Thursday, September 21, 2006

Great Expectations!

I have read the novel by Charles Dickens.
The protagonist Philip Pirrip irritated me. He made mistakes in deciphering human emotions and feelings, committed blunders and then redeemed himself by doing something worthwhile. At the end of the novel, I didn't know whether to be happy or sad for him. But this post isn't dedicated to him.
Why do people expect from others? Freud might smirk at my question and say, " Of course, because they want something in return for their efforts for other people!" Expectations can vary - from material tangible things to nothing more than a few kind words. Expectations are also attached only to people who matter to you.
When I received without expecting, I sometimes never ealized it's value. It's only when my great expectations were met with nothingness, that I learnt something new.
For one, I learnt to value whatever I had received previously without asking for it.
I learnt that nothing should be taken for granted. Nothing is obvious.
I also learnt that feelings matter more than materials. Hmmm...thus said I do believe that sometimes a little something helps in generating good feelings! :-)
Great Expectations come directly from the heart - atleast for me. My logical gates never help me where my heart is concerned. And when the expectations aren't fulfilled it can be painful.
But the good part of the story is that, great expectations when met, makes you really truly happy! And life becomes really beautiful!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Annual Day and more!

Nope, am not talking about my school's annual day, am talking about myself.
I realized last night with a start, that I had been in the BushLand for exactly one year!

I never thought how many years I have been in Calcutta or India, I just took it for granted.

Its been a long enriching one year. I have grown, evolved and learnt something along my way. For every person coming into Uncle Sam's place, its a new experience. Some of us come here already freaked out, while others enjoy every moment. From "nothing ever works" in India, to "wow! it works!" in US, its been some journey. Its not true that everything is rosy here in US, there are thorns as well. Its not all that easy to acclimatize to the US conditions. Incidentally, students like us are called "Aliens" in tax forms! I wonder whether Indians would ever call foreigners by that name. :)

Its been a long weekend here. Labour Day. Like Indians, americans celebrate it by going somewhere to spend the extra holiday.And yes, in America there are usually "sales" (discounts) on prices whenever there is a holiday! But these holidays are few and far between. If we had such a system back in India, the shopkeepers would be bankrupt by now!

For this long weekend I went Kayaking with my labmates and friends. In one word, Awesome!
I did it for the second time. Since its free for UCLA students, we were happier!
The waters of the Pacific Ocean is diverted into a huge lagoon. The area is called Marina del Rey. In a small kayak, barely space for 2 people, armed with oars we floated into the deep dark waters! Even though I was assured multiple times, that there was no fear of toppling, I screamed everytime a wave swayed our miniscule kayak. My kayak-mate was a supercool dude. He decided that the boat would float whether he rowed or not, and hence he took it easy. For sometime I was the only one rowing away, until I realized that I was doing it all alone! You see I was sitting in the front, hence his inactivity escaped my attention.

One ground rule for kayaking is to escape the big boats - coz they can't see you from that height and they don't mind running you down. We escaped two rapidly oncoming boats by vigourous synchronized paddling and weren't we happy! My kayak-mate christened it, "The Great Escape".
From one end of the Marina to the other, we rowed, hitting against other kayaks, screaming whenever a huge boat passed and waves hit us, steering away from rocks and ducks, waving to handsome lifeguards, and getting close to the Pacific Ocean and turning back. It was 2 hours long, and we got thoroughly tanned in the process.
Had lunch at an Indian Restraunt with Korean, Chinese, Italian and obviously Indian people!

The day was worth it and definitely well-spent!