta! It is the Peachtree city, the home of peaches, and the home of Coke. Conversations on the banks of Chattahoochee river, kayaking with a dog (Perro in Spanish) swimming alongside you, and sipping Old Fashioned while swaying to live country music on the rooftop overlooking Atlanta were the highlights of that trip. What made the trip that much fun was the amazing company I had to show me around. Nirvanna, you’re right, Atlanta does not have a skyline. Carey, the city still looks beautiful from rooftops!

AtlantaChettahoocheePero

Third trip was to Cincinnati, Ohio. Majorly Dayton in Ohio. This was around mid July. Walking down the silent streets of Yellow Spring, randomly entering antique hole-in-the-wall stores and buying a 1959 typewriter were the highlights of this one. Yes, a functioning typewriter! I was the happiest guy in Ohio that evening. There is something about a typewriter that the keyboard of even a Mac cannot offer. I love the sound of when the steel plates of alphabets hit the paper. The plan is to punch words on the paper weaving them into poetry.

Yellow Spring

I met people on these trips, had random conversations (no small talk though) with strangers, spent time with myself, learned how people are so different from each other yet so similar to each other, and marveled at how we humans have this ability to understand each other. We have invented languages to communicate and we can make someone understand us! Take a minute and think about how mindbogglingly (yes, mindbogglingly) awesome that is! Some food for thought, that…

On a completely different note, I got texts from three friends – all on different continents – asking me why I don’t write more frequently and how they love reading my blog. I’ll be honest it felt so good to read those messages! And there was a new comment on the blog post I wrote in my freshmen year at college, about my freshmen year at college. The guy is about to start his college life, he said. It felt good to know how some blog post, as trivial as it is, is still being read somewhere by someone. These doses of inspiration keep me going. Thanks guys! (Is anyone around, I want to hug someone!)

It’s a Saturday evening and the weather is serene. A cool breeze, and the sun shining over the currents of Hudson river. I hear birds chirping on the tree just outside the window and cars swooshing on the Verrazano bridge – it’s time for another cup of coffee 🙂

See you next week!

Flight

PS: I mean it, next week!

PPS: You might be wondering about the “Saturday evening” part in the last paragraph. Well, that’s when I actually wrote this blog-post. Editing pictures took some time.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly

 

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Week 34 (and a few more): The One with the Vibes

Alizeh! What a song! Do yourself a favor and let Arijit Singh do his magic on you. Let this song grow over you …

Also, on one of the sunsets this week, I clicked this picture, and wrote a couple of lines – 

unnamed

Pyaala bharta nahi.n,
ki ab mai.n raah tak.ta nahi.n,
toh jaise shaam dhalti nahi.n

The feel of that evening was, different 🙂

Now that we are in a good mood, let me not tell you that I have again been late in writing this post. Short version of the things that happened in last five weeks –

1. I graduated and attended my commencement ceremony. Parents were here and they had a good time. They are back home now.

2. I am starting to feel a bit of heat at work, lately. Good kind of pressure, this, I guess.

3. You remember I was training for basketball? We lost the match in the semi-finals. But, hey, we had a good time!

4. Neither have I yet finished reading “If on a winter’s night, a traveler”, nor have I made any progress on my Spanish.

5. For the ones who care, I haven’t been feeling well since last 2 weeks and I made Bhindi ki bhaaji today for lunch. Totally unrelated things, those two! There’s a cute doctor who helped me recover, and the Bhindi bhaaji was delicious!

6. I watched Captain Phillips, The Ghazi Attack, Finest Hours, and a couple of stand-up gigs in the last 2 weeks. I recommend all those movies and none of the stand-up shows.

Okay, now let’s talk about what’s eating me up –

FOMO (fear of missing out)
I don’t know what I am up-to, both personally and professionally. My work challenges me in a good way and that happens at least 3 days a week. But, I don’t know how long will I be able to do this job. There is a learning curve at this job, it pays well, it is in the financial capital of the world, and mostly the people are good. A lot of people would kill for such a job, but I don’t know. I feel like I want to do something else. On the one hand, I am planning on how and when to take the leap and move on to do those things that inspire me  excite me, but on the other hand I don’t know if I have it in me to take that leap! For this will be a one way move, for this will change my lifestyle and my future life as a whole. There is this fight between a rich and a secured life, and a life that I think *might* excite me. I fear missing out on that life if I stay here for forever and choose the security. I also fear not being able to come back to this current life if I fail in that one. 

I don’t know what to do about this.

What I know is, Faiz wants me to keep hope alive –

Dil na-ummeed nahi.n, na-kaam hi toh hai
lambi hai ghum ki shaam, magar shaam hi toh hai

Let me leave you with this beautiful thought and this picture of Brooklyn Bridge I clicked last week –

unnamed (1)

PS: I recently discovered the Mile High Club. Google it!

PPS: These are my last 10 days in Brooklyn, let’s meet over coffee

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Week 33: The One with Chimichanga and Chai

Hola! Yes, I’m trying a new font this time. Like it?

It has been a long time since I wrote on this thread. Let me spread the last 4 months of my life, in a few pictures. This is what I did –

abcShared a setting sun with Jessica in Jaipur

udaipur
Had a sumptuous meal by Pichola lake in Udaipur

BadshahChilled with Badshah in Rajasthan

jaipur
Played with this furball on the way towards the Monkey temple

simba
Cuddled and snuggled and hugged the hell out of Simba

Kutch
Ate bhakri and slurped Kutchi-beer in the brick house of farmers in Kutch

engagementAttended her engagement

gujaratAlmost played James Franco from 127 Hours in Gujarat

KKHH date
Went for a SRK-Kajol-from-KKHH kinda date

After all this, I came back to New York to resume work.

There were times when I felt like going back to India, for family, for friends, for the dogs I met on this trip, for the awesome places I visited there and just because I was longing to go back. I started contemplating the severity of this move and weighed the pros and cons.

But on the following Saturday, I went to Washington Square Park, Central Park and all my favorite places in New York. And – I fell in love again! I got lucky that NY’s weather wasn’t snorting Marijuana that weekend. Played volleyball in the Park, ate pollo Chimichanga, and read The Partner under the tree. Got back home around 11 in the night and snuggled under the blanket with a warm cup of masala chai. That cup of chai almost made me realize – we can’t do much about the things that, according to us, aren’t right. Not that the chai was poorly made, just a thought.

And I decided to stay put (Majorly because of the Chimichanga and the Chai)

Now I am having a good time in New York. Two weeks back, I played baseball.
Correction: I learned baseball.
Correction: I tried to learn baseball.

And I am going to play basketball as a part of a charity event hosted by my Firm, on the 28th of this month. Just last week I started learning the sport and ended up hurting my feet. Now, my friends are playing outside at this moment, and all I can do is write about it. But no worries, Kunj-Jordon-Karia will be right back!

Also, a random crush on Twitter suggested that I read Haruki Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun. I gave it a shot, and I can tell you it’s worth a quick read. Now I am reading a meta-fiction novel – If on a winter’s night a traveller, by Italo Calvino. Hopefully I’ll finish it over the weekend and give you my review of it by next week.

Oh and did I tell you I am trying to learn Spanish? Well that explains why I started this blog-post with a Hola! 😀

So to sum it up, this is what I have planned for the rest of the month:

  • Learn Basketball. (Learn enough to appreciate the game at least
  • Learn Spanish. (Learn enough to fluently flirt at least)
  • Finish If on a winter’s night a traveller
  • Be regular at updating Zindagy Weekly thread.

Phew! That’s gonna be a lot, but let’s give it a try.

PS: Hanz de Fuko is here! Brace yourself for my new look!

PPS: I need to get a hang of maintaining my expenditure log. Just saying.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Week 32: The One with Fancy Socks

A new semester begins in exactly 10 days. This would be my last semester at school. This would be the last semester of my whole academic life. I am not excited about “A new beginning”. But I want to change a lot of things about myself. And I have that long list in my head, so I won’t bug you with that one now, but if you want to talk about those and lend an ear, we can arrange for a green tea date. Yes, losing some weight tops that list!

To fight the boredom that’s accompanying me lately, I tried going out for shopping today. Yes, that level of desperation for doing something and that lame a decision! I got a few t-shirts and shorts for running. Right, I invested money for the activity that I am not even actively pursuing. But but but, the idea behind this is – *long pause, speaking slowly* if I have invested in running, I will finally start taking this activity seriously!

Apart from that, I also bought myself a few pairs of “Happy” socks and a sexy leather jacket. At least that girl on the subway thought it looks sexy. And seriously, those are Happy socks. Look!

20160827_212548

Fancy socks have got my attention. I want all those weird fancy socks. Let me know if you find such a collection somewhere in New York.

Also, while walking back home I came across this bike.

WhatsApp Image 2016-08-27 at 21.31.59

Weird, right? Why would someone paint his/her bike white! But I’d like to meet this person.

And I watched a short film this week – Interior Cafe Night. It’s a movie starring Naseeruddin Shah and Shernaz Patel. A brilliant story, that! Watch it, it’s on YouTube.

I just want school to start and so will my part time job. The only reason I want those two to start is, I’d be outdoor more than I am now. And that increases the possibility of bumping into someone on the street and falling in love with that someone. You see I got a point!

There’s always a point!

PS: I am still looking for a Salsa/Bachata partner.

PPS: I am going to be a part of the Volleyball team at NYU from next week for the semester, again. Yay! 😀

 

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2016 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Week 31: The One with 13 weeks in 31

Hola!

Long time, eh? Exactly 94 days, but who is keeping a count any way!

Last Zindagy Weekly update was on 18th May. Why did I not write in last 13 weeks? I’d be lying if I mumbled “No idea”, but I will do exactly that. Last 13 weeks were good, really good. At least 12 of them were. Let’s just put it this way – I got to wear suits and enter a 42 storey glass building in the heart of New York city for work, for 10 weeks straight. The best thing about working at that place? People.

Also, at the moment, there is a damn cute girl right across my building, in her gallery. She is sipping coffee sitting on her cozy recliner.

Anyway let’s not digress. Yesterday I was damn bored. In fact, since last one week I am bored. Bored of doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Watching 10 episodes of Narcos, 2 YouTube web-series and 7 movies does not count as work. This is the first time I am reluctant to travel without company. This is the first time I am hating not doing anything.

So if you have something I can help you with – something like walking your dog with you, sharing a pizza slice, cuddling (applicable only to female readers), helping you with some chore, giving you relationship advise (well, yes I am up for doing things I don’t know shit about) – ping me! You don’t have to pay me; a coffee is enough, unless the thing I am helping you with is – having coffee.

Also, I just saw outside the window and our eyes met. Fuck, this is getting serious!

I am going cycling right now for a while. Planning to start with HIIT routine from tomorrow. I have a feeling I’ll be writing a few poems too in the next couple of days. Probably will perform somewhere as well. Come if you can! Also, someone teach me how to play a guitar? And are you up for joining me to learn some dance form? Salsa, Tango, Bachata, anything!

PS: I am done with the break from writing. I plan to keep this space updated as usual, on weekly basis. No, I promise I will. Just that I won’t be updating it on Facebook.

PPS: I saw outside the window again. Her blonde hair are at the mercy of the wind. *In British accent* Oh bloody well, I feel I am in love, again!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Zindagy Weekly