the wonderful world of veena.

30 July 2012

is there such a thing as being too transient?

I've blogged before about not having what many would consider a suitable answer to the question where are you from, but I am beginning to realize that in many ways it is a product of my own doing. In the last 12 years, I have lived in three very different cities, and in the next 9 months, I'm going to add significant stays in four more cities to my list.

I arrived in Delhi yesterday to begin my meetings with Room to Read's Asia Regional Office. I'll be here for a week before heading up to Kathmandu for a week of meetings with the Nepal Country Office. Following that I will be in the western region of Bardiya for 6 weeks completing the fieldwork for my project. THEN I will be back in Delhi for two weeks to wrap up my project. And that's just for the duration of my IPSP.

Once all of that wraps up, I will return to Bangalore for a few weeks to see the peeps, remind Nilah who I am, and generally roam the streets. At the moment, the plan is to spend the better part of November through February in Bombay, if all works out with completing my Capstone with Kranti <fingers crossed>. That could still change, depending on if that gets approved, whether or not any opportunities arise in Bangalore, how much money I have, etc.

Beyond that, I will most likely be in Bangalore / traveling / desperately looking for jobs as I write my Capstone FPR and figure out the rest of my life.

Now, I love traveling, but that is a lot of transitions in a fairly short amount of time. It's a lot of packing and unpacking, a lot of living out of backpacks, a lot of back-and-forth, and I have the feeling it's going to take a lot out of me.

I think I am beginning to realize I am 29 now and not quite as mobile as I was when I was 22 and had no real commitments. It's not necessarily that I want to settle down, get married, put up a white picket fence, and start birthing some babies, but I think I am finally coming around to the idea of settling somewhere and creating a home of my own. When I previously lived in Bangalore, I stayed in Peace Child's accommodation. While I was in Little Rock, I rented a room in someone else's house. For the last two months I have been moving between three homes in Bangalore. I think I'm finally ready have a space of my own, a space that is inherently mine. As much as I've loved the freedom I have had to move around as I wished these last few years, I am coming around to the idea of growing up and having a home of my own.

I guess the biggest question now is where do I want this proposed home to be? In Bangalore? In London? In the States? On the moon?

If only I could figure out the answer to that question, all of my problems would be solved.
If only.

20 July 2012

the cutest peanut in the world.

It is no secret that I am obsessed with Amai's daughter Nilah. Amai's was the first pregnancy I was in close contact with for its entire duration, and Nilah is the first baby - outside of ones I've babysat - with whom I've spent so much time. And there's no way you can spend time with her and not become obsessed with her. She had my brother wrapped around her fingers within 5 minutes of them being introduced.

One of the things I missed so much about being gone from Bangalore for 11 months was missing her growing into a real person. When I left last July, she was almost 10 months old, so I missed all the months where she learned to walk and talk and communicate her wants and needs and feelings. When I first saw her again, she was a bit skeptical of the crazy loud American, but she quickly warmed up to me, and now we're pretty much best friends, just like last year.

We like to hang out with the rabbits on the terrace. We like to eat cucumbers and bananas together. We like to read Curious George and the Berenstain Bears together and then make up our own animated stories. We like to spend all day traveling up and down and through the various houses in Chamarajpet, seeing what free things we can pick up along the way. And most fun of all, we like to harass Amai.

And of course, my camera loves her as well. Because I generally only have my phone with me when I go to see her, most of my pictures of her are on here. And here they are, so that you can see for yourself just how perfect she is.

If for no reason other than her, I'm never leaving Bangalore again.

16 July 2012

30 things to do before I turn 30 [an ongoing list].

I have been discussing with a lot of friends recently that I want to make a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 next year. It's not necessarily a "bucket list", and it doesn't have to be full of big adventures; rather, it's a compilation of various things, both big and small, that I want to do before next July 1 rolls around.

My list is still in the process of being completed, but I figured it was probably time to finally start writing down what I have so far. I am open to [realistic] suggestions of things to add, should any of you have any. And no, getting married is not on the list. So don't even think about suggesting it.

And here we go.

  1. Go bungee jumping.
  2. Go sky-diving.
  3. Spend one week on my own in Honey Valley, cut off from the world and from all of my electronic gadgets.
  4. Do a wine tour [preferably in California, but due to logistical constraints, improvisations may have to be made].
  5. Complete my Master of Public Service degree.
  6. Run a half marathon.
  7. Explore a new part of India.
So as you can see, my list still leaves a lot to be desired. Mostly because Shonali seems to think running off and joining the circus is a realistic suggestion. So please help me fill in the rest of my list so that I do not have to do that. I'm not quite sure what the Indian circus is like...

Here's to some interesting new adventures in the next eleven-and-a-half months.

10 July 2012

back to the world of blogging?

Hello again, world! It's been quite a while since we've seen each other. June brought both a self-imposed and logistically-imposed break from the blogging world, and I think it was much needed all around.

June was quite the hectic month, from arriving in Bangalore, catching up with everyone, showing my brother around, visiting family in Coimbatore, a quick visit to Coorg to recharge the batteries, lots of time spent with the Peanut, Boss' birthday pub crawl, and finally Amai's birthday party to close out the month and ring in my own birthday.

Just after that, the brother and I headed up to Surat to spend a few days with our masi. It was a nice, relaxing week, and on the way back, I took advantage of an 8-hour layover in Bombay to visit with two of the staff of kranti, an awesome organization working with the daughters of street workers. From there I met our dear lost boy, Uday, for a quick lunch before heading back to the airport to commence my waiting. and waiting. and waiting. Seems I can never make it back out of the Bombay airport on time, and my flight that was scheduled to take off at 5.30pm finally took off at approximately 7.10pm.

I reached Bangalore around 8.40, grabbed my bag, found a bus, and settled in for a long ride to Indiranagar. I finally reached around 10.10pm and then caught a rickshaw, reaching Eslyn, Elvis, and Eric's house around 10.30, just in time to grab some dinner at the end of Elvis' roce ceremony. Saturday was Elvis' wedding, so there was a lot of running around to be done to make sure everything was in place for both the mass and the reception.

And in the wake of all of those happenings, the last two days have been spent trying to make sense of my life again. I've been finishing further amendments to my IRB submission, responding to quite a lot of emails, trying to catch up on everyone's blogs, trying to figure out the logistics - and feasibility - of living in Bombay for 3 months if this project works out, booking my tickets for Delhi and Kathmandu, working on a few things for Room to Read, and generally trying to sort out my life. It seems I've been trying to do that quite a lot in the past few months, and every week brings new changes to be included.

For the time being, it seems as though I have returned to the world of blogging. Pictures from the last month and a half will be posted one day soon, as will further updates as I continue to sort out a few things.

It's nice to be back.