Life as an ‘Adult’¬†

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Nothing like a free day to ponder over things with a coffee in hand

It has been nearly two quarters of a years since I have shifted to a new country. How has it been so far? Can’t say splendid but it has been good. New place, and friends can be refreshing but the major difference is I entered the territory of adulthood – you are “on your own” zone.

There is nobody to watch over me and, therefore, I have to parent myself. For example, I never knew what size my foot is or how much is my chest. I never had to remember any of it since, my dad always knew what shirt size would fit me (I am still figuring all the sizes, out). Similarly, I have never been inquisitive about how many tea spoons of salt/ sugar you add to a curry or how much should be ratio of water when you boil rice. Mom has been so nice!

Not only this, I have a foodie sister – she is a connoisseur at it – whom I can consult if I ever want to find a place to hangout (or grab a bite).

Unfortunately, none of that exists anymore. I had a gusto for this lifestyle formerly but it was not difficult to realize the beauty of life under the protective care of parents.

Suddenly from no expectations, things turn to a lot is expected from you. Pay your bills on time, learn to cook, be courteous and social, give the (right) gifts etc.

Hopefully I learn it all soon but it is certainly challenging. There is a bright side to all of these. I will, hopefully, grow stronger and a better person; maybe a responsible person.

I have started out at least by understanding the classifications of coffee – latte, frappe, mocha etc. It is not easy but well so is not the life as an adult.

In other things, happy new yearūüôā

This is where I spent my New Year Eve, just a few miles away from stuffed Time Square, NYC.

The One Last Week

My life is about to change. I know, I’ve said this earlier but this time it will, without any more delays. I had three months of vacation. Sounds intimidating right? I was, initially, but now I feel as if it should’ve last longer,¬†if not by¬†a month then, at the least by a week or so. This vacation was very crucial to me. I did the most important thing – nothing. Yes, doing nothing is not easy but at times it is required. I feel as if this was a required respite after onerous undergraduate school.

3 days, 11 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds left as of this point before my life changes.

In case, I’ve made you curious as to how that is going to happen then I’ll answer your question. I’m shifting to the States – new country, new people, new school, new department, new weather, new food and new friends. I’ve been working for this since last 6 years. I just wanted to be in the States. Everything I did was one step progress in that direction. Around¬†two months back, I was exulted when¬†I crossed the final hurdle inhibiting me from going to the States.

A designer cake ordered by my dear sister.

A designer cake made for me by my dear sister.

Some facts as to how I worked during last six years, to prepare myself for this change, apart form the academic aspects: I used to clean fans and lights for my mom assuming it would help me in the States where I’m supposed to chores myself; I chose hostel life in my undergrad assuming that it would help me in the states where I’m supposed to stay alone, away from family; I learned to cook albeit recently and I’m one hundred percent sure this will come to my aid; I used to iron my clothes; I learned to clean my own plate in a spiritual session I attended during¬†my UG and this goes on.

That being said I feel as if this journey should not have ended. Last three months have been nothing but leisure time – late night LAN gaming and rambles with friends, cooking lessons under mom’s tutelage, hearing dad’s life stories, gymming, and reading. Oh, and the most indispensable thing – eating. I’ve covered most of the hotels and restaurants in my city. I’m going to miss this time about which, admittedly, I was not very enthusiastic and yet it turned out to be one of the vivid memories of life.

To sum up, I feel that I’m prepared for my new life so “bring it on”.ūüėé

The One With Excursion To Dubai

Dubai – the city of extravagance – is one of the coveted places flooded by tourists from around the globe. This was my second time to Dubai and I was stunned by¬†the development¬†of this tiny country – United Arab Emirates – which has got its independence merely forty five years back. Additionally, this is desert I’m talking about where temperature goes to as high as 50 degrees. They overpowered it with the help of date tree – it requires very less water – and desalination of sea water considering the less amount of other water resources. Prehistoric Dubai was mainly city of fishing and pearl industry¬†but¬†then there is modern ¬†Dubai.

It has world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa. We’re are allowed to go up to 124th floor. The entry to this tall beast is through Dubai City Mall, again, a must¬†visit place. ¬†This mall has an exquisite collection of brands and you’ll find the utmost profligacy over here. Oh and the lift that take you to the top is so fast you’ll feel pressure difference in your ears.

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The tallest building known to man as of now – Burj Khalifa.

Then, Dubai hotel which has been aliased as “The World’s Only Seven Star Hotel” – The Burj Al Arab. If you book a suite in this hotel then you get a free airport pickup in a Rolls Royce. Now, that’s the sultan’s way of living life.

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The World’s only seven star hotel – Burj Al Arab.

As if this is not enough, you’ll find a huge¬†man-made island, resembling a palm in shape, over here – The Palm Island. You can use a mono rail to go to this island. It is at a height equivalent to 4 floors and goes across¬†sea. Additionally, this train has no driver. At the island’s end, there is The Palm Atlantis Hotel, of course, with a mind boggling tariff for per night stay. Sharukh Khan has been gifted a villa on this island by Dubai’s king.

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The Palm Atlantis Hotel as seen from the front row of mono rail.

And then there is¬†The Ferrari World at Abu Dhabi. World’s biggest indoor theme park whose roof bears a Ferrari sigil – it was visible from a plane. I remember the roller coaster, named Formula Rossa, which goes from 0 – 240 km/hr in under 5 seconds. Now, that’s some thrill. Also, the actual formula-one racing experience at¬†Karting Academy¬†was splendid. I remember the skids and bashing I did to just get myself in top three at dashboard.

 

Inside the Ferrari World Theme park.

Inside the Ferrari World Theme park. There are so many Italian beasts on display here.

As if all this was not enough, I had a ride in a¬†Hummer and a Limo, a visit to King’s palace, ate gujarati food at¬†Gordhan Thal¬†(only people from Ahmedabad may be aware of this one) and so much more.

To summarize, I’ve been to Dubai twice and I still can’t get enough of it. Go for it while you still can enjoy the thrills there.

The one with my Delhi trip

Delhi, certainly not the city of dreams, is, however, the capital of India. I recently got a chance to visit this alluring place – this is my opinion now – thanks to my dad’s constant hammering for a family trip. Delhi had some magnificent artistry to offer. Firstly, the most convenient way to reach Delhi, of course, after aerial transport, should be, incontrovertibly, the Rajdhani Express. Its fast, moderately expensive, and offers not so culinary delights.

Unlike Mumbai, Delhi’s traffic is, again, not so stuffy may be because it is well-attended or worse I’m deceived since I visited it during a weekend. But, it’s definitely bearable. Roads are wide and you’ve got Delhi Metro at your service for distant places – clean, cheap, and efficient. However, don’t be astonished if you see some roads blocked since Delhi has too many VIP’s who think that a five or ten minutes gained¬†in their transport¬†is worth wasting time of hundreds of other civilians¬†[In Sarcasm]. So, while they pass, roads are blocked. A caveat: Don’t buy anything from road vendors. Nothing! They are there simply to rob you off. Here’s what one of my elder kin said “You go to repair the puncture in your left tyre and you end up finding your right tyre replaced or worst, missing”. You may, therefore, avoid overrated Chandni Chowk unless you really want to see the clumsy houses and crooked streets let alone getting robbed and people selling items at the top of their lungs. Anyways, enough with caveats.ūüėÄ

The places to visit, in priority, should be –

  • Akshardham Mandir
  • Taj Mahal (If you ready for a nearly 100km road trip to Agra)
  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate
  • Lotus Temple
  • All the Ghats, Bhumi and Sthals¬†(Memorial for great Indian people)
  • Red Fort
  • Qutub Minar

We took a one day Delhi city tour¬†which covered all the things from Museum to Qutub Minar. Let me start explaining in reverse order. Architecturally speaking, Qutub Minar ought to be good since it is still standing after nearly a millennia but since we’re not allowed inside don’t waste your money buying tickets. Red-Fort, well, it is beautiful from outside so can be seen from your car. Visit one of the Ghats, perhaps, Raj Ghat – it is made in the memory of the Father of India. These are spectacular gardens packed with myriad colors of a variety of flowers. An architecture by L&T, the Lotus Temple, has some stupendous curves and it may remind you of Opera House in Sydney. It’s a spiritual temple meant to¬†seek inner peace; however, it is as silent as library and the queue to enter is as long as a metro¬†train. A road view of parliament, and India Gate may not hurt you and people like me, who are interested in knowing about Indira Gandhi, should definitely visit her museum. They have diligently¬†preserved her precious things. One of them was a prehistoric IBM typewriter. I just wonder how expensive¬†it must have been sixty years ago.

I’ve already been to Taj, one of the deserved seven wonders and a symbol of love and heaven on Earth, so I didn’t go there. But it lies on bank of Yamuna river and is the second best architectural piece India has to offer, according to me. I think the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple at Delhi lies at first place. ¬†Let me give some quick facts about it –

  • It’s the hard work of 300 million man hours.
  • It took 32 years to acquire the 100 acres of land due to litigative¬†issues. Ironically, the impeccable construction was finished¬†in 5 years even after following the nitty-gritty of the science of Vastu Shastra.
  • Most of the temple construction was voluntary i.e it was service given by Swaminarayan folks. They had around 11,000 volunteers who gave monetary, physical and intellectual service.
  • You can get a pizza¬†plus¬†sandwich¬†just for 100 bucks. Hard to find one!ūüėÄ
  • Unlike traditional temples, it has an indoor boat ride depicting 10,000 years of Indian History in around 10 minutes. (It was good revision of your high school social studies)
  • The musical fountain show may remind of the coveted Bellagio Fountains, Vegas. However, these fountains are a bit more meaningful since they depict a story.
  • Finally, the temple¬†has free entry.ūüėÄ

After seeing this temple, I realized that India is not all about temples. In fact, it is the speciality of Indian culture to design intricate domes, ornate spires, and carve animal expressions on rock. I believe that it is unique to us.

Temple view from the Premvati food court.

To sum up, you should go to Delhi because Akshardham Temple resides there where as you should visit those other places since you’re already in Delhi.¬†Such is the magnificence¬†of this place no wonder it won multiple¬†prizes in the guinness book of world records.

P.S – Don’t forget to take a guide with you in the temple or you may loose its essence.

The One with My Admission Decision

Today, I’m very happy. Elated! Exhilarated! ¬†Euphoric! Gleeful! I don’t remember other synonyms. It has been a while, now, since I wrote¬†my GRE test.

My life at DA-IICT is about to end in a few months. I had been too anxious as a senior at college since I took risk. Let me explain! Generally, it is a good idea, indeed, to have backups. Well, I didn’t keep one. By the time one graduates from his engineering school, he has a few options, one of which he can opt for. Either, join the corporate culture¬†or, if you wish to remain within the academia, study further. But Indians are too smart! They not only prefer second option but also keep prior one as backup. Despite the fact that I knew this, I didn’t do it¬†since¬†I was willing to take this risk. It is said that higher¬†the risk, more is the gain.

I’m, usually, too coward to take one. But this time, I’d a ¬†colleague who gave me solace whenever the anxiety soared too much. Anyways, the important point is results of my calculate risk, if I may call, have come to fruition.

I got accepted in a PhD program at a tier 1 school in US. Yayy!

My reason to write all this is simple. I would like to remember god for a moment and thank him for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. This year broke off really well. Happy New Year folks and I wish luck to my peers who are waiting for their admits.

The One With My Learnings

My life is about to change – it may go either way – and so is the life of my peers at DA-IICT. Most of them are placed at some multi-national company and the rest, who still have got a few drops of persistence left, are planning for higher education and¬†research. I’m also one of those mindless snobs who wants to study further. But, we all have got one thing in common – metamorphosis. A complete transformation of life in just few weeks or months. A rush of emotion occurs when you leave your home for the first time; people around me have that same feeling.

You start talking to the¬†weirdest batch-mates despite¬†the fact that¬†you never even bothered to know their name. You forgive people who broke your heart. You forget that envy feeling for your peers and wish them a happy life. You start doing all the things you’d have never dared to do simply because it’s your last chance. You spend hours talking about¬†what’s going to happen to¬†your future. You talk about your friendship and try to capture as many memories as possible.

Even though I’ll be staying back at DA-IICT for few more months, I’d like to share a few things I learnt. A few things which will stay with me forever. I’ll always be happy that DA-IICT had happened to me.

  • It doesn’t matter where you study, what matters is your learning experience. Everyone respects¬†quality¬†work and¬†no one, fortunately, cares where it was done.
  • Read, read, read. There ain’t any alternative to reading things yourself. Books, incontrovertibly, are our good friends.
  • ¬†Community Service is not about getting some certificates for your Resume. It’s about continue doing what you had always loved to do.
  • You should always have one mentor or guide – maybe¬†your¬†professor or guardian – who can push you¬†through thick and thin. Keep seeking for him¬†and have the cognitive skills to identify him¬†if he is already in your life.
  • Life is not all about getting girls. Spend more time with your friends because it is very well said that “True friendship is eternal”.
  • Everyone has that one hobby in life which they love more than anything else, that one thing which can give you solace even in worst times. Keep doing it!
  • Don’t do things only because everyone else is doing it or in other words, the path is already trodden and is safe. Now is the time to take risks.
  • Do not condescend your friends who look at things differently from the way you do. Respect their ideas and work, who knows, may be you were the one doing useless things.
  • Don’t use social networking to talk to girls because you’ll miss¬†their spontaneous reactions for mere emoticons.
  • Always keep the curiosity to learn new things, explore new ideas because when this learning¬†curiosity dies, life is nothing more than a programmed robot who mindlessly¬†follows instructions.
  • Always finish what you started, don’t leave things dangling. In fact, finish stronger.
  • Finally, learn to let go things.

I think that was too much pedagogy for today. Mainly, I’ve written it so that I can revisit it¬†back in future.ūüėÄ

Please share your own learnings, your favourite hobby, your anecdote of friendship, and your final year stories as¬†comments on this post. I’ll be happy to read them.

The one where I come back after a respite

It has been a while, in fact a lot more than a while, since my last blog. I’ve been too much occupied with Graduate Record¬†Examination a.k.a GRE and I’ve a lot of asperse¬†thoughts for it, however, I’ll keep my vehemence at bay.

Lately, I’ve been following the epidemic in Africa – Ebola – as well as the turmoils in ISIS. This¬†has sprouted some¬†questions in my mind.

On one hand I’m seeing¬†people contending for best jobs, best graduate schools, or stellar grades but, on the other hand, I’m somehow wondering why. According to WHO statistics, around 2500 causalities have been reported because of the outbreak of Ebola in Africa; let alone the actual total number of people who died since a lot¬†of them were not even documented. Additionally, they also anticipate that before they’ll be able to contain¬†it,¬†death toll of¬†people hit by this endemic will soar to somewhere around twenty thousand. ¬†Even¬†the scientist who sequenced the gene of Ebola lost¬†their life while doing so.

As if that was not enough, the militant groups in Iraq and Syria, with a “jihadism” ideology, have this nasty¬†desire to implement their “Islamic” norms and rules in the entire world. They have already gained control in these countries. Just imagine a country without jurisdiction and¬†impending American air-strikes. Not only that but also¬†they have recently released videos of beheading two innocuous American journalist who were simply covering the story, doing their job. A mother also pleaded for her son Steven Sotloff who was held captive by these – Al Quaeda’s successors – atrocious terrorists. And the worst part is most of these “jihadis” are disaffected youths, almost our age.

Therefore,¬†I’ve started to realize the gravity of this wonderful paradox :-

“We see so many people facing death¬†around the world everyday but, nevertheless, we still live our life as if we’ll live for next 50 years. “

I mean you can even die while reading this blog or you may never wake up the next morning because your abode¬†is wrecked¬†by¬†a Tsunami or an Earthquake. Natural disasters are still are rare phenomenon, one may say, however, death can come with as simple incident as “falling fan while sleeping”, can’t it? It’s a¬†stark reality.

Then why don’t we accept it? Even I’ve been planning things up after¬†my graduation. While I was studying for GRE, I used to muse on the things I’ll do after it’s done. Fortunately, I’m still alive after it’s denouement¬†but my point is ¬†I always avert¬†this talk about life and death saying that I’ve got a lot of things to enjoy; this is not the time for such musings.

What should be the answer for this life and death stuff?

This is the answer I’ve got for the question – it was said by Flash’s mother in the movie Justice League Flash Point Paradox. It may not be a strong response, nonetheless it’s a good quote.ūüėÄ

“Accept the things you cannot change,

Have the courage to change the things you can,

and be wise to know the difference between them.”

What answer have you got? Have you too shrugged off such talks lest they were thrown on you? Please enlighten me.