Friday, December 6, 2013

I am a part Singaporean lah! : Chapter 1

Experiencing writer's block, yet penning it down.

Every new step in life I take, I am a different person. In these past few months of being in Singapore, I have undergone tremendous amelioration. In fact, I quite resemble the Shreya I was back in school, but more in control and like a friend commented, I've grown as a person ( in age, too :P) since then. I feel I was quite vapid back in college and extremely serious and partially blame the influence of others upon me. But ever since I came to NTU, I have been living it up. To me, this is LIFE. The last time I really LIVED was back in the 10th standard, in boarding school, Gangtok. I haven't been able to get over it. Until now! 

In Singapore, I've realized so many things. That every far-off relative, every random acquaintance and most importantly, every friend counts. That it's alright to be alone sometimes, most of the time, not all the time. :P That it's worth it to go that extra mile for the people who matter, however much they have wronged you and vice versa. That caring about what the world thinks is overrated. That you are completely sane to be depressed/ frustrated sometimes, blame it on the 'Island Fever' (although the term actually means a psychological illness suffered by the poor people of Hawaii as they feel they are trapped in the island. :P) That being smart is not as vital as being diligent and extremely interested, even though it helps. That even if your direction sense is negative ;), you will never get lost. If you do, someone will always find you :) (literally and figuratively). That technology can conquer the world. That it's okay to be missing your country at times but abnormal to be missing it constantly. 

And the novel experiences! The incredible and each time unique orchestras, concerts and live performances. Grand fireworks on almost all special occasions except Diwali (Oh irony!). Ice-skating. Kayaking. German Beer. Exciting new food items. First part-time job ( and hence first salary). First paid internship. The new 'good friends'. First foreign friends. Like I said, writer's block! Or maybe I am just too overwhelmed to write uninhibitedly. For these past few months, I have LIVED, my friend.
Shaw Foundation Theater

Clarke Quay- the place I've been to the most so far.

Kayaking- the dream came true after all

The accidental affair- Ice Skating/falling

Like I said- Fireworks


We have a beautiful pool at NTU

Not so beautiful lake, though, and rumored to be haunted

Birthday treat


My extremely random and only non-NTU friend


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Luck to me is?

Not long ago, we had this event, TedX NTU in our university where the theme was 'The Luck Factor' where historians, philosophers, biologists and psychologists talked about various angles of luck. Each individual in the audience was given a tag to stick on their arm where our name and 'Luck to you is:' had to be entered. This got me thinking- What IS luck to me? On retrospection I figured that it has meant everything to me so far. I mean, I'm a girl with no exceptional talent or intelligence. I'm not innovative nor do I possess a heart of gold to commit to charity.

Yet, I possess what many with the above mentioned qualities do not even dream of. I AM lucky to have doting and well-off parents with whom I've seen places my friends haven't had a chance to; who have contributed/ willing to contribute so much on my education; who are extremely modern in attitude (sometimes even more than I am) to not have any restrictions upon me, as long as I'm not surpassing boundaries/studying properly. I AM lucky to be endowed with a loving (and sometimes, ignorant), perfectly disciplined and successful elder brother whom I idolize - one who makes me ponder "Hey that could be me in a few years!" Yes I AM lucky to be friends with some remarkable people- some overachievers, some with such beautiful souls guiding me through thick and thin, some incredibly funny and fun ones and some close to the heart for life. In fact, sometimes I feel that I have so many friends that I have none at all (which is sad :P).

If it was not for LUCK, I wouldn't be born a Bengali. Even though I'm a non-singing, non-epic-movie-directing, non-Nobel Prize winning Bengali, I take extreme pride in my roots. (and I'm NOT undermining other cultures/ nationalities.) If it was not for LUCK, I wouldn't have been able to reside in fantastic places such as Pokhara, Sikkim, Siliguri, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. If it was not for LUCK, I wouldn't have been repeatedly getting whatever questions I studied as the questions in the exams and aced (very lucky indeed). If it was not for LUCK, I would have missed many important journeys in life, had I not come across that one person who helped me to undertake the journey. If it was not for LUCK, I wouldn't have been studying in NTU. If it was not for LUCK, I would cease to exist.

Someone once said, "The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself." True, to some extent I have created my own LUCK, as for the rest, I guess I've just been lucky. ;)

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Wish-list

It's the beginning of recess week and already half the semester has gone by. Time really flies!! If I am able to complete my course in 1 year, then I've successfully already completed 1/4th of my post grad. Here’s my wish-list after convocation (when I’ll have to and get to behave like a real grown-up):
1)     Get a great job: I wish to acquire a job and position which is related to Power Engineering, demands relevant contribution from me and satisfies me. I mean, that’s why I've taken up this course, to do what I’m interested in and to start my career with a great first experience:  maybe as a power quality engineer or working in the field of renewables. For now, all I can do is hope! 

2)     Get a great place: Home is where the heart is. With the high accommodation costs in SG, a fresh post-grad can hardly boast of a seaside view or a personal swimming pool. All I wish for is a denizen that gives me peace of mind and has a fairly decent location/environment.

3)     Treat my family to something grand: Each one has high expectations from me. Fingers crossed, I don’t want the look of disappointment on their faces.

4)     Explore South-East Asia: That’s the main one. I want to save enough that’ll let me see the sights of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; Chiang Mai in Thailand; Bali, Indonesia and be enlightened about the lesser known countries for me- Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam, etc. I know it’s too much to wish for but even 3 countries in 3 years of bond period will satiate me.

5)     Learn German: German football team DFB (particularly, Miro, my hero), German sausages and now German beer, I've always had a fascination towards the country. Been there too! But there’s so much more. I look forward to working in the country one day, but that would call for another wish-list. For now, I would like to take up a course (for which I can pay through my own salary) in German which would allow me speak fairly fluent German. Knowing 5 languages isn't enough for me apparently, nor is the book “German for Dummies”. ;)

6)     Fall in love: Not with movie/TV stars, sportsperson or musicians; but with a real person. Not silly one-sided crush, but serious 2-sided LOUW!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Goodbye Sikkim.

As happy as I was to be finally leaving college after four tormenting years, I was not quite thrilled to bid adieu to the state which has been a part of my life for 7 years and its people for 9 years (3 years of middle school, 4 years of graduation spent in Sikkim, been in touch with friends from Sikkim throughout high school even though I was away from the state.) I still remember the first trip to MG Marg and a roll from 'Roll House'. I remember my first day at Tashi Namgyal Academy in Class 8- first period was arts and first school friend Keyzom. The friends made in school, the fun we had, the hardships and perks of hostel life (Yes, Sikkim gave me my first boarding school experience in Class 9 & 10- back in the days when we did not have even a plug point in our dorms and had to wake up at 5 in the morning for exercise), the various competitions and occasions held in school were long bidden farewell, but the memories are still etched in the brain. The several trips taken with friends and parents to various places- long ones such Yumthang, Katao, Gurudongmar, Changu, Pelling, Ravangla, Yuksom and short ones to Rumtek, Bulbulay, Ganesh Tok, Enchey, Rangka, Temi Tarku, Aritar, Saramsa will truly be cherished. The only regret is not having had an opportunity to visit Namchi. I'll even miss the numerous Gangtok trips with my college mates and exploring new restaurants with every visit. I will indeed miss some of the local delicacies- momo (Ting and normal);shyaphalays; Nepali-style aloo dum, dallae-bamboo pickle; the fresh and organic products such as peaches, plums, pears, passion fruits, cucumbers, maize, tea; gundruk; etc. not to mention the aloo chyura and Hotel Tibet's wanton soup. Also, the scenic beauty has spoiled my eyes. The great Kanchenjunga from our school hostel window; the beautiful flowers, mountains and waterfalls; the view of the Teesta and hills peaking through clouds from our college hostel balcony; the cherry blossoms during impending winters and Sikkim rains have been gotten used to. I will miss speaking in Nepali with random people, will miss some great friends made for life, will miss Bhaichung Bhutia's annual trip to school, will miss the good-looking guys and really amicable people of Sikkim. However, what I will not miss are the dusty roads that lead me to the state. Goodbye Sikkim.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gorosthaney Sabdhan (Beware in the cemetery)

Yesterday we had the privilege (though, privilege is a misnomer for a visit to a cemetery) of visiting the South Park Street Cemetery. It is a 20minute walk from the Park Street Metro Station and my two friends and I vanquished the heat to reach the site. Established in 1767,  it was in use till 1830 and is now a heritage site under the Archaeological Society of India. It consists of around 1600 graves or tombs and was the largest cemetery outside Europe and America till the 19th century. Most of the graves are of army officers, young wives and children.

Tomb of William Jones

Tomb of Henry Derozio

grave of an infant

Hindoo Stuart temple

Despite being in the heart of the city, it transports you miles away from it with its lush trees and shrubs (mango and silk cotton trees being present in majority and a huge banyan tree being the most prominent), grassy meadows, bougainvillea bushes, racing squirrels, pigeons and ominous crows flying around. Yes, like all tourist spots in Kolkata, it needs a little maintenance and also, we had to tip the guard for showing us the notable tombs (not having asked for it). But thank god, he did, or else we would be lost in the labyrinth of similar looking graves. The Hindoo Stuart temple/tomb and tombs of Derozio and William Jones are among the famous ones. Grave 363 muddled with our heads as we tried and tried to search for it and ultimately couldn't find it. It has nothing  but 'a virtuous mother' engraved in it, probably to keep the deceased anonymous.

Mentality bites

Money can buy education but it cannot buy knowledge, and it certainly cannot buy awareness, which is clear from the employees in government offices in West Bengal and also in the general public here. My own friends litter the streets of Kolkata, proudly proclaiming that "everybody does it". No amount of coaxing or chiding gets into their heads. They, being future electrical engineers, leave the fan and light on in every room they vacate. The mobile phone is disconnected from the charger but the switch is never off. And, oh, their attitude towards work, MARVELLOUS!! "Not today, let's do it tomorrow!", they say because they don't"feel like it".

As for the working class here, you cannot even imagine how laidback, unprofessional and unserious they are (most of them). The excuses they give for not moving forward are unnerving. 'Today our far-off relative died.' 'Today my dog got diarrhoea.' 'Today my hand is aching.' etc. etc. I am so so frustrated with the mentality of such people. I hope this is over soon.