25 Aug 2013

Going home again!

We’re going home in about 4 days. Many things to look forward to, but these are on the top of my mind.
  • Seeing the family again, after about 15 months.
  • Food! From Tamil Nadu/Kerala style parotta to mom’s mochai kuzhambu to gooseberries, Sattur cucumbers, and what not. The dosa mom makes is awesome too.
  • Indian roads. Oh, how I miss them! This picture I took during our road trip to Kodaikanal is a favourite, and makes me homesick almost every time I see it.
  • Seeing extended family and friends. There is a ton of sweet people there. Hoping to meet at least a few of them.
  • Did I mention food?

18 Aug 2013

Tests and scores

When my friends used to fear and despise tests and exams in school, I wasn’t so negative about tests. Most likely because I had no issues excelling in those tests. After years of going through tests, one day I realised something. Tests are tools for evaluating one’s own progress. Fussing about grades and ranks is besides the point. The main benefit of taking a test is that when the results come out you would know if you have learned well enough. (This is assuming you believe what the test measures is important.)

I had a similar revelation again today. I have been doing vision training exercises for the past few weeks. Vision training computer program gives you a series of challenges and gives you a score for each challenge based on how well you tackled it. These challenges are designed in such a way that they stretch your eyes’ focusing muscles increasing the efficiency of your eyes. Once you score above a certain threshold in a challenge, you are taken to the next level where the challenge gets a little harder.

At some point, pride took over and I got too fixated on the score. All I had in mind when sitting for the training was that I should score above the threshold and move to next level. By blindly focusing on getting to higher levels, I failed to notice what the vision training was meant to accomplish: to train your eyes to perform well in different scenarios. Like how physical exercises train your body to do well in different scenarios.

In hindsight this is obvious, but I didn’t know this was a mistake I was making. My mad attempts to push through the levels in the training programme actually made it harder for me to make any progress. Once I knew what’s the essence of the training, I could consciously focus on what my eyes were doing rather than the score I’d be earning. I did the training the “right way” today. Though I didn’t score enough to move to the next level, I am confident I am on the right track.

Relocating again

I liked Bangalore, but my job there was less than exciting. Because of my friends there, I started to see life in a new way. I’m sure it freaked my family out when it was happening, but that life in Bangalore was crucial to what I have become now. When I left Bangalore, I left with an apprehension for leaving a good city.

I hated Hyderabad from day 1. Work was good, and I found some very good friends. Over years I managed to tolerate Hyderabad -- especially with the help of this blog -- and it wasn't a pain having to live there. But when I did relocate, I was apprehensive about leaving all these friends behind.

Sydney improved the quality of my work life greatly. I started feeling like I was back in college. I learned many new things. Got my first promotion after years. And I liked the city from beginning. Even today, my desire to travel Australia is mostly unfulfilled. I could happily continue to live here for 5 more years with so many more places to see. Work is also great, which is a huge bonus.

Yet, I’m moving out in a few more months. I feel this move makes no sense now. I’m moving mostly for the sake of moving. But a dark nook of my mind says that some day I'll recount this as a good decision.

You’ve been awesome, Australia. I’ll miss you.

12 Aug 2013

Being locked up

What does it mean to be locked up in a jail or a mental hospital? Being Bi-Bi shows a glimpse into such a locked-up world:
My hand hurts. To just write (this was originally handwritten) in here I have to borrow a pen. And then hand it back when I'm done. I have no internet, no phone and no music.
Imagine having to live for a year with no access to music!

9 Aug 2013

Some life lessons

Some life lessons I have learned over time:
  • The world doesn’t revolve around you.
  • Life is not a courtroom.
  • Don’t leave something because you hate it.
  • Happiness of people around you is essential to your own happiness.
  • Taking the easy route is not shameful.
  • Be honest to yourself.
  • Accept yourself; accept your family and friends; accept your duties; accept your life.
  • Avoid fear.
  • Self-pity is a plague that will eat you alive.
  • Don’t stop living, even temporarily.