Thursday, November 12, 2009


In the early mornings, I go to a café that’s open twenty-four hours. There is a man I find is there before me, and I reach there around seven a.m. He wears an old red tie and is sometimes sleeping a little, his head hung over his Dell computer.

When I first saw him I assumed he was a business man, but after seeing him slumped over his computer, it occurred to me that his tie was too old fashioned, he is probably a homeless man who spends some of his nights at this very café that I’m sitting in right now.

At first it alarmed me to be sharing a space with a homeless man. I think it made me see very closely that I wasn’t that different or far away from his situation. I wonder if he’s looking for a job too. I wonder if he wants to reinvent himself as I do.

I’ve never been homeless before but I did live in hostel once when I lived in New York City. There were mostly visitors from other countries in there, but every now and then a homeless person would show up. And there I was, confronted with my own fears of losing everything.

I remember one woman very clearly. She was Indian as well, and that scared me even more. She was highly educated, she had been a stock broker, but lost everything after September 11th. I was highly educated and I had just lost my job, god her face scared me because I could see myself in it.

This woman liked me because we shared a culture and I would listen to her stories, I was fascinated and from the way she spoke, very intelligently, I could tell she was once something spectacular. She just couldn’t get herself together after the tragedy. She was probably in her mid-forties.

It can happen any time, can’t it? We could, all of us, lose everything. In this economy the rate of home foreclosures is astonishing. What happens to these people? Where do they go? They were once our neighbors and now we fear them, look down on them.

They are probably homeless.

I think if I were homeless I would pick myself up and try to do anything, almost anything legal, to get out of the situation. But what if I fell into a deep depression because of my situation and wasn’t able to do ANYTHING like I wanted to?

I once met a homeless man in Ann Arbor and I told him how my blind father worked for EDS. He was surprised. “Well, hell, if a blind man can get a job, I guess a black man can,” was what he said. If my father was not a genius and educated with a family, he could be homeless.

We’re not that different than THEY are. I’m just lucky. Lucky I have a family and friends who can support me. Lucky that I’m educated and come from a middle-class upbringing. Luckily I’m far away from being homeless.

But if I was homeless, would the things that bother me now bother me in the same way? Would I be so concerned about my weight if I was wondering where my next meal was coming from? Would I be so obsessed with finding a mate if I didn’t even have anything to call my own?

The answer is no.

I would be different. I would be more real. Life is about survival. If I was put into a situation where I had to survive or die, I hope I would survive. I hope I could make something out of myself.
Now I have practically everything. Why am I still scared that I can’t something out of myself? Because maybe I’m not real enough, maybe I need to realize that I need to learn how to survive without all the cushions I’m used to.

And maybe I should count my fucking lucky stars. Many great writers and artists were paupers while they were alive. I hope I’m not just a mediocre middle class writer, maybe that’s worse. But maybe greatness is not what I need to strive for, but simply to survive.

So if you have a home or not, give yourself a round of applause.

You are alive.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Am I my Mother?

It starts slowly, with little things. You notice you won’t let anyone in the house if it isn’t at least presentably clean. You are nice to strangers at the grocery store even though you are in a bitchy mood. Shopping for shoes or purses can uplift just about any mood.

You buy things and hide them in the car so no one will know how often you buy things.

But there are good things too. You don’t tolerate disrespect from men, unless they are your father, in which case you try to sublimate that disrespect as old fashion love.

You want to cook for people you don’t even like. You want your man to appreciate you even when you can’t appreciate yourself.

“One day you’ll know,” she says to you when you disrespect her. “When you have a daughter of your own you will know.”

I don’t have any kids yet but I can imagine my thirteen year-old daughter hating me and thinking I am the uncoolest thing since coolness was invented. I like to think I’ll be hip and cool for my kid, but by the time I have kids they could be texting aliens, telling me I’m racist against extraterrestrial life.

Let’s be real, no one wants to be their mother, not because we don’t love them with all our heart, but because we think they have taught us to be better than them. I want to be able to shoot the shit with my daughter. If I say the word ‘shit’ around my mother she thinks I’m not acting like a lady.

If there is one thing that my mother wanted to teach was to act like a lady. Even when I go to the drug store, she wants me to look at least human, which I sometimes resent until I see tabloids at that very drug store showing celebrities and how bad they look at the drug store.

I like jewelry, but I don’t always wear earrings and my ears have a tendency to close up. My mother finds this to be unacceptable. I have shoved HEAVY 24 carat gold in holes that barely existed to make that woman happy.

But I know, I know what she has done for me. I know how much she worked and then sacrificed her career for her two daughters. So we could grow up to be women she would admire.

But I was supposed to get married and have children by now. Sometimes I think I can’t be a lady in her eyes because I have not accomplished these things. Sometimes I can’t look at her because she only sees half a person in me.

So will I be like my mother? I don’t think so.

But there are times, when Mamma, I need your help. I need to know what being a single woman in her thirties means. My mother wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. Mamma do you at least believe if I can’t be president that I can rule my own life?

What did a man ever do for Hillary? Someone asked Hillary that if she had married one of her first boyfriends, a man who pumped gas for a living, what would she have done? “He would have been president,” she said.

Mamma I know you hate that I will be selling the very clothes that you buy, for a living, after all this. But know that one day soon, you’ll know, when I do succeed, then you’ll understand the method to this madness.

If after all I can understand yours, you should be able to understand mine.


Monday, November 9, 2009


I only have half an hour to write this because my meter at my car will run out. Well I have been out of touch for a few weeks and I think I learned something from that.

I learned that I have the luxury to become out of touch with reality. When I say that I sort of mean I stopped writing for a couple weeks and started slacking around a lot more. Then I got depressed that my life was gonna be worth nothing in the end if I continued like that.

But I have the luxury of time. I don’t really have any responsibilities besides myself, and right now my mommy and daddy are helping to pay my bills. So essentially I have the capacity to get everything in life because I have the one thing many people lack, especially in America: Time.
In a way it is freeing to have time, yet I notice that when I don’t schedule my life I fall apart and decide to do things randomly and nothing actually gets done. I have all this time and it’s only when I organize it and schedule it that I feel like I’m a human being again.

So I’m caught between these two parts of myself. The part that wants to just be free and the part that wants to ACCOMPLISH things in my life. So my compromise is that I don’t schedule my life on weekends. That’s all I can come up with at the moment. I let myself be free with time on the weekends.

The rest of the time I must be either reading, writing, looking for an immediate job, looking for a permanent writing job, and then I allow myself to socialize with friends and family because I just think that’s important.

So I wasted a couple weeks, I had some good reasons, which are not even good enough to repeat, but I had my reasons to sort of go into what my therapist calls my “cave.” It’s a place I go to escape perhaps the mundane reality of life, that life requires work. The funny thing is, work is not so bad if play is also allowed. And after all half of my work, reading and writing, I love.

It’s the JOB part that scares me. I am trying to get a job in retail right now and I’m scared I’ll hate it will all I have. But I was watching Suzy Orman on Oprah the other day and her first job was working at a diner and she said when you turn Average into Great, you realize you can do anything.

So if I can turn saving money by working at the mall into some kind of reservoir that I can tap into when I finally move out of my home and move somewhere I want to live. And if I do this with the idea that work for the sake of work is all good…I think I can do this.

All the goals I have are achievable, it’s not like I’m asking to win the lottery. Although I would like Oprah to pick my book when it gets published, that would be my equivalent of the lottery. But realistically the things I want I can achieve with work and time.

Time doing work.

I want to spend this year focusing on me and focusing on my own health, wealth and emotional prosperity. Because I know maybe one day I’ll have other people I have to take care of and I won’t be able to do that unless I have taken care of myself.

So I’m sorry I was gone, but I am back, if you are reading. And I intend on moving…through time.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Thrill

So you know that song, “Oh, yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone,”? So I was thinking, I’m still happy but life sucks today. It’s cold, it’s like winter in October.

Last night I got into a little tiff with my guy, I weighed myself this morning and apparently I have gained two pounds in one day. Must be water weight, which does not matter, weight is weight is weight.

I couldn’t sleep last night for more than half an hour, insomnia happens to me sometimes. So yesterday I was like elated to be alive, today I’m barely awake, alive.

I find this all mildly amusing as I’m sure you do. The guy selling me coffee wanted to chat and I listened politely but all I wanted to do was drink coffee alone and sulk in my foul mood. The guy selling me coffee seems to know every fact about history there is to know, but he sells coffee and I see myself in him every morning.

There is something self-indulgent about sulking. I’m not feeling sorry for myself as much as I am just annoyed at the world. I decided to get a job at Macy’s right away, because I love clothes, and sell Mary Kay make-up on the side and get some freelance writing gigs. I genuinely love fashion and make-up, but I should be teaching and writing for a living. Life does not always cooperate though.

These jobs should feed me and the U.S. government who I owe money in loans to, until I get a good full time job with benefits. I do have some more leads for teaching jobs, so all my talent won’t be lost in the retail world.

But back to my personal tantrum, I feel like a kid who was put into the corner because she did something bad. I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life. I’ve lied, I’ve hurt people, and I’ve probably even broken the law at some point or another.

So sometimes when I feel like shit, I blame myself and feel I deserve it. See I kind of believe in Karma too. What you sow so shall you reap kind of karma. I would continue explaining this phenomena but I’m so damn tired, not sleepy, just tired.

I’m tired of the world not cooperating with my ideals or something like that. Why can’t everyone just behave the way I want them to? I know I sound like a petulant five year old, but I swear the infant inside us cannot always be ignored.

I want my way sometimes. Why doesn’t someone who wants to give me a dream job just hire me? Why do boys suck sometimes? Why do I suck sometimes? I was kind of bitch last night as well.

I guess I’m not nearly perfect or anything, I guess I have a lot of flaws and imperfections and idiosyncrasies. I never thought I was perfect, but I never thought I could be this flawed. Yeah, I love myself, but I do have issues.

But I have this feeling I’m not alone. I don’t know if there are issueless people but I assume they are like robots. I’m so the opposite of a robot, although I have a new respect for routine and discipline.

You know what I wish? I wish someone would pay me to write this blog and other blogs and poems and short stories and novels and essays. It’s not fair that what I do doesn’t have as much value as selling over-priced shoes at a huge mega chain store.

A store I adore, just as an FYI. I’m partly working at Macy’s for the discount since all of my clothes come from there. But there is a small part of me that is embarrassed that I have to work in retail after getting a Master’s Degree from Columbia University.

Part of me is a snob. Part of me is insecure. Part of me doesn’t give a shit what other people think.
What do you think?


Thursday, October 15, 2009


So something strange is happening.  Have you ever heard that song, “Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion,”?  Well, I think I may be becoming happy.
Let me tell you why.  Well first and foremost, if you recall, I made a request to the universe to find some kind of peace or happiness or whatever.  Well, it just so happens that there is something listening out there, because I’m starting to feel fulfilled. 
It all started with me meditating, which just means I started noticing the beauty and oneness in everyone and everything.  That we are all connected I guess, by some blissful source.  It makes me happy to think that, even if I’m wrong and imagining the whole thing, it makes me feel bliss inside.  If I’m imagining the bliss, it’s better than imagining doom or gloom.
Then I started getting up in the morning and writing this very bullshit and spilling my guts to my little world.  The catharsis alone has created clarity in my head.  And thank you again for reading.  It makes me happy to know that I somehow have fallen in love with my audience, because they bother to read my untamed thoughts.  It makes me happy.
Thirdly, I’m in a relationship and as I suspected, it’s just as complicated and lonely to be in a relationship than it is to be single.  I’m just as happy and unhappy in the relationship as I was on my own.  It’s just that he makes me smile, inside.  That’s nice.  He sort of helps to make me happy.
And then after that, I have sincerely become committed to becoming healthy.  I don’t drink Coke zero anymore.  I try not to drink too much wine.  I try not to eat shit.  And I work out on a regular basis.  I’m losing weight, slowly but surely.  But most importantly I’m starting to love my body.  That makes me happy.
And lastly, I’ve started to respect my writing as a whole, as I’ve read over parts of my old novel and written new parts of my new novel.  I also have thought about how I’m going to market my old novel.  I’m going to start writing letters to agents and publishers again.  I’m ready for rejection again.  But most of all I think I’m ready for acceptance. 
There may not be a God, but there is a Universe for sure.  And the universe cooperates with you when you cooperate with it.  I think there is a system, as system of random madness mixed with beautiful routine. 
So some days I wake up at six am and write my heart out.  Some days I stay up late and get up late and feel like I deserve this right now because I don’t have a job. 
By the by, YES I’m still looking for that dreaded word: job.  I have some good leads for jobs as perhaps a writing professor.  In Michigan I have a contact and I may have a contact at Houston University that has like the number two program in the country for a Master’s in Fiction Writing. 
Oh, and my parents are going to India for six weeks, which means I have freedom, privacy and the room to have a possible party.  I’m excited.  Independence is hard, I have learned and will learn again, just as dependence is gruesome. 
Right now I love my life and love myself.  But my journey ain’t over.  It has actually just begun.  You know that song, “We’ve only just begun…”? 
So is happiness just an illusion filled with sadness and confusion?  Yes and No.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Void

Let’s talk about nothingness for a few minutes, I don’t know why, but I find it interesting. I find it fascinating that zero, invented by an Indian man mind you, is the most important number in the world. Isn’t that crazy?

Didn’t Shakespeare say something like, “Life is a grand play, signifying nothing”?

I wrote this poem when I was eighteen:

Life is a grand play,

And it was an Idiot who pulled the curtain too fast.

The theme song had already begun before he realized,

That not none of us were fully dressed.

I used to write poetry and short stories about zero and nothing and color and the absence of color, black and white being the absence of color. Somehow I think that all of it had something to do with infinity and maybe God. Who is everything and nothing all at once.

God who is not colored but probably multicolored. My God is Indian I guess, I picture this Indian dude.

Anyways, the void, so what was there before there was God? Now someone was trying to explain this to me but I’m not good at math. It had something to do with the fact that there was nothing and then there was something at all times. The nothing I think was equal to zero and the something was equal to the number one.

There was always nothing and something, nothing plus something, zero plus one. What does zero plus one equal? One. Always One. God is One. That means there was never nothing. There was always something. There was always god.

I thought that was the coolest argument I had ever heard. Although I’m not sure if the person talking to me about this was trying to prove or disprove the existence of God, he didn’t make it clear. I think he wasn’t sure where his brilliant argument was going.

Even brilliance is after all a product of knowing nothing at all.

Sometimes it’s a feeling. Brilliant artists and writers, what do they know? Ask them and they’ll tell you nothing at all. Ask us and we say they know everything.

Hemingway shot himself. Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven. They felt like nothing. We hail them as knowing everything. It’s zero and one. They will always be something.

To be something after you death is what Plato called being eternal or something. I don’t remember his argument exactly; I think he meant that if we want to always be something, we must be remembered.

Sikhs say you must remember God. Maybe He just wants to be something.

It’s a meditation called remembering God, Naam Simran. That means whatever you are doing you remember that divinity, beauty and love in everything. You meditate on the something that is inside everything.

Even in this materialistic society there is SOMETHING inside inanimate objects. Atoms and electrons and neutrons are dancing around. Something is in there but it is also nothing at the same time. However my wardrobe means something to me at all times.

Alright this bullshit is even getting convoluted for me. I was very bad at logic or math or whatever when I was younger, but I don’t think I was as bad at is as I thought. My dad says that Calculus is the basis of life.

Life huh?

Is it something, or nothing at all?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Body Parts

So I want to talk about my body today. Why do hate so many parts of it? I’ve always hated parts of it whether I was at my thinnest at sixteen to my fattest…which would be right now. I don’t want to bore you with the list of things I hate…I just want to talk about the hate. This is how it happened:

I played with Barbie dolls incessantly when I was a child. They usually had blond hair, blue eyes, and perfect bodies. Have you ever read the “Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison? Have you ever read, “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf? Both books inherently describe how this Barbie may have ruined my body image for life.

Then when I was in grade school I read Sweet Valley High. Those girls were so pretty, in fact one of them was a writer and I wanted to be like her because she was smart and pretty. They would show their perfect bodies on the cover, describe their beautiful blond, blue-eyed selves in the descriptions. That may have been strike two.

At the end of Middle school I grew up and grew breasts and was given a little too much extra attention by boys, and a few Uncles of mine. I didn’t understand why looking pretty was sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. This was my first dilemma.

When I got to high-school I started reading fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue. In there I did find some darker haired beauties but rarely or maybe never did I see anyone of ethnic origin. What I did see was perfect bodies over and over and over and over again. That was my third mistake.

In high school I wanted to be popular but I wasn’t white, so I hung out with the “alternative” crowd where there were us Asians, Indians and non-blonds. I, along with MANY other girls, was sexually harassed by a few teachers. I wanted a good body and I wanted attention, but why was I getting unwanted attention? This was my second dilemma.

In college I learned about feminism and body image. In college I actually started dating. Men were looking at my body up close and personal. I wanted to believe that my worth was my mind, body and soul. However I wanted the frat boys and the football players and the hot men in my classes to look at me. This was my third dilemma.

In college I really learned about the concept of rape and I didn’t want that, but I wanted to be looked at and hit on and liked by men without them hurting me. This was my fourth dilemma.

When I graduated from college I noticed that in the work place body image was all of sudden supposed to be hidden under conservative clothing, yet there were flirtations and such with even married men. Then I was sexually harassed in a very twisted way. I quit that job. That was my first step towards empowerment.

When I was twenty-four and an Uncle finally did the unthinkable and “accidentally” ended up in my bed. I told my parents, who then confronted him and his family. That was my second step towards empowerment.

When I went to Grad School the man who called my house from my school and wanted me in his class was known to sexually harass his students. I changed professors and never took a class with him even though he was supposed to be one of the best and liked me so much and could have helped me get published. That was my third step towards empowerment.

After Grad School I realized that getting published may mean sucking the right dick (Please excuse my crassness). But it could be true. I never dated, had sex with or even flirted with anyone in the publishing industry. And I’m not published.

Because I want my talent, not my body, ever as flawed as it is, to get me to the top.

So why am I not totally empowered yet? Because I’m a human being. I have insecurities and desires and I’m still confused about a lot of stuff.

So why am I so unhappy with my body still? Because there is a lifetime of bullshit keeping me down as a woman. And I’m working on it, I actually look at my body in the mirror standing naked and tell myself “I love my body.”

It’s hard though, in world where mannequins wear a size zero…it’s a scary world out there. I don’t know why they are always trying to sell us skinny when beauty in every other realm of the word comes in all shapes and sizes.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Someone to Watch over Me

So I met someone. I can’t talk about it because it’s too good right now. So this is me talking about not talking about him. I respect him too much. But I’ll tell you one thing, I’m scared.

I’m scared that I don’t know how to be a person. What is a person? A human being is someone who is different than animals because they have a conscious. I’m not worried about my conscious, I’m worried …I’m just worried ok? Is that OK?

I’m worried that I’m happy. Happiness is hard. It’s the most mystical thing in the world, falling for someone, but it is also the most heart-wrenching, soul crushing…it’s everything and nothing all at the same time. (Does this sound like a crappy love song?)

He makes me feel like a woman. I’m sorry that I’m gushing and I’m sorry that I may not have anything interesting to say, but sometimes beauty is not interesting. He makes me feel real. It’s hard being real.

When someone cares for you, when you look at them looking at you, it’s like looking in a mirror. It’s amazing that this other person is so enamored by your reflection, because all this time you thought it was quite ordinary.

I want to be special for him and ordinary for him and everything and nothing.

Passion is nice, ain’t it?

I’m not even worried if this is the real thing or the false thing or a figment of my fucking imagination. The things he says to me no one has ever said before. The way he appreciates me is unique to me in my life thus far. That’s all I can say about that. OK I’ll say a little more: he’s witty, intelligent and strong.

Now, as for love. I want it. I feel like I deserve it. I cherish it. But I don’t expect it.

You know you can become a blithering idiot when you start to fall for someone. Everything about you becomes hypersensitive. And if you are a woman you usually try on a bunch of clothes to figure out what you are gonna wear when you see him.

Life can be nice sometimes; I don’t want to let these times pass me by. The rush and excitement of someone new in your life. The feeling that you can conquer the world.

The peace. The realization that you have an actual heart, and it is feeling something.

So I set an intention out to the Universe, and I swear to god, the universe heard me. That doesn’t mean my journey is over. Oh no, it has just begun.

You know that song, “We’ve only just begun…” Well this is just beginning of something beautiful, and I hope there is no ending. I hope it’s just a bunch of beginnings from now on.

I’m not gonna become OBSESSED with him and only talk and think and dream about him for the rest of this blog or this possible relationship. But there is something mildly amusing about sweet obsession.

It makes you crazy.

It makes you blind dumb and deaf. So besides the Helen Keller syndrome that is caused by infatuation, there is sometimes something deeper.

I feel like there is something deeper here.

I’m sorry if this reads like a really bad love song, but I bought fresh flowers today.

I bought fresh flowers today.


Sunday, October 4, 2009


So I’m In Ann Arbor, my school town. I’m sitting in the café, Espresso Royale, that I used to go to everyday when I was in college. I did my undergrad here. It’s funny, it‘s been many years but I still feel like myself while sit here. I can’t figure out if it is the same self that was there when I was in college.

When I think about all that I have been through in the almost fifteen years since I graduated, I think I can’t possibly be the same person. I know I’m different, I’m more mature, maybe more cynical, maybe more real or at least aware of reality.

I was so young and optimistic and naïve when I came to the University of Michigan. It’s not like I hadn’t seen some of life’s realities at home, I’d seen quite a bit since my father was going blind and mother almost ended up in jail for a false malpractice claim that she won.

But when I came here, I thought, I can be anything. I’ll be a lawyer I thought first, and fight for battered women and children. Then I realized I could fight with words, I started to realize that for me words were everything. I wanted to make meaningful speeches and write columns in the newspaper about these issues.

I didn’t know it yet, but all I wanted was to be a writer. I thought I would do it on the side back then, but I slowly but surely realized that writers have power to change society too. However I thought, I would just study and become successful because I assumed I would learn to become brilliant here.

In this school I dreamed of changing the world. I dreamed of “being the change in the world I wanted to see.” I remember that, but not every day. Yes I developed plans in life where later I will teach in underprivileged countries and eventually open up a school for the battered women and children in India.

However, I haven’t gone to those countries and worked yet. Other things came up. Important things. Life. I thought I would be part of a revolution of some sort. A revolution for women, a revolution for peace.

Little did I know that that revolution would include voting for a black president. Little did I know that I would become that woman who had to save herself from the abusive men in her past. (Let’s just say as a woman I went through very much because of the lack of laws and social stigmas against sexual abuse and exploitation).

Little did I know that everyone has to first have their own personal revolution, before they can change the world. I thought the world was a lot NICER than it is. I thought life would be a lot EASIER than it was.

I totally assumed I’d be married with children by now. I’m sitting here, and I’m so glad I’m not married with children yet. There is much of my revolution that must continue to occur before I am ready to give myself to someone completely and feel I can actually bring another human being into this mad, mad, world. Although I am looking around and feel ready to start this journey in my life, I’m glad I waited.

Then there is my own madness I must deal with. I never knew, when I was eighteen, that I had the capacity to become as mad as I have become at certain points in my life. When I say mad I mean it in both meanings of the word: Madness and Anger.

I never knew the world could make me react that way.

God I miss that. I miss not knowing. I came to this University to dispel my ignorance. And I read about wisdom and I wrote about wisdom and I even had a wise thought or two. But I didn’t know that real wisdom comes with a price. With scars and pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I have experienced unmentionable beauty and love, but I expected that. What I didn’t expect was the beauty of knowledge and understanding the world as it really is and not how it plays out in the books.

Sometimes I miss my old dreams.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marrying Yourself

There seems to be something very interesting in the West that is different than in most other societies. The idea that you NEED another person to make you happy is considered weak, dependent, unoriginal, and archaic. In many parts of the world being married and having a family is considered the basis of life.

Yet in America we have this “Self” that we are constantly trying to make friends with, to marry, to love more than we love anyone else. But is it natural to love yourself more than you love anyone else? Is it really true that you can’t “really” love anyone else until you love yourself? I think when you come out of the womb you love your mother; you don’t even know you have a self at that point.

Loving another human being is the first, most natural of our inclinations. Life is actually usually created through this love of another person. Yet we live in a society that promotes the idea that everything should be self-contained, even love, that loving yourself is somehow “The Greatest Love of All.”

But think about your past, think of a happy time, and I bet it was usually a relationship with someone else that made you happy. Whether it was your best friend, your boyfriend, your mother, or your own kid. Relationships, romantic or otherwise, are usually what the most loving and happy times in our lives are made of.

Yet there is this notion in our society that we must learn to be HAPPY WITH OURSELVES, BY OURSELVES, FOR OURSELVES, TIL DEATH DO US IN. The desperate need to be coupled that most single people feel at some point in their lives is considered an emotional flaw.

Perhaps, however, loneliness is the flaw. Maybe it’s not natural to be alone, at least for humans. The most natural thing we do is talk to another person, hug another person, make love to another person. Staring at a computer all day is perhaps the most unnatural thing we do. Sitting alone and watching T.V., where other people are being natural and talking and hugging and loving, is perhaps our version of fake living, it’s certainly not natural.

But “real life” involves the risk of ending up “alone.” So I think that as a protective mechanism we have created this notion that being independent is the final test of a person’s worth. I mean if I lived in India it would be considered very appropriate for me to live with my parents until I got married.

However in the U.S., I have this great desire to be alone, yet the times when I have lived alone I was lonely some of the time and felt that was my own fault somehow. Even having roommates that I didn’t like very much or a boyfriend I didn’t love helped erase the loneliness. Even the experiences I have with people I didn’t necessarily “love” were sometimes better memories than I have of being alone.

And what do I do when I’m alone? I read. Usually about other people having relationships with other people. Some of my greatest memories alone are with novels that have moved me. Another thing I love to do is watch movies. Again these movies are always about people making people happy or sad or mad. I also like to listen to music, and nearly every song is a love song of some sort.

Does being alone even exist? Because when you are alone, let’s say you are taking a walk. It’s nice to have nature around, and nature is like other beings. I mean even goddamn bugs and birds are around, trees seem to have personalities and even water seems to speak to me.

I’m alone right now, but writing assumes an audience since I’m not writing this to myself. It’s a conversation, and although I love writing more than anything else, sometimes I wish a man I loved was maybe sitting across from me at this same table. Even if he was writing his own life and not paying attention to me, the idea of not being alone would be nice sometimes.

I go to a café everyday when I’m writing in order to have someone smile at me, someone breathe in the same room as me. Does this mean I don’t love myself? I don’t think solitude is the measure of how much you love yourself. Probably how you let other people treat you, how you treat others, is the measure of how much you love yourself.

As much as we love our independence, most of us would not survive alone on island like Tom Hanks in that movie where he finds himself alone in the middle of the ocean. Yet maybe, there is something to be said for self-preservation, if we were in that circumstance. But most of us have people. If we do, it’s the luckiest thing we can have and the reason we would want to continue living even if those people disappear or die.

It’s true that we all die alone. However, we don’t have to “live alone” to prepare for that death. Perhaps there are some kinds of relationships out there even after we die alone.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Expectations

I think I’ve read too many books and watched too many films because what was I expecting out of life? I think I was expecting it to read like a novel or play out like movie. I’m thirty-three years old, living with my parents again, jobless, boyfriendless, husbandless and childless.

I was talking to a young high-school student a minute ago and I looked at her beautiful young face, she has her whole world ahead of her and she was asking ME what to do with her life? ME, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’ve fucked up…I don’t know where I am…I have a Master’s Degree and I call my parents at ten o’clock at night to tell them where I am.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a sense of humor about my existence at this moment and I don’t necessarily look down on myself. It’s just hard being alive, for most of us, I assume. Because I feel like there are those who have a job, a husband and kids and still feel this void or emptiness that I sometimes feel.

I mean as much as I wish I were thinner, richer, and more famous, I think about Michael Jackson. He was the thinnest, richest, most famous mother-fucker (excuse my language) in the world. But the man couldn’t sleep at night.

I can sleep at night. I don’t do drugs. I try not to drink too much wine. There are people in this world who love me, despite my many flaws and the horrific mistakes I’ve made in my life.

I’m lucky.

But what did I expect?

After all that fuckin’ work, I think Michael Jackson at least, at the very least, expected to be able to sleep in his silk sheets with hundreds of thread counts. My sheets are from Sam’s club, they are beautiful but I got them at a good price. Michael Jackson was beautiful, but at what price? How much did he pay for that beauty, I mean that both literally and metaphorically.

What did he expect?

I think he expected to find love. I think that’s all any of us wants. Whether it be the love of a partner, the love of children, or the love of the public. He wanted it all. He was lucky. He had kids who loved him, a public who hated to love him, and if he tried I’m sure he could have found a partner of some kind, alien or otherwise (I’m kidding). I hate to disrespect the dead, but you have to admit, among other things, he was a weirdo. But even weirdo’s are worthy of love.

Sometimes I think I’m a weirdo.

Unlike other Indian second generation children, I didn’t become a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. I don’t have a steady career. If it weren’t for my parents I might be homeless right now, alright I’m exaggerating. I’m sure I could get my lazy ass up and wait tables and live in a shack.

But my precious upper-middle class ass likes the luxury of Egyptian cotton sheets from Sam’s Club. My privileged self enjoys the comfort of family and old friends. I’m ready to go on my own again, but I have the support and love of a clan.

Perhaps all those people who cried at Michael Jackson’s funeral should have cried to his face. Should have told him how much they loved him when he was alive. I can’t imagine he wanted more in life than that elaborate funeral.

I don’t want to be dead yet, but I want to live like Michael died. I don’t want to live how he lived. But, I wish the world would cry to my face and say, “I love you.”

Call me vain.


Monday, September 28, 2009


So I decided to put myself on a regimented schedule. It’s very unlike me, but I realized that I think having some sort of discipline helps me to convert my creativity into something tangible. Perhaps, a life even. It helps to turn the fire inside me into something I can gradually cook.

There’s a part of me that thinks we are all animals and we work by instinct and I should have the proper intuition to know what to do at any given hour. However, there is another part of me that thinks we are machines, like robots with a personality, and we need to be told what to do at any given hour. Even if I am the one telling myself what to do.

There is something decent about discipline; it seems to make an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable universe, livable. I can’t make the weather become what I want it to be on any given day, but I can decide to go to the gym at nine-a.m. every morning.

I can’t predict whether Obama will be able to pass his health plan, but I know I will be able to pass mine. I know I can be healthy if I make a decision to do the right thing every day. No, don’t get me wrong. Rules are made to be broken. I ate a sugar free-health-nut breakfast and then came to this coffee shop and had biscotti, which is a European version of a chocolate thingy you dip in coffee.

Even though I told myself I would not have sugar or coffee this morning, I did it anyways I broke my discipline even as I am starting it. But that’s the kind of person that I am, I believe there is a human being behind all of my actions and I often let that human being have its cravings and idiosyncrasies.

So what I’m trying to say is, discipline is a good thing, but it can be kind of like religion. There is a saying in Buddhism that goes something like this: Religion is like a boat, it ferries you across life. However once you get to your destination, there is no need to carry the boat on your head.

I think discipline is like that, it is supposed to carry you to some destination, some goal, but the discipline itself is not the destination and once you have achieved your goal, you need not burden yourself with the excessive rules of discipline. For example, I like to write in the mornings, that’s when my creative energy seems to be flowing lately. Now, if I can get myself to a great writing job and selling my book, then I may decide later that the morning writing ritual is better done at night or smack in the middle of the day.

If I do ever become a successful writer, I will realize it wasn’t the morning that saved me, but the creativity that I tapped into during the time of the day that I chose, or the universe chose, to give me a creative time and space.

It is strange though, the idea that we need to do the same thing over and over every day in order to feel alive. Like every morning and night, I brush my teeth and I don’t know where I would be without this ritual. I mean besides having disgusting yellow teeth, I NEED to feel that brush against my mouth every morning and night. I found myself without a brush the other day when I spent the night at my sister’s and I found that the rest of the day didn’t taste right even though I brushed with my finger and toothpaste. I felt incomplete, I felt partially naked, and a little gross.

If I didn’t make myself write and read every day, or almost every day, could I even call myself a writer? It’s the discipline of writing that makes me a writer, not my love of words or my miniscule talent, but the act of writing itself, and doing it on a regular basis, that makes me who I am.

So as much as I’d like to think I’m not a creature of habit, I am. They say it is our actions that make us who we are, not the words we use to describe ourselves. So I’ve decided to act on who I think I am.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So I’m vaguely acquainted with a very intelligent guy who works at this coffee shop and happens to be an Orthodox Christian and pretty conservative in his views. I kind of got to know him before I realized he was so conservative.

He doesn’t hate me because I’m not Christian, but I wonder, does he think I will go to Hell as he hands me my coffee?

And anyways, does it matter that he might think these things in the back of his mind and treat me with complete respect to my face. But then what does the word ‘respect’ mean?

And how much do I judge him for believing his way is the only way. But we have these amazing conversations about politics and history and I can’t just dismiss him as someone I don’t want to associate with. Even though if it came down to it, and we were in some kind of civil war between Christians and Non-Christians and they were coming after me with knives, would he hide me in his basement?

That’s the test isn’t it? That’s what happened during the Holocaust and the Partition of India and Pakistan. People were being persecuted for their religious beliefs and ‘enemies’ were hiding each other in their homes and saving each other’s lives because after all, even if you were a Christian who believed the Jews hiding in your attic were going to Hell, you knew there was something more Hellish about religious persecution.

My friend at the Coffee Shop doesn’t hate homosexuals; he just doesn’t like to think about them. He wishes his female neighbor would stop hitting on his girlfriend and telling her she’s missing out on something profound by not copulating with her.

I happen to be straight, and I don’t hate straight men but I wish many of them would stop harassing women to go to bed with them. Am I that different than this guy at the coffee shop? I don’t necessary like the idea of polygamy, but I don’t hate people who are doing it.

See I think I hate polygamy for the right reasons, because women are usually being treated badly, or so I assume, in these circumstances. But what I do I know about the love of sisterhood that these women who share a husband have? What does this guy at the café know about love between two men?

Is it better to just not think about the things that you are uncomfortable with? Or is better to confront them in your mind before you are confronted with them in life? This guy working at the Café just wishes Homosexuals would stop shoving it in his face.

I wish the conservative right would stop shoving Jesus in my face. I’m delighted when someone even knows the name of my religion, but they don’t even know that I’ve studied their Bible in school, written papers on it. Compared other texts to it, accepted that it is what this society I live is based on.

So how do we peacefully coexist with people who have different beliefs than us in times of relative peace? I guess it begs the question, what is peace? If homosexuals can’t get married in most states, is that peace? If young girls are raped and then forced into marriage in polygamous societies, is that peace? Just ‘cause this Orthodox Christian guy smiles at me politely and asks me how my day was, should I trust him to not spit in my coffee?

I think it all comes down to this strange notion of intuition. They tell women to always trust their intuition around men, and if they feel unsafe, they should trust that feeling. I think this guy who works at my hangout and once lived in a Monastery has a good heart. I feel like he’s good people.

I don’t know if he would always do the right thing when it comes to respecting those who are different than him but he has not offended me thus far. And that’s as far as I’ll go right now. I’ll converse with this complete stranger who says it’s so amazing that in coffee shops meet who would never otherwise meet. He says coffee shops should be in every neighborhood in America.

I agree.

Later, we will agree to disagree.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


I think I got a little dissillusioned or however you spell that, can you have that feeling if you can't spell it? I almost quit my blog because I was feeling sort of frustrated with everything in life, but alas the universe does conspire for you, not against you, if you really try and have a purpose.

So here I am 6 am on Sunday with the purpose of coming back to my blog. A friend of mine last night told me that I made a commitment and I have to stick to my vow.

I made a vow to spend 365 days involved in some kind of journey and I really want to stick to that. I think part of the journey is wanting so badly to quit. To cry. To maybe even die.

Don’t get me wrong I do not ACTUALLY want to die, but I had this illusion that as soon as I had discovered my destination, getting there would be a snap. However, I can’t twitch my nose like that chick on Bewitched and make things happen.

But sometimes when I’m typing, I feel like some people do on a piano, there is a rhythm that I’m following, a sound in my head. I can’t play the piano, but give me a few words to work with, and I can play. Sometimes I live with the illusion that that’s all I have.

But as much as I love writing, I love living more, so I find that words are like my little boats sometimes that carry me through life. But it is life after all that I’m after. Sometimes I have the illusion that life can be put into words, when it is far more complex than that.

In these early summer mornings I drink iced coffee and wonder why I don’t smoke because I so desperately want something in my mouth. I stick the ice in my mouth and chew on it as if my life depends on finding something to eat. I think it’s funny that I eat water first thing in the morning.

When all I want is this summer to not end two days, I’ve been wearing flip flops and no one knows how much I hate shoes, in the sense that they represent this lack of freedom for my feet. I mean I love shoes just as much as the next girl, but being able to have your feet breathe all summer is a luxury. And no worries, I have flip flops in every color and style available.

It can be lonely, sometimes in the early hours of the morning when the only people who are awake are those that are paid to be awake. But I find if I don’t just get up when I first wake up in the morning, I want to never wake up. Not never but not until much of the morning has passed me by.

There is something about being alive when everyone is still sleeping, I feel like I can get something out of system when no one is around watching me, as if I can stand on my head, metaphorically, and every time I fall before I am able to do it is washed away in the dark stillness of the morning. No one knows.

No one knows, except that guy who sells me my coffee, how much I crave that conversation when I ask him for my coffee and he asks me for some money. How much I need to be a part of some kind of exchange in life that is so mundane but makes my morning ritual real. If he wasn’t there watching, would I be awake? If I really did try to stand on my head and fell when no one is watching because even the coffee guy is on break, have a really fallen or even existed in these strange mornings?

I sit next t a painting that is so beautiful, with colors swirling all around, yet I feel like I could have painted it myself when I was like five. These particular colors are so special that this painting is worth four hundred dollars. Sometimes I want to rip it apart and see if they would charge me the 400 dollars.

I want to create beauty, not for the money, ‘cause we all know how much money there is in beauty. But I want to see beauty in that man and woman smoking outside the window at a quarter to seven. Killing themselves softly, as I ingest caffeine in a tiny Styrofoam cup that will eventually kill my planet.

Sometimes, in the early morning I want to do things like scream or maybe sing, in front of the three people that are with me in this café. On the one hand I enjoy our distance, but there’s a part of me that wants to stand up and sing with them, as if we were at some secular church where people just sang for the hell of it on Sunday Mornings instead of having a divine purpose.

This is our divine purpose, isn’t it? To be like robots and never scream out of place. To never dance unless you are in a ‘designated dancing place.’ I want to get up and dance right now, though I’m no Michael Jackson, I can’t do the moon walk but I can look at the moon fading and wish I was up there this morning.

Maybe the moon is an illusion too. And maybe Mars wouldn’t be any better than Michigan. But the dream is so pretty, as beautiful as this painting I stare at every morning. So forgive me my illusions and I’ll forgive you yours.


Monday, September 14, 2009


There are a lot of different opinions as to the definition of meditation. What is it exactly, you ask?

For one thing, I don’t think there is a good book definition of meditation or a good one line answer. Kind of like feminisms, I think there are meditations, and they mean something different to each individual.

Buddhists believe in things like walking meditation, sitting, standing, etc. meditation. I’m sure you could swim and meditate if you wanted to.

So all I can tell you is what meditation means to me: It means to concentrate on the beauty and oneness of all things. To focus on love and joy.

Now this may sound like some kind of new age hokiness to many of you. It’s not new age, its very old age. It’s not ‘modern’ to meditate it is in fact very old fashion.

The oldest text in the world is the Vedas, written in India some thousands of years ago. The Vedas talk about meditation.

So why do we close our eyes when we meditate? Well in psychology there is this state called ‘alpha’ which is between sleep and awake. It was when they say you are most vulnerable to absorb things.

I think that when you close your eyes and concentrate you are reaching first the state of alpha before you reach other higher states of mind.

I don’t know enough about the different stages of chakras, or states of being or mind that you can reach when you meditate. Quite frankly I think that if you get to analyzing it too much you lose its beauty.

I like to listen to music to meditate. Now I don’t just listen to instrumental music, I listen to regular old music. Since most songs are love songs, I figure God is love. Or something like that.

Now, remember in the film Footloose where the preacher says that Rock and Roll is from the Devil. That preacher would think I am a Devil worshipper because I happen to think you can listen to rock and roll and meditate at the same time.

You know that song by the dwarfs in Snow White, “Whistle while you work…” I think you can meditate while you work. In the back of your mind if there is a notion that love and beauty are the essential components of every task and every trade, then you will succeed at noticing the divine in the mundane.

Life is short. You have to wonder why we are here etc. etc. I think we are here to notice our divine nature and see that every being is connected.

I think ‘God’ is just a conglomeration of all beings dead and alive. It’s an energy source or something. And we know that energy is neither produced nor destroyed. It simply changes shape.

The universe has many shapes, but I don’t think God takes any particular shape at all except what we imagine in our head. If you imagine a really old guy who looks like Santa Claus that’s fine, if that works for you.

If you imagine God to look like Kali, the black goddess, that’s probably also just fine with god or the Goddess. Unlike ourselves, I don’t think She’s that vain or particular.

So do you have to meditate on God? I have no idea what happens to you if you meditate on the Devil or Satan or whatever…but I do know that positive energy feels better than negative energy.

So if you’ve ever had a bad experience on the Ouija board you know that there is probably negative energy out there, waiting to take over your self or soul or whatever. But if you have ever seriously meditated you know that there is positive energy out there that is waiting to invade you, to pervade you.

I don’t think you have to believe in anything at all in order to meditate. It is a way to escape the everyday and come to a place of peace. god knows we could use a little peace.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well I guess there’s this new “trend” of journalists doing things for a year in order to get attention and maybe get a book deal or whatever. Apparently this “trend” has been going on for ages.

Writers will do stuff like “pretend” to be mentally ill (a very difficult feat for most of us) in order to see what it’s like in Mental Hospitals.

Or they will like abstain from like sex for a year or have sex everyday for a year. There is something about the stamina it takes to accomplish a year-long project that intrigues people.

I embarked on my journey of blogging for a year in order to attain some kind of self discovery and it hasn’t even been a full month yet but I’m nervous as to how I’m going to finish this.

It’s hard to come up with bullshit every day that can both entertain and interest the five people or so who are reading this.

But there is something about having a discipline every day that makes the days go by with some sort of meaning. I feel like I’ve accomplished something in these past few weeks. It doesn’t feel like time is just passing me by. It doesn’t feel like I’m just letting my life pass me by.

There is something to be said about documenting your life that makes you want to color within the lines.

It’s like I stopped for a minute, or maybe a year, to digest all that’s happened in my life, or all that’s happening and take it all in.

See we get so caught up in “doing” things like living that we forget sometimes to take stock of why we are doing what we are doing or who we really are in the midst of all this action and circumstance.

It’s like if you had to look in the mirror twenty-four hours a day. You’d finally find the right hair style, I swear, but more than that you’d discover just how meaningless the way you look is.

What I’m trying to say is, after looking inside myself for like a month, I’ve discovered that there ain’t some strange ghosts inside me, but that I quite simple after all.

I require love, a little entertainment, and some goals to accomplish. Besides that I don’t need all the money in the world like I thought I did, or I don’t need to be the thinnest girl on the block, or I don’t need to be even the smartest person I know.

Sure I still relish the idea of one day being on Oprah’s book selection and winning the Nobel Prize in Literature (an ACTUAL goal of mine). But I somehow realize that I don’t need these things in order to be fulfilled.

In the East they call the worldly things we want to acquire MAYA which means the great illusion. Rumor has it that Maya is the thing that is keeping us from attaining peace of mind.

It’s the chase really that holds all the excitement. It may be that after this year is over, I will not know what do with myself. I’m chasing after a dream of self-discovery but it could very well be that after I accomplish this dream, if it’s humanely possible, then I will feel empty without the “desire” for something better burning inside me.

I’m not doing some unimaginable feat like “pretending” to be insane, or living on five dollars a day, I’m just trying to become some kind of human being that I like a little more.

This is fun, you know, ranting and raving about the first thing that comes to my mind and having an audience for it. I’m afraid though, afraid I’ll screw up and saying something I’ll regret. Or bore my readers with mindless jibber jabber.

But if you’re out there and listening, do you think you can follow this stupid heart for a year? I have nothing to give you in return but my gratitude.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

War is Menstruation Envy—Gloria Steinem

Do you get scared when you hear the word, Feminist? What do you picture? Do you picture a bunch of butch dike biker chicks with chainsaws ready to chop off the next dick that pisses them off?

That’s a tad harsh, don’t you think?

Do you know that every word in the English language that has been used to solely denote women as been demonized. Harlot, Whore etc. used to just mean woman.

Feminist is the new demonized word.

Actually there is no such thing as feminism. There are feminisms. Every woman has a different view of what the word and notion means to her.

I’ll tell you what it means to me. It means that women should get equal pay for equal work. It means that men who abuse women should go to jail for a very long time. It means to me that rapists should be castrated.

Yeah, you heard me correct. They should be castrated. Alright, I’m not sure if I believe that but I’m not sure that I don’t.

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle—Gloria Steinem

What does feminism mean to you? Did you know you can be a man and be a feminist? It doesn’t make you gay, I promise.

Being a feminist means you care about the cause for women. It means that you care about the cause for equality. This is not about superiority or anything like that.

Feminism is about those little things you don’t always think about. It’s about making life better for battered women, stopping the sex trade and human trafficking of women, and understanding PMS.

No seriously, PMS is a serious disorder that can make any woman turn into a monster. It’s not her fault. It’s your fault…just kidding.

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people too—Bumper Sticker.

So if you are stay-at-home mom or any kind of dad for that matter, you should consider becoming a feminist. It has nothing to do with gender or race or economic status.

Feminisms are about the way in which you perceive the world to be a male dominated society and the ways in which you would like to change that.

You know that there are countries where little girl babies are murdered because they are not boys. You know that women are sold into prostitution in many countries.

You know that men are not the enemies. A society that does not value women is the enemy.

So why should you teach your young girls and boys to become feminists? Because it will open their eyes. Women are still being paid less for the same work. Women are still being promoted less, hired less, and finally respected less.

Now I ask you, are you afraid of the word FEMINIST?

And always remember that there are interlocking oppressions. Being poor and a minority and a woman adds up to a difficult plight. Feminism is about breaking all forms of oppression, not just against women.

So if you thought that feminism meant that you have to hate men or turn into a lesbian, think again. Feminism simply means you are aware that there is inequality.

Don’t let them censor this F-word.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Far Away...

This is one of those days when I want to go away. I don’t want to be here. I mean like on Earth. I just wish I could be somewhere else today.

I don’t have a “happy place” I go to when I meditate. I should probably get one. I hear they’re exciting.

I mean I have places in my head that I can go to feel better, but mostly I feel lost today. Have you heard that song, “You’re so Far Away…Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore? It would be so fine to see your face at my door…”

“And you’re just time away…” They say time makes things easier, I think it does. But tell that to someone who knows someone who is Missing. See there are all these people that never came home on September 11th, 2001. They just went away. Far away.

It was a long time ago, you know. And most people have moved quite far away from it. But every year I’m reminded that I didn’t go anywhere. I was saved. I don’t know why, but nothing happened to me when there were people dying all around me.

I was lucky.

Missing was a nice word for Dead for many months. Those people who were looking for a loved one, no one could look them in the eye and say, “Stop looking.”

So every year they read the names of everyone who passed away. My dad said, “It’s only in America that everyone’s life is worth something.” Sure there have been bigger tragedies in the world where more people have died.

However, the kind of reverence that we in the United States give to the dead, no one can replicate.

My name isn’t on that list, so I listen to all the other names.

I don’t recognize a single name I hear because I’m lucky. Not a single person I knew or loved was there. Although I know some people that were around the area and got lucky.

Living five miles away was considered far away. I had friends whose apartments were demolished and lived in hotels.

I could only manage to go to ground zero in April. I went with a very good friend of mine. As soon as we got off the train I was lost. So I stopped a woman and asked her, “Do you know where the World Trade Center is?”

She looked at my Middle Eastern looking face and friend who looks the same and said, “I don’t know what this is about but I don’t want to be a part of it.” And she walked in the opposite direction that she was walking in before.

My protest was to keep the picture of a black woman wearing white Muslim Headgear on my window sill. My protest was to keep the Sikh calendar up in my living room that showed a bunch of Sikh men with turbans in artistic form. When strangers came into our apartment they thought we were Muslim.

My protest was not to clarify anything. I’m from India; Pakistan is not that far away.

And anyways, I’m only six degrees of separation from some of those names I hear ringing in my ears today.

Friday’s Report Card:

Health: I didn’t lose any weight. Umm…it was Labor Day weekend and my dad’s birthday and I have no other valid excuse. SHAME ON ME. I worked out every other day, can do better.

Wealth: Did not send out enough resumes, thinking of posting resume on all job sites. Have steady followers of blog!!! Found a website advertising my blog!!!

Wisdom: Need to honor the past, not dwell on it. Need to forgive myself for past mistakes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cyber Nut?

So this guy called me a Cyber Nut at the café this morning. I don’t know why I think that’s so hilarious. I was the one who rebelled against the Internet when it first came out. People would email me and I wouldn’t check it for months at a time in college.

Now because of the resume situation and because I’ve started writing a blog, I’m on the Internet a lot it seems. I mean where else are you supposed to look for a job? How did people look for a job before the Internet? It’s so weird, life before.

Life before. Remember when we used to buy CD’s instead of installing music into our iPod’s? I used to have a record player when I was a kid. I would listen to the same songs over and over again. Those were the days, huh?

Nowadays I have a like a gazillion songs on my iPod. And I listen to the this awesome Internet radio station called Pandora, where you put in your favorite singer or song and it plays other singers and songs just like it.

So am I a Cyber Nut? I don’t know, are you? Remember when you used to get up in the morning and read the paper, now you are reading a blog. I don’t even have any editors or rules.

So what if your computer privileges were taken away for a while? What would you do with that time? I’ve been noticing nature a lot lately, I mean like just staring at it. Maybe I would do more of that than staring at this screen.

It’s with this very machine that I can reach out to like a dozen people. Think about if I had to write this on paper and pass it out. How weird would that be?

What if you found my diary after I was dead, like Anne Frank’s? You’d like that wouldn’t you? To know what I’m really thinking with really no censors. My true thoughts and feelings. Or would it bore you to death?

I had a poetry professor tell me once to NEVER write in a diary, because everyone sounds crazy in their diaries. And after you die, dude, don’t pretend like it’s not gonna happen. But people are gonna look at that shit and read it and try to know the real you.

They plan on being SHOCKED by even your most mundane observations. So instead let it all hang out. So instead just say what you want to say to that person you keep writing about in your diary.

Journaling has been done for ages and people say it is very therapeutic. In the Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says you should write first thing in the morning, she calls these morning pages, and like vomit out all the stuff that’s in your head.

As much as I love that book I just can’t do it. It’s like I don’t trust the page to keep my secrets. Because the fact is, the page is not gonna keep your secrets for you.

As crazy as it sounds, I talk to my imaginary friend when I need to really talk about my deepest secrets. You call Him God. I have different names for Him, but it doesn’t matter. I know one thing; He knows my deepest darkest secrets and loves me anyways. Things I wouldn’t even tell my significant other.

I don’t know if God reads my blog, I mean c’mon He’s a pretty busy guy. But when I talk to him, it’s like I’m emailing a celebrity or something. It’s like He’s in Cyberspace, just hangin’ out, waiting for me to write. Instead I talk, in my head of course, not out loud. I’m not that crazy, yet.

Remember when we used to write letters to Santa? That was before this crazy Internet thing started. I wonder if Santa has an email address now.

There were Santa’s and Bugs Bunny’s and all sorts of stuff in the Life Before. Today is one day before the terrorist attacks eight years ago. Life goes on, but life before was different.

Remember when you were only scared of ghosts and the boogeyman? Now these new nuts are in cyberspace with us. Terrorists are probably Cyber Nuts just like me.

I hope that’s all I have in common with them.


Man on the Moon...

Have you ever heard that song by R.E.M., “If you believe they put a man on the moon, man on the moon?”  There are actual individuals roaming this Earth who believe that the man on the moon stunt was a camera trick.

I don’t know about all that but like in the Cold War wasn’t Russia bluffing about stuff? And did I ever tell you about the man I met on a train once?

OK so I was like twenty-two and had just graduated from University of Michigan undergrad with an English Degree. I decided to spontaneously move to Washington D.C. for the hell of it.

So I first visited a friend in North Carolina and then took a train to D.C. While on the train I met a man who claimed he was in the CIA. I was interested. So I let him come and sit next to me.

I was such an idiot. He told me things like the president knows about aliens and travesties that are so bad that he didn’t have the proper authority to tell me, but I might like kill myself if I found out. It was one of those, I could tell you but then I’d have to shoot you.

He didn’t have any identification. Of course I didn’t even ask for any. I was just enthralled with his epic stories. He should have been a fiction writer.

I can’t remember what else he told me, it was a long time ago. The point is I believed him and after I told the story to a few friends and my boyfriend at the time, I realized he was pathological liar.

But you see I have this fascination with strangers. I don’t know if the man was ill or just having a good time. It doesn’t matter to me; I think it is fascinating that people will tell stories to complete strangers.

Like this one guy told me, when I was in Ann Arbor at U of M that he saw the angel Mary. I asked him what she looked like. “She was about your height.”

Now I know what you are thinking. These people are mentally ill. But what if this guy saw an angel, what if there is such a thing as angels?

I know, I know, I live in an imaginary world most of the time. My good friend is the one who named it Ninaland. I space out, I day dream.

But if you tell me something, I might just believe you. Your deepest and weirdest experience, your stupid thoughts. I’m interested.

I don’t even know you.

Call me gullible or stupid or naïve, but I will listen to you.

I wanted to be a therapist when I was a kid. But really it’s the story I’m interested in. I’m a writer and I love stories. I can’t help anyone. But I can write a good story.

There are people who think the Holocaust is just a story. I’m sure that years from now there will be those who think that a small tragedy like 911 was just a bunch of stories.

But we have footage now, from the news, on YouTube. Our stories have facts and legitimacy and no one can tell us we are lying. Except like the moon, they may, in the future, say it was movie, all staged.

If you believe they put a man on the moon, than come with me, I have some more stories to tell you.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Stories...

I’ve never written anything about September 11th before.  I don’t know if I will be able to write anything on September 11th.  So I’ll tell you what happened to me that morning.
I was in college at Columbia which is 5 miles from ground zero.   So I had a rule that no one could call me before nine o’clock, I would go to bed around 2 am.  So around eight in the morning of the 11th my phone kept ringing and ringing and ringing. 
I was so annoyed.  I finally answered it.  It was my dad.  “Don’t go to the World Trade Center, they think there may have been a terrorist attack,” is what he said.
“Why would I go there, I don’t even know how to get there?  Why did you wake me up to tell me this?”  I ranted.  He laughed and hung up.
That would be the last time I spoke to my father on the telephone for like a few days.  All the lines were down after that. 
So since I was up I turned on the TV and the minute I turned it on I saw the second plane go into the second tower.  Chills went up and down my back. 
Then I looked outside my window.  People who didn’t know each other were talking to each other.  Did you hear, they said.  This is worse than Pearl Harbor.  My son, this woman screamed, my son works in that building!  My Son!  She fell to the ground.
These are the echoes I hear in the night sometimes in September. 
I watched TV with my roommate for a few hours than went to the bookstore.  I was assigned a book to read that I had yet to buy.  The credit card and debit card machines weren’t working so I asked the clerk if I could write a check.
He looked at me like he didn’t care if I just took the book and walked out.  I started writing the check.  “What’s the date?” I looked up at him and asked.
“You don’t know the date?  This date’s gonna go down in history and you don’t know what day it is today?  It’s September 11th.”  He declared it like he was writing history himself.
The thing is, I knew the date, I think.  I just, I just, it’s like I needed someone legitimize what was happening.  This surreal dream.
Then I went to my class like a good girl.  What else was I supposed to do?  It turned out that my morning class was cancelled.  There was a sign that said something like, “Class is cancelled.  I’m sorry for anyone’s loss,” or something.
What was I supposed to do?  Eat. Drink. 
That’s what we did a lot of those first few weeks. 
We ate a lot, we drank a lot. 
I didn’t do a single thing, lift a single finger to help a single person.
The only person I could help was myself.  I had to SURVIVE.
I couldn’t go down there either, to ground zero.  No, I couldn’t go there until many months later.
But I remember, I remember, every person who called me to make sure I was alive.
I remember every person who didn’t call.
The lines weren’t working, but those people somehow got through to me.  Some people wrote me emails.  My uncle and my father wrote me an email every day. 
My mother cried.  My sister cried. 
I didn’t cry yet.
Does that make me an unfeeling bitch?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

So today is the day to honor those who can do what I cannot do: Hard Labor.  So this one’s for the construction workers, the garbage men, the gardeners, and the plant workers. 
But what about the women and children sold into slavery in other countries?  Should we send them a gift?  Will that make it alright?  See they don’t get a day off.  I don’t even know if they get a couple hours off.
Not to belabor the point but does the way we celebrate even make any sense?  We have barbeques or go to the beach on some tropical island. 
So how do we honor them?  I don’t know.  Maybe by trying to figure out a way to stop all this madness.  Maybe by designating this as the true craziness.
Labor can be a satisfying thing, so I’m told.  Those who have worked with their hands their entire life will tell you that.  But I can’t imagine that slave labor is satisfying and not torturous and wrong.
Slavery is illegal in America you say, so why should I care?
Because we live in a world, not just a country.  Because if you happen to go on VACATION to some remote part of the Earth, break the law by like spitting or something, you could end up in SLAVE LABOR for the rest of your life.
Sorry to be so depressing and ranting, but come one.  In this day and age, when we all know its happening, why aren’t we doing something to stop it.
What are we gonna do?  I don’t know bring it to Obama’s attention.  Join the One organization.  Listen to Angelina Jolie….I don’t know.  Send a letter to Oprah.  We all know she rules the world. 
I do know that I’m scared.  Scared to death of not living my cushiony life.  Scared to death that chains could be put around my feet.   There is a saying that goes something like this: If there is one man in chains, none of us are free.
So should we celebrate on Labor Day?  I think we should always celebrate something.  But we can’t forget.  Forget where our tennis shoes came from and our pretty rugs. 
I love pretty things, embroidered shirts, pillows, shoes.  I look at where these things are made and I buy them anyways.  Knowing full well that in China and Indonesia and India etc. there are very few laws about how beauty is created. 
They are artists you know, kids who make carpets, women who sew beautiful tops and skirts.  So next time you see something beautiful, turn it upside down and see where it’s made.  Most likely not in the USA.  Most likely by some kid or woman in a remote village.
I still buy that shit.  In fact most of my clothes are made in other countries.  But I’m a hypocrite and should practice what I preach.
So who is to blame?  Me?  Nike?  The guy who kidnaps the people to do the work?  Who owns him?  I don’t know, I just thought I’d bring it to your attention. 
So go to that picnic or the beach or the barbeque and have few laughs.  Just don’t forget why you have a day off.  Don’t forget that there are those who don’t get a day off, a minute off, a second off.
To be “on” all the time is torture.  My back hurts from typing on my bed.  I can’t imagine if I had to lift heavy things all day.  I think I would die. 
Sorry to be so preachy but there are times when it is necessary to think about what’s going on in the world besides what we are shown on TV.  It’s time that someone stopped this madness.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Morning

There’s something really sacred about Sunday Mornings.  First of all you don’t want to get out of bed.  Second of all, if you are anything like me, you want to eat brunch because by the time you get up breakfast doesn’t make sense. 
So did I ever tell you about the time I tried to sell knives door to door?  These were expensive knives, in the nineties they were six-hundred dollars for the whole set.   But I was sold; these were the best knives in the UNIVERSE.  They had like marble handles, to this day the few that I have left can cut through anything.  But I couldn’t sell them.
And these dudes were making like thousands of dollars a week or month or whatever, and I didn’t understand how they did it.  I went to one of the knife sellers conventions; it was like a cult of positivity.  It was the scariest thing I EVER encountered.  People with the highest selling record would stand up and everyone would applaud, I can’t explain the FREAKINESS of these people. 
My boss was like the happiest person alive.  When I told him I was quitting, I almost cried and said I felt like I was disappointing him.  Who the Hell was He?  But I’m telling you it was like this cultish mentality.
So have you ever experienced Imposter’s Syndrome?  Apparently it’s when you…alright a hot man just walked into the café.  I couldn’t see his finger, you know if he had a ring on it.  What I do?  I smiled at him but he was on the phone.  I have my headphones on so I can’t hear what he’s talking about, like if he’s talking to his girlfriend.
I’m trying to look busy and important, as I turn around casually to stare at him.  I think he just came from jogging.  I think I don’t know how to get picked up or…he left.  Well he’s gone.  I see him driving away in what looks like a single guy’s vehicle; I don’t know you could fit a few kids back there.  It’s one of those like Cadillac SUV’s. 
Anyways, I’m cold and it’s still summer and my sister says I could have something wrong with my blood because I’m cold all the time all of a sudden.  She’s a nurse.
Anyways, I have a cousin who’s a doctor and experienced what she called Imposter’s Syndrome when she first started working.  She said she couldn’t BELIEVE that she was the DOCTOR and you know not like the patient or whatever. 
You know the thing about Michigan is, people smile at each other, you know like on the street and in the café.  It’s rather nice.  it’s different in bigger cities.  People are not as NICE as they are in the Midwest.
Don’t get me wrong…I hate this place…but I’m trying to be like Positive Girl here.  You have to be, you know.  You know that song by Kenny Roger’s, The Gambler?   My favorite line is, “Every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser…” 
I have to work out I’m only doing it every other day.  It’s just sooo hard.  Ok it’s not that hard, I exaggerate, it’s kind of fun.  I should do it every day…have you seen the BIGGEST LOSER?  Those people are on like crack or something.  They work out for like hours and hours every day.  They drop like hundreds of pounds in like months.  It’s got to be unhealthy.
And to all you joggers:  Hat’s off to you.  I have some serious RESPECT for people who can jog outside.  I get winded by talking a walk…I’m so out of shape…I mean I like to walk I’m not saying I don’t.  I take walks all the time, but Runs?  Wow.  I am just not there yet.  And marathons, that’s some cool shit.
I’ve never thought of myself as an athlete.  I can’t even spell the word, which is not coincidental. I’m just not there yet, you know.  But it’s true that endorphins are released when you work out.  I feel happier.
Anyways…have a good Sunday.  If you go to church or the Temple or Gurudwara, tell God I said Hello.  Give Him my regards…

Saturday, September 5, 2009


When I was a little girl I had a best friend.  I mean she was my BFF.  We hung out every single day of our young lives.  We did everything together.  Then when I was twelve I moved away.  Well, I tried finding her a few months ago via the great god of google. 
According to some random paper I found: I think she’s dead.
I remember Her father’s phone number by heart.  So I called him a couple times but didn’t leave a message.  I called from the Land Line and he called back and my father answered, I wasn’t home.  “Someone called from this number?”  Her father asked.
“Oh it was probably my daughter, Nina.  Who is this?” my father asked.  We’ll call him Tom.
“This is Tom do you remember me?” he asked.  They lived across the street from us at our old house. 
“Oh yes how are you Tom, maybe she wanted to talk to you about Her,” my dad said.  Tom didn’t say She was dead.
“Just tell Nina I called,” Tom said. 
See the thing is, Her mother died of alcoholism when I was twelve.  The thing is, She asked me one time when I was like eighteen  if she could stay with me because Her father remarried a woman who was making Her life miserable. 
Coincidentally there happened to be “crazy drama” going on in my household at the time that she asked and there was no way my parents were going to allow Her to crash with us.  So I told Her no.
Then she said the words to me I will never forget: “I guess this is how you know who your true friends are.” 
I never saw Her again.
I invited Her to my graduation party and Her father, Tom, and his wife came, her brother even came, but they said she had a stomach ache.  I was too busy at the party to think too much about it and maybe start crying or whatever.
Years later I decided to dedicate my novel to Her and I imagined I would send Her a copy and we would be friends again.
I found Her name on the people search engine, and it’s her correct first name, last name and her correct age living in Michigan.  But the Paper says Tom’s daughter died.  I never called Tom back. 
I don’t know if she is dead. 
Am I a weak person for not trying to find out?  All I have to do is make a phone call.  I remember, I remember everything that we did together.  We started a band with tennis rackets as our instruments.  We played monopoly for days at time without cheating or quitting.  We watched The Facts of Life.  We danced for hours to Madonna tunes.
I was there when she opened her mother’s diary and found out that her father was having an affair.  Her mother blamed Tom for ruining her life, making her run to the bottle.
I was there the night Her mother passed away.
I can’t, I just can’t know. 
Ignorance is bliss right?
I’m gonna call Tom.  I’ll get back to you when I get the courage to make the phone call.
If she is dead, how did she die?  I assume she got involved with the wrong people and maybe drugs.  Or maybe she contracted AIDS.  How does someone so young die?  Drunk Driving perhaps?
Could I have saved her?