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One of those days

I am the epitome of executing Murphy ’s Law this morning. I woke up early to get to have an early start at work.  Food was prepared yesterday for dinner and today’s lunch, packed, dishes cleaned. All I have to do was make chapathi’s for two this morning before heading out to work. I skipped making chai, hurried to make chapathi’s – all of it took from waking up to stepping out – exactly 1 hr 10 minutes. I could not believe myself taking so much time. Every minute counted and every step evaluated to the T the day before and yet I am so late. Then, I rushed to get to the bus, and it was so full that it did not stop, so I hauled my way in the windy cold weather to the train station. There I come, with no trips left in my train card, morning rush with long lines to get the train card re-filled took forever, to top it my numerous attempts to fill it failed with access denied. I had to switch to another card to re-fill it, and in the process I missed the train. The next train I caught, was full with barely any space to stand comfortably, luckily I got a seat and I felt slightly better given that nothing worked out as I wanted until then.

Every minute delayed, only got added to my target arrival time at work. I had some paper work to finish and that required printing and scanning, the sad story that at this unfortunate time, I was out of ink in my home printer – so this planning was important as the documents needs to be scanned almost urgently and sent out to the parties involved.

As soon as I came, I just had 4 minutes to fill out some paper work, print, scan and send – this took me good 20 minutes. I delayed by 18 minutes than promised time frame. I planned everything so well and thought I gave so much buffer time for myself, alas, it wasn’t.

That surely is interesting start of the day – I hope, there are not many anomalies in my TODAY.

Do you have such days? How do you deal with it?

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World trade center (WTC)

Most of you are probably familiar with 9/11 incident in New york city, it was attacked collapsing 2 towers and killing many people. It has impacted many lives leading to more scrutiny and security measures every where. The lives of many has changed for ever. It took almost 14 years, to re-coup and re-build the world trade center. There is a 9/11 memorial constructed visited by a plenty.  In the place of those 2 towers, they constructed a water fall kind of model called as ground zero, water flowing in from all directions into the constructed area. The water flow creates some kind of serenity among-st the visitors. The names of people who lost their lives were etched on the slant wall around it with a flower holder. Memorial day weekend and September 11th of every year, people come visit and place flowers.  It is a beautiful site, planted with already grown (ready made) tall plants. Finally, last month the World trade center was opened for public allowing people to get to the top of the tower. Mind you, it is not free, in fact, entry fee is expensive than all other towers in NYC. But, I heard it is very beautiful and modern. On my list to check that out, some day!.

My work location is in downtown, and I pass by this memorial site and WTC tower every single day. It is always crowded at any given point of time, plenty of tours, various nationals visiting this place gives a kind of aura, that is hard to find elsewhere. I wish my office is located in the WTC tower. It would have been a closer commute for me.  I was surprised to hear that for some of my friends friends who were moved to WTC tower are concerned about their security. I feel, that would be the safest building now. Why? Once it has happened, it took so much of emotional, financial effort to re-cover and to re-build isn’t?. In fact, I feel, there will be better security in place to protect. isn’t?

Last time I read, it will be equipped with sensors that will detect the flights coming closer and will shoot them, I cannot find that article any where, and could not find any information related to security around the same lines.. did they change their mind? or was it not possible? I am not sure.

Have you got a chance to get to the top of WTC yet? or are there any of you, who will be working in WTC?

The tallest building is definitely worth getting to the top floor and have cup of coffee in the cafe.

Cleaninggggg

Yes, I am stuck at cleaning the home forever. I just feel like, there is never ending session of organizing, getting rid of stuff and most importantly cleaning. It is exhausting. You might say – what’s the big deal in cleaning isn’t?

For me, the very thought of cleaning home is daunting. I think of 100 things to clean and want to actually deep clean, then in turn it gets delayed for ever. For instance, if I were to clean kitchen this weekend (which I am right now), I need to organize pantry, clean greasy dishes/bottles/stove tops, microwave inside out, fridge inside out, cabinets – re-organize all the dishes, oven – this is in worse condition, thanks to our previous one’s who lived here, it is so dirty that I have been researching quite a bit as to how to handle that. Stove tops are worse. I just couldn’t get the gunk out with my numerous attempts at washing them. Oh.. the cabinet corners are dirty and I need to find a way to clean them and bring back the shine. To top it all, kitchen floor is mostly white, how do you clean linoleum floor eh? I tried bleach, it got better, but it has to be cleaned very regularly.

I took this as an opportunity, to get rid of most of the duplicate dishes. I could not be happier. I tried finding a place and hopefully, I’ll maintain those things in place. I like the clean and clutter free places, but mine seems to be a long way.  I do not know how and why and all it started.. may be it’s just that I feel, most of my weekends go into organizing, re-organizing, cleaning and cycle repeats that stops me from enjoying the summer time doing something that re-rejuvenates me is missing. This is the only topic that I have lately been talking at work, with strangers, neighbors, family, friends. Guess what, of course they are not interested in hearing the same story on repeat from me? I think, dream, live and basically obsessed with cleaning-organizing-leading-a-clutter-free-life. At times, I feel helpless, exhausted, mentally drained and yet I fail to wrap it up fast enough.

I do not even want to talk about living/bed/ storage room.  I am dreaded to even think about tackling them. The problem with me is, I have no artistic vision, I appreciate the homes that are tastefully decorated but I fail in that area. I panic the moment I see the stuff flowing into the home.

Thankfully, I have addressed the closet area, and put a stop to purchasing clothes all together. So, I have a hope.. some day, one day in the near future, I will have a clutter free, organized clean home.

Dear you, I know your homes must be bigger, and have children, or many people in the home – how do you live a relaxed life? how do you manage your chores? I would be interested in hearing your daily/weekly/monthly maintenance activities to have a clean and organized home.

Conversation between two strangers & Chinese people in general

As I mentioned earlier, I commute in a train. This morning, I have struggled hard to solve my crossword puzzle. It is indeed a difficult one *sob*sob*. So, I ended up over-hearing a conversation between a chinese young lady (let’s call her X) and an american middle aged gentleman( let’s call him Y) who were standing right where I got a seat. The chinese girl seems upbeat, energetic and full of life. These two were conversing and it seems like they just met in the train few minutes ago or they had some prior appointment to meet for business like discussion. Conversations like these are very common and people talk to each other all the time in the train. If it’s interesting for me, I will pay attention. So one of it is this.

What attracted me in this conversation is the girl’s education and what she does for living. She works on a mobile development (she was showing off her windows and android phones to Y). Her background..she hardly spoke english until she finished her under graduate degree in china. She picked up, fared well in united states when she came here to pursue graduate degree in educational technology. She worked on face recognition using matlab in a university lab research center. Her works were interesting and she aims to get phd some day. And she is a very good skater. How do I know all these, the Y has been impressively extracting all this information in a span of 20 minutes. He did speak about what he does for living and that was interesting as well.

I have had come across many brilliant, talented and hard working chinese people. I have complained so much around that I cannot understand their english when they speak. What I failed to learn is that, they have hardly been exposed to english until undergrad and it is certainly difficult to learn and communicate well in english. Their english sentences seems very funny as they try to translate mandarin/cantonese (their language depending on which part of china they live) to english in their head and speak it out. I enjoy chatting with them to learn their culture, about their life in their country, relationships and so on.. Guess what, some of them are really interesting.

Diversity is a beautiful thing. I am so glad to be in NYC to meet different nationals. After spending a decade on American land and 4 years in NYC definitely taught me to appreciate cultural diversity and to be more empathetic towards people around me.

Have you have any friends/ meet people from different back grounds? How do you feel about them?

My new found obsession – Crossword Puzzles & More

Crossword Puzzle ????

Crossword Puzzle ????

As you very well know, if one needs to work in newyork city, there is some commute time involved until unless you live a block or two away from your work place. I have about 25 -30 minutes commute in the train one-way every day. It is very hard to stay calm while you are underground and the turbulence s that occur make me feel as if there is a problem and I may be stuck for an extra 30 minutes. Sometimes, I get very restless and eager to get out of the train.

So, to utilize the time, I either play games on mobile, read books or if at all I come across some nice co-passenger ..I would chat.. (well, this is a rare one, most of them do not like to be disturbed or I am so tired to start a conversation for such short period). In the recent past, I have been grabbing a free news’ paper called AM New York and try to solve the crossword and sudoko. Crossword is bit difficult for me, sometimes I do well and other times I can not get more than 10 words right. I get this puzzle to work and everyone during our lunch time chips in their knowledge.. and in case of getting stuck and going no further, then we cheat by googling for the solution online.

Yes, I have a crossword puzzle app on phone, but I enjoy doing it on paper more than on the phone.

I am addicted, I do not want to do work from home just for this sometimes. The paper is available for grabs from monday-to-friday and you can see the solutions next day. It is addictive and improves your vocabulary and sometimes general knowledge about certain things.

All you dear readers, who commute longer for work – what do you do during your commute ?

Today is the official beginning of the Spring season

I am so glad, spring is here.. but am I excited..?

Yes and No.. for the weather still seems very cold but flower buds appear everywhere. Looking forward to enjoy the bloom.

It’s east coast.. and seasons change.. that makes life more fun here! Today is considered first day of the spring season.. there will be list of celebrations over next few weeks to celebrate this eternal beauty of blooming flowers..

there goes.. tulip festival, cherry blossom festivals, orchid festivals and may be more that I am looking forward to learn and attempt to participate in them..

Here is a beautiful picture that I clicked from botanical garden..here in brooklyn, New York during Spring 2013. And if you ever get a chance, please visit it..it is one of the wonderful one out there.

Straight from Brooklyn Botanical Garden..

Happy Spring to you all?

What fun plans have you got?

It snows here

Snow Snow

Snow Snow

Snow time again.. as much as I am excited about it, but it is also scary to walk on these slippery roads with snow turning into icy patch.

It only reminds me of childhood poem on rain that is replaced with snow..

Snow Snow go away

Come again another day!

Fall Colors- Clicks from Central Park

Seasons change and I managed to click few snaps from central park during peak Fall.  Here are some for you to enjoy.

..with it's typical identification of those twin buildings view from central park

..with it’s typical identification of those twin buildings view from central park

and more… it felt like beautiful golden leavens stitched onto the branches…adorning the view

Golden color leaves spread on the branches

Golden color leaves spread on the branches

Eye catching view with water, the shades of varied colors and their shadows in water, birds enjoying the pleasantness of the weather and the beautiful fall.

Color Shades

Color Shades

and another click of same view

Beautiful fall colors and their shadows in water.

Beautiful fall colors and their shadows in water.

and a final beautiful pic where boating is done – the tent like place is where boating begins in central park.

Colors every where

Colors every where

Hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed clicking these beautiful pictures – for you – from me all the way from central park, NYC.

 

April goals: Reading books – Really?

Once upon a time, I thought reading books is boring and people who read books are even more boring. Growing up, I read only text books (well.. I have had no choice).. aah let me just blame it on my school for not making reading habit mandatory in school curriculum. Yes, we have had library but they never lend any books nor we know that library is for gaining or improving knowledge on things that interest you.. or maybe I never knew that library is for borrowing books until I got into college.

Reading is fun and informative  Img Src: Google

Reading is fun and informative
Img Src: Google

I was surprised to see my class mates borrowing novels and finishing them over night and exchanging among group of reading buddies. I hung out with a girl who was an avid reader and she recommended I read “World around in 80 days”, that marks the beginning and the momentum died shortly after. After that I read a book here and a book there but nothing out of interest and dedicatedly. Only recently, ever since I moved to New York City, my commute time has drastically increased from 15 minutes to almost 3 hrs and started utilizing commute time for reading.  Although, my friends argue that audio is better than reading in a moving train, but I prefer reading over listening and this is the only time I can concentrate and I guess this has always been my habit all through child hood. I have read more in a moving vehicle than anywhere else. What’s your take?..Let’s call it personal preference over any logic.

Reading is fun, it makes you travel into a whole new dimension of world, a world of different means, possibilities, places, situations, thought process , creativity and most importantly they let us connect with characters, we feel how they feel, you cry when situation demands, you laugh it out when there is something funny.. reading book is as good as passively meeting wide variety of people and being there where the story takes place. In the process, I might have had connected with numerous people when they see me reading some novel of their interest and speak about characters, plot and interests in general.. yeah absolutely with strangers.

Just yesterday while I was too busy reading in a crowded bus, lady behind me strikes a conversation about how great the book is and suggest some more books of that genre.. right after I get off the bus there is another women who eaves dropped on my earlier conversation and obviously the topic shifts beyond books and found out she lives in the same neighborhood.. You would be surprised, at times..without our knowledge these small talks with strangers establishes long term associations and become friends for life.

On the other hand, after I read the book and if it has some story line that is worthwhile narrating to someone, my mother would be ultimate victim more often than my close buddies and she has no choice but to hear me out.

Last year, I was able to finish more than 12 books per year and this time I want to keep the momentum going and add more books to my list this year.

And, If you like reading books go ahead and suggest me some? Will you?  Just so you know..I am not biased to particular genre and open to take any inputs that you may have.

One Billion Rising – Across the globe on Feb 14th

Ever heard of this one – “One Billion Rising”?

I learned about it just yesterday when I ran into a girl who was spreading the word to join this event where one billion people would be dancing on 14th February across the globe to end the violence against females.

According to the the website or in general from overall statistics perspective, one in every 3 are bound be a victim of being raped or beaten up. This is an effort to save those victims or spread the awareness/educate people to avoid the possibility of this happening to any female in the world.

I signed up to be part of it and I urge everyone to be part of this revolution. Together we can achieve more!

To learn more about this visit One billion rising website

Below is the auto-generated email you would be provided to share with your connections to encourage them to participate.

Hey,

Today I became part of the revolution of women and men who will WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to violence against women and girls on 2.14.13.

ONE BILLION RISING is a global call to women and men across the planet to gather in their communities to dance and demand an end to violence against women and girls.

 Will you join me? Sign up here:

 http://onebillionrising.org/

 Right now, 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

 V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, refuses to watch as more than one billion women experience violence.

 ONE BILLION RISING is a promise that on February 14th, 2013, we will ensure that millions of women and men rise up around the world to say, “ENOUGH. The violence ends NOW.”

 http://onebillionrising.org/

 Thank you!

For New Yorkers – Here is the link (Click here) to find the event in your area.