To my parents

I was in fifth or sixth grade when my dad got his first phone – a classic Nokia. He was completely smitten, but he wasn’t addicted. My mom, on the other hand, never admitted her fascination with the device. She always pretended like she didn’t like it or care about it, but she was completely hooked. She was on phone all the time, she called her mother and talked to her for hours. Nothing has changed to date – you will still find her scrolling through her phone. The only change – she scrolls Facebook and WhatsApp now. 

How did I react? I had no one to make phone calls to, but I loved the snakes and ladders game that came loaded with the phone. You could find me playing it at any time of the day. Whenever I had the phone in hand, about 90% of the time I was playing that game. As time passed, I realized the phone had many more use cases – for that matter, I could text my friends any time of the day. I didn’t have to think “What If they are not at home 😮” 

After years of persuasion, my parents finally bought me my first phone in eighth grade. Yes, I was so happy. It was expensive. It costed them about Rs. 10K (quite expensive for that time). Even though I didn’t need it – it felt great to own it. (I got into a lot of trouble later in life because of it, but that’s a whole another story.)

I was in seventh grade when we purchased the first personal computer – that came with the big mounted monitor. It was life-changing. About a year or two later, we also got a broadband connection – which allowed me to access a whole lot of information on fingertips (though the loading speed made me cry at times) 

I was in school when society was going through these technological changes. I was a student, and that meant I was being taught and informed about the innovations around the world.

BUT

What about my parents?

No one taught them.

Whenever they struggled with booking tickets for their upcoming trips, they turned to me. 

They asked me to create their Facebook profiles and their first Google accounts for setting up their mail. 

For years, they didn’t even know their Gmail or Facebook id – they just knew it existed. 

They have their own influencer moment when they post something on Facebook, which is so cute.

Meanwhile, me – 

I had like three different Gmail ids and I was trying to act cool by making funky Facebook posts.

It’s not like they had a weak memory – they just did not care. It was not resistance – but ignorance that stopped them from using these new platforms. 

People tell me I look like my mom – but I don’t think so 🤷‍♀️

My parents were born in the 1970s, and they have lived through world-changing circumstances. They had to find their motivation – they didn’t have google to help them with their studies or assist them to find a job. They had no Uber – they walked. My dad still quotes how he has walked through the streets of the city we lived in during his struggling days. 

My grandparents could barely make ends meet. Sponsoring their kids’ education was far-fetched for them. When my dad was born, my grandparents gave him to one of his cousins, because they couldn’t afford to have a kid at that time. Until he was in fourth grade, my dad didn’t even know that the people he considered parents were his relatives. Later he was sent back to his real parents when he was in fifth or sixth grade. It must have been heart-breaking. He never shared this with me – I recently got to know about it last month. 

He never felt at home. 

When he turned eighteen, my grandfather asked him to fund his own education. He turned his back. 

And that’s how my Dad stepped into adulthood. 

He worked and worked and worked. Day and Night. 

He earned money – and spent it on his family. To this day – he does not believe in the concept of savings. For him, his family always came first. 

He smiles and laughs at his problems. I wish to learn that from him – but I could never. 

My mom is tough. She had abusive parents – and has seen a lot of violence as a kid. Having been treated as a burden all her life, she resisted love. 

She had to turn down opportunities that could have defined her life – because of money. 

She shouts and cries and gets overly generous. That’s how she expresses love. 

She taught me to be independent and self-reliant. She taught me to raise my voice and speak up for myself. 

In her infinite breakdowns, she taught me patience. 

She was twenty-two when she had me. 

Twenty-two!

Now that my academic course has ended, and I start my life as a real adult, I am facing so many challenges which I never even thought about. 

The world around me is changing rapidly. 

Working at one of the top tech companies makes me confront the fast-paced environment every single day. 

If you don’t stay at the top of your game – you are finished. To flourish – you have to prove and prove again. You have to struggle and learn and teach yourself new things every single day. 

Your image and Network are everything. 

To my parents – who began their careers about twenty years back – the world changed around them, and they barely had anyone to teach them about the change. I feel sorry for them.

Imagine all your life – you are taught to carry a hard paper copy of your resume in a folder. Suddenly, one day – the recruiter says “Mail me your resume, I’ll forward it to my manager, and we will take it from there.” And then you have to figure out what an email is, how to create a resume on a computer, how to actually send an email, and so on and on.

In a faraway land, a smart Engineer invents Computer. 

Next thing you know – the world changes. 

Billions of people adopt it. 

Next thing – Artificial Intelligence enters.

Millions of jobs are lost.

And a billion lives who are yet transitioning to the computer culture are faced with these new waves. 

To my parents – who love their WhatsApp Family chats and Facebook groups – your generation was the last of its’ kind. Your lives are precious, your teachings did not come from self-parenting books – it came from your life – you were the most authentic selves. 

When you sent me those long WhatsApp message forwards, or reply to me in broken English, I understand – You try your best ❣️

In the end, I’d say –

I am glad – you don’t give a Fuck. You be you. 

Thank you for all your wisdom, you are my forever gems.

A Promised Land

I am delighted to have finally completed reading the book – “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama.

I must say – going through this book was quite a run. It took me more than a month. I spent the last whole weekend laying on the bed, reading this one – I exhausted myself to a point where I started to almost feel numb.

This post is not a review of the Presidential memoir – I do not think I am capable enough to be criticizing this book and breaking it down by the details. I just wanted to summarize everything that I learned from this book and my takeaways from his journey.

This very much reminded me of History books which we used to read in school. It felt like he took his diary entries from the past twenty so years and made it into a book – it is elaborately detailed. A lot of names – not relatable – faceless characters – assassinations – indirect hints – racism – media outlets – drama and thrill. 

The common theme I noticed – he took up a problem, described the situation, the main characters, the supporting characters, and built a plot thereafter. Has anyone ever complimented him for being such an amazing storyteller? 

Someone asked Mr. Obama if he ever felt “lucky” – to which he responded that he felt lucky every single day. He mentioned to the person that his full name is Barack “Hussein” Obama. With that middle name, he still managed to achieve something in the United States, which in itself is big deal. 

Highlights from the Book

Vision

  • Barack didn’t wake up one day and decide to take on the world problems into his own hands. He reads-reads-and-reads a lot. Most of the books he mentioned were non-fiction and related to Politics. That helped him form his ultimate vision. 
  • He dreamt of a better America. The one with no racial discrimination, equality, and more power handed to its citizens. It’s the vision which drove him through his career and has still kept him on the right path.
  • Many people would be surprised to know that until the age of 40, he had barely achieved “enough”. He was still struggling to pay his debts and was nowhere close to the Presidential race. The fact that he never gave up and kept moving ahead is a great example of how a strong vision and unshakeable passion for change can itself move things and change destinies.

Early Days

  • He mentions that his mighty will and determination were acquired from his family and good friends. His growing years in Hawaii and Indonesian roots gave him a strong holding of the political scenario.
  • He was brought up by two strong women, his grand-mom and mother. Both of them were opinionated and were way ahead of their times. In many sorts, they defied the “normal” of their times. The incidents set an example for young Barack. It’s not a surprise that he went on to marry Michelle who is a headstrong and independent woman herself. He talks about raising two daughters and the kind of values he wants them to inherit.
  • Barack talks about his early days at Columbia University where he pursued his Bachelors’s. He later took 2 years off to work with the local parties on campaign work. He shares that meeting people in-person during the campaign work made him more humble and grounded. He was quite high-necked and spoke in Law the whole time, but gradually it smoothened out. He learned – Not everyone will be able to pick the message he is conveying if he spoke in a cryptic law language.

Family

  • Instead of painting a perfect picture of him and Michelle, he puts down some of the harsh details of their married life. He talks about how his Political campaign work affected their relationship, how Michelle was struggling to take care of two young daughters when Barack was busy with his public appearances for State and later country-wide elections. 
  • They also went for couples therapy. It was refreshing to learn about it, not all personalities are open to sharing such details about their life. He missed out on a lot during his active Political days.
  • Michelle was the perfect first lady – a lady of poise, and glamor. She provided unconditional support to her dear husband, Barack. She always was careful about her position in the legal matters – and tried not to cross the line and take part in the legal decisions as her role didn’t have scope for it. She never cared about the public persona and tried everything the best shot.

Media Coverage

  • He touches on the topic of how his family was targeted by the Media houses when they suddenly came in limelight by becoming a democratic candidate. His writing felt agitated and this came up multiple times in the book. 
  • Michelle was tagged as being “too stubborn” and a misfit for being the First Lady. Barack on the other side was criticized and mocked for his last name. It sounded too similar to “Osama”. Conspiracy theories also made up stories that he was apparently “plotted” in the United States to pass on secret information. They had no proof, the media was basically the most popular tweets as legitimate cases on TV. Media outlets thought he was too extreme and not a good fit for being a democratic candidate. 
  • One of the major motivating factors for him was that If he becomes the President, he’ll be the first Black President of the United States. He’d be the face for a million kids who can look at him and aspire to follow his path. He can set an example for Black Americans across as to what can be achieved with sheer hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, the media did not hesitate to mock his “black” heritage, and dug dip into his childhood to find something that can prove that he isn’t black “enough”. That was quite funny to me.

One of the most intimate quotes in the book comes from his mother “As you grow old, you don’t change at all inside. Inside you – you stay the same jolly person, but the bare bones make you helpless. It deprives you of a long life.”

Presidential Race

  • One of my favorite parts was the fight for becoming the Democratic Candidate. He talks about Hillary Clinton, and how he empathized with her for doing everything she did in the face of all the criticism she had to face as the wife of Bill Clinton. I found this part to be utterly honest. He tries his best to defend Hillary’s tactics only to cement his own. We all know the results, but somehow I was curious as to how Hillary took the defeat.
  • The winning and hugging moments when Presidential results were out. I could feel the victory through his words – I was happy for him and his entire campaign team.
  • I got goosebumps when he mentioned that choosing between John McCain and him will decide the future of millions of Americans for decades to come.

The Tenure

  • He dedicated almost a chapter to Joe Biden. About two decades older than Barack, he brings out the other side of Joe in the book that the world is not familiar with. His wife and daughter were killed, his son died due to cancer, his remarriage, his commitment to Politics. Despite all tragic events, He is energetic, cheerful, and full of enthusiasm. He sure deserves to be the 46th President of the United States.
  • His failed attempt at uniting the Democratic and Republican parties. He talks about how he tried to have Republicans’ word in big decisions – and how the Republicans always condoned his decisions.
  • The transition from normal life to being the President of the United States was fun to read. They asked their new staff to wear “normal” clothes, and they obediently denied stating they wish to treat the Obama family with the same respect and dignity as the earlier families who resided in the House.
  • He gives a detailed account of his staff members – brings them to the spotlight by mentioning their names.
  • How Michelle’s mother took care of Sasha and Malia when both the parents were busy taking care of the business and work.

Crisis

  • He was warned about the 2008 Housing Market crash by his wallstreet friends. Yet, he took it lightly and discarded the warnings. He already had a lot on the plate at that time, so he neglected the apparent warnings. The same problem came flying on his face as soon as he joined the office. 
  • The whole debacle for the Stimulus bill and the friction by the opposing party.
  • Stress Test for Housing Market – The stress test exercises that were conducted would ensure that the Banks have enough capital to survive any shocks. So, as part of the test, the bankers were made to “image the unimaginable”. 
  • He praises himself and his legislation for steering the market and the country toward a better path during the global crises in 2009. He wrote a letter to himself acknowledging his work.

World Leaders

  • Barack’s first big conference – G20 summit. His acute observations and detailed descriptions of the world leaders. His strong opinions on Russia. He has a full-length description for Putin. 
  • He commented on how China can outgrow the United States, to become a global leader. China has all favorable conditions like a high-skilled population, culturally-rich, unity, and a developing mindset. The only thing pulling the country down is the conservative political parties, and that might hinder their progress. He says that the US is all up for the battle of the countries to compete against China. 
  • India was also mentioned, but nothing substantial, just some observations by the President. He talks about Manmohan Singh. I think Putin, and Manmohan Singh’s descriptions stood out the most for me in the book.
  • He sure can win over anyone in negotiations. G20 was one such example of it. He won deals that took everyone by surprise.

War Zone

  • He mentions his visits to the military hospitals to meet the injured soldiers in Afghanistan War. He gives a detailed account of the challenges to bring down the terrorist groups. 
  • Some of the common scenes at the hospital were – seeing young men struggling for their lives, meeting handicapped soldiers and their families – it’s heart-wrenching to learn that most of these soldiers were aged less than 25. One thing he wanted to work on was to bring down people dying on the battlefield.
  • He had dedicated a time to read Letters from the soldiers and veterans – it helped him to understand their circumstances. He definitely wanted the Afghan war to end, so the soldiers can safely return to their families back in the US.

The Rest

  • The best memory of Obama’s administration was the Healthcare Reform Law. He shares his personal story of how a healthcare plan gave them security when Sasha was diagnosed with some disease as a kid. Without a healthcare plan, they would have been in instant trouble. Hence, he wanted every citizen to have that security in the face of an emergency.
  • He shares his fond childhood memories, a California trip with his family as a kid, and how he was fascinated by the country scape. As a father of two young daughters, he shares how times have changed, and how today’s kids have lost the aptitude to appreciate Nature. He says they are “always in their phones – plugged in”!
  • He pushed the Environment Protection Bill to all the World Leaders at one of the global summits. He negotiated the deal, almost blackmailing the leaders into signing it, though not in a bad way. This was fun to read – mark it if you want to learn some negotiation skills. 
  • Deep Water Horizon Oil spill – Small leak under the ocean which led to big Blast. It killed marine creatures in the surrounding space. In no time, Media started pointing to Obama somehow stating he was doing “enough”. This happened while he was in South America – he quickly hired a team of experts, made some bold choices, sealed the leaking area, and got the problem sorted – all this while meeting other country leads. 
  • Media blindly follow the Republican Idea – “Govt was the problem, not the company. Govt is trying to save money. They didn’t want to spend money on important things” This was a completely wrong message that the media didn’t at all hesitate to spread. 
  • The dramatic ending with the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Hands down! The whole military operation was stretched into two chapters, and writing almost felt like a movie script. This happened when Obama was surrounded by the “natural birth controversy” – this event ultimately shut down all the jokers. The revenge was finally taken! The mastermind behind 9/11 was captured – in the most civilized way possible. Definitely Go read this part. 

——————————– Yes, We Can ——————————–

These were just the highlights!!!! The book was mainly written to cement Barack’s name and legacy for the next generations. He will be remembered as a hardworking, visionary, and inspiring figure of this decade.

This video hits different if you see it after completing the book. You almost feel connected to him, as you spent almost 30 hours of your life reading his journey and learning his experience.

PS – I thought of reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama after this. But, just wanted to go light on me – so I decided to take up “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah as my next adventure. He is one of my favorite standup comedians and I am excited to learn more about his early life. Looking forward to it.

Spotless

If you were to select a number between [0, 1] – what is the probability of selecting 0.00000243332? I’d say – the probability is 0! It is possible to select it – but not probable 😐 The word has had a wrong connotation to it all through history, and people need to start using “possibly” instead of “probably”!

Mohammad Reza Rajati, (My Favorite) Statistics Professor @ USC

I was planning to write my next post about the book “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama. It is taking a much longer time than I expected. So, here I am – with a thousand different thoughts circling my head, and a blank laptop screen – let’s write something today. Yaay!

Market St. San Francisco

I am happy in my life finally. I don’t have bad dreams anymore.

I don’t know how long this period will last, but I am getting used to this state of mind. 

I wish we could travel back in time and change stuff. There is so much that I would want to change – the mean things I spoke, the way I misbehaved, the way I treated myself and others around me – I want to just amend everything. I am sure everyone has such thoughts – but there is no point in regretting, so let’s talk about something else 🤷‍♀️

Do you ever feel like a blank slate? Empty? Spotless? Free?! 

A slate that has finally been washed, and who just got rid of months of accumulated dust.

Have you ever thought about how pandemic has been a life-altering experience for almost everyone alive on this planet? A complete lifestyle shift! A lifestyle that our grand-(grand)-parents were quite used to, but for us – it was so challenging to be inside the walls for days and months and years now. How modernization has completely deprived humans of spending quality time with their own selves!

A year later, I find myself to be in a much better position. I am proud of all the progress I have made.

My writing has evolved, I started reading more, the artist in me is flourishing, my cooking skills have drastically improved, I have surprisingly developed a fond interest in other countries, their culture, food, and their political position.

Onboarding and working remotely at a new company was such an unusual adventure.

I got time to connect with many old friends whom I had not talked to in years. I changed cities – started living alone finally.

I cried and cried and cried for months – struggled with my mental health, made dozens of blind calls to my friends, and cried without stating a damn reason.

I saw myself grow into a happier version of myself.

And today I have a little confession to make – I was in Love and it didn’t go well! I won’t be exaggerating if I say – He came into my life when I most needed him. I didn’t realize I was sliding down a black hole when he came rushing in and pulled me out of it.

With him, I always found myself smiling and laughing at the most ridiculous jokes. I was the happiest when he cooked for me, and I could accompany him for five different meals he had during the day.

There was a prolonged period after our break up that I kept clinging on to him. He was like a beloved song that I kept going back to even when it had become an old tune. It had to stop – and I had to let it go. I don’t think the words could ever capture the emotions I felt – but it had to happen. “Please, move on” is heavy for any relationship to handle.

For someone who had been in dark for so long, he was like a bright ray of sunlight. He taught me the self-guiding rules to brighten my own life. With everything that I have learned, it’s not dark anymore even though he is long gone. To my ex – If you are reading this – I still hate you for leaving me, but I love you for making me love myself.

Nowadays my stance on relationships is – “Men don’t deserve me!” 😁

As the readers may have already observed, I am a hopeless romantic 🤧. No one usually talks about mental health and well-being. It’s so essential to fill in that gap in our society, especially in current times. I know how much talking has helped me get out of the riot I was stuffed in, and I can vouch for how effective it is to speak out. Talking will never solve your problem, but it will bring extreme clarity. So don’t hesitate, speak out – to me / therapist / friend / parent / stranger / stalker / lover / enemy / anyone – just speak! Feel free to reach out to me.

Okaaaaah! This was me – raw, unplanned, unfiltered, unedited. I enjoyed writing this, I should do this more often. It took me 15 minutes to write this whole thing – funny how my brain can dump thoughts on paper so quickly 💚

Girls rule the world

In this post, I talk about the latest book I read, my random thoughts on the book, and beyond.

Pictures are completely out-of-context. Just some places I visited last weekend! Don’t mind – I love them 🙂

Enjoying the breeze at Mission Dolores Park

The Book

As soon as I learned that Priyanka Chopra was going to publish her memoir, I was eager to get my hands on it. I wanted to read it cover to cover and know her story. I’ll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of her acting skills, but I find her to be a charismatic, brave, and extra-ordinarily talented star. She has a deep voice – when she talks, I just want to listen. 

I remember watching Priyanka’s movie, Fashion as a teenager, and admiring her confidence with which she pulled off the vulnerable part of Meghna Mathur. She poured life into the character.

Going from Miss World to Desi Girl, to a Hollywood celebrity – She has achieved damn a lot. Time and again, she has stepped into an unknown room, introduced herself, worked hard, and gained a seat at the table. Priyanka is iconic, gorgeous, and admirable. Like any other person, she has her own story – highs and lows, tears and laughter, the book encapsulates all the details. It’s wholesome, to say the least. 

The Family

I found myself crying a lot while reading some portions of this book. Priyanka’s biggest strength, like most of us, is her family. Her family has sculpted her into the powerful woman she is today. Her parents were both Army Doctors, and their stories are as moving as Priyanka’s. About three chapters of the book are based on her parents, childhood, and teenage years. She used to stay with her various uncles and aunties in the United States, when she was attending high school here. She indeed has a giant family. When I say giant, I mean extra-giant. I am sure she has at least ten first cousins, and then second, and so on. The acknowledgments section was two-pages long, which listed only half her family members. 

Alamo Square

Every time the book mentioned Priyanka’s parents and the sacrifices they made for her, it made me sob. It reminded me of my parents, and how they always had my back. I felt a sense of gratitude for my parents who just work tirelessly for my career and future. How they prioritize my health, my job, and my happiness before their own. It’s such a blessing to have someone you can always turn to. 

I couldn’t help but envy Priyanka’s perfect family – her eternal source of support. She was brought up by two extremely loving, generous, and caring parents. They treated her as a person rather than a child, and she was always encouraged to make her own decisions independently. Born and brought up in a nuclear family, I have always longed for quality time with grandparents and playful banter with cousins – something I can only dream of having. It makes me weak. At the end of the day, it’s all about your family. It’s them you can turn to on your darkest days. It’s your cousins who are your first best friends. 

Being raised in a family that struggled to make ends meet, childhood was certainly tough for me. After a long day at work, chatting and playing with me used to be the last item on my parents’ mind. They were young, naive, and struggling when they had me. Without me knowing, I too became a part of their struggle. I tried to be less of a burden and more of armor to them. That explains my emotionally exhausted self. I never knew what I missed until I peeked outside my small world. A big family with grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunties, long-drawn heartfelt discussions, never-ending festive parties, the infinite boxes of sweets piled up on the dinner tables, the drama, unplanned trips, and enthusiastic breakout dance sessions. I have missed a lot, and that’s what I see now.

I realized all this during last Diwali. I was at my friend’s relatives’ place – stunned and sat in one corner the whole time. The house had relatives flocking in the whole day, it was like a never-ending party. I felt lost. I was laughing, and eating and eating a lot, to be honest. 

As a 23-year old adult, that day I discovered something that I had never experienced before – the sheer joy of family coming together. 

Reading the book, drew back all those memories. 

Osakaya Restaurant in Japantown

The Career

Priyanka is creative and hard-working. She has built an empire and sure has put a lot into her career. A risk-taker, she has dared to experiment, try, and fail at new things. One thing I learned from the book – No matter how good you are, there will be someone better than you in the room. So, instead of comparing, find something that makes you stand out and magnify it. 

She embodies everything I admire – courage, confidence, empathy, and boldness. Her story makes me think of how the most trivial matters have a momentous impact. 

The Takeaway moments

I was particularly moved by an incident that involves her father. Mr. Ashok was an army doctor and was stationed in Ladakh during the 80s. One of those days – A soldier was rushed into the tent with a bullet in his head. No one expected him to survive. Ashok did surgery on the spot, removing that bullet without any advanced medical support. It was a miracle. Even the soldier did not expect to survive. Years later, he was part of the funeral rituals for Priyanka’s dad. He saved hundreds of such lives during his time in the army.  

The most painful part of the book was when she talks about her dad’s illness and his last days. Her dad struggled with cancer for years and pulled himself up every time Priyanka came to meet him, he put on a smiling face. He was brave, and so is his daughter. 

Final Thoughts

Every time I forget to call my dad, he’d call me the next day and the first question goes like – Why did you not call me yesterday? I missed you. Damn, that’s sweet. 

My mom on the other hand doesn’t have much to say. Though every time she misses me, she’ll just call me and start crying. Now I see where all the crying is coming from! ahhhhhh.

I wish to have a healthy relationship one day. I wish to find someone who sweeps my heart away. I wish to have a wholesome family, two pets, two endearing kids, and a big house in the middle of the city. 

I enjoyed reading the inspiring journey of PC. I am going to add more such books in my library now. 

(Next in line – A Promised Land by Barack Obama . . . It’s a huge book. 750 pages. DAMN)

25 and me

Hello all! Last week was my 25th Birthday! Yaaaaayy!!! I am not one of those who regrets getting older, I celebrate the fact that I am one year wiser. I had no-one to celebrate my birthday with. I do not want to sugarcoat it and say that I enjoyed the big day alone/independently and I feel blessed. I mean, sure no doubt there are people out there who enjoy spending time alone on their birthday – I am certainly not one of them. Yes, it was unfortunate. I won’t be exaggerating if I say that Covid is making me downright crazy.

Making friends, bonding with a group was always anyway a big challenge for me. Then enter Covid – fucking Covid! I hug myself every night before going to sleep, for everything I am going through. I tell myself that I am strong. No matter how many times I soothe myself for being pathetic, it all comes down to hours of crying under my pillow. I lost my voice, my strength, my most cherished memories, and now my fucking mental health is taking a toll on my memory. I didn’t even realize how this whole episode has made me insensitive. My head hangs heavy on my shoulders, and I stare at my ceiling trying to remember that one thing that crossed my mind.

Maturity is when you realize no one is going to come, wipe your tears, and tell you to be strong. It has to be you! These fucking problems will never stop. Before writing this post, I had my hour-long troubled weekend sobbing session. I had to pull myself out of it because no one of going to do it for me. It’s like being your parent. You don’t eat, you starve. You don’t ignore the music in your head, next thing you know – you have already wasted an hour and it’s time to sleep. You try to sleep and you cry more. It just goes on and on – until you finally feel lighter after all the crying, and stumble into sleep.

Mental Health issues are genuine. Lets’ normalize talking about it. People suffering from it require some support and a lot of love. Lets’ break our boundaries and comfort them. If you know anyone in your group who is suffering, go hug them and tell them that you understand (even if you don’t). Be generous and assist whenever possible. Helping someone heal will in turn bring you good karma.

94292CF5-D5F6-4173-958C-124AEEC03274

Gayatri sent over this cake on my birthday. Ironically, we never even met. She is also a USC Grad, but I didn’t know her during my time at the university. She pinged me after reading a couple of my blog posts. I admit she is one of the sweetest things to have happened to me in 2020.

And I visited the Chinatown District of San Francisco. Broadcasting some of the best pictures in my gallery –

Chinatown is clearly an artistic Paradise 😍 Found these gems on the alleys of the Dragon District 🧧 Definitely returning to explore more!
I am obsessed with the Graffiti art on the walls of Chinatown
Bay Bridge peeking through amidst the row of cute Victorian buildings with Mandarin sign boards
Don’t forget to checkout the Ping Yuen Mural Graffiti Art. One with all smiling faces

Ending Thoughts ~ There is this thing about privilege, it makes you stagnant. For someone down below, they have a Northstar. People on the top are the ones who have to carve out their direction.

I am hopeful. Waiting patiently for better times to come. Lockdown is coming to an end, and I plan to visit other new exciting places and meet plenty of new people.

Don’t lose your creativity during this time of crisis and struggle. Fight and evolve!

What have I been upto? Quarantine Year II begins

Going into month 11 of quarantine, I can say it’s been unpredictable! Creative block is real. Ok, I am lying. You’ll know why I wasn’t writing in this post. Keep reading!

Hello All 🙋🏻‍♀️

Firstly, thank you for clicking on the post to spend the next valuable five minutes of your life reading about my updates 🙂 I last posted something on my blog in December, more than a month ago. I feel terrible when I skip my writing sessions, but then the creative block is real. Ok, I am lying. You’ll know why I wasn’t writing in this post.

So what have been upto? Ehhh. . . . . . . Nothing. . . nothing at all . . .

Am I busy? Probably, yes – I have work.

Do I work the whole day? I rather not answer this one.

Everything else is constant 🖖🏻

It’s been me, my showy glasses, my laptop and that cozy bed !

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How is the life you ask? Going into month 11 of quarantine, I can say it’s been unpredictable! Some days are more troublesome than others. Some days pass by so quickly, and others seem to drag.

There are days when my anxiety shoots up and I start panicking about the most trivial matters. I am learning to just deal with it.

For some reason, my panic attacks are getting more acute as time progresses in quarantine. I am unable to process, remember or get through my daily schedule properly. I find myself lying down on the bed for hours, staring at my roof during the weekend. I procrastinate and do not feel like working at all — Even when I know I have a big list of items to get done. Taking a break does not help either.

I was coping to even read, leave alone writing for the last couple of weeks. I just felt too drained to do it. I came across this article by Deb Li, which absolutely moved me and gave that much-needed push for me to write this post ✍🏻

Heads up – the below pic with glasses (on the right) looks so cuteeee… I am going to simply attribute it to my 12 pro camera. I felt so good clicking that picture, and then I looked at myself . . . Umm Nevermind!

That is me – clicking selfies inside, outside, through the window, of the window, and so on and on. And those chopsticks – they have a story, and I am going to tell you about it now 🙂

I chop-chop my hair last week. That’s the shortest I have gone for all I remember. My head suddenly feels so much lighter damn it.

What is the Chopstick story?

I think I mentioned in my previous blog that I have been fascinated by Korean culture. It started because of K-Dramas. As odd as it may sound, binge-watching some series helped me deal with my anxiety. I am not sure how much these dramas reflect North Korean society – but I picked up some good habits from the shows 💪🏻

7:30 AM Youtube watchlist
Rest of my day

I noted that Korean people are well-mannered, elegant, and disciplined. They love their food and they eat it with all their heart. Food is the center of everything in their culture. You can say that their lives revolve around food – and the evidence can be found in various local documentaries, movies, and shows.

I believe in intermittent fasting. I try to balance my body by giving it proper proportions of food. But watching them eat makes me so so so hungry 🤯 I have never felt anything of that sort. So I decided to try their food in their style i.e. with chopsticks, slurping, and gulping the food. 🙈 One week in – I still don’t how to use it. But, I will patiently keep practicing. I swear I have finger cramps whenever I try to eat with chopsticks. I guess, I just have to stay strong … LOL 🤣

There is this famous food stop in Seoul, Korea – Gwangeng Market. It is famous for its street-style cuisine. I am dying to go there and try Spicy rice cake meals, kimchi dumplings, knife-cut noodles, and other Heritage dishes like Tkobokki, Mayak Kimbap, Korean Raw beef, Banchan, and seaweed 😁

What shows did I watch and recommend?

I am completed a ton of shit in the past couple of months. To name a few – Startup, Strongest Deliveryman, You drive me crazy, Ride your wave, Street Food Asia, Blinge Empire, 2D1N Korean Variety show, Welcome to Waikiki 2, Suits in the past month.

2 Days 1 Night Season 4 is the best reality show ever. The six guys you see below – travel to a distinct location in North Korea every alternate weekend. They have Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner games. The rules are – if you don’t win, you will have to see others eat all the yummy meals in front of you and stare at them with craving eyes 🤤. The best point about this show is that they never fight. Even if they do, it’s like watching kids fight over a piece of cake 🤓. They laugh, support each other, eat, sleep, travel, and stay bright. Positive Vibes only.

Also, note that some of the members on this show are global stars. Despite that, they don’t try to put up an image. They have their guard down and just be themselves. I love this show!

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Don’t take yourselves too seriously – I have heard that several times. But, watching them not giving a fuck about their image is somewhat inspiring. Every time I am feeling down, I just watch an episode of this show. The six of them never disappoint.

I believe I have discovered a lot about the history and heritage of North Korea. I now have a list of places I want to visit there. IDC who wants to know, but I will just list the places I want to hit –

  • Boseong – known for tea gardens.
  • Joenju – known for hand-made pottery and art.
  • Jinhae – famous for Cherry blossoms.
  • Goyang – City of colorful flowers. Hosted 2020 Goyang International Flower Festival.
  • Yeongyang – known for nutritious rice and the Firefly festival.
  • Miryang – known for Ice Valleys, waterfalls, Alps.

My Korean Drama addiction is making me mad. But, the good thing is that I am meticulous, I control myself before it gets too extreme (At least that’s what I think). I am putting a check on this binge-watching habit of mine. I blame this obsession for my “creative-block” 😐 🙊

I am trying to balance my love-dovey-sweety-happy K-dramas, by watching some rational and stimulating shit on Netflix. I completed the Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel documentary. It had the most unexpected ending I have ever seen in any documentary. It talks about the murder of Elisa Lam in Cecil Hotel, located right next to skid row in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s one of the most dangerous places in all of Los Angeles. What started with a suspicious murder mystery just took a weird climactic turn. I felt bad for Elisa, she was honest and deserved so much more. About the documentary, it’s bone-chilling… Go watch.

I will leave you with some of my recent clicks of San Francisco, Bay Area. I am going to quote by my manager now for no reason 😼 – “Your hard work takes you to the next level, but your behavior helps you grow beyond.

All these pictures were taken on a single fuckin day. Yes, damn it, San Francisco is Divine!!!

BTW I started this new Instagram page @skstrokes. I post all my Digital Artwork there. I am no pro – I just want to learn. I felt that if I make a page, then I will be more motivated to work on it. I have been wanting to do this for a while now but was procrastinating. Now that I feel more settled, I finally made the page and started learning different drawing techniques. At least now my iPad is getting used to something ** insert happy face ** Please support my new account 🙂

SK Strokes

Digital Art | NO0b Artist

To end this post, I’d say that I am currently surviving on random youtube vlogs, potato chips, and bread. Thank you. Bye 🥱 ❣️

👩🏻 Year in Review – 2020

Now it is time to review the year 2020. WHAT-A-CRAZY Year. Don’t we all agree?

This whole year, I felt like a kid learning to walk – who kept falling and required support, who needed to be handled but did not realize it. I always thought I could manage on my own in any situation, but I was wrong. This year has been tough for all of us. 

I was in India start of the year. Before leaving, my mom casually read my yearly horoscope from our traditional calendar. The horoscope said – 

It is going to be an untimely year. You are going to face hardships. You could also be in an accident. But, overall the year will be financially rewarding.

After listening to this, I smirked and thought to myself that it is not possible. I had so much to look forward to – my graduation, new job, city, friends, culture. Everything was going to change, and I was excited. I could not have prophesied that the suffering mentioned in that piece of paper was real. 

The Good and Bad, The Dark and Bright, The Wild and Numb. Here is me rewinding my memories from the year 2020. 

Coming back from India 🛩

I was extremely excited about returning after one month trip to India. I was looking forward to the upcoming internship, coursework, and the last few months at USC.

Los Angeles Times internship begins 👩🏻‍💻

This internship was one-of-a-kind and so much fun. We worked quite independently, brainstormed on project ideas, and delivered high-impact in a couple of months.

Exploring Los Angeles 💁🏻‍♀️

Last semester at USC meant saying goodbye to LA. I made sure to visit as many places as possible before leaving the city. I miss Santa Monica, Malibu, Sunset Blvd, and Figueroa St 😦

Invading privacy as always 🤦🏻‍♀️

To my defense, I love taking candid pictures. Also, I never explicitly point my camera towards anyone and ask them to pose. For example, this picture perfectly captures the mood of the place. I encountered a good frame, I clicked.

Please click my pictures… 💃🏻 Ok, Thanks 🙋🏻‍♀️

I should have actually put a comparison of the pictures *he clicked for me* and the *ones I clicked for him*. We went to see Urban Lights. I literally had to drag my friends to come with me. Not to forget, they were ~later~ thankful that I planned such a memorable outing.

Chai on the rocks ☕️

Seher makes the best chai in the world. I miss my chai dates with her. Just that she used to put a lot of water in it. I don’t know what she did by saving all the milk 😦

Please let me go out 😓

Sometime in March, when they enforced stay-at-home orders. Btw, you see that couch behind? I never appreciated how comfy it was until I left that place.

Getting done with the last exam of my student life 🥺

Knowledge Graphs was an interesting class. I learned many relevant things related to my field in that course. We put in most effort for the project, and received an A+ YAAAAY

Graduation 👩🏻‍🎓

I don’t think I need to say much about Graduation. People who follow my blog must have already read my post “Graduation Blues”. In the post, I have covered that phase in detail.

Cheers to the Ending and New Beginnings 😸😻

In no time, June arrived. It was time to say good-bye to LA, USC, and my friends. I thought I wouldn’t cry, but was I wrong. To be honest, I haven’t put in enough effort to be in touch with my best friends, I should have. They still mean so much to me. ^^ You know me guys when we meet, I am going to flood you with my new life updates. ^^

Is this adulting?🤭

I lived alone in Sunnyvale for a damn month. Ok, that was pretty bad. I barely saw people in the corridors, or even in the parks. They only came out to take their dogs out for a walk. I am not sure if it’s the pandemic or people here do not like going out.

Salesforce tower Awwwwww so pretty 🤤

After a month of suffering alone, I finally moved to San Francisco. And that is the view from my room. I thought this was enough to distract me from the loneliness of the city-life during this pandemic, but I was clearly wrong again.

Room feels empty 🥱

First couple of months were the best. I was enjoying my new found independence. I wasn’t sharing my room with two other people anymore. I could play music on-loud and eat whenever I wanted. But, slowly the room started feeling sad, dark, empty, and lonely.

Missing my friends a lot 🤧

I was missing my friends. I wanted to just take a flight and meet them. I never understand how people adapt to this sudden transition after the end of student life.

Chatting with your long-distance friend for hours 🐷

All I could do was to have lengthy calls and texts with my friends. Given the pandemic, travelling was risky. Trust me the crap we discuss is completely unnecessary. (See for yourself)

Why is San Francisco orange, eh? ☄️

I usually wake up at 7.30 am. But that morning I woke up at 9 am, because no sun light. The whole city was transformed into an orange ball. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event. I was both mesmerised and scared to be present here.

Is Facebook Dating a thing? Let me try 🍻

I was both curious, and isolated. I heard that FB Dating had an option to make friends as well. I decided to give it a try. I didn’t make any friends, but I was glad to at least meet new people through this medium.

Fuck it! let’s go to North Carolina 🚀

I gave up. At this point, I just wanted to go and meet my friends. I won’t say I did not care about Covid anymore, but my creeping anxiety was over-powering and I decided to take the risk. Thankfully, I tested negative after I reached NC.

Meeting-new-people anxiety 🎡

After quarantining for almost 4 months straight, meeting new people was an uneasy experience for me. I don’t know how many people would relate to me, but I felt burdened to talk and interact with them. (It could be because of my introverted nature as well.)

Diwali Vibes (Felt happy after-a long time) ❣️

I didn’t go home during Diwali since I came to the US. I was delighted to spend it with a family this time. It was much needed, especially during this pandemic.

Back to San Francisco … 🙍🏻‍♀️

Obviously, the trip came with an end date. I had to come back. SF is among the best places to live in the world. But I may have arrived here at the wrong time. I needed to see people.

What to do now 🛌🏻

Many readers may find my reactions to be quite extreme. It’s because they are. I am sensitive and have anxiety. One thing I have learned in the past year is that I am not alone. There are many people like me. Writing about it makes me feel better.

Please try to focus on your work 💆🏻‍♀️⛔️

Yes, after coming back I decided to focus on my work. I prioritised my pending tasks, and planned to deliver some impact by the end of this half.

Why do I not read books? 📚

I started reading books. This, undoubtedly, is one of the most satisfying hobbies to have. You just have to find your genre. It’s not as easy as watching a movie. You have to bring those characters alive in your head, and be curious about their journey.

Stop ordering from Amazon 💸

I need to stop gifting myself stuff every second day. Given my rate of ordering, I was not surprised looking at Amazon’s quarterly earning reports this year.

No, I will just watch K-Dramas and waste my time 🧏🏻‍♀️

Have you watched the Parasite? That movie won Oscar. It had a universal appeal, despite being based in South Korea. That’s the magic of the Korean film industry, they are relatable.

Am I in Love? 😍

This guy is Kim Seon Ho. Yes, I am fully invested in the K-Industry now. Look at that innocent-looking face. I instantly fell in love with his character in “Startup” His acting is so real – you will be able to feel the emotions and turmoil the character is going through. I will stop writing about him here, or else this post will go on for four more paragraphs.

Should I go to Denver? ☠️

Yes, I was again considering to meet my other friends in Denver for Christmas and New Year Holidays. I did not go. I sure made my roommate tensed by telling him about the plan.

Nahhhhh… Make new friends 👐🏻

Instead of going and meeting my old friends, I made new ones. They are fun. This is me on Christmas Eve. We made a one-pound cake and ate it too. I’d say – Food is the one ingredient that binds us together… 😀

Is the year still not over? 🙇🏻‍♀️

The end is almost here. I can’t believe I am a year old and wiser. I have spent one entire year of my life quarantining.

Stop crying already 🥲

Why do I feel like this was needed for me to grow? Usually, you stay so busy chasing your dreams that you forget to spend time with yourself. You forget to reflect on your thoughts and behavior.

Awaiting 2021 👀

I picked up some good habits this year like – exercising every day, giving up on sugar/snacks/junk food, maintaining work-life balance, meditating, writing more. Most important was to understand my pace. Every person has their own pace in life. Some people run, some walk, some crawl, you don’t have to follow someone else. It is essential so you can let yourself breathe and not be burdened with overwhelming work.

Grateful 😇

Extremely grateful for what was, what is, and what will happen. Looking forward to a bright new year 🙂


I hope you found my last 12 months of picture gallery interesting. Stay Strong and Keep Fighting, you guys. The anxiety and stress are real. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk 🙂 

. . .H.A.P.P.Y. . . N.E.W. . .Y.E.A.R. . .

Stunning East + Latest K-Craze

Hello! It’s been a long time since I last wrote anything. I have become extremely lazy during this pandemic. I sleep, work, and watch series all-day everyday. The creative devil inside of me keeps popping up now-and-then, making me feel guilty of how pathetically I am wasting my precious time, but I still refuse to move.

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I wasn’t like this 2 months back. A lot changed over the last 60-so days. Besides the day-light saving, and my east coast trip, I have a new Life Update – I am an official K-Drama Fanatic now!!!!!

K-Dramas are legit fun, even with an added task of reading the subtitles. I recently binge-watched 2 Korean shows on Netflix – Startup, and Strongest Deliveryman. These dramas are well-written and executed. Characters are not glorified, and the writers dare to showcase flawed main leads. Good chunk of time is spend in character development, as a viewer you feel invested.

Alert – They have cliffhangers in every damn episode, the urge to not start the next episode is sickening.

Korean shows, I have seen so far are refreshing, lively, and well-acted. I love their Background score, Set Designs and Costumes.

Well-Well, my addiction to these dramas is making me nervous. I need to stop.


Let me rewind and capture all my east coast memories in this post before it’s too late to post about it.

Oct 24 – The top image capture San Francisco views and the bottom one is Raleigh, North Carolina. I was awe-struck by the greenery spread all across the state. The country-side views felt more homely and I was delighted to breath fresh air.

Cherokee, North Carolina We were visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. They are spread across Tennessee-NC Border. We crossed the borders couple of times going from one spot to another. (10+ hours of constant traveling could have been tiresome, but the destination always made my fatigue go away)

Gatlinburg, Tennessee Situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The place has a ton of outdoor activities, along with a Hanging bridge, and Space needle. We were visiting this place during Halloween, hence we got to witness people dressed up in some kickass avatars. (While we looked quite normal/decent/boring)

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee A must-go vacation place during Fall Season. It has many good restaurants, bars, clubs, and casinos.

Special thanks to my Host & Dost – Amal Vaishnav! He drove during the whole trip, and all I did in return was click his pictures 😛 Got to learn many new things from him during this trip. I miss our endless late night talks, and McD Vanilla cone halts 😦

Oconaluftee, North Carolina This is me swinging up in the air like a doll (I look more of a Witch though)

Laurel Falls, Tennessee And the trail board said 1.5 miles hike, but oh boy it felt looooooong. Waterfall was ummm pretty normal, I enjoyed the trail much more 🙂

Diwali Celebrations This pictures my mom sent me from India. I loved it, I posted it, IDC.

Baltimore, Maryland This was my first real Diwali celebration in 2 years. These Kids were so much fun, and their reactions to firecrackers was hysterical. After 30 minutes of shouting and denying of even touching that fire stick, they finally found courage to hold it and managed to pose for smiling pictures as well. That’s how they are adapt to their Indian roots – Slow and Steady!

The Capital Wheel, National Harbor After the wheel kept going on for like 10 mins, we were bored inside and wanted it to stop. (That’s all I remember :))

National Harbor, Maryland Well-Lit. It has the Capital Wheel, the Giant Christmas Tree, and fine restaurants and bars to hangout during the weekend. (I bought Cotton Candy from a local Candy shop here.)

Washington DC OOOO MMMYYY GAAAWWWDD

Washington DC Someone please transfer to this city 😦 (Company Fellas, listening??? )

Cary, North Carolina Leaving you with a picture of cup-cake and dreamy clouds 🙂


That was my East Coast Visit. I was glad to meet so many new faces on this trip. Meeting families who felt like my distant relatives, Celebrating Diwali with them brought back a plethora of memories. Pre-Diwali party meal preparation, eating a ton of sweets, watching family movies, laughing, and smiling. What-a-stress-buster. Can I do this every month? 😦

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Dimple . . Mismatched . . Rishi . . How . . Original

I decided to watch “Mismatched” – a new Netflix India show. I was able to complete it in like two hours as it has only six episodes. I had no expectations from the show, to be honest. So, I was not disappointed. It showcases cute teenage romance between the various couples on the show. The show tries so hard to give moral lessons but fails miserably.

There was something totally “mismatched” about the whole show. With the development of multiple subplots, I lost track of our two main characters. I could never connect with them at all. The show is based book named “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon. The end of season 1 left me with a ton of questions. I became curious as to what happens next. When I googled it, I came to know about this book adaptation, So, decided to give this book a read.

The show has a ton of flaws. But, it’s not as out-of-place as the book itself. While both of them have the same backdrop, there is a lot of difference between the two. Lets’ first talk about our two bizarre characters in the book.

Dimple is a 17-year old, high-school graduate, incoming Stanford grad, US-born Indian kid. Despite her intelligence, all her mother wants is for her to get married to an Ideal Indian husband. Rishi is our “Rahul” from K3G. He is an 18-year old incoming MIT grad. Born in a rich family, extremely gentle, follows Indian customs, talks about Indian scriptures, and so on and on and on. I have never seen any US-born Indian kid as ideal as Rishi, and that is my problem with the book, it’s one-dimensional. (The show has a similar plot but is based in India. The characters have been portrayed as smart-asses)

Rishi wants a perfect-romance like his parents, who got married in their early 20s. So, he decides to look out for a partner to marry. Ok, can you even digest that an 18-YEAR OLD boy is looking for a bride? yaaaay… Take your time . . . . . . . . . . . He finally comes across Dimple’s picture and decides to meet her @ Insomnia Con. Both of them headed to this once-a-year app development event in San Francisco. Dimple is a portrayed as a full-on coding freak, whereas Rishi is just there to meet her. When Rishi met Dimple for the first time, the first words he uttered were “Hello, Future Wife! I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives!” OMG, who does that. That is so so so creepy. She throws her cold-coffee on his face and walks away. Well-deserved Mr. Rishi.

Rishi knew from watching his parents that what mattered were compatibility and stability. He didn’t want a million dramatic, heart-stoppingly romantic moments — he wanted just one long, sustainable partnership.

I was highly disappointed after reading this book. It almost felt like watching a Bollywood movie, full of drama. Lets’ go over some of the other cheesy characters.

Rishi’s brother – Ashish, is the complete opposite (Obviously, Duh!) He doesn’t respect anyone, keeps his parents worried all-the-time. So Cliche!! Then there are characters like Hari, whose parents have just donated a whole freaking CS department to the University. He is there to participate in the event. Hari goes around insulting people on their faces with his two equally shitty friends Evan and Isabelle. And we have Celia, Dimple’s roommate, who is struggling with her own set of problems. She is trying to get along with the bully group to look cool, something that she wasn’t able to do in high-school.

Ok. Enough. The book shows every character exaggerated, one-dimensional, and tasteless. The show is based in India, so all the drama is still justified. Teenagers in America don’t go around winning coding competitions because their parents are trustees of the freaking university. The book’s story is based in San Francisco, the heart of Silicon Valley. You are telling me that kids get admit to a damn big coding hackathon last minute? Is it that easy? Fuck No. Are you seriously alleging an extravagant coding event to be rigged? I just can not believe this shit.

Then I reached the last page and read about the author of this book. Somehow it all suddenly made sense. Sandhya Menon was born and brought up in India. Ok, now I understand where all the gibberish is coming from. This is what happens when an Indian author tries to write a love-story with US-born Indian kids as main leads. Irrespective of the country, teenagers never behave like that. No one fucking thinks about getting married at the age of 18, forget meeting someone in an arranged situation. BS! The “Never have I Ever” show on Netflix does a much better job of resonating with the problems of Indian origin kids in the US.

The love story between Dimple and Rishi was cute, don’t get me wrong. If the character would have been 20-ish, it would have still made a whole lot of sense. I will give some points for gradual chemistry-building. Also, loved the casual references to San Francisco’s local spots (since I live in the city). If I keep the flaws aside – I will say that the author did a good job by sticking to a single plot. At least the book focused on the two main leads, unlike the show which went haywire in every freaking direction.

I am unable to decide which of the two, book and show, is more flawed. But, now that I have already read the book and seen the show, there is no point in ranting. The only thing that made me content is that I could complete the book in one sitting.

If you want to read an absurd, romantic drama with Indian characters, go ahead give it a read. I did not hate the novel, it just did not make sense to me.

Master of Quarantine

Quarantine Day Count – 200+ days now!

Heads up – I get the most random thoughts nowadays. I am going to write some of them down today.

I was a curious kid and wanted to know it all. I remember having so many questions to ask, but no one to answer them. My mind used to haul in all different directions. One day I tried to learn painting, other day dancing, and so on. To be honest, I couldn’t ask my parents to pull thousands of rupees off from their salaries for my whims, especially given how hard they worked for it.

But could that have stopped me from exploring new stuff? Eh, Nooooo.

I taught myself dancing by watching dance videos on tv and swaying along when no one was around. I recollect having a self-imposed strict regime of watching English movies and reading newspapers every day to improve my hold over language. (And look at me, I am still so bad at it). In school competitions, I used to force myself to think out-of-the-box.

I used to style my clothes, trying to find that perfect blend of colors. That was an exciting phase for me. At one point, I tried enrolling in a Fashion Design class, which didn’t happen because I was under-aged. I can call myself a creative person. My happiness lies in challenging myself and pushing my limits.

No one was asking me to do all these. I am proud to say that I learned many things on my own. I wish I had some teacher to guide me through it all, would not have been such a confused individual in that case. Having a coach or mentor is a blessing in disguise. You will discover immeasurable satisfaction in learning. Having someone who could answer all your doubts and help you grow and succeed is so necessary.

Flaunting my new glasses 🙂

Strive for a perfect Mentor. Stop aiming for success, money, fame, or job. Get a good coach, learn the skill, work hard, ask questions, and success will follow. This advice comes from my personal experiences.

It is simple! When you are passionate about something, curiosity tags along. When you confront your mentor with all these questions, the whole conversation helps you learn new things. It will improve your communication as well. Talking out loud always helps.

So, yeah. Just felt like writing about it. I get to work with some of the smartest minds in Silicon Valley. I feel challenged every day. I feel blessed to have someone to guide me. I could not have asked for more.

One more thing – Adulting is so damn weird. As a student, submitting an assignment used to give me a sense of achievement. But, nowadays, I complete ten different tasks, commit twice a day, cook, clean, and make my bed. It still is not enough. Huh!

In other news, I saw the “Blackpink: Light up the Sky” Documentary on Netflix. More power to the Girl Band!!! Love them ❤

Quarantine has changed me so much. It is a much-needed break from the outside world.

Hope all of us come out stronger and brighter from the Quarantine season 😀