My thoughts run free here...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just an update

Travelling to a foreign country to pursue your futher studies, while leaving behind your loved ones, is a daunting experience. But I realised this only in the first few weeks after my dad left Sydney after he settled me here. Before that I was excited to be going to a new place, as I know it would be the first time I would have to live by myself and depend on no one. Later it became very difficult to the point I was badly depressed and wanted to go back to Singapore. 

As weeks went by, as classes started and my schedule began to look filled with activities (some of which I purposefully filled up even though I didn't need them), I got over the depression and I started to normalize things and experiences around me. I think it is natural and everyone goes through this. Frankly speaking, this experience is way better than the prospect of getting married and leaving my house to live with some stranger!!! I prefer this because I can still retain some form of independence, which I don't intend to loose anyway, even if I get married! 

The past week has been really horrible, cramming for exams in the last minute. I hope it doesn't happen again and I will make sure I don't go through cramming again! People may think I'm really studious! But I just don't care. I want to be prepared early on! So in the coming weeks, I am going to gradually start studying for the finals, which is like around 6-7 weeks away... 

The only thing I really miss is doing my daily prayers and chanting. I try to do, but I can't keep up. This week I am taking the resolution to do chanting and manasa puja (doing a puja through meditation, mentally, by chanting shiva manasa puja). Chanting is really beneficial and I don't want my mind to rot without the rejuvenation I get from chanting! I think it was because of my chanting daily for the past 2 years that has helped me improve my clarity in thinking and organising my thoughts. Not to mention, my improved eyesight!! :) 

P.S. If you want to improve your eyesight, do chant Aditya Hrdayam, which is a really powerful hymn praising the Sun Lord. Sun is the presiding deity for the sense of sight. Chant it everyday to see the results, but it will take time. Chant with devotion and faith (pending discovery) :)
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Friday, September 16, 2011

(I would) Love to be in Love...

All of us have our dreams of our future life partner. We have many expectations. 

He should be a degree holder.
He should be an engineer.
He should be above 170cm in height.
He should be a Hindu.
He should be a ........

So many expectations....

But when we meet the right person and fall in love, all those expectations just go to the bin. 

Such a love is unconditional.

Will I be lucky enough to experience it? :)
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Monday, September 12, 2011

I Miss Paper!

You might be wondering what the post title actually means. Yes, I miss paper! I miss the feel of having a paper in my hands while I read it. It has been ages since I read news from a newspaper. I feel that in my life for the past few years, I have stopped using paper altogether. I have been doing my assignments in word documents as I have to submit softcopies only. I have been reading news from online websites. My social life is extensive mainly because of social networking sites. Otherwise, I would not have as many friends as I have right now on Facebook!

Where is this leading us? What is going to happen in the future if this continues? Are we really progressing towards success or failure? We seem to be moving too fast, we have lost track of whether we are moving in the right direction. I feel that our development is not sustainable. 

It is predicted that every year the power of computers keeps doubling. That is an exponential growth, unimaginable! Not only that, the price of that computer will also keep decreasing. Four years ago I bought a dual core Intel processor laptop for $2,500 (it was an amazing laptop that is still working, never once got spoiled!), and 2 months back I bought an Intel core i5 processor laptop for $1,600. Power is greater, but price has decreased. Soon, we will have a computer with the power of the human brain, but only a $1,000 worth! What will happen after that? Will humans become obsolete? 

I read an article, 'How the internet makes us stupid'. An excerpt from the article reads,

Greenfield concluded that ''every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others''. Our growing use of screen-based media, she said, has strengthened visual-spatial intelligence, which can strengthen the ability to do jobs that involve keeping track of lots of rapidly changing signals, such as piloting a plane or monitoring a patient during surgery. But that has been accompanied by ''new weaknesses in higher-order cognitive processes'', including ''abstract vocabulary, mindfulness, reflection, inductive problem solving, critical thinking, and imagination''. We're becoming, in a word, shallower.
This article makes me wonder if I have become shallower as well! Because I am quite a heavy user of the internet. If you ask me to categorise my daily activities, the time I spend with internet in front of me would take the majority of the day. Not because I have nothing else better to do. But because my world has been superimposed upon the computer screen! My study materials are there, my friends and family are there, my music is there, my entertainment is there... Everything is here on the internet. I wonder sometimes if I can live without the internet, and I think I can, but not for long! Maybe I can go without internet and computer if there is something else in 'real life' that is taking away all my attention for a length of time. If that is the case, then yes, I can live without the internet. 
We have stopped watching TV, and we are instead watching it on the Net. We don't read newspapers, but we read it on the Net. We don't go out for movies these days, we watch it on the Net. It is scaring to think about the future, if this continues. Maybe in the future, we don't have to go to school for education, we can learn everything online! Maybe people might get married online! What else, I wonder?
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Sydney!

My first post from Sydney. This post signifies that I have settled in well in Sydney and that is how I have the mood to blog! After more than a month's time, first time I feel at 'home' here. It is amazing that I went through this transformation from being excited to depressed and finally attaining normalcy, fairly quickly. Usually it would take people longer. But that doesn't mean that I don't miss home! I do miss all of them a lot! But now, they have become more of a pleasant memory than a longing to be with them.

What I would share to prospective students going to study abroad, away from their home country, would be to only go to a country, in which they know someone, be it a friend or relative, is residing. This has been a great help for me! Especially when this is my first time parting with my family for a long period of time. But the experience is worth it. It is good to be independent, and we have to learn it in a hard way. I feel I've underestimated my ability to leave my friends and family and live away from them, after coming here. But I thank God for having made me get over it soon. Also, thanks for Macquarie University! The workload itself was enough to keep me busy :)

The units I am taking this semester are: Economic Analysis, Quantitative Methods, Principles of Accounting and Business Law. All challenging subjects, but also pretty basic! Econs is interesting, especially for a beginner like me. Although my friends who have studied Econs have no interest in it. QM is basically stats, which I am very familiar with, so no problem there :) Accounting unit is interesting and I've started doing my debits and credits, haha... And finally the Biz Law! Toughest subject of all the units I am taking this Sem. Lots and lots of cases to remember and memorise! Not to mention the legal jargon, having to study about the Australian legal system... Its pretty similar to Singapore, but there are differences too. All in all, the units are interesting, which is what is keeping me go on...

I hope to blog regularly. I wish I can, let's see if time permits me to do so.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Last Night in Singapore for this year

The title might seem like as though it is some Last Supper thing. But it is nothing like that at all. It is just that, for the first time in my life, I am leaving my family for a long period of time and going overseas. It is a totally mixed experience of both sadness and the pending happiness and excitement. 

I expect to be coming back for vacation only next year, therefore, the title is as such. Because tomorrow night I will be flying aboard A380 somewhere over the Indian ocean. Sadness sets in when the feeling of a loss of physical presence of my loved ones sets in. Although I know that I will still be communicating with them over phone or skype, I feel sad because it is not the same as talking to my mum or dad or sis in person. 

However, this sadness will last only for a while, until I set foot in Australia. Home sickness will be there. But I hope the excitement will soon take over. 

Today was really memorable because the experience I had when I went to the Sithi Vinayagar Temple today was ecstatic. The moment I entered the Temple, I was so overwhelmed with feelings suddenly and tears were pouring out of my eyes non-stop! I don't know why I had such an experience. Maybe it was because I felt the presence of God and His assurance that He will be there for me always. I was very happy after that. It was The best prayer I ever had in a Temple environment! I will take it as a blessing offered to me by the God.

I will keep blogging, I hope. For friends who will be missing me, and who will also be missed a lot, I will always keep in touch online. My online presence will always be there no matter where I am in this world :)

Bye and Wish Me Luck Dear Friends!! :) Sydney... Here I come :)
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Saying goodbye is tough

Parting from family and friends is difficult. Its going to be a very tough two weeks for me as I say goodbyes to people near and dear to me. Granted that I will come back after six months, it still feels really hard to say goodbye. There is this gnawing feeling deep in my heart that things are changing and will never be the same again. 

Saying goodbye has also taught me how much I have taken my friends and family for granted. For the past 24 years they were with me, I never once longed for them. But now when I think of parting away from them, it really makes me realize this truth. It also makes me feel a little handicapped. I hope I can say a proper goodbye and after all, I'll be back in January... :)
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Macquarie University - Flying in July :)

The more I get to know about Macquarie University and Sydney, the more I am excited about going to Australia! It is simply amazing that such a dramatic change is happening in my life at this point of time. Two months ago, I was nowhere in life. Now I am at least somewhere. I am glad I am not undecided about my future, and that is a feeling I don't want anyone to feel. It is the most confusing point of time in your life, that moment when you simply don't know what to do in your life. But the moment you come out of this feeling and face the world with a hard-built conviction to follow a particular path you like very much, that is the moment you don't want to forget. 

I am glad to have chosen Macquarie University. It is an amazing place and a pretty good university in Australia (ranked 9th). Its business faculty is way better than the one in University of Sydney. I got offers from both the universities but I chose Macquarie because of this reason alone. Also because of the cost, USYD was charging way too much for the tuition fees. Macquarie was okay for us.

After the offer arrived from MQ, everything else happened very quickly. I got my student visa within a week. I got my accommodation too within a week. That was real fast actually. This is cool... I feel very excited to go to Sydney. From what I saw on google map, it looks like an amazing place, calm and full of greenery. The climate too is not really extreme, it is a temperate climate. But I heard that July is its coldest month. And that is another thing about Australia. Their summer is December to February actually...

This is what my room might look like (but I will post actual pictures once I reach Sydney).

Amazing right? I got the East side apartment in the Macquarie University Village. I might be checking in there on the 20th or 21st of July. That means I will be leaving Singapore on the 19th of July. The prospect of leaving my family and everything else dear to me is daunting. But at the same time, the thought and the possibility of coming back to Singapore next year in January for a month is comforting. Not to mention the technology that has shrunk the world. My best friend in Sydney is going to be Skype...

04/07/2012 - Updates:

An anonymous commentor wanted to see pics of the East side hourses. Therefore, I want to post those pics here: 


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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some people have a lot of time in their hands and they spend those times to chat endlessly, without realizing that time is flying. I am not talking about friends chatting with the friends they know and meet in person. I am talking about people who chat with strangers on the web. This is such a temptation at first to chat with people, anyone is ok to chat with, as long as they are of the opposite sex! 

I too have had such a temptation to chat with strangers and I have logged into some online chat forums, met some people on social networking sites and added them on google chat, etc. It was nice to have an online friend. But out of the 10 friends I made online, only two or three of them I still keep in touch with. Having such online friends have also come in handy at times. One of my online friends is staying in Sydney where I will be going to in July for further studies. So this has actually benefited me as I have someone I know living in Sydney (FYI: It is a woman, happily married with two kids.).

All this is on one side of the online friends world. But then there is another side for the internet chatting world, and it is pretty dangerous. Some of the extreme cases have ended up in crimes committed. Some of the normal cases have ended up in a guilty conscience. Why take such risks when you know there is so much at stake? Meeting a person online is different from having to meet them in person!

I usually go to this site to watch drama series online. In that blog site, they have a live chat room widget and anyone can use it to chat with the people viewing the site. It was really funny to watch two strangers saying "hi" to each other and asking "how r u?" so caringly as if they both know each other for a long time in their lives! And the guys only talk to the girls and vice versa! 

Take a look at this print screen of a chat I was observing while I visited the site. Initially this woman was talking with a guy called "Sekar", after which he left. Then came along another guy called "har". 

Gosh! This is what is happening all over!! I couldn't stand it one day when things went out of hand in a public forum site. I and a few others interfered and chased away some people who were creating the rackus! This is where our world is heading to... Hell!
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

There are some secrets that are best if remained as secrets. Once they are out, your whole outlook in life changes. Many times this week I've felt like this world is going nowhere good. This feeling has not decreased but keeps increasing everyday.

First time in my life, I don't feel proud at all. I feel deeply disgusted. My whole body is shrivelling with shame. It is not a nice feeling to hear such blatant truths about a person whom you have respected all along in your life. It is simply disgusting!! I hope that person gets what he deserves!!
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sri Lanka's Killing Field

It would be the end of the world as we know it. That is what it feels like when we come to know about the Sri Lanka's civil war. It happened in 2009 but we only get to know the full picture now. It is very disturbing and heart wrenching. Just by watching the video footages of the sufferings of the Tamils, makes me cry. If I can feel like that, imagine what must be going on in the minds of the people directly affected by it. 

The government has conducted an unjust war and have caused many civilian casualties to result. Nobody is ready to take the blame. Nobody is ready to admit that they have been unjust. Nobody is ready to apologise sincerely. The government people had been cunning and have deviously planned the "genocide". They supposedly announced a "no-fire zone", made the Tamils move to that area, and then started shelling that place! This is atrocious!

There are many allegations on the Sri Lankan government. This was what BBC had to say:

"Killing of civilians through widespread shelling; (ii) Shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects; (iii) Denial of humanitarian assistance; (iv) Human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of the conflict, including both IDPs and suspected LTTE cadre; and (v) Human rights violations outside the conflict zone, including against the media and other critics of the Government," the report said.

The news article further goes on to say that, "The UNHRC's attempts to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka have been unsuccessful after Sri Lanka lobbied the support from India, China and Russia among others." It is really saddening that India is going along with the way the civil war was conducted and ended. There might be really good reasons to kill the LTTE, I do not know fully about it. But killing innocent civilians is just not the way to do it! 

I sincerely pray for the Tamils who are left alive in Sri Lanka, that they live a better life at least from now on! Let this war end and let humanity win. There is not even an ounce of compassion left in this world, I think. Man, we are the worst species in this world!! We eat up the world, we heat up the world, we put a hole in the ozone, we cut down oxygen-giving trees, we burn lots of fuels, we have basically emptied the earth of most of its fossil fuels! The other species do none of these! But we do. We don't need the God to come back on the judgement day. We ourselves will will lead this world to destruction!

There is no point in setting out to reform the world, because it will never get reformed. If you do set out to "change the world", then you must go to Jupiter only. The best way to bring change in this world is to change yourself first. I believe strongly in this. We have the power to change the world by changing ourselves for the better. Lets just do our prescribed duties, including charity. We shall pray and help the world as much as we can and hope for the best in the future. Let us all be peace-loving people.

Sarveshaam svastir bhavatu; Sarveshaam shaantir bhavatu; Sarveshaam purnam bhavatu; Sarveshaam mangalam bhavatu; Sarve bhavantu sukhinah; Sarve santu niraamayaa' Sarve bhadraani pashyantu; Maa kashcid duhkha bhaag bhavet; Om Shaanti Shaanti Shaanti;

May auspiciousness be unto all
May peace be unto all
May fullness be unto all
May prosperity be unto all
May all be happy
May all be free from disabilities
May all behold what is auspicious
May none suffer from sorrow
Om Peace(within) Peace(environment) Peace(universe)
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Free Will? Destiny?

The idea of destiny working to bring you to a particular place at a particular time is really amazing. Although at first thought it seems like impossible, one's experience itself teaches one that there is such a thing as fate/destiny/something that is pre-determined. It is beautiful and yet scary too. 

From the moment we are born, the environment we grow up in determines our circle of free will. This circle of free will is as big as the amount of knowledge we acquire about the different choices in life. If lets say in all the colours we only know about yellow, red, blue and green, then our choice is limited to only these four colours. Whereas the more colours we know the more choices we have. Therefore, there is always a limit to the circle of free will we have. Most of the time our circle of free will is pre-determined by the limitations in the environment we grow up in. Therefore, free will is really a misnomer!

Such being the case, our choices in life are really pre-determined. It "seems" as though we are making a choice out of our free will, but our choices itself are limited in a certain way. Many things we do in our lives, our likes and dislikes, our temperament, our natural tendencies have all been pre-determined. Nothing can really happen with our own choice. We cannot even determine when we will fall asleep. All we can do is ready the bed and lie on it. Sleep will come but we cannot control when and how it comes. Such is our life. Life is nothing but realizing this grand truth, that things are not always in our hands or in our control! 

This idea, which at first seemed very romantic and beautiful, now seems to be daunting. It makes us think that we cannot change our future at all. Though our choices are limited and pre-determined, we still have that "free will" with which we can still make a choice between what is good and bad or right and wrong! But many times we are pushed to make a choice that is agreeable to all, but not in alignment with our innate temperament or nature. For example, a woman whose talent and interest lies in dancing has to "choose" to forego her dream in completing a degree in fine arts in order to attain a degree in engineering. A degree in engineering will "secure" her future compared to a degree in fine arts which will not yield financially. Now where is the choice in that? Seems like something pre-determined right?

Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says in Chapter 2, Verse 47: You have the right to perform your actions but not to the results of your actions. How very true! This verse does not tell you that you should not expect any results at all. It only tells you that the results cannot be influenced by you. This is just like sleeping. You can only make your bed and lie on it. The result (i.e. sleeping) is not in your control. You cannot say that 10 seconds from the moment you lie on your bed you will fall asleep with certainty. The result is not in our hands. But the action is. 

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Friday, February 25, 2011

New insight in life...

Great things in life always fall in place and that is what gives real happiness for all of us. When the things we desire after, happen without us asking it, that is the greatest happiness feeling one will ever feel.

Some of you guys know that I love designing and have done many posters, a few logos and stuff... I never knew I had love for designing when I got into NUS. If I had known earlier, I might have taken an art degree. The more I get into science, the more I feel I am best suited to the Arts... Lol!

So right now, I came to know about a Diploma course in Communication Design. This opportunity came to me on its own! I was very surprised that this course matched my interests exactly! I had a long conversation session with the marketing executive from the Chatsworth Medi@art Academy, and found myself getting attracted to it..... :) The fee too seemed reasonable. But I have now decided to cool it off till I get a job, because then after that I can finance myself for this Diploma. It amounts to around $645 per month. Should be enough even if I were to just give tuitions....

This happened together with another incident, when Mr K told me that he can get me started on a small level business with my knowledge in graphic designing. He told me it would be better if only I had some professional training in this area.

It surprised me that these two events happened together, one after the other, and made me think probably its meant to be... These two incidents ignited a small fire inside me. This fire has started to show some sparks regarding setting up a small scale freelance business. But my parents are not open about it.

I then realized that I am too old for getting permissions from my parents. I have to step up and take my own decisions in life if I were to make something out of it. By my age, my mum had already gotten married and given birth to me, my dad had moved to Bangalore alone and supported all of us with a meager income. I am their daughter. I too have the same temperament with regards to this. If I don't, then I should cultivate it at least.

So I've decided to go ahead with the Diploma, but only after I find myself at least a part-time job, which has a reasonable salary prospects and slightly related to my degree in Life Sciences.

With regards to my spiritual journey, many things have happened. I just started a new class with Mr K as our teacher. He is teaching us a wonderful text called "Sadhana Pancakam". It is very direct to the point and a good guidance for a spiritual aspirant like me. Basically it means "5 verses of practices". This is my first lesson as a person desiring after moksha (mumukshu).

2 years ago or even a few months ago, I would not have declared my life goal openly like this in a blog. But I declare it here and now, that my life goal is to attain moksha. Moksha here meaning, the realization that there is nothing but the eternal reality. In other words, that I am God. However, before I get there, I need to condition my mind to be one-pointed in focus and remove the nuisances and obstacles present in my mind. Thus, a class like "Sadhana Pancakam" is a great tonic for me.

People might think that I have become a samiyar, but oh well. It is their problem! People might assume that I am trying to curb my desires. People might also think that I am not gonna marry and have kids. People might think that I am gonna repress or control my emotions and devote my life to praying, meditating and fasting... If you are one of these people, then sorry.. You are up for a big disappointment. :)

I will be doing everything what others also do, but with a different attitude. A few additions in my life right now will be my sadhanas (practices) such as 10 minute meditation, japa meditation (the one you do with 108 beads), chanting sanskrit shlokas, studying a text, and so on.

I think this will come as a new information for my friends, but it is better that I state my intentions clearly. Enjoyment is always there in my life. But I don't hanker for it, and neither will I miss it if it is gone. Some differences might arise between friends. What you value very much (like cricket, or particular clothes) might mean nothing to me. What I value, you might not relate to it at all... I don't want my friends to wonder what is wrong with me. So if they observe such things now, they know why it is so... :)
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Doing service is my duty

This is what happens when you neglect your swadharma (your required duty as per your role in life) and do rituals like Maha Rudra Yaagam. 

Someone once asked this question in my Hinduism Teacher Training class. Why offer so many valuable things and food in the sacrificial fire of a yajna (a sacrifice ritual), when many in the world around us are suffering without food or water? 

The answer is this. One of your prime duties is to do daana (meaning service to others). You have to do it everyday. This can be anything from helping a old lady in the street to donating millions of dollars to an orphanage; volunteer work to organizing benefits, etc. If you do it everyday, you will be guilt-free. When you are guilt-free, you can peacefully conduct a sacrificial ritual or yajna. Only a guilty mind will ask the above question. Moreover, rituals you do only once in a while. Whereas, service is to be done everyday. So one can be assured of a guilt-free life if service/charity is done everyday...

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Quarter life crisis?

For the first time in my life, I've come in touch with my inner most fears. It is a relief after I've confronted them. I've realized that my worst fear in life is to end up being a useless, pathetic person being hated by everyone in life. Depression and fear of rejection are the others. And of course, small crawling and flying insects, no matter what size they are! 

Another fear I have to encounter is the fear of ending up with a wrong life partner, with whom I have to tolerate and at the end divorce and move away from. I used to have a great time in secondary school, JC and even Uni. Now I feel that maybe I've peaked too early in life and there is nothing more to expect from life anymore. Am I having a quarter life crisis??? 

Will I find the job I want? Will I be successful in getting that job? Will I ever find a good-looking guy with a gorgeous character? Will I get to have him as my life partner? Will I be happy? Will I be able to achieve my goals in life? So many questions in my mind, actually made me have my headache today. Not the normal headache that everyone gets, but a high blood pressure headache!! :(

I guess I'm normal because I'm sure everybody else has these same questions in mind. Unless that person already has a job and a girlfriend/boyfriend. I am fearful also of falling into this routine of going after one object after another. Just keep on chasing one thing after another until I find something that gives me permanent happiness, while I already know what will give me the permanent happiness I seek for. 

No matter what I achieve in life, be it a great career, a great husband, a great family, a great-anything, I know I will still have to face some downside to it because I will still be fearful of retaining all these great things. The fear of losing them will always lurk in the corner of my mind, not allowing me to enjoy all these fully. Everything good and bad has a beginning and an end. This is life. I have to now live intelligently with it so that I don't get caught up in this great cycle of happiness and sorrow. 

I felt like voicing out all these personal concerns I have in my blog because I will come back and read it one day in the future. It is for my own reference. Although, of course, you get to read it. I don't care. There is no such thing as privacy nowadays, I've stopped believing in such things. I don't want to be the person who pretends to be like everything is fine/great in my life, while inside I keep thinking of everything negative about myself. By voicing them out, I feel much relieved. More than what I felt after I myself confronted these fears in me. Knowing is the first step in every problem-solving.
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