Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t anger easily. And in the past 2 years, I have realized that more than anything – it is those Idiots on the road who make me angry . Here is a list of my top ‘Get the Fuck Off the Road’ people.
- Driving Slow on Fast Lane: For some, it might be ignorance but for majority it is not. Regardless of your speed, if you are on the left lane and you see a vehicle behind you, you must move to right and let the vehicle pass. FYI – Left Lane is called ‘Passing lane’. Pass and merge people. Don’t hang out just because you pay the road taxes. You might be driving at speed limit +10, but if the right lane is empty – you must move. That’s the law of the land.
- Last Minute Merge: These are the people who merge at the very last minute. All maps point out to your turns well in advance. Why then do you wait till the last 1/10th of a mile to merge? adding salt to the injury are those who merge with little to no space to merge. It is left to the drivers behind to brake appropriately.
- No Indicator Turns: those lights on your cars aren’t ornamental people. For fuck’s sake, light them up at least 5 second before your turn. There are those who don’t even use indicators and then there are those who use it after they have started to turn. What exactly do you think is the purpose on an indicator?
- Tailgaters: Or maybe I should say Tail-gators. Why in the world would someone want to tail gate? Maintain a 2-3 car distance. Isn’t it as simple as that? I am determined to call the cops on the next person who tailgates me. It should count for harassment, right? Imagine you are one of those lovely tailgaters and the one in front of you belongs to the category above…see where I am going with this? It is not hard to predict the future.
The next one causes me amusement more than anger or frustration.:
- Distracted Drivers: You better have an amazing life insurance (and auto insurance too) if you are one of those who loves to use your cell phone or groom yourself (read make-up) when you are driving +10 on the left lane. Let me tell you this, I have 100% confidence on your driving skills but are you sure that the driver about to merge into your lane isn’t high or crazy? Are you willing to bet your life on the driving skills of those around you?
I have always had a kind of curiosity on what might have triggered the origins of the word ‘Fucktard’. Now, I am almost certain these are the people who lead to invention of an innovative word. That being said, do you have any personal pet peeves around drivers on the road?
To start with, I define Kid as anyone between the ages 10 and 15. As a Kid, I watched a lot of informative television channels and had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do with my life. My mom always made sure there were enough Essay books at home (pre-internet era) so that I was never hungry for knowledge. I had a few very specific ideas about what was right and what was wrong and many a times voicing my opinions to the grown-ups resulted in lengthy debates that would always end up with a ‘You are a kid, wait till you grow up’. Now, around 15 years later, I think ‘Damn, I was a smart kid!’.
- I will not visit the Temple Regularly: I come from a religious family. As a kid, I remember Dad going to the temple before work every day. But somehow, as traditional as my parents were, they never forced any religious practices on me. I was encouraged to make my own choices provided I could justify them. Today I am as religious as ever but I do not make a regular habit of visiting any place of worship. I go if I feel like it and my relationship with my god is special and I don’t have to justify it to anyone now.
- I will not take a Loan – Ever. I remember a relative scoffing at this idea saying that if I wanted to build a house in future, I would have to go the route a lot of people do. And later in life, I moved to the USA where credit seems to be a way of life. Even dual income families earning over 200K a year live paycheck to paycheck. And somewhere along the way, I ended up buying a Car on a Loan (0% interest – Not that it matters). Not a great decision as I now constantly worry about the 500$ that goes straight to my loan payments and what should happen if there were no payday. Moral of the story – Go with your instincts. Others can shut up.
- I will not have a Great Indian Wedding: As far ago as I can remember, I wanted a court wedding where the bride and groom just sign a piece of paper and it is all over in 10 minutes. I have hated the grandiose that comes with a traditional Indian wedding. The 10 odd costume changes that a bride must undergo in under 2 days is enough to give me a headache. I was told this was a silly feeling and that as I near the marrying age, my views will change. The argument being what girl wouldn’t want a fairy tale wedding. Not this one. I couldn’t get everyone on board with the court marriage but I still had my wish with a ‘Blink and You Miss it’ Wedding ceremony.
- I will Not Have Kids: I have been saying this for a long time. And as far back as I can recollect, I have been told ‘You will Change your mind’. No, I will not. I am not interested in adding to the world population and I have a detailed post about my reasons for not having kids. I have been lucky to have come across a lot of other men and women who share my views on this topic. That side of the fence is not as Lonely as I have been led to believe.
- I want to Retire at 35: I remember a conversation I had with a very successful uncle as a kid. He told me very patiently that 35 is not an age to retire as that is the age when I would start to reap the benefits of all the work that I had put towards my career growth. Fast forward 20 years and my opinions have not changed. I still want to retire at 35, travel the world, maybe start a dog creche, or a local youth center etc. Long story short, as much as I love my job (Yes, I work if I am stuck indoors alone with nothing else to do) I do not want to spend all the time that I have left in this world within my cubicle for 40 hrs a week. Thanks to Money Mustache, I have found out that there are a lot of people out there who do this now.
The point of this post is to let myself and others know that it is OK to think differently. Sometimes the opinions you form as a kid guide you throughout your life and it is OK. There will always be thousands who think you are wrong and will make sure that you know their opinion. Sometimes they maybe your loved ones. Sometimes, they aren’t willing to consider that your choices may be right for you. Whenever you come across this scenario, muster up the best THE ROCK expression you can and say ‘Is that what you think? It doesn’t matter what you think! ‘. At the end of the day, as long as you can justify your actions and decisions to the mirror and you do not cause anyone a discomfort, you are free to live by your choices.
I am currently 30 and in a very happy place with my husband of 3 years (whom I dated for 3 years before that). At this point in my life, I am 100% sure that I do not want kids now or in the future. Should this ever change, as everyone keeps telling me that it will, I shall be sure to write a blog about what changed my mind. Read on, bearing in mind that these are my personal reasons and women in general have a broad spectrum of reasons for not wanting kids.
- I will not give up my sleep schedule: Unless I am visiting a new country or a place, there is nothing that would make me give up my 8hr\day uninterrupted sleep schedule. (The only exception to this rule is my Better Half. Ain’t nothing in this world that I won’t give up for him.)
- I cannot be bothered about Healthy Lifestyle choices for another human being: I am not a person prone to making healthy lifestyle choices and being responsible for another human being is not something that I wish to take upon myself.
- I am a very impulsive person. I have no business having a kid if I cannot stay back after work to hang out with friends without having to worry about a sitter. I also don’t feel like saying my goodbyes to the overnight NYC trips hanging out in Time Square till 5am. (I always make sure that I get my 8Hr\day sleep the next day)
- I love my relationship currently and my ‘Me-Time’. I do not wish to add another unknown variable to a balanced equation. I have been told, that having a kid makes it healthier for the relationship. But that is not a gamble I wish to take, seeing as there is no coming back from that. Also, I am not sure how a needy human being would be good for my relationship with my husband. I also enjoy a lot of me-time and am not ready to give it up.
- I love travelling: Anyone who has flown with kids will know what I mean. I have seen even the nicest of kids turn evil when it comes to travel. I don’t need any such disruptions in my otherwise peaceful life. I still have a lot of travelling to do (my bucket list is almost 75% places to visit rather than things-to-do).
- I would rather be an amazing aunt than a strict mom. I love kids when they are happy and playful. I wish to be the fun aunt who buys them candies and stuff that their parents won’t let them. (I do have a couple of lovely nieces who can vouch for me being a good aunt). I would rather not be involved in the emotional aspects of a child’s upbringing.
- I have always known that I don’t want kids. The above reasons are me trying to rationalize why I do not want kids. Maybe it was growing up with too many hours on Discovery Channel \ Nat Geo Channel. Maybe it’s the population explosion that is threatening our species. Maybe it’s the number of starving kids out there. Maybe it’s the orphanages that I visited. I do not know what the reason is. But I do know that I would be very selfish for wanting a baby of my own when there are so many kids out there who could gladly use a hand.
I respect the women who make a decision to have kids and their lifestyle choices. I have a lot of friends who have not had a vacation in many years, who have zero free time, who haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over 3 years, who think that an uneventful trip to the local Harris Teeter is celebration worthy. But they truly believe that it is all worth it and I respect their decision and their happiness. But just as they will not change their mind about having kids, I am sure I will not change my mind about not having kids.
“Do not manage something that is working fine” These are indeed words of wisdom and I was taught these by the Septa Strike that started in Philadelphia, PA on 03-November-2016.
Septa Regional Rail was functional. First day saw Septa workers try to manage the Crowds by having a queue system where they let only 150 people on the train at each station. Now this does seem fair if the train had a capacity of 450 – 500. And if there were 2 busier stops after ours.
My Train Line = Media Elwyn.
This train makes pickups at 4 important stops: Jefferson Station, Suburban Station, 30th Street Station and University City. We have 5 trains between 4:30pm and 5:30pm. And the trains are fairly uncrowded save an odd day or two.
I usually board this train at Suburban Station.
Day 1: I got on the tracks at 4:30pm and had to wait in a humungous line that moved ever so slowly. I finally boarded a train at 5:45pm. Now, this would have been acceptable had the train been full. It was not. Surprisingly the train was relatively empty (not relatively full) throughout the ride and I know for a fact that there were at least 500 additional folks waiting in a line in Suburban Station.
Day 2: This day I got wiser and decided to take a few photos if the above situation repeated itself. I stood in the line at 4:45pm. I was lucky enough to board by 5:30pm. (30 minutes saved compared to prior day). I spoke to an attendant who said they were doing things differently. Below are the images of how differently the train ride was.
Snapshot 01: After the train left Suburban Station
Snapshot 02: After the train left 30th Street Station
Snapshot 03: After the train left University City
Due to some confusion passengers were told this is a local train and it turned out to be an express. As a result, folks had to get out at subsequent stops to ensure that they are on right train.
The trains are running empty. Does Septa not know this ?? How, there are folks checking tickets on the train. They would surely have noticed that half the train is empty. Why then are we made to wait an hour at Suburban Station ?Guess things are different after all !!
I have never tried counting capacity of a Septa Car. This particular one seems capable of seating over 100 people easily. The train had around 7 cars. So why would Septa let only 150 people board at every station ??
The following are a list of items I suggest that one brings to USA if they are going for a duration > 6 months. While going through the post, remember it might not be a complete list and also that if you miss out any of these, they are easily available in the US. To make it easy, I have listed down an approximate cost of item in US.
- Umbrella. (5$ to 15$ )
- The work laptop with all accessories including an adaptor for US Plug Points. (Get an additional adaptor. They are worth around 5$ here )
- Pressure cooker + 1 tava + 1 pan. All should be flat bottomed heating method could be Coil Based and not necessarily Gas. Get a chapathi rolling pin. And two additional rubber, safety valve for pressure cooker. (A 3L pressure cooker costs 40$. And a safety valve costs 5$ )
- If you want steel utensils, bring them from India as they are very expensive here. A small serving bowl costs 4$. But if you are fine with ceramic variety mugs\plates, they are available for a lot lesser than in India.
- Micro Wave Safe tiffin Box. A nice one that serves the purpose can be around 10-15$ here.
- Kitchen masala – Lots of famous brands are available here but if you are specific about what masala you want, bring it from India as local varieties are not available here. Some brands that are available are: Baadhshah, Everest, MDH, Nirappara, Haldirams, Eastern, Deep, Swad etc.
- Get any speciality utensils that you might need – like idli maker or puttu maker. They are all available here but a small Puttu Maker is 10$. Idli Utensils can easily cost 20$ and above.
- If you are a coffee or a tea person, bring 2 or 3 packets of your favorite brand as it is a bit expensive here. ( 200gms of Bru Instant Coffe Powder = 6$)
- If you are fond of homemade pickles, bring them from India. Most of the brands are available here for 3$ and above. Oil – can be bought here.
- Do not bring rice, grains, cereals etc as they r not allowed on flight. They are also cheaper here and will simply add weight to your luggage.
- Footwear – most homes are carpeted and dont need home slippers. Bring one summer wear sandals and one running shoe. You can bring formal shoe if your office demands it. Decent footwear usually cost 15$ and above.
- Socks – get at least 5 pairs. ( Each pair costs around 1$-2$, so it can be bought here too )
- Clothes – check about dress code at client site and plan accordingly
- Bring at least 2 pairs of Indian clothes. Lots of Indian functions festivities around.
- Thermal wear if you are travelling to a cold place.
- For the clothes – the laundry is usually done once in a week. So plan to bring that many sets of clothes. Indian Clothes tend to get spoilt within 3 months or so. They either shrink or fade.
- Bring any cosmetics that you might need. Lots of good cosmetics are available here too but not the specific brands.
- Keep a spare set of clothes in your carry bag. Sometimes the luggage arrives late. Keep a small travel kit ready.
- Medicines – bring antibiotics, Crocin, allergy meds, pain relief medicine, vicks, zandu baam etc whatever you need or you might need, get doctors prescriptions for them too.
- Get a complete dental checkup, do a cleanup and fix anything that needs fixing. Dental issues cost heaven and earth here even with a good insurance policy. Do not travel till all tooth issues are fixed. (My Husband recently spent 1500$ from his own pocket on an emergency root canal. His insurance pays 80% of charges)
- Get an eye checkup. If you have power, bring at least 3 different pairs of glasses. Reading Glasses, Travelling Glasses, Spare Glasses. (Spectacles cost around 100$ and above.)
- Bring good quality Sunglasses. They are available here too but you might not wish to go shopping as soon as you land here.
- Bring 4 pillow covers and 4 plain bedsheets. I would suggest you buy the blankets here.
- Carry travel pack of following in handbag Toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, small soap, small talc – in case you have a long airport wait or wish to freshen up somewhere.
- Iron for the clothes (They are available for 12$ onwards. So it is your choice whether you wish to buy it here or bring it from India)
- At least 4 recent passport size pics. (You may not really need them but if u do, they are expensive. 2 photos for 9$)
- Get any photos of god, holy books, idols etc that you might need. Get calendar if you wish to keep track of stars and moons etc.
- Additionally, if u are staying at hotel till you find accommodation, bring a few of those instant MTR curries as after a 20hour flight you would crave Indian Food.
- Spare Ear phone\Head phone. (I lost mine today and it seems to cost 7$ and up). And while you are at it, get an additional USB charger for your phone.
- Water bottle – You will have to shell out around 5$ for a decent water bottle in the US.
Additionally, a software engineer who earns around 35000INR per month in India would be earning around 3500$ in the USA. So essentially, based on salary comparison 1$ would weigh down on his purse as much as 10INR in India. Converting everything by the Dollar to INR conversion rate is simply not worth the trouble.
The following are not amongst the things that are generally discussed with a soon be to be spouse. For a match made in India, food, movies, books, financial background of the family, love for pets and many such day to day stuff are discussed to check for compatibility. Sense of humor, good looks and a level of romanticism are also considered for the much awaited ‘I Do’. However, I believe that no match should be complete till the bride and groom discuss the following 8 commandments beforehand.
- Finance: There are some who track their expenses meticulously and then there are some who don’t. There are those who save at the beginning of the month and then there are those who never save. There are those who send their parents a part of their paycheck, some who donate to religious institutions, some who donate to animal shelters. There are those who love to take from parents and there are those who expect the spouse to be the provider. When it comes to money, every person has their own ideology and making sure that this ideology matches is of utmost importance.
- Equality: While the concept of “women are equal to men and deserve to be treated as such” is catching on, not all men are ready to treat their wife as an equal and not all women wish to be treated so. Talk to your spouse-to-be and make sure that your views on this match. You really do not want to spend half the night at office trying to fix some issue of utmost priority, only to come home to find out that your other half has problems with you coming in late.
- Kids: Discuss this no matter how awkward you think it is. Not everyone is open to the idea of waiting for a few years before having a kid. Not many are open to the idea of adoption. Not many are able to decide how many kids they want and then there are a few who believe kids are god’s gift and humans should not interfere to stop the process. So, regardless of what you believe, having your partner on the same page is of utmost importance.
- LGBT Rights: This one is close to my heart. I believe everyone should have the freedom to Love. Make sure you and your partner share same views on LGBT Rights. You might think it is not significant, but it is more significant than you think. Recent studies suggest that more than 8% of world’s population may be LGBT, most of them who have never come out. There are chances that the child you bring up in future might be in that 8%. Having diverse LGBT views can affect your relationship more than you give it credits for.
- Religious Ceremonies: Religion is a vast subject in itself and can touch upon variety of topics. On one hand there are the atheists who question the existence of god and on other hand there are folks who believe nothing happens without the grace of god . Then there are a few who spend most of their lifetimes in prayers\rituals. Make sure that you are tolerant of each other’s habits, beliefs and practices.
- Parents and Relatives Trap: There are several big decisions one has to take in life – where to buy a house, where to settle down, which school does the kid get to go to etc. Some can make these decisions easily while some folks have to consult others on their big decisions and ensure their approvals. While discussing these with others might not be a problem, awaiting approvals from far flung relatives might be. Discuss the role the relatives will be playing beforehand.
- Hobbies and Habits: Nobody can change who they are for someone else no matter how much they want to or they try to. So, finding a partner with matching habits ensures that the changes are limited to a bare minimum. Make sure your hobbies and pastimes align. One should not be a globe-trotting adventurer while all the other wants to do is curl up in front of the TV with a packet of chips.
- Fitness and Food: It is easy to let go of oneself and gain the flab as the responsibilities build up with age. Your partner might have different ideas about that. If you are someone who believes that one is born to eat and your partner checks calories before picking up anything, there might be a time in future where you are headed for a disagreement, and those issues my friend, are bound to be heavy.
That being said, compatibility on the above 8 points does not ensure a Happy and Loving Marriage. I know a few couples out there whose views do not match on any of the 8 points but they still make the best of couples.
I walked on the beach…the shores washing my feet…
I walked a mile, along the shore…
The path that I walked, I wanted everyone to see….
My head held high, my footprints so deep…
I thought let me retrace, my achievements of the hour…
I turn around.. Alas!! The waves had washed away my dreams…
I stood in the rain, lamenting my fate…
tears from my eyes.. realization in my mind…
Everything I do, is insignificant after a time…
I should have aimed for contentment, when I had the chance..
Its too late now… To give up on what I have started..
Against the nature, I started walking..
I tread hard on the sand… My footprints deeper than ever..
This time though.. my walk shall be remembered..
All along, laughing behind my back – the rain and sea started what they’ve been doing for years..
“Don’t fight us my child, for we mean no harm…
We strive to erase not your achievements of the past..
The sorrows, the mistakes, the tears – aren’t achievements..
To give you a clean slate every time.. is what we desire ”
How do you react when some stranger tells you that you do not have the skills required to do something ?
This question refers to all those who have been told that they cannot do something.
We had been to a restaurant where they provided valet parking. When we came out after dinner, we noticed that one of my friend’s car was parked precariously close to a tree and somehow they had managed to keep another car across it at an haphazard angle. It was going to take lots of maneuvering to get the vehicle out of that spot. There was a buffer space of 10 inches max..ie.. 5 inches on either side.I should have taken a photograph but at that moment, it never occurred to me!
My friend wanted to get the car out of there. The minute he got into the driving seat of the car, a passing valet commented “With your driving skills, it is not possible to get the car out of there”. My friend just looked at him and started the car and within seconds, he had the car out of the parking spot. He got out of the vehicle, looked at the valet and smiled. We were amused watching the whole drama.He just looked at us and said “Nobody insults my driving skills. Nobody!!”
There are people who accept it if someone says that they cannot do something and don’t go forward with it. And then there are those who go ahead because someone has told them they cannot do it.
Two children of 8th Grade. Two different places. The same experience. They learn different lessons.
There was a state level science exam conducted at our school. And since there were no external monitors, the teachers were giving away the answers as well as the questions. I felt that it was wrong. I mean- don’t you think its cheating ? I refused to take down the answers and wrote down whatever I knew. I was feeling so happy and proud to have done the right thing. I raced home to tell my mom this. She heard me narrate the entire thing. She smiled and praised me for my honesty. But then she added ” So tomorrow when the results will be out, everyone you know would have scored more than you. The people who see these results will never know that the others had copied and you did not. You will be considered a poor performer. Do you think you did the right thing ?”
There was a state level science exam conducted at our school. And since there were no external monitors, the teachers in all classes except ours were giving away the answers as well as the questions. I felt that it was wrong. I mean-Shouldn’t everyone be treated the same way ? I believed that this was wrong. Our entire class was angry with the teacher. After the exam, the teacher addressed the rather grumpy class. She smiled and started : “I know you all are angry with me for not sharing the answers. But these exams will be forgotten after a while and what remains with us are the values that we take forward. The other students may score 90 and above, but believe me, even if you score 50, that will be worth more than the 90 scored by the others.”
Both the students walked off with a lesson. Which one learnt the right thing and which one learnt the wrong is just a matter of opinion. And just like everything else, Opinions vary .
He said his mom did not entertain the idea of adoption.
She reminded him that they did not stay with his parents.
He said that he would never go against his mom.
She reminded him that theirs was a love marriage and that his mom had not entertained it initially.
He said he would have difficulty in loving a child that was not his own blood.
She reminded him that they had gone over this earlier and that he was replaying the same cards again just to stop the process.
He asked her to choose between him and the unknown child.
She bowed down her head and gave in to the man whom she loved.
I was supposed to start my 2nd grade the next day. The Father had told me that I would be getting new parents that day. I had packed my bags, worn my Sunday best clothes and had my Barbie ready to go. I remember waiting.. the longest wait of my life… And then there was a phone call….. It was a day that I wish I could forget…!!