New Year’s Resolutions

It has been two years since I published these resolutions… I am not sure if I am still doing any of these properly… I have definitely improved from where I used to be.. but looks like still there is a very long way to go…

Source: 2 years and 2014’s resolutions

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Something Fishy

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I grew up in a suburban area near the big city of Kolkata, India. Even though the area was not rural, we had several big ponds surrounding our neighborhood, which is unlike any of my friends who grew up in the city. I hear now from my parents that the ponds no longer exist as the area has been claimed by the ever growing concrete jungle. This makes me sad, specially for there were so many anglers in that place.

On our Summer and Winter vacations, me and my little sister would go for walks around those ponds. Often we would find one or two anglers sitting at distance, their fish rods resting beside them with the fish hooks dipped in the water of the pond, smoking a bidi. Interestingly, according to Google bidi is “a small, thin, hand-rolled cigarette imported to the United States, primarily from India and other Southeast Asian countries. They comprise tobacco wrapped in a tendu or temburni leaf (plants native to Asia) and may be secured with a colorful string at one or both ends”. Google makes it sound like such a novelty! Anyways, these ponds would be filled with fish. I don’t think anyone would cultivate fish there, they just had a lot of fish specially charapona. The kakus (uncles in Bengali), as we would call them would have a vessels beside them which would contain fishes that they had caught over the course of the afternoon. Me and my sister would pester them to give us a fish so that we could keep them as pets. The kakus would be so nice and would actually give us a fish to keep.

We would hurry back home, get a vessel and then carry the fish back home. We would wash a huge Horlicks jar and fill it with water and keep the fish there. We would make tiny balls from bread or flour and feed the fish. Some of the fish, confined in a small jar and already injured from the inhumane fish hook, would survive for a week or two, but most would die in a couple of days. Then me and my sister would cry bucket of tears and my parents would have to console us. Growing up, this became a routine. My mom was frustrated with the whole drama and she forbade us to get any more fishes. But we kept doing it over many years.

I distinctly remember one such incident – once again we sisters had convinced one unassuming kaku to give us a tiny little fish that he caught. We were happily carrying the fish, but as soon as we came near our house suddenly it dawned on us how angry our mom would be to find us getting another fish. We were really scared and with our childish aka horrible decision making, we dropped the fish in an open drain (yes India!) near our house, thinking it will swim back to the pond. As soon as we dropped the fish, we noticed that it was having some difficulty navigating the dirty filthy water of the drain. Extremely worried, we decided to pick up the fish and take it home even if mom was furious. Now selfishly, I made my little sister pick up the fish from the drain, even though she was two years younger than me. I know I know I get to hear about this every time we fight on anything, so you don’t have to remind me I was evil. In my defense, I was myself a child.

We got that fish home and got a little scolding from mom, not too much, we were happily sitting at home, staring at the jar for around one or two hours… but every interesting story needs a villain. So while I was making my sister take the fish out of the drain, our house maid was going to fetch something from somewhere. She observed the whole thing. Instead of telling us anything, she came back after two hours and told my mom what had happened and oh! the scolding we got. I remember she actually beat us with rulers 😛 Oh the kids nowadays, they will never know the age when parents actually beat their kids to discipline them!

Our love for pets started with our dad being such a huge animal lover. We are told that as a kid growing up in rural Bihar, he had a mini “zoo” of domestic animals at his house. He had a cow, three dogs, rabbits, parrots and what not. In fact, he encouraged us to get our own “zoo” growing up – we had many cats, a cute dog, several birds and often the baby squirrels that fell down from their nest on the coconut tree right beside our house. And we had these fishes which we brought in from time to time.

As a child I was fascinated with aquariums and there would be ones to get fascinated about; I remember one which had a treasure chest and the lid would open and close with some hydraulic action; the bubbles coming out of the water from a treasure hunt scene with lots of skulls, sunken ships with rusted edges… and the most awesome things were the colorful fishes of different shapes and sizes… the world of aquariums would be so fascinating! I remember of all my father’s brothers I had a favorite uncle, because they had an aquarium at their home. I was intrigued not only by the fishes but also the wiggly live worms, stored in a dark corner under the staircase, that they used to feed the fish.

Even as an adult I was fascinated with fish tanks – I would selectively go to restaurants that have tank displays, I would watch the TV shows Tanked and Fish Tank Kings for hours, I would even go to the pet stores just to look at the fishes (and other cute animals). But interestingly enough, I considered getting dogs and cats but never considered getting a fish tank for a long time – in fact until, I got my pet hamster Montu and saw how enriching being a single pet parent was. It keeps you occupied – you are caring about some small life that depends on you, it makes you responsible, you have reasons to leave work and go back home early, you have something interesting to do all by yourself, and specially in the case of Montu, we had a bond that only we shared.

However, in grad school keeping multiple pets was not really feasible, so even though I toyed with the idea, it never materialized. Then I helped a couple of friends set up their fish tanks and I wanted fish tanks bad. I obsessed over youtube channels on fish keeping – my idea of fishkeeping had advanced so much from Horlicks jars and worm feeds! There was a point when I wanted to grow all live plants in my tank so I researched and researched on that. Seemed too much work but eh! if you want something, you do it right 😉

When Montu died and I was left with her 20 gallon horizontal habitat. I didn’t want to get another hamster, because you get too attached and then they don’t live that long. However, a 20 gallon tank  looked like a lot of responsibility – so far the past one and a half years, I had been considering the idea, dropping it and reconsidering many times. I almost got a smaller tank many times but then held back because the fishes I wanted to get and the plants I wanted to grow are difficult in a small space. So I waited.

This birthday my friends surprised me with a fish tank gift and I knew the time was now. So two months after my birthday I finally set up my fish tank. It was great that my sister was with me over the holidays and we set it up together as a project. The tank is 20 gallons horizontal and it doesn’t have any live plants yet… I will grow them a little slowly, starting with small simple ones… but I already have 10 fishes in there, two of which I introduced just yesterday. So far I have two Red Tuxedo Guppy, four Red WagTail Platy, two Sunburst Platy and two Spotted Cory Cat fish. The guppies were the first one to get in the tank, they are really feisty and make my tank so interesting. The corys are the last ones introduced. I have always wanted to get these since I first laid my eyes on them –  they are not much of a looker to most people, especially to my sister. But they have amazing dog like personalities and are so playful. I also love my platys, they have amazing bright colors and seem like a bunch of really hardy fish. However, I would like to go through a complete nitrogen cycle and water change and check how the fishes are doing.

I can have another ten fishes in my tank and eventually I plan to introduce the fishes I have always wanted, a school of Neon or Cardinal Tetras. That’s specifically why I wanted a 20 gallon horizontal as I’m sure I would just love to see how the school navigates through the length of the tank. I’m so excited about the future of my tank!!!

photo courtesy: Google

 

Squigglum

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I was going through my Google Photos account when I came across these beautiful photos of my late pet hamster Montu aka Squigglum. These were taken in Summer of 2013. I had lost my camera on my flight while coming back from India. If you want read about my experience then click here.

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So I had rented a DSLR camera from the university to take Montu’s snaps. She was so hard to photograph, I had to take over 80 photos. But she looks so cute in each of them. I just had to share a few 🙂

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About a boy

He hates tears and toothpaste without mint.

His favorite movie is Love Actually, and he believes in true love.

He always follows his heart, but is quick to say sorry when he is wrong.

He always gets a token something for you when he goes to get something for him at the store.

He plays guitar for you, when you are pretending to be not listening.

When he wakes up earlier than you, he goes out to get you an awesome breakfast from a deli nearby.

If it is raining outside and you have plans to walk around the city all day, he quickly buys two umbrellas, so that the plan is not cancelled, and then comes back to get you.

He gifts himself weird stuff like a LED headlight on his birthday.

He takes the most beautiful photos in the world.

He responds to your phone calls no matter what time of the day you want to speak with him.

He records beautiful voice messages and sends them over to you when you are least expecting.

He always makes you laugh even when it is the coldest night or the scariest situation.

He gets ready to enact a movie scene with you on the lobby of a posh hotel.

He loves seafood.

He loves sunsets, and gets upset when he can’t stay longer to watch the sun set at a particular spot. However, he quickly remembers that the sun will set again tomorrow, and you never visit a place only once.

He does not give up on you when the times are rough or the road is uncertain.

He does not react to you, but respond to you.

He says that life is made up of precious moments.

He gives you strength when you are weak and at your worst.

He knows that love lasts forever and stands the test of time, the greatest test of them all.

He takes risks, because without any risk, there is no reward.

 

My thoughts about Damián Szifrón’s “Wild Tales”

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I just finished watching Damián Szifrón’s “Wild Tales”. The movie was nominated for Oscar in 2015 in the Best Foreign Film category. But what really sold me to watch it was that it has 8.2/10 rating on imdb.com and 95% rating on rotten tomatoes. I’m a big movie buff, but I haven’t really watched that many foreign movies because I think reading the subtitles takes my focus away from what is happening on screen and thus leads to less feels. Anyways, this movie was different. In fact I was never bored enough to look away from the screen and play Farm Heroes Saga on my phone. If you haven’t watched this movie and plan to watch it in the future, then I will ask you not to read this blog as it will contain some spoilers.

Because I do some research before watching any movie seriously (unless I’m on Netflix and planning to fall asleep while watching it) I already knew that the movie was broken up into 6 short stories and that it was about broken people and revenge. I didn’t want to read anymore so I just started watching the movie.

The movie starts with a very hot Argentinian model going to the airport to board a flight. She asks if she can use her miles and the clerk at the airport says no. That was the first time something struck me as odd. Because when I fly I can always use my miles. It’s a different story altogether that i forget to add them. Anyways, maybe that scene was important to the movie or not, but it kind of got me hooked. This first short story is called “Pasternak” and it is about a person with the same name. The conversation in the movie was very interesting and it was fun to watch. At the end, they show an old couple and you are left to wonder if they are Pasternak’s parents or not. I’m pretty sure they are.

The girl in the second movie “Las Ratas” was very pretty and it was enjoyable to watch her. However, this movie was mostly surrounding the old cook and I think the theme was really how badly she wanted to go back to jail to lead a secured life. At least that is how I interpret it. I’ve watched Orange is the new Black and I think that the old lady will be quite the badass in jail.

The next story was “El Mas Fuerte”. When the story started then Diego Iturralde was driving through this beautiful road. As a newly confident driver myself I would love to drive on that highway between Salta and Cafayate, alone, blasting Enigma’s Return to Innocence. However, this is where it got really crazy and gory. This was perhaps the only story which was even funny at times, may be because at the core we are still ignoble. I fast forwarded the fight sequences a little bit because they are not really things I enjoy unless I’m in a movie theatre and I’m challenging myself.

After the third short story I started to question whether all these stories will be linked together at the end or not (a huge fan of Arthur Hailey’s Airport). I even started fabricating in my mind how all these stories could be related. Anyways, they were not.

The next story was “Bombita”. If I understood Spanish a little bit I would have set the expectation for this movie accordingly. This movie was fun to watch. I think i sometimes behave like this guy Simon Fischer. I will really overreact, shout and scream when something that seems unfair to me happens. I will react so much that everyone around me will remember my reaction instead of the bad thing that happened to me. Then from the next time onwards I will learn a lesson and just not react and do the same thing calmly without much fuss. Since I was relating the story to myself I was really confused when SImon, seating in a nice cafe, watched his car being towed. Anyways, I really just did not understand the ending of this story. Why would the wife who wanted a divorce because the husband was not spending enough time would come to meet him in jail happily with their kid. Also is it safe to bring a little girl inside a prison? I understand that all prisoners are not bad and often not guilty, but still… By the way, Simon Fischer is such a typically American name. Anyways, may be it is common in Argentina as well.

The fifth movie, ‘La Propuesta” was the one I enjoyed the least. I really have no comments about this story except two. Firstly, I really liked how the study and the video room in the protagonist’s house was decorated. I wish I have something like that someday. When my husband and children get too chaotic I will just lock myself up in that room and listen to Bocelli’s voice or Yanni’s composition to calm me down. I think this will remain a dream. The other comment is that I felt really sad when the gardener Jose was killed at the end.

The story that really frightened me was the last one “Hasta que la muerte nos separe”. Since I was a young child I have really worked on every aspect of my personality. It has really affected how I think about success, life, religion, relationships, career, politics etc. I have consciously chosen what I wanted to eat, what should be my impact and footprint on this world and many other things. The only thing I left untouched was my emotion and at this point in my life I feel like that is something that I should have worked on. This story kind of shows you that what a wreck you can be if you do not control your emotions at the correct moment. I really liked Érica Rivas‘s acting in the part of Romina. I admire actors who can let go of their need to look pretty on-screen and without any inhibitions become the character that they are portraying. Nonetheless, she looked so pretty in the end when she’s sitting on the floor, surrounded by her friends, crying and at the same time concerned about Ariel.

I cannot watch any movie without identifying personally with a scene, a character or at least imagining myself in a role in place of a character. I know many people watch movies objectively, just like a movie. But at the same time I think a movie like this one wouldn’t have got so much rating just for it’s entertainment value. I think it kind of shows what we as human beings are capable of doing if we are not constantly talking us out of it. All in all, it was an interesting movie to watch.

Trailer

Okay people!
Like every good thing must come to an end, every bad thing must start again. 😉
So i am back again posting on my blog, and yes, just like I have said several times before, I will try to be more regular from now on.

Well, I can safely say that the root of all my life’s problems are a direct result of imbibing F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and all the Kajol-Shahrukh movies that I watched as a teenager. I cannot watch those movies anymore as a grown-up, but neither can I take out the mushy, hyper-sensitive, hopelessly romantic that I am inside.

Let me not digress… Kajol and Shahrukh have not acted in a movie together since My Name Is Khan released in 2010. But they are going to be back again in this new movie Dilwale. The film is scheduled to be released on 18 December 2015. And I have been eagerly waiting for the trailer since the movie was announced in January 2015.

The trailer was just released today:

Kajol and Shahrukh look so hottt! But I didn’t like the trailer 😦 except where they show Kajol & Shahrukh!!!
I hope the movie is good though, but anyways I’m gonna watch it even if it’s bad…
Are you guys crazy like me about any pair? Comment and let me know… 😀

45 things I did in 2014

In this post I am listing down 44 things that I have done in 2014. This year was mostly happy but it was also perhaps the most hardworking year of my life – a year of growing into the person I want to be. Most of all, I think I met my personal goal of travelling, doing what I love, being efficient and getting peace of mind. I hope you enjoy my post.

Me and Montu on Valentine's Day 2014

Me and Montu on Valentine’s Day 2014

  1. Volunteering: I volunteered my heart’s fill at The Cat House which is an incredible and unique cat shelter in Lincoln, NE. You can find more information on it in my previous post.
  2. Visited Seattle: I visited Seattle once again after 2012. This time I explored the downtown area with a good friend. Unlike last year it was really cold and wet, so we could not stay outside for a long time, so we went to several restaurants and pubs. I discovered this Italian-American chain called Bucca di Beppo and I really liked their food.
  3. Explored SF: In my childhood I was a huge fan of the arcade game Big City Adventure – San Francisco. I knew all the places in San Francisco by heart even though then I had never imagined that someday I would stay in USA. So this year when I went to California for the first time for a conference I visited San Francisco. I explored all the places that I remembered from that game and had a super fun time.

    Me @ Fisherman's Wharf in SF

    Me @ Fisherman’s Wharf in SF

  4. Traveled solo: The California trip was my first solo trip. It was something I have always wanted to do but something that I have always dreaded because I worried about safety issues and being lonely. In this trip I was alone but never lonely. I made so many new friends and talked with so many people on the road. I felt that when I am travelling alone then I am better able to imbibe the atmosphere  of the surroundings. When travelling in a groups we tend to stick with each other, spend time with each other and only talk with each other. While travelling solo all these boundaries are diminished and you start to have so much more fun.
  5. Grew up a little more: My beloved pet hamster Montu passed away in April 2014. She was having health issues for a month. I took her to the vet, gave her medicines and towards the later part I had to hand feed her every meal every 1-2 hours. I was a very difficult phase of my life, balancing school, assistantship and taking care of her. She passed away in front of my eyes on a April night. When I had to take her for cremation the next day I was all alone. It was perhaps the loneliest I ever felt.

    May be I will fall asleep now...

    May be I will fall asleep now…

  6. Got my fair share of sleep (1): I stayed over night at my lab to work on my thesis. The next day I was so tired that I did not have energy to walk back home. Since it was summer there were very few bus. I really needed some energy but I did not feel like staying in the lab building any more. The cold of the air-conditioning was really bothering me. So I went out to the steps of the Sheldon Museum in Lincoln, NE which is right beside my lab, and then I slept on a bench under the open sky in broad day light. Looking back it is a little creepy to sleep on hot concrete, but hey it was fun and something I can add to my “Been there, done that” list.
  7. Got my fair share of sleep (2): Just like the above incident, on a very warm day I slept on the grass just opposite the same museum in the afternoon. Sleeping on grass in a park was always there on my bucket list, so check!
  8. Vegetarianism: I turned completely vegetarian for a few months in 2014. The initial plan was to do it for at least a year. But then since I was leaving Lincoln permanently, my friends were throwing parties and cooking for me. So amid all the celebrations, I was a vegetarian only for three straight months from mid April to mid July.

    I  <3 macAir

    I ❤ macAir

  9. NO: I have always struggled with saying this simple two letter word all my life. But this year, I learned to say that. I let go of bad relationships, I let go of past mistakes, I let go of wrong decisions and I loved myself a little bit more.
  10. I heart MacBook Air:  I caved and got myself the first non-living thing that I love.
  11. Ramadan: I’m not religious at all but I am tolerant towards all religions and I am a very curious person. So when during the month of Ramadan my dear friend for told me that he will take me to the Mosque in the weekend, I wanted to keep fast till Iftar for at least a week. so that I was in sync with everyone else who had fasted in there. I’ve never been to a Mosque before and so this was important to me. I fasted for only 4 days, that too not without water. But firstly, I was too shy to tell him about my plan and also after the fourth day I felt extremely weak. I wonder how they do it for a month!
  12. Sky Diving: I tandem sky-dived in Crete, NE, USA from 10,000 ft. I can go on and on about my experience but I plan to write about taht when I get some time someday, so I will only say that it was and still is the most exhilarating experience ever in my life!

    How cool am I?!

    Tandem Skydiving me!! How cool am I?!

  13. I visited Kansas City, MO: I went to Kansas City with friends on a warm rainy Summer day with friends and saw the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Union Station. Kansas City is very beautiful as it is modeled after Seville in Spain and it has numerous fountains. We saw around 10 bridal parties getting their wedding photograph done in front of the big fountain at Union Station. It was a day of good food and great company, I even made some new ones…
  14. Graduated: I completed my mammoth thesis in Underwater Robotics and graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
  15. Country Fair: One of the last things I did in Lincoln was visit a Country fair. I rode the most ridiculous rides that freaked even me out. It was positively crazy!
  16. Job: I had a couple of job offers already. But, then, I found myself a job in the organizationI really wanted to work for!
  17. I visited Chicago, again: After I left Lincoln and before settling down in my new city, I stayed in Chicago for a week with my friend. We explored downtown Chicago on foot, visited the numerous public parks and monuments around the city and ate at various restaurants around Taylor Street and Devon Street. It was a good time.

    Agora by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, Chicago

    Agora by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, Chicago

  18. I moved to Boston: It’s a very pretty city, so much history, so many options for food and entertainment! it is very different in flavor from Lincoln.
  19. Trampoline: For the office team outing, we went to a trampoline park! Before going there I could not imagine jumping around on a trampoline with my colleagues like children. But once there, it was lots of fun!
  20. Lobster Rolls:  I visited Portland, ME in October for a hiking trip and there I had my first and the most delicious Lobster Roll. Being an Indian, it was difficult to believe that something so simple and without any spices can be that delicious…
  21. Fake Life Guard: I visited a secluded beach in Cape Code one fine day and it was so pretty there with orange skies and purple clouds. And there was an empty Life Guard tower on the beach. So I climbed it and sat on top of the life guard tower for a long time. It was so peaceful!
  22. Decorated home: Since I moved most of my furniture from Lincoln to here I was worried that my room would look exactly the same. So I left out the things that I could replace without incurring huge costs like posters and mirrors and other wall hanging stuff. So I laid out my furniture differently, organized my things differently and was more creative in how I stored or displayed things. I am pretty much in love with the way my room looks now 🙂

    Stunning View of Cape Cod from lifeguard chair...

    Stunning View of Cape Cod from lifeguard chair…

  23. Organized office parties: I was entrusted with organizing several office parties this year. Two of my most favorite ones are the Painting Workshop for my team and 1950’s Christmas Themed office party for the entire organization. I was super nervous, but luckily both were a resounding success! So happy!!
  24. Painted my version of “The Starry Night”: For the painting workshop I had casually mentioned to the instructor on phone that Van Gogh is my favorite painter. To my utmost surprise, on the day of the workshop, she brought along with her a simpler version of ‘The Starry Night’ for us all to draw. I was super overwhelmed and convinced I wont be able to paint it, but in the end I created a very simple but bright and happy version of the famous painting.
  25. Halloween Costume Party: Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to play dress up. But more than that I love to dress people up! So for this year’s Halloween I decided to throw a costume party at my house. We covered all the lights in black garbage bags and a few of my newly found friends helped me decorate the house in a very spooky manner. What was most surprising is that everyone turned up in costumes and a few who did not, they let me paint their faces and necks in a scary Halloweeny way. It was such fun!!!

    Me & my "Starry Night"

    Me & my “Starry Night”

  26. Visited NYC twice: I was in NYC for ushering in 2014, standing in the Brooklyn Bridge Park shivering in the freezing cold of the night. I was in love and he was with me. Later in 2014, I visited NYC again during the Thanksgiving Break. This time visited all the places that I had missed last year and reveled in the festivity of the Christmas decorations all across the city.
  27. Indulgence: I was in NYC when I realized I was madly in love. And I kept worrying that if I meet Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York fame, I will not be able to stop talking about him and few days later there will be a picture of me wearing a red trench coat and looking sad all over Facebook and people will know me for being just a silly girl…
  28. Brooklyn Bridge: On a cold and sunny Autumn day I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. I was wearing a scarlet Sarah Jessica Parker-ish trench coat and it gave me a very Sex and the City kinda vibe. My friend was trying to take professional quality pics of me while I kept humming Kal Ho Na Ho songs throughout…. it was a happy day!
  29. I visited Puerto Rico: I had a blast in the tropical climate and the salty sea breeze of San Juan, Fajardo and Culebra for four days in December when the temperatures were freezing in Boston. This was my first visit to the Caribbean and I loved every bit of it! Can’t wait to get back there…

    Flamenco Beach, Culebra

    Flamenco Beach, Culebra

  30. Kayaking: In Fajardo, one of my favorite experience was kayaking in the Bioluminescent Bay in pitch dark. Incidentally it was the first time I was kayaking and to the nightmare of my poor partner I was terrible at steering and hence, always getting stuck in the mangrove roots. In fact, I got hit on my head thrice while navigating, but then the awesome instructor, Manolo, came to our rescue! He tied our kayak to his and then we no longer needed to worry about steering. We could just row in sync with him. That allowed us the freedom and luxury to check out the beautiful bioluminiscence in the bay… It is undoubtedly the most humbling, most exhilarating, most stunning natural phenomenon I have seen in my life so far..
  31. Bioluminescent Bay: Probably the most beautiful thing that I have ever experience in my life is this bay in Fajardo… I was total Avatar like feel… the less said about it the better. It was an ethereal experience.
  32. Nakani-Chobani: In USA, every time I went to a beach it was always too cold to het into the water. However, PR being in the tropics I got drenched in the sea several times. And the waves in the Caribbean are especially rough. It totally remined me of all the childhood trips to Puri and Digha beaches in India. I loved every minute even though I was mortally scared!
  33. Organized Secret Santa: After organizing so many parties this year everyone was already looking up to me for some blast for the year end. And what better way that to have a Secret Santa Party to give and receive gifts. It was a very small group and the budget was only $20 but I was really surprised to see how meaningful the gifts were and how the faces lit up on receiving them. I, for one, received a very fancy handbag which I’m carrying around everywhere since the event 🙂

    Bow Bridge in Central Park

    Bow Bridge in Central Park

  34. Literature: After my thesis I got plenty of time to catch up on literature… I read almost everyday now… Ah! How I love it!!
  35. I got Netflix: I caved, I’m sorry. After resisting this for many many years, I finally caved. But frankly, I’m quite disappointed. Netflix is not really a good source to watch movies (which I enjoy). But it is mostly for watching a series (which I don’t). Now since Netflix doesn’t have good movies I end up watching series which is such a waste of valuable time. I hope I will get over this easy distraction soon.
  36. Returned wrong sized items: According to me, one of my biggest flaws was I shop online a lot when I am under stress. But I never return the items which I don’t like, or which don’t fit me or which are plain not for me. But for the first time this year, I returned shoes. Well, may be because they were too many which I bought at once from a place where I had to guess the shoe size. But at least I did return and that is an achievement!
  37. Midnight Mass:  Even though in my childhood I lived close to one of the largest cathedrals, the St. Paul’s cathedral in Kolkata, believe it or not I have never been to a Midnight Mass before. This is surprising because Kolkata is very cosmopolitan and almost everyone has visited the church at least once. To make up for that, this year I visited the Trinity Church in Boston for their Midnight Mass. It was very beautiful, and serene. I think I will keep going back.
  38. Whales: I went on a whale watching trip in a catamaran. I will not say more lest I will do injustice.

    Two humpback whales feeding on the surface, Boston

    Two humpback whales feeding on the surface, Boston

  39. Canon Lover: I caved and bought myself a point and shoot camera just before I went to Puerto Rico. It is the Canon PowerShot SX600 16Megapixel Digital Camera Red (MODEL: 9342B001). I have not saved enough to buy a DSLR for me. So this will have to do for now.
  40. Bose: For last Christmas I gifted someone a pair of Sennheiser head phones, and since then I was craving for one myself. In my mind, I’m such a punk and that person craved for those big chunky headphones. So for Black Friday sale I got myself my first Bose, a black and mint green over-ear.
  41. Doodling: I have taken up doodling seriously. During my first week at my new job I was always doodling on my notepad but I don’t know why everyone thought I was taking notes. So after a week, when they came looking for notes I showed them some doodles and they were like ‘the “Boy” is nice’. 😛

    the "Boy"

    the “Boy”

  42. Those slippery things: In the New England Aquarium in Boston , there is a Shark and Ray touch tank and I touched Cownose Rays, Atlantic Rays and Epaulette Sharks !!
  43. I got fringes: At the start of 2014 someone had dared me to get a haircut like him and I obliged! It was the year of my fringes! I had always wanted to get them but never dared!! I really loved and received a lot of compliments, but this gave me so much confidence about changing up my hairstyle. So may be I will grow my fringes longer and cut my hair shorter this year..
  44. Bed of Nails: I laid down on a Bed Of Nails and didn’t feel a thing at the Boston Museum of Science.
  45. I, Me, Myself: Overall, this year I invested some quality time in myself. I went about telling everyone who tried to hurt me in any way that I love them but I love me more 🙂

The things that I have shared here in this post are just for the purpose of self expression. I am not trying to impress anyone or trying to get any brownie points. I hope all of you who are reading my post also had a happy and happening 2014. Let’s toast to a more successful 2015!