Why You Should Cook as An International Student

Why You Should Cook as An International Student
What is the most primary change that has happened to me after coming to London? From not cooking ever (with no interest or intention) to cooking every day, every single meal, I have come a long way. If you have known me remotely, you know that so far in my life I have spent my life (so far) avoiding the kitchen. At parties, my friends used to also joke that while our other female friends would comfortably go and check out what’s happening in the kitchen, I would comfortably make interesting conversations with the men and kids in the room.

 

A very dear friend who lives alone had once told me, “For a house to be full of life, the kitchen must be working.” Although I did understand what he meant, I was to realize its true meaning a few years later. As far as I remember, kitchen and make-up were never my things. While the latter remains true even now, especially when you are an international student, far away from the comforts of home, I soon realized cooking is not just a way to save money and survive but it can also be a great creative outlet. Notwithstanding that cooking is a life skill that everyone should know.
Not Bragging

 

Working on (intense) academic essays needs a lot of academic reading, and you can’t do it all day unless you plan to go nuts. You need a balance. Hence, it is always a work in progress. On the other side, even your Twitter profile (2 likes, 1 retweet) gets more hits than your job applications. Indeed.com (one of the biggest job portals in London) says 47% of the job applicants don’t get a reply before three weeks, 37% get a reply within a week and only 4% hear back within a day. Nevertheless, there are ways you can follow-up with them. Still, however great I think of myself, I may as well be in the first category. So that is work in progress there.

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London: Where Your Judgements Don’t Matter

London: Where Your Judgements Don’t Matter
I had read 500 blogs about London before coming to the United Kingdom:
  • How to dress in London?
  • How friendly are British people?
  • Where to shop for clothes/shoes/jackets in London?
  • Free things to do in London.
  • How to live on a budget in London?
  • Things to know about the London Tube.
  • Top Five Things About British Etiquette
One of the Biggest and Oldest Stations
It’s been around two months now and I have learnt that London doesn’t give a damn. At any given point in time, you are your worst judge. Other people don’t care half as much. Before I left India, I anyway told myself that this year I will keep my judgements aside (even if they seem right). And I realize that not making strong conclusions/stereotypes makes life a bit more interesting. It gives a chance for life to surprise you.

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When Being Mediocre is Okay

There is a pendulum between being excellence and mediocrity, in which we all are swinging. Our films (remember Three Idiots), our leaders, our entrepreneurs- inspire us to run towards ‘excellence’, and very rightly so. We must strive towards excellence. But what until then? ‘Being Mediocre’ or ‘Mediocrity’ is shameful.

In our aspirational (and imaginary) race, we forget that mediocrity is very subjective. For most of us, mediocrity is a third party perspective. “Do people consider me mediocre?”  “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” He could be a student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. (I actually know someone like that.)

For example: “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” In reality, he could be an average student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. Someone who wanted to study further, could not, and had to manage his father’s business or someone who wanted to run away from home but could not because there was a house to manage. Someone, who could write the ‘commercial’ kind of writing but lived their writing style. Someone who did good design work but did not get the credit.

For a comedian, a ‘9 to 9 job person’ from an ‘average’ company would look like a ‘mediocre’. To a popular comedian, the struggling comedian might look like a  mediocre. A commercial actor might think of a struggling theatre actor as mediocre (and vice versa). To an entrepreneur, an employee in an MNC might look like a ‘corporate slave’. A corporate employee might see an entrepreneur as ‘wasting time’.

How are we to make a truce with these two things? The truth is, there’s no right or wrong because:

“Do people consider me mediocre?”  is very different from “Am I mediocre?” If the person is fulfilling their primary motivation in the current situation, whether it is livelihood to take care of their families or pursuing their passion; it is in its own sense extraordinary. There is nothing mediocre in doing what you are supposed to do.

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When Unemployment Tries to Kill You

Be fired, get the axe, get sacked, pink slip, put out to pasture, call it quits, resign, retire, stand down, give in, hand a notice, vacate and bow out- all mean the same thing eventually. The market that it is right now, we have a lot of people around us- either they quit on their own or they were made to quit. Whether it is for a month for six months, there is a waiting period before you get into the next thing. And even though there is nothing shameful about it, we feel ashamed. Endless scrolls on the social media which were once a normal thing now become a pain in the ass. Everyone seems to be moving ahead, having a vacation, finding happiness, getting engaged or married or going on an international honeymoon- everyone, but you. And the worst part about it is that we let it become a big question mark.

Am I good enough?

Will I ever get a job?

What will I tell people?

Do I deserve this?

What did I do wrong here?

Why did this happen to only me?

How could they do this to ME?

While a little bit of contemplation on these questions is only natural and necessary but overthinking is dangerous. It makes you lazy, under confident, sad, under confident, regretful, under confident, aloof, attention seeking, etc.

The risk is that if you keep thinking, “I am useless”, you will internalise that thought and it will become a part of your mental framework. It kills you partly.

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Shut Up When There’s Nothing To Say

It is amusing to live in a world full of people who find silence uncomfortable. So just to fill the void of silence, they speak. Even when they need not, should not, must not. Even when they have no idea what needs to be said when. They gulp their discomfort while making you uncomfortable.

I think kids in school should have regular exercises where they are made to close their eyes and are made to hear the voice of silence. So then perhaps they will grow up as sane and responsible adults. That’s the only way I guess.

Please Don’t Curse My Mango

Please Don’t Curse My Mango

I eat one Mango a day. And I don’t like living a life of myths. So I found out that it’s actually a big myth that mangos are fattening. They are not.

(This girl is an amazing dancer. I follow her Youtube channel for the latest dance moves.)

 

There are many other links to such myth busters you can find online. Just by timing ‘Mango Health Benefits and Myths’.

Mango Facts

  1. Each Mango has about 100 to 150 calories. We burn 150 calories after 2 km morning walk.
  2. One must have Mangos either mid morning or as an evening snack so that it doesn’t add calories to our meal. If you add it to your meal, make changes in the food intake.
  3. It is not fattening. It has potassium and fibre, which helps in digestion. Having one mango a day is great for weight loss.
  4. Don’t refrigerate until they are ripe. Ripe mangoes must be refrigerated. Never store in plastic bags. They need air.
  5. They contain only 1 gm fat. They are not fattening. Mango drinks loaded with sugar are. So next time the mango drink ad comes, “aam ka season”, remember how different mango and mango drinks are.

There is even a yummy Mango Oats recipe that you can have for breakfast.

Only the people who can’t burn the calories of the mango they eat should quit eating mangoes. Rest everyone is fine.

6 Surprisingly Similar Words in Hindi and Spanish

The beauty of learning new languages is that you get to learn a lot about the cultures within. But no matter how much you try to learn a new language, its interpretation is always in your native language. I began learning Spanish on Duolingo about 2 weeks ago and there are surprisingly many words in Hindi that are similarly used in Spanish. No doubt, Hindi/Devanagari could have borrowed a lot of these words from Punjabi or Urdu. Perhaps there is a strange connection of both Hindi and Spanish fetching words from the same languages. I am yet to figure that out. Until then, look at these!

Tu also means You in Spanish

The Hindi word Narangi (oranges) has a similar name in Spanish called ‘Naranja’ (pronounced as Naranya)

In Spanish, a shirt is called, ‘Camisa’ which is very similar to the Punjabi/Hindi counterpart called ‘Kameez’

I Don’t Know Who This Guy is, But he’s wearing a Camisa/Kameez

Ki Huva in Punjabi, Kya Hua in Hindi and Que Huba (pronounced as Ke) in Spanish is the same thing: What Happened

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