Holiday Cheer

Christmas lights strung inside the house. (The congratulations sign was hung up after my brother proposed to his girlfriend, who is now his wife. I don’t think it’ll ever be taken down.)

I can’t believe 2011 is almost over and that Christmas is nearly here!

I know I’m not in the minority when I say I love this time of year. Christmas lights on every corner, stores decorated, holiday baking, and peppermint mochas. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

What are some of your favorite things related to this time of the year?

Advertisements

Giving Thanks


Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. Honestly, how can I not like a holiday that is centered around food?

My plans for this long weekend include: Thanksgiving dinner with family, reading The Hunger Games (I just started this week and I’m hooked), and scouring the web for Cyber Monday deals (I cannot deal with the lines and crowds that come with Black Friday). I’m looking forward to it.

While the origins of Thanksgiving are not something to be proud of, its message is a good one: being grateful for what you have.

So in no particular order here is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • My family and friends
  • The good health of my family, friends, and myself
  • A roof over my head and food to eat
  • Kettle cooked jalapeno chips, Thai food, red velvet cake and guacamole
  • Books/my kindle
  • Heaters, sweatpants, and fuzzy socks (to keep me warm all winter)
  • The simple pleasures, my favorite being sharing a good meal with a good friend

What are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

The Bright Side of Being Sick

I get migraines. My mom used to get them, so thanks to genetics I now get them every few months. For those that have never had a migraine I cannot describe just how debilitating it is. My mood completely changes, I can’t eat anything, and even the slightest sound reverberates in my head. Medicine doesn’t help so all I can do in these instances is go to bed.

I awake the next morning almost feeling superhuman, like I can do anything. My head feels so light..it’s amazing! I love that feeling. After so many hours with a migraine, I forget how it feels to actually feel normal. It almost makes the migraine worth it to realize how great it is to be completely healthy. I say almost because I am not a masochist.

The point is it is awful to be sick. But it makes us appreciate the little things. Like how it feels to not have your head pounding, how nice it is to breathe through your nose, or being able to speak a sentence without having a coughing fit.

Hope you all have a happy, healthy day!

What caste are you?

Despite being born and raised in the US, I know a great deal about the Indian culture. I can speak Gujarati. I know the story of the Ramayana and Mahabharat. I have some shloks (prayers) memorized. I’ve read a lot about Indian history and have done kathak (Indian classical dance) for 12 years.

I was getting my make-up done for my brother’s garba-raas event (an Indian folk dance). The girl was an Indian-American (like me), just a few years older. While putting on my foundation she asks, “What caste are you?” I honestly replied, “I don’t know.”

I was taken aback by the question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before from someone in my own generation. What does it matter, especially here in America?

She then said “Oh you are so cute”, which annoyed me. I could tell she thought I was a naive little girl, but caste has never been a big factor in my life. I know I’ve asked my parents what our caste is on numerous occasions, but they themselves are not concerned with it. Therefore it was never anything important enough that I felt the need to remember.

It has never been a restriction for me. I’ve never been told I only have to marry only within my caste..in fact, my parents themselves didn’t.

It makes me wonder why this girl who was born and raised in the States was so interested in knowing my caste. Perhaps she just meant it to be small talk or maybe she was genuinely interested. If these are the questions she asks during small talk, well then…that’s a whole other blog post.

Does it make me a bad Indian for not knowing my caste? I don’t think so! It’s an outdated practice that has no place in the US and now has no relevance in big cities in India.

Has caste played a big part in your life? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Courage

After having read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof, I’ve become an avid reader of his posts in the New York Times. Just yesterday, he posted an article entitled One Girl’s Courage. 

It is a sad and angering story, laced with hope. Despite having gone through something as horrible as rape, I admire Fulamatu’s steadfast courage. It made me think about how I could be more courageous and bold when dealing with my problems, which aren’t even half as bad as hers.

What would you do if you had Fulamatu’s courage?

Change of Scene

Since I work from home it can get very easy to go stir-crazy and lose all sense of the outside world. So I thought a change of scene would do me good, especially considering the Indian summer we are experiencing.

I went to a coffee shop to get some work done. (Libraries are too quiet for me.) I sipped on an iced chai, ate a marble cookie, listening to my favorite songs and powered through my tasks/emails for the day.

My current favorite songs I’m listening to on repeat and get me in the zone:

1. You Make Me Feel Like – Cobra Starship ft. Sabi

2. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

3. Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heros ft. Adam Levine

4. Mein Toh Margaya Oye (Hindi) – Mausum soundtrack

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Last week, when news of Steve Jobs’ resignation hit the internet, it was safe to say everyone was in a state of disbelief. It certainly felt that way here in the heart of Silicon Valley.

As an owner of two Apple products, an iPhone and a Macbook Pro, I was saddened to hear the news. But what first came to mind was his Commencement Speech given at Stanford University in 2005.

It was a little bittersweet to hear the speech again, especially since it looks like his cancer has worsened.

Here are my favorite parts. They hit close to home when I first heard the speech and even now, months later:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Here is a full transcription of the speech.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Have a great day!