Wednesday, September 28, 2022

#700 : Day 7 - Blast from the past - Navarathri

 It's that time of the year again when some women from my city deck up with the finest of the silks and the shiniest of the jewels as they go "golu-hopping". The last couple of years have been difficult for everyone with many people losing their loved ones to the horrid imported disease. This year, as the infection is slowly being degraded to the status of common cold, people seem to have resumed doing all things they once did with vengeance -  Like travelling, eating out and of course, now the Golu-Shopping. 

Sunday evenings are the only quite times in my locality. The main road that my street feeds out is lined with shops. One can find just about any thing they need there - Except for of course, "people for rent/sale". Most of the shops are closed on Sunday evenings as shopkeepers normally spend time with their families. The road is quite narrow with 2-wheelers being parked on either sides making it a pain for pedestrians. There is almost always a traffic snarl, especially in the evening hours as this narrow road is arterial in connecting people to one of the major shopping hubs of my city - T-Nagar. Sundays are an exception - No traffic snarls - It is sometimes outright eerie to see a place so deserted after 6 days of unbelievable human presence. 

Last Sunday, was a major exception. I truly couldn't believe the number of people out on the road. It was Afterall, the day before the Navrathri officially began. Hawkers lined the road, selling all sorts of Golu stuff - porcelain idols of deities,  wooden toys, that "famous" plastic made "park-set" and what not. Then there were the others, competing with the doll sellers, selling return gift items - bags, shiny trinkets, fancy looking bowls and many other such items. 

My mum dragged me to shop for random stuff. As I parked my bike and found myself a comfortable spot to sit,  I noticed young girls decked up fancy silk paavadais (skirts) running around. This took me on a trip down the memory lane to much simpler times. 

As young kids, my sister and I were dolled up by my mum who dragged us with her to go visit all neighbors' and relatives'. We didn't follow the tradition of setting up a doll display (Golu), so we didn't need to stay at home all the time, waiting for people to visit. I loved getting dressed up back then (It's a different story today). I used to shop for earrings and chains from the hawkers who sold them for throwaway rates. As much as I detested the Sundal (Cooked Lentils) that was given, I loved the gifts that we received - Young girls were treated like god during Navarathri. We practiced signing devotional songs as most of the maamis (aunties)would demand that we sing - They wouldn't bring out that Thaambolam (The gift)without at least a line of song was sung. 

As we grew up, work schedules prevented any such frolicking. Decking up in finery had fast become a cumbersome activity - Tying a silk saree, finding the matching ornament and figuring out a handbag to complete the ensemble is no joke. The golu invitations also dwindled as many of the regular inviters moved to different parts of the world. Navarathri ended up becoming yet another reminder of nostalgic times! 

Would the generation that would come after us, experience this tiny part of Indian culture? The Devi (Collective name for deity being celebrated these 9 days) would only be able to answer this! 


Sunday, September 25, 2022

#698 : Day - 4 - The Perfect Date - A Short Story - Part 2

 You can read part 1 here 

Years of being constantly reminded that interactions with the opposite gender should be strictly limited to a professional capacity unless he is your husband made it impossible for me to answer. I felt light headed in spite of the fresh carb intake. 

“Err…um….Sorry, but no, I don’t even know your name!” I replied. I hated that it came out squeaky!

“There you are! Engaellam unna theda bro! (Where do I search for you!) What’s wrong with your phone!?! It kept going off to voicemail” boomed in a voice. I peeled away my face from that distracting tuft of chest-hair on the man opposite. My work bestie, Shiva, made his way near the table with an exasperated expression. 

“Sorry bro! I lost track of time and my phone died. I forgot to charge it!” I replied standing up, grabbing my bang from below the table. 

The man had finished eating too and stood up. He wiped his hands on a tissue and extended his hands. I hesitated a bit before shaking it. His palms felt rough yet reassuring. 

“Nice meeting you chica. Would have been great to have gotten a “yes” but I can take a “no”! Have a good day. All the best with everything!” he replied with a sad smile and walked away.  

“Okay, yaaru idhu?! (who is this)” asked my work bestie eyeing the man who was fast blending into the crowd.

“Just a random guy who asked me out” I replied as we walked towards the exit, my eyes searching for the man. 

“Ooooh! Bro, looks like the men in Spain are falling in love with you too quickly! That’s the third one this week?! Should have said yes to this one. His shoes looked so expensive. Ingaeye settle ayirkalaam bro (You would have settled here!)” guffawed Shiva. 

“Ahaan….let’s go, we need to rush before the peak hour crowd packs the station” I replied trying my best to change the topic. I didn’t want to think about the man. The two guys who had asked me out that very week weren’t anywhere close to being the gentleman that this stranger had been. 

“Ennamo! At this rate, you are going to die as avvai paati 2.0 (Avvai Paati was a spinster who devoted her life to showing devotion to Lord Ganesha)” remarked Shiva as we boarded the train to our hotel. 

The next day….

The conference room in my office was all set for the major meeting with the client. We had managed to close out the testing activity - My company flew me to Spain 6 months ago to support testing activities for a major project. The close out of the project depended on this major meeting. My travel plans back to India in turn depended on the outcome of this meeting. I didn’t really want to leave Spain. I had fallen in love with the language and the culture. 

I strode in and began setting up the presentation as my people started trickling in one by one. My boss had previously indicated that there might be a CTO joining today’s meeting from the client. I wasn’t ruffled by the idea of interacting with a C-suite person. It was the primary reason my boss had picked me to present today at the meeting. Strangely, today was different. Anxiety hit the roof as I fumbled to  plug in the projector. Shiva stepped in to help me. 

I flicked a speck of non-existent dust from my coat and stood up to face the people in the room. I always scanned the room and read expressions - this helped me a lot in anticipating resistance and figuring out allies. I scolded myself mentally when my thoughts wandered to the man who asked me out yesterday. Get a grip woman! You need to nail this! 

“Hello Ladies and gentleman, sorry, I’m late” a familiar voice interrupted me as I opened my mouth to start talking. My heart skipped a beat - It couldn’t be! I must surely be dreaming. The man who asked me walked in looking dapper in a neat powder blue shirt, jet black trousers. A well cut black coat and a stylish smart watch completed his ensemble. His eyes widened for a split second in recognition but he managed to hide it well with a smile. 

My boss and one of the leads from the customer side stood up in unison and introduced him to the people in the room. They also ended up introducing me to him. He smiled politely as we once again shook hands and remarked that I seemed familiar. I couldn’t do much other than just nod. Words failed me. I was surely doomed! I regained my composure as I took a small sip of water placed on the table and began talking. 

Normally I would make it a point to look at everyone’s face in the room. I learnt very early in my career to read a room. Today, that was just exhausting. I couldn’t skip focusing on him for obvious reasons. It didn’t help that he listened intently with a blank face.

“And that gentlemen, bring us to the end of the presentation. We would be happy to take questions now” I closed out my presentation after an hour and sat down. 

There were multiple questions from people both from my company and that of the client, but the man, I knew his name now -  Randall Viera, just observed all the interactions. After all conversations died out, he stood up and walked to the opposite side where I was seated. I stood up when he was inches away from my chair. He extended a hand and I shook it. 

“I’ve never seen a better implementation in recent times. Great Job Shriya! I’m sure our next project will be a great success” he said. My name sounded way too exotic coming from him, it was all about the rolling of the “r”! My legs turned to jelly as I tried to think of something to respond. Shiva sat next to me and tugged at my shirt’s cuff to remind me to respond. 

Sensing my hesitation, he asked if we could meet in 20 minutes after a break in private to discuss some budget concerns from this project. I simply nodded before bolting off to the restroom. I was surprised at my reactions to a man I turned down hours ago. It had to be the damn hormones. 

I splashed some water on my face and rubbed my eyes, almost ruining my makeup. I had to get a grip of things and not let a handsome fact mess with my brains. It wasn’t going to end well for me at this rate.

Note : Thanks for reading through. There might me 2 more parts (instead of the original 1 more) to this story! what's your idea of a perfect first date?! Comment away, I might end up writing it if I love it!


Saturday, September 24, 2022

#697 : Day 3 - The Perfect Date - A Short Story - Part 1

The Perfect Date - A short Story

“Sei la mia donna

La forza delle onde del mare

Cogli i miei sogni e i miei segreti molto di più

Spero che un giorno, l'amore che ci ha accompagnato

Diventi casa, la mia famiglia, diventi noi

E siamo sempre bambini ma

Nulla è impossibile

Stavolta non ti lascerò

Mi baci piano ed io torno ad esistere

E nel tuo sguardo crescerò”

Andrea Bocelli’s voice blared from the restaurant's audio system as I sat glued to my chair. A little stalk of cabbage hung from the corner of my mouth. A  layer of mayonnaise formed a thin mustache as I bit into my sub. Crumbs of bread from the Sub I was eating occupied my beautiful maroon and yellow striped Hogwarts scarf. 

“Hola! ¿Puedo sentarme aquí?” 

“Hola! Senora!” !Hola! Por favor! Señora”  

A deep voice addressed me. I peeled my eyes away from the screen to face a six foot something handsome man standing in front of me with a tray. He stood studying me with an amusing smile on his face. 

“Sorry! No hablo Espanol!” I replied, rubbing away the mayo and cabbage as embarrassment crept in the form of heat behind my ears. It was too late to dust off those crumbs. 

“Hello! Can I please sit here? All tables are occupied!” he replied. His accent was typically thick and sounded dreamy to my ears. 

“Si! Sure” I replied smiling. He had close cropped hair which was all salt and pepper. He wore stylish rimless glasses which gave him an air of sophistication.He face was all planes with a day old stubble.  He caught me openly staring at him and winked. Hiding my embarrassment at being caught gawking, I took a swing of my ice tea and turned my attention to the TV. Much to my disappointment I had failed to see the name of the song that Bocelli had sung. That wasn’t going to be hard to find. I mused as I resumed eating my sub. 

“So! Senora! You are from?” he asked as he sipped his drink.

“I’m from India,” I replied as I tried to eat my food without scattering more crumbs. I felt butterflies in my stomach. He was just too handsome to be alive, in blood and flesh. 

“Ah! That explains the curly hair and colorful outfit! You look so beautiful” he replied as he gracefully bit off a large portion of his sub. How does one do that with so much elegance?

Being the socially awkward person that I was, I was still processing a response to that! How does one respond to a situation which might escalate to full-fledged flirting? I wasn’t used to men flirting with me back home. I mean, look at me, curly hair, a chubby boring plain face with a curvy body - Just your average chubby plain jane who didn’t believe in fashion. My friend had called my outfit of the day - A multicolor long shiny skirt paired with a red shirt and black utility boots and some trinkets - a minor grade 2 disaster. 

“Okay! You clearly like what you see, enjoying the view uh?” he said again with a mischievous smile. I didn’t really realize that I was staring at him - particularly the small part of chest hair that peeped from his shirt whose first button was left open. Get a grip woman! I chided myself and lowered my face blushing as I continued attacking the food with much gusto. 

“So, tell me something, perdoname for being a bit blunt here - I’ve always wanted to understand this. How do Indian people marry complete strangers? Does that work these days?” he asked in a rather serious tone.

The question made me look up and think. Probably not the first time I was asked his question. My Spanish colleagues had found the whole construct of arranged marriage fascinating. They were quite perplexed that a woman, as educated and independent as I am, would abide by this very construct - They had noticed me going through pictures sent by my dad and overheard me talking about prospective grooms. However, it was a very odd question coming from a stranger!

“I don’t quite agree with the term “Strangers”. Most often, the partners are chosen from acquaintances or extended families. It's just not about two individuals being in a relationship, it's about their families and their friends too. It has worked for all these days, I guess it will work in the future too” I replied with a shrug. It wasn’t a very convincing reply but explaining Indian patriarchy and customs to a stranger felt like a daunting thing to do. 

“So you’ve not really dated? Do you even get a chance to choose your partner?” he asked. His tone went a couple of notches higher with the surprise from my response. 

“Kind of. I do go on supervised dates - Mostly my parents set it up and of course, they respect my choices” I responded. For some reason, I wasn’t convinced of my reply. I also felt a little embarrassed at my realization that as a fully grown “independent” adult, I never got to enjoy a date on my own terms. I always met men in temples or in hotels where both sets of parents stood a few meters away - They couldn’t hear us talking but they always had an eye on us.

His face turned all soft and a small sad smile creeped into his face. “Dios mio! My love. A beautiful woman like you should be taken on dates and showered with love! It’s sad that you are missing out so much” he said. The condescending tone and him calling me “love” got me all riled up. A handsome face did not give a person the leeway to be an absolute motormouth!

Anger bubbled up as I tried to respond calmly. “ Not sure I’m missing out on much. Men these days lack the finesse and are averse of commitments” I responded venom spewing. A stranger had no business feeling sorry for me. 

“Oh love, I agree! They are not men, they are just boys. Okay, I know you are probably already creeped out at being asked about marriage right away, but can I take you out for a proper date?” he asked, sounding super sincere. If not for his previous comment, I would have fallen face down to this thirst trap! I bristled at his audacity and clamped my mouth shut tightly. Or at least I thought I did. 

I’m a woman in my 20s and he is probably around 40, the whole thing felt very off.I didn’t notice a ring. I liked older men, but I wasn’t going to go out with unknown men in a faraway foreign land. That too certainly not with this one. 

“Ha ha! I am 40 and you are in a foregin land. Pero chica, you live only once! I promise, I’m not a murderer!” he said laughing out loud. I was shocked at his admission and wondered if I had spoken my mind or if he was a mind-reader!

“I spent all my 20s chasing numbers and never had the time to find a woman to marry. I crave for company these days but I end up courting gold diggers or glam plastic barbies. I’d rather go out with a woman who doesn’t bother about the crumbs soiling her scarf” he replied with his long fingers gesturing to my scarf. 

He just insulted a fraction of my gender and had the gall to point out my awkwardness all in one go. I was livid, would be an understatement. I opened my mouth several times to come up with a sharp response but anger shut down my thought process and tears threatened to spill. His comment triggered a feeling of me being a complete dork - something my relatives kept pointing out as a reason behind me being a failure in the marriage market. They kept commenting on my body and my general social behavior to no end as prospective grooms kept rejecting me without citing a reason. 

He smiled and raised both his hands apologetically “That was in poor taste. I’m sorry if I offended you chica. I would love to take you out on a proper date and get to know you more” he repeated his request sincerely. It was weird being asked out by a  handsome and confident man. 


NOTE : I dusted this story off from yet another bunch of drafts! I remember writing this sitting in my "too big for one" room in Dubai in the middle of the night after a long day, polishing off a bottle of ginger ale spilling it all over my laptop when my phone suddenly rang indicating a Spanish number. Neither did I pick the call nor did I finish the story. I will finish this tomorrow. This is my first attempt in writing a romance, that too in a first person narrative - I would truly appreciate any feedback! Based on the feedback I might turn this into a book, pulling it down from here. 


Friday, September 23, 2022

#696 : Day 2 - Tackling Impostor Syndrome

Disclaimer - This is a lengthy and personal account of tackling a mental health issue. Seek professional help as needed. 

Wikipedia defines Impostor Syndrome as a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. 

A bit of context before diving into mechanisms to tackle it, 

This is the story of my 10-year-old career. I got out of college with an employment offer in hand - The offer was in no way related to the coursework I did, but it did pay well. Being the bull head that I am, I wanted to build a career related to my education - It was the only logical thing to do. I ended up joining an Industrial Automation start-up which was working on supplying a relatively new technology. It is important to note here that I was in a technical role and spent long stints working out of factories. 

I then moved on to work for a tissue paper manufacturing unit as their Instrumentation Engineer - This was undoubtedly the best role I ever held - I had the chance to do good engineering stuff like designing instrument hook-ups, selecting instruments and co-authoring the process flow document. Again, a very technical role which included some exposure to budgets and analytics. A word of thanks to the PM and my manager who helped an eager young professional help learn a lot. Never imagined working out of a tiny village in a remote factory would be super fun. 

My short stint there ended with me joining a French MNC who among other things, was into process safety and automation. For almost 7 years straight, I played the role of a safety and control system engineer doing multiple things including designing and testing hardware cabinets, designing  architecture, creating function block libraries, setting up networks, testing and interacting with the end-user/customer. I managed to be a part of almost all phases of the projects except of course for the commissioning phase - Also a very technical role with sufficient amount of exposure to costs and planning - a small chunk from the whole "management" game. 

Fast Forward to 2022, I moved to a very different role - Handling cybersecurity project management - if you've followed so far, nowhere there has been a mention of Cybersecurity or Project Management - Those were not my core skills. Those were any secondary skills which I picked up due to project needs. 7 years of working with the same system gave me a sense of stagnation. So I invested time (and money too) to develop my secondary skills - i.e. I up-skilled and cross-skilled. The universe offered me a difficult choice between staying technical (as a cybersecurity OT consultant) or moving to a technical management role. I picked the latter after much deliberation. 

Impostor syndrome started creeping in right at this stage. The shift from a purely tech career is evidently unnerving.  

Moving to a compliance role which converted my secondary skills to primary skills, made me feel like a blithering idiot most of the time. The first two months were nothing short of hell. I'm a fairly confident person who can get around cracking any challenge thrown at - I persevere. This role, broke that for a while. There was no tech manual or write up or a hardware setup for me to tinker with and learn - the role needed needed experience. 

Add in the anxiety of not having any relatable same gender peers, I felt like a true impostor. The industry that I am in, has been traditionally male dominated. It bothered me a lot, but it never made me anxious until now. 
I told you, I persevere. So here is what I did to tackle that helpless feeling of being a fraud who might be ousted any day, 

1.  Fighting feelings with evidence - While my role did not "require" me to be too technical, I made it a point to take part in technical discussions, read up tech stuff related to my role - My confidence went up several notches when I could process most of the stuff even when I didn't participate in technical decision-making like I used to. 

2. Network, participate, volunteer - Women are very poor when it comes to professional networking, especially with the opposite gender. I had already worked on this as I up-skilled but now, I began interacting with people who are much older and experienced than I am. I also joined technical societies and volunteered. 

3. Mentors are a blessing - Fruits that professional networking bore for me. Women need all allies that they can get. Especially if your mentor identifies from a different gender, it leads to a shift in the mindset - I am lucky to have one such mentor. Vijay, thank you for all the gentle pushes! Also to the awesome Women In Cybersecurity Mentoring group - Nicola, Jalpa, Ruhee and Jane - We discussed a lot of important topics all through the year which slowly helped me in all the little ways that snowballed to a paradigm shift in my thought process.

4. Owned my progress - I upskilled using scholarships, I hacked away things, I participated in online challenges and aced them - Couldn't have done all of these without real skills. I owned my progress! 

5. Visualized success - Mental rehearsals, self-talks, meditation. I was like this kid from the video that made rounds in socials - she pushed an adult down the slide and pushed herself too down it. I was her, most of the time! 

6. Conversations with peers - I have to thank my some of my colleagues from my new and old role - I didn't really discuss much about what I was going through but the encouragement I got in general because of the switch helped me a lot. It also helped to have an extremely supportive manager in my new role! 

7. Supportive family - My parents are the best sounding board I could ever ask for! The love of my life - my husband - has always been my personal cheerleader - Right from the days of our college campus placements to my latest switch.  Special mention to my little sister for being the most entertaining meme sharer! 

A mental down time of 2 months may not seem much but it's effect can be plain horrible. 

Fast-forward to almost 5 months from taking up the role - I don't persevere anymore, I thrive! I'm back to being my confident self. 

PS. if you ever feel like you need a non-judgmental ear to talk to about this very topic, I'm all ears! 


Thursday, September 22, 2022

#695 : Day 1 - The Sweetness of doing nothing - Dolce Far Niente - A thought process

 The Italian phrase - "Dolce Far Niente" has been making rounds on Instagram reels with people posting videos of them enjoying the quintessential Italian summer, sipping a glass of limoncello while devouring delicious pasta handmade in a small restaurant along the cost of Amalfi. That does feel heavenly, but honestly, would all of us normal folks afford that? A combination of sadness that arose from looking at my bank balance and madness from looking at my work calendar jolted me out of that Italian dream and got me to rethink that Italian concept. Or rather, I dug deeper without going by Instagram. 

To me, the concept of "Dolce Far Niente" is an art - Can one truly interpret the phrase verbatim? Can a person actually be without doing nothing? I surely cannot. Even if I were to sit quietly, without doing anything, my brain would be whirring with plans and thoughts centered around common themes of work, food and learning! It's 11pm in the night now (Yes, I write these a day early) and my brain does not show any signs of winding up at all - So how do I "enjoy" the concept of "Dolce Far Niente". 

Realization hit me as I chugged down water, spilling it all over my T-shirt. It's not about the "what", but rather about "why" -  enjoying the idleness in our own terms amongst the doldrums of the day. The next logical questions I had was "how" - How do I enjoy being "idle"? - I do not like being idle, it's the most difficult thing to do. However, few days of idleness might as well help me with building better habits. As usual, I made a list of things I follow/should be following and this will help you too,  

1. Unplugging from the world - Throw away that phone, uninstall those social apps, the time tracking apps, the mail apps and just about every other app which is distracting. I already tried doing this in small doses - It helped me quite a bit to focus, but now that I'm back to blogging again, this might change. 

2. Ditch the binge watching spree - It's okay not to catch up with the latest episode of House of Dragons or whatever is your pick. That catchup culture does not define us! Replace this with walking around. Take a walk, go about talking to those retired folks who have a good community of their own. You may be pleasantly surprised, I was. 

3. Forget guilt - Didn't hit that fitness goal? It's fine. Didn't drink enough water? It's okay. There is always a tomorrow, we all live in a hope that there is always a tomorrow. So lets live with that hope. 

4. Take a nap - "Siesta" is a word I absolutely love. I make a point to snooze for 15 minutes every afternoon, just before lunch mostly. This helps me focus better. 

5. Have a rest day - Don't do that pending cleaning, it's okay not to respond to that mail today (unless of course the world is burning), it's damn okay not to take yet another call. While this is difficult most of the times - Work, family and life in general happens, one can surely try. 

Comment your favorite idea! 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

#694 : 100 Days of Blogging - An Introduction

 Make haste while the sun shines - Pen down it down when inspiration strikes! 

It's been a roller-coaster ride this year so far with some crazy decisions taken - seemed like a logical continuation to the circus that 2021 was. With the art of blogging almost dead and video content taking over, it felt like a waste of money (INR 1000) every year to maintain this blog. I contemplated closing it down and almost cancelled my domain subscription. I stopped myself from committing a blunder that I certainly would regret.  I never cared for the "trends". Blogging has always been the most comfortable medium for me to express myself, pouring out thoughts to the abyss that the internet it. Moreover, my writing skills have taken a beating - all thanks to endless days of talking just the tech language. At this rate, I would never complete writing my novel - Yes, I still hope to publish a full length novel before my hair turns completely grey (Oh it's well on it way to the halfway mark, I'm prolonging the inevitable using "herbal" stuff).

I decided it was high time that I took charge of things and mitigate the risk of losing my writing skills (Damn, I cannot "not" use the words "mitigate" and "risk" these days - perils of my job). I decided to embark on blogging for 100 days. The last I did this exercise was almost 6 years ago when I got married. I kind of felt that I didn't do justice to the spirit of blogging since I ended up posting just pictures with captions. This time around, come what may, I intend to write at least 100 words coherently on a topic of my choosing - I hope to write short stories too, just to kick that sleeping cell of creativity. 

If you are reading this, I thank you for the support -  I do have a favor to ask, if you like what I write, write  to me - Drop me a mail ( or comment here or DM me on Insta (@shreejanani) - I promise you an engaging conversation (There might be lag since I'm always going about talking at work). If you don't like what I'm writing - Feedback welcome! 


Saturday, January 1, 2022

#693 : The Year That Was - 2021

When I sat down to pen this post, I realized that I had written just four blog posts this year - By far the year with least number of blog entries since I first started actively blogging in 2012. With normalcy going for a toss after COVID hit, it became just difficult for me to balance my routine. In fact, 2020 seemed to have been a better year - I wrote 15 blog posts. Consumption of digital content is fast changing. I have no idea what sells as content these days. While I'm not one to care for numbers, some light human interaction would be of good help. Lack of readership and motivation, among other things has been a reason for this dry spell of blogging. Moreover, my writing skills have deteriorated over the time owing to various reasons. While these might sound like excuses, but this is the truth - in black and white. 

2021 was a mixed bag for me. It was for sure better than 2020. The generally COVID related negativity seeped into my life so much so that it altered my very core of thinking. I promised myself not to focus on that while penning this post down. I intend this post to be a reminder of all things that I did to push myself to be a better version of me - I'm just skipping to the good part. 

I focused on developing my career. 9+ years in Industrial Automation, I seem to have fallen into a rut. I wanted to change that. Exploring an alternative career when you are 30 year old woman is a different game. The assortment of challenges that one has to face is a not for the faint hearted. I am no fainted hearted damsel in distress. I took it head on, ensured to get picked for a good leadership program at work, pursued upskilling majorly on scholarships and ended up networking like crazy. I'm thankful for all the wonderful allies and mentors I met this year. I'm also thankful for the people who expected and wanted me to fail. They pushed me to be the better version of myself. 

My reading and writing habit has always been a huge part of my identity. This year, I lost a piece of that. While I'm not particularly happy about it, I'm not complaining either. My other skills took the limelight this year - My tech skills. Of course, I did manage to read about 32 books this year. Lot of romance and some re-reads - Also tried Audio books.  

For reasons unknown, I have an inkling that 2022 is not going to be a piece of cake either for me. I'm not a person of resolutions, but I do have some goals that I hope achieve. I'm not going to say them out loud but I hope to be able to share it once I've achieved it. 

Blogging-wise - It's still a mixed bag for me. I do not have a concrete plan. However, I might change the name, do a bit of re-branding but that's a decision for later. I intend to take things on day by day and I truly hope to be able to blog more. 

May 2022 fulfill all our dreams and bring us peace. 

Feliz Ano Nuevo!