In my first post, I talked a lot about what I felt I was supposed to be doing with my life (which I was unsatisfied with). After living in India a few months, I’ve had a few realizations. One is that as suspected, my work is incredibly satisfying. It’s stressful, but in a good way (if that makes any sense). Being happy with work helps tremendously- seeing as that’s what I spend the majority of my time doing. But I still have time (or make time) to do other things to help me grow as a person. I realize that some of them may seem incredibly bizarre, but after putting in a lot of thought, these are the things I actually want to spend time doing (at least for the time being):
- Learning how to ride a motorcycle (or “bike” as it is called in India)- I have always wanted to do it but never got around to it/was too afraid to in the US. In India, everyone has a bike/knows how to ride a bike. My friend Neil is teaching me (and he’s a fabulous teacher). I can now drive down a (very short) road in first gear (haven’t made it to shifting gears yet). My goal is to save enough to buy this bike (although I’m not stoked about the flashiness/manliness but maybe I can get the non-flashy version). It’s made for riding long distances, which is what I want to do. It’s super heavy so I’m probably going to have to hit the weight room, but that will be worth it. The plan is to have enough money saved/Indian drivers license obtained by March or April. Then I will have the freedom to see any part of India I want to.
- Exploring India (preferably via bike): I’ve been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and its really amazing. I think it’s basically the only way to travel. I’m making it a goal to go to one new place a month (preferably by bike but not mandatory). My dad is coming to visit this month so I am not sure if I can follow plans and make it out to Goa by bike, but next month we have a bike trip planned for to Gokarna– one of the awesome beaches a few hours away. Super excited about it.
- Reading lots of good books: This is something I missed a lot especially since I was too tired to read after battling 1.5 hours of traffic to get to the gym after work, working out, and cooking dinner for myself. My goal is to read at least 2 books a month. Good books I have recently finished: The Paris Wife, The Center of Everything, Harvesting the Heart, Tuesdays with Morrie. Current reading list includes: Enders Game, The Lean Startup, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Snowcrash, The India Way, Fireflies in December and Beachcombers. I have a weird reading style- I have multiple books for multiple moods. If I’m not in the mood for one, I read a different one. Bizarre, but it gets the job done.
- Speaking fluent Hindi: I really want this to happen. I’ve made it a goal to watch one hindi movie a week (and learn at least 10 new vocab words). I haven’t been able to do it recently (and I’m traveling for business again this week) but hopefully I will start again next week! For some reason I have watched all Ranbir Kapoor movies to date. I initially thought he was pretty lame but after watching 12 hours of his movies, he is starting to grow on me. Maybe that happens if you watch 12 hours of anyone. Who knows.
- Cooking: I actually want to learn how to cook good Indian food. Well, not good, but at least edible. I have found that cooking is (surprisingly) one of the most satisfying things I do in India. I think its because its one of the few things I have actual control over (more in a different post). Right now, it’s just random family members/friends teaching me things. My uncle and my cousin were first, so now I think I have perfected Kichidi and any fried vegetable (my cousin taught me the secret base you use for everything!) Next month I’ll move on to something/someone else’s favorite easy recipes. I still have to find the next unsuspecting victim who will teach me how to cook easy Indian food…But I basically want to cook my way through…my friend group/family? Something along those lines.
- Meeting amazing people: While traveling to new places in India, I want to meet inspiring people. I got to do that when I went to Goa last week (more in future post) and it was… exhilarating. Meeting people in real life is so different from reading about them in magazines or books. I want to make it a point to seek out at least one really interesting person every place I travel to in India. I’m starting a section called ” Professor of Life” series here where these interviews will be posted in case anyone else is interested in listening to cool people.
- Learning how to surf: Totally random, (and it may not show up on the list after I try it the first time ) but I want to try it out. Our tech lead Swaroop told me about this Surf Ashram that he and his wife went to last month that I totally want to check out. I ‘m hoping to do that in January some time.
- Taking Pictures of Every Day Events: I have never owned a camera before because I always felt that I don’t need to take pictures of big events because I will remember them (and in fact cameras get in the way of that process). But I a recent trip to my friend’s gorgeous house in Sirsi made me realize that it is the every day beauty that is the stuff worth documenting- to help us remember to look out for the charm in the mundane. So right after that trip I bought a camera to document pictures of the every day that make me happy. It really helps me appreciate each day.