Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Year That Was

2008 is finally nearly over and am I glad? Well, yes I am. This was one year which was neither entirely good nor entirely bad but was too good and too bad in spurts. Come to think of it my whole short life till date has been like that but this year was a bit too much. It was a year of surprises, shocks, new beginnings, sudden endings, success, failure and everything being utterly unplanned.
I will list down major events of this year in chronological order and reminisce, so that I can breathe a sigh of relief and look back at the rollercoaster ride that this year was and pat my back to congratulate myself for surviving.

January- I visited Mumbai for the first time in my life and stayed there for a month with my brother. Yeah, I had never been to Mumbai before. Although I come from a family of travel freaks and I have been to nearly all places in India from Jammu to Kerela to Goa to Kanyakumari to Kullu to Jaipur to Mysore, and the list goes on, but I had never been to Mumbai. It was a good start to the year.

February- My best friend NV got married on 24th February in Kanpur. Although this is a major event of her life and not mine but when your best friend gets married it results in a lot of changes in your life too. For starters, NV moved to Hyderabad from Noida to live with her husband and this meant that I had to lose my favourite company. I did feel lonely, a lot.

April - The big break-up. Needless to say it left me shattered. Particularly because of why it happened and the way it happened. Enough said.
On 21st April, that was just 2 days after my break-up and the day I exchanged a last hateful sms with my ex, I went to US for a 20 day trip. The trip had been planned hardly a month back and I was naturally very excited about it, until the break-up happened. I lost all willingness to even exist let alone to go on a vacation. I had never imagined that my first overseas holiday would happen in such disastrous circumstances that I would have no interest or inclination towards it. Even just before stepping out of the airport in New York, I had not realised that I was on a long-awaited trip for which I was insanely excited until a week ago. However, the trip turned out to be a really needed break for me and took me away from the sad scene in India for sometime.

July- I decided to prepare for GMAT and started my blog just a day before my 25th birthday. Both the decisions turned out to be very good.

September- Dad joined a new company in Gurgaon on 1st September and Mom and Dad moved to Noida to stay with me. It was a great thing to happen for many reasons. I have always lived a pampered life when it comes to money but this new job of Dad pays him mindblowingly well because he works as the topmost executive of a very good company. This ultimately translates to the fact that I live an even more lavish life now :-)
Another fact is that, my parents moved in with me at a time when I needed them most. I was very lonely after NV's wedding and my break-up. There were other friends but they were not enough. I needed a stronger emotional support and I got that from my mother. Moreover, I could prepare for GMAT without worrying about what to cook for the next meal.

October- I took the GMAT on 25th October and got a really good score of 680. Although I had hoped for more, this score was enough to carry my MBA dream forward.

November- I found a consultant and took TOEFL. I was taking little baby steps forward towards my goal. I was excited and worked hard which gave me immense satisfaction. We also moved to Gurgaon from Noida on 7th November. The new home is BIG, beautiful, comfortable and rich. Plus I left my Noida flat which was full of memories, some horrid some good but I wanted to run away from all memories for sometime. My Noida flat is empty these days, empty because nobody lives there but it is still full of old furniture and old memories. It had become too cramped for me, the memories took up too much space. This was a good month.

December- I lost all steam for MBA, simply because the application process is too long to hold my interest. Although I got my TOEFL score and it was a fabulous 115/120, it wasn't enough to fuel my engine which has turned cold. I am still working on it but it's just because I have got myself so involved that i can't back out. Moreover, this is the only sensible thing to do right now. CARRY ON.

Now that I look back I can see that there were more good things and few bad things that happened this year. However, the bad things took the charm out of every other good thing. It was an year full of a lot of emotional turmoil and upheavals. It somehow seems to me that this year was a year of changes. Changes that are preparing me for the future, and changes are always painful even when they are for good. Well, I really hope that they are for good.

I am eagerly looking forward to 2009. If 2009 was a person, I would have welcomed it with big banners and flower garlands and smiles :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I Have Been Doing All These Days

The holiday season is here and I am in the holiday mood for nearly a week now. I don't want to work at all :-)

I completed my application to Maryland Smith on 15th because it was the last day to apply. My Spanish classes are going on really well. I have taken 5 classes and learnt a lot of Spanish vocabulary. I now know what does Bailamos mean (remember Enrique's famous song?), it means 'we dance' :-). Meanwhile we celebrated Dad's birthday on 19th. It was a nice and cozy family get-together that included a lot of good food, a lot of laughter and latest family gossip. The following day, I took my cousins to a nearby mall where we played video games and tried a game each of Bowling. I have improved since last time, my score wasn't too embarrasing :-)

These days I am frequenting websites of cosmetic brands like Mac, Body Shop, Urban Decay, Sephora etc. Three of my friends are coming from US soon and I intend to mail them each a shopping list, so that they can get me some really good products. I had a chat with NV the other day on webcam and she showed me her entire shopping. I was visibly green with envy and she was delighted with my reaction. She has bought some fabulous boots and sandals and cosmetics. She showed me each lipstick and nailpaint that she has bought, even though the reds looked like black on webcam. I squinted my eyes to make out the shades but couldn't, so had to trust her claim that they were amazing.

Anyhoo, NV looks like she can have the baby anyday now, infact her doctor has advised her to be prepared. It seemed to be an unreal experience looking at her obviously pregnant shape. NV has always been the kid of our group and now she will soon have a baby. Its still difficult for me to digest this fact, even after more than 8 months of her pregnancy.

I was never so thankful of being on Orkut as I am now. I found a long lost friend with whom I have not been in touch for 22 years. Yes, and I am only 25 now :-). Her name is Shany and she was my first best friend and neighbor. Our families were very close, infact Shany's Mom taught my Mom how to cook south-indian food. Her elder brother and sister were very close friends to my sister and we have spent a great time together. Shany's brother found us on Orkut and we are all back in touch after 22 years. It's amazing how much we remember about each other, Shany remembers more as she is 2 years elder to me. She is now an architect working in Dubai. I cannot describe the feelings I had when I saw pics of Shany and her family, it was beyond nostalgia. She is engaged to a handsome software engineer from Bangalore and would soon get married. I already have plans of going to Shany's wedding although the date has not yet been finalised. Shany still looks the same, plump cheeks and dusky complexion, sweetness etched all over her face. We have been catching up on mails, we have a good 22 years of catching up to do. I am glad she has grown up to be a fun loving and totally chilled out girl. She told me of her entire love story with her fiance and I was in splits when I read that story. Wow, its great to know Shany all over again after all these years.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Estoy Aprendienda Espanol

The past week was heavy, sad, and boring. I have observed that the best way to get out of a depression is to learn something new. It rejuvenates you!
I was really happy when I joined swimming classes (3 years back), when I joined salsa classes (2 years back), and when I was learning French on my own. Although my education in all these stopped after a month each, it nevertheless was exciting.
So, this time I decided to learn some Spanish. I did not continue with French because it was difficult to learn on my own. I could not find a great site for French where I could get interactive video lessons for free. Moreover, French seemed somewhat boring (no offence to those who love it!). It seems a very laid back and mature language, whereas Spanish is full of life and zest. Add to it the sexy latino accent (if you can capture it) and hola! it's super exciting.
I found a fabulous site www.spanishdict.com which gives superb video lessons in Spanish for free. There are various stages of learning, various lessons, and even points to earn. I took my first class today, needless to say I got a fabulous score :-)
Now way to go; and now I know what does Madonna mean when she sings 'Te Dijo Te Amo' in 'La Isla Bonita' :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Fear A New Beginning

How do I tell you
That I have given my heart away
That I carry a baggage night and day
That I have gone astray

How do I love you
When I bear a broken heart
When I can't make a fresh start
When I can't let go of the past

How do I make you happy
When I am smarting inside
When I can no more decide
When I contemplate suicide

You wonder what I am thinking
You think I am unfair
The truth is my darling
That I am in despair

You want to have me in your life
Then weed out each hurt and strife
The pain that I carry from the past
I fear it is always going to last

How should I tell you
That you deserve to be loved
And I cannot use you
As a cure for my hurts

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Love

I am Sorry. I still miss you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Does It Happen

That the people whom you love the most, hate you

That when you want to do something good, it actually hurts people you love

That when you are speaking the truth from your heart, you are percieved as a liar

That every effort you make to make someone understand, alienates them even more

That you still love people when they hurt you like nobody else ever could

That when it seems that things could not be worse, you are proved grossly wrong

Why?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Unsure and Upset - That's Me

Gosh, I am all jittery and confused and that too at this stage when I have to be very focussed. I am not so sure about the list of schools I am targeting, I am not so sure about my choice of International Business and HR, I am not so sure of anything anymore. Help me God!!!! :-(
I worked again on my list of target schools, the new BW rankings are out and I am super confused now, I read some MBA aspirant blogs and they confused me even more. I took 2 schools out of my previous list and put in 3. I don't know what I am doing, selecting schools now :-(
I am confused about IB and HR so much so that I have started thinking of completely different options. I had a chat today with a very dear and respected friend who is an MBA from IIFT. I only take opinion from people who have done well themselves ;-)
The chat went something like this:

Frend : Long time dudette, did u get ur scores?
Me: Yeah, GMAT 680 and TOEFL 115
Frend: U seem to be on an adrenaline trip these days, sexy score and all :-)
Me: haha... kind of. But GMAT ain't that great.
Frend: ok, so what next?
Me: Tell me something, how is an MBA in International Business, I am quite inclined towards it
Frend: depends on what you really want to do after that
Me: I want to earn good money and work at a good place and maybe travel :-)
Frend: Try INSEAD and you don't need an MBA in IB for good money
Me: no way, no europe for me. They have 1 year MBA in EU and ask for more experience, I am going to US
Frend: ok. well, to be honest, think long term, money will happen, what really interests you? Some ppl like environ management and different MBAs rather than a vanilla MBA and then doing routine corporate jobs from one company to another. Ain't that exciting in the end?
Me: I want to learn a new language and study a different economy, dats why IB sounds cool (see how undecided I am)
Frend: well IB is not just that, you can do without learning a foreign language and of course any general MBA these days would have some IB flavour
Me: But how are the job prospects in those different MBA programs. I am very confused... guide me :-(
Frend: Job prospects are linked with economies. Even IIM grads are facing a tough time
Me: Gosh, I am even more confused now
Frend: Think long term, not what happens immediately after MBA
Me: what if I do a combo of IB and HR. HR is good for women
Frend: Don't disappoint me. Why do the usual? Do something different as always :-)
Me: What if I don't get a job after doing something different and IB is almost different, not many ppl opt for it :-)
Frend: I mean what do you mean by HR is good for women. U want to go abroad for an MBA then why think from this angle of women and gals
Me: I mean it's not very stressful, like finance maybe
Frend: Stress is on you, not on what you do. It again depends on your personality
Me: You know I am a somewhat laid back person.
Frend: Don't be self-proclaimed. You can do anything if you like what you do, like you did in your exams
Me: I don't even know very well what I like. How can I decide if I have zilch experience in IB or Marketing or for that matter, the different MBAs
Frend: Its not simple, but I want you to broaden your analysis and choose intelligently. Talk to the folks in the colleges
Me: Yeah, I am thinking of talking to people in IB and HR, they are the only options that interest me now. You did MBA in IT right?
Frend: Nope, IB with majors in Systems, whatever that means
Me: Hey, then you are the right guy to talk to. When can we talk?
Frend: When I am back in India and we will talk over beer and you will take me out. I will be back on 20th Dec
Me: Wow okay.... I will go nuts until 20th Dec
Frend: You won't and you don't have to opt before you actually get admissions
Me: well, allright and thanks :-) We will talk over Beer and I will take you out :-)

That was the conversation and I am still as confused as ever. Who else out there can give suggestions? I am in dire need :-(

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Has Started

Yesterday I had a phone interaction session with the Director of MBA Student Recruiting of BYU. Now I haven't even applied to BYU yet, though I have sent my scores. They know nothing about me except my GMAT score and yet I got an e-mail invitation from the Director for a talk and to answer any questions I might have. I like to think that they were impressed with my score and therefore wanted to talk, wish I could tell them that I was getting even better scores in practice tests :-(

BYU is one of my top choices, being the excellent university that it is. Therefore I was obviously excited about the call but I did not have many questions for them except one. Moreover, I had no idea what exactly would the conversation be like because this was not an interview call as such. Anyway, the Director called me at the exact time we had decided and she was very pleasant and asked me if she had got my name right, which she had :-). She asked me what I had been doing and I ran her through my profile, she actually liked the career jumps from Software to HR to NGO :-). I told her about my TOEFL score and she seemed impressed. Then she told me about BYU and about the religious approach that they have. I knew all about it already, having researched each and every bit of information I could come across. She answered my questions and told me to mention her name in my Letter of Intent as that would help my application. That was it, a very pleasant, informative, general chit chat.

Now that I am feverishly writing essays and have collected nearly all documents, I will start applying and will hopefully get more such calls, for introduction, interviews etc. Gosh, it seems to have started. I don't know if I will get a desirable admit but after writing nearly 30 essays about myself and talking to so many people about my profile, I would at least emerge out of this episode with some self-enlightenment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Breather - TOEFL

I watch the news, get angry when I see a complacent politician, fight back the tears when I see a martyr's family, and feel agitated when I watch large crowds of people demanding action. I find myself in an emotionally charged mood the entire day every day.
A respite came in the form of my TOEFL result. My score is 115/120, which is reaaallllyyy good. Reading - 30/30, Listening - 30/30, Speaking - 27/30, Writing - 28/30.
No mood to celebrate but this at least made me get back to work on my applications, else since the night of 26th all I have been doing is watch the news, talk to people, show my anger and express solidarity with the nation. Not that I am moving on and going to forget 26/11. Some things in life are not supposed to be forgotten, though they hurt, we refuse to nurse such wounds. They have changed the way we think forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For Tomorrow We May Die

Shivraj Patil resigned, RR Patil was thrown out and Vilasrao Deshmukh is unwilling to let go of his chair. Kerala CM said that even a dog would not have visited the dead major's family had he not been a martyr. BJP spokesperson Naqvi said that women in Mumbai were demonstrating against the government wearing powder and lipstick. Deshmukh gave a Taj tour to Ramu and Riteish. Ha!
I wonder whether our netas are competing against each other in trying to give the most distasteful comment of the year or in committing the most horrendous act of indecency. Whatever they are doing, this is for certain that they are not helping the nation. They are only helping their own cause.. which is to stick to their chairs, save their necks, and stay complacent.
They are as bad as the terrorists themselves or probably even worse.
I dunno from where a phrase has entered my head and keeps repeating itself incessantly. 'Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may DIE' and the DIE here is so strong that I shudder at its force. I think this phrase was coined by someone who was happy and content with life. For people like us, a sombre and gloomy nation, a more apt phrase would be 'Work, Love and Stay United for Tomorrow we may be Killed'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Of Insomnia and Junk Thoughts

Have I turned into an insomniac? I thought only old people or billionaires or harried housewives suffer from insomnia. I don't fall into any of those categories, then why me????
Last night I twisted and turned in my bed till 2:30 am, after which I took off the sweatshirt I was wearing and tried to sleep again. [I just read my last sentence and think I need to do some explaining here] I thought probably I am feeling a little too warm and uneasy in that thick sweatshirt I had decided to wear to bed, so took it off and no, didn't bother to find something else to wear. I am all alone at home folks, so I can wear anything or nothing to bed [Grin]
Anyway, the trick didn't work. I was so frustrated that I got up, finally found something suitable to wear and went into my Dad's room to dig into his closet. I was hoping to find something to drink :-). That plan didn't work either, we have shifted only three weeks back to this house and a lot of our stuff is still packed. I recalled that Dad has ordered for a bar to be built where he could proudly display his collection of bubblies and Scotches and the likes. Turns out he will unpack his bottles only when the bar is ready. Sigh!!! No late night indulgence for poor me.
I had to finally doze off counting sheep in my head. I really don't want this to happen again. I don't have the luxury to nap in the afternoons, and without a good night's sleep I feel mentally and physically lethargic the entire day. I tried to understand the cause of the problem and figured it out too.
I have so many things going on in my head that sometimes my mind gets hyperactive and just refuses to shutup. I am going to vomit all my thoughts here, as they come to me, hoping that they won't bug me tonight.

I need to go to college for documents....
Wow, college, sigh!
In the first year of hostel life, I used to bug my roomie to madness. Our gang used to forcibly hold her down and scribble whatever came to our heads on her arms and legs. 'F*** me n Kick me', 'Come Hither' and similar stuff :-)
Hmmm now I am fondly thinking of my roomie.
Gosh, need to write essays for two colleges and submit before 1st December.
Get to work Nicky, what are you doing!
I am thinking of working for 2 years post MBA and then take a shot at the civil services exam, for Indian Foreign Services...... :-)
Honey, you need to apply to colleges first to do your MBA and you are still short of essays and some paper work :-(
I got a funny proposal last week.... I am smiling and thinking how funny can guys be... I will write details about it on my blog :-)
Write your essays first :-(

And so on and so forth.... most of my thoughts are pure junk. I wish I had a spam thought filter in my head.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Visit To My Alma Mater

Hmmm... at least there is something good about collecting documents when applying to universities. I got to visit my school, my alma mater, and it felt like visiting a long lost nanny of my childhood. The first thing I felt when I entered the huge gates was a feeling of pride for having once belonged to that wonderful place, CJM Dehradun. When the guard asked what my business was, I told him I wanted to see the Principal and that I was an ex-student. He looked at me and asked again, "Which batch madam?"
"Err.... 2000", and I immediately felt as if I was old. Gosh, it has been 8 years since I passed out!
"Oh, long back" the guard retorted, as if he wanted to cement my view.
Anyway, it was great visiting CJM again. The building still looks beautiful, ancient, graceful, like a cultured and well-bred arrogant lady who never seems to age. It is more than 100 years old, yes, the school was founded in 1901. Some history it has, even the then Queen of England visited it sometime before independence. Yeah, I am proud to be a CJMite and I always will be.



The Church in school campus. I couldn't capture the whole structure :-(






















That old but sedate building is Father's residence at CJM.
And below are some creative pieces of art from the paintbrushes of kids :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What It's Like Being Devil's Lil Sister

Finally.... the effing exam thing is over. I partied yesterday with a careless abandon that I had forgotten I was capable of and then slept like a dog only to wake up late and groggy this morning. And yet, where is the feeling of relief??? It just isn't there. I feel like I have stepped from a storm into a tornado. I just hate documentation and paper work and financial statements and running around offices and you know what I mean. However, I have to do it all and do it fast :-(

Meanwhile, something very annoying happened with me. I was getting some anonymous comments on my blog, which I admit initially made me quite curious. I really wanted to know who the anonymous reader was and does anyone blame me for that? I mean, aren't all girls curious about such things? However, after a somewhat sleazy comment from the anonymous reader, I decided to not pay attention or at least pretend to ignore, as it obviously was some prankster trying to be funny. After ignoring for a couple of days, I started wondering why the anonymous reader wasn't commenting anymore. And then, I had this conversation with my sister yesterday

Dido: hey, I read some anonymous comments on your blog. Who do you reckon that is?

Me: Dunno. Some creep, but I have decided to ignore now. Sooner or later there will be more comments and probably I would be able to figure out who that is.

Dido: (Cruel maniacal laughter)

Me: (Stunned but obstinate silence)

Dido: Well, they were from 'Yours Truly'

Me: (Insane maniacal laughter) I knew it.

Dido: Haha.... you didn't and you never would have. Gosh, I shouldn't have told you, it was such fun. I could have carried on more.

Me: Shutup.

Thus I came to know that my sister, in one of her usual fucked-up efforts to provide amusement, had targeted me and pulled one on me succesfully. She did get a lot of amusement from the episode, as she always does when I am her victim. She is devil personified and I have the enviable honour of being devil's lil sister.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shortlisting B-Shools --- OMG!

Shortlisting universities where I would eventually apply has turned out to be a far more tedious process than I imagined. At the beginning of my search (like a month back), I had a very vague idea of what I wanted, so I went by university rankings. However, I soon realised that it's a very lazy way to look for prospective B-Schools. I then narrowed my search to B-Schools who are known well for IB and HR. I then looked for the average class profiles in those schools and there placement statistics. I knew that my GMAT score would definitely be above 650 and below 740, I knew what my work-ex was, I knew my academics. So studying the class profiles was a great help. I knew which industies and what sort of companies I would prefer after MBA, so the placement statistics were a great help too. After all this search I have identified 11 schools but there are 2 particular schools which I think would be a great fit for me if I get admission there (Texas Mays and Maryland Smith, also BYU but their essays look scary). However, these schools are pretty much on the top rungs of the ladder when it comes to rankings and that scares me. Admissions have become even more competitive, thanks to the recession, the number of people applying to B-Schools has gone up. Lets hope for the best (for me!).

Now came the fun part of identifying schools. I considered locations, weathers etc. My trip to US earlier this year has given me a good idea of what many places in US are like. Good thing was that I visited both the east coast and the west coast. I closed my eyes, recalled my trip and tried to imagine what it would be like living as a student in all those places. NYC is so crowded that it gave me a feeling of being at home :-). Also, there are people from all over in NYC and that makes it a very interesting place to be in, plus I love the cold weather, however, it's a very expensive city. Washington DC seemed boring initially but I really loved the wide streets and avenues. It seems to be a quite place after the hustle and bustle of NYC, although I am sure the place is very alive. Buffalo and Niagara are too remote for me, no point considering them. Then comes Florida. I was in Orlando for around 5 days, I liked the place but just as a holiday destination. I won't fancy living or studying there. Moreoever, it took me weeks to get rid of the horrible tan I had acquired in Orlando and Bahamas. The tanned look doesn't suit me at all, I look sunburnt and fried rather than having a golden brown sheen (Sigh!). Then we went to San Francisco in the west coast. It's a beautiful place with a very unpredictable weather and interesting history. Again, SFO has people from all over, especially China. It has so many hills that I again felt at home. The city has some very pictureseque views and charming houses. Nice place I would call it. Our next visit was to Las Vegas. Ah! the place that I loved the most (remember I was on a holiday). Vegas can simply spoil you, with the grand and luxurious hotels and the number of ways of having a good time. Gamble and drink away to glory in Vegas but I seriously doubt that it is a good place to live. Los Angeles was another story. I liked the crowds, the places (Beverley Hills :-)), the weather, also the chance of meeting celebs, in short almost everything about LA.

Phew! I hope I have covered almost everything that needs to be covered while identfying schools. Oops! I forgot, the TUTION. I have also considered which schools have a more affordable tution and give a better return on investement. With all this search and also the advice of my consultant, I hope I am applying to the right places.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Thoughts

I am writing from my new home in Gurgaon. We don't yet have curtains and I have a big glass window next to my bed. I am lying on my stomach and facing the window and right at this moment a crazy looking fella in a balcony facing my window is staring at me.

I still have cold and cough but I am feeling much better.

After my post titled 'Feeling Low', I got some very interesting responses. A friend suggested that it seems I have too much pent up energy, so what I need is sex. Another friend said I should meditate and practice yoga. Another suggestion was to get married and settle down (I really wonder what people mean by settling down). Best response was from my sister, she said that yelling and fighting is my everyday behaviour ("ye toh tu roz karti hai") so I have no cause to worry about it.

I read a lot about Barack Obama today and I was impressed by the man. Although I rooted for him, I did not know much about him. I now know, why he has that brilliant personality - he is a Leo, that's why :-). I would anyday have a Leo world leader over a Virgo (McCain). Then there are those other interesting facts about Obama. His Harvard education, his inclination to writing (he has authored two books), his unusual origins, his impressive height (6' 1.5"), how he met his wife (while working together), everything makes him charismatic. I hope he appears as brilliant and charismatic after his term in the White House as he does now.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Agonies

When it hits you, it hits you from all quarters. I have not had such a bad bout of fever and cold since a long time. Dad never fell down from stairs ever in my memory. I never before post-poned an exam when it was very important to get over with it asap. We never had to move house amidst all such confusion and agonies. However, all this happened together in the past two days.

Well, life's an adventure!!! So be it.

I have decided to take the TOEFL on 15th November, I couldn't possibly take it earlier.

Duh!!! And I can't write now.... my sister, the most irritating, insufferable, full of sick jokes, and distracting person in the world is reading this over my shoulder. She is like plague and I can't get rid of her right now. So I will write a follow up post later.

She just took a bite off my leg for writing this...........

It's my turn to do the same to her.......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Feeling Low

When you are feeling low, you get irritated at everything. I just fought with my Mom because she wanted to change the bed sheets on my bed. Yeah, ashamed as I feel while writing this but it is true. My reason was that she had to do it exactly when I sat on the bed to do some work on my laptop. I completely ignored the facts that (1) She was doing me a favor, it's not her job, (2) The important work that I had to do actually was to play football on Facebook, (3) I had not changed the bed sheets myself and it's already nearly mid-day. Yesterday I fought with one of my best friends because he is in Delhi after a whole year and met someone else before he met me. The truth is that I couldn't have met him even if he had asked me to, for my own reasons. However, I nearly yelled at him. Poor thing, he was scared and said lets meet now. I yelled some more at him and asked him to not call me till I don't call him back. Nice guy that he is, he called me today to ask whether I was still angry and I was so embarrassed that I wanted to disappear from the face of the earth.
The causes of my bad mood are many, three reasons that I know of and some other yet undetermined but equally forceful ones. The first cause is that I have lost the urge, excitement and enthusiasm for my preparation. The Diwali break turned out to be suicidal for my exam preparation. Another bigger reason is that I am very confused about a major decision concerning my life. I swing like a pendulum between the To-Do and Not-To-Do states. Still another reason, the biggest one, is something that I don't want to think about, so I won't even consider writing about it.
Pull yourself up Nicky!!!! Yeah, I talk like that to myself all the time. My conscience is a separate entity, not a part of me. The fastest way for me to recover from such insufferable phases is to start dieting immeadiatley and to go for long and brisk evening walks. No, I don't feel better after binging on food. Well, I do, but it's momentary. I can imagine the state of mind I will have this evening during my walk. I will start with a slow walk while contemplating on the issues at hand. Slowly my pace would become brisker and I would start thinking that exams are something that I have been facing since the age of 3 and I have always (almost!) done well. Then I would accelarate my pace a little more and think that I would just leave the major decision on my family and God and then play along. I already know there's no major risk in playing along. I would finally think of the last reason when I would be at a nearly running pace. At this pace, I am so much at peace with myself and so full of energy that nothing in the world can pull me down (excpet a speeding truck, maybe!) and hence, a cheerful state of mind would drive away the bugging anxieties.
You know what, I am already feeling better!!! :-)
Looking forward to my evening walk :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Diwali and After-Effects

We had a fabulous, rocking and spirited Diwali this year. Blew up loads of crackers (Shh!! I am not anti-crackers, though I am anti-pollution :-) but spare me for a day puhleez), had an amazing barbecue, ate all sorts of sweets and snacks, got gifts ranging from accessories and dresses, to photo frames and perfumes (I even got a nightie from China!). I have gained at least 3 Kgs in a week and have lost all enthusiasm for TOEFL. I have posted some pics from Diwali, here they are




























Chacha (my uncle) narrowly escaped being injured from a wayward rocket but his new trousers weren't that lucky. Apart from this solitary incident, Diwali was peaceful.
I got my official score report for GMAT and my score in AWA is 5.0 out of 6. I think it's good though only 55% people scored below 5. I have to get back to the grind without losing on time as I am already running short on it. My targets for this week are to prepare for TOEFL and to find a consultant.
I finally got a pic clicked wearing my knee-high boots but it's not a great pic.
Yeah, the boots are not very visible. I will get another better picture soon :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

GMAT Done

So GMAT fever is over!!! I scored 680 and I still can't get over the shock. Everybody has been telling me that it's a good score but I am not satisfied. What happened to the 700+ scores that I was getting in all practice tests?? My score breakdown was 48 in Quant and 34 in Verbal. My overconfidence in verbal was the cause I guess. How could I screw up where I expected to do really well? I even considered taking the test again because I know I can get a 700+. However, I don't have time, because the application deadlines are fast approaching. Anyway, the good news is that B-Schools consider Quant scores more than Verbal, and a 48 in Quant is really good.
Next steps are TOEFL and essays and I have no intentions of screwing up anymore.





On the day I took GMAT. Were the Red Heels unlucky??? Still wondering....







I reached Dehradun today and so did my cousins. There are14 adults and 3 kids in my home at this moment and I am having a great time with my family. We have some fabulous plans for Diwali :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Introspection and Retrospection - 2 Days 2 Go!!

Yesterday I took another practice test of GmatPrep (from mba.com) and guess what my score was............. a 7.... 5... 0....... yeah a 750!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my score. It took time to register that grand figure in my head and to digest the fact that I just scored nearly 100 percentile. My score was 49 in Quant and 42 in Verbal. Yeah, I know.... 49 Quant is amazing :-) Everybody has been telling me that. I just wish I could score a wee bit better in Verbal. I am greedy, I admit.

However, there's someone who has been dampening my high spirits with loads of doubts, apprehensions, misgivings, qualms, dreads, and fears. That someone is the other half of my personality. No, I am not a twisted character suffering from MPD, in case somebody is getting any such ideas. Like everybody else, I have this high-spirited, vivacious, confident, optimistic and happy self; and another gloomy, pessimistic, agonised and dispirited self which sometimes brings me down. Now the pessimistic-me is worried that since all the material that I have studied consists of just one book (Official Guide), the scores that I am getting in practice tests are just a stroke of luck, and this lucky streak may or may not be there on the D-Day. Since I have decided to take the exam on 25th October (Yes, I preponed it by a whole month. Gulp!), I don't have time to go through any more material. All I can do is take as many tests as I can and then work on questions that I get wrong.

2 days to go and all I have studied is the OG! I don't believe I am actually doing this. Heck, I got above 700 in all three practice tests.... I will just keep my fingers crossed now (except when I am typing).

I don't have any preparation for AWA, will work on it in these 2 days as best as I can.

2 days.... GULP!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

News News News

Gosh! So many things happened since I last posted that I don't know where to start. Let me give the news in bullet points.

* I got a 710 again in my second practice test (Quant 47, Verbal 41).
* NV has gone to US and will have her baby there. (Did I mention that she is pregnant? Well, she is.)
* I bought knee-high boots for winters. Can't wait for the weather to get cold.
* Priya is going to California during Christmas and New Year's.
* Mom and Dad have gone to Sikkim, leaving me alone at home
* I have decided that I will pre-pone my GMAT date to 1st week of November

Whew! I will elaborate now. I downloaded test software from mba.com just to be sure that my score is reliable. I really doubted my last score, but a 710 again has boosted my confidence. What was surprising this time was my quant score. I jumped from 39 in quant to 47, although dropped in verbal from 48 to 41. But I don't mind the drop as long as my points stay in the 40s range. The decision to pre-pone my exam has come after this new found confidence in my preparation.

NV is almost 7 months pregnant and was going to have her baby in Kanpur but suddenly her husband had to leave for U.S. and after much thought she decided to accompany him. The shocking part of the story is that none of us had any inkling that she is leaving for US. Well, I admit we were not in touch with her since something like 15 days. She mailed us all today to inform us that she arrived in Virginia yesterday and will be back in Februray after having her baby in Jan. Now, were we shocked? We felt flabbergasted, thunderstruck and similar stuff. When a 7 months pregnant female suddenly decides to have her baby in US instead of her in-laws place, it's normal to be shocked. She and her hubby will look for an apartment now and for doctors who will take care of her. I support her as always, may she have a baby as unpredictable and daring as she is.

My knee-high boots look sexy. However, I had a tough time buying them. I had no plans of buying any such thing but so wanted to have them when I spotted them at a shop in Janpath (I am an impulsive shopper). I was wearing a long skirt and chappals on that eventful day when I bought my boots. I pointed out around 4 pairs to the shop attendant and said I wanted to try those. Now, I have small feet and always find it tough to find footwear in my size. This shop attendant said he had boots in my size, took out various boxes and sat down to help me try the boots. He took out the first pair and I stepped out of my chappals and sat on a sofa to try the boots. It now occured to me that I will have to pull up my long skirt to my knees to try the boots. It would have been so much better if I was wearing capris or a short skirt. Anyway, feeling awkward I put my leg into the boot that the shop attendant was holding out for me. It fit my foot perfectly. Now the attendant started pulling up the side zipper. Damn!! It was tight, the zipper wouldn't close and I embarassingly asked him to take off the boots and let me try another pair. My sister gave me a laughing look which meant, "You should start dieting". I scowled and tried another pair but the same thing happened again. This time the attendant tried hard to pull up the zipper and even asked me to stand so that the Boots could fit me. I guess he was desperate to sell because the boots in his shop were weird (I am sure the boots were weird and my legs are absolutely fine). I finally bought a bigger size but they fit me well and I will soon post a pic of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Colour Me Purple

In the past few days I have realised how much influence colors have on us. We may or may not realise it but our moods change according to the colors around us. I had never thought much about it till recently when we got our house painted in new colors. I chose all the colors of-course, my parents don't have enough energy to argue with me. I was all set to experiment, no matter how absurd the color seems; fortunately the results are great.



This one's my fav, in my bedroom. Purple + Pink = tranquility + romance :-)








Orange and White in living room. Did I hear someone say 'Vibrant'?










I am in love with the new colors. They have given a new life to my home and to me too in some aspects.
Talking about colors, it seems I love 'Blue' when it comes to accessories. I was going through my junk pile and noticed this. Have a look.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You Will Always Be My Friend

This weekend I went shopping with Mom and Dad and while Dad was going through greeting cards in Archie's Gallery, I was going through the T-Shirts they had on display. They had a nice collection of Tees with some really witty statements. I don't remember any of them now, except one. This one caught my eye and I immeadiately thought of NV. It said, "You will always be my friend. You know too much!" It made me smile and brought forth a cascade of thoughts.
I pondered over it that night. Come to think of it among my friends we all know so much about each other that if we decide to ruin each other's life, we can easily do that. Ye!! Gives me that evil power over them, but then they possess the same power over me. If I try to recall what all I know about all the close frends I have ever had, I can list some pretty nasty details. :-) Multiple affairs (not at the same time, all my frends are decent), drinking, gambling, a wedding in a temple (I and NV signed the marriage certificate as witnesses), and other things which I would not list here (this isn't that kind of blog) :-) Superb!!!!
If we assume the statement on the Tee to be true (my engineering language), it implies that we will all stay friends forever. Our dark secrets bond us together. On a serious note, I love all my friends. Dark secrets or no, I do hope we always stay bonded.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ratan Tata Vs. Mamta Banerjee

Don't we all think that it was the right thing to move out of Singur for Ratan Tata? Don't we all feel sympathetic about the huge losses he has incurred in the Singur plant? Don't we all feel that Mamta Banerjee was villanous in her acts? I thought so too, until today. While watching Ratan Tata's interviews over the national news channels, I always felt strongly that what he did was right in principle. Now the West Bengal ruling government would learn its lessons, even the opposition would learn some lessons, and that it serves them right for not co-operating with an industrialist like Ratan Tata, which would have been in their own best interests.
I thought all this till I read an article by Prem Shankar Jha in the editorial section of Hindustan Times. To say the least, I feel I have been looking at only one side of the coin, just like most of the national news channels are portraying. Ratan Tata said in his press conference that "We believe a fair compensation has been paid". Jha raises an apt question, "Paid by whom?" The compensation (Rs 131 Crore) has actually entirely been paid by the West Bengal Government. Tatas had taken the land from the government at a lease with a meagre lease rent. This was why it was so easy for the Tatas to move out because they had so little at stake there. Although there investment in the Nano project was 15oo crores, but a major portion of this was in equipment and machinery and other movable things, which they will move out. They would still face a big loss in infrastructure etc, but it would be quite less than what the West Bengal Government would.
Moreover, the land was acquired forcefully by brutal beatings given by policemen to local people. About 400 villagers were demanding their land back since they considered it to be the only security in an uncertain and unorganised sector of non-agricultural jobs. However, Ratan Tata would still have been totally non-guilty if there was no way of making the landholders beneficiaries instead of victims. Jha comes up with an ingenious yet simple strategy - what if the Tatas decided to set aside just one quarter of 1% of their annual sales revenue and distributed it as anuual royalty to owners and sharecroppers. With an annual turnover of 5000 crore (from 500,000 cars), the royalty would have amounted to Rs 125000 crore per acre per year to be split between landowners and sharecroppers. To recover this, the Tatas would have had to increase the price of their car by only Rs 250.
Now the question is would Mamta Banerjee have refused such an offer? Of course not, the farmers wouldn't have let her. Ratan Tata has only proved that he is just another industrialist who did not try an approach that has never been tried in our country.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Omigosh!

I took my first GMAT full length practice test today and was no less than shocked with the result!
I am quite confident about my verbal skills but I come from an engineering background for heaven's sake!!!! I should score better in Quant :-(
Anyway despite my poor performance in Quant, my score was a whopping 710. Ye Ye Ye!!!! Clap Clap Clap!!!! Kudos!!!! Am I getting too excited??? Well, I have to be, coz I never aimed that high even for the main exam, much less for the first ever full length test I took. My score was 39 for Quant and 48 (Grinning) for verbal!! Verbal score is better than I expected but Quant was the dampener.
Still, a 710 is shocking for me. Probably I underestimated myself, or worse, probably the test software I used is total crap. I downloaded the GMAT prep software from prepwizard.com. I am satisfied with the level of questions that I got, but a 710 still gives me doubts about the reliability of the scoring. Anyway, a quick analysis of my quant section made it clear that there are certain types of questions at which I totally suck (excuse the expression). These are probability, sequences and series and Data sufficiency questions. Need to work harder in these areas. Also, I totally mismanaged my time for quant, randomly guessing the last 4 questions without even reading them properly. I am happy with my verbal section, though there is always scope for improvement, particulary in Reading Comprehension.
Still, I got a 710 folks!!!! :-) This has acted as a big boost for me and I am now aiming for a higher score in the real exam. I hope that my scores go up from here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GMAT is in the Air

I attended the MBA Tour in Delhi on Saturday, and I am so glad I did. It was an eye-opener. On the day I booked my GMAT appointment, I stumbled upon this information that there was going to be an MBA Tour in Delhi with representatives from many international B-Schools who will interact with the participants and provide information. I promptly registered for the event and went to Intercontinental, CP on Saturday. First, I was surprised at the number of people who had turned up for the event, must be close to 500. Second, I was surprised at the number of B-Schools who were participating, 35 to be precise.

We had 3 sessions; How Admissions Decisions are made, Managing your MBA Career Search, and an Alumni Panel Discussion. Finally there was an MBA Fair, where I interacted with representatives from the admissions comittees of some schools, alumni of other schools, and collected brochures of about 10 schools. It was all so helpful.

The lessons that I learned - (1) I need to start looking for prospective schools NOW, (2) Getting a good score is the least of challenges, (3) A self-analysis is needed to decide where I want to land, (4) Time is going to FLY, (5) I should learn to be realistic, and not get carried away with B-School Rankings (6) I need to gather more information from many people and sources.

Phew! It is going to be tough, but whats an achievement when the road to it was a cake-walk.

Today is the first Navratra, I will be fasting for 9 days, i.e, will take only one meal a day at night. Hopefully it will help me shed the extra pounds I have lately gained :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Accessories - The Right Look

Since I am not an accessory person, meaning I am not great shakes at accessorising my outfits so I asked my friend NV to help me put together some tips. NV is great at picking the right accessories and can carry almost any piece of junk jewellery. She is cute, somewhat plump, and has adorable cheeks. Many a time I jealously watch her shopping for HUGE glares, HUGE watches, HUGE earbobs, and HUGE beaded neck strings. She looks perfect wearing any such thing. Now, the HUGE accessory look doesn't suit me at all. I am the kind of person who looks best while wearing slim strings on neck, delicate watches, sober earrings, and bracelets are not made for me at all. Anyway, here come tips right out of NV's head for accessories:

1) While wearing a Black cocktail dress with your favourite black sandals, simply put on a fab watch, diamond ear studs and nothing else. You can also wear a matching beaded necklace with nothing in the ears and a nice matching bracelet or watch. Carry a good clutch (which goes with your watch and sandals) and the look is complete.

2) With printed tops and kurtis, avoid wearing anything in the neck. Earrings should also be simple. Sleeveless kurtis can be accessorised with matching bangles or bracelets. With plain outfits you can wear long neck strings and junk stuff.

3) It is smart to have a Golden, Copper and Silver clutch or bag. Black ones are too common but they help college-goers a lot. These colors go with many outfits but then remember to have a matching pair of footwear too.

4) While wearing a Business Suit, keep your style statement very simple. The only thing that can do wonders to your simplicity is a pearl necklace in any warm color (green, red, black, coffee). It looks super chic.

5) While wearing a Sari, many women go overboard with their jewelery. Even with a Sari, a nice watch, some sophisticated jewelery, and maybe a bracelet is enough. If you want to wear a nice, huge pair of earrings, then do not wear anything in the neck. Show it off instead (that looks hotter).

6) With Capris, knee or ankle length skirts, you can wear anklets in one leg or both, but they shouldn't be loud. Moreover, sandals and heels don't go with anklets, they look best with jodhpuris or slip-ons.

7) Always match your belts with your footwear and bag. If you want to show off a gorgeous belt, then wear it with plain outfits in colors that contrast with the belt.





Friday, September 26, 2008

Wardrobe Must-Haves for 25 Year Old Gals

I am fed up of looking at so many inappropriately or badly dressed women around me. Coco Chanel once said that when a woman is impeccably dressed, you notice the woman else you notice her dress. I find this so true in day-to-day life, while looking at women wearing mismatched combinations, ugly footwear, gross nailpaints etc. I am no fashion guru, but I know at least some basic fundamentals about clothes and make-up, and it surprises me that a number of people don't. I believe that you should never go over-board in terms of fashion when at work. Keep it simple, and yet try to make a statement with your clothes. While getting ready for office if you are confused whether something is appropriate for office wear, better don't wear it. While at work many women go wrong with their accessories. While choosing accessories for work, you should keep in mind that they are not flashy, or dangling, or make sounds (think jingling bangles), or come in your way at all. Office bag, ah, you can experiment so much with this one, always remembering that the size and look should be right. Anyway, I have come up with some wardrobe must-haves for 25 year olds and listed them below:
While compiling this list, I have assumed that you are neither too fat nor too thin, but someone with an average body type (like me)

1) A denim mini skirt - This looks sexy and cool at the same time and can be teamed up with a variety of tops to give it the right look. For Example, team it with a nice white statement Tee during the day time, with a sexy red top, for a movie in the evening, even with a pair of black tights when you are not in a mood to show your legs.
2) Denim Capris - They look cool and are very comfortable. Team it with various Tees in any colour you fancy.
3) Pleated short skirt in a dark color for winters - This looks totally hot. Team it with black tights and boots. Wear it with a tight smart sweater and a jacket, which can be either very short or as long as the skirt.
4) Spaghetti tops - Have at least 3 or 4 of these in bright colours. You can have so much fun with these. Wear them inside an open shirt, or inside a dungaree, or just with a jeans.
5) Black Cocktail Dress - This little number comes in handy for a night out at some pub, or a formal party.
6) Black High Heels - Do I need to emphasise the importance of this one.
7) Jodhpuri Chappals - They look cool with ethnic as well as trendy clothes. Team it with a salwar suit or with Jeans or capris. They always look cool and are oh-so-comfortable.
8) Leather Boots - I can spend an entire winter in these.
9) Ethnic suit - A very Indian, very bright, very ethnic suit is a must have for all young Indian ladies. It makes a good impression on elders too ;-)
10) Sari - A sexy, bright yet simple Sari with a glamorous choli. Oooooh!!!!! HOTTTT is the word for it.
11) Jackets - I love jackets. They can make any plain dress look fabulous. I have so many of them, one long brown suede, one long black leather, one short green denim, one long black fur :-) You need not have so many, but one long and one short will do, choose your own material.

I am not too good with accessories, so I won't put them here. But I will soon post pics for all the above listed items.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Home Alone and Partying

I was home alone for a few days. Dad's gone to Hyderabad and Mom's visiting my sister. So, did I behave like an opportunist to have some fun in the absence of my parents?? I sure did, what else did you expect. I totally threatened my friends to make some good weekend plan since noone knows when I would get such an opportunity again. I cannot have late nights in the presence of my family, curfew timings for me are 8 P.M. Yeah, I know, gross!! But I don't complain, coz I love being with the old gal and the old guy :-) But that doesn't mean I wouldn't feel guiltily glad when they are not at home.
So a friend of mine told me that one of his friends was having a house party and I was welcome to come along. Now, I didn't even know the guy who was throwing the party. But what the hell!!! At 25, you are still allowed to visit parties where you don't know anybody. (Ain't it??!! ) So, I went without the least idea of what the party was going to be like, how many people would there be, etc. All I knew was that the party could go on till veryy late and there would of course be drinks. As it turned out, the party included somewhere around 12 nice people. The host was very friendly and very drunk by the time everybody arrived. So we drank, ate, talked, played cards, and finally danced. I did not drink too much, as I did not want to embarass myself or my friend by being tipsy. So all I had were 2 vodka and orange juice and one shot of Tequila. We danced through the night and it was in the wee hours of morning that we said our goodbyes. I reached home at 5:30, dead tired, and dropped on bed without even changing.
So I had all the fun I could in the absence of my parents, and that would keep me going till the next time they are not home. :-)
Till then, I would be a good, homely daughter

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Delhi Bomb Blasts

I was out with my friends at the Great India Place mall in Noida yesterday and got a call from my Mom towards late evening. She was somewhat panicky and asked me to get back home early as there had been a bomb blast somewhere in Karol Bagh. Now my sister lives in Karol Bagh and we could not talk to her or her husband because the networks were all congested. Boy, was it a panicky situation while I frantically tried to connect with my sister! I finally talked with her and she said all was fine but she too had not been able to talk with Jiju who being a doc was in hospital. With some relief I resumed shopping with my friends when a shop attendant informed us that their had been bomb blasts in Greater Kailash too. Shit!!! What was happening!! I now tried calling my Dad who was coming home from airport.
My friends and I decided to return back to our homes but when we drove out of the parking, it seemed as if we would never get home. All roads were blocked due to traffic congestion. I suppose everybody was trying to rush back home as soon as possible. While stuck in traffic, I got a call again from Mom. There had been 5 blasts in all, including one in the Central Park at Connaught Place. I closed my eyes, and just wished to be back home quickly. I looked at the posh market around me and thought of the possibility of a bomb blast there. I tried to clear my head of the unpleasant thoughts as I started receiving calls from many relatives in other cities, who wanted to know whether we were all fine.
I reached home at 8, my Dad had reached only 10 minutes back. So, we were all at home, safe but shaken. The only person with whom nobody had been able to connect was my sister's husband, my jiju, who was at the hospital. However, he probably realised that everyone at home must be trying his number, so he messaged us all that he was really busy because of the blast victims at his hospital. When he came back home today he told us that 2 people were brought dead and the others were badly injured. Both the men who were brought dead were young guys, one of whom had a girlfriend who had many injuries. Poor girl did not even know that his boyfriend was dead. Some victims were in a very critical state with ugly injuries. Jiju had blood stains over his clothes and even being a doctor he said he was feeling really sick after seeing such injuries.
Since yesterday, all news channels are showing the same news about the blasts. What the hell is wrong with these people who are behind the blasts? Do they really think that they are serving God or some part of humanity with their work? It is just impossible to imagine that they take the name of God to justify their heinous deeds. Please, say whatever you may but don't say that you do this in the name of God.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

GMAT Date Booked

I booked my GMAT Exam date today for 27th of November. 2 and a half months to go, and a lot to do. Well, I have always performed well under pressure. So the date is set and so am I. All the Best to me. :-)

Dad's new company gave him a brand new black Honda Accord. It's a sexy car, classy too.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Craving for Isolation


Hmph!!! The last few days have been really busy. It's only now that I could get some quality time for myself. So, here I am, sipping on some hot tea, with the laptop on my lap, and typing my heart out. My sister was staying with me for a few days and I was doing all the cooking and cleaning. She was kind and considerate enough to prepare a cup of tea for me whenever I demanded; and that was it. I do the same to her whenever I visit her place :-). I have a mind to call us the wicked sisters since we are really mean to each other. However, I love that about our relationship, no boring formality when I am with my sister. I have seen some siblings who are sweeter than sugar towards each other and talk like they are in church. Yuck. I am glad my sister gives me tough competition in being mean, wicked, delightfully selfish and ready to pounce on any opportunity to fight. That's the right way to live with your siblings.


Mom and Dad arrived yesterday with almost a truckload of luggage. They have gone to Gurgaon today and will hopefully finalize an apartment out of a few shortlisted. So, I am all alone at home and enjoying these moments. Being with family is all too good but one needs some time alone for oneself. At least I do.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family Time

I have six people at my home tonight (including me). My sister, her husband, and my cousins Ashu Bhai and Nitu are staying with me tonight. We are watching Bruce Almighty and sipping on a lemon tea each and it is already midnight. Wow!

We went to another of my cousins' place in the evening to celebrate her husband's Birthday. The dinner was superb and the chocolate trouffle after dinner was simply exotic.


We are going to have a late night gossip session. Ah, how I love gosiping! :-)

My sister bought a beautiful silk Lehenga for me from Benaras. Oh, it is such a pretty pretty thing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back in Noida

I am back and trying not to feel too lonely. After 21 days at home, surrounded and pampered by family, the first day back in Noida is going to be tough. I was moving from room to room, checking things, and suddenly felt so alone in my 3 bedroom apartment. I am now telling myself that I don't have time to feel lonely as there are a lot of things to be done. I have to resume my studies without losing on time. Moreover, Mom and Dad would be here after a week. Dad is joining a new company in Gurgaon and that means I would now live with my family.


Come on Girl, do what you love to do. Read. Write. Study.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sweet Surrender

Raksha Bandhan was fun this year. Since last few years I have been celebrating it in Noida in comparative isolation. This year the day was busy since morning, cousins visiting us, celebration, eating goodies, collecting money from brothers etcetera. I have been eating like a famine victim at home because I know that once I go back to Noida, meals would mean maggi noodles, macaroni, soups, fried rice and the usual bread-omelette. Not that I don't know how to cook. I don't want anybody to get wrong ideas. I know how to cook, infact I love cooking, but it's so boring cooking for nobody else but for your own little tummy.

The latest news is that I have surrendered myself to intense lethargy these days. I do nothing, absolutely nothing, from the time I am up to the time I drop back on bed. I surf and surf on the internet, I spend hours talking on phone, and I sleep. Yeah, I doze for sinfully long hours, curling up on bed with a pillow under my head and another under my arm, the window open and the monsoon breeze drifting into the room, carrying with it the faint smell of fresh earth and the fragrance of flowers from our lawn. Ah, I am turning poetic, but that's what a lethargic mood, the monsson and an overdoze of sleep and food does to one.
I would call this phase - Sweet Surrender :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all Indians!!!!

We have enjoyed 61 years of Independence, and this year the day is even more special because of Abhinav Bindra's achievement at Beijing. I read his blog today; it was a different experience reading through his journey to the Gold. Such achievers inspire one to excel at whatever one does.

Tomorrow is Raksha Bandhan, one of my favourite festivals. I will miss my brother, who is in Mumbai. However, all my cousins will visit tomorrow and we will have a gala time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Life at Dehradun

Abhinav Bindra won a Gold for India at Beijing, and we Indians are so proud of him. I wish we win more medals at Olympics this year.

Meanwhile, blogging has taken a back-seat since I am at home. All the special treatment one receives while at home with parents tends to make one happy and content even without blogging. I wake up everyday with a cup of bed-tea and then sip on it till eternity. I then get lazily out of my bed, fresh-up, and pick my books to sit at the dining table. I declare everyday that I will skip breakfast because I am gaining weight but then Mom supplies information about what has been prepared for breakfast and I immediately change my mind. I munch on my breakfast moodily and flip through the pages of my book, or surf the internet, or just look out of the dining room window at the overgrown plants in the lawn (I will post pics of our lawn soon, I don't have my data cable with me).





After finishing breakfast I get energized enough to study, which I do till around 12 when Maahi comes home from her play-school.



I chat with her and then we lunch together and I resume my study till Namit and Neha (my cousins) come home from their schools. I then chat with them following which I take an afternoon nap. I wake up in the evening with a cup of tea and repeat the ritual of picking my books and moving to the dining table. I surf the internet now if I have not already done it in the morning (like today). I then study till dinner time.
Whew, what a life!!!! I feel like Garfield these days (except when I am studying). I eat and sleep and do absolutely no work around the house. I will miss this time when I will go back to Noida, where I do everything around the house. I fix my own meals, tidy up the rooms, clean the bathrooms, blah blah.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Writing from Dehradun

It feels good to be back on Blogger; I so missed my blog. I came to Dehradun on 5th August, and dutifully caught cold on the same day. I write 'dutifully' because it has almost become a ritual that I should be down with fever and cold whenever I visit my hometown. The change of weather from dry and hot to wet and cold did the trick. It's raining everyday in Dehradun and the proximity to Mussoorie brings cold breezes into the Doon valley. Our lawn looks like a forest and I don't dare venture out on the grass for fear of strange and ugly insects [we even had a snake once during monsoons :-)]

My studies are going on surprisingly well. I had not expected that I could concentrate in the presence of my cousins and Maahi (my sister's 3 year old daughter). I am very happy with the first TOEFL practice test that I took; I scored really well. I am simultaneously preparing for GMAT and TOEFL as well as doing assignments for my HR course.

Today is Nitu's (my favourite cousin) birthday, so we will visit him in the evening and celebrate his birthday. I need to finish my study targets for today before that. Whew!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This and That

The past few days have been all about visiting friends. I visited my childhood friend Nidhi, who had a baby boy on 2nd July. It was touching to see her with the baby who looks just like her.
BTW I get touched easily and for any reason whatever, which at times is awkward and embarassing. I was fighting back those stupid tears when I clicked Nidhi's picture with her baby. Thankfully, she did not notice. Another episode was when I got tremendously touched at NV's pre-wedding celebrations. NV was all decked up and danced to a traditional wedding song and I had these big tears welling up. Somebody even clicked a snap of that moment where I am standing with my friends with this teary-eyed look like a sentimental old lady. Oh! I hate myself for all such awkward moments.

The dumb teary-eyed look!

Yesterday, along with Priya and Neelam, I visited Pritika who will leave tonight to US for her higher studies (read MBA). I carried my digicam to click pictures with her and guess what, we ended up making Pritika click most of the pictures. Priya acted very greedy yesterday. She will kill me for writing this, but it makes an interesting story. She grabbed a stuffed teddy that was gifted to Pritika by some friend and said that she would take it as a parting gift from Pritika. Yes, you read it right. Priya's reason was that since Pritika is not taking the stuffed teddy to US, it will keep lying useless in her home, therefore that entitles her to take it. Pritika said that she had no intentions of giving away the teddy but Priya is one adamant female and she shamelessly told Pritika's parents that she wants to keep the teddy. They readily agreed and poor Pritika was left with no option. However, after we were driving back from Pritika's place and had driven for about 5 Kilometres, Pritika called and told Priya to come back with the teddy as it was a gift and she was attached to it. We had a good laugh at Priya and drove back to return the troublesome teddy.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reminiscing about College Days - Part 1

Oh! those were the days. I don't want to sound like someone whose life isn't exciting anymore and keeps revisiting the past to fill the void, because that's so not true. Life has given me bigger and better things but College Days are always remembered, especially when your college buddies were a gang of girls known for being different from other girls. We were 8 girls living together in a flat in our hostel and the flat number was 18A. By the end of our first year, this number held a feeling of notoriety among the girls and warden and one of curiosity among the guys. What's up with 18A??? Why can't they be like the rest???
The simple answer to which was that 18A fortunately comprised of girls with similar mentality and attitude; all of us were thrown together by some strange co-incidence. We were never known for great achievements in studies (though most of us were good at studies and succeded in getting ourselves placed during campus placements). We were known for- untidy rooms, always breaking the curfew timings, loud music, late night parties, being too friendly with guys, never mixing ourselves with other studious girls, and creating other troubles. My hostel days were a lot of fun because of my mischievious friends and especially because of my roomie NV. We managed to spoil each other a lot during the four years of living together. NV was active in keeping the room untidy and I was lazy in tidying up, so the result was a mess to which we got used quickly. The coming of Warden into our rooms was always the time of great frantic activity- stuffing bags and clothes under the bed and in the almirahs, hiding novels and pretending to be in deep concentration over Math books. Once Warden said she would check our rooms before bedtime and we wanted to impress her for once with clean rooms. After dinner NV and I tidied up to the best of our ability and waited eagerly for Warden to come. She came and said, "Your room is very tidy". Both of us smiled from ear-to-ear and said, "Thank you Ma'm". To our astonishment Warden was furious, "Shameless girls, that was meant to be sarcastic" and she stormed out of the room. We looked around carefully, "Shit NV, how could you miss that pile of your clothes visible from under the bed", to which NV said, "And how could you miss the pile of novels on your table with the table-lamp overturned on top of them". To our horror we realized that our eyes had stopped seeing the mess, but we never changed, at least for 3 years.
We shared the same hostel building with male students, which at times caused trouble. Once at night there was a power-cut and instead of studying by the light of emergency lights like the other girls, we were having fun. The weather was hot and we came out of the flat with our chairs and sat there to enjoy the breeze. Our flatmate Plucky was in a jovial mood and started dancing to the song 'Can't get you out of my head' which she was playing on her portable player with batteries. She is a good dancer but that day her moves were particularly provoking and funny, as the light was low and there was nobody around. We watched her as she jumped around, moved her waist, gave arousing expressions and what not. In a few minutes we were laughing hard and as the song ended we heard the sound of clapping from somewhere above us. All of us dashed inside but cautiously came back again out of curiosty. On the floor above us was a bunch of senior guys from MCA and they clapped again as Plucky came out. Plucky was red from embarrasement remembering her dance moves but walked back inside in a dignified manner and slammed the door behind her, following which we heard loud laughter from the above floor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

GMAT Prep Re-started

I started preparing for GMAT a month back, and in this month I have done less than a week's worth of actual preparation. I started reading a book called Cliff GMAT, read it from cover-to-cover in two days, took the tests in the end of the book, and scored a slightly better than average score. After that I decided to solve all problems in the tests given in that book and go through the solutions. I started this task, which should have taken me two or three days, but I procrastinated and lost track. Since then I have been doing almost nothing with respect to the actual preparation. I just read blogs and articles and talk to people.
I decided it was best to get back on track and sweat it out. It's a very bad idea to take a break from your preparations, which I did by taking a trip to Mussoorie, and since then I just could not resume my pace. I have started some serious study from today and decided to keep track of preparation on my blog.
I just have to remind myself each time I seem to give up that, I love solving mathematical problems and I am somewhat confident about my verbal skills, which give me an edge over other engineering graduates who are not native english speakers.
Time to slog!