#PickMyBrain - QnA March 2018

I spent some time this morning organizing my Google Keep notes and imagine my surprise when I found my QnA note with a bunch of questions I’d collected from you guys ages ago.

I can’t really make an excuse for forgetting to write this QnA for 10 (!) months but as they say, better late than never. So here goes:

1. How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog would know the answer to this question. Birthdays are super important to me, whether they are my own or those of the people I love. I go all out (a little over the top even) and if you want to read more about the various birthdays I’ve celebrated in the past two years, there’s a whole tag on this blog dedicated to them.

But in one line, I think birthdays are important milestones that remind you to celebrate your life and be grateful for it so I try my best to create "the ideal day" for myself and my loved ones.

2. Which stream did you pick for your 11th and 12th Standard?

Prepare to laugh in my face: I picked Science and Computers…in the ICSE syllabus. If you don’t know about the ICSE/ISC syllabus in India, it’s considered to be the toughest in the country and I personally believe that they sometimes go out of their way to make things difficult for everyone involved. Especially with regards to the science stream, I’d like to know today if there’s even a single engineer who studied with me who benefited from learning all those differentiation and integration formulas by-heart. The good thing was that we were allowed to use calculators during exams but here’s a fun question: If someone can use a calculator in this day and age, then what exactly do you think is stopping them from using Google to find a formula if the need arises?

It angers me to no end that people totally miss the point of an education. Instead of equipping young minds to find clever ways to come up with solutions to their problems, they are forced to behave like a herd of cattle.

During those two dreadful years of my life, I had to learn formulas and derivations to those formulas by-heart, how to code using Java programming on paper, and was pretty much spoon-fed answers to questions that might pop up in the national exam. Because the end goal was just that - pass the national exam with marks good enough to get into a good college that doesn't understand merit.

So except for the English lessons where we were taught Shakespeare in more detail than I ever was as an English Lit post-graduate, everything else I learned during my 11th and 12th was a total and utter waste of my fucking time.

3. What is your favorite perfume?

Currently, it is the Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia for Women.

4. Will you ever get a tattoo?

Yes. I know exactly what I’ll be getting although I’m not taking any active steps to make it happen. Contrary to how I go about every other aspect of my life, in this case, my gut tells me to wait for it. It tells me that one fine day, everything will work out perfectly such that I will chance upon the opportunity to get that tattoo. I have a feeling that when it does happen, the occasion will be special to me and I will be prepared with exactly what I want :)

5. What are you most passionate about?

It’s hard to pick just one thing. I would say writing would be at the top of my list because I find nothing more fulfilling than when my thoughts begin to make sense to me as I read them to myself. Stories might come second, in whatever format they present themselves. I devour stories through books, movies, TV Shows etc but I have also been chasing real-life stories through my podcast where I speak to inspiring people almost every other day. I feel like I want to list a third one here but I’m finding it hard to pick between fashion and skincare/wellness. I guess it’s a tie for the third place ;)

6. Can you describe your dream home?

Why, yes I can! My dream home will mostly have an open concept because both Shane and I like being able to watch TV while cooking, or fix a drink with our feet while doing a headstand on the patio, you get the point. It will also ideally have lots of natural light with remote control blinds because we’re too lazy to move our butts. It would be pet-friendly (enough to host doggie birthday parties) and we won’t own any furniture that we’d regret ruining by spilling wine or dealing with doggie accidents.

7. How do you spend your typical weekend?

As of now, we socialize on Thursday (when the weekend unofficially starts for me after releasing an episode of the podcast) and Friday nights and often try to spend the whole of Saturday outdoors too. On Sundays, we deep clean our house and I start working. So I start recording for the podcast, prepping for an interview, or planning out the rest of the week on a Sunday although I strictly don't respond to emails at the time. This practice just puts me in the right mood for the week and it’s also a good strategy to avoid Monday blues.

That said, everything is going to change in a BIG way starting next Monday and I’m very excited to find out what my new routine is going to be like :)

8. What do you typically have for breakfast?

This is another question I’m very happy to answer because my breakfast time is my favourite. I usually have the same thing every weekday morning - Quaker Oats - Oat So Simple Golden Syrup Porridge and a cup of coffee (two sugars, a splash of milk). I feel that on weekdays, the easier and more filling the breakfast is, the better. Sometimes, I cheat by getting doughnuts or croissants the day before but whatever it is, it never involves more steps than pressing two buttons on the microwave.

On weekends though, especially on Sundays, Shane and I cook our special egg on toast recipe, a favourite of ours that I should probably share here at some point. We have our eggs with English Breakfast tea without fail every single time. Sometimes, this is our go-to recipe for “breakfast for dinner” and even then, we have it with the breakfast tea.

9. How many languages do you speak?

Fluently, three - English, Malayalam, and Hindi. I also understand Tamil because it’s very similar to my mother tongue. In fact, recently, while researching a guest for the podcast, I watched two twenty minute interviews in Tamil and followed the conversation perfectly well. And here's a fun fact: My parents tell me that while we were in Mumbai (I was in kindergarten at the time), I picked up fluent Marathi although I have zero recollection of the language today. For all I know, it’s stored away in a special compartment of my brain and might come in handy someday. You never know with languages.

10. If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?

I learned French in middle school for about two years and all I remember from that today is ‘Oui’ and ‘Qu'est-ce que c'est?’. We didn’t really get the chance to practice speaking in French so ideally, the next time I learn a language, I have more training practicing than writing endless verb conjugations. That said, I’m not sure which language I’d like to learn. German might come in handy while visiting the country I suppose and maybe someday, I’d like to spend some time learning Italian, mostly because of how beautiful that language sounds to my ears.

11. What is something you like about yourself?

Such a hard question to answer for someone like me who spends a designated amount of time each day dwelling on how I’m not good enough. I think I’d have to go with my adaptability to any situation. I don’t often like finding myself in new situations but when I do, I quickly adapt and make the most of it. I try to remind myself that all the things that make me uncomfortable today are helping me grow for tomorrow. So far so good.

12. Is there something you’d like to change about yourself?

Ha. Haha. Do you have three hours? Would you prefer a colour coded binder mailed to your address? Or would you rather come and sit down with me until you lose sensation in your ass cheeks?

There you go - I’d like to get rid of some of that self-loathing and the near-constant sensation of feeling inadequate, thank you very much.

And that's all for this installation. You can check out the previous QnA's here. If you have any questions for next month, you can send them to my email or DM me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

See ya!