December 30, 2012

New Year, New Way. Hopefully.

Okay, 2012 had been a bad, bad year for me in a lot of ways. It has been bad for my blogging frequency (as in 22 posts in a year!), for my photography ventures (as in almost nil), for my health (as in being sick too often and not exercising at all due to back problems and busy schedules) or even for my general mood. I tried, quite often, during the year to pick all of them up but failed quite miserably.

Now we are at the starting of a new year and I am determined more than ever to restart at least some of the things I love. I am starting with my favorite thing: photography. Unlike my previous attempts, this time I am going to have very realistic goals. One photo per two weeks. Why two weeks, you ask? Oh well, I get alternate Friday off at my work if you put in an extra hour rest of the working days of two weeks. So my deadline for getting the photograph done will be Monday after my flex Friday. I am actually working on a list of topics to work on for my photography adventures.

If I succeed in my first venture, I will proceed on to others. For now I am concentrating on my first venture. One step at a time. Wish me luck!!

August 5, 2012

August Photo-A-Day Challenge: Seat you sat on

So as I said earlier, I swapped the topic of the day for 4th and 5th August. The reason being that I sat on this seat on 5th of August, 2012:


Any guesses to why this seat is significant? Oh well, I don’t know. May be perhaps because I watched this while sitting on that seat:


If you haven’t yet guessed it, well I watched India vs Korea Olympic field hockey match. It was a quite a challenge too. It poured during the first half of the game (can you se water droplets on the seat? How about splashing ground in the second photo?). I was completely drenched. Unfortunately, despite staying put in the rain and cheering for India continuously, we lost. Not that I really expected them to win, in all honesty. Yet I was hoping against hope that India might pull off somehow. Oh well.

August Photo-A-Day Challenge: Logo

Okay I know, technically, according to this list, on August 4th I was supposed to take picture of ‘Somewhere you sat’, but I decided to swap it with August 5th topic, ‘logo’. The reason will become obvious by my next post.

So, what do you think is the most popular logo in London is at the moment? Well, you got it: Olympic. The second most popular? Team GB .Well here is the logos for Team GB Olympic and Paralympic games embroidered on the cap of a fan:


You can also see one half of the Union Jack. Check out the next post for my ‘Seat’.

August 4, 2012

August Photo-A-Day Challenge: Coin

The challenge for August 3rd was Coin. This is a picture of  one of the coin from 50 pence Olympic Sport Collection coin released here by the royal mint for Olympic games. There are in total 29 coins representing 29 different sports of Olympic and Paralympic games. This one represents swimming. Its called the Aquatic coin.

On the top of the coin you see London 2012 logo (check out the logo by clicking the link). In the middle is the picture of a swimmer with his/her head down in side the water.

I took this picture outside with natural lighting, hence bad quality of the picture. I apologize. Anyhoo, off I go. Will be back with more pictures soon. IMG_4778_101

P.S.: I am thinking of swapping today and tomorrow’s topic. The reason will be evident when I post the pictures…

August 2, 2012

August Photo-A-Day Challenge: One

Believe it or not, this is a picture of inside a cupboard. So the place I am currently renting has six bedrooms. So the cupboards in the kitchen are divided among the tenants. I am okay with that, the thing that throw me off are these brass numbers inside the cupboard.Talk about marking the territories.


Two days down, 29 to go…

August 1, 2012

August Photo-A-Day Challenge

Don’t smirk. I know I have been very bad about posting lately but things seem to be a bit more settled now so I am hoping I will be able to finish this challenge at least. The inspiration for the challenge came from PB.

I am planning on putting the photos here. The reasoning being that this way I will get back in the habit of logging in and writing something regularly. So let’s keep the fingers crossed…

The first photo of the month is ‘Outside’.


This is the view outside my new apartment window. Why is this significant, you ask? Oh I don’t know, may be because you can actually see blue skies and sunshine outside. You can’t imagine how rare that is, in this part of world. I have gotten into habit of searching the skies for that on small patch of blue to remind myself that the sky is supposed to be blue in colour and not grey. So today was one of those lucky days that we could see blue skies for most part. Talk about life’s little blessings…

Weekend Fun: London 2012

The first weekend of London Olympics 2012. Guess what I did? Yep, watched some Olympics. Not on TV, silly. In the court. Actually, in a volleyball court. Actually, I watched two women volleyball matches: USA vs Korea and Brazil vs Turkey.


Guess who won Gold and Silver medals in 2008 Bejing Olympics? Brazil and USA. Guess what? USA women volleyball team has two Stanford alumni as part of the team: Foluke Akinradewo (No. 15) and Logan Tom (No. 16). So any guesses who I supported in the first match? Of course, Stanford. And yes, we did win, thank you very much.

IMG_4484_101USA women’s volleyball team.

Although I must say that South Korea did fight back. It was Olympics after all. The amount of talent and energy was amazing. I have watched some live games and its always fun but Olympics is a class of its own. These are truly professional athletes. Its so evident by their sheer power, speed, judgements and team spirit.  IMG_4526_101

Anyway the second match, Brazil vs Turkey was even more intense. While US won 3-1 against Korea (3 sets to 1 set), Brazil and Turkey played all five sets. The audience spent the last set on the edge of their seats. Literally. Both Brazil and Turkey supporters were up and cheering for their team. The tension in the stadium was palpable. Unfortunately for Turkey supporters, their team lost.

IMG_4720_101 It was a great experience being in the audience watching an Olympic match. Before I close this post, I do want to mention the contribution of volunteers, called ‘Game Makers’. About 70,000 people from the city volunteered their time to help out with Olympics. They took their personal time off to help with the games. Some of them got duty in the stadium, some were participants of Opening Ceremony, others are helping people find their way to the games. 70,000 people with no repayment what-so-ever, took vacation from work to help out. IMG_4546_101

The photo above are six volunteers mopping the floor during time-out in, what a friend called, synchronized mopping technique.They deserved and got a round of applause from the audience.

That was my weekend saga. How about you? Did you do anything fun during the weekend?

July 29, 2012

Sunday Shot: Dandelion

I know there are plenty of amazing shots of dandelion on the internet. What makes this special was that it was taken using a phone-camera. Its a pretty cool shot for a mere phone camera, don’t you think? I am kind of little bit proud of this shot. What do you think?


July 18, 2012

Cooking for myself and eating alone

Okay, I have a long due beef to settle with married Indian women (well not all of them but you catch my drift): Why is it that the moment a woman gets married she automatically has a superior status in kitchen than us, the unmarried ones? No seriously. Why is that?

It doesn’t matter that they are younger than me. It doesn’t matter that I have been cooking for past decade. Nope, somehow being married gives them an automatic superiority in kitchen so that they don’t hesitate to order me around in my own kitchen! Is there a test that they pass when they get married which make them more qualified than me?

And then of course, if I somehow manage to convey to them my qualification of managing myself in kitchen, there is the pity factor. “You cook for yourself? I am not sure if I can cook for just me if I was alone”. Oh well, good for them then that they didn’t spend years living by themselves. They would have starved to death.

Do they really expect me to stop cooking or better yet, stop eating because I live alone? What kind of logic is that? If not, then why all of them keep declaring it to me that they wouldn’t cook if they were alone. Some of them go as far as declaring that they can’t eat alone. They have to have company to eat.

What kind of sheltered life do these women have? Haven’t they ever travelled alone to a city where they don’t know any one and have to manage things on their own? Do they not eat the entire time they are there?

How can anyone anyone live their entire life without ever being alone for at least few weeks? How can anyone spend their entire life without ever cooking for themselves and eating alone? What a small gamut of life experience do these people have? I guess if I wasn’t so infuriated by them, I will actually pity them.

July 15, 2012

Still here

Yes, I am alive and well. Thank you for asking.
Good news is that I found yet another room. I am hoping this one will work out better than my last two attempts. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Another improvement since the last time: my new Samsung Galaxy SIII. The best part of the phone you ask? The camera, of course. And even better than that is the Instagram app. Okay, its a bit hard thing to relearn photography in a square canvas, not to mention the hardship of downloading and sharing the pictures elsewhere using the applications, I am still inclined to give it a thumbs up. Just an example of what I have been up to:
Anyhoo, result of having a camera with me all the time and having some extra time to spend: Am looking for a new photography project to start and have been searching for some ideas. So far the projects that have caught my fancy are:
- 52 photowalks. It basically involves getting out of house once a week with my camera. London being still a new city for me, this idea has possibilities. The only problem/glitch with this project is the notorious bad British weather. Imagine it pouring the day I decide to take my camera for a walk! Yet it will be a great way to explore London.
- Alphabet. Its a smaller project than previous one (only 26 alphabets!). It involves picking the alphabet and illustrate it in a way you like. It could be simply taking picture of things starting with the alphabet (imagine photographing X for X-ray!) or simply photographing that particular alphabet in different scenario (phew!).
- Colour or shape. Well you simply pick a colour or a shape and take pictures revolving them. I think it will get very boring, very soon but you never know unless you have tried.
- Architecture/historical monuments. Again being in London helps.
Do you have any cool ideas for a photography project? I seriously need to start a project.

June 28, 2012

Samsung Galaxy 3

Trying out android app to write post. Am feeling so hi-tech! Oh, btw, I got new Samsung Galaxy 3 :). Haven't formed my opinion about the phone yet. Will let you know when I have one!

June 8, 2012

The full moon


A pic from my recent trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed (Queen's Jubilee celebration weekend). 

May 23, 2012

The Riches

 Since I can not carry my big bad camera with me due to long commute and back pain, I have been carrying my Cannon Powershot SD750 (yep, a digicam) with me. I guess being without a camera makes me feel vulnerable, kind of helpless. I do miss my dearest SLR when I see something nice, something worth taking picture but at least I do have a camera with me at such moments.

Here are the two pics from my recent visit to Warren house conference center in Kingston-upon-Thames for a course.

The area surrounding the conference center had these beautiful mansions with beautiful landscapes. The mansion worth some where in multi-billion pound range. Someone in course mentioned that someday they might own one of them, if they work hard enough now. My response: "I can never work that hard." Seriously. There are things I know I will never be able to afford. One of them being a mansion in the posh part of London. I may wok hard enough to own a house some day in a decent area. But never a mansion. And never in the posh areas.  

Its sad and disheartening to realize this but at least I know my limitations and may be in some way my worth. 

Anyway, enjoy the pics. The summer is finally here. Hopefully I can post more pics here. The least I can do to keep this space alive.

May 11, 2012

Just saying Hi

Too long I have been away. I wish I could say that I am back for good. I am trying to find yet another place to live. This will be my third hunt in 4 months. So I guess I can safely say that I am not yet settled and happy in London. Its been about 6 months now.

As one of my colleague once put it, worse the time you are having right now, more interesting the stories you will have, to be shared among friends over a drink. I think I have a whole arsenal of interesting stories to be unleashed on unsuspecting audience. Actually, scratch that. I already have an audience, and it expects me to tell them more stories  (and yes, that's you, my friend). I just need time to unload the entire arsenal.

Let me just give you main highlights since I last wrote:

- I finally managed to go to India. The trip was long overdue. I hadn't seen my family for 4.5 years and with the year we as a family have had (my mom was on bed rest for 6 months, my brother got TB and had to quit his job due to that while I was stranded in Canada for 5 months due to visa issue), I had to visit them this year.

- I attended few courses, one of them being about improving personal performance. To my surprise, I have discovered that I can come across as a bit assertive/aggressive to other people. Aggressive is a word I have never associated with myself. I am a sweet little thing! No seriously. Apparently that's what rest of my classmate/course-mate also thought, till the facilitator pointed out that aggression has nothing to do with tone of voice or the body language but the fact that I am pushing my point across in that scenario. If I was a big guy, that would have been ,obviously, seen as an aggression. Since I am a small person and a woman with a pleasant voice, I don't come across that way to general populace. Hmmm, who knew being little and a woman had its advantages?

Anyway, that was not the biggest surprise they (the facilitators) had in their bags. According to them,  I, apparently, have a great potential for becoming a manager and rise up high in the organization. This, I definitely know, is not true. I am not saying I don't have any talent. I love my field and I am really good at it. I am not boasting. I pride myself for being brutally honest. According my own assessment, I will hire me in a heartbeat. But I don't see myself as a manager or some one with a great potential for being a good manager. Add to it, all the office politics. I really don't think I can handle that. Anyway, that's that.

- One of the worst thing about not being settled yet:  I haven't been able to pick up my camera much. Although I was actually more "unsettled" or rather on-the-move last year and yet I managed to take quiet a lot of pictures. My only anchor in those times was my camera.

I am missing my camera sorely, especially given how habituated I had become about carrying my camera everywhere. I think I feel even more unsettled now since I don't have my anchor any more. I need to get back my anchor. May be everything else will settle down once I have that anchor. may be life will be a bit less chaotic then. Just a thought...

- I still miss US. Actually, I have been missing it even more now than earlier. May be it has something to do with me not having a home here. I had a home in US. A place where I craved to go after a tough day.  I need to find that home. I don't think I can handle all the stress thrown my way unless I have that place. I think that's what is making it difficult to find a place. I have been looking for past 2 weeks or so and have viewed about 8-9 places so far. Hopefully I will find it soon.

- I am reading the Anita Blake series at the moment. Please don't judge me.

I guess that's all for today. Not sure when will be the next time I will write. But I promise I will. 

February 27, 2012

Lesson learned?

So I had been looking for a shared accommodation near my office in this nice, big city,  you know to reduce my commute. I contacted a few people: backed out from a few, and few backed out from me. Well I always made clear that I like to cook and since I am an Indian, I would cook Indian food. Of course, not everyone can tolerate the strong smell of Indian food. But its better to have such issues sorted out before moving in, right? Finally I found a nice Polish lady who lives 10 min bus ride from my office. She didn't have any problem with all the issues I raised with her. So I decided to put the deposit and pay the first month rent and move in.

I packed my stuff from my friend's place and moved in. The evening I moved in, we talked about cleaning schedules and other stuff. I was tired so wanted to sleep early. That's when she dropped the bomb: "Oh, by the bye, my husband visit me few times a week. Thought I should mention this so that there are no surprises."

Wait, what?

"Oh. Where does your husband work?"
"Oh, he works in London and comes down here few times a week. Her sister also visit some times. He is a Pakistani guy."
"But but but...why didn't you mention this earlier?"
"But what difference does that make? Its no different than having boyfriend."

Because, I agreed to share the room with you and had no idea I have to share it with someone else. Someone whom I have never met and don't know if I will be comfortable with him. Because he is your Husband which automatically implies that he lives here unlike a boyfriend. I will be equally uncomfortable with live-in boyfriend without my prior knowledge. I agreed to share that place with one person. And because I let you know all the issues I thought my potential room-mate can have problem with including the fact that I cook Indian food.

Well I didn't say as much. I am a non-confrontational person. Its hard for me to be in an argument.

Anyway, getting to the point of post. Almost everyone I have told this incident to inadvertently comes back with the response similar to "Well, you learned a lesson there."

I don't understand that response. Honestly, I don't know what lesson they are referring to here. I talked to that lady in details before moving. My friends (from London) met her and didn't suspect anything fishy about the whole affair. Its not like I was being extra naive or stupid or something like that. It was not MY mistake that I can learn from. Only thing I can learn from this whole episode is that never ever trust anyone in this city. That is if you call this trust. Its not like I have shared my innermost secrets with that lady or something like that. It was a mere rental contract. True, the experience stressed me out and has left me with a bitter taste in the mouth but I simply can't comprehend what lesson I can learn from this episode.

This statement actually infuriates me more than the whole episode. May be because I actually trust these people when I share such a thing with them and then they turn back and kind of blame me for being so naive. So much for making friends in the new city...

February 16, 2012

Is this for real?

Today I had my first ever encounter with a real NHS doctor. So far I have heard of them and always thought of them as a fictional character from some bad story. Today I met one!

I have had a very bad cough and fever for past one week. No over the counter medicine have been helping. So finally I made an appointment with local "Surgery" as they call the local government clinics. I met the doctor and that's how the conversation went:

"Hi, I am Dr B. How can I help you?"
"Hi, I am Richa. I have had a bad cough and fever for past week. I haven't been able to sleep due to coughing fits. For past two days I have been throwing up due to a coughing fit."
Dr. B: "What medicine have you been taking?"
Me: "Paracetmol and cough syrup and I have been gurggling."
Dr. B: "And I assume your voice has changed. This is not your normal voice, right?"
Me: "Yes, of course."
Dr. B: "Okay, let me examine your throat."

He examins the throat.

Dr. B: "Okay, it seems you have a viral infection."
Me: "Okay."
Dr. B: "There is no treatment for the viral infection. It usually goes away on its own."
Me: "Huh?"
Dr. B: "You should continue doing what you are doing and in few days it will go away."
Me: "Huh?"
Dr. B: "What do you want me to do? Give you antibiotics?"
Me: "Yes, please."
Dr. B: "Latest research shows that antibiotics have no effect on viral infections, only on bacterial infection. I can give you antibiotics but it will have no effect. You will feel better after taking antibiotics but it will not be because of antibiotics. Its the viral infection getting better by itself."

Me: "No problem. I will still take the antibiotics." Pause. "BTW, am I contagious to other people? Can I go to office without risking their health (not sure about UK but in US its a big issue. You shouldn't be interacting with other people if you are contagious.)?"

Dr. B: "Oh yes, viral infections are not contagious."

VIRAL INFECTIONS ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS! All I could do was stare him.

Don't take me wrong. I am not big fan of medicine and will avoid them as much as I can. I will actually avoid doctors as much as I can. My solution to most of the common fevers etc: Drink plenty of water and rest. Ocassionally take a paracetmol if fever is too much. That's all. But this infection was getting worse every day and I knew I needed help. I have been previously hospitalized due to a throat infection so didn't want to take that risk again.

Anyway, I finally got the antibiotics and have started the course. Hopefully my viral infection will get better by itself despite me taking antibiotic. I just had to write this incident down.

P.S.: 1. Due to recent sickness, February Photo-a-day was unsuccsessful. Will try something new soon...

2. BTW, Dr. B is an Indian or at least was born an Indian.

February 5, 2012

February Photo-a-day: 10AM


Well I woke up at 9:45ish today morning. The first thing that struck me was the light from the window. The white snow was everywhere outside. I know this picture has nothing to do with 10AM but that’s what was happening to me at 10AM this morning. The wonder and excitement of waking up to snow covered world:Collage2_Resize

Other February Photo-a-day Posts: Words, Hands, A Stranger.

February Photo-a-day: A stranger


Sadly, due to snow, I couldn’t finish this photo challenge. To start with there weren’t many people out. The people who were out were trying to reach to their destination in a hurry due to snow. And above all, it was SNOWING! Okay, not the entire day, but me being the maha-aalasi (super lazy) that I am during weekends, I didn’t start till it was too late. I could have taken picture of random people running to their destinations, but I didn’t dare to take my hands out of my pockets and get the camera out to take the picture.

Bottom line: Didn’t take the stranger picture. But I do have some stranger pictures that I am going put in-lieu. Hope you like it:

Pikes Market-14_101

The picture is from Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the early morning.

Other pictures from February Photo-a-day series: Words, Hands.

February Photo-a-day: Hands


Guess what? Weekends are busier than weekdays. But at least fun was had. It was slightly marred by the frozen weather we have been having lately. Anyway, I finally got around to downloading my pictures to computer. So Feb 3rd Challenge was Hands. Here is the pictures of “that” day:


The hands are of a friend’s daughter who loves stickers.

Other February Photo-a-day: Words.

February 3, 2012

And more complains

Living in London, the big bad London, is quite different from Houston. To start with, I use public transport in London. It means I interact with a lot of strangers on the road, in the train etc. So of course, I have complains, quite a few of them, actually, about how people behave in public places.

- I don't like people who smoke while walking. On top of it they overtake me while puffing their cigarettes. Hello, you want to smoke, you do. You want to die of cancer, your problem but what gives you right to make me inhale your smoke?

- I don't like people who listen to their iPod at the loudest volume, especially if they are sitting in quiet zone. There is a reason I chose to sit in the quiet zone. There they sit with their loud music making the quiet zone quite noisy.

- I don't like people who like to rant about their office on a phone in a train. I really don't want to hear how you are the smartest person around and everyone around you just don't have any common sense. And no its not okay to swear at your boss and colleagues in the train either. And no, you don't get our sympathy by doing so.

- I don't like people who block the exit of the train when they are in no hurry what so ever. I change 4 trains and a bus to reach my destination. If I miss any one of them, my travel time increases by about half an hour (that's above my usual 2 hour journey one way). So please excuse me for rushing but I don't have time to wait for you to fold your paper and then climb down the train. I usually climb the flights of stairs running and make it to the trains 30 sec before they depart. So just get out of my way!

- I don't like people giving me snide looks when I work on my Sudoku. Just because I am an Asian doesn't mean I don't enjoy Sudoku. BTW, I have a degree in Mathematics and I scored 800/800 in the quantitative section of GMAT. I think I am more than capable of solving and enjoying Sudoku.

That's all for today. More complains coming soon...

February 2, 2012

February Photo-a-day: Words


So Sunshine forwarded me this link about February Photo-a-day challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t check her recommendation till this morning, so I missed the first day. But since I am lagging behind in both photography and blogging these days, I thought of giving it a try despite my super busy schedule. So here I am at 11:15 on 2nd Feb, posting the second day photo of the challenge (I was supposed to sleep by 10:30 since I need to be up by 6).

Today’s challenge is words. Since my commute time in London is about 4 hours per day, I have acquired a habit of doing Sudoku and crosswords published everyday in the local newspaper. So for today’s challenge I present today’s partly complete crossword.


Until tomorrow…or whenever I next get time to post.

January 20, 2012

Straight on the road

I think one of my new year resolution should be "Stop Complaining" but unfortunately that won't go well with my other resolution "Blog more".

Anyhoo, let's get back to my current complain. As it happens to anyone who has just moved to a big city, I am always lost in London. Okay, not so much now as I was in my initial days but still I do get lost quite frequently. The good thing about London is that people on the street always help you with right directions (unlike Delhi). My problem is the way I am given the direction. More often than not, they tell me to keep straight on the road I am on (I am usually not as lost as I think). The trouble with that direction, at least for me, the roads in London are never straight, unlike US. They bend and curve and turn and split in twos or threes. Initially, I used to follow the direction literally. Keep straight on the road. Result: I would get more lost than I was.

For example, at point X, I asked someone how to reach Richmond Rail station (point B). They told me to keep straight on the road. So I reached point Y and kept straight on the road (well as straight as I could). It was a dead end. What they really meant was: "Follow the road' and not, 'keep straight on the road' (Click on the image to see what I mean).

Trust me, it's very confusing for someone who has spent 7 years in US, the last of which was in great state of Texas. They have straight roads. Seriously straight. I mean just look at them:

Moreover, when they give direction in Texas, they will tell you that the road turns/bends towards left (even the slightest bends) and you have to keep on it. No such luck in London...

January 2, 2012

Revisiting Resolutions 2011

We all make them at the beginning of each year, the resolution that is. I guess its a fashionable thing to do.  But what's the point of making them if we don't revisit them towards the end and see how we fared. I know I am a bit late ( I started this post in beginning of December, actually) but I think I will first revisit my last year's resolution before making a new one. I might be able to catch up on my weaker areas that way and get them back in this year's resolutions. What do you say? Well, as if you have a choice. Like it or not, I am ranting about it today.

So ladies and gentlemen, here are my resolution from beginning of this year.

- Drink less soda. I don't think I fared well on this one. Although there was an entire month that I didn't drink any soda in 2011. My soda consumption is directly related to my stress level and this year has been quite stressful. So ergo, no success. I don't even see myself succeeding in this area in any recent time. Still too many changes, too many things to deal with.

- Exercise better. I am so proud to say that I actually kept this one despite all the crazy things going on in my life. I think I didn't exercise for about 1.5 month this year (September mid to October end) due to back pain, other than that I had been pretty good about it. I lost weight, gained muscles, lowered my cholesterol and have been pretty much in good shape. I am kind of proud of myself.

- Eat healthier. Again a big tick mark. I travelled a lot this year and still I did manage to eat healthy. Not all the time, of course, but more often than not I avoided unhealthy options and ate healthy. How else do you think I got my cholesterol from whooping 350 to borderline 200?

- Read more. I did. Although I am not very proud of selection of books I read (mostly young adult fiction) but I did manage to read about 22 books so far (not including the re-read of Harry Potter etc). As I said I spent most of my year travelling this year but I discovered  the Kindle for PC. I am not big fan of reading books on computer or devices but this was the only way I could have read books while I was away from home. So I give a big plus to Kindle on that. A friend of mine gave me Kindle fire as farewell present so I think 2012 will be a better year for reading. Also I will be travelling about four hours each day so I will have plenty time to catch up on the reading.

- Be more social. Oh well. Again, I travelled a lot this year, met a lot of strangers and made quite a few friends. So I guess I can tick this off my list as well.

- Call home. I never imagined the way my year would turn out to be when I made that one as a resolution. This year my mom spent about 6 months on bed-rest due to various reasons. The only bright spot in her days were my daily phone calls. I have actually spoiled my parents so much that if I don't call for a week, I start getting frantic calls and emails from them. Till last year, I wouldn't call for a month and it used be perfectly normal. How life changes...

- Read scientific journals. Hmmm...I failed at this one. I don't have any excuses for this one except my travel and stress levels. I guess I should keep this one in 2012 resolution.

- Blog regularly. Oh well, I failed miserably at this one. I have to definitely pick on this one in 2012.

- Take more photos. This one is a big Yes agan. I started a self-portrait project (taking a self-portrait per day) in May and kept on it till now, apart from visiting a lot of different places and taking a lot of picture.

That's it for today. I will be back with more soon. I hope...