Sunrise

4:45 am. Pitch dark. Only the soft sounds of the receding tide are heard. The moist breeze is cool enough for a light sweater and shorts. Crouched atop the lifeguard chair, I peer at the inky horizon. The waning moon and the accompanying stars still hang in the dark sky, shrouded by cumuli. The Big Dipper is clearly visible, each of the seven stars glistening more vibrantly than the others.

A vague, almost ethereal hint of deep crimson sets in from the water’s edge. Finally the ocean’s end and the sky’s start are discernible. The clouds look as though they have been set ablaze. Distinct saffron rays cut through, casting away the nocturne. The hues of the sky encompass a spectrum of reds, blues, and violets.

The sun emerges with its entire magnificent splendor; perfectly round, unabashedly impressive. The ocean looses its blue to the sky and glistens a blinding luminous golden. For a moment, the sun escapes behind the clouds, casting sublime rays on the horizon. A vague silhouette of a distant tanker is visible.

A sultry gust sets in as the sun climbs farther in the sky. The day has arrived. I take off my sweater and snake down the lifeguard chair, towards my bike. I pedal back, a content grin plastered on my face.

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Tortoise-Framed Happiness

A wrinkly smile creeps up on the elderly man’s face, each crease telling of a chapter in his life. Behind his thick tortoise frames, his shrunken sea blue eyes glisten with a knowing. He carries an air of contentment, no regrets, no worries; just a silly, goofy, contagious smile. ‘I’m almost finished writing a book’, he says, ‘though I might not be able to complete it. You see, I think I’m getting old.’ He adjusts his tweed newsboy cap. ‘It’s hard for me to type, and keep it all straight up here’; he says pointing to his head.

In the twenty minutes it takes to get from Wellington to Downtown Crossings, I have heard a Hemingway version of this man’s life story. Ex-Harvard professor, traveled extensively, has a wonderful family, now writing this book. No details are disclosed, just inferred.

‘I’m happy’ he finally declares before the train stops, ‘And I wish happiness for you’.

 

(Random conversations with strangers on the T, to be cont’d)

Bucket List

I’m having an attack of insomnia. I close my eyes and a million thoughts crowd my brain. It’s moments like this I wish a 24 hour gym existed. The best solution to over thinking I’ve found, is running. I literally try to run away from my thoughts, though they always seem to outpace me.

Anyways. I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and recently had a quarter-life crisis style melt down. I’m not unhappy with where I am, in fact I’m kind of  pleased. BUT, I am worried about time. It seems like once you enter your mid-twenties (especially as an Indian girl) your life starts rushing past you. It sometimes feels like I’m trying to hold on ever so tightly to the sand of time slipping through my fingers. (Lovely cliche, I know…)

I still have so many things I need to do/see and I’ve been moving at a glacial pace. I’ve always had a ‘To Do’ list in life but for some reason I never registered in my head that I’m not 16 anymore. So without further ado, here’s a taste of my so-called bucket list. Hopefully  penning some of this down will help me to actually get through a good amount of it soon!

Trips: Every continent.
Specifics: Andalusia, Provence, Madrid, French Riviera, Italian Riviera, The Greek Islands, Stockholm, Berlin, Camino de Santiago, The Alps, Cliffs of Moher, Rome, Sicily, Tuscany, Lauterbrunnen, Salzburg, Mongolia, Himalayas (again), Nepal, Mount Kailash, Manali, Indonesia, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Goa, Bali, Fiji, Kerala, The Caves of Petra, Morocco, The Pyramids, The Sahara, South Africa, Istanbul, Dubai (outside the airport), Bhutan, The Northern Lights, Machu Picchu etc… (This list won’t ever end.)

To Do:
Learn to ride a horse, learn to swim, run a marathon, become fluent in French or Italian, climb a mountain, go kayaking in the ocean (again), get at least one other degree, understand what true love means, become more empathetic, go bungee jumping (and not die), have a pet, overcome my fear of heights, be part of a food fight, learn to knit, learn to become a good public speaker, play the piano effortlessly, learn to ski, go paragliding, go on a cross-country road trip, open up my own photography studio, help as many as I can, understand humanity and all its perspectives, become more spiritual, blah blah blah….. I can keep going.

In any manner, this list is ever evolving and changing. Things get cross off, substituted, or checked off (mind you, at a very slow pace). Hopefully I pick up the speed soon!!

Hope your bucket list is ever growing as is mine, and hope I can fall asleep soon.

Sneha

 

Growing Pains

Suddenly being an adult and having a job is sucking all energy out of me. I literally leave at the crack of dawn and come home after sunset. I’m not complaining, I really enjoy what I do despite the learning curve involved. Sometimes it feels like I never even left college. My lab consists of all young people just starting their careers so there’s a lot of experiments and learning involved and yes, I do still read textbooks. I think I’m ok with this, I’m ok with how this job is slowly weaning me off from being a student to being a professional.

That being said, I’m happy to say I’ve adjusted to Boston. Don’t get me wrong, I still get lost all the time. But it doesn’t bother me as much anymore and every new road I walk down helps me orient myself better. I haven’t really done much in the city  yet given this weather here and my workload, other than the afterwork gatherings.

One thing that I have able to do more of now than in college is read nontextbooks. I’ve gone through a couple of books so far and it feels so good to shift gears at the end of the day and unwind with a book. I also came across this website, Goodreads. It keeps track of your book and gives recommendations based on what you’ve read. So far, I finished reading some heavy Jhumpa Lahiri stuff and tried to transition to something lighter, David Sedaris. It was a mistake. I wasn’t able to finish the book. After reading Lahiri’s deep depressive stuff, I couldn’t do with the airy light weight of Sedaris. So I transitioned to reading travelog-type books. I’m currently reading The Blue Nile and The Wander Year. The former’s more historical and informative, and the latter’s a first hand account and more informal and kind of a fun read.

Hopefully I get the time to finish these soon, I’ve already racked up another list of books to get through with the help of Goodreads! (If only I can find inexpensive/free copies somewhere…)

Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

489valentineDNA

(www.mentalfloss.com)

Life

It’s late, but Merry Christmas *<|:{>

I was at the New England Aquarium in Boston a few days ago and it was probably the highlight of my week, aside from my family visiting for Christmas. Basically, I felt like I was 10 again and everything was just so amazing and I was awestruck almost the entire time I was there.

But the one thing that really got my jaw to drop was this:

Yes. They are shark babies in the making. The eggs were grafted out of the mother shark for what reasons, I don’t know, and I realize there are definitely ethical concerns involved. But seriously, how amazing is this?

The Professional Student

First let me start off by admitting that I’m a nerd, and I will always be. The importance of learning and knowledge had been hardwired into my brain from a very early age. So now that I’m technically out of institutions of learning, there’s a gaping void in my life. Earlier this week of my coworkers told me about this new website called Coursera. They offer free courses on a variety of topics from the best of universities. You can only imagine my excitement when I looked through it. I felt like a kid with my hand in the candy jar. Naturally I signed up for 3 classes, the most I could take without feeling like I was back in college. They all start at different times in the following three months, the first of them being Introduction to Astronomy.

I’m pretty excited to have my brain chew on something other than just the immunology I’ve been reading for work.

Hopefully more people start taking advantage of this awesome resource!!

Unfamiliarity

The building rumbles as the train passes under it every few minutes in the subway. There is a concurrent chiming of the church bells every fifteen minutes. There is an odd balance of pavement and cobblestone. The streets run as though they were tossed onto a blank map. Cambridge, only six and a half hours away from Philly but it feels like some city out of Western Europe.

These past few days have been exciting but definitely bewildering. The subway system here isn’t terribly complicated and I might have to give Google maps most of the credit for guiding me when I did get lost (which was/will be very very often). I’m used to the grid system of Philly. I like 90 degree angles, as I like order. There are so many new changes that I’m still trying to get accustomed to. For one, my apartment. I have a room in a pretty convenient location but in moving I didn’t have space to bring along a nice sized shelf to store stuff. So a lot of everything is sprawled and clustered across whatever surfaces are open at the moment. The disorderliness doesn’t end there, it extends into the work place. My lab is full of great and wonderful people, but as with most academic labs, it’s a little chaotic. Nothing seems to be where it’s supposed to be and space is Tight, yes with a capital T.

I have this anxiety problem where if I’m not planned and organized enough and well ahead of time, I tend to have what feels like internal panic attacks. Well, let’s just say that’s happened more times than I can count in the past three days of having lived here and I presume it’ll happen for the next few weeks. There’s definitely a learning curve associated with moving to the Boston area.

In addition to this, I’m somewhat learning to take care of myself. Like, eating on time, sleeping on time, planning out when I need to leave the apartment to catch a train and subsequently a shuttle. So a ton of time management on a personal level. It’s been a whirlwind and I’m still stuck in it and trying to make sense of my surroundings both socially and professionally. I guess I didn’t anticipate how quickly I’d have to hit the ground running.

But one thing that brings calm into this new chaotic life of mine is music. Old music that I’ve listened to before during different periods of my life. Similar to how smells induce strong memories in certain people, music vividly takes me back to more comfortable times. After a long day of frantic confusion, there’s nothing like a cup of chai and turning on Pandora or YouTube as I go about collecting myself again.

So I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite songs. Be prepared, it’s cheeeesy.

Peace,
S.