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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goodbye Valeecha ! ( Eulogy)

Every time someone you are connected to in any sort of way, parent-child or uncle/aunt-niece/nephew  or brother-sister or cousin-cousin relationships, there is this link of family !  A link that both people feel and which you lose when the other one dies first ! It can happen in several ways, one a slow one, where you get to say goodbye but you also have the added agony of watching them die bit by bit, then there's another sudden yet one where they don't suffer, where you didn't get to say goodbye and it hurts the last time you spoke to them was the last time you would ever get to speak to them ! The latter happened with my uncle tonight (early morning in India). He died of cardiac arrest and passed away shortly after being admitted at 4:30 am in Mumbai. He was a simple man, very disciplined, very loving man ! He was generous and kind and a father figure to me.
       As I write this eulogy for my beloved 'valeecha' (Malayalam for elder father) I am in disbelief, that's it, my link with him has vanished ! Will never be able to dial his number to hear his voice in the morning on my way to work. where ever he is, I hope he rests happy.

The following is a small poem in his memory.

Valeecha I will miss your chuckle when you hear something funny,
I will miss asking you if you have had your evening tea ?
In heaven I hope there's no diabetes and no stress of money !
I hope where you are now, there is the peace of the sea !

Valeecha I will miss hearing from you "how are you boy?!"
Always worried about my health asking me to take care
As a kid I used to rub his round fat belly like it was some toy
The joy that my kids can never ever be aware

Valeecha I will miss your voice on the phone every day
Your memory in my brain is in a very special place
Space reserved for the individuals who have shaped my way
Needles to say it will never ever from my brain be erased

Valeecha I just can not say goodbye to you like this
This is happening too soon and too sudden and its totally unfair
Another loss for our family with you leaving behind an abyss
I wish Valeama gets the strength she needs to move on without despair

-Truly yours,
Your nephew Gokul

I will miss you Valeecha. RIP

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things to do before you fly for your masters in America !

Hey Guys/Girls ,
All those coming this fall , some of you might have begun packing , I know its a busy time, you have a lot of questions , a lot of anxiety , apprehension and god knows what , I am sure a lot of questions have been answered , I am not too sure anybody else has posted what I am going to be posting about, well I am computer science MS student , I came last fall (I graduated Rutgers summer 2011 and currently work at Bank Of America here in NYC and this article was written a year after I came to Rutgers on a message board used by new students looking for information), just like you guys with a lot of concerns , immunization, insurance , fees , how much cash to carry, how to carry , documents , shopping , packing , clothes etc etc..the list is endless and one very important thing which I believe should not be ignored is that you guys should recharge your batteries....

Meaning make sure you do at least 10 of the following things before you catch that flight :

1) Eat 10 of your favorite dishes that your mom makes (this is like mandatory).

2) Drink like a fish with your best friends at least 4 times.*

3) Make sure you catch up with all the relatives you care about.

4) Make sure you watch a Hindi flick with your friends in your local theater just like old times.

5) While your doing option no. 4 , make sure you buy the cheap Indian popcorn(try eating the caramel or other flavors:P) popcorn here is buttery n boring n not to mention expensive.

6) Go for a drive with your friends(you won't get to drive on the left side of the road for a long time:P ).

7) I dunno if you can do this , but I did it , try making a short trip with friends you chill with.

8) Take your siblings out for lunch / dinner if you have any or cousins. You will miss them.

9) Try and get 8 hours of sleep almost everyday.

10) For those who love Indian like a pig, here you will eat good sweets but not the same Indian ones u like.

11) Stop being paranoid about silly things , take a deep breath and drink a glass of cold water.Can also try option 2 again :).

12) Eat at the roadside eatery you love eating from at least twice, don't be paranoid about getting sick.If you have to get sick , the germs/bacteria/virus will find their way into your body.

13) Kiss goodbye to your desktop if you have one and love it.
( I mean it..its all going to be boring , slow laptops from now on...if you own a powerful desktop , you will find out what I am talking about, if you are a laptop person then ignore this option)

15)  If you like watching cable TV and aimlessly being a couch potato, do that too since you probably wont be buying cable here, its ridiculously expensive ! YouTube, Netflix and Hulu are going to replace that for you.

16) If your an SMS freak , I doubt you will take up a messaging plan initially wen u get here , as they are expensive , so give those thumbs a wild go..and text away to glory till you switch off your cellphone in the plane.

17) Yes I did skip option 14, this is to just check if you are still reading.

18) If hate cold weather, savor the warmth ! really, it can get cold here.

19) Used to watching EPL games on TV or at a bar in the evening with friends ? yeah do that all you can, matches are early mornings on weekends and champions league is in the afternoon, so its going to be really annoying waking up to see your team lose, but on the bright side, if they win, they set you up for a good weekend !

20) If you are still reading , then you have either skipped most of the options before this , or you have already done them. if you have skipped them , suit yourself..:P if you have done some or most of em..give yourself a pat on the back because now you are ready for a fun-filled, challenging and roller coaster ride to the US for your graduate studies..!!

Sorry for the long post..thought id just write about this since I didn't read anyone else writing about it.I am not up for arguments,debates,questions or discussion..the above mentioned are just my personal views and can be safely ignored :) good-luck and I will see you guys at Rutgers...!!!

 Gokul Menon

*4 you are really gonna miss this, so make it count

P,S. This post should not be taken seriously, although you might miss some of the things mentioned ,at the same time I am not saying these things are not available here...

Note: this article was written sometime in the summer of 2010 for new incoming fall students to Rutgers. I posted this since I was talking a friend and our discussion reminded me of this article. I thought I should catalog it here for search engines to index and hopefully be helpful for folks out there. I did add numbers 18 and 1