October 21, 2009

Post #11

I haven’t been very successful with the goal of keeping up with blogging. Life sped away from me a bit. Real life places high demands on my time, my energy, my efforts and my ability to think and work.

A friend recently emailed me, reminding me that I hadn’t updated in a couple of months. I owe it to her to blog when I can.

Life is full. Classes keep me busy in the morning. Studying drains me throughout the evening. And then there are the little tasks of single, independent life that constantly require my attention. I find myself constantly making lists to go grocery shopping, do laundry, make lunch, make dinner, sweep, and a myriad other little tasks. I sigh every time I think how much easier it would be to live in the States. A single WalMart would make a world of a difference; most of my chores and requirement could be taken care of by a quick trip to the local WalMart.

I know it sounds glamorous when I say I go to MedSchool in the Caribbean. Honestly though, it’s just another third-world country. Doing laundry is expensive, finding food to supply a well-balanced diet is beyond challenging, power goes out once a week on average, and water pressure fluctuates per whim. Tropical weather year round means either high heat or bouts of heavy rain shower; I’m left complaining about either how dry and hot it is or how muggy and hot it is.

It is nearly all work, but I do try to fit in a little play into my life to make the semester bearable. We go out for dinner/lunch (thank God there are a couple of decent Indian and Chinese restaurants), invite each other to potlucks (I need to learn something new this semester…I think my bread pudding is getting old), catch up on streamed American show, or just get together to be nostalgic together and keep each other entertained.

This past weekend we celebrated Diwali. It was my first puja away from home, and it went off quite well. Of course the puja was followed up by a potluck dinner (I made the puris and samosas – from scratch!).We even got our hands on some firecrackers. I celebrated properly with phoojharis, chakris and anaars after many, many years. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to celebrate holi here next semester.

Did I ever comment on how I want to learn more about Hinduism? Long story short, I was embarrassed by how little I actually knew about my own religion and decided I wanted to read up as much as I could, the better to educate and enlighten myself. I’m currently reading the Puranas, in English of course. I’ve already got the Mahabharata cued up on my computer as well. The reading list includes the Vedas, Shrutis, Smritis, Bhagwad Gita, and Ramayana. Am I missing any other sacred text? How about texts that are more in the realm of theological discourse (pertaining, of course, to Hinduism)? If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

Did you know, when we chant the Gayatri Mantra, most of us are only chanting the cliff notes version? The full mantra consists of chanting Om agnervakpunsi yajurdedin jushta somam piba swaha 100 times. That is followed by om bhuh/ om bhuvah/ om swah/ om tatsaviturvarenyam/ om bhargodevasya dhimahi/ om dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.

Well, that’s been my life recently; rather unexciting to live. I suppose that’s better than being visited by bad news though, so, on the whole, I can’t complain.

PS – I got stepped on, and that resulted in a half-ripped off toenail. It was rather nasty for the longest time, but on Diwali night the nail finally ripped off completely (not nearly as painful as it sounds). I now have half a bed of healthy nail growing steadily – no infections, no major side effects. It was an interesting experience. Ironically, a majority of my wannabe doctor friends were completely grossed out by the half-detached toenail and exposed nail bed…wimps! ;)