I am only 22.95 plus tax

If you know that I am 22 years old, then you probably read my blog post in 2016. But, guys, let’s accept it.. Time is always faster than us. Especially when it’s your birthday, it goes “Weeeee”. Anyway, it is my birthday in 10days. I can’t believe that another year just passed by. I remember crying about turning 22, which seemed like yesterday and here I am, yet again, turning another year old. Like for anyone else, 2016 has been good and bad to me in several ways.

Experiences always help shape our life. I realized few important life lessons last year.

  • You win some, you lose some.
  • You cannot simply control everything and everyone around you.
  • Nothing stays forever unless you care enough for it.
  • Do not let anyone-anyone take control of your life. You earn it!
  • People walk in and out of your life, only few stay.
  • Priorities change.

All the philosophy aside, 2016 has been another ‘interesting’ year in this journey. Following are few significant things that happened to me (in no particular order).

  • My li’l brother got placed during his final year placement season. Which also means, very soon he will sponsor my trip to India. Thanks, bro! 😉 😛
  • I am successfully (maybe?) finishing my Masters program and will be converting to Ph.D. this year. Yaay!
  • I made a new friend. This dude is very intelligent and kind. He is one of those few students who is favored by all the teachers and students!! I know how awesome it is, because hey, been there. B-)
  • Trump wins. Period.
  • Junaid bought me a guitar.
  • Canada 150.
  • Traveled to Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver.
  • Started living alone. 1br unit. All me, only me. woohoo.
  • I discovered that I was in fact born with an artsy package from my parents. Before I start bragging about it, hey, I am innately good at acrylic painting.
  • 14 years of Trisha-ism and Megastar is back! 😛
  • My facebook feed is filled with pictures of engagements, weddings, and babies. Another period.

Overall, 22 was a very special year!! Life just got exciting. I’m determined my 23 will be a whole lot better.

I hate to say this, but guys, I am 23 years wiser now.

 

 

 

 

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Grass is never greener, unless you water it.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place… and it doesn´t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That´s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you worth, go out and get what you worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying: You ain´t what you wanna be because of somebody. Cowards do that and that ain´t you! You´re better than that, you can make your life a result of yourself.

There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly endures. Life is really simple.. But we insist on making it complicated. If you actually think about it, most of us try to fill ourself with vulnerability, excuses, fear, fault-expectations, etc.. Can we just stay with this moment?

Living life as it is, is pretty simple. When it rains look for a rainbow.. When it’s dark look for stars. The beauty of life doesn’t only depend on how happy you are.. but also on how happy others are because of you. Spending today complaining about yesterday doesn’t make tomorrow any better. The hardest part is to wake up in the morning and remembering what you were trying to forget last night. Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a rain.

 

Like my friend says, “Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose. There are no mistakes or coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from….”

If you have to, learn it the hard way. Most of the times, these are the most important lessons we actually learn. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

 

via Daily Prompt: Learning

 

Learning

Home Style Indian Chicken Biryani

Disclaimer: This is not intended to expect a cooking blog from me.

My blog will always be open to discuss several kinds of topics. I just wanted to write this one recipe out not just for my friends, also because I need to document this somewhere myself 😛 That’s why decided to go online. Anyway, the point is that I had tried various recipes online for Indian Chicken Biryani but didn’t get that satisfaction or the best results. Today, I cooked it using my Aunt’s (Friend’s mom) recipe and I cannot tell you guys enough, but it was heavenly. All the hours of cooking was so worth I was also enjoying my happy tears. 

Here you go!

Ingredients:

Chicken – 500gm
Basmati Rice – 1.5 big cups
Onions – 3 medium / 2 large
Tomatoes – 1
Cashew nuts  – 2 table spoons
Garlic 
Ginger
Lemon – 1
Cilanthro / Coriander
Mint leaves
Chilli-powder 
Salt
Turmeric
Garam Masala powder
Biryani masala
Oil

Procedure:

1. Wash the chicken, cut in small pieces, add chilli-powder, salt and lemon, let it marinate until we need it.
2. Cut 1 large onion or 1.5 medium onions. Add oil to the pan, fry the onions. When the onions are turning brown, add cashew nuts and let them fry for few minutes. Make sure you aren’t frying them for too long as they might get burnt. Add chopped mint and cilanthro to this while turning it off and keep it aside.
3. Wash rice, cook it in a 1:2 ratio or whatever works fine for the rice you are using. Add two teaspoons of oil and a pinch of salt to this before you start cooking. 
4. Now, while the rice is left for cooking, cut the remaining onions, tomato into small pieces. You can prefer to use cut pieces of ginger and garlic or use ginger garlic paste.
5. Add oil to a pan, fry the marinated chicken pieces in this (deep frying not required), until you feel it is half cooked.
6. Now add onions to this and fry them together. When the onions are half cooked, add ginger/garlic to the pan and fry them for few minutes.
7. Now add cut tomatoes, biryani masala, garam masala, turmeric and a little bit of salt to this and keep frying until it’s properly cooked. At the end, add chopped cilanthro and mint to this and keep it aside.

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8. While you are making this masala, also make sure to keep an eye on the boiling rice, make sure to turn it off and drain the water when it’s 95% done.
9. Once rice is done, take a pot, add the masala you had made along with the chicken, at the bottom. Add cooked rice above this, and then add the mixture of fried onions and cashewnuts from our second step on the top. 
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10.Close the pot and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Definitely make sure that you aren’t burning the masala beneath the layers. Cook it on a medium flame.

That’s it, you can now mix your rice with the onions and cashews on the top, and the masala at the bottom according to your taste and serve.

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P.S: This is “Jannath” home recipe. Thanks to Junaid for giving this to me.

Work – Life, how is it not balanced?

I am often asked to manage my work-life balance. Everyone believes that I live in the lab and that I don’t have a life. But, what is this balance really? I keep pondering about it. Are we implying that work is negative? Can work not be my life? Is it that my work and life are competing for my attention?

According to me, work and life are not separate. They are the same. For me, there is only one thing, LIFE. Work is what defines me as a person. I always loved research work, and now I am doing my graduate studies to achieve one of my biggest dreams, which I consider to be my life. How is it not good? Work is part of my life, it’s not competing with anything. For me, work is the reason why I get up in the morning. I mean, we are making a living out of it, but is that it? For someone like me, it’s not about making a living, I would have opted for a different field if I wanted only that.

Just think, what are you really if not for that “work”? Of-course, it is “only work” if you don’t like it. If you love what you are doing, it feels like your life. It depends on how you look at your life and work.

Are we able to measure the work-life balance? How will you ever know if there is a balance. I do not disagree that we need good proportion of everything in life. I mean, setting goals to visit family, friends, spend some time off work and all, is great, definitely. You cannot live by eating only pizzas, it’s harmful. (Believe me, been there).
For me, even when I am out, sometimes I just cannot get my head out of work. What’s the point? If I feel burnt out, I will definitely take a break. Shouldn’t I just be doing what I think fulfills me, instead of going by the social norms?

I am very glad that I don’t go with the regular expressions of loving/ awaiting Friday evenings and hating Monday mornings. For me, everyday is a happy day, whether or not it is weekend.

It might not be true for everyone, well,

Some people live where they work. Others just visit.

 – Seanan McGuire

Gratitude!

Being sick sucks. May be not totally, not this time. My sickness gave me quality home time, quality home food and more quality time with myself, my thoughts, my vetti-ness (joblessness) and me. All of us have this bunch of people in our life, who no matter what, are in constant contact with us. However, we do have hundreds of other people in our life, who in a small or big way, good or bad, did make a minute of your life special. For ex., that old friend of yours who used to make fun of you all the time, that neighbor of yours who was ready to pain you with a bunch of gossips, your old classmate who was always smiling and cheerful, the auto-uncle who was sweet and kind to everyone, the Gurunath uncle you had visited almost everyday.

We might be happy or sad for being away from them. Those could be good or bad memories, but, you atleast have a bunch of memories filled with lessons taught or learnt. How is life if it’s always a set of people who are with you, supporting you no matter what. They play an important positive role in our life by encouraging us with anything we do, but, life is not only about happy moments, laughters and joy! It is a mixture of sunshine and rain, tears and laughter, pleasure and pain. I would like to dedicate this post to all those beautiful people in my life, who shared their precious time with me and helped me become who I am now. 

“First, I want to thank my family. I only see less and less of you every year and many of you are no longer here. I want to thank you all for your kindness, wisdom, and patience. I want to thank my parents for inspiring me to follow my dreams and heart, making me laugh, and teaching me to always do what I love.

Thank you to my teachers for investing so much time on me and helping me understand not only the subjects, but also the values of life. I want to thank all those people around me, who were part of those obstacles and taught me that life isn’t always fair or easy. Because of them I am a better, stronger, and more independent person.

I want to thank all my friends/classmates, both the ones I talk to everyday and not. I’ve learned that not all the friends will always be your friends. Life paths change and people often drift apart. Although I’ve made new ones, I do cherish my memories with my old friends. So thank you to all of you, whether our friendship originated from the playground, chemistry lab, classroom, food court, or social media. 

Thanks to all those juniors/seniors of mine, who were ready not only to get ragged by me, but also for ragging me. You definitely taught me that not everything that feels difficult is actually difficult, and that age is no constraint for us to become friends. You also taught me that friendships need not start by sharing flowers, but with pain and embarrassment too.

Thank you to all my roommates and wing-mates for sharing a special bond of living together, for tolerating the nuisances of this girl, and not judging me and for being such amazing friends with me. 

Thanks to all those people who loved me, even if  I couldn’t reciprocate. You guys made me feel loved and happy, and taught me that love still exists.

All of you made an impact. Although my circle gets tighter, it is also getting firmer. Thank you for being a part of my life!”

P.S: I also have second thoughts on starting a diary of “My autograph – Sweet memories”. Most of the South Indians can relate to this from Ravi Teja’s film. I did get inspired from it, however, mine will be filled with everyone who made an impact in life, which is like a lot of people. Exactly why I said second thoughts. You see, as you get older, you only have more and more memories and more and more people around you, which means more and more autographs, hence more and more writing, and more and more time. Still, I guess it will be worth it. I will leave you free now. Cya! 😉

 

The unpredictable weather alert!

I was talking to my friend George and his friend Jill yesterday, about how the weather has been warm and pleasant recently and the happiness of walking on the streets without jackets or other winter clothing. The next thing I remember is waking up to a snowy day. It’s like the sky had a grudge on me, “you are gonna catch cold tonight and I will release the snow in the morning”. Jokes apart, everyone knows about these unpredictable weathers, not just in halifax but in several other countries across the planet. Not many decide to talk about it, not even me. 

We all know that the climate disruption is getting worse day by day. Ever since my childhood, I had been taught about the growing global warming issues and it’s side effects. I came across an article where UN expert Stanford said in a conference at Truro, 

“What’s happening here is that warming temperatures are doing two things. The loss of Arctic sea ice is changing the pattern by which the jet stream circulates and alters our weather patterns. The second thing that’s happening is that warming temperatures are allowing more water vapour to be transported, therefore to contribute more moisture to summer rainstorms and winter snowstorms. The combination of the two is greater disruption and more unpredictable weather events widely, events that persist longer, stay longer, are more intense and more disruptive.”

We are seeing this everywhere. We are all experiencing unexpected floods, earthquakes etc., leading to death of hundreds of people, infrastructural damages and loss of economy. As easy as it is to say that these are all natural calamities, why are the incidences higher in the recent past than ever before? We should never forget about the human contribution in ruining this planet. It’s time to take in the hydro-climatic issues personally, take first level of responsibility to protect your own properties and families. Form communities and tackle this issue together, along with help from government bodies. 

We all know about the much awaited Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio. I hope along with celebrating his achievement, we still remember his speech concerning climate change.

“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” DiCaprio said. “Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

DiCaprio continued, “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”  

Here is his speech during the UN climate change summit: Climate Change – Leonardo.

Although a lot of celebrities are becoming environmentalists lately, I think we, the general public need to start with becoming aware of the climate changes around us. Learn what’s causing it and how can one prevent it. As small as planting a tree, preventing discharge of green house gases, etc.

Here are two articles for more information on rising global climate issues and what you can do to prevent them. 
1. Climate – Extreme weathers
2. Climate Change Solutions

These are few of many articles discussing this issue out there. Several conferences/ summits are held every year to discuss these problems. It’s time to call for a change. 

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CLIMATE HEALTH IS HUMAN HEALTH.

P.S: I still love the snow.

In the far west

Wondering why WordPress now? My dear friend Srihi has started her blog recently which reminded me of my super inactive profile. This post is a small update about what I am upto.

Life has been nothing but a crazy rat-race for the past couple of years. Too much has happened in my life than just one blog post could explain. In fact, I don’t remember most of it, it all feels like a dream. Some mistakes, some regrets, some achievements, zillions of happy/sad moments, making memories for a life time. All these lessons reminded me yet again, Life is no path of flowers, but one filled with muddy roads, rocky ways, smooth drives and rough tasks. Whatever it is, we either make it or break it, just make it worthwhile! July 25, 2015 – I graduated from IIT Madras.

the-next-step-college-graduate

A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step they say. Mine has started with a single one-way air ticket to this far city, Halifax. Chase your dreams, catch your dreams, if you aren’t dreaming high enough, you aren’t dreaming it right. Heard these before? That’s my mind, all the time, and the reason why I had to move to this city. During an extensive search to start my dream career involving cancer research, I came across Dr. Patrick Lee, who is well known for his work on cancer immunotherapies using oncolytic viruses. I admire the process of learning, especially the concept of diversifying your specializations. Cancer Biology-Immunology-Virology, a fascinating combination of biological sciences. With the booming research on personalized medicines, the focus of today’s drug market revolves around these three fields. Enough of the nerd talk, but yes, this is why I am here, hoping to contribute to this world, starting my amateur scientist path, with loads of excitement and love for science.

It’s been six months now, and I am already into a head to toe busy life. Without giving much thought about my personal or social life, I blindly made a decision of moving here. Although I feel content and excited with my professional life, I wonder what’s happening with my personal life. A never ending to-do list, with a steep learning curve defining the current situation, there is no much time to deal with any other thoughts.  However, Friday nights are the most miserable, the memories with friends and family rushing back, the lonely soul suffers sometimes.The devastating time zones adding to the nuisance, I would love to take 50 hours a day. All that keeps me going is the spirit for work. Therefore, my life right now is pretty much being a “lab-bee” as my friends always mention. There is no such thing as a ‘weekend’ or a ‘holiday’, not until I win the “Nobel Prize” (not that it should stop me, but since there is no such chance, it is a great way to keep up the zeal) or until there is a cure for cancer.

relax-in-grad-school

I am still trying to keep up with my other activities, going to gym/ playing squash/ arts, once in a few weeks and outings with my labmates. I have done a lot of my first-time things, mainly before “Turning 22”. Making new friends, coping up with loss of a dear friend, maintaining old relations, struggling hard to move away from the ‘home-sickness’, being a socially awkward person at times, striving to make the best use of my time, all a part of this wonderful ride.

Whatever it is, life goes on.

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P.S: If you are still interested to read my crappy posts, I previously briefed about my initial encounters with the “Canadian” style.

Here is the link: On the Other Hand! – The well known strangeness..

Will be back with more posts. Sayonara!