Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Year Resolutions 2011

I realised that I listed some things in my 2010 resolution that could not happen well, in 2010. So I might list them here again, but they are few and far between. These are in random order and not in order of importance.

1. Read a 100 books this year ( a paltry 26 last year. This has to improve)
2. Watch only a 100 films ( 300+ last year. I think I watched a movie a day)
3.Join a gym ( joined) exercise, swim, lose weight and regain stamina.
4. Read 50 ethnographies, fiction notwithstanding.
5. Read the JRAI and the Guardian everyday.
6. Go for more exhibitions at the Tate
7. Watch at least 6 operas and 6 plays
8. Volunteer with a human rights organisation ( volunteering from next week)
9. Apply for some funding for a project I feel strongly about.
10.Get an internship and then a job.
11. Travel to at least two new countries in Europe, hopefully work in one!
12.Get a distinction.
13. Write the best possible dissertation and hand it in on time.
14. Learn time management.
15. Read up and learn intensively about the following arenas- politics, gender, human rights, education and healthcare. ( Technically, the last two are also human rights, but I mean it more in the policy sense).
16. Get to know and converse with really, fun smart and exciting people who are not necessarily involved in my academic programme.
17. Volunteer with the Globe if time permits.
18.Look for jobs in development, market research, human rights organisations and in the public sector. Be proactive about it.
19.Try more new cuisines ( Tried lebanese, mexican, nigerian, japanese so far)
20. Learn more about the underground music scene. Go to more clubs.
21.Finish reading Ishiguro's novel ( When I finish this one, I shall have read all his published works till date).
22. Watch the Apu Trilogy.
23. Learn to cook 3 cuisines, super-well!
24. Write at least 5 essays for myself and 5 for publication.
25.Learn to be more diplomatic ( getting there!)
26. Not own any more moleskines.
27. Admit to myself that when I am down and out, I enjoy formula fiction, cheesy nachos and chicken wings.
28. Stop having inflammatory conversations with people who say things like "women should just do housework." Just smile and walk away. Or not smile. Basically, not waste my time.
29.Have at least four academic writing samples that I can be proud of.
30. Go to Dharamsala if I can go home this year.
31.Make time for the Butterfly Project.
32. Not miss deadlines for things that I am in interested in.
33. Write fabulous essays by the end of the year.
34. Write a book review for a very well-respected women's magazine ( Insert name if published).
35.Keep writing on this blog, and write about the book I read/ things I did and films I watched.
36. Go to more places by tube. It's amazing!
37.Write more letters to Baba and Ma, to siblings and to friends.
38. Not react immediately. Hear people out. Sometimes, they are much less provocative than they appear to be.
39. Own more pretty earrings!
40. Believe in my abilities
41. Meet at least four people who really inspire me- if not meet, at least write them super-sweet and not stalkerish letters about why they inspire me. Unfortunately, I can't write to Dravid. That would turn out to be stalkerish no matter how hard I try.
42. Learn to walk in high heels without tripping over.
43. Wear dresses in summer.
44.Clean my room more often. Hopefully, have a bigger room. 
45. Write at least three pieces a month.
46. Send out my writing more often.
46. Find out what "North Face"is.
47.Run the Half marathon.
48.Stay off alcohol, mostly. Apart from wine.And occasionally beer.
49.Learn how to write a CV. 
50. Read all the books bought from Skoob.
51. Learn how to use the kindle.
52. Get better at reading maps.
53. Not be afraid to make a complete ass of myself. 
54.  When in doubt, ask the most silly questions, even if they are extremely silly.
55. Ask someone how to put the accent on top of French names in Microsoft Word.
56.Respond to more emails.
57. Organise more pub nights.
58. Get to know my classmates better.
59. Learn the subtle and not-so-subtle art of networking. Network with the genuine intention of getting to know people.
59. Submit essays to publications in the UK. 
60. Write more short stories.
61. Really understand how things fit in within the anthropological discipline by the time I graduate.
62. Smile more.
63. Be able to laugh at myself.
64... and not too much at others.
65. Watch more Leonardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp films.
66. Learn more about the work of Noam Chomsky.
67. Read up more on political philosophy.
68. Always look neat.
69. Get at least 10 published credits this year, all of which is good work.
70. Go to the library more often.
71. Read to little children.
72. Help someone with painting.
73. Go on a road-trip
74. Go scuba diving and rappelling again.
75. Teach a class.
76. Visit a prison.
77. Wake up as soon as the alarm rings.
78.Volunteer to teach in a village school ( May happen in 2012)
79. Be more organised.
80. Learn to let go of people and forgive them if they've hurt me.
81. Forgive myself.
82.Lie in bed and listen to the rain.
83. See the London skyline on a moonlit night.
84. Try to not be fatalistic.
85. Be more open to new ideas.
86. Start learning a new language by the end of the year.
87.Go to more places of worship.
89. Go into a synagogue.
90. Witness more demonstrations. This time, maybe even cover it.
91. Learn more swear words in different languages.
92.Add more countries to the places I want to travel when I turn thirty list ( 15 so far).
93. Get a job that allows me to have time to write.
94. Get a job in the first place.
95.Join a choir.
96.  Make friends with people from my grandfather's generation.
97.  Take good care of health; eat right.
98. Push for excellence; not create boundaries.
99. Try to be a better person.
100. Get flowers to brighten up my room

These days

are not really like the other days. During the beginning of my time here, days were beginning to resemble each other to a point where I could not distinguish one from the other. I'd look at my lists, fervently hoping that I'd get things done, only to find that the day was too cold and that I'd rather spend my time sleeping under the blankets. 
Sometimes, from one week to the next, even the lists didn't make sense-the context, the environment, even the people, everything had suddenly changed.

What really struck me about London at first was the pace at which things moved. I'd spent my first really lonely days at Sardinia Street and written about it here ( The place is so quiet and beautiful that I often grab a sandwich and hot chocolate and have lunch there), I hung out with people who are really great as individuals I'm guessing, but wanted to be more than friends, something unimaginable for me at this point. Maybe I'm too much of a brooder, but if there's one thing I know about myself, while I may be good at everyday spontaneity, I am absolutely awful if I'm pressured into/ coerced into doing anything that I am not ready for in my own mind. I need my own time and space to figure things out, and rushing into something has never worked for me. 

At this point, I am in such a limbo- in a state of confusion with regards to what I want to do and who I want to be. The older I grow, the more unsure I am, and I don't see that as a bad thing, though. I think it only means that I am more willing to explore other possibilities than my pre-set notions. However, it also means that I change my otherwise strongly held views on something, only to come full circle and realise that that is exactly what I believed in the first place.

 In other news, yesterday one of my lifelong dreams came true. I've mentioned before in this blog that I'd like to volunteer long term with a human rights organisation to push for causes that I believe in. The volunteering will not be sealed off from other activities- I think journalism, advocacy, social media and even rallies pushing for causes close to one's heart are all worthwhile. I don't think that there is a hierarchy of causes, but as an individual there are some causes that I feel more strongly about that others. 

I'm actually delighted to be given the opportunity to begin work on it from next week. Unfortunately, I will not be able to talk about it/ blog about it because of a confidentiality clause that I actually completely agree with and respect. However, I might be able to still find a way to communicate what I'm learning via this blog.

I've also begun to love living in London. I walk to school, but I love taking the tube to other parts of the city. I've also stopped being lazy and started attending events and talks organised by the LSE. The other day, I heard Professor Keith Kart talk about the Human Economy. Professor Hart is an economic anthropologist and his new book explores alternative forms of economics and the difference in the way economics operates in simple and complex societies. Next week, I intend to attend four lectures. I would constantly tell myself that I have no time for it/ It is too cold/ some other excuse and in that same vein, nothing ever gets done.

 Although, very late, I've decided to list my resolutions for 2011. I did absolutely nothing in January except eat a lot and doodle, so my resolutions will begin effectively from February.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Night Out!

Me all Smiles At Dinner
Posers : Gayathri and I
                                                     Lemons, Mojitos and Guacamole

Gayathri, with her Mojito
Sipping away while waiting for dinner  

What does one do after a long week of feeling rather inadequate and even exhausted? Go to Wahaca, of course! Wahaca is an amazing Mexican Restaurant in Covent Garden and my friend Gayathri and I decided to relax after the stressful week that we both had had at university. The next week is going to be no less exhausting so we thought that we might as well squeeze in some fun while we can. Wahaca was Gayathri's suggestion- we were discussing places to eat and I'd been craving Mexican food for a while so we zeroed in on it. The food is superb and the Mojitos even better. The conversation of course, was extremely random, even by our standards. 

Wahaca is extremely popular and we had to wait an hour and a half to get a table. In the meantime, we drank Mojitos and posed for pictures. As most readers of this blogs ( read- my friends mostly) are aware, I don't usually take pictures. All the pictures here were taken with Gayathri's Iphone. 

Things we ate/ drank- Nachos, Churros, Mojitos, Chilli-flavoured chocolate icecream, spicy mexican grilled chicken, salad. 

I should do this more often.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Early start to the day, and it's heart-breaking. I left a birthday boy a message on his answering machine after calculating transatlantic time. I ate strawberries and cream and learnt to distinguish between sour cream and pouring cream.I know now that there are chilli and lime-flavoured chocolates and I don't really enjoy the cold.And that there is a difference between oranges and clementines.

Skype, emails, gchats-nothing makes it better. Relying on words rather than actions to communicate can only be a part of the picture. What about the lived-in experience of it all?

I know I am missing out on the nuances of the lives of  some of the people I love. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts, updates etcetera

My sister  mentioned to me during my winter break that I am very filmy. Although outraged at first, the more I think about it, the more I would tend to agree with her. I would want every incident to be neatly tied up, every person in the world to find that one person ( or two or three or four, hey I'm not judging!) that they truly love, and finally, every day and everything should have a happy ending. I suppose that does make me slightly filmy, but I also think that it can all happen without the girl being completely trampled over. Anyway, the point is this-I still see no harm in thinking that perfect loves *do* exist.

My friend Gayathri told me to hurry up and start applying for jobs and internships. The deadlines are all in January. I need to start researching, looking for jobs, internships etcetera. Somebody give me a job!

I also joined a gym. I can now swim. Also, many many cute guys! :D

I am officially neurotic. I am a worry wart and I filled in two notebooks in two days. Writing rubbish. I cannot not work. I am going nuts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thanks Sherene and Clickety Click Click!

A few months ago when I had written about London,  the lovely Sherene Jose commented on this blog, offering a few helpful suggestions. From then on, we've kept in touch, via emails and through this blog and today, we met up for the first time. As I told her today, I've always considered this blog sort of useless, what with me rambling on and on about my oh-so-ordinary life. However, of late, I've been getting great mileage out of this blog- people I didn't know earlier have been reading it and getting in touch with me and I've been making some interesting new friends, all thanks to this blog.

Sherene for instance, has run the half marathon in London and today, she successfully convinced me to give it a shot, and I will. She also had some great advice for me with regards  to volunteering with the Globe Theatre, having been a volunteer herself! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to begin work on that, whenever it happens, if it does.

All in all, it was an evening well spent ( thank you so much Sherene for the amazing coffee and conversations!) and I have this blog to thank for it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Before I even noticed...

My blog has turned three and is on its fourth year. I am tempted to make some unfortunate comparisons but shall refrain lest the gods of the blogosphere get annoyed.

This man, here, who goes by the name of anonymous these days, once told me to keep my blog infidelity in check and that I was a serial  blog cheater. I cannot deny that there has been some truth to his claims, but now I am the epitome of blog fidelity.

On a completely different note, thanks very much, my two new followers! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Back in London

So after a much needed break with friends and family, I am back here in London. Unlike the past couple of months, where I've felt completely disoriented and clueless ( and also amazed and wonder-struck), I'm happy to announce that I am wonder-struck still, but less clueless and definitely less upset and feeling less incompetent.

The first couple of months were exceptionally difficult and I found myself questioning the kind of choices that I was making for myself. Everything seemed unfamiliar- the sudden sound of church bells early in the morning, my nameless, faceless neighbours and their Jimi Hendrix renditions at odd hours, not to mention the fact that everyone seemed to be running all the time, busy as hell, with no time to spare.

 Sometimes, there is satisfaction in being part of a collective. At other times, it's satisfying to revel in the stillness of my surroundings. To stare at overcast thick clouds and people's thinly veiled ambitions. To sit in a green park in Sardinia Street and watch it turn white and then grey and finally yellow. To remember how to forget. And then, to just be.