happy birthday Sonam

Happy Happy Birthday Sonam.

Artwork: Baby sonam by kuchu

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the carnival comes

The Maastricht Carnival starts today. I went with my friend to buy costume for the one week carnival. If you dress normally this week, you would probably look very odd and out of place (at least that's what my friend said). The town is filled with people dressed up in the weirdest costume.

We went to few stores that sold the ugliest and the most expensive dresses. It's amazing to see all the colourful dresses, something you would never wear on a normal day. There are range of styles and characters to choose from. I've also noticed most of those stuff are made in China. My budget is tight so i ended up buying a colossal pink glittery hat and a fake feathered neck wear (afterall i need it only for a day). He bought some of the strangest thing because he plans to be a female nurse. It’s overwhelming to see people around me get excited about the whole thing and the town is filled with typical medieval music. Constantly you see a pack of musicians passing by and people drinking beer. It seems like people always find a reason to celebrate here.

Today a week of wonderful lecture also ended. I think so far the best we've ever had. I was feeling bit too emotional when the guy wished us luck and said good bye. You don’t always meet professors who share more than their knowledge and experience and when you do you can't help feeling a bit emotive when they leave.

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I think one emotion we need to do way with is self-doubt, that feeling of ‘I can't do this', 'I suck at this' or 'this is my weakness''. Also the reason why we tend to have self-doubt is because we never made an attempt to see if we can actually do it or due to something external. I mean external because we always tend to compare ourselves to someone or something other than ourselves or because someone said so or indicated it that way. The thing we have to realize is that we know ourselves the best, so what’s the point of letting someone else be the judge of who we are. I also think once we put your mind and hard work into something, anything is possible. There’s no best or worst way of doing something. Each of us has our own interesting way of being or doing things that makes us different from the rest. So how ever we are or how ever we do the things we do, it’s unique and that's a beauty on its own.

Another emotion to be weary of is, worry. Bobby McFerrin couldn't have said it any better, 'don't worry be happy'. Sometimes worrying is good because it pushes you to make things happen but I think worrying about anything in general is just not worth it. Take for example all the assignments I’ve been doing lately. I stayed up untill 3 am in the morning yesterday to get it done by this morning because we had only half a day to finish 15 pages of TM. My German friend (who is the perfectionist in my group) gets too agitated as always and sees a dead end to our paper but amazingly we get it done. I've realized its just no use worrying about things like that cause everything ultimately falls in pieces at the end.

And don't ponder too much about the things you've done wrong in the past. If it’s something good to ponder about, nice but if its the things you wish you would’ve done different, there's nothing much you can do about it. It’s not true when people say having remorse or regret is good. I would say what’s the point? The best you can do is learn from the things you've done which may not necessarily have been the way you would have done them now and move on.

I also think what we need to do away with the bigotry. Apple should shop saying oranges look funny and makes jokes about them and oranges should stop saying apples are snob and foolish. I think what makes this world beautiful, complicated and something to celebrate about is our differences and not the similarities we share. If all of us were oranges, there's nothing much to talk about. Just the other day my friend was telling me that he hope for the Yanki guy not to come to the Serbia trip because he thought he is too loud and stupid. Well I told him that his being there would make the trip even more fun and exciting.

So we have four things we can do away with, self-doubt, worry, regret and intolerance. Its difficult since it’s the part of the package of being a human and having human emotion. One might say that the thing about living and life itself is the regular high and the lows. But at the end of the day if these four things ruin your mental and physical health, it’s just not worth it.

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When I look back, I think I had the most wonderful English teacher during my ninth and tenth grade. He was from South India and really passionate about his profession. Every Friday we had this thing called ‘personality development’ sessions. So every Friday we carried out range of activities other than the normal syllabi. It was also a competition and it was always fun and fearful since we got to do so many new things. I also remember students from other classes getting a green-eye cause we had such a cool English teacher. He was truly amazing. Also now that I think of it, I think we had the most wonderful English text. It was Shakespeare, poetry and short stories. Everything I love in English literature. What I remember most are the short stories. They were just amazing; the bet, the needle, the man who know too much, the sniper, the face on the wall, the enchanted poll, history lesson, gateman’s gift… These stories were so wonderful, that somehow it’s stuck in my head like a good memory from my childhood.

My Dzongkha handwriting has always been a mess but all that changed during my higher secondary years. I had this really amazing Dzongkha teacher who literarily changed my handwriting from bad to the best (well at least that's what i think). But I certainly need to improve a gazillion on my reading and writing. The funny thing is that my thoughts are bizarrely in English and I always end up putting English words here and there when I speak Dzongkha, it’s awful. You could say I speak Dzonglish and I hate it.

I have always been more found of technical subject. I love math and that’s all because of this amazing teacher from my seventh to tenth grade. I think good teacher have a huge impact on our lives, at least they did in mine. The worst one, i don't really think much about them. Like my history teacher who always said he hated history and history was crab, and he preferred talking more about his broken relationship than he would about history. Now that I think about it, I think he just wasted our time. He was a nice guy though.

I also had teacher who told me 'computer is like a flower' and 'computer is like an ocean'. He was bad but the good thing was that I never forgot the things I learned from my ninth grade computer teacher and that really helped. Our school had brand new computers (it was 1994), most of which had to be thrown away because people put passwords in them. I was really fascinated when he did all the things he did with Ms.DOS (which is a dead language now). But computer is definately one of my favorite subjects even now.

I think I had the worst teachers till the sixth grade. I can’t remember much about any of them cause most of them were mean and I don’t think I learned anything from any of them, seriously! I only remember being scared to get beaten, being scared to ask for permission to go to the toilet and just being scared of everything. It was probably a phase i went through but all that changed when i met the teachers i met later on (some good some bad and some amazing).

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thoughs for today

I feel strangely blue today. It’s probably because of the fact that today is the so called ‘v-day’, I don’t even like spelling the ‘v’ word so I’m just going to say ‘v’. It was probably something invented by one of those card selling companies, like they did Halloween and others. I am told that Santa (the fat guy that goes hohoho in December) is something that the coco cola company came up with in the early 1970s (not too sure about the date). With the red and white he wears, it does make sense. So, they basically came up with the idea of a lovely fat guy going from houses to house on sledge, going down the chimney, dropping presents and all the rest of the things. Now the rest of the world thinks it’s something that has always been there since the beginning of the beginning. Its strange how we make up so many things like that and it becomes a part of us later on, though at the back of our head we know its one big lie. It’s thoroughly confusing when illusions become more real than reality itself. Anyways coming back to now, today is the so called day to be with the person you love. I wonder why the hell you need a day to do that. But it sucks since my husband and I are in two different side of the globe (we share ten hours difference). For people like us, I think it’s a day to be more miserable and miss the person you love even more. For others I guess it’s a wonderful day. So I'll be so gald when today ends.

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to sing in the rain

‘Singin’ in the rain’ has to be one of my favorite musicals of all time. Gene Kelly is amazing in emoting that feeling of being in love.
Being in love surpasses bad weather and every other thing that would normally bring you down, it can only make you wear a goofy smile and the world seems merrier even in the rain. Love has so many manifestations and it’s abundantly everywhere. It’s in a mother’s warm embrace, a walk in the park, sunset, blue sky, jelly fishes floating in space, your son waving at you from a screen, memories, everything and everywhere. I guess we only need to open our heart and mind. So a wish out for everyone to have a reason to wear that goofy smile every day, especially today.

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worn out

I feel tired and out of focus these days. Yesterday was yet another long rainy day in Brussels. It was non-stop hoping from the European Parliament to GTZ, Carnegie Endowment, Advocats Sans Frontieres and the West Sahara office. We took the subway, the tramp and the bus to get to these places. The rain was pouring from every side; we could see torn umbrellas’ in the garbage cans. I hardly get time to think or sleep these days. Today was yet another long day of group assignment without eating a proper meal. I can’t wait for the carnival holiday to start. I miss waking up at 12 noon and I definitely need some time to myself.

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Things I remember as a kid

Staring at the sun and feeling the warmth on my face,
Watching the rain drip from the roof. It feels like you’ll flying up,
Playing rubber band between two polls and having the best time of my life,
Eating chewing gum worth 10 bucks (that’s 40) and not being about to move my jaws the next day,
Stapling the nail on my thumb because I was sure that the staple would not penetrate the nail (I was wrong),
Cutting my upper eyes with our neighbours’ gate and pretending it did not hurt or I didn’t know about the blood oozing away when I went home,
Running stupidly into a nail,
Being nearly bitten by a dozen of our neighbors’ dogs when I was happily running home,
Being amazed at the handkerchief rat that jumped out of my teachers’ hand. For a long time I thought that was magic,
Being clueless in grammar classes,
Having crush on my chemistry teacher because he smelled so nice. I also scored the highest in his subject
Copying from my desk mate only to find all his answers were wrong,
Cello taping my breast cause I was too embarrassed,
Not having a clue when I had my first period,
Banging into things every now and then. Once the injury was so bad that it made my cousin cry because she thought I was a purple monster,
Breaking million and one things because I thought I could save time by carrying everything at once.

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Battle of the Bands

Four bands as usual, this time it was Jamestown, The Imagineers, Offroad and Vortex Surfer. Anyways the ‘battle of the bands’ is a series of competition (through performance) between the upcoming bands where the audience gets to vote for the best band and the runners up. The final round wins them a recording deal and their music gets to be featured in prominent radio broadcast.

The first band was really bad, bad vocal and nothing new about their music. They didn't even interact with the audience so there was this huge empty space between the band and the audience. I was bit confused with the second band since they started with their cowboy hats on (not so much into country music) but those hats were pretty deceiving. They were the best which is why i ended up voting for them. The third band had lots of energy but they were not the best. However, the last band was really young and talented but by then me and my friend were pretty tired, so we ended up heading home after four or five songs from the band. It was another night of awesome live music.

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keep backup

Today i realize the importance of keeping backup. The thing about laptops (no matter how careful you are) is that it can give problem with booting (you never know). It happened twice with me. The first time it worked but this time around, it didn't.
I've also realized that the worst ICT people would only recommend formatting as a solution to all your problems. That's what I was offered. The thing about formatting is that, you just lose everything, the entire file is gone, the drivers are gone and things don't function properly. Internet wouldn't work because i had no network driver. However, at the end of the day, I’m pleased at the fact that i managed to have all the drivers installed (even without the driver CD) and have Internet back. Once that's done, the other things are pretty easy (illegal downloading).
It’s strange that i don't feel anything about losing all my files (everything). I guess there is just no point in that cause there's nothing i can do about it. On the contrary I feel quite happy that my laptop works properly and more happy with my ingenuity.
moral of the story : KEEP BACKUP!!

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