Sunday, July 26, 2009

Daily doses of love and laughter.... Half Boiled Inc.

Half Boiled Inc. - that's what Jayashree calls it.. She sends a joke every day to all her friends via a text message. It's her little way of putting a smile on people's faces during their day, I think. Or her little way of making people want to bash their heads on the nearest surface maybe... haha! Cracked jokes, most of them are. I love the idea of Half Boiled Inc. I think, being this far away from home, Jay's "kadi-jokes" and snippets are something of a transportation for me. A transportation into a comfort zone where I'm connected with home, family and friends for those five minutes, even. It's like listening to a song you have not heard in forever. It comes at you out of nowhere and spreads a lovely warmth of familiarity inside you. That's sort of how I feel about these little jokes - warm and happily connected with my loved ones across the globe, even if the only thing that ties us all together for those moments is that we're all looking for somewhere to bash our heads! I think it's just so important to find these little moments in your busy days to stop and reconnect. Jayashree follows my blog, and I hope that this post will egg her on to find a way to keep her "Half Boiled" coming my way everyday! Mails, offliners... all of them work, Jay.. ;) Luv ya!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've become ignorance intolerant..

So today, I went downtown and settled down under the umbrellas outside a coffee house with a chemistry text book, a sheaf of papers and a load of homework. Getting through work over a caramel frappe or an apple cinnamon muffin has become something I love doing nowadays. Being in a small college town, one gets to meet a lot of very nice people, just hanging out someplace. A girl sitting at the next table struck up a conversation with me today. I found out that she was also a KU student, taking summer classes. She said she was brought up in Lawrence, and hadn't ever been outside the state - she seemed quite fascinated that I had lived in a range of places before i had hit the States. Having lived here for a year and a half now, I've realised that the best thing my parents have given me has been the chance to live in the most diverse cultures - as we relocated from one country to the next every two or three years. Being used to change made it much easier for me to adapt to this environment. The "desi-ness" that my parents have so firmly embedded in me, alongside the global perspective that they helped me inculcate over the years, is proving to be my strength in a place where any form of local culture draws a blank. I have so much to say about the local culture (or the lack of it rather), that I can keep raving.
Anyway, getting back to the coffee house... the girl was enrolled in an Eastern Civilization class and was trying to pen a ten page paper about social and economic development in Asian countries. She went ahead to tell me, "I don' even know why I'm writin' this, ya know... its not like I care about how some third world country is doin' economically." As I was fighting my impulse to lash out about calling my country third world, she capped her opinion with, "I donno how long you've been around here to know, but we in America are good on our own, ya know? Who really thinks we need China to help us get by?" By this point, "Do you SERIOUSLY mean that!?!?!?" and "Do you even know what you're saying?!?!?!?" were bursting around in my head and I must say, I've not been that dumbfounded in a long long long time.... Even though the words never made it out of my mouth, I hope my expression told her enough. She looked me over and threw, "Are you Indian?" at me. When I confirmed that, she outdid herself by asking me if we rode elephants through our cities and married our girls off when they turned thirteen. I remember thinking for a vague moment if she was honestly this ignorant or if she was scorning my culture and heritage. After 15 minutes of more of her stupid questions and my monosyllablic gritted teeth responses, I concluded that she really was unaware of anything that happened across the Atlantic and the Pacific alike - and what's more, she was in bliss in her 'America is all there is' world. Any of my attempts to give her some reality were met with contemptuous looks that plainly said, Yea, right! When a friend fianlly came by to pick me up, I was glad. Some may say (and I agree) that I should have taken it upon myself to clear her misconceptions and educate her a little bit about my culture and the real world over the US borders. It turns out to be quite a difficult task, with a community that belives so firmly in its ideas and that we internationals exaggerate the good in our societies and cultures to "make it look like we're as good as America" - in our cafe girl's words. It frustrates me, that there really are some people, who are as uninformed as this and don't even care enough to try to educate themselves in an era of globalisation and booming international development. It struck me today that I really have become intolerant to ignorance... I think it's time I relaxed my indignation a little, and tried to share some knowledge out when the need arises... hmmmm....... :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

walking home with a stranger...

Strangers... unnamed faces on the street.
To that girl who’s walking a few paces behind me,

I’m just another face that’s going somewhere.
I turned to check on the traffic before I darted across the street
And she caught my eye... we smiled quickly.

Without much thought, I waited, as she ran over.
What kept me there for a stranger, I cannot tell.

But soon, she’s there, hand outstretched – I’m Nancy, she said.
We continued walking... together this time
With every step, a war raged in my head.
The fun loving child and the precautious adult in me fought hard
As I chatted away with this smiling girl.

About a block from home, we split paths
She went her way, as I went mine...
Walking that last block alone, I could not help smiling
I’ll always remember “that day, when I walked home with a stranger.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moon dance

With its swish-swash lullaby the sea cradled her,
She lay on the soft sand watching the moon,
Watching the moon through a fan of palms,
As they swayed to the breeze, in tune with the sea

She caught the gentle rhythm,
The rhythm of the starry night,
She got to her feet, prancing on the shore,
Like she was one with the humming sea and the dancing leaves

The moon and the stars watched her over,
As sea and girl lulled and swayed,
The child was at home,
With the cradling sea and the waving trees

A child of the night she seemed to be,
Slumbering gently...
In the embrace of the dusk and the swish of the sea

Monday, June 29, 2009

long absence! :)

It's been a long while since I got a chance to put something up out here..! I've been gone 2 whole months, I realised! The summer's rolling by and I've been up to quite a bit..! I was home to Ghana for about 3 weeks, last month.. spent a great vacation with family, Rolland Garros, sight seeing, shopping, the good food and the love and pampering that only home can give :)
In the time that I was there, my mother really kick started her new blog. Its a food blog.. filled with the yummiest "college student oriented" recipes.. food that can be made with the minimal provisions and utensils, she claims.. fit for a dorm life! Do visit sometime.. you'll find her at
I spent most of my break so excited about her new blog that I quite forgot my own..! Clicking pictures of her recipes, and getting to be the first one to lay hands on the food, kept me happily busy enough!
Now I'm back to uni for summer classes... I'm truly being kept on my toes with 10 credit hours.. Trying to balance classes, assignments and tests with tennis and friends is quite a handful!
One of my friends sent me this mail and told me she thought it would be a good one for my blog.. and sure enough, it was something that deeply moved and touched me.. thought I'd share :)
I'll be back with some of my own musings and thoughts soon.. but for now... here goes!

When God throws a brick at you... it’s time to slow down

A young and successful executive was travelling down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door!
He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?' The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother,' he said, 'he rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.'
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you and May God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!'

You were never promised days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but there’s strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

So slow down and make the most of each day... before somebody has to throw a brick at you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

planting a potato garden...

This was something that found its way to my mailbox this morning.... the one thing I take back from it, is that, if you set your heart on something, there's no way you cant accomplish it!

An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation:

Dear Son,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you weren't in prison.
Love, Dad

Shortly, the old man received this telegram:
"For Heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up the garden!! That's where I buried the GUNS!!"

At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns. Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next.

His son's reply was: "Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad.. It's the best I could do for you from here."

No matter where you are in the world, if you have decided to do something deep from your heart you can do it. It is the thought that matters; not where you are and what the constraints are.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seasons of Life..

One of my numerous email forwards again!

Seasons of Life!

There was once an old man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent each one of them on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree which was a long distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and returned, the old man called all of them together to describe what each one had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted. The second son said that it was covered in green buds and was full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said that it was laden with blossoms that smelt so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The youngest son disagreed with all of them; he said that it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to them that they were all right, because they had only seen one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. That the essence of who they are, and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life, can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons were up. If you give up when your winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer and the fulfillment of your fall.
Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season... Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come by.

Aspire to Inspire

Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly

Happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep you strong. Sorrow keeps you human, failure keeps you humble and success keeps you growing.

Face your days with a smile and enjoy your seasons as they come!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Greet each morning with a bright smile.. your attitude makes life what it is!

Have you ever had those mornings, when things go downhill from the minute your feet swing off the bed onto the floor? One of those days when the monotony of life gets you down in the dumps? We all go through it... I have had days when everything from the weather, to classes, to the people I meet set me off into a grumpy irritation - and how..! I've realized it is usually a mood that I can't kick all day once it sets in.
Coming to think of it, it probably isn't the people or weather that get us down, we bring it on ourselves. Maybe it is our own mind set that allows us to fall into a phase of moodiness. People say there are a lot of factors within us that affect our perception and ideas. Attitude is a Number One on that list according to many. I was amongst a group of friends last week and one of them was fretting about the workload awaiting her the next day and she managed to paint her day blue even before it was there.. Someone told us then, about how your last thoughts in the night are your first thoughts the following morning. So I say, hit the bed with a smile of satisfaction of having accomplished something good in your day. That way we would probably wake with the same satisfaction and optimism the following morning - enough positivity to drive the day upwards!
It is so important to find purpose in your days. Wake up knowing what you want to make out of your day. Being aimless is one of the biggest pull down factors in most people's lives.
A teacher once told me to watch the kind of people around me. It matters... for optimism in your life, you need people around you who pull you up and keep you jogging, not ones that would be comfortable indulging in the pessimism they are keeping up all around! To me, the best and simplest way to keep up and running is to wake up with a big smile that tramples over any sogginess in my day!
So tomorrow, despite assignments, stress, wintry gloom or barely edible food, wear your attitude like its your best dress and flaunt through the day giving it your all! Keep smiling!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slow Dance...

When I opened my email inbox this morning, i found this there.. Its a beautiful poem...


Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly
in its erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun
into the fading night?

You better slow down..
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last..

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not seen his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

step out of the well!

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people.