Monday, June 22, 2009

Same Old

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
- Victor Hugo
Two Saturdays went by and even after thinking about so much I would write on the blog, I didn't update. I wasted a lot of time sleeping this week going beyond eight hours four times. On 13th I attended a function hosted by my uncle who lives in Murphy to celebrate his new-born son's Naam Rakhai and his youngest daughter's Bismillah. Most of my cousins and aunt arrived from Houston. Then it was my second cousin's marriage on 20th. I attended two grand parties - one in Hilton Anatole close to downtown Dallas and one in Embassy Suites in Carollton. Unexpectedly I had to take an off from my work today and I thought I should write.

Every time I sit for this after a gap, I wonder how my willingness to write a thing I have thought about since I updated last has faded away. There is so much always to think; so much a desire to share; but by the time it comes to putting it here everything seems pointless. The question of what difference it is going to make surfaces making me remind myself again that I write for myself and nobody else. Doing anything for myself doesn't seem so motivating though at the end there is always some kind of satisfaction but I am sure if I decide that I am going to write for somebody in particular, I would write everyday not even trying to think what motivation is.

I spoke to four friends yesterday on phone. I saw both my room mates asleep when I reached my apartment from the reception and I began to feel lonely. I called up my mother first to let her know I was back safely. My first two calls to two friends had no response. Then of course things started getting back and I spoke to three of them one after the other. It's different worlds when I talk to different people. And when there is nobody to talk it's just mine. Things don't feel so good these days. I will try to go out for some movie today with my room mate is he is free in the evening. I have to sit down with Java again. It's kind of weired these days. Alhamdulillah I am still happy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Delayed Feed

Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.
- Betty Bender
I don't know how I missed the alarm I had set in my phone to wake me up at 5 am. There was sunlight outside when I opened my eyes and hunger had just moved in. I took a while to think about the alarm but it's alright now - there's half more pizza to finish, I will talk to my roommate for sometime who woke up few minutes ago and get back to sleep. I have an off today and there are no plans for the day yet. It scares me not to have anything to do. I think I will call up my friend to see if he is in Plano right now. I can even go to my uncle's place in Murphy who had been asking me to visit him since long.

It feels like there is so much to and so less time. I am falling short of sleep daily and it hits my neck directly making it ache so frequently. Some times I wonder how it would be if there was nothing like sleeping - there would be one enjoyment less then! Most of the things I do always get pushed to the deadline even though I try to take care of them before time. It's good I never have the pressure of reaching my place of work at any precise time. I can take a 15 minute delay and even call up somebody who is already there and let him know if I am getting more late than that. There isn't much to wrote of course. My roommate left for his job just now and my other roommate is still awake busy with his laptop. Like me, he rarely sleeps.

Though I always wait for changes to take place even when they horrify me, I am not getting time these days to think about any changes. But I am sure I am going to look back at these days in wonder a few years from now. There are incredible things I am learning with some strange people I meet almost daily. Things also make me wonder if this is what I really came to America for and somehow the answer is positive because I am on the track to reach where I think I need to go. Things can always get some smoothening at the edges but it's not bad with little complains.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


"Independence"... is middle-class blasphemy.  We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.  
- G.B. Shaw, Pygmalion, 1912
I can't force myself to write. I opened the 'Create' page, waited for something to come to me, thought of who all might read it, had a banana, took a short walk in the living room and even stared outside the patio but nothing seems amusing enough to me to be write about. I can decide now that writing is not for me but it's too late already. That's not a reason for not writing. I have not been writing and burning down the daily urge to write because by the time I reach my apartment daily I am too tired even to eat my dinner. Today I had an off that put me into long sleep. I like spending lots of time just lying around but I had a couple of important things to finish which I had been advancing by a day for three consecutive days.

I had a sleep of almost 10 hours. I had been sleeping for less than five hours for almost a month now and when daily the back of my head and neck ache due to lack of sleep, today they were uncomfortable due to too much sleep. I had to take a short nap a while ago to set them right. I sent out a couple of e-mail and waiting for replies. The replies are not important though. It feels good to know that I am connected to a network that even connects so many other people who have important roles. Some are accessible to me while some still stay disconnected. It's the address and the permission, not the roads and means to travel on them that is important this time.

We brought home biryani and tandoori chicken for dinner when we went for grocery shopping to a desi store today. I don't like going to such stores. People always seem to be interested in what I am doing, how I am looking and what I am buying. The cashiers too are not friendly. This girl at the counter seemed a new recruit so she was polite but the other girl who works there always seems to have a question on her face: "why the heel are you here?". It's so different when I go to stores like Taget, Tomthumb or Walmart. The cashier greets, asks how I am doing and wishes me a good day when I leave. I do the same thing where I work no matter who the customer is. It's ironic to see cold behavior from South Asians especially when we boast of things like rich culture and morals. There's still lot to learn from Westerners.

This again reminds me of that half-wit I met at the Mumbai's International Airport who works for VFS Global. He asked me why I was going to the US even when he had my passport in his hands that had an F-1 visa stamped on it showing the university and the city I was going to - a visa that had been issued to me by the government of the United States of America. Perhaps this guy gets frustrated all day watching people go to this country when he can't but sit there. But that's not my problem. All enquiry that USA wanted to do had been done and they were fine with me coming to their country. This guy who was an Indian like me was questioning me and indirectly the government of America. I had to answer with respect - it was my first time.

When I reached the port of entry in Newark, the officer there greeted me, checked all the papers and said "welcome to America" with a big warm smile. He didn't belong to the country I was from, he didn't speak the language I spoke and his skin's color was a lot fairer than mine yet he was welcoming me to his country. I understand it's his job to be so good to me but so it was for that guy there in Mumbai. Mine was not an isolated case. I have heard similar experiences from more people too especially from my father's friend. He has an American passport and he was asked for his length of stay in India at New Delhi. He asked the officer to check it on the passport who in turn behaved rudely with him. My father's friend told the officer that at the most he would make him miss his flight but being an American citizen he could get his suspended from his job. Some police men had to interfere and the officer apologized.

Few days back an African American guy told me he was from New Orleans, I emphasised that I am from India and he had a smile on his face in appreciation. We are respected here like how Americans are respected. There is no second rate treatment. I have met people from from Far East, Middle East, Africa, Europe and South America and never for even a single moment did I feel that I was being seen with less respect. It's people of my own country in particular and people from South Asia who do that. No doubt I have met some wonderful people from my country, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have been too good to me, but there is more pity than good with others. We Indians are intelligent, educated and faster than many people here. We are the ones for whom finishing basic schooling is of little significance. I know myself - I never felt great that I am an engineer. Americans here look at me as if I have walked on the moon before reaching here.

When children reach an age of 19, they say "I am 19 and I can take care of myself". A driving license is what that differentiates between boys and men. I don't even remember when I crossed 19. It was so insignificant for me. I remember when I got my driving license in India - it felt good but not great. Here - I felt more good because I needed it badly and I had turned 22 just a month before that; there was no excitement. As a bottom line, I have learned to live with both of these. I appreciate a few qualities and like some other things. It's good to know how to react to each of these. I intend to be good and celebrate every day and appreciate every people. Our lives are too short to complain. But it's fun to make fun at times! It's also good to know who we can trust. 9,000 miles from home, I still feel I am enjoying. Alhamdulillah.