Marching on

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Wednesday, March 13, 2013
So it's been over a year since my last post. Life's changed, in a good way of course. I've moved on to a more responsible phase in life, or so I like to claim. Turned quarter of a century and all that jazz. Graduated with a Masters degree. So glad that's over, would love to do it all over again. Began my professional career with some amazing minds, trying to bring about a change. Getting hitched soon to the most amazing person who understands and knows me too well. That can only be a good thing, right?

I completed a full 360 with the social media obsession and today find myself coming back to the one medium where it all started. The place where I made some of my best friends. Blogging shall always be close to my heart and despite trying to delete this blog and starting a new one, I keep coming back to what it truly is - a place to vent and ramble.

Are you still reading this? Nice. :-)


Finding closures

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 in , ,
This is not the first time I'm facing an identity crisis. I've questioned myself about what defines me as a person, what is it that sets me apart from the rest, what do people like about me, what is it in me that annoys the crap out of them. This undying need to make myself likable, and be the best puts me in a wreck. I tend to lose myself this in reflective process, which is so ironical because I'm trying to actually discover instead. Criticism comes easily to people, but compliments? Not so much. When you can't depend on people to remind you of your strengths, you have to look within and come up with something.

I've always grown up knowing what I do not want in life. This definitely made elimination easier, but it modeled me as a person who never had strong opinions about things. Yes, I was able to adapt myself to what I was thrown into, but I lost wanting to dig deeper into my true desires. When I realized this, it was time for me to leave my comfort zone and expand my boundaries.

I came to the US chasing my dreams, pursuing my interests and in the process, I began to create a new life for myself from scratch. A life in a completely new place, with a new set of people I'd never met before towards establishing a whole new lifestyle. It might not be a great accomplishment, for every international student goes through this and worse even- but it is special for each individual and we need this validation.
As the year comes to an end, a very important phase in my life finds closure with it. And this closure will be key to how everything else dawns. Until then, toodles.


The other girl

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 in ,
I took a different train to campus today. A train that I hadn't taken ever since my first day at grad school. As I climbed down the steps away from the train station, my head started to buzz with the memories of my first ever day on campus.

I was the international student hesitant about my surroundings and wary of my belongings. A girl who chased her dreams to the United States and was excited about the opportunities. I was the girl with the frizzy hair in the Nike sandals and Batik print Fab India scarf consulting her campus map every five minutes. I was the one who dropped jaws seeing the hundreds of iMacs in the lab without knowing where to sit.

I check myself out at the security booth and I saw a confident young woman smartly dressed in a pencil skirt, silk blouse and Nine West pumps. I smile back at her and make my way through the flood of people to sit at my favorite iMac by the window.

The transformation might be complete on the outside. But, somewhere deep down, I am still that girl who came to the US to chase her dreams. I must always remember her.


I am strong

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Monday, October 17, 2011 in , ,
I am a strong and motivated young woman. I am confident, enthusiastic and I believe in my abilities. I'm thankful for every experience that life has brought in my path. I shall recite this in my head everyday.

I must not lose confidence or the belief in myself. What seems like a daunting task now will be something that I will laugh over with friends a few years down the line. Life is really not worth all the worries, but the opportunities are worth fretting over. It is not fair to get bogged down or give up after a few failures. Failures come along to make you count your blessings. I will not give up. I shall keep trying and picking myself up.

I am a strong-minded, motivated young woman. I must always remember.



Posted by Ramya Shankar on Sunday, September 18, 2011 in ,
There are times in our lives when we wish we could be alone in a swarm of people. And then there are times when you wish there would be somebody to talk to. Any person, who could just sit next to you, physically or even virtually through a chat box. Today is one of those days when I have none. It is times like these when I wish I had a dog or even a cat. You know, just to have some kind of living being around me. Virtual lives are a great escape from your real life when you need it, but some times even they don't quite cut it. Books are a great escape. But when you have to nothing to return to, they don't exactly qualify as an exciting retreat. I'm probably making myself miserable thinking about the possibilities and feeling sorry for myself.

Of course, tomorrow is a whole new day. I might have a hangover of these feelings, or I might laugh at my own absurdity. This is exactly when I need Amma to tell me how ridiculous I'm being and throw me headfirst into reality.

But, tomorrow will be different day. I just know it.


Slouchy Sunday

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Monday, September 12, 2011 in
You know there are times when you have a trillion things to do and you just want to shrug it off just yet?

There are chores to be done. From ones as important as home work to something as mundane as tackling an overflowing laundry basket. But today is one of those days when the obsessive to-do-list-tackler in me wants to take a break. (Despite having just returned from an extended vacation)
Today is one of those days when I just want to sit by the window while sipping on tea and reading a book that does not require much processing in the head. And I'm going to do just that.

The world can be tackled on a Monday morning with a big cup of coffee and a mean spirit.


A strange Monday

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Monday, August 22, 2011 in ,
It's a strange morning. The fact that it's Monday might have something to do with it, but not entirely.
Feelings that were buried deep along with thoughts that I thought I'd forget are surfacing. Emotions and memories that were easy to put aside are not easy when recollected. The mind is a strange little creation. A lot of times we tend to underestimate its ability to remember things. Sometimes things so trivial, details so unimportant, that it challenges its existence in itself.

As I nod off on my way to work, I remember people whose faces I've seen somewhere but can't fathom why I want to see them again, talk to them, be around them again. They say that sometimes it makes a lot of sense to talk to complete strangers. They give you an unbiased perspective. I concur. I've had the most interesting of conversations with total strangers that have left me thinking for days together. Memories that are made from momentary acquaintances sometimes linger longer than you expect.

The moments have passed, the memories faded, life moved on, more memories created. We forget, live, relish and sometimes relive. Today, I'm longing for things I gave up to pronounce a change made voluntarily . It's a strange morning, I'm telling you. It must be the air.


Halfway through a challenge

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 in , ,
The 30 day challenge is going okay so far. I could definitely do better, but it's some kind of a beginning at least. I'm very glad that the reading habit has finally kicked in. I haven't begun experimenting with titles for the fear of losing interest and therefore giving up the reacquired habit altogether. So I'm currently re-reading some of my favorite classics. The reading time is definitely much lesser and more interrupted than what it used to be back home. I remember finishing HP-7 in a couple of hours on the day it came out. And now, time is constantly interrupted by things that demand attention so fiercely that it has become almost impossible to get some quiet alone time. Good lord, I sound like a mother of a newborn!

The one tsp sugar in coffee is turning out to be my biggest challenge so far. I've now resorted to equal portions of milk and coffee in my mug and this seems easier to handle with a tsp of sugar. But the going gets tough on days when I wind up having close to three cups of coffee/tea. Recycling and listening to at least one carnatic song a day is coming along fantastic. I guess the carnatic song phase will wean out soon because I ended up listening to variations of the same song for an entire week and now I might snap if I hear it again. Too much of anything is never good.

Other than that, life's been pretty much monotonous. Things go in to top gear soon, and I'm not too thrilled about it yet. The year's crossed its half way mark and looking back in retrospect, the going's been good so far. There's a lot more of things to cross off the to-do list by the end of year. Hoping for the best until then. 


30 day challenge

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Thursday, August 04, 2011 in
It has been quite a while since I challenged myself to do something without it being a requirement or necessity. Worse actually because it has been quite a while since I challenged myself to do something I absolutely loved and not feel guilty about it later. So when I heard from  N about the 30 day challenge idea, and read more about it here and here, I was psyched to take something up myself. Of course, being a compulsive to-do list maker, the idea instantly warmed up to me. So here we go -

1. Read everyday: By reading, I most certainly don't mean the newspaper or a reference article for my research. I bought a Kindle to rekindle my love for reading and I've read only three books on it so far. Let's say the whole make-your-own-food-do-laundry-be-a-responsible-person took my life by storm.

2. One tsp of sugar in coffee: Before you snort at this, let me quickly brief you about my love for caffeine. I absolutely must get caffeine into my system before I interact with fellow homo-sapiens. There used to be a time when I completely avoided sugar and took none in my coffee. But somewhere something went wrong and I found myself adding extra sugar in my coffee. I'm thinking this is a good excuse to avoid that extra sugar and calories in my sedentary lifestyle.

3. Recycle: This is something that I already force upon my roommates and I have very strong opinions about. I will not drop my Gatorade bottle in the general trash at the gym and instead carry it back home and throw it in my recycle pile. Definitely doable.

4. Listen to at least one Carnatic song a day: Unlike my parents' one terrabyte carnatic music collection, I have none. There hasn't been a single day in my 12 years of classical music learning phase when my mother did not plead me to practice. Clearly, my voice has lost its ability to do any more riyaz, therefore, to do justice to my 12 years of classical music training, I hope to listen to at least one carnatic song every day. Now's the time to scourge YouTube for videos of December music season concerts. (Recommendations are most welcome)

This whole thing is probably going to be easier said than done. But hey, it could be a start to something much bigger and I'm vouching to remain positive through this entire thing. I'm also going to cover my walls with notes reminding me of my immediate goals. 

Go on, take something up and let me know what your challenges are for the next 30 days.


Redefining purposes

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 in ,
Recently, people are asking me what exactly I blog about. This question is easier asked than answered. As I inch towards my 6th blog anniversary, I felt it is important to revisit the purposes of this blog and perhaps even redefine it. I began blogging as an extremely immature and irresponsible teenager. Those of you who have hung around long enough would vouch for the fact that the posts have certainly not gotten any mature or shown any signs of responsible behavior.

So, what started as an experimental tool to vent bottled up thoughts ended up becoming a platform of expressing the deepest emotion and at times even creative outbursts. From cribbing endlessly about my college and its inhabitants to meeting fellow bloggers who are now friends for life. From worrying about pursuing dreams to witnessing them become a reality. I think somewhere amidst all that I am glad that I had this blog to chronicle such phases in life. Reading older posts mostly leaves me snorting at my own misery and cringing at all other times.

It does upset me that I don't have much to say these days. People are noticing that I've mellowed down from the perky teenager that I used to be and transitioned in to a quieter person. (Someone must be glad that happened!) The posts have become sporadic, but I must admit that life's lessons are easier preached than learned. I've somehow adopted this I-don't-care-to-have-an-opinion attitude and I'm hoping this is also a phase that shall pass with time. I'm glad that a few things have happened in life, despite several sacrifices that have been made to cement it. There are bigger mountains ahead to climb and I hope that someday I will write about it and force my grandchildren to comment on those posts.

If I didn't make my point clear, dearest blog, I love you. Thanks for standing by me!


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