Written on Oct 27, 2013
Thanks for choosing to be part of my website. After years of planning, research, discussions, drafting designs, building designs on other content management systems and ultimately scrapping them, I am finally here with plain and simple choice of using WordPress. For now, at least.
This journey began a long time ago when I felt the need to share things I know and my approach to life with a wider audience. At that time, I was mostly thinking about having a cooking website with all my recipes. With time however, my plans, interests and direction changed. I remember it was 2010 or 2011. Janice, one of my roommates at the time had bought a beater just to make muffins with which she was going to mix the store-bought muffin mix. She did mix it with the beater, and we made muffins together. It was a very funny thing to do, but it was nice to see her dedication towards making something she wanted to eat. Another night, me and my other roommate, Angela (who I call downy with love!:P), were really really hungry and decided to koreanize chinese dumplings at midnight and we did! With hot pepper paste! And MAN, were they HOT?! LOL! We laughed, ate, took pictures and put them on Facebook. Another time, I remember sharing my birthday meal prepared as a surprise by my friend, Yoon, with lots of black pepper and him noticing how I cannot eat long-cut peppers. Later, in another year, he kept that observation in mind and remembered to cut peppers in very small pieces so I could eat the pasta he had made. Another time, sometime in 2010, my sister had specially bought me soup from a vegan restaurant because she knew I would not want to eat anything other than soup when I am sick, especially nothing that contains any kind of meat (so the vegan consideration was great). From 2011, I remember Amberle’s sweet and bitter Banana cake, Valery’s plain and warm potatoes and salad, and all sorts of assorted food ready to be grilled – around one warm place for all of our summer evenings – the BBQ. From 2012, I remember sharing a special fish meal with my best friend, Jessica, on our last night together which contained the right balance of salty soya sauce and sour ginger. With the tenderness of fish in a salty and sour sauce, there was nothing which could explain our feelings any better at that time – sweet, sad, but with a little bit of sour hope. Hope to see each other again, and sour because we didn’t know when.
Somehow I understood one thing though – that food is not eaten simply to fill your stomach, but to be shared with others. And in reality, if you can understand the heart of the person who prepared it and share it happily with them, it really doesn’t matter what you eat.
That was the first place I got my inspiration for sharing anything with anyone. The second place I got the inspiration was from within myself. Somewhere along the path of life, I felt the need to change myself. To learn more, to be more. In 2010, I had recently changed my major after meeting my amazing role-model and supervisor, Kelley G. She encouraged me to believe in myself, my abilities and never feel afraid to try out new things (coz the only worst thing that can happen is I can go wrong and that was ok!). 2011 was the year I started exploring my other interests – sports, event planning, nail art, cooking, playing board games and travel. From sports though, I realized some of my fears. I was convinced I was trying my best. But one day, suddenly, my swimming instructor said I was unconsciously telling myself not to let go. As a result, I was obviously sinking. I wasn’t quite sure if it was true. I accepted that I was scared though and probably still am. And trying your best is not what works with fear – you have to let go. But the first step was acceptance, then came planning for improvement. The struggle continues but I have learnt to be more happy with myself rather than trying to be someone else. What also helped were the people I followed online – bubzbeauty, Healthful Pursuit and SmileWithYourHeart. They have been great inspiration to me for years. In addition to the acceptance of my fears, what guided me was the crazy woman who just lifted her head, looks in the direction she wanted to go and just headed there. That crazy, ferocious woman was me. I call it crazy because I had never seen myself so spirited and wanting to explore. It was May 2012, right after the end of my exams, and I had 2 days before the new semester started again. After a few days of planning, I had decided that I would go to New York. My roommates gave me the I would have gone with you if... etc responses but after having absolutely no one to accompany me and no one to even meet in a strange city, I was determined to go. I was taking an overnight bus from Toronto downtown on Friday and it was expected to arrive 8am in New York the next morning. Before I left that night though, I saw my friend Cindy, who said to me, “I wish I could be like you. Have fun in New York.” Although many people have said similar words since, I just remember hers. I was scared but excited. It was nice to have a supportive friend who encouraged me to follow my dreams even though it was scary. What was also memorable were the words of a security guard on Top of the Rock who had asked me where I was from. “Toronto,” I had said. “Really? You came all the way here alone to check out the city?”, he asked. “Yes,” I answered and smiled back at him. I also cannot forget the surprise on the face of the passport officer in Dominican Republic after he flipped through the pages of my passport to find out where I was born. His face: “India?” My face: “Yea.” All with smiles. Just smiles.
So although it may sound shameless, but my fears, my courage and my dreams are what motivate and encourage me to live every single day. As Javed Akhtar’s recent poem says,
“Dilon mein tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho.
Toh zinda ho tum!
Nazar mein khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum!
Hawa ke jhonkon ke jaise aazad rehna seekho
Tum ek dariya ke jaise, leharon mein behna seekho
Har ek lamhe se tum milo khole apni baahein
Har ek pal ek naya samaa dekhe ye nigaahe”
And lastly, and probably most importantly, the inspiration for opening this website came from my closest friends and family. I would like to thank the following people who have always give me the strength to work towards my dreams no matter how silly they sounded at first.
1) Yoon – Who believed in all of this even before I had the confidence to be here. I believe it was 2010 when he just offered to build me a website. I was still sort of uncertain about it all and he had already brought up all the ideas of how it should look like. He is a programmer so I understood his passion. In later years, he worked with me to visualize what my website would like, provided all sorts of research materials to decide the best CMS and even built a prototype using the requirements we had discussed. All of that work, however, is not reflected in this site because WordPress is not what I want to use in the long-term but everything will be come together one day. So, thanks a lot, Yoona! For being part of this journey and being supportive all along.
2) Parm – Who unfortunately doesn’t even know about the existence of this site yet but is the first subscriber to my Youtube channel which is to be launched in the future. “You have one subscriber now, so keep on making more videos,” he said. I shall! I shall! 🙂
3) Tim – Who has somehow managed to show up at random times in my life. I really don’t know how but somehow we always caught up on each other’s lives even after years of not talking. And today, he will learn about the existence this website. Thanks for being magical, Tim 🙂
4) My father and my sister – Who have been eagerly waiting for the launch of this site since I have told them about it. Thanks for your invisible but caring presence from the backend.
5) Rick – Who is always invisible but still here. A person who has managed to believe in me over and over again, without any trace of doubt. EVER. Thanks for always being there, Rick!
6) First subscribers (Angie N, Brandon C, Ryan S, (Dark) Ray B, Jennifer K, papa and sis) – Thanks for signing up and being part of the launch day. I will never forget you all. 🙂
And lastly, I would like to end this post with my favorite quote. Don’t be sad if you are not in this post because if you have met me in this lifetime, then you have a place in my heart. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading. It was very long, I know!
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” -Henri Nouwen
Have an awesome week,