Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tough Week Skipped Work

3/28/2013 - Toughest Week so Far.

I haven't been doing what is right in life so far this week. It's been tough and challenging, i have not stopped helping others but I am not helping my self. I need to push the restart button on my goals. I took a hiatus from work and have locked myself in the library. It's as close to do or die situation for me this week.

I have a test on LEED AP on 31st March at 14:00pm but i havent studied or yet spending too much time pretending to study. I should be back to work soon, my team needs me to churn out the project. I love my job i am thankful for the people, my family and some hard work to get me to this level.

I can't slip out now. I have to do it,. I have to do it.

It's an important week for Mansi as well, she has been going through some rough patch even worse than me on all fronts. She is my good friend and i hope she gets the support from superior powers to aka god to help our drive through and i will play my part in standing by her. After all what are friends for.

I have promised Rhianon an undergraduate lady from GW for an internship and Katlin, Nikhil and Anuja for full time positions.

Its been two and half years so far but i have managed to get Bharat, Anuja part time positions at the library. I have also reached out for others, so karma wise i have been on the positive side helping out beyond my means some time.

I need to slow down though, i can't help everyone i have to understand that. It's would be annoying for my contacts to favor me all the time. I have the relationship but i should maintain them.

I met some peeps from the world bank this week had an interesting conversation about their scope of work. Oh i better get back to study now.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Who Am I?

Often when we try to look within in our self and reflect on our actions we try to judge or rate our self comparing our self with friends, stranger but mostly celebrities. How do we rank compared to them?

I have come across this situation several times be it in weight, hair loss or integrity. Today i think i will try to pen down my thoughts on integrity.

I am patriotic, like seriously. I will defend my country when anyone else tries to downplay it with vigor and passion and never ever ever ever let anyone mock or deface it. I also wore my national flag during graduation. I was proud to be the first student to graduate with a masters in my family. Although my family was not here i took my country's flag to remind me of who i was and where i came from.

I am educated and hence aware and not naive of my country's situation, rampant corruption has always been the norm since growing up. It has always been a black mark in the progress of India and i am now used to live with it. But  add recent news of gang rapes and crime against innocents, i don't think i can ever forget them. I want to go back to my country because anyone who can contribute to the knowledge pool and bring up the economy should go back. When i am old i want to die in my land where i was born. But rapes, poverty, instability, high cost of living, population and lack of opportunity by reverse-discrimination and high competition is been questioning my thoughts of going back.

March 17th 2013 News
Swiss national gang raped by 5 in Madhya Pradesh
A resident of Matunga, Mumbai gang raped by 7 in her shanty home
Bitty Mohanty an convicted rapist who jumped bail in a rape case spends a night in an airconditioned hotel room instead of jail.
The private sector banks providing ways of converting black money into white money in India

So should i stay here in USA away from my parents and eventually take up US citizenship?

The land of the opportunity as a whole country, the most powerful nation in the world (ofcourse it military budget is more than the next 10 countries combined). Most of the US presidents would say that America is the land of freedom and the greatest country in the world. But since being educated and not naive, i don't particularly think it is true. I read an article on Vietnam war today in financial times March 17th 2013 page B3. It was titled "After a massacre, a lost generation"

"A soldier called us out, and we stood there not knowing what was happening. The white soldiers guarded us while the black soldier shot our cows, then set fire to our barn. The soldiers stepped away, discussing what they were going to do next. As they were talking, my mother guessed us what was happening and told us. We started to cry. Then the soldiers forced us back into the bunker. My mother got in last, I think she was trying to protect us. Then they threw grenade in"

I also saw a video on CNN about the Iraq War. A mother who has psychological issues because she couldn't forget the night when a US missile crushed her entire family, she escaped but her two year old son couldn't.

The politics of Syrian War where it is a conflict between the EU&US v/s Russia& China. A million people have lost lives because of these governments and their support to both the rebels and Bashar.

These were just the news from March 17th 2013.

This is not right and I am ashamed today like seriously ashamed of whom should i associate myself with. I am neither proud to call myself an Indian nor would like to take up a US citizenship but US is my best chance as of now. This is my only chance to raise my kids with the right opportunities and quality education. Although i am really confused as an individual of WHO AM I.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Am i working hard

On a normal weekday, i wake up, go to work, and then spend some time on the social networking site and go to bed. On the weekends i would sleep in late, maybe exercise, do my laundry and spend some good time with friends.

I came to US with a goal in mind, the idea was simple "Save the World" by reducing, recycling and by energy efficiency. I do that 40 hours a week every week, every month from the past 9 months. This has been a journey so far an incredible one and a rewarding one. I also created a tacky pick up line and it kind of works as well. When women ask me what i do work I say "I save polar bears" the immediate response is Aww that's so cute and that breaks the awkwardness.

But something is not right, the more i learn and more i work the more i feel that i am not doing enough. 40 hours a week is 23% of 168 hours a week. Am i really saving the world by working 23% of the week, what if my kids or their kids ask me, Did i do enough to save the planet, why weren't my current generation sustainable or left the good things that they are enjoying now for them. Why are we so mean to our human race?

As of today i am witnessing not just the rampant abuse of the environment and energy (electricity) but also people. The very people i set out to save by saving the world. Women are being gang raped, cities are being destroyed and there is no one even ready to answer or tend to the basic needs of the poor while the corrupt influential are still pocketing the majority of the money while the hardworking men and women are being made to work even harder, two shits maybe three to support to support their families or put their kids through college.

So every time i ask the question to myself on why am i working hard or not so hard to save the world i remember the families who are genuine and not the corrupt who are destroying it. I remember that kindness still exist and that people with similar attitudes should combine their powers to elevate us from the gutter. Our civilization is the most unique creation in the whole universe we have the power to communicate, analyze and i think that's awesome.

I will work hard, cause the goal is not just to save polar bears but it is to help my people as well, i have to create a road map on how to achieve it. Yes that should be the first step and also ever time i meet someone i will remember to smile and let them know that they are better than they think they are.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Pizza, Weight Loss and Running

It is 23rd November 2012,

The post should have been named the other way around. It should have been running due to which you lose weight and occasionally enjoy a pizza or two, but today that's not the case. Well it wasn't the case the yesterday or the day before it. 

Honestly i am in love with food ever since i left India i am have been eating, eating and eating. It's almost 5 years now since i have been doing that and haven't stopped at it yet. Although i left home when i was 17 years old i was still included vegetables in my diet through the canteen that i had joined on a monthly basis. 

Things changed after i moved to Dubai in year 2007. I was 23 years old. What i found was meat based food was cheaper and good in taste as compared to vegetables based food. 

In Dubai my regular diet was 

Breakfast: Lamp Kheema with Parathasor Sweet (Sheera) with Paratha's
Lunch: Fish Biryani or a plate full of rice with meat and vegetables
Dinner: Chicken or Lamb with Parathas

I ate this for 2 years in a row. Yes two years in a row and ballooned monstrously

The picture above was taken in 2007, while i was still in India. A 30 inch waist and with a normal BMI i was in my best physical form ever. 

Now this picture above is  is the picture from 2010 when i returned back to India. Phew gained a lot and was averaging 36 inches in waist.

Now I am in USA it's end of 2012 and i am averaging almost 2 pizza's a week. 2 pizza's per week starting July of 2010. 

I run now and then and get involved in physical activity too but then i eat a lot and i really really eat a lot of everything. Sometimes i eat two dinners or two lunches at the same time and would find reasons to eat late night too. 

Recently i went to Marine Corp Marathon and got my body checked for fats in one of those smart GE Machines. The report didn't surprise me much but have a look at the results. 

Report Card
Body Mass Index is at 28.7 (Over), 
Percentage of Body Fat is at 23.3 (Over), 
Weight is at 200.2 lbs (Over)
Skeletal Muscle Mass is at 87.7 lbs (Over)
Body Fat Mass is at 46.7 lbs (Over) ....... I have 46.7 lbs of fats that i am not supposed to have. Yes that's exactly how those two years of meat based food and PIZZA are deposited. Right in my body. 

Well now you know why my blog post is Pizza, Weight Loss and Running. In order to run again i need to lose weight and stop consuming the Pizza's. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Economics of Graduate School : An International Student Perspective

If your parents / scholarships are paying your graduate school escapades, stop reading, this blog this is not for your types. 

I couldn’t sleep well last night and finances of graduate school was going through my head all the time also the after effects in case of a failure to get a job. I pay for my own studies through a loan secured through a bank in India and hence the concern.

My only hope and prayer is US government should sort out the economics within and America should once again stand on its own feet, America should never ever ever ever fail, cause if it does so will I. 

So what was my concern?
1 US Dollar = 52 Indian Rupees (At current market prices)
My Tuition fees per semester  USD$11,000 x 4 Semesters = USD $44,000
1 month for living + food = USD $1000 x 24 months = USD 24,000
Income from on campus job USD $700 x 20 months = USD 14,000

Total two year expense = USD $54,000 or 2,808,000 Indian Rupees.

Average salary for a graduate in India = 500,000/Annum on a higher side – Taxes – Living Expense a maximum saving of 100,000 per annum could be achieved ( No vacations, not falling sick, minimal lifestyle)
That means it would take me 100,000 Indian Rupees x 28 years = 2,800,000 to repay my graduate loan.

Yes 28 years of my life.  

Average salary for a graduate in USA = $55,000 / Annum – Taxes – Living Expense a maximum saving of USD $20,000 per annum could be achieved (Some vacations, Insurance included, almost a good life compared to Indian standards)
That means it would take me USD $20,000 x 2.7 years = USD $54,000 to repay my graduate loan.

Hell Yeah just 2.7 years of my life.

I have 6 more months to graduate and find a job, 6 months later it would be decided if I live happily ever after or just……….

God Bless America and me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Suffering from rectal pain and bleeding is not always a good sign, i had it off and on for 2 years and thought it was just another spicy food thing.

Untill 2 weeks ago, when the world came crashing down, i couldn't sit, barely run a mile. I blamed it on my shoes that i couldn't run, brought some new pair to try working out with and finally consulted the doctor. It was a grose spot to be affected at and discussing that with the doctor made me really uncomfortable.

He said he sensed an issue and referred me to GW rectal surgeon, the lastest appointment that i could get was two week from the day the pain started. I freaked out, why did he refer me to a surgeon. That night i couldn't sleep because of pain and what i learnt from researching on the internet. The rectal bleeding indicated rectal cancer. Hectic emails went back and forth between me and Kunal, my doctor buddy. I couldn't fathom the fact that being so healthy and outgoing that i would be affected by cancer.

Well Lance Amstrong was affected with it and i thought so could be me. Two weeks felt like months at a stretch. I tried to behave as normally as i could. I couldn't wait for August the 3rd to arrive.

Today is August 3rd, i went in and saw the surgeon and made it a point that i told him what happened and what i read. It took them 30 minutes to work with me and check if my worst fears are true. Finally he said. "Boy you are all good to go, you don't have cancer but rectal fissure and need to include fibre in your diet."

That's it that's what i was waiting for him to tell me, that i am all right, that god does have a plan for me and all i need to do is stick to that plan and make things all right for my parents my sister and little cousin Deepika.

I am not sure if i would ever be a good person, all i want is to be a child that my parents would be proud of, that my sister would look up.

Almost every time i prayed to god, i told him that i have so much things yet to do, including believe it or not run my full marathon. Let me stick to the plan and everything will be all right.

The doctor added that in case i see bleeding again, i might have to go through a complete check up, till then it should be all fine and smooth.

I ran 5 miles today in the rain, everything looked new to me today, while running through the arlington memorial bridge i felt that i could do this. 26 Miles is achievable and so are my other dreams, i just have to stick to the plan and work harder and harder to achieve it.

Happy Birthday To Me  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

And it all begins again

4 weeks ago, i stuck to a plan. A well thoughout plan which involved me to just stick to the basics and run the miles. 3 weeks into i was super disappointed. why?

1) Didn't manage to complete my targeted distances
2) Forgot to add the fun quotient in my run
3) Blamed my shoes
4) I have had issues with my body (August 3rd is the appointment for them to diagonize the problem)

Week 4, the same issues kept bothering me and today 7/24 i decided to buy a new shoes. This time its Asics a break away from my traditional Sacuony. I have been using the same brand from past 3 years and really getting all comfortable in it. But the technology has improved and so is my need for a better shoe which can push me.

Let see how it goes from here. I have to cut down my schedule to 16 weeks and re do the 4 weeks for training. I am scared but can't give up.

There are a few races which i have signed up for which might help me with my ultimate goal