Family, India, Musings

Miss Cool! :)

You know about Captain Cool, but have you heard about Miss Cool? 🙂 Well, then you have to visit my home to see her…she is my lovely daughter who got 98% in her 10th grade results which were declared on Sunday! 🙂

The pandemic enveloped the world 2 1/2 years ago when she was in 8th grade. Little did we know, the pandemic would keep us all guessing and keeping us on our toes about what would happen next.

As 2020 gave way to 2021 and then to 2022, we were still wondering the same thing:

When will school be able to open safely offline? Will the higher grades be asked to come to school first? Will the vaccines be available to the kids? Will the kids be able to take their vaccine?

Eighth grade went, ninth grade came and went and tenth grade was also here! But school was still online! Kids had to still study with a laptop and she adjusted beautifully. If I had to do so many online classes, I would have surely slept through them all! 🙂 I personally don’t know how she did it and understood the various Math and Science concepts through online learning. There were no physical interactions with her friends – it was only online chats, online parties, online games and more! But I did not see her grumble one bit…she was just the usual laughing and goofy person! 🙂

By middle of 2021 though, the two prominent Indian boards decided to conduct two semester exams instead of the traditional one board exam. Even though students did online schooling, they had to do two offline exams!

My cool miss of course made it look so effortless! 🙂 She had two bouts of serious sickness but somehow she was always smiling, playing and studying through it all.

These are her reactions for different things:

One board exam – okay – I will do it

Two board exams – okay – I will do it

Portions cut – ok – not a problem

Sit at home all day with rest of family getting stressed – ok – not a problem! 🙂

Of course, I was always behind her – telling her to study, but she had this sweet and smiling way of doing things!

She also had an in-house tutor at hand(;) – my son) who could clear her most difficult questions and queries about the various subjects. She will sit with her books, get distracted with her social media memes and platforms, get yelled at by me and go about doing her work in a totally nonchalant way(ha, ha)

My teacher:

All teens sit on Instagram with different handles and profile pictures, so that their parents cannot guess who they are! 🙂 My Miss Cool was no different and I was behind her on Instagram as well to see what she was doing! She taught me various teeny-bopper things on Insta and I just admired kids and their creativity!

She also taught me different words and their meanings and I just blinked trying to understand it! 🙂 These are some of her words:

“Amma, this person is so suss” (meaning – “This person is so suspicious”)

“Amma – Facebook is for old people”(ha,ha)

“K-pop is the genre and BTS is the band name”(me – face palming! :))

“Amma – you are always stressed” (Gosh, I was never stressed before I had kids!! ;))

“Amma – you are helicoptering me too much” (ha, ha – we mothers have to do it – don’t we? ;))

Miss Cool could also easily carry ethnic clothes without any squirming and grumbling. She was just as comfortable in shorts as in half-saree! 🙂

She is also my first cyber security student who follows my cyber security teachings diligently. She never shows her face anywhere and is prudent in her social media postings(I hope! :)) She reads most of my tech and personal posts and gives her reviews critically! 🙂 She has her own blog too and is a “trying poet”!! 🙂

The only place when Madam Cool becomes Madam hot is if food is not to her like, composition and texture!! 😉 Apart from that, all is cool!! 🙂

My dear daughter, I hope you stay cool all your life and accomplish all the things that you want to do ! Good luck for 11th grade and beyond!

Lots of love and cheer,

Amma, Daddy and Anna!

Musings

Why is it hard to write everyday?

I love to write but I cannot write everyday! 🙂 Isn’t it an irony? I am sure many of my writer friends will be in a similar boat as well…why does it happen ?

Let us look at some reasons why it is hard to write everyday:

  1. Sometimes, the plain and simple reason for not being able to write everyday is just not knowing what to write at all! 🙂 Once we have a topic that we can identify ourselves with, we should be able to write more easily…but that “topic” is usually, the most difficult one to come up with at times…
  2. The second reason might be that we might be in a writing slump – where we don’t feel the urge to write at all…
  3. As a technical blogger and author – the third reason why I cannot write everyday, is technical topics are hard to write about. It is not only about weaving stories and characters, it is about understanding the concept and expressing it in your way and correctly too
  4. Yet another reason might be that certain subjects and topics motivate us to write spontaneously and quickly while certain topics don’t motivate us to write at all…

So, how has it be going for you today fellow writers? 🙂 Did you get to write ?

Family, Humor

Wordle

Have you heard about the new Word game ‘Wordle’ that is supposedly creating ripples around the Internet?

Welcome to yet another addiction just as the third wave looms large! (face palm!)

For the uninitiated – what is ‘Wordle’?

It is the latest game that is rocking the Internet. You can find the game at:

https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

It is a one player game wherein the player gets six tries to guess the five letter ‘WORD OF THE DAY

May be the most curious part about the game when I saw it for the first time for me was the yellow, black and green tiles and the they were arranged. It seemed to be some sort of cryptographic algorithm!! 🙂 Why were they arranged that way and what was the reason behind their colors was my first thought….if you are as curious as me, read on to know more…:)

This is how the game is played:

  1. The player has to guess the five letter ‘WORD OF THE DAY’
  2. You get six tries to guess the word
  3. Once the player guesses the WORD OF THE DAY correctly, the tiles turn all green! 🙂

3. You can type a word and if any of the alphabets typed is present in the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, it will turn yellow similar to the picture below:

As an example in the above case, the alphabets ‘A’ and ‘B’ are present in the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’ but in different positions, so the tiles turn yellow….so the player goes for a second guess…

4. In the second guess, if the player types an alphabet and if it is present at the exact same position as the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, it turns green…

As an example, the alphabet ‘B’ appears in the exact same place as in the original ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, hence the tile turns green…

The player continues to play the game and guess the 5 letter WORD OF THE DAY by making use of the yellow and green tile clues… till all the tiles turn green….

Once all the tiles turn green within the six tries, the player has guessed the ‘WORD OF THE DAY and is a winner!! 🙂 The result will look like the one given below:

Can you understand this result? In order to understand it, you have to play it…:) come on and click the link below:

https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle

The primary advantage of playing Wordle is you will definitely improve your English vocabulary!! 🙂

Points to note:

Everyone gets the same WORD OF THE DAY

The alphabet in the green tile can be repeated in the WORD OF THE DAY

You can play it on multiple devices to involve more people

You can share it on various social media platforms and have more fun with family and friends! 🙂

Is it addictive?

I am not sure how addictive it is, but let’s just say that I am waiting for the next Wordle… 🙂

college, IIT, India, Musings

Should we feel proud of Indians being successful abroad?

From the day Parag Agarwal became the CEO of Twitter, my timeline has various thoughts on whether we should feel proud of Indians being successful abroad or not.

While, everybody was pouring their thoughts out on the same topic – I knew it was time for me to empty my thoughts on this too! 🙂

I just had only one thought when Parag Agarwal was crowned CEO of Twitter – “PROUD”! 🙂 Why?

Because:

  1. It is an ode to the highly criticized Indian education system and being super successful after getting through it (Parag Agarwal did his schooling, college education in India)
  2. It is an ode to our higher institutions of learning(IIT in this case, but most colleges in India are goo too)
  3. It is an ode to successfully transitioning to the US college system from the Indian college system(yes, almost everybody does it, but still doing it is a great deal)
  4. Getting ahead in one’s own country and one’s own organization and surviving all the office politics is hard enough and to do it in a foreign country is no easy job
  5. The fact is, that individuals from India are highly respected all around the world and I am really proud of that! 🙂 After all, isn’t that the aim of all who are leaving India – to shine brightly in a foreign country such that the home country is proud?

What do you think? Isn’t it amazing that Indians are super successful abroad?

Musings

No

Maybe the most difficult thing for many of us is to say ‘No’ to things we are not comfortable with. This includes saying ‘No’ to family members, friends and colleagues and at work. When I was younger, I could never say ‘No’ to anybody! 🙂 Sometimes, I used to feel that I was getting arm twisted!! 😦 and made to do things against my will! I am sure everybody might have been involved in one or two(or many situations like this! :))

How do we say ‘No’ in the most gentle manner without offending the other person? here are a few things I have learnt over the years:

  1. Time is the most important factor here. We get more confidence to say ‘No’ once we get older 🙂 These days , I can say “No” in any personal or professional relationships and wherever I am not comfortable!! 🙂
  2. Seriously though, I think it is not wise to say a straight “No” in the beginning of your career
  3. Later, in the career with enough experience you can judge and gauge the situation and work accordingly
  4. Personal relationships are a whole other matter – it is very difficult to say ‘No’ if you are young and to your parents especially! 🙂 If you are instructed to meet somebody or call somebody, you may have to do it for sometime but you can always tell politely that you cannot do it ….slowly! 🙂 after you gather some strength and maturity!! 🙂 🙂
  5. Other family members might follow a similar trajectory – it is good to say ‘yes’ for sometime, but after a while as you get older, you can say ‘No’ to things you are uncomfortable about.
  6. The best way to say ‘No’ is saying calmly that you cannot do it or if the person cannot handle a “No” you can always say you will do it later!! 🙂

How do you say “No”? 🙂 has it been difficult ? But trust me, once you get older, you will not care about anybody and say a “No” very easily!! 🙂 🙂

This is the last post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon !!

India, Musings

Indian luxury! :)

Most think the Western world is a land of luxury but India has its own hidden luxury particularly for women! 🙂 When I stepped into India after a long stint, I had forgotten about this type of luxury! In fact, this type of luxury had taken more forms too! 🙂

Yes, I am talking about the maids and other helps of India! 🙂 These are various helps in India without whom the Indian home engines will grind to a stop!

Maids –

The maid in India is primarily supposed to come in only for cleaning, but does various other things too. In cities like Bangalore, the maids will give a lending hand to everything in the house like dusting, cutting vegetables, a little bit of cooking, doing the dishes, putting the dishes away, sweeping, mopping, making tea and many, many more chores. Since the maids will be from a poor financial background, the people who employ them will also help them in any way they can(like paying for their children’s education, paying for the vaccination and more)

Cooks –

We do not need to order food from outside all the time when one tired is cooking at home in India. Cooks will come and make the dishes that you require them to make. Some of them will in fact buy the things for you and make them at home for you! 🙂 They can make rotis, sabjis, rice, grind the idli -dosa batter for you and more. This ensures that you eat healthy home food all the time! 🙂

Drivers –

Do you not feel like driving in the crazy Indian traffic? Just hire a driver…:) There are experienced drivers who know the ins and outs of the city and can take you wherever you want to go.

Gardeners –

While the above three people are required in most homes in India, a gardener might be needed only in case of an independent house and if there is a necessity.

All these people are a blessing to many an Indian household and life would not be the same without them. The Western thought is always to do the chores on their own and since manual labor is expensive, machines are employed to get the same effect. The Indian luxury though is a world apart! and is easily affordable too 🙂

Upon our return to India, I was initially amazed by the availability of so much of help and was trying to do things on my own. But I soon caved in and cannot do with my maid today! 🙂 The lockdown of 2020 in India(when maids and other help were not allowed) showed that we could do our work if needed be(the American habits were still residing in us! :)) but I have embraced the Indian luxury and cannot live without it today!

P.S. I only have a maid, I like to drive and don’t mind the minimal daily cooking! 🙂

This post is the 9th post for BlogchatterHalfMarathon

college, exams, India, Musings

How is remote work/learning going?

The pandemic struck and there has been one reality that has been binding the world. It is of remote work and learning. Remote work and learning is a reality in India as of today. With three laptops (and an almost working laptop! :)) and Teams meetings and Zoom calls in my home, it has not been an easy experience.

Prior to March 2020, I was the only one doing remote work and now, my whole family had joined in! 🙂

What have we learnt from the whole remote experience?

  1. Small children can manage with phone/tablets but those devices are not suitable for older kids
  2. If older kids and working parents are involved, then, each will need a separate laptop(maybe some manage without the same)
  3. Bandwidth issues, network connectivity, dropped calls are all a reality
  4. Many had suggested a Wi-Fi extender, but we had shied away from it – but a Wi-Fi extender is a great boon! 🙂 Even though phone companies advertise for great bandwidth, we realize it falls short, once we start using it! Hence the Wi-Fi extender is the greatest boon to help us.
  5. With meetings and classes in different rooms, different sounds from different rooms becomes a reality! 🙂
  6. However good the laptops maybe, with time, they seem to crash! 😦
  7. The mic does not seem to be work or the camera does not seem to work or the unmute button does not seem to work or everything works great sometime! 🙂
  8. School/college seem to get over by a certain time, but work never seems to get over! 😦
  9. Zoom fatigue or Teams fatigue is real
  10. Schools/colleges have figured how to conduct online exams after struggling with it for some months
  11. Teams is good IMHO! 🙂

How has your remote work/learning experience been? Have you finally got the hang of it? 🙂 How do you and your family manage?

Here’s to wishing that the end of remote work/learning is around the horizon! 🙂

This post is the eighth post for BlogchatterHalfMarathon

India, Musings, US

Which is your favorite cuisine?

I am no foodie but do give into extravagant taste drives once in a while… 🙂 Having said that, my tongue was led into an international expedition 25 years ago when I stepped into the USA! 🙂

I think India itself had limited choices then and I was not exposed to all the International delights! 🙂 Having a better half who loved to explore different tastes and cuisine, I soon learned to appreciate the different types of food! 🙂

These are some of the cuisines that I have tried :

South Indian cuisine 🙂 –

South Indian food is cumbersome to make and is definitely delicious when made with a deft hand! 🙂 (which I don’t have 😉 ;)) Idli, Dosa, the Pongals, Idiyappams, Puttus, the biriyanis, the kulambhus, the sweets and savories are just a small number of dishes that will take your tongue on an amazing journey!! 🙂

Mexican –

Mexican food is definitely cooked differently from Indian food and is much less tedious to do it too. I do love the Soft tacos, Tacos, Chalupas, Taquitos, Burritos, Nachos,  Enchiladas, Fajitas, Quesadillas and more! 🙂

Chinese –

I know two versions of Chinese cuisine – one is American Chinese and one is Indian Chinese! 🙂 Chinese cuisine involves soups, noodles, chow mein, lo mein, orange chicken and more. I have not been a regular consumer of Chinese food , but suffice it to say, that I appreciated it as well.

Italian –

Maybe, the one cuisine that I really had a tough time getting used to was Italian cuisine than any other cuisine because of the lesser amount of spices used. Pasta, Pizza, Lasagna, Pasta salad are what come to my mind right away.. 🙂

Thai –

It has been quite a while since I have had pure Thai cuisine, but loved the Pad Thai, Green curry, Red curry – all of which are sure tingle anybody’s taste buds.

American cuisine –

American cuisine might be a melting pot of different cuisines, but the Mac and cheese, bagels, waffles, fries, burgers, cheeseburgers, chilis, clam chowder, fried chicken and other dishes do give your taste buds a party! 🙂

From all the cuisines that I have tried – which have I loved the most? I think I would be slightly more partial to the South Indian foods and Mexican foods more than other cuisines just because of the taste! (though I have loved all of them and learned to appreciate all types of food)

Which is your favorite cuisine? Is it different from the ones listed above? Do drop your answers in the comments below! 🙂

Have a nice day! 🙂

This post is the fifth post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon