Saturday, October 29, 2011

Purpose of Life

I write this as am on a 1 hour 40 mins flight from MN to NJ. The topic of choosing this month is “The Purpose of Life”. Chosen by Pradeep. Heavy philosophy but interesting when it comes to discussing different perspectives on it. It also gives me an opportunity to contemplate on such matters: philosophy, regilion, current affairs - not something that I usually think about too much. I work in an IT firm like maybe at least 50% of other Indian folks, who are engineers.

For the past few years, I have been working at the same client location and without divulging much or breaking any kind of client confidentiality; I can say that they are one of the frontrunners in the business of leasing vehicles and equipment to conglomerates. I work in a department which helps come up with strategic reporting / data analysis to help the end customers manage their business better. All the embossing aside, basically what I do is help save a bunch of dollars for the customer. It took me 7 years in this field to realize that this is not how I want to spend the remaining 30 years until retirement. That was the easy part.

The tough part is what is it that I want to do? The question “Purpose of Life” does blend into the same thought process. I don’t think I am mature or qualified enough to comment on what should be the purpose of one’s life. All I can talk about is mine. Now, this might sound like one of the answers given by the 50 odd Miss. World/Universe pageant damsels, but in reality I do think that what I want to do is give. Give back. To my parents, teachers, the community, humanity. I do not want to be Mother Teresa. I do not have the patience or the will power to do that full time. But through these years, one thing that I have discovered about myself is that I am not a super ambitious career woman, am perfectly content with a 9-5 job, something that gives me a sense of fulfillment and enough flexibility to spend time with family every day. To me it's a job, not a career.

My mother is a retired college professor. I have been to her college multiple times, even attended some of her lectures and have seen the relationship she shares with her students. Her students love her. Even though she’s retired they still call her up on her birthday, Teacher’s day, Diwali etc. We get bouquets and gifts every once in a while. I remember very few teachers who have made that huge an impact on me. It’s funny how her ex-students run into her at all strange places – like this one who works at a theatre and every time there’s a hit Tamil movie playing, he will call her as soon as it releases to see if she wants to reserve tickets. Then there’s the one who’s a volunteer at a Ganpati Sarvajanik Mandal, when Mom and her friends were in the queue, she just walked over and whisked them in. It makes me envious sometimes, as I wonder how easily she commands respect. Bear in mind, commanding respect is very different than demanding it. I have to say her profession has influenced me in more ways than I would have imagined. It is a field I am contemplating; I might get into at some point of time myself.

I have a great family, have had a super awesome childhood, been raised right, got a decent education, had good teachers both in school (tho’ at that time, am sure we had our complaints) and all throughout life, some great friends, loving in-laws, a full life so far. Life’s still got a ways to go and there would be new lives getting intertwined with mine, something I do look forward to. Now it's my turn.

If only I could return the favour. I don’t want for much. Money, status, power, fame, not so much. My goal in life is to be a good daughter, sister, wife, mom, friend and teacher. Basically just be a good person. By my own standards. What’s good for me may not be good enough by somebody else’s definitions. If I could touch one life and have a positive influence on a person, help him/her in some way, anyway, I would believe my purpose in life is complete.

The avid Googler that I am (even though at times the total overload of information overwhelms me and the whole “search” backfires on me) – I found a quote which I like : “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more - Anthony Robbins“

I would love to hear your views!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bucket List #13

So, I have this list going where I am trying to put together 100 things I would like to do before I die. Whenever that may be. When I started compiling the list, I had thought this would be a very simple task.  Little did I know that making a list of 100 things would be so difficult, let alone achieving those. Yes, you read that right. I can't find 100 things I would like to do before I die. Well, I have 51 items on the list so far, there were close to 80 originally but then I took out stuff which I knew were definitely impossible and revised some of those to make them achievable.

Like there was this one which said “Set foot on all 7 continents”. Now I don’t want to visit Antarctica ever. Why? After having stayed in MN where there’s 8 months winter and usually ~2-3 months of negative Fahrenheit, this is the closest I want to get to sub-zero temperatures! And Antarctica is at a negative 100F at least. Both of my wishes are contradictory and so obviously, that “thing to do” went away.

Then there was one where it read “Swim with the dolphins in the Atlantic“. Doesn’t that sound romantic? To those who know my swimming skills, that’s kind of a stupid goal, unless I want to have a dolphin rescue me from drowning. So this one got revised to “Swim the length of a pool”. If that gets fulfilled anytime soon, then the dolphins could hope to enjoy my company someday.

Now, why just pen down stuff which I want to do. Why not write about those as they get fulfilled as well? So here’s bucket list# 13, the one that got fulfilled the first. And, at the end of each, am even going to add a tiny little note on a secret desire related to the “achievable” one. Here goes.

Get my hair coloured. Check!!!

For some strange reason, I had this wish to get my hair colored (all over color, not just streaks) and it had been on the books for a while (since 1998 or so) but I never had the courage to go along with it. Seems harmless right? One would think so. Finally in 2009, during my India trip, my sister was pumped up enough to want it for herself. She even worked out some discount stuff with her usual beauty parlour, using a friend’s membership and such. Off we went, and duly spent the good part of an hour choosing the colours. She, the then more courageous one, went with one streak of a nice deep red and I chose three streaks of a safe brown coz I had to go back to work. That was the most risk I was willing to take. Maybe it had to do with age taking a toll on my risk-taking spirit or the effect of the movie Bride Wars, which I had recently watched. I kept waiting for my hair to turn blue, like Kate Hudson’s did in the movie, when the hairdresser was taking off the foils. Well, it did turn out just fine and was a good feeling while it lasted. I loved the way the sunlight used to play with my hair showing the beautiful highlights and I would toss and turn in front of the mirror. I wish I had a picture to go with this.

A few months later I even went with 10 streaks of red, when I was home on a break from work and that was even more fun, except they only lasted about 3 months. Then it turned brown and soon even that was gone. Once, I even went in for a full highlight! 

A related secret desire is to be able to once get a full hair colour of a combination of purple and green. I know I would never go along with this but wouldn’t that be fun!! Yeah!!

How nice it would be to get my hair coloured pink, violet and green!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 10: 1 Picture

Day 10: 1 Picture in the 10 Day You Challenge

Well, today officially marks the end of the 10 Day You challenge and I must admit I am going to miss the emails and comments and everything going on with my co-bloggers related to this activity.  

To my co-blogger buddies, this was so much fun and I have to say, this helped me get back to penning down my thoughts ! We should think of something again ! Loved it !

For today, I need to post 1 picture of myself. I thought about this a little and of the pics that came to mind, I wanted to pick a defining picture of some sort, something that I wouldn't have to talk about, I would post it and that would be it. ME.  Unfortunately the pic I would have liked to post is sitting in India and my sister's been too tied up (read: lazy) to scan it and send it to me. 

So, as an alternative : here's a goofy side of me ! Well, what can I say !
PS: I wish my parents had forced me to get those braces, regardless of how much of a stubborn brat I was back then and how I had fought against it then ! I'll be the first to admit parents do know best !

A picture of me with colourful hair: 1 Picture for the 10 Day You Challenge

I would love to hear your views!
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