The weight of our burdens

The hard floor squeaks with every step I take

To speak about the atrocities that people make

They talk to me about

The souls of the wearer that they see

Through the soles of the footwear that push against them

They talk about the pace of the wearer

The weight of the person on each foot

And the body language of the seeker

Sometimes looking for a destination

Aimlessly, yet purposefully

Yet walking towards one goal

With determination and confidence

It is often said that

People are a burden on this earth

Then who better knows the weight they carry

Than our Mother Earth herself!

Happy International Women’s day!

© 2018 Deepika Pydatalli

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The 2 thinking modes

If you can’t find the answer to a question or a problem, no matter how hard you try, stop thinking about it and do something else.

Sometimes, the brain is conditioned to think in a certain way in focused thinking mode. You are following the same pattern to solve or answer the question. Hence, you are not looking at alternative methods to solve it.

Moving from the problem allows the mind to open the doors of another type of thinking.

You may have consciously moved on to another task, but your brain is still trying to solve the problem in diffused thinking mode. It is still trying to connect the dots and ideas in your brain to find the answer. Maybe the answer was in another part of the brain and diffused thinking allows the mind to shift its focus from the regular pattern to another path.

After your second task, get back to the first question you couldn’t finish and try again.

If you still can’t find an answer, take a break, go for a walk, relax your mind, have a coffee, chat with your friends and return back to the problem.

Your brain will find new and creative ways to solve it.

Whenever I can’t seem to focus on a task or a tutorial, I move to something that motivates me and then come back to the hard problem.

Otherwise, just like today, I go for a walk, have a coffee, turn off my phone and enjoy the Spring sun.

My mind is immediately energized and oiled and this motivates me to study.

It does not only apply to studies, it can be used in all walks of life.

Happy Monday!

P.s Credit for the photo goes to my sister. It was taken at sunset at Mont Choisy Beach, found in the North of Mauritius

Fit and me?

I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately because I have been keeping away from other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I think I am used to staring at my screen for a long time. So when I have my phone, I always have the need to open up an app, be it when I am on a bus, walking, or just lying in bed.

Recently though, I have been getting many fitness videos on my recommended list. I have watched Buzzfeed’s videos where People did 100 squats every day for a month or 100 pushups every day for a month. I have also read an article titled “I did 30 Burpees for 15 days and this is what happened” on runners world.

These immediately sparked an interest in me. Early last week, I started with 30 squats for two days consecutively. I could do no more than 30. I decided on starting slow because I haven’t been exercising regularly.

I am thin, which is genetic, so I don’t put on weight, or if I do, it is barely noticeable. But I want to stay fit. Last semester during the exam period, the elevators in the library were sometimes very busy and I would often take the stairs up to the 5th floor; which I found a chore. I would do that nevertheless and I would find myself panting and out of breath. Nostrils flaring, taking deep and quick breaths and holding the rail, I would reach the fifth floor.

I used to do a lot of sports in high school. I used to play football (soccer), badminton, basketball, volleyball. I used to participate in events for the annual Sports Day. I was quite fit, I guess.

When I came to university, I would go on a run with my friends once in a while during the first semester, but after that, I stopped practising any kind of sport.

This year, I have been wanting to become fitter, eat healthier, and be calmer. I have noticed that when I write about my goals, I am not necessarily more serious and consistent about them.

I tried something else this time. The thought of being more fit, doing exercise has been on my mind since the beginning of the holidays but last week my resolution got stronger. Last week was the Chinese New year and just before the Spring festival, I mentally took a resolution to do 50 squats or more every day or as consistently as possible.

I acted upon that goal on Monday, 12 Feb, with 30 squats and I felt energetic, powerful, and I felt a strong will to start the day. I went to bed at my regular time, but I woke up much earlier. I don’t know whether that was because of the few squats that I did or whether it was positivism and an anticipation to start the day with more squats.

The next day, when I woke up I was a bit sore but I was excited to do squats. After the 30 squats though, I decided to do a few burpees. I used to do that all the time in high school, so I thought that I would be able to manage quite well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do more than 5 burpees, and that really made realise how unfit I am.

Wednesday, I went to stay to spend Valentine’s day at my friends’ apartment. We watched movies, cooked, watched the Chinese cultural programme on TV, went to downtown, and just spent quality time with friends. So I couldn’t do my squats for these days.

My friends posing for a candid shot 😂

Meat Jiaozi (if you don’t know what a jiaozi is, visit my post titled breakfast in China, where I talk about it😉)

虾仁汤混沌- prawn dumplings

During those “inactive” days, I read an article which said that it’s better to do squats on non-consecutive days, and so I did 50 squats and a few burpees on Saturday but didn’t do any on Sunday.

On Monday the 19th, my resolve to continue doing squats was still strong. When I started doing squats the week before, I couldn’t do more than 15 before starting to feel tired or before feeling breathless. This time I reached 35 squats in a row. So this was an achievement indeed. I did 50 squats but I was still struggling with burpees.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I aimed for 60 squats and fulfilled them.

Today, I challenged myself for 75 squats and I did those in three assays. I am still working on the burpees and they are becoming easier now. I guess maybe I have lower strength in my arms and upper body.

I am more consistent with this goal of mine. I feel more positive over the almost two weeks that I have been doing squats and I can feel a difference in my endurance level. Stretching myself before and after the squats makes me feel better physically and mentally.

I haven’t been following any special diet though. I have been eating as normally as before. In fact, I baked another chocolate🍫 cake🍮😁, this time only for myself. I eat a piece every day for dessert.

I will be posting a bit irregularly for the next 3-4 months as I am in the final semester of my undergraduate studies and I have a packed schedule.

I’ll try my best to post as much as I can and visit your websites as frequently as I can.

See you in a next post!

Finding a Chinese name for me!

I have been in China for two and a half years now and I still haven’t chosen a Chinese name. Normally, foreigners get a Chinese name from their friends or teachers. They will find a name which is either close to their name’s pronunciation or which has the meaning of an attribute that the person possesses or likes.

In my first year, I had asked my Chinese teacher to find a name for me. A Chinese name consists of the Family name or surname first and then your first name.

So my last name was Pan(潘), which is a popular family name here in Suzhou, and my first name di(迪) which is the first syllable of my name and which also means enlighten or guide. The whole name thus is Pan Di, isn’t it funny? It’s like Panda but with an I.

When I told some of my friends the name, they were amused, because they were like what is it? What does it mean? And silly as I was, I didn’t even ask, because when I first heard the name, I was not impressed by it.

Now that I think about it, it’s still not appealing to me, though I am thankful for the teacher for searching a name for me.

Also, many of my friends would tell me that it’s better to have a name that reflects your personality.

I then proceeded to ask my many Chinese friends to find a name for me. One of them, Terry, told me about this name which was Xiao Hong. Then he told me that was the name of a famous Chinese writer. Upon asking my other friends, I got to know that it’s a very old name and that I should maybe find something more modern.

I asked other of my friends and they all told me that they were clueless about what name to choose for me. They sent me many links to websites where I could find a name by myself, but being the indecisive person that I am, I could not decide on one.

This year, while working in the library, I met a volunteer who’s studying Chinese literature and history at the Suzhou University. Her name is Yang Xian. When she told me what she is studying I asked her to find a name for me. She proposed Lin Jin Ran(林尽染)which means a forest where the leaves of the trees are changing their colour to red. It is also part of a poem by Mao Tze Tong. She said that this name is appropriate for me because it suits me (as she thinks I’m a quiet girl; when I told my close friends about this, they all laughed because they know that I’m not quiet, once you get to know me better)

I then asked her an alternative so that I can make a better choice. She proposed Gu Chang An(顾长安) which is the old name of Beijing, the capital city of China and it is also the name of a novel or movie.

I was more confused now. I shouldn’t even have asked for another name I think.

I decided to ask my friends on Wechat, an application, which is a combination of Facebook and WhatsApp, which name suited me the most.

At the start, everyone who commented, preferred Lin Jin Ran, and then one or two of my friends said Gu Chang An. The ones who preferred the first option also said that Gu Chang An is more suitable for males rather than females

I pondered a lot. Some other friends tried to give me a description of the names to help me out, but I went down a spiral of confusion.

I wanted to wait for a day to take a decision and it has now been a few days and I haven’t yet decided on a Chinese name for myself.

Now that I think about it, maybe I should have chosen the first Chinese name that I was given, the one that my Chinese teacher gave me.

There is a new air coming this way. The Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog is here!

新年快乐! 恭喜发财!

Happy New Year and may success, happiness and prosperity be yours!

I don’t need a reason to miss my mama😘

Weak, hurt or ill,

Strong, happy or healthy,

She is always there.

Blessed are the people,

Who have her in their life.

Fortunate are those,

Who get to eat food prepared by her.

Lucky are those,

Who are best friends with her.

Loved are those,

Who get to cuddle with her.

She is loving and lovable.

She can be overprotective,

But that’s her nature.

To protect and defend

Her family and her closed ones.

A friend, a best friend, the best in the world, and irreplaceable.

I talk to her,

Not as often as I would like to

I worry about her,

Her frail shoulders

Carrying the emotions of the family.

My father helps,

But she is the balance

Among everyone.

She is the peacemaker.

My mother.

I love her.

Missing her for no reason at all.

But then, I don’t need a reason to miss her.

I don’t say it enough

But I love you Maa.

An eventful day (part 1)

I woke up because I heard a dog barking. I tried to push the noise out of my mind, but then I jumped off my bed (remembering that I had somewhere important to get to), looked at the clock; It was 9.00 and I had an appointment at 10, so I rushed to the bathroom to get ready to go out.

Keys. Checked. Wallet. Checked. Phone. Checked. Okay after checking these things like I do everytime I leave the flat, I opened the door, and I saw a dog at the end of the corridor. For those who don’t know. I haven’t had great experiences with dogs and I have had nightmares about getting bitten by a dog. My cousin’s dog once chased after me but he was playful and energetic and was harmless, but still, I was scared of it. Anyway, back to our dog. When I saw it, it looked back, as if he was saying, Oh I see you alright, you wanna go out, don’t you? You are getting late, aren’t you? Well, let’s see how you can get away from me.

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I come across the lane…

I come across the lane
The same where I witnessed
My rise from a girl to a dame

Every now and then
I fall in a quandary
Trying to be a comedienne
When deciding the boundary
Between the guilt and the blame
The regret and the shame
Aren’t they the same?

I come across the lane
The same where I witnessed
My rise from a girl to a dame
The same where I encountered
The devil and the angel in the game

Waving from the sidelines
The angel bows
Defeated, beaten and resigned
The bow and arrows
Stretched and readied
For the ounce of strength borrowed
From the cheerleaders of the past and the sorrows

I come across the lane
The same where I witnessed
My rise from a girl to a dame
The same where I encountered
The devil and the angel in the game
Calculating my fall from the dame to the maimed

Victory was not always mine
Failure always whined
The spirit conquered and shined
Not always
But sometimes

I come across the lane
The same where I witnessed
My rise from a girl to a dame
The same where I encountered
The devil and the angel in the game
Calculating my fall from the dame to the maimed
This time the angel was trained and the devil restrained

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It’s your path, and it will bruise!

Paths that are well-travelled
Are probably easy on the mind, unbaffled
Roads, which are straight and clear
Are possibly easy on the eyes and ear

Feet encroaching onto a previous mark
Left by the more than one frequent traveller
Difficult to move against or across in the dark
In the infinity park
well-known to the occasional scavenger
Of love, happiness and peace
In the same place that others found these

You are not others
Others are not you

Serpentine or straight
Which lane do you choose?
Instruction or bait
Which way do you schmooze?

Whatever you do mate
Change will bruise
Dark, Purple and blues

© Copyright Deepika D Pydatalli

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