Month: July 2016

Happiness is….

Happiness is when one of your favorite songs is being played on radio and you are singing word by word out aloud at top of your lungs in your apartment on a Saturday morning in greatest city of the world.

Mr. Brightside!

 

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Living alone and enjoying it

I have been living alone for a long time and I enjoy it. I am not a solitary reaper and socially recluse but I enjoy the silence and solitude that I find in my apartment except on few occasions. I am not glorifying my way of life but I know for the fact that not many are capable to survive the choice. The reasons can be manifold – codependency, family issue, money or simply not able to function without some other human being. The last one is quite prominent in many human beings. At top of my head I can list at least ten names among my friends who don’t want to live alone for the simple reason that they don’t want to do the chores and assume the responsibilities that either their mothers or their spouses have been assuming in their lives. Anyway, it’s their choice and who are we to judge?

I read a brief article in an airline magazine once( I didn’t have anything to read as I had forgotten my kindle, iPad and earphones at home) about living the life alone and will try to recapitulate the same points here.

Take care of yourself – Simply because no one else is going to do so.

No fear of missing out – Don’t worry if you weren’t invited to some party or your friend didn’t come to see you. Everyone is busy these days and everyone has a life to live.

Make acquaintances and host get together in your apartment – Don’t worry about size of apartment, a simple potluck, movie session or just coffee get together can be held in a club hole as well.

Have more than one hobby – Keep trying different things and trust me you will have a story to tell eventually.

Treat yourself with respect – Just because you live alone doesn’t mean you have to live an ascetic life. If you like to binge watch int’l cinema while dressed in a french cuff shirt and  lying on your sofa then do it.

Take interest – Learn how to brew perfect coffee, try different drinks and keep an eye for what could be your favorite cocktail, learn about wines, go to museums. Pay attention to detail to a degree that you should be able to order coffee by saying both small cafe latte with whole milk and a small cafe latte with double shot of espresso, whole milk, decaf, caramel, extra foam without whipped cream to go please ( The example can be extrapolated to anything, it just shows how much attention to details you put. Also, few people might think you that you are just an obnoxious, pretentious a**)

Eat well – Again, living alone doesn’t mean you have to graze on a hot dog from the nearest bodega or live on french fries. Our body is the only thing that is truly ours, take care of it.

 

 

Humans of New York

NYC is famous for being rude but I don’t concur with this opinion. It’s just that people here are precise, concise and succinct in conversation, time is the key here and we like things at fast pace. One time I was in Atlanta and waiting in a bank queue, that was moving at a pace that would put sloths to shame. People were exchanging greetings with teller and I guess discussing entire life stories with them. Seeing me uneasy and edgy, the old woman standing behind me asked me “Have you come from New York my dear young man?”

Subway of NYC are its lifeline. One meets interesting people while commuting. Be it the older asian woman who didn’t speak English at all but was trying her best to engage me in a conversation even on telling that I don’t understand what she was saying.  When I got down at Bleecker, she said to me in broken English “Smile son, smile”. Another time a really old couple, probably in the 80s, were at 77th street station with the MTA cards in their hands but they didn’t know how to use it. I tried to help them and they boarded the 6(downtown) train with me. I think they were somewhere from the middle east, I didn’t know what they were saying. But they smiled a lot. The woman was so proud that she has 7 children and in incoherent English she told me that my beard looks like her eldest son’s. On 4th of July, I marched to east river to see the fireworks. It was an overcast but I didn’t take the umbrella and by the time I reached Carl Schurz park, it started raining. People held the front thinking the fireworks will start anytime soon but eventually they retreated under their umbrellas or under the trees. I was getting drenched and enjoyed it a little but after a while a Chinese couple came to me and offered me their umbrella, I smiled and denied politely. But the woman nudged him and they stood with me for 20 minutes until the rain stopped with their large umbrella covering three of us.

Think before you judge Humans of New York!

 

 

Iceland You beauty!

I made my first Icelandic friend one year ago on a flight from Copenhagen to New York. Thor is quite a powerful name for a person; during the flight he gave me as much geographic and political knowledge of Iceland as possible. Recently the country came in news for 2 reasons – Panama papers and Euro 2016. Latter is of much interest to me and the former one is quite obvious. It’s just that Gunnlaugsson got caught and many others weren’t.

Enter Euro 2016 and Iceland – a minnow team won the hearts with gameplay, enthusiasm and the celebrations. The country with 325,000 people didn’t have the ample terrain to play and practice football but in last 10 years they have come far and overcame the obstacles. The viking blood races on the ground and the crowd support supplements the energy. The two positive words that I have learned duglegur – industrious and gleðitár – tears of joy, they sum up the matches of Iceland versus any team. The thunder claps electrified and united them. One thing that I learned while watching a brief documentary on Icelandic football is that the coaches(yes they have multiple coaches) of the team interact with the crowd in a closed room or a bar and announces the team to them before they announce it to Euro officials, they let the supporters know who is playing and what they are trying to achieve with the set of chosen players. To me, this is an astounding and wonderful principle of inclusion. It is natural for the crowd to feel that they are part of the team in this case. 8% of the population flew to France to watch the games.

The emotions run high in these otherwise taciturn people and I have a feeling that Island(Iceland) players before entering the field would say loudly “Tonight we dine in Valhalla

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Iceland celebrates the deciding goal against Austria

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Iceland celebrates the deciding goal against Austria

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The thunder claps