Sunday, December 25, 2005

what brought me to a life of honesty

once, a long time ago, i stole some quarters from my mom’s purse.

i had so many in my fist, I could barely close it.

as I was walking up the staircase in our house, there was the inevitable soft clink of sweaty quarters slipping around in my greedy tight fist. My father, the shrewdly honest, figured out in a lightening flash what was up, and demanded that i reveal what i was so desperately trying to hide within my childish grip.

when my fingers slowly unfurled, like albino spider legs, he kneeled down and cried at the thought of his daughter, the thief.

i never stole anything again.

Monday, December 12, 2005

my favorite person of the week

i just recently (and BELATEDLY) discovered the beauty of the thinking and writing of Amartya Sen, nobel prize winner, economist and visionary

check out his autobiography:

Thursday, November 24, 2005


You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
At work and school, you do best when you're researching.
When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the states i've visited are in red

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

countries i've visited

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

well.. unfortunately, i wasn't able to limit the red to just the cities i went to... so it makes my travel look more extensive than it actually was...

Friday, November 18, 2005

thought i'd share

a favorite poem of mine:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Thursday, November 17, 2005

how to flirt

my newest way of procrastinating................

which, by the way, is one of my 43 things... to stop procrastinating.

go figure...

Monday, November 14, 2005


varanasi... a place i haven't yet been....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Room to Read

This year, I decided my birthday gift to myself, (albeit a humble one since I don't have too many funds right now), would be to give money to a charitable cause.

After doing some research on the internet, I found Room to Read which seems to me a fascinating and worthy organization. Also, it's a good match for someone who's a bit of a book-a-holic, such as me.

Here's what they do, in their own words:

"Room to Read seeks to intervene early in the lives of children and help provide them with an education and the lifelong gift of literacy.

"To increase the likelihood for success, Room to Read enlists community involvement. Our challenge grants require villages to raise a significant portion of the overall expenditure (through donated land, labor, materials and cash) for building a new school, thereby allowing our cash investments to go further so that we can help more villages. We also establish libraries, computer labs and language labs in conjunction with schools whereby they contribute shelves, desk, and chairs. Our challenge grants act as catalysts for community building while also maximizing the local participation and expertise brought to our programs to ensure they are run efficiently and effectively."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

i can't believe i actually hit send on the following email

... and yet it's such a satisfying feeling. The below email was emailed to a lady running a matchmaking bureau in Gujarat, who periodically sends me emails (addressed to my father, even though it's blatantly obvious that it's my email address to which she's mailing them!) listing the particulars of gentlemen who are interested in my biodata.

I hope I don't sound too catty. That wasn't my intention. Just that, how are all these men, (Weight: 55 Kgs.) going to be interested in anything about me, other than my U.S. citizenship?

Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 20:08:25 -0800 (PST)
From: "yesha n." View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Re: Matrimonial
To: (email deleted for privacy)

Dear Mrs. Shah,
My name is Yesha; thank you so much for forwarding
these ads to me. I have two concerns, however.

One is that I currently need to lose a lot of weight.
(My current weight is 60+ kilograms.) To be very frank
and realistic, I don't think men who are very thin and
short will be attracted to me...

Second is that, as I grew up in the U.S. and I care
more about being able to communicate well with, and be
attracted to a prospective mate, than I do about their
family background...

Would it be possible to know more about their
knowledge of English and of literature?

Many thanks,

blah, blah, blah

everything is blah blah blah, here in this overheated, overinsulated apartment in north jersey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

bronchitis, laryngitis, cross-country flight, fever, chills, sweats, no sleep and the GRE (!)

wanted to share that, despite having gone through, in rapid succession: bronchitis, laryngitis, cross-country flight, fever, chills, sweats, and no sleep, I still managed to get to the GRE test center in time today, and, more importantly, did okay... well, at least on the verbal and math part. (the analytical writing section won't be scored for another two to three weeks... but i'm hopeful that i'll have more than a zero score... ha ha.)

my verbal score was better than my math (surprise, surprise...)

(740 verbal... 530 or 520 math-- can't remember, as everything from this morning is in a best-forgotten fog... except for the fact that they allowed me to take cough drops in with me as long as they were pre-unwrapped before heading into the testing room--thank goodness, for the sake of the other test takers, as well as for my poor throat)

okay, so the math isn't that great, but honestly, it's an improvement from the scores I got on the practice tests I took!

anyway, glad it's over...

have to decide where to apply to school. and for what.
(well... have already given that some thought, but it still needs some more.)

thanks for listening!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

uh oh....

the alternate title i was thinking of for this post is, "... now the fun begins..."

my twelve yr old niece (friend's child) just emailed me the following forward. hmmm........

>1. The guy will be extremely nice to you.
>2. He will tell you that you did something good, even when
>you did it horribly.
>3. He might make fun of you.
>4. He will want to be your best friend.
>5. He might complement you on something normal like, your
>hair, even if you wear it that way everyday.
>6. He will stick up for you.
>7. He will start hanging out with your friends.
>8. He will flirt with you.
>9. He will call you for no good reason.
>10. He will make eye contact with a serious look on his face.
>1. They always talk about the different kind of guys they
>COULD have.
>2. They stare at you with a smile on their face and won't
>look away until you do first.
>3. They ALWAYS seem to be talking about how nice or cute
>you are.
>4. They laugh at all your jokes, no matter how stupid they are.
>5. They will ask you who you like, continuously.
>6. They talk to your friends about you a lot.
>7. They always are flirting with every other guy, except you.
>8. They always try to make you jealous.
>9. They beg you to do everything for them.
>10. They always ask you what to do in a bad situation.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

something i learned about today at the NY Folklore Societies Writng Folklore Conference

Bernadette Mayer's self published book _Utopia_, which she gave away for free, when she discovered that bookstores could not sell it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

got to hear and meet kirin narayan!

in 1994 or 1995 perhaps, an acquaintance (actually a very handsome man of the what-I-thought-of-then as the advanced age of 29, and upon whom I had a huge not-to-be-requited crush) mentioned to me that i would enjoy reading Kirin Narayan's book _Love Stars and All that_

new to the bay area as i was then, and having this aforementioned unrequited crush on this handsome fellow, I picked up the book as soon as i found a copy. and fell in love with this sweet, irreverent, romantic and yet realistic novel by a woman who was a former berkeley academic.

tonight i finally got to hear, and subsequently meet and speak to Kirin herself, at the New York Folklore Society's annual field trip (like a mini conference) up in Tarrytown, NY.

first of all, she read about 10 pages from a memoir she's working on. it was great. about her family, especially her relationship with her brother Rahul, when she was growing up the youngest of four children in a biracial family on Juhu Beach in Bombay. I was riveted... there were times when i was just so excited about the kinds of things she was writing about, that she was reading, and also by the fact that i actually was lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen, that actually became a bit lightheaded, and with a big goofy grin plastered on my face.

and then, afterwards, i got to speak to her... can i even believe, she actually even thanked me for a comment i had made upon a question she asked the audience...

needless to say, i'm a bit giddy right now, so not making much sense.

more later!

september breezes

... i stepped out of the house, on my way back to the car, to pick up a bag of cookies and salad dressing pressed upon me (so sweetly that i could hardly refuse, though i hardly know what to do with so much food now that i am no longer at the bustop coop) by the kind ladies of the New York folklore society (yes, i know... random... but anyway--that's another post...)

as i was saying i stepped back out of the house to go to the car, parked on the sidelawn in front of the two-story, two-family house on First Street, of which my parents rent the top floor. As i stepped out, i noticed something i hadn't noticed before. the breeze.

deceptively like a bay area breeze... so like a bay area breeze, that just for a moment, i forgot what the coolness of the breeze means, here in New Jersey. i was lulled into thinking this is right, this is normal, this is just how weather is.

But. Here the coolness doesn't mean business as usual, weather as usual, with the nights cool and the days less cool, as it does in the bay area. here it means: september is here, really here, maybe a few weeks late, (despite what the calendar says) but here, bringing with it cool days, bringing with it fall, bringing with it, maybe sooner, maybe later, but definitely bringing colors to the leaves, a briskness to the air, a crisp something, that, while now it mimics (or seems to, to my bay-area honed senses) the bay area breeze, it's much less an everyday than it is a harbinger... harbinger of the change... the thing that, more than anything else, I've been drawn to the east coast for... that autumn season. the fall has always been my favorite season, growing up here in jersey. then it seemed inevitable to me that trees should become glorious for a few weeks, maybe a month each fall... but for the past eleven years, i forewent (or was it forsook) the fall, in favor of the hot days of September and October in the Bay (well-earned, of course, after the cold, fog-ridden days of July in San Francisco)

But now. the breezes blow here in NJ... and stressed though I have been by this move, by the idea, even if it's not to be permanent, of giving up my beloved bay, its culture, mountains, and yes, even its fog (foolish that i am, i get teary-eyed thinking about the fog fingers, rushing, galloping down twin peaks) even so.... here is the silver lining... giving up fog for fall...

Friday, September 16, 2005

2 a.m. in Jersey

just been looking at my last few entries. it's been a long time, and so much has happened. can't even hope to catch up, not really. so won't try.

just suffice it to say, it's friday night/sat morning now, depending on how you look at it, and i've been in NJ since Wed morning. i've moved here. well. not here, here. not to jersey. but to the east coast general ny nj area. am in a limbo right now. don't know where i'll end up when. life is open a bit too, maybe, just maybe. but it's good too... so many possibilities. so much responsibility to pick the right ones, to make the right choices, each choice leading so irrevocably to the next.

hope to be moving to ny soon. maybe even by the end of this weekend, depending on my friends' schedules.... I'm moving in with some friends in Queens. long story, but they're letting me stay there till i figure things out. very generous of them and i'm tongue tied just thinking of it. ashamed to be taking the generosity being offered to me. and yet grateful.

i will try to write more soon.

Monday, July 11, 2005

on the subject of Work and Life

despite the heavy title, i'm not going to get too deep here... Just a note to say that, since quitting, I've been thinking (or trying to--tho at times the mercurial mind evades being pinned down to think in much the same way as runaway mercury from a broken old-fashioned thermometer)... anyway, as i was saying have been thinking alot on this topic...

If you know me well, you know that one of my tools for thinking is reading... and writing too. So I picked up a book last week that is helping me with this thinking process... though at times it has me in a whirlwind of too many ideas, as I can hardly put this book down. It's called _What should I do with my life?_ by Po Bronson...

And then today, Priya emailed me this:

Why Do You Work So Hard? Is it maybe time to quit your safe job and follow your path and infuriate the establishment?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, July 8, 2005 now part of stylesheet -->

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Mark Morford
ArchivesSubscribe to Notes & ErrataSubscribe to RSS FeedWho is this guy?
Why Do You Work So Hard? - Is it maybe time to quit your safe jo...07/08/2005
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There remains this enormous and wicked sociocultural myth. It is this: Hard work is all there is.
Work hard and the world respects you. Work hard and you can have anything you want. Work really extra super hard and do nothing else but work and ignore your family and spend 14 hours a day at the office and make 300 grand a year that you never have time to spend, sublimate your soul to the corporate machine and enjoy a profound drinking problem and sporadic impotence and a nice 8BR mini-mansion you never spend any time in, and you and your shiny BMW 740i will get into heaven.
This is the American Puritan work ethos, still alive and screaming and sucking the world dry. Work is the answer. Work is also the question. Work is the one thing really worth doing and if you're not working you're either a slacker or a leech, unless you're a victim of BushCo's budget-reamed America and you've been laid off, and therefore it's OK because that means you're out there every day pounding the pavement looking for work and honing your resume and if you're not, well, what the hell is wrong with you?
Call it "the cafe question." Any given weekday you can stroll by any given coffee shop in the city and see dozens of people milling about, casually sipping and eating and reading and it's freakin' noon on a Tuesday and you're like, wait, don't these people work? Don't they have jobs? They can't all be students and trust-fund babies and cocktail waitresses and drummers in struggling rock bands who live at home with their moms.
Of course, they're not. Not all of them, anyway. Some are creative types. Some are corporate rejects. Some are recovering cube slaves now dedicated full time to working on their paintings. Some are world travelers who left their well-paying gigs months ago to cruise around Vietnam on a motorcycle before returning to start an import-export business in rare hookahs. And we look at them and go, What is wrong with these people?
It's a bitter duality: We scowl at those who decide to chuck it all and who choose to explore something radical and new and independent, something more attuned with their passions, even as we secretly envy them and even as our inner voices scream and applaud and throw confetti.
Our culture allows almost no room for creative breaks. There is little tolerance for seeking out a different kind of "work" that doesn't somehow involve cubicles and widening butts and sour middle managers monitoring your e-mail and checking your Web site logs to see if you've wasted a precious 37 seconds of company time browsing or reading up on the gay marriage apocalypse.
We are at once infuriated by and enamored with the idea that some people can just up and quit their jobs or take a leave of absence or take out a loan to go back to school, how they can give up certain "mandatory" lifestyle accoutrements in order to dive back into some seemingly random creative/emotional/spiritual endeavor that has nothing to do with paying taxes or the buying of products or the boosting of the GNP. It just seems so ... un-American. But it is so, so needed.
Case in point No. 1: I have this sister. She is deep in medical school right now, studying to be a naturopathic doctor at Bastyr University just outside Seattle, the toughest school of its kind in the nation, and the most difficult to get into, especially if you've had no formal medical training beforehand, as my sister hadn't.
She got in. She bucked all expectation and thwarted the temptation to quit and take a well-paying corporate job and she endured the incredibly brutal first year and rose to the top of her class. Oh and by the way, she did it all when she was over 40. With almost no money. While going through an ugly, debt-ridden divorce.
Oh you're so lucky that you have the means to do that, we think. I'd love to do that but I can't because I have too many a) bills b) babies c) doubts, we insist. We always think such lives are for others and never for ourselves, something people with huge chunks of cash reserves or huge hunks of time or huge gobs of wildly ambitious talent can do. It is never for us.
And truly, this mind-set is the national plague, a fate worse than death.
And while it must be acknowledged that there are plenty who are in such dire financial or emotional circumstances that they simply cannot bring change, no matter how much they might wish it, you still always gotta ask: How much is legit, and how much is an excuse born of fear?
The powers that be absolutely rely on our lethargy, our rampant doubts, the attitude that says that it's just too difficult or too impracticable to break away. After all, to quit a bland but stable job, to follow your own path implies breaking the rules and asking hard questions and dissing the status quo. And they absolutely cannot have that.
Case in point No. 2: I have a young and rather brilliant S.O., a specialist in goddesses and mystics and world religions, who is right now working on a book, a raw funky spirituality "anti-guide" for younger women. She took a six-month leave of absence from a very decent, reliable, friendly administrative job so as to focus on the creation of this project.
And while she has no trust fund, she does have the "luxury" of small parental loans to help her through, though it hardly matters: Giving up her respectable gig was insanely stressful and wracked with doubt. Leave a honest job? Give up paid health care? Have no reliable source of income for months on end? Trade calm stability for risk and random chance? No way, most people say. And of course, it was the absolute best choice she could've made. Time instantly became more fluid and meaningful. Mental clutter vanished. Possibility grinned.
Case in point No. 3: Not long ago, the CEO of one of the largest and most powerful international real estate firms in the nation quit his job. Stepped down. Not, as you might imagine, for retirement and not to play more golf and not to travel the world staying only in Four Seasons suites, but to work on rebuilding his relationship with his estranged wife.
My insider source tells me it was one of the most touching, and unexpected, and incredibly rare corporate memos they had ever seen. No one -- I mean no one in this culture is supposed to quit a job like that just for, what again? Love? Relationship? It's simply not done. But of course, it absolutely should be.
We are designed, weaned, trained from Day 1 to be productive members of society. And we are heavily guilted into believing that must involve some sort of droning repetitive pod-like dress-coded work for a larger corporate cause, a consumerist mechanism, a nice happy conglomerate.
But the truth is, God, the divine true spirit loves nothing more than to see you unhinge and take risk and invite regular, messy, dangerous upheaval. This is exactly the energy that thwarts the demons of stagnation and conservative rot and violent sanctimonious bloody Mel Gibson-y religion, one that would have all our work be aimed at continuously patching up our incessant potholes of ugly congenital guilt, as opposed to contributing to the ongoing orgiastic evolution of spirit.
It is not for everyone. It implies incredibly difficult choices and arranging your life in certain ways and giving up certain luxuries and many, many people seemed locked down and immovable and all done with exploring new options in life, far too deeply entrenched in debts and family obligations and work to ever see such unique light again. Maybe you know such people. Maybe you are such people.
But then again, maybe not. This is the other huge truism we so easily forget: There is always room. There are always choices we can begin to make, changes we can begin to invite, rules we can work to upset, angles of penetration we can try to explore. And if that's not worth trying, well, what is?
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Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate, unless it appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which it never does. He also writes the Morning Fix, a deeply skewed thrice-weekly e-mail column and newsletter. Subscribe at

monday morning

it's monday. have been not working now since june 16th... but it doesn't seem that long... maybe because my first two weeks off, i went to jersey...

yesterday i went to see Khaled and Cheb i Sabbah at the free Stern Grove Concert. Along with me were Nisha, Betsy, Sandhya, and her bro.

I especially cheered when Khaled sang "Aisha," which i remember only too well from the old El Rio days... remember those? (well, at this point, I guess this is directed to Parisa and Sarah, as other suspects have long moved on...)

Why is it that we prefer our favorite singers to sing the old favorites rather than introducing us to their new music, which they must more excited about?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ohio, by way of New Jersey

June 24-27, pappa and i drove the 9+ hours from nj to oHIo... it was a bow with several strings, as pappa had a wedding to attend, and we both had friends in the area. childhood friend pranav and spouse mytheli have just recently moved there with their adorable daughter meena. it was wonderful to spend time with pranav, mytheli, meena, and pappa... we talked each night till 1 a.m. or longer! As you can see here, pappa and pranav had a great reunion of silliness, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

titles for how-to essays i could but won't write

how to live the good agnostic/hindu/jain/progressive-southasian life while making oneself *and* one's parents happy (the true duty of every south asian who was once the child of south asian parents)

how to live the utterly disorganized, yet charmingly purposeful life. How this is a lie and does not exist -- instead, how such a life leads to increased chaos in the universe-- at least one's own universe. As well as its immediate surroundings.

how to obtain the most perfectly-shaded outrageous pale orange purse at an upscale shoe-store on one's last day in Delhi, while dashing around on last minute errands before one heads to Indira Gandhi International Airport

how to agonize for days, as to whether one will or will not, or should, or should not, take up an "youcan't get a better deal than this" apartment, then turn it down in favor of living in ones co-op of eight folks, and then wonder if one made the right decision

how to (gently) snub that one uncle/aunty (they come in a pair) who, since they didn't have kids, give didactic advice on how to run one's life, and then,
how to feel guilty for not having shown the proper enthusiasm for - or respect for- that particular pair of uncle/aunti, and yet, how to simultaneously feel that one simply cannot bear yet another non-conversation with them.

how to sigh and roll one's eyes, extremely slightly and subtlely, (just so), to properly exasperate one's parent while he/she is in mid-soliloquy about his/her _____________________ (fill in the blank here---->for example, "his/her collection of Jain audiotape lectures purchased in 1991 and kept in pristine, dust-free condition for the edification of future generations"

how to spend hundreds of dollars to fly to the east coast in April, and yet never take a walk in the park with the blooming deep yellow forsythia that one hasn't seen in 10 years

Thursday, April 14, 2005

feel like singing...

that song from my childhood...

i've been workin' on the railroad, all the live-long day...

ah, yes. the so-called non-profit world revolves around numbers just as much as the corporate, without the remuneration.

of course, to be less cynical, it also does so without the mass destruction.

but right now, remuneration would be Great.

no, i Don't have a Bad Attitude!

what else?
(these are thinking dashes, akin to the thinking dots in a previous post)--------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (now here come the dots).................................................................................................(i find the dots more conducive to thinking).........................................................................................................................

oh well. there was something to say, but now i'm pretty well exhausted. it seems all i do lately is sleep, work, eat, sleep work eat, work, sleep, eat... except for the weekends where i do get some respite. but it's respite filled with guilt about the stuff i'm NOT doing, either for work or for mySELF.

money may make the world go round, but I'm getting seasick.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


i got rolfed yesterday. (sunday)

muscles in forearms, sides and biceps all hurt.


hope this works.


and tired.


work never ends


what to do

Monday, April 11, 2005

lipstick art

... continuing on the path to reclaim lost creative impulses, I decided to combine this with the idea of getting rid of old makeup.

Can you believe, i had a tube of lipstick which, I believe, I purchased in 1996. Yikes.

i decided to see how well it would do as a drawing instrument. and it was Fun to draw/paint/fingerpaint with it... bit messy too, as you might expect.

i still have some lipstick that i can't get out from under my fingernails. :+)

it's a slow journey, reclaiming your self.

and, at times, a silly one.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

sunday anxieties and fun

today, went to cafe trieste to have coffee with Nisha... and to relieve my anxieties about tomorrow's event. despite the fact that i have done fine moderating several student panels at Mills events, somehow i'm anxious about tomorrow's.

now i'm at work, ostensibly to get some work done to alleviate tomorrow's anxiety level, but of course, am blogging INSTEAD. :)

had a good long conversation with Ganesh today about their (Smitha and Ganesh's) upcoming Wedding in Phoenix! and also, about the documentary project that he and I have discussed off and on, about Desis using online dating services to meet their partners... it's moving forward, so that's exciting... something creative to focus on, rather than all the general anxiety producing stuff!!!

Monday, March 28, 2005

going home

stayed at work, working till now (7:17 p.m.)
now am braindead
going home for dinner at the veggie co-op
thank god for dinners cooked by roommates

on another note.
will have to figure out how to fit creativity back into my life.

this sunday i picked up a brush and paint and paper for the first time in... more than a year.

could only create garbage.

but, it was fun to at least create that.


Friday, March 25, 2005

happy birthday Sandip!~

am heading to bart as soon as i log off.
going to the rockridge station
getting out at montgomery street.
celebrating sandip's BIRTHDAY at ThirstyBear!


Thursday, March 24, 2005

this one's in honor of Kathryn

thanks for giving me the necessary nudge to post another blog into the ether...

thanks also to Rina for saying you noticed that i haven't blogged recently.

i had no idea anyone cared. ;)



am sitting at the college of marin transfer center. for a while there, i was fuming. and started to write a rant. the following rant is not that rant. that rant was more... rant-y. then a student walked in and she was so sweet and excited about art history and genetic engineering, it calmed me down a bit. so the following rant is hopefully less vitriolic. thanks to the non-cynical student.

you see, when i made an appointment with the counseling office to do what we call transfer hours here at this community college, (which involves advising transfer students about the application process, but also involves some level of counseling as well), I specifically requested that they (the counseling office) make appointments for me with the students. what this entails is that students call or walk in, and sign up for half-hour time slots on a piece of paper. but no, the person in charge could not do this simple task. it was too much work for her. when i walked in she informed me that yes, students had called requesting appointments but that it was too much work for her to set them up. so she'd just told them to drop in. hmm.

if she had, it would have allowed me to know several things: how many folks i'm likely to see... who's interested... when they're coming, so i can pace how much time i spend with each student, etc etc. but now i'm sitting here. not knowing if NO one is going to come in, or 20 people will all come at once.


got to get into a Zen space. i guess.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

over it...(i hope!)

just got over being sick for a week. a full week of being in bed most of the time, miserable and slightly delirious with fever, aches, bronchial stuff, and, in general all kinds of miseries...

there were moments when i felt it would never end. but am feeling much better now, tho a bit shaken and weak.

what else. am looking forward to Hetal coming to visit next week... I hope we get along and don't argue too much... and that she gets to have some sunshine and mildish Cali weather and that it stops Raining! i guess i should do an anti-rain dance to the SF rain goddesses.

am so annoyed that my sickness seems to have set me back in terms of my new year's resolutions. those of exercise, keeping things organized... also of getting on top of what to Do with the precious time on earth.................................................... (yes those are lots of dots... thinking dots.............................. brooding dots......................................................................................)

Sunday, February 13, 2005


i feel as though, finally, today i return to the land of the alive. although still coughing and weak and breathless and lightheaded at the slightest effort - like walking to the driveway, for instance- i could today taste the juice again of being here, and present. though,at times, it tasted more like tingly bitter echinacea than anything else. (the last few days i've been in bed more than 90 percent of the time,sick with fever, aches, chills, coughs, you-name-it...)

Monday, February 07, 2005

quotes from Nisha make life better

my friend Nisha is one of the sweetest people i know. and she gets these quotes of the day delivered to her inbox, and she sends them to me (and others) sometimes, if she really likes them.

after my frazzled morning, and my annoying conversation (see below) i saw this from Nisha. thank you, nishaji!

We must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence,
to find that enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and
sing our sorrowful song. But in that dance, and in that song, the
most ancient rites of our conscience fulfill themselves in the awareness
of being human.

-- Pablo Neruda

taking a break

... do you ever have a conversation with someone who just makes you want to scream epithets and say, "you're wrong! you're so wrong!!!!!!" argh. i just did.

... had a rough morning too... for *various* reasons was late heading out the door. not late, mind you, early. and then, for various other reasons got a bit later. the thing is i was still on time and not late. but today was one of those days i had been determined to be *early* which did not happen.

all the aforementioned and yet not discussed reasons could have been managed individually.

But together they proved to be stressful.

and then, the day started going better, after i realized that after all, i may not have been early to work, but at least i wasn't Late.

but then, after lunch i had the aforementioned conversation with an aggravating person. in person, which is worse than over the phone, cuz then you have to act all polite, and you can't make silly faces into the air.

mental note to self. do Not Insist on conversing extensively with people that you already know aggravate you, especially if the conversation is after lunch and that lunch consisted of pizza.

because the combo of:
later-than-wanted-to-be-morning + pizza (no matter how little) + aggravating-person-who-just-won't-be-reasonable-and-lives-on-another-planet-and-yet-you-have-to-deal-with-every-day = stomache ache.

whew. there.
feel better.
am chewing gum...

if this made no sense, don't worry. it means that you, my friend, are Normal.
but, thanks for "listening..."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

got a call from pappa last night when i was asleep. he's in india right now. Posted by Hello


Indian Born, American Brought Up Desi.

crazy day

at work.
the prospective students have taken over the campus!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

(no title can encompass Sarah Jones)

is what's on the stage--- a long banner hung in the air, across the stage. when i enter the theatre, my first visit to the berkeley rep, headed for the bathroom, there is bhangra music playing. at the berkeley rep. hmm. my head turns towards the auditorium as my feet carry me to the restroom -- i had caught sight of the sign, 'there will be no intermission' and i just know that i need to go now, but part of me wants to enter the theatre already. mild curiosity stirs. why bhangra? there must be a multi-cultural element, maybe? but the name, sarah jones... hmm. let's see.

as i sit, i'm aware that my body, after a 9 hour work day, is uncomfortable. I have my period. wish i'd had time to go home and shower before this show. i find myself wondering if I'll be able to get comfortable, and, if I'm not, will I be distracted, will I want to go home, will my mind wander and will I wish I hadn't decided to go by myself on a thursday evening to go see this show, about which i have read nothing, as I wanted to come to this with no preconceived notions.

the show starts, before i quite realize. and i'm transfixed, entranced. taken by the actors, it seems, although there is only one woman, Sarah, performing. i see before me so many. from Muhammed Ali (not the one you're thinking of) to Mrs. Levine who reminds me so, so much of the secretary at my dad's office in manhattan, to Juan Jose, who tells of a true Mexican love story that is pure romance and pure tragedy, and yet he tells it, and I find myself shaking myself, trying to see the woman behind all these characters, and then i give in, give in to the reality that while she plays these people, she is Pakistani, Palestinian, Russian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Haitian, Chinese, even Australian for crying out loud.

I don't want to tell you too much. I probably already have. because I want you to go see it.

i cried when i left the theatre. not because it made me sad.

but because it was Over.

if you want to read a more in depth review and don't mind
knowing some more details before seeing the show, go to

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

somebody keeps stealing my letters...

this is a weird site. fun for a few minutes. but people just randomly steal letters, and don't seem to collaborate on cool words or poetry... but try it, maybe you'll get more interesting folks on at the same time as you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


U.S. Army recruiters cause uproar at College Park High

PLEASANT HILL - U.S. Army recruiters turned College Park High School's quad into a lunchtime shooting range Wednesday, much to the consternation of teachers and students.

I see these recruiters when i'm on the road... it's scary how much access they have to the children of this country.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

about to

head out, to pick up Zachary's pizza to take to U and C's snazzy (so I've heard) new place to get together with the old "gang"... (actually i've got so many diff old gangs...) this one consists of minoo, ulka, conor, sandip, radhika, mallika, whom i haven't seen in forever... it'll be nice to catch up with the other side of the bay folks... whom i see less now than when i was in noe valley... logical, of course, though not really, considering how often i actually find myself in the city... like, for example, this past friday, when i went to el rio... which is a different post altogether, and maybe more of a private diary entry than a post...

Friday, January 21, 2005

did you see this??

Fresh panic in islands drives hundreds to mainland India


so happy...

i just had something happen that made my day, if not my wknd... i won't mention names, so as to not invade privacy.

there is a student who thought she'd have to withdraw, and who came to tell me that sad fact earlier this week. She thought she'd exhausted all her possibilities, but i encouraged her to go talk to the financial aid director, but I despaired because i knew she was just saying yes she would so as to make me feel better... so i called ***** to let him know i was worried about her, and that i'd strongly encouraged her to go see him... he at first didn't seem to think that much could be done, but then somehow came up with more aid for her. So now she came to see me, all radiant smiles, cuz she's going to stay!!! so happy i am. even though my neck still hurts. ;)

staying up too late doing nothing...

... just stayed up, an acquaintance, till now. got to get out of the grip of technology....

too tired to think let alone blog.

deep thought. was happier in india when i didn't have access to email for days at a time! hhmm... should try that. tho diff to accomplish with so much ready internet around, beckoning...

i got a phone call from an old flame today. he only calls me from airports on his way to or from some country or another... we have these very disconnected conversations. it used to bother me. but now i'm at peace with that. actually feeling quite detached from things in general. but not in a bad "time to worry about me" kind of way. just like, you know, a chilled out space. it'll be good to get more attached too... not necessarily relationship-wise, though that might be fun... but in general, with the writing the performing the being immersed in arts... and finding ways to service that don't feel claustrophobic and do-gooderish...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

pain is all relative

neck is paining me. pain in the neck. ha ha ha.
i'm a pain in the neck. i know SO many people who think so. But that's okay, cuz i know that you ( and you sure know who you are!) deal with it, as i deal with you. could i be more cryptic? ;)

anyways, (why am i saying anyways these days?) i am staying late at work, but taking a longish break. Dharma, it was nice to see your comments. It sounds like you are having a fabulous time in gujarat, just like i *knew* you would.

for those who don't know, dharma is my little, er not so little anymore (6 foot 3) brother. who is in india right now, first visit in 6 years. he loves being there, with the relatives, like i do. in fact i remember one of the best times dharma and i ever had together was a few days when we hung out together with family in Mehsana, where he is now... oh... wish i were there right now.

oh. okay. going to get two solid hours of work done. that is my goal. let us see what happens, shall we?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

at work...

neck still tingling.. shoulder and arm in pain... but at work... got lots of work... :)
maybe should get a kaiser appt... okay, now lunch

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

neck tingling with pain

i had this once before, in india... not fun... but this time seems less bad than last... maybe because i know enough about it to NOT try to put bengay and other warming type things on it...

god. it's only the 3rd day of this blog, and it's already getting boring and mundane. :)

i think it's because, when you know, let me correct and say, when I know, that others may read these thoughts, there is a tendency to self - edit, and think... hmm... do i really want to go public with this, or with that?

yesterday i was in a bit of denial about the seriousness of the neck problem and tried to go on, life as usual, with the aid of many, many milograms of ibuprofen. maybe not such a good idea. nisha and i were supposed to go on a hike, but that got cancelled. instead, we went to la med for some good hummus etc, and then i dragged poor nisha to some of the overpriced stores on college to shop. it was pretty funny, shopping for earrings with a bent neck, and in obvious pain. the helpful waiflike girl tried to give advice (bengay, massage, warm bath) that, had i followed, i would be screaming in pain right now. what was funny to both nisha and me was that the girl was indian. actually, let me try to explain. that wasn't the funny part, obviously. what was funny was this girl did not at all give the appearance of being indian. she was very trendily, hip-ly dressed, with a punky, pixie cut, and there was nothing in her persona indicating the usual "hmm is she indian?" flag... but then we were talking about earrings, and then it came out. she mentioned going shopping at indian stores for jewelry and needing to buy earrings for little girls cuz the indian jewelry for adults was so hugely overpowering... that's when i asked her. turns out she's marathi. go figure

Monday, January 17, 2005

monday morning feels like a sunday

today is off, thank you, MLK.

I know I should be thinking deep thoughts about freedom, and social justice right now... but sorry, right now I'm just thinking about my neck... it's in pain. i am struggling with the lofty ideals i started the new year with, and the small things that i end up occupying myself with... like, i wanted to do service to society, whatever that means, but i haven't done anything... yesterday i had a fun day. went to English tea (replete with crumpets, creamcheese and mandarin sandwiches, and lemon curd) with a friend, then went to dinner with a friend, and talked talked talked. yes, all well and good, but what happened to my goals of service?

not that i'm into beating myself up, but getting a bit cynical about these urges to do good... do these urges just exist to make me feel better that i'm at least thinking about doing something? hmm

anyway. got to ice my neck some more.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

bus stop party

was, of course, no surprise, fun!

it was the first in a long time that we all were in the kitchen at more or less the same time, cooking, slicing, dicing, stirring, tasting, smelling, laughing, dancing, (and of course Talking) away...

the tables were set up end to end in the living room and a huge dickensian type table was created with magical candles and the indian paper stars above for soft glowing light.

there was lasagna and spanakopita and carrot soup and marinated tofu and peanut sauce and salad and sangria (made by yours truly) and brownies, and cookies and good friends and former bus stoppers and of course champagne to toast Shane and Missy, who will be getting married this fall, and which is why we are losing Shane... There were speeches, and tears, and smiles and people were happy and sad, and we did lose a brother, but gained a sister, so that turned out to be okay, especially if they keep visiting us!

i have Never danced with my roomies before, can you believe? and such a shame! cuz it was so fun... pushed most of the furniture out of the dining area. people danced their asses off to everything from Beck to salsa to Spanish pop to Prince to bhangra... i think i am now inspired to put together an indian dance music cd... :)

ah... we'll have to do it Again...

Saturday, January 15, 2005

deep thought

Expectations... i find that they tend to ruin things

g'morning world!

so... am dipping my toe in this world of... blog. (what a funny sounding word)

watched the film sideways last night, with Nisha. great film, although we argued about it afterward. but, isn't that the sign of a good film, if it makes you want to argue?

go see it. here's a link or two:

Now, i should go, the Bus Stop Co-op is having a little shindig tonight, for Shane, to send him off in style... and my room's a mess, my asthma's acting up, (cough, cough), and I need to make ~Sangria~ (yum) so got to go and DO all these things. by five the room should be shining, sangria should be on it's way, and should be ready to get the house ready with my roomies.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

pondering guilt

i'm on lunch right now, and been pondering guilt. having just returned from india, i am ashamed that Ididn't cut short the vacation part of my trip to dosomething meaningful in terms of reliefwork for thetsumami victims... but reading the following bloggives me hope, that i can give in other ways. one ofmy new year's resolutions is to think more of ways inwhich i can help, not just victims of tsunami, but ingeneral.this blog is a fascinating take on volunteer effortfor the disaster relief... Mark and Yoo-Mi are anamazing couple who live in SF and engage in all kindsof wonderful cultural activities, esply hostingconcerts in their ultra cool loft-type apartment. (they call their space SOMasala; and once, I went to aDrupad concert there-- definitely check it out whenyou get the chance; it's a one of a kind experience)but right now they're in Tamil Nadu. check out what they have to say. I guarantee you'll be inspired: