Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review of my blog

After Nilu, it was my turn to submit my blog for review here . I like reading their review
because they do not talk about "goody-goody" thing of your blog. Though, I do not particularly like the so called "cool" language they use, I do love to read some honest review of the blogs.

After reading many reviews he has written, my blog did not get so much of bashing as others. Looks like the reviewer din't want to go too harsh on a newbie like me or as he says he was too exhausted to comment.

I agree to few things he said and disagree with some.

- He says , I started blogging because other people I know have them -This is not exactly true,
I started blogging first, then started knowing people who have blogs. None of my friends have blogs (at least not now) nor do they read mine.

-He says, My blog doesn't show the excitement I have- I totally agree. Somehow, when I write things down, things seems less exciting. I am improving on that. It's not problem with my attitude/lack of interest, but has more to do with my writing style.

-He says, I love reading other's blog- yes, I agree. That's how I get to know other's views. I don't think one should have a blog only if he has to say something.

I got a zero star. But , since he says it is a new rank invented just for me, I can not compare my rank with others. But ,I do get the message -There is nothing exciting to return back to my blog. Let's see what others have to say about it...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Am I addicted to Blogging?

Can someone get addicted to blog or to be specific reading blogs? Not so long ago, My day used to start with - Check official mail, Check personal mail, Check my Orkut/Facebook then start my work (No Blog!)

Now, my day starts with Check official mail(thankfully, this has not changed), Open my blog -see my blog list , see if the people I follow have posted something interesting (If they have,go and read/comment!). Then, check the time and get psyched about the work to be done. Hurriedly finish reading the personal mail and start my work.

Thanks to all the blogger I follow - Nilu, Shilpa, Preeti,Iya,Monika,Deepika, Swaram, Anu(who is not as regular as others - I started my blog journey reading her blogs , so do miss her blogs).

I love the addiction :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to be diplomatic

How I wish there was some self help book on being diplomatic. I am either straight forward to the point where the other person gets offended or I keep things to myself. There sure is a way in between these two. Just that, I am lost in my attempt to find it.

There has been many instances in my life where keeping quiet would have helped me and equal number of instances where I should have spoken up( That would have saved me from taking all the suffering/blame)

I was as straight forward as one could get .It did hurt many around me. So, I started trying to notch it down a little. Sadly, now I am at another extreme where even if I want to say something on someone's face I cant do it:-(

Thankfully, I am married to a person who is good at being diplomatic. He doesn't do injustice to anyone and he doesn't let someone else treat him with less respect. I really adore that quality in him.

I remember an incident when we had been to smoky mountains, we were watching fireworks. A couple were standing in front of us and we were sitting. Everything was fine, until the girl decides to move , thus blocking our view. My husband went and asked the guy to move a bit so that we all can watch the show comfortably. He responded rudely to say that we should stand up to watch the show. Now, I asked my hubby to keep quiet and we got up. But, later he did explain to me why it was not right and we should not let others have their say if we are right. It was a small incident but I do remember it whenever I keep quiet in spite of being right.

I hope I will find the courage to stand up when I am right, apologize when I am wrong and treat others just the way I want them to treat me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Auto Saga...

Auto rickshaw or auto or just rikhshaw, however you may call it, if you are in India , you would have definitely traveled by it one or the other day. About me, I was an auto addict . 1 km walk to bus stop and then wait for another bus to go to office was too much to ask from lazy me.

So when I say , I travel by auto , you might have started picturing myself coming out of my apartment waving at an autowala who would drop me to office. There would be polite conversations about weather/Good day wishes. How comfortable and easy isn't it?

But that's not true!!People who have traveled by auto in Bangalore/Pune (I haven't traveled by Auto in any other place) would know exactly what I mean. If you are lucky, you will find an autowala who is ready to go in your office route after at least 20 people who have rejected your request.

Then the autowala will start bargaining with you as if to show that the only reason why they have meters is to double/triple its amount. Once they set the amount, you stand no chance of reducing it . Also, you will be scared to let that person go thinking about more rejections .(This statement doesn't sound so stupid when you are getting late to office:) ultimately you do give in and agree to pay the amount.

Once you are inside the auto, he suddenly transforms into Michel Schumacher(I am not into F1 ,so if there is any latest addition to fastest driver list, I am totally ignorant of it). He tries to get his three wheeler even in the slightest gap other vehicles maintain. He starts shouting at every person around him but does manage to wave at fellow auto drivers.

About poor me, I will be just gazing at the meter which ticks faster than count down timer. If you think , I should let him know about meter not being accurate, think again!! He will either drop me off at the very place or start arguing with me so loudly that everyone around will start gaping at me. Also, remember, autowala's are gifted with senors which detect if you are new to the place. Other than my office route, I can never remember any route thanks to my direction sense:-(

So after all this, I manage to reach office. If its one of the good days, Mr.Autowala will take the money originally agreed upon or the huge amount showed by his meter(whichever is highest) and leave you alone. Most of the days, there will be renegotiation from his part. Reason , you may ask- Bad roads/heavy traffic/had to take U-turn/do not get any passenger in that route etc.. Again no point arguing with him. So, I pay the amount he says, go to office fuming .

You might think of me as in sane, but I do miss auto here in US. I have nothing against auto , its just the autowala:)[Hope none of the auto drivers read it, considering their unity and network , I won't be able to get any auto when I visit India this time:(

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Choti si love story

"Does it rain all the time!!?” I must be uttering these words for the zillionth time since I have moved here. It’s been more than a week and I know it DOES rain all the time.

I am a nature lover, I love to see rain drops from window and all that but it is a pain if you have to change two buses to reach office in this weather.

I need to carry a rain jacket (whenever I carry it, rain miraculously decides to cancel its visit!), a winter jacket (yes! it is cold as well) and a software engineer’s janmon- ka- sathi the laptop bag. To add to my misery, I need to board my bus at 7:15 in the morning which I do manage by running from my place to bus stop. I am not complaining or anything; this at least gives me some sort of work out.

When I finally manage to reach the bus stop and driver opens the bus door and says "good morning" , Instead of greeting him back , I am busy searching for my bus pass . This is not an easy task, different things come out of my bag as if it is an unlimited storage space except the bus pass. Apple which I was supposed to eat the previous day for breakfast, water bottle, muffler, cap, charger, previous day's bus last before the person behind me faints of cold, I manage to get the pass out, take a new resolution to arrange everything in order that very evening and take my seat.

Now, about why I am explaining my not so interesting "boarding the bus" story is, here is where I meet lead characters of my story “Choti si Love story”. Now don’t think about that dumb movie in which Manisha Koirala acted and claimed that it was not her. I call this choti si, for two reason ; one ,because the heroine is 14 years old and hero is 19(claims to be) and another being I get to hear it only for 10 minutes or so every day. Please do not think of me as an eves dropper. It is not easy to ignore when someone sitting in front of you talks to someone sitting behind you without even noticing a sleepy eyed/slightly (!) overweight lady in between.
Anyways, getting back to the story, I see this girl “H” everyday in the bus; she gets in a few stops after mine and gets down at her school. She takes a seat behind me most of the time and usually wears thick sweater (you will know the significance of this sweater later on!).

The hero “M” boards the bus at the my stop .For the initial few days started looking at “H” by turning around every now and then (Perfect situation for a song ). Then, “M” comes up with a new plan, he keeps his bag in the seat next to him and removes it only at H’s stop. To his disappointment, she never took that seat (Ladki ka nakhra).

At last, god listened to M’s prayers on Monday when the bus was almost full. H had to sit next to M . M started the conversation and the topic ranged from age, how boring it is to be teenagers ( Ya right! Here we are hoping to remain young), how cool it is to be working and earning etc etc. Just when I thought they would be happy ever after, a third person comes. Let’s call him K (for kabaab mein haddi) , he starts giving gyan to them about difficulties of being a 21 year old.

So M and H keep quiet and listen to him for rest of the journey. Next day , H boards the bus and comes and sits next to M . She was wearing sleeveless shirt(it was at least 50 deg F outside no more poor sweater and a song sequence from me” Sajna hai mujhe ….”) , they start discussing about how uncool twilight series is, how hard it is to be a teenager(looks like this is their favorite topic) by then Mr.K disturbs them again and journey ends .

3rd day, H dressed stunningly sits next to M and learning from their mistake in the earlier cases , exchange their Facebook details before Mr K’s stop. Conversations then revolved around school/physics/mom/sis/bro and K as usual comes and joins the talks.(Perfect love triangle)

After exchanging the FB details, I see that they don’t talk much in the bus these days. They still sit next to each other (good sign), busy with their mobiles (mhh.. messaging each other may be?) . Anyways, looks like everything is going on good for the time being…About Mr.K , he has started disturbing one more lady who has two kids. About me, I still sit in my usual place try not to listen to anyone so that I don’t end up writing their story.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Job,new place

Yes, after six months of being a house wife/job seeker/H4 visa holder, I found a job and got my work visa done. Only down side, I will be moving away from home :-(

I am excited/worried/happy and sad. I am not sure how to describe this feeling. I used to feel the same way each time I left for hostel from home when I was in college. I have found a new roommate there, who sounded very nice and fun. So, that is a kind of relief . Now, life is getting hectic all of a sudden. Planning for the things to be packed,documents to be carried and lots of shopping done. I am not even half way done:( Still, I am here reading blogs and wanted to write because I will not be able to do so for a while.

I hope everything goes smoothly and I adjust well to the new place. Once I am settled there, I plan to write a very long post on H4 to H1b process which I hope will help all the housewives on H4 who are also looking for H1b

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Its only words...

I know it is hard for you
I know it is painful to accept
But honey, do you believe me when I say
I love you with all my heart?

I know I don't deserve you
I know I have strayed
But honey, do you believe me when I say
I have changed from my past?

I know this is not easy
I know this will leave a scar
But honey, do you believe me when I say
I will give it my all?

I know you wanted it different
I know you are trying to cope
But honey, do you believe me when I say
I am yours for life?

I know we will be together
I know we will make it through
But honey, do you believe me when I say
I can be trusted with you by my side?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Steve jobs's speech which still Inspires me

I am not much in to Gadgets/technology, but I have a soft corner for Apple items. Their innovation /design and maintaining the standard of products always inspires me . I guess it gets these values from the founder Steve Jobs.

Whenever I feel low, I listen to this inspiring speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford university. He sums up his entire life in 3 stories , each one giving us so much food for thought. I have encountered very few people who love doing what they do for living. In life , we compromise ,because following our heart has many hurdles on its way. As Steve job says ,"Only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do'. For us, work means a pay check at the end of the month. I guess that is why people are frustrated with what they do because they are not in love with it.

If you ask me, I am still not sure what is it that I love doing . I am still searching for that one thing for which I would be ready to risk every comfort of life just the way Steve Jobs did when he dropped out of college. " You've got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers." Now that I found my love in personal life, time to find my love at work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Birthday

Something is different this year, I am not excited about my coming birthday the way I usually used to be.

From the day I remember, birthday was always a special day for me. My shopping would start at least 2 weeks in advance and I would have a list of things to do on that day. Most of the times, things would not go according to the plan but still I have not missed the preparation part of it. Beauty parlor appointments/planning treats to friends/guessing what surprises my roommates are planning/Sweets to take to office/waiting for mid night calls , list goes on and on.

This year, I haven't decided on what will I be wearing / where and how will we celebrate it. I guess I am getting older and no more looking forward to celebrating it. But, I do miss that excitement and hope to get it back by Thursday

Monday, October 4, 2010

Will miss Harry Potter

House-elfs,Dementors, Peeves,Snape, Mrs Norris, Dumbeldore ,Ron, Harry I will miss you all . Above all, I will miss Hermione who has been my favorite in Harry Potter series.

I started recently with Harry Potter after resisting it for years . My impression of it being Kids book changed after reading first few pages of Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone . From that moment, I was hooked to it .Thanks to my hubby and Rashmi my friend who always wanted me to start reading it.

After 7 novels and 5 dvds, marathon of harry potter ends. I loved the feeling of being in magical world where just pointing the wand and saying "lumos" will light the room or saying Accio and object name will get the object flying to your hand (Considering how forgetful I am about where I keep my things, wish this charm really worked:()

Me and Sudhir had started talking in Harry Potter language. We are still working on inventing parseltongue without much success. How I wish there was unending supply of harry Potter books.

Now my wait starts for the next and the last movie "Deathly hallows" to be released in November. I am eagerly waiting to see the end of Voldemort on big screen. It is fun to watch the movies to see the visual representation of novels but movies lack the detailing and the ability to take you to magical world the way novel does.

I guess it is better to stop talking about Harry Potter else I will also end up writing 7 volumes:) So here is me casting silencing charm.. SILENCIO

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lovely weekend

This weekend was perfect definition for 'doing nothing'. Temperature has dropped to chilly 50 degrees and cold breeze from window is a welcome change to cool air from AC.

Saturday started with video chatting with my parents and in laws. I saw my parents after a very long time. I was so happy to see them that I could not stop myself from crying when they had to leave. My parents are never comfortable with modern day gadgets. So, getting them to agree for video chat took all my effort. I hope I would be able to see them more often now.

Rest of my day went in cooking,watching movies, and reading novel while Sudhir helped with chores and read his news paper/magazines. I always feel nice when we are next to each other but he does things which he likes and I am doing my stuff. These days I am with "harry potter"and he with "Times of India":)

Sunday was again very much the same but we went for a long walk near the lake in the evening. It was a romantic experience.I am not sure if it was the breeze or the moon light, deserted lake side looked so breath taking. I wished I could take pictures to do justice to its description. However, considering my camera skill, I am sure I would not have succeed. So, all I did was to enjoy seeing it in Sudhir's arms and capturing the moment in my memory. I knew I belonged here , very happy and content with my life.

Day ended with dinner and a cup of coffee before going to sleep. Though there was nothing special this weekend, I just loved it because I felt so grateful to have everything I always expected out of my life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love to blog

My new indulgence is to spend at least an hour a day reading others blogs and then try coming up with something of my own if I feel like it.

All this started few months back when I saw blogs of people whom I know were good at it. It was fun reading their experience and views. I loved the idea of marveling on things at later stage of your life by reading your blogs. So I started scribbling too.

However, I soon realized that some people might think that I am snooping on them though I had no such intentions. I just loved reading and stupid enough not to know which blogs to read. That's right! Being a novice to blogs,I was not aware that I could even read blogs of people I dint know(Yes! that was stupid of me).

One fine day I hit on "Next" button in my blog and whew! I was opened to new world! So many people and blogs. I loved reading them and time started flying by. However, I made sure they are fine with people visiting their blog.

I have many favorite writers now and enjoy being a part of blogging world. I hope I have the same enthusiasm for writing /reading in coming days. I was never a good writer and I am sure I am too lazy to improve on it. But, I am here to put down my thoughts and to read it when I am 60 or so. So, surely my writing skills will not be a big deal then . will it?:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On H4 - Interview experience

Till now ,I have attended around 5 interviews over phone. Most of them ended when they ask me about the visa status. I really do not understand why can't they refer to the forms which I would have filled before calling up for the interview. Anyways, no harm done . I take these interview experience as motivation to study.

However, Interviews here in US is very much different from the ones I faced in India. Questions they ask is more towards behavioral side than technical . I found the interview pattern quite impressive compared to the one in India. Here, you can not answer the questions until you have actually been in such situations where as anyone who has studied for few days can answer the interview questions in India. This is my opinion from whatever little experience I gained from attending interviews.

You have your own advantages and disadvantages when you are not employed during interview phase. Advantage is , you get more time to prepare for the interview .Reading articles about latest developments in your area of expertise, Understanding the requirement of the current position which you are being interviewed for etc. However, main disadvantage is that you are low on self confidence and pretty much desperate to get the job(especially when you are on H4).

Once I get a mail from the recruiter confirming the interview schedule , I would go on a reading spree. I would get all the related technical books from library and have a schedule to learn all of them. Just the way I had done for my examination in engineering. Then , I browse in the net for most frequently asked questions and for any details I can get about the interview process in particular company. There were times when Sudhir would come home and find me reading in same position which I was in when he had left for work. I would hardly cook or do anything except preparing for the interview.

So, obviously it hurts when the interviewer calls up and ends the call after hearing my visa status. Of course he would apologize for not reading my resume completely(arggg!!!). I would be so disappointed but everything seems ok when Sudhir takes me out (thank god for it)

Next day, again I am back to my job hunt with same enthusiasm. I can remember only one interview which didn't end as fast but they wanted different skill sets which was not my area of work.

I hope there will be many chances to clear an interview in future. I really hope there is a job in US waiting for me..

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Cooking

My cooking is something which I was never proud of. I had not entered kitchen until I was in Pune and started living in an apartment with my friends. Before that, I always stayed at hostel or as a paying guest. My mom would never let me cook at home anyways.

I remember the initial days in Pune when I used survive on instant noodles during weekends and wait for Monday so that I can have food at office. After I made few friends, we would go out for food during weekend. I never had the courage to try cooking .

But you can eat only so much of outside food. So, I had to start cooking one or the other day. My first cooking experience was preparing rice!! I was scared/not aware of how to use a cooker! Thanks to my friend whom I called up and tortured while each whistle went off!, I managed to succeed in that experiment.
Things have improved over the years especially after I moved to Bangalore . So I can say I have around 4 years of experience in cooking but I never enjoyed it. I would cook only if it was necessary and would depend on friends to cook for me.

I was really worried when I got married thinking about cooking every day. Especially when you are a house wife everyone asks you about it. So, I started working hard towards it. There were times when my chapati would look more like papad and my curry would be tasteless. But , Sudhir never complained and always praised my cooking!!

I think when you want to cook for someone you love , it somehow turns out good! I never believed in this until it happened to me. Now I love cooking especially Konkani food, haven't had any major disasters in recent past . Looks like I can say I am a good cook now..

I would really like to thank Shilpa ( who has excellent collection of recipes and an amazing talent of explaining things which even a novice like me can follow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On H4-Searching for a Job

Getting a job on H4 is as hard as it can get . But , I feel it is not impossible. As they say, nothing is impossible as long as you want it bad and you are ready to work hard for it.

I am not new to swtiching jobs. In my 6 year career in software industry, I have worked for 3 companies , given at least 10 interviews . My last company had 7 rounds of interview which I cleared without much problem. But, I have never searched for a job while I was unemployed. My job search effort was as esay as sending my resume to a friend who will forward it to his/her HR and I would get a call.

However, when you are on H4 it is not only your work experience that matters. You need to search for the job in an organized way. I am not sure if I am following the right way, but at least I have succeeded in getting few interview calls which I feel is not a bad start considering I am on job hunt from only few months.

So, before getting into my job hunt experience , I would like to share how H4 people can work in US. You have different options like

-Do your MS and then get a H1 through company which for campus selection( Most preferred by people on H4)
- Find a company for full time job who will sponsor for your H1b
-Find a consultancy who will hire you on contract with companies and sponsor your H1

For me, option 1 was not much appealing as I dint want to study for 2 years in technical line. I would like to go for MBA at some point in my career. However, I would go for this option if I end up failing at option 2 and 3

Option 2 , I think is the hardest. Most of the companies wont hire someone who needs visa sponsorship. That too if it is new H1 (If you are already on H1 , quota system does not apply so companies will just have to transfer your H1)

But, if you find a company who agrees with hiring an H4, it is the best option. When you go to any company career site and search for a job you will see an additional disclaimer saying "No visa sponsor ship". Basically means you can not apply for that job.

So , your job hunt gets restricted by it. Also, you need to find out which companies have sponsored for H1 in the past. So this is what I do.

1. Go to site "", here you get all the details about companies who have sponsored for H1 in the past
2. Go to each company career site(minus the Indian based companies who will not hire candidates from US unless they have green card. This makes sense, because they will have many h1 b s in India ready to travel if required)
3. Go to their career site and search for your expertise
4. See if they have additional disclaimer which I have mentioned before
5. If not,apply for the job
(Make sure you have a well documented Resume,Cover letter before applying)

I know there are thousands of companies listed there. But, I never said job hunt was easy. did I? I have been applying for these jobs from last 2 months. Each day filling up at least 30-40 forms. Believe me, filling up these forms can test anyone's patience. But , never give up.

Next best thing is searching through "LinkedIn". Here, recruiters post the jobs directly . So you can search for the Jobs and contact the recruiter directly if you match the Job criteria.

There are other sources like popular job search sites which did not work for me. I have tried it there too. I have never been contacted by any company seeing my visa status. I remember getting many calls when I was in India through these sites.

Coming to option 3- Finding a reliable consultancy is a challenge. I have tried my luck at these agencies. But when I spoke to them, I always felt like I deserved better . May be I was not lucky enough to come across professional consultancies. There are many "desi" consultancies who help in getting a visa. I am not comfortable going to them after reading all the reviews and also talking to few desi agents who have American names :) . Refer to site: before approaching any desi consultancies.

Few things I always remember

- Not to lose hope. When you have enough experience, you will find a job one or the other day.
-Keep working towards it.
- Never get desperate and seek ways which is not legal.
- Take break whenever you feel stressed.

On H4 visa -Top 5 amusing Suggetions

Every day I receive different suggestions from my friends/family on what to do with my free time while I am at home. I have acted on few of them and they have really helped me cope with jobless feeling during past few months. However, there have been few suggestions which really amazed me when I listened to it. So here is the top 5 ,

#5- Shop-After shopping for wedding, I am in no mood to shop for at least an year now. I am sure people realize what that feeling is, if they have shopped for their wedding recently.

#4 -Join dance class- Good suggestion.. but may be for someone else . People who know me would definitely know that I can't dance even if my life depended on it

#3-Sleep- I am good at this one but not so much that I can spend months together sleeping.

#2-Help your husband with his office work-I am in Software Industry and Sudhir works for mechanical firm. Guess that explains why it is ranked second;-)

#1- Have a baby- This tops the chart hands down:-). I have heard many reasons to plan for a baby but from was being jobless one of them?

I am sure people who had suggested these had my good interest in their heart. I just found them amusing as they did not fit me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On H4 visa- Time to kill

I want to capture my experience being a house wife and a H4 visa holder in US. I listen to my friends / read articles about the trauma faced by H4 visa holders . For me, it has not been difficult so far because I try making it easy for myself.

For people who are wondering about H4 , it is a dependent visa for H1b visa holder's spouse. As per US law, dependents can not work in US . They are allowed to study/ get a driving license/do voluntary work without pay .

Main challenge of being a house wife is lot of time in hand. Initial days were fun as I was busy watching tv, browse , chat with friends or sleep. But as the days passed on , I needed to find something to occupy myself. So here is what I am doing

- Working on improving my cooking skills
-Trying to be more regular for gym sessions
- Learn driving from my husband
- Reading books which I always wanted to read but dint have time for while working
- Playing games on play station

But, I am sure I will get bored of these too unless I find a job soon . So, I am working on finding a job which is almost as difficult as trekking Himalayas.

I feel it is very important to avoid negativity around you when you are a house wife and trying to get a job . I always avoid

- People who keep cribbing about how lonely/boring it is to sit at home- I feel the more you talk about loneliness, more you feel it. So it is better to focus on task at hand than talk about your current status.

- People who tell you how impossible it is to get a job on H4- Yes, I agree they are right. But you already know it ,so don't need constant reminders of it. When I am on job hunt, last thing I want is to be low on confidence .

- People who ask you how you kill your time without doing "anything"- this is the most difficult part , because almost all of your friends will ask you this. I wonder how they conclude that you are not doing anything when they know you are on job hunt!

Also try not to bug your poor husband cribbing about your boring day. I understand that you need to share your frustrations/feelings with him but calling him at work and crying about it is not what I call sharing(believe me girls do it!!)

Thanks to Sudhir who is always there to understand and support me . When he comes home with that cute smile of his and his eyes sparkle when he sees me(or the snacks I made;), it feels everything I have left behind in India worth ..

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Long Time..

Ya, it has been a long time since I wrote something here! Guess it is the time to start it again. It will be interesting to see how my views have changed now that I am married and supposed to be more matured.