Sibling Love

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We always have that one friend who never leaves. The one who stays through all your idiosyncrasies. The one who protects and shelters through tough times. For me, this person is my sister: My one and only. She is the one who has always been with me, through the darkest of days.

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I was a typical teenager: rebellious, the one who thought she knew everything there is to know. Sometimes disrespected my parents by doing exactly the opposite of what they told me to. I always wanted to do things my parents would say no to, just to irk them. Obviously, I was going through my teens. Some may say teens might not even be humans. I do agree a little bit. I was horrible myself. But through all of this; sneaking outside the house, giving me her pocket money, standing up for me, my sister has always been there for me. And I know, that I have ALWAYS taken this fact for granted.

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There have been times when I have disrespected her in public, only to make her feel bad about herself. When I think about it now I feel pathetic about the person I was to her. Being the older one, I should’ve protected her, been there for her. Now that we are adults, we are much closer than we were before. This is because I left home to be in the US, and distance made our hearts grow fonder. I am really lucky my sister stuck around to know me better, even though I wasn’t around much for her. I definitely am lucky to see the kind of person she turned out to become. I feel like I never really influenced much of her life. But it is great that she became her own person. The values and the standards she has set for herself are distinguished. I love her very much.

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If your sibling is estranged for some reason, reach out to them today, let them know that you still care. For every human, it is important to have that sense of belonging; whether it is family, a loved one or even a friend. You already have that friend, embrace them without question. Understand that, no two people are the same. The differences fuel the fire to move forward and why not take your sibling with you on this journey you can enjoy together? Some things I can never change about my sister, but the important qualities I would never like to change.

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Welcoming 2017

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you have woken up from your drunken state and have dealt with the hungover state well. Energize with lots of fluids, cut down on greasy breakfast and coffee which will only make you dehydrated. Also, sleeping it off helps. It’s a been there, done that kind of advise. Lol.
I’ve mentioned before that New Years’ day always goes in reminiscing; also thinking about what I did achieve this past year, my immediate future goals and what I plan to conquer this year.
I must say 2016 surely breezed through but I did manage to learn a thing or two. I wanted to share those smaller victories that have made me more confident and allowed me to be a bit wiser this year.
I definitely learned how to live alone in an apartment and fight the little fears all by myself. I am terrified of insects. Any kind of tiny creatures really get me worked up. I surely had to deal with them myself. I think its safe to say that I’ve crossed this obstacle with flying colors.
Secondly, I can sleep all alone with the lights turned off. I know a lot of people who need a night lamp to be able to fall asleep peacefully. This definitely is a big victory for me. I know this was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with when I came to the US. You don’t realize how dependent you are on your roommate or friends when you live with them. You take these little things for granted only to realize that you did not know how to sleep without the lights. Or did not know how to make food from scratch. You always had a lot of help.
My friends always tell me that I am quite judgemental about people. This year has undoubtedly taught me otherwise. I am much more patient with people and have learned to give everyone the benefit of doubt they deserve. This has helped me to look at the positive much before the negative steps in. It makes the experience of meeting new people much better and fulfilling. At the end of the day, you want to like and be liked, right?
This year was also a little weird as it was mother’s 10th death anniversary. I guess it has been long enough to be okay. I do miss her a lot but i am at a happy place where I can talk about it and feel grateful to have spent the time I did with her. I am the person today because of her and my dad. I have realized our family needs us as much as we need them and we need to be there for them.

I have been keeping a one day at a time attitude. I accomplish smaller goals which helps me to draw a bigger picture. I know that I want 2017 to be even better in terms of personal and professional growth. Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace change. It will only make you more awesome and different from the crowd. I plan to try a new thing every month next year and see where it takes me. I am optimistic about the future and about me!

Sending some love and motivation your way. Let’s fall in love. Let’s thank our parents for their love and support. Let’s be healthy and start afresh. Let’s conquer 2017!

What is success

I have been very lucky to be surrounded by very inspirational individuals. It is really important that people help you grow and motivate you to be better, to be more than what you are. My friends and I always play this “question” game where we have hypothetical situations and we have to understand where we are and what we are capable of. It is such great way to break the ice or just understand the people who are closest to you.

I always think about the definition of success for me. It is so hard to define success.Everyone has some kind of definition. I think it has to do with the unachievable. I think for some people it’s buying a high end car, or owning a 4 bk apartment in San Francisco. Why not? I think. When you dream big, you reach half way, right?

I admitted to adopt a child some day and so did my friend. Or may be own a restaurant. I always tell my friends that I want to be a waitress in my own restaurant. Wouldn’t that be awosome? I think it’s important to understand what success means to you. Whether it is money, mending relationships or even not knowing what to do next after achieving set goals. I think, for me, it will be the day I am satisfied and I feel that it is going to be never. At 27, I feel I cannot define it. But, someone once told me that success to them is looking forward to a new goal, something more than what they have and want. Today, I think I am happy but not satisfied. So should I feel that I will never experience success? Should I think that I will never be satisfied?

I get up everyday thinking about something that I want more. That there is more to look forward to. What is your definition of success? I know that this is too early but do you know what it is?

10 Things I am enjoying right now!

Now that you guys know a little bit about me, I wanted to share a few things I have been enjoying lately. Hope you find something in common or something new to enjoy yourself!

  1. Home-cooked meals: When I lived at home(back in India), I took home cooked meals for granted. And now, I really miss it. But considering Pia’s mother is visiting, we are having home cooked meals everyday!
  2. The little book of skin care by Charlotte Cho: This book is really great if you want to start your own skincare routine. The information she has provided is great even for a beginner to understand. Her experiences make me want to visit Seoul myself!
  3. Skin-care: I have really started taking care of my skin since fall/winter is just around the corner. Also, because I do not wish to have scaly skin like a snake which I did last year. The book really helped me understand why I need to take so many steps to make my skin look and feel right. The entire experience feels like I am at a spa and gives me time to concentrate on myself.
  4. Baby pics: My cousin had a baby girl last month. She is just so adorable. I was amazed by her expressions and her fearlessness. Her life is so simple- eat, sleep, poop, repeat! I have been loving her pictures on Instagram. Its my daily dose of gooeyness. I love her!
  5. Sleeping: I am religiously sleeping 7-8 hours a day which I have always wanted to do. No skimming- I have noticed my body/ mind is loving it! Zzzzzzz!
  6. Some good news: This year has been great with good news. Two of my close friends from school decided to get married. Congratulations to Roshni, Pria and Sid! Few friends got promotions. People seem to be happy around me. So I guess I am really happy 🙂
  7. Shopping: This should have been at the top of my list! Since it was my birthday a few days ago-I shopped a lot! The labor day sales didn’t help either. I bought two Kate spade bags, a LOT of skin care items from SokoGlam, Uniqlo basics etc. I will follow up later with 10 of my favorite items this month!
  8. Homeland on Hulu: I know this show aired a few years ago, but I recently started watching this. I have already completed 4 seasons and just began my 5th one last night. Its a complete rollercoaster of emotions if you enjoy psychological/political thrillers. Must watch!
  9. Cereal: My favorite cereal for a while has been Lucky charms. I love them! My colleague was really surprised (a little offended) when I told her that I didn’t know what it was. My apartment has been stocked up since then!
  10. Day-dreaming: Come on! I love day-dreaming about random stuff. It gives me great pleasure to see where my mind can wander when I am idle!

I hope you enjoyed my list! And please comment below with what you have been enjoying. So I can get on it too! Also, just want to take a moment to be thankful for all my friends. Every now and then I realize how lucky I am to have found them. I love you guys!

Time Flies!

Time definitely flies. I just realized I haven’t written in four months, It is crazy! My day goes by so fast at work that when I am home, I laze like a hippo and have now started to look like one. I have been catching up on a lot of shows- Quantico and Hawaii Five-O being the latest. Its like I am hypnotized by the TV. The idiot box is definitely living up to its name. I am trying so hard to be productive but somehow it seems difficult once I lie down on my cozy bed after a long day’s work.

I really enjoyed my birthday in September celebrating it with the amazing Broadway show- KINKY BOOTS. I recommend this one to all age groups. Its a perfect blend of crazy, funny and sad. I really shouldn’t say sad as it was much better at depicting sadness. I was smiling as I cried.

I had a great meal with friends at Craft House which is in Suffern, NY. It is definitely worth a try. Their drinks are delicious and the Peach Cheesecake was to die for. What else do I need- I got food, great theatre and some alcohol. Oh! And my friends to enjoy this with. They even gifted me a fall jacket from COACH. My first ever!

Talking about jackets- Fall is here! Its so much better to snuggle with the person you love and smell the fresh air when you are out. I really love fall. Its gives a different quality to the breeze and the trees. Of course I am talking about the beautiful colors of the leaves as they turn yellow, orange and amber. I had never seen fall before because Mumbai doesn’t have fall. We have monsoon (I really don’t know why). But the first time I experienced fall I was so mesmerized by my surroundings. The aroma of pumpkin spice lattes, cinnamon and apple pies. YUM! It is my favorite time of the year. It is crazy how I never forget my food while talking about other important things. I guess I am just one of those people who eats while being happy, sad or stressed. Its a bad thing- definitely a bad thing. You see how the Hippo is still lazing on the bed?

The most exciting event of 2015 is that my sister is finally visiting me! I’ve been here more than 4 years and this is the first time! I’m so thrilled to have her over and show her my life that I have built here. I do believe it is important for family to know how you are really doing. It helps ease their worries and obviously makes life simpler. Also it ts that time of my life that Indians my age are pressurized to get married. All parents are worried about whether their children will ever find the love of their life (more like someone who can tolerate us). The hunt for the perfect person goes on. Just for all the parents who read this- YOUR KIDS DO NOT WANT TO DIE ALONE! We do want to find someone. Having said that, its not easy to find that one person among 7 Billion people now, is it? So sit back, relax and help your children in other ways and also have fun with them. That is important too!

Work has been hectic since I am learning new things everyday! Being in the cosmetic industry, you constantly have to keep up with the times, the trends etc. Its an ever growing business that calls for innovation and research. This industry has a lot to offer. I have finally gotten into make-up and to be honest- I love it! Never did I think that I would, but its fascinating and fun at the same time. Hopefully I’ll learn some new make-up techniques and share just like the new trend of make-up videos and blogs. I’ve also been catching up on all the cool ideas people have for putting on eyeliner. Trust me its an art and not everyone can master it.

I’m enjoying buying cosmetics and spending a lot of money on them. I bought the Urban Decay smoky palette, splurged on a nice organizer, lots of lipsticks among other stuff. Its been fun to experiment with all the make up and wear lipsticks to work. Its definitely a simple way to feel great about yourself. The past four months have been great in terms of work and also because I bought a beautiful car. It was long overdue and I wanted it before the winter set in. Commute has been so comfortable; this upgrade was necessary.

I’m definitely going to be writing soon about how I love the holidays or how much I shopped with my sister.It is going to be so much fun. Can’t wait to have you here Payal Kamath!

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Enjoying summer at Asbury Park

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Al Hirschfeld Theatre- KINKY BOOTS

Its Thanksgiving time! Lets all give thanks!

Before I came to the United states, I had no clue what thanksgiving was. During my first year of study here, I was exposed to thanksgiving concepts, foods, and ways of celebration. For a foodie like me, it is a grand fiesta. There is literally soooo much food around. And it sounds all delicious!

For us, in India, the only time we truly celebrate together with so much food and lights is Diwali (I mean it’s called the festival of lights). Diwali for us is like celebrating thanksgiving here. Good food, great clothes, so many gifts! It’s a crazy time for the females considering we get to eat and shop a lot! And who doesn’t like sale and discounts! I remember last year, me and my group of friends were sitting in my room, not talking to each other and just shopping continuously for hours. This was because all of us didn’t want to tackle a crowd. It can really get messy during this time. I, once heard that people could die in this stampede (So much for being a shopaholic, huh?).

Since I don’t have my family here to celebrate thanksgiving with, I will be enjoying every moment I can with my friends who are my family. I will spend most of my time eating and shopping (And hoping that the winter storm isn’t too bad). I remember, my first storm I witnessed here was Sandy. Ah! those days without electricity, a week of being nomadic and wishing to be back home. Sure don’t want anything close to that! I hope and wish, all of you are warm and safe with your kith and kin celebrating this holiday with a lot of love and happiness.

This year though, with yummylicious food, I will try to thank every person who made a difference in my life at some point. It sounds sweet, doesn’t it? You guys should try it too!

But trust me when I tell you this, I haven’t tasted the traditional baked or roasted stuffed turkey. Can you believe it! And you would think I go all out for my food, right!? (Any volunteers to feed me delicious turkey this year?)

P.S: Thank you dad and Payal (sister) for always being there and witnessing my success and failures; for lifting me up every time I fell down. I miss you guys!

Thank you Pia for always being there; taking care of me, an entire week, while I irritated you with my sickness. Thank you Manali and Neha, for always being there and handling my idiosyncrasies well.

A very big thank you to all my friends, all over the world, for making the slightest difference in my life and also for being a part of it. I miss you all. Hoping to see you all at some point, very soon.

Enjoy giving thanks using the new KRDTS app available on Google Playstore and Apple Appstore.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Struggles of an outsider

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I spent the first twenty years of my life in my home in Mumbai, India. For as long as I can remember, the earthy seating and quaint surroundings was what made my home unique. The familiar lizard that seemed to grow older along with me and my sister, the pink and purple walls and welcoming kitchen were staple elements of my home that I cannot forget. The bunk bed on which me and my sister slept has attached to it many memories of adolescence and teenage years. After my mother’s passing away, when I was seventeen, the home didn’t seem to have the appealing and warm feeling it did before. This was the moment that I realized a “home” is not so much a physical surrounding. Instead, it is a place where family is together.

When I left India, I never really thought of any place in the US as home to me. I was miles away from the people I really cared about and it was this distance that fortified in my mind their value and importance. New York City was my biggest inspiration to come to the United States. There was something about the glamour and liveliness of New York that drew me to this place. The value attached to higher education in the US was another important factor that determined my move here. In the midst of these varied thoughts I hadn’t realized how difficult life is for an immigrant moving across the globe.

My first few months here were difficult without a job and an outlook of converting the dollar to Indian rupee. Surrounded by people with varied ethnicity and backgrounds, I was initially intimidated. One of my early mistakes was moving in with a person I disliked; that made the process of living away from family excessively challenging. One year later, I found myself battling depression and addiction. This was the time I decided I needed to return home once again. I spent a good two months in my comfort zone, rejuvenating, building my self-confidence and self-esteem, being loved and taken care of. This was an extremely motivating time for me and I owe it entirely to my family and friends back home.

I decided to come back with a bang!! I found 2 jobs for myself that occupied me for almost 50 hours a week. I managed to pay for my education and living for almost a year which made me realize that I still had it in me. Time passed by and in the last semester of my course I found family away from family; People who accept me for all of my idiosyncrasies, Motivate me, Help me figure my way through life’s various challenges. Friends who cooked me a four course meal for my birthday! They never deny me of anything. My friends helped me move into my new house, and more importantly helped make it a home. Two of them are now my roommates which makes living here an absolute delight. I have finished my course and am currently employed with Johnson & Johnson. I drive to and fro from work, almost two hours a day. Life is hectic but it hasn’t ever been more fulfilling than this. I can finally say I’m happy!

From this point onward, I hope to grow professionally and see myself at a better place than I am today. In the long run, I wish to expose my family to the life I have here. I don’t enjoy Skype but I love writing so I post letters to my sister and friends every now and then. She writes back to me and helps keep me sane.

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