Do you know any graduate students in the United States of America? Perhaps the right question should be do you know any graduate student in USA enrolled in a premier institution who is pursuing a master’s degree, a PhD degree and who is going back into residency because despite the shouting from the rooftops about her love for research is essentially a doctor at heart.
If not, you have found yourself in the right place. So let me tell you about my Master’s graduation ceremony. It was my first and it was splendid. Like the first times generally are. Husband by my side, friends to cheer me on I had a moment where I wished my parents would be there to savor the moment. But that was it. It was only that moment. My name was called, I walked up to the stairs, I was hooded, congratulated, hugged called a super star, I collected my degree… er…. well that’s where the sham comes in.. more on that later.. took a professional photograph, walked of the stage, met a few of my faculty, got called the best of the lot, had me beaming, my husband beaming, lots of hugs and photographs later, I was home.
Back to my reality, I have a master’s thesis pending, a Phd proposal pending, a Phd qualifier in less than 6 weeks, a trip to Europe for 10 days (very excited but at such a bad time), and then the start to residency on July 1st. So what exactly did my degree say- It said it was an I-Owe-You! It was for all of us as our degrees will be mailed out at a later date. Mine is contingent to my thesis submission. I am no where close to being done. It will get done, I am confident. Just not yet.
In my mind, I am gunning for the PhD. That day I will ensure my mother will be there for my big day. I will let some of my closest friends know too. Perhaps that day I could truly walk tall and proud and finally feel accomplished.
Filed under A first, Attitude, Celebration, Determination, Friends, Goal, Life, Living my life, Milestones, Motivation, People, Personal, Resolutions, Update, Wishes
- I am an Indian (Brown) immigrant in the United States. I have been here for 3 election cycles but I do not have the right to vote yet.
- I have friends both democrat and republican and we have been friends for over 12 years now.
- I have the benefit of not choosing sides, and I have the ability to look at things from an “outsider’s” point of view.
- I have hope for my adopted country.
Well after that disclaimer, I feel we need to talk to one another now more than ever. There was a CNN news piece that people weren’t going to be with their families over thanksgiving this year. That was just disheartening. Doesn’t matter what our political allegiance may be, I don’t think families should be affected by it.
Having said that, I feel we are very deeply affected. When a friend of mine who is a nurse at a hospital I used to intern at, was fervently supportive of Donald Trump, it made me question a few things.
- Did she not really like me as I did take up a position that could have gone to an American white doctor.
- Does she think I should go back to India?
- Does she not care about what the leader of this nation believes in, whether or not he respects women, people of color, considers climate change to be real and really truly cares about the working class.
- Her support of Donald Trump made me wonder what she truly felt about me.
- It made me question the future of our friendship.
I have time and again played back the years of knowing her. She was the only one I confided in about my deepest fears and darkest thoughts. I knew she would get me. At that time she did. I have been deeply troubled about the foundation of our friendship.
I knew I had to stop letting her posts on Facebook stop affecting me. I know heart of hearts, she is the same person she was when we became friends. She and I have grown up together as people and we have had each other’s back when no one else knew that we were crumbling. No politics can take that away from us.
So I decided I am not going to let petty politics change my love for her, my attitude towards her, and if need be I will stop following her on Facebook. What about the rest of the Facebook posts. People justifying their choice of Trump and being okay with “losing friends” over Facebook. What about those that fear or feel angry at people who did chose Trump claiming that they will delete those different from them.
I see a cry for acceptance, fear, desperation. I see the need to talk more, engage more, think more and act more. I already see people getting more involved with their community. I see people voicing themselves a little stronger/louder. I feel a little can go a long way and even though some of us think we are doomed, I see hope. A little adversity always brings out the best in people. Also, Facebook is not a measure of our relationships, people.
With that out in the open, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving weekend and a very happy holiday season.
Filed under Advice, Celebration, Communication, Confusion, Conversations, Decisions, Doubts, Emotions, Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Facts, Faith, Fear, focus, Friends, Friendship, Healing, Hope, Issues, Life, Opinion, People, Priorities, Questions., Rants, Resolutions, Society, Thoughts
Last week starting Sunday had to be the best and the worst week for me this year.
Sunday kicked off Diwali celebrations in our new apartment. I wasn’t up to company, celebrations, or even embracing the new place. I am not very good with change. But perhaps change is exactly what we needed.
I love birthdays in general. Mine most of all. EVERYONE should know that. This year has been miserably tough. Every birthday I am reminded that I lost my first baby just a day after my birthday. This year I had hoped my second baby would make it to my birthday so we could have had a fighting chance. That didn’t happen either. I almost didn’t want to live through the day, because I didn’t know if I had it in me to face the potential burst of emotions.
The birthday came despite my denial with a promise that four days later it would be my husband’s. The old man turned 40 this year. I decided to give him a birthday he could feel loved, honored and appreciated for who he is! So I took solace that I had something else to think about.
Last week my husband and I experienced pouring in of love, affection, hugs, phone calls and messages. People came out in numbers to join us in our attempt to celebrate life that exists and forget even if for just a second of the life that didn’t make it. I am touched by the effort our friends made to take time out of their busy schedules to ensure we were made to feel special and loved.
Even though this was a tough week to live by, the universe had other plan for us. With the love we have experienced in the last one week, I feel we are stronger and more prepared for the challenges that lie ahead of us. I got to make my husband feel loved and appreciated and nothing makes me happier than a 40 year old man, feel like a young boy again.
A very happy birthday to both of us! I am ready for the world again 🙂
Filed under Birthday, Blogging, Bonding, Camaraderie, Celebration, Challenges, Death, Decisions, Disappointments, Emotions, Experiences, Friends, Healing, Life, Loss, Love, New York, People, Rants, Relationships, Society, Thoughts
We were moving into our current apartment more than six years ago. A Rabi from the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community passed by our door just as our furniture was being delivered. He popped his head in, offered help and walked away with a big warm smile.
A few weeks later, as I was coming back from work I was greeted by my neighbor, who also happened to be the Rabi’s wife. She asked me if I would be okay to go into their apartment and turn off the cooking range. Being the first time I was amused. Then I made an effort to get to know more about the ways of the Orthodox Jewish community. I read about Shabbat and made sense of the request my neighbor made of me.
Over the last 6 years, we have watched their family grow from 3 children to 7 and I have been asked to turn off the cooking range on countless occasions. More importantly we have become friends during this time. We have spent time chatting with them, exchanging our thoughts on life, religion, politics, travel, our families. They have prayed for us, visited us in the hospital, sent us food. As we have got to know them over the years the fact that they are very different from us in the way they live, practice their religion, raise their children, dress, eat has stopped being a though worth considering.
Last Friday we were invited to our first Shabbat dinner. I don’t know what prompted the invitation. Is it because we are going to move soon, or because we lost our second baby? Whatever their reason might be, we felt like we were with friends. As they navigated us through their rituals my husband and I wondered why didn’t we do this earlier? We have already shared so much over the last 6 years so why did we not share a meal before?
We spent a good two plus hours chatting to our hearts content, eating a sumptuous meal, listening to their children. As we said our good byes, I wondered if we had just said good bye to a family that had become our closest friends.
Filed under A first, Celebration, Communication, Conversations, Decisions, Environment, Experiences, Friends, Friendship, Home, Life, New York, Personal, Priorities, Society, Thoughts
I don’t want to say good bye to 2015, but it isn’t staying is it now? It hasn’t been the most productive or ground breaking year I have had but it helped me grow a lot. For all the lessons I have learned, for the personal growth I have had, the people I met and the people I hope to meet some day, 2015 was a beautiful year.
Here is to 2016! Happy New Year everyone!
Filed under Blogging, Celebration, Emotions, Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Healing, Life, Milestones, Motivation, Personal, Plans, Short, Society
I looked for my previous posts on thanksgiving, and found this. Tomorrow all those years ago, changed the course of history. Most of us got closer and stood united against the attack on our home. It didn’t matter which family I belonged to, which language I spoke, what my religious beliefs were, or even which country I lived in. For those of us who have had the privilege to call Mumbai home, were deeply affected. Our home was under attack and we were hurt. Together.
Tomorrow happens to be Thanksgiving in my adopted country. It is one of my favorite holidays. It is the celebration of harvest and a way of giving thanks.The origin of this holiday can induce some negativity around the holiday, but now it is a time when families get together for a food coma inducing food fest , family, warmth, hugs and love. There is no exchange of gifts which makes it a real holiday especially in this very consumerism driven society. I absolutely love it.
I have a long list of things I am thankful for, but today I am going thank this blog. It has been a part of me for 10 interesting years. Thanks for providing me this platform for my expressions, relief, friends I have made, and the wonderful bloggers I have been able to follow.
Happy thanksgiving y’all!
Filed under Celebration, Communication, Conversations, Culture, Environment, Expectations, Food, Friends, Home, Hope, Issues, Life, Loss, People, Priorities, Society, Thoughts, Wishes
Karva Chauth is a day of fasting observed by married women for the health and longevity for their husbands. It is a tradition followed by women from the northern part of India.
As a child growing up in Mumbai, I watched my mother keep this fast every year for my father. The year she started to study again, my father requested her to consume fruits and water so that was the end of stringent fasts. What never changed was the ritual of breaking the fast. My mother would make ‘pukka khana’ and puas. ( traditional formal north indian food with a deep fried sweet treat made with whole wheat four). She would arrange a prayer plate. Seven different ingredients, rice, sugar, almonds, cashews, raisons, puas and some money, plus water for the moon. We, my family of four would await the moon. Once sighted, my mother would pour water in the direction of the moon, say a little prayer, we would all join in. Every year she would attempt to touch my father’s feet, which is a sign of respect to our elderly. My father would always hold her halfway and hold her in a huge warm embrace. Then he would feed her first morsel and my brother and I would grab the puas. Our favorite part of the day.
I have never forgotten those warm long embraces my parents shared. For me it was always an acknowledgement of their love of each other. That day stood for the promises they made to each other. The commitment they had towards their marriage vows. The acceptance of life with it’s good and bad, but always together. The moment my father would hold my mother, reminded me that everything was okay in our world. Actually scratch that. It was perfect in our world.
So naturally when I got married it would be a day I would share with my husband. I follow pretty much the same ritual. My husband won’t even let me bend to touch his feet. We always hug, he always feeds me my first morsel and I always cook his favorite food. The year I lost my father, I begged him to let me touch his feet. My husband had become the anchor I thought I had lost. That year, he became the son my mother never had, the support my brother thought had lost for ever and so much more. While he understood what it meant to me, he didn’t let me, but he held me tight until I stopped crying. I am not sure if he held me because it was cold or he just knew that I would need that hug to last a little longer.
4 years since then I have never missed Karva Chauth. It is the day I say thanks to my husband for being him, my anchor, my voice of reason, my strength, my friend, my confidant, and hopefully one day the father of my children, while being completely fussed about.
Over the past few years I have noticed that the newer generation of Indian women don’t share the sentiments that I do. They probably don’t care about traditions or consider this a feminist cause to fight. Whatever their motivation, I can respect the choices they make. And just like that I would like for my choices to be respected. Not necessarily accepted but respected.
Filed under A first, Abstract, Blogging, Bonding, Celebration, Conversations, Culture, Death, Emotions, Expectations, Milestones