First Birthday in America

( This post is being scripted on my ( 3 * owner + 1* driver)/4’s demand. Anyone else reading it, would be doing it at their own risk. No complaints entertained. )

Every new year ( since I can remember of ), the first thing I would check is the list of holidays on the calendar to see if Deepavali would be on the same day as my birthday( I am allowed a few eccentricities ). And it so happened that, that coincidence did occur this year. But as things had panned out , I knew I wouldn’t get to be at home on the day, which meant missing out on so many amma-made specialties, top of the charts being the Lehyam. Normally, my birthday always comes right in the middle of exam season, so there wasn’t ever any great fascination with it, after of course the days of cake cutting. In the recent past, it was another reason for our inter gang + yavvan to eat out ( and probably save on the bill with means best known to us ) and for me to give my engg classmates a slip as far as the treat goes ( most of the times , it wasn’t my fault; they just weren’t persistent enough ).

I was feeling pretty down, what with the lack of people around here at about that time. I was at work that day ( Nov 8 ). My employer, ( sometimes I feel she is part of the neo-nazi ideology and since then have stopped working for her ) , had assigned me work in some basement-storeroom like dumping stuff off to create space. And I had gone there, in formal attire due to a seminar before that. The full-time staff working in the basement had protective clothing all over them and here I was getting my kapde all dirty. Then came Enemy’s call. She wished me first. Both of us were at work and cursing our employers. This was followed by Ruchita’s call. I felt nice about getting these calls, time turning 12 IST. Talked with her bro, cheenu as well. Came back home to find some mail for me. My enemy had sent me two cards. A greeting card and an Aeropostale gift card. Thanks re sammy 😉 .

Conference was called and entire UD3 and classmates were all on phone. I was in my room all along, everyone wishing me on phone. And then at 12, gharwaale knocked at my door, brought me down and there were atleast15-20 log. Full party level atmosphere create kare so thaa, festoons included. And there, there was. A big bad four layered chocolate cake. Most people I knew were present. Mansi and Aymen had taken great pains to get it all done. A very big thank you to them 🙂 and to all who made it to kick the life out of my butt. I was told later by Mansi & Aymen that it was Samatha’s idea. Thanks to her as well. Rest of the night was spent on the phone.

I had promised my other employers that I would get Chakkara Pongal for them. So was woken up by my parents, with their wishes and instructions for the preparation. Atthai#1 also called( She makes it a point that she is the first to call on everyones birthday 🙂 ) . Made Chakkarapongal all alone. I realized that my mom makes me do 95% of the work anyways while she makes it :P. By my own strict standards , I would rate it 8.5 /10 ( oru levella yosicchu paatha adi pidicchaa maadiri enakku taste vandhudhu ( censored for obvious reasons 😀 ) ) but given my first time escapade, I would rate it 15/1o. I called the cardiac surgery dept. and told them I would be a bit late. When I went there, my supervisor was missing, which was pretty strange.

At lunch time she arrived and these people had arranged a nice lunch treat for my birthday. She was late because she had gone to an Indian Restaurant and got food. They had taken the doctors’ help in deciding the menu.It was the first time with Indian food for all of them except one, but they seemed to have enjoyed it. So much effort for a newbie, whom they did not even know. A very nice gesture on their part, which I shall always be grateful for. They even added in hours for which I was late in making the chakkarapongal.

Returned home with the left-over stuff ( there was lot of it ). Divya and Mansi were at home. Divya gifted me lots of Hersheys ( the previous night I received a whole load of rochers and lindt truffles ). We decided to go to Abbotts for ice-cream and just when we were going out , a very big parcel arrived. It was from Sirisha and in it were 4 pints of ice cream. Timing bolthe iskoich.

Then had a very nice sleep for about 4 hours. Anthony and Mridula came and were served the best cuisine available in our refrigerator. It was Deepavali so all of us made our way to The Hindu Temple Of Rochester ( as it is called ). From there we all( 10 of us. mind you , I was meeting many of them for the very first time :P) went to an Italian restaurant, Bazil’s. On these guys request , the restaurant waale, brought an ice-cream with a sparkler in it as a very exciting substitute for candle. Happy Birthday Gaaye :)). It was so very :)) but so very nice of them because after all Na Jaan na Pehchaan…. DDT pursued and returned home for a well needed sleep over the weekend.

It would have been great if I could have been with my parents and old friends but then again , it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. That one eventful day, in a way, made me do away with the homesickness. And ever since , all those parties involved in making me feel good about myself in Rochester , are suffering.

And I know , You Know Why.


(PS : Ash sent 11 Ryan Giggs Manchester Utd 07-08 Season ka jersey :D. Thank You Very Much :d Chelskis Suck 😀 )


Away From Home – 100 days – Review

More than 3 months have gone by since the last ( first ) post. I am a bit free right now , this being the Thanks-giving weekend and so I finally sit down to end the procrastination on this front.

If I say that not a lot has happened over that period then I would be lying and if I say I have gone through a great deal , even then I would be lying. I intend to include all that I can remember over the past 100 days.

Starting with the house and house-mates, after a lot of chopping and changing we finally are 5 of us who are to spend time together at 51 Crittenden till next August. Kamesh & Aymen – MBA candidates, Mansi – classmate of mine and Trina – PhD Geophysics are the ones bearing me at home. I would love to dwell upon the idiosyncrasies that I have observed but then lets leave it at that for another day. There is also Karan, done with his Phd- English Literature , who will be leaving in about 10 days or so. He has taken me around a few places as well as introduced me to a new people.

I did do some funding search, but found out to be a futile exercise. Took up jobs in the Strong Hospital, one at Cardiac surgery another at Psychiatry , both office assistant jobs involving some kind of accounting / peon type work. I prefer going to the cardiac surgery one because of the people I work under. All very motherly ( grandmotherly as well ) and make sure I have something to eat or the other whenever I go there.

Coming to coursework, I took up Digital Signal Processing, Introduction to Random Processes and Image Processing. Have been doing pretty well in DSP , ok in IP and ok-ok in RP. I will be working under the DSP prof., in the next semester for credits( not sure yet, have a meeting with her on Monday )

Food. I am missing every chaat-bandi , irani cafe, tiffin centre, kwality-icecream bandi, anusha’s and the related and mum, dad & aunts’ made food and anusha’s mum made curd-rice. Why? I can in no way be even compared to being a half decent cook as 1/10th of any of those above mentioned. Tried eating omlette but after a few days left that as well. Eating better these days due to Mansi’s cooking ( she is planning to shift away to UTD , bad news for me ) and my escapades to restaurants in and around here( not lost that habit ) . Juice intake has significantly increased. As such , I am not that bad a cook ( local relativity has a lot to do with that statement ), but it is the lethargy to cook that is the reason for me not eating well. That is changing in the recent past for the better and hopefully I eat well. By the way, tyre size has increased( for others, baby is growing ) but I have lost 8 kilos after coming here. This can either be attributed to my not eating well in the last 3 months , or to the fact that I have cut down to my original size after the bloating that ensued for the 4 months prior to this.

My first love : Laptop – Dell Vostro 1400. My second love : Phone – Nokia 6126. Both compete very well for my attention and I see to it that I keep both of them very happy. Who am I kidding; I would die without either one. They are the only lifelines I have, to be connected with the people I have known for the best part of my life. The lack of these two for the initial month made me realize a few things about myself, but one in specific is I NEED LOTS OF PEOPLE TO BE AROUND , ALL THE TIME. I have finally found a few , similar to me, in the past two weeks so lets see how things go on from here.

I do spend a significant amount of time on weekends on the phone, mostly UD3 mates having a roundup of the week, pouring in their troubles, laughing at each other, discussing deals for unnecessary electronic gadgetry and the alike. I suppose at some level, each one of us needs that crap talk to just be normal, i.e., the normal of the past because after all, we are all missing our family a lot. Quoting Mr. Thalimpu Reddy – ” I have never seen myself so senti but here it goes. I am missing a lot of people all the time”.

Onset of winter has finally begun with the Thanksgiving weekend. Since this is the first time I am experiencing snow without my mum being around to scold me for making snowballs and hitting people, I did all that. Experienced the sale-crazy american public. I could so clearly see Corporate America ( for that matter, add China as well ) laughing their pants off , all with the lines of miles outside stores in the chilly snowy conditions. We went to one such line just for the heck of it. 5 of us, standing in the line for about 2 hours , inside Walmart( they were the only ones who had made arrangements for people to make the line inside the store ) and just bought one microwave oven which one of us had to buy anyway. We were being looked down upon with contempt. Is this all you have to buy on a Thanksgiving sale kind of look. Then started the snowball wars. Double teaming. Double crossing. All that and much more. Luckily I was one of the three who had thought of getting gloves along, so that put me at an advantage. Had another round of it at BestBuy( Should have gone here , lots of gizmos on sale ) . Just couldn’t stop stuffing snow into others’ jackets. To hell with all those who say snow is depressing. Definitely not as far as first day first show results go. Snow is fun. End of story.

That is how as it stands with semester end fast approaching. Hopefully the general pace of things catches up with my pace 😛 :-).