Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by the lovely Alpaca blogger, Once Upon a Bookshelf. Thank you for nominating me, sweetie hehe. Please check out her blog if you haven’t already! She’s amazing!! And a really good friend and honorary older sister to me in real life ^_^

The Rules:

  1. Show the award on your blog (image widget)
  2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
  3. Share 7 different facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice *help do I know 15 blogs lol*
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination(hyperlink)

7 Facts about me: 

  1. I was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Coincidentally, now the state of Andhra Pradesh is split into 2 states, Telengana and Andhra. And Hyderabad is their shared capital. I can only imagine how chaotic that must be.
  2. It’s been 10 years since I’ve visited India. I’m planning on going after I graduate with my master’s. Should be interesting to see how much has and hasn’t changed about my hometown.
  3.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Personally,  I think it’s the hardest engineering major because of the amount of physics and chemistry that needs to be mastered.
  4. I love reading Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and anything Shakespeare. I think all of them are so fascinating with really well developed characters and plot lines. They make you think!
  5. The most difficult book that I’ve ever read *partially* is The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy. This was for my AP Language research paper back in junior year of high school. It’s an entire series of just stream of consciousness. One of the most idiosyncratic books I’ve ever read. I only read 150 pages of the first volume to write that paper, but I enjoyed it a lot and I’m planning on reading all 8 volumes someday. Gonna be fun LOL
  6. My first career goal is to become a chemical engineering professor, then move up the ranks to maybe a dean? Not sure about that. But I would like to also hold political office one day! I’m a huge activist and love the nitty gritty and the game of politics. I also think it’s a good way to give back to the communities that have helped me reach my greatest potential so far.
  7. *last one oh boy* I have 1 tattoo — so far. It’s on my back and it’s a tribute to my parents, my brother, and kind of a “coming out” statement for myself. The text is in Arabic which roughly translates to “Be the flower that gives fragrance to even the hand that crushes you”. And there’s 3 puzzle pieces for autism awareness. And the pieces are in the colors of the pansexual community. Haha, I’d like to get another one. I’m thinking a phoenix on the side of my stomach with a ribbon with the words “Still I Rise”. To remind myself that I will succeed, and that what had happened in my previous abusive relationship shouldn’t ever stop me.

15 bloggers that I nominate: 

  1. Alexis Chateau
  2. Ramona Crisstea
  3. Hessian With Teeth
  4. The Squiggly Line
  5. According to the Afro Feminist
  6. Alysha Kaye
  7. William the Butler
  8. Cristian Mihai
  9. Nitya@Hermit Crab Snap
  10. Self Love: It’s Just Another Change 
  11. CPL Kerkman Reference Guide
  12. Jnana’s Red Barn
  13. Brown Hair, Brown Eyes
  14. Life Through the Eyes of a “Cat”
  15. When the Time is Write

(sorry if I accidentally misspelled your blog titles~ ><) Go forth and have fun with this!! ^^







Dear parents, “Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform” about marriage.

My cousin’s post on life partners got me thinking about what I’ve learned from my past experiences with relationships — romantic, platonic, or otherwise. (Her post on her changed views of arranged marriages is also a really good read because it outlines some of the same beliefs I hold.) Let me start off by saying that I was never a fan of arranged marriages. My parents had one, and I think it’s a pretty successful one, all things considered (ie. our somewhat shaky financial situation, my special needs brother, my parents’ polar opposite personalities, swapped stereotypical gender traits – my mom is more stereotypically masculine and extroverted than my dad who is more stereotypically feminine and introverted on a gender spectrum -, etc.) With all of those things in mind, the household in which I grew up is rather… shall we say… full of dichotomies. My parents guided me to excel in education, but they never forced me past my limits. They understood that I have weaknesses, but helped and encouraged me to find ways to make those weaknesses into my strengths. They know that I love reading and writing, but never put me down for it and only encouraged me to find ways to pursue those creative outlets. (They know I have this blog, and encourage me to continue writing posts, for example.) They know that I love math and science, but didn’t push me to only focus on that aspect of my education. So when I decided to pursue a minor in political science in my undergrad, they supported me. They know that I love politics, but they aren’t trying to dissuade me from entering local/state politics in the future. (In fact, they’re also looking to run for city council in a couple of years.)

My family isn’t exactly a typical desi family, whether you’re comparing them to a desi family in India or one here in America. They’re so un-desi-like that it’s almost illogical when they start bringing up marriage and dating and my future. I’ll admit that I’ve had at least 4 marriage proposals that I know of — turned them all down, thank goodness. But one of them, my parents were seriously considering, even though the guy is techincally my uncle — he’s my mom’s second(?) cousin. I am, to this day, extremely shocked and annoyed that they would consider him when I’m barely 22. When they start bringing up these things, and I tell them not to do it because I will find my own person in my own time, they think that I’m joking or something. It’s honestly extremely frustrating, to the point where I start wondering, am I in a gilded cage?  I’m starting to feel less of an individual that can make her own damn choices and more like a piece of cattle waiting to be sold. I’ve promised myself to keep my head down and get through one more year in this house, because then, I will be officially free, thanks to working or going to grad school in a different state/country. I will defy gravity, finally. However, if they keep asking me these stupid questions after I leave, I may have to take more drastic measures… like not talking to them at all.

What my parents, and many relatives, don’t understand is that I have some issues and topics that are non-negotiable and off limits when it comes to joking and playfully teasing. Honestly, my best friend and unbiological sister (and her biological sister) understand more of my personality than anyone in my family. Ironic.

What I hope that my future life partner encompasses is:

1. A person who respects me, all of me, without trying to break down my identity to suit their jealous/insecure sense of self. I’ve been in a relationship like that before, and let me tell you, that it fucking sucks. It’s taken me a while to rebuild my sense of self-worth, but I know that I’ve grown even stronger and more Slytherin-ish. No one can bring me down.

2. A person who has his ambitions all laid out, who has a sense of purpose in life, and knows the basics of what they want to accomplish before they die. I don’t want to be stuck in a relationship where the other person essentially is a freeloader and I do all of the work. I don’t want to be stuck in a relationship where I’m the more ambitious and goal-driven one. It only leads to jealousy and turmoil — again, I speak from experience. My life partner should be equally goal-driven while respecting my career. Who expects me to respect their career and goals. Who is willing to help when I need it, and who is willing to let me help when they need it.

3. A person with whom I can stay up all night having intelligent discussions, who doesn’t try to shut down my opinions and mansplains their way out of discussions. Who is willing to point of the fallacies in my arguments and let me (try) to do the same to theirs. Who is willing to help me strengthen my own beliefs and sense of morality, and who is willing to let me do the same. Who is an avid reader, can recommend books easily with reasons why, and loves to discuss the philosophies that are explored in each book, no matter how poorly written. Who lets me do the same for them. A relationship where I’m being held back on an intellectual sense is extremely mentally draining for me, and will only lead to resentment and separation/divorce/breakup.

4. A person who is willing to let me fly sometimes, because I am the type of person that needs to be left alone at least an hour a day in order to function properly. I’m less introverted now than in high school or even in the beginning of undergrad. But I do need time to essentially recharge my social butterfly battery. My life partner shouldn’t confuse being alone with being lonely. They should be able to sit in comfortable silence while I read a book or I’m on my laptop, without bothering the shit out of me and distracting me. Someone who isn’t clingy and needs attention all of the fucking time. If they want that, then they should look into getting a dog, it’s more effective anyway. But that being said, they should know that these periods are just that — periods of time. It’s not the end of the relationship when I enter my shell for a while. It just means that I’m fucking tired so leave me the fuck alone. They should see that, if they’re mature enough, and are willing to wait. If they need me to do the same for them, I will — because I know how it feels when there isn’t a recharge for months on end.

Essentially, I want an equal for a life partner, and I expect them to want me to be their equal as well. Being in love and all of that romantic shit is nice and all, but I’ve learned that that isn’t enough for me to sustain the relationship. Even if I find the kisses and such to be arousing, but the person has a 1-dimensional personality, then I will get bored after a few dates. (Again, from experience.) Unfortunately, I can’t really explain my  need to foster an intellectual relationship in addition to a sexual one in order to “settle down” with someone to my parents, now can I? Imagine the shock when they realize that I am an individual with sexual urges and desires, who knows what the fuck I like and don’t. Imagine the shock when they realize that I am in individual that thrives on intellectual debates and not just conversations on errands and bills and what’s for dinner. I’m not saying that my parents are ultra-conservative. They’re actually more on the progressive end of desi parenting, but in these topics, they tend to be more conservative. And I don’t fit into the image that they’ve concocted of me.






Back from a LONG hiatus

Hi y’all! (Do I still have any followers or have they given up on me?) So a lot of things have happened since I was last here…

First of all, I graduated from college at got my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering. It was definitely very interesting and I have a couple of stories from just going through that program at uni. When people ask, I just say, “I’ve seen the depths of hell and survived.” Because it was HARD. Not only was I juggling research and classwork/homework/exams but also mentoring and applying for funding and going to present at conferences on top of my own personal life. The biggest lesson I learned was that nothing can bring me down. Especially since a lot of things happened in my personal life that I struggled to successfully compartmentalize. But I may expand upon that in another post…

Second of all, one of my papers was submitted for publication!! It’s after nearly 3 years of research and organization and planning! Feels real good hehe. I’m working on a different project now – peptide aggregation simulations instead of nanoparticles. I’m hoping that this will be done before the fall, but it doesn’t look like it would. Hopefully my gut instinct is wrong on this.

Third, I’m pursuing a Master’s in Chemical Engineering! It’s part of a 5 year, accelerated master’s program at my uni. So this means that the 5th year is the year when an individual is a master’s student and will get that degree a year after they got their bachelor’s. It’ll good for me, ’cause it’s cheaper than a typical master’s degree and I have the flexibility of either working or going to graduate school afterwards. Still not sure which I want haha…

Fourth, I GOT TO SEE PRESIDENT OBAMA AT MY COMMENCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was AMAZING. I was in the third row, ’cause my friends and I got to the stadium as soon as the gates opened at 8 am. So I slept over at a friend’s place and woke up at 5 am to get all ready. The four of us were the first engineering students on the field LOL. One of our ChemE professors was also the Engineering marshal, so he was really surprised we were there that early. But then we had to wait for 4 hours on the field with little food and water and on a cold and windy day. *shivers* It was horrible. But then seeing President Obama standing literally 20-30 feet away from you, that made it all so worth it. Lol I ate maybe a total of 300 calories and had to endure the engineering convocation immediately afterwards. Oh man. That day was crazy.

But now, I’m back and I plan on updating at least once a week!





I have never felt beautiful. Beauty is still something I struggle with, as do many women and girls. More and more girls are being hospitalized for eating disorders because of society’s perceived beauty standards. And I was just one among the masses. To be honest, I still don’t feel beautiful. No one has ever singled me out for being “ugly” but I never felt beautiful.

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Trans = Human

I remember the first time I learned about trans right and the difference between cis and trans. I went with a friend to a seminar on campus regarding gender fluidity in Caribbean cultures (I don’t remember which one specifically). I don’t remember much, but coming out of that seminar feeling very confused with the terms. It took me a while to get used to the language — and to be honest, I’m still very bad with the language when I’m talking about it.

I’m also really lucky to know an amazing woman who was biologically designated male; she went through a rough transition during her senior year of high school and has a very religious family who still are not completely accepting of her transition. So when I read this story, I got nauseous. I sincerely hope that this won’t be another Leelah Alcorn. In this story, Danny was biologically designated female, and transitioned with the help of his sister. But again, religious parents got furious and took further measures than what Leelah’s parents did — they dressed Danny up in frilly pink clothing, took him against his will to an religious exorcist, call him derogatory girly names and pet names, took him off of his transitioning meds (testosterone), etc. Within the link, there is a gofundme page for Danny and his sister, who are planning to move out and get an apartment after Danny turns 18 so that he can fully transition without facing backlash from hyper religious parents.

I unfortunately can’t donate but I can help spread the word. So please like and reblog this. Make your own posts about this. Donate as much as you can. This may save a life or two. Make sure we don’t have another Leelah, as she wished for in her suicide note — to prevent any more transphobia deaths.

Introduction: Myself

Blogging 101 Daily task #1! I don’t think I’ve ever done an introduction post. And even though I’ve implied bits and pieces throughout the time I’ve blogged, I think it’s time I put it all into one cohesive-ish post. So here goes nothing!

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Yet another rape-murder case in India. And once again the victims were Dalit — or the Untouchables, the group of people that are considered to be outside the caste system and deal with garbage and dead bodies (unholy things in other words). I agree that the “boys will be boys” phrase needs to stop. But Indians and those of Indian descent need to change their attitudes on the social hierarchy that is still present as the caste system, even though India officially abolished the caste system after it’s independence in 1947. Yes it is hard to change a tradition that is thousands of years old. And yes it will take time. But change has to start from the cultural norms and attitudes, and the best place to start for India is the caste system. It is stupid. It is wrong. And it is just another form of oppression. There is nothing different between me, a Brahmin, and my friend, a Sudra. We both have dreams and aspirations; we both want to make a difference in the world; we love our friends and family. Yet the caste system says that I am inherently better than my friend because of our previous lives. To be honest, I don’t give two shits about my previous life or my next life. I’m living my life now, and that’s all that really should matter. So the whole deal about karma and caste is just another way to oppress the lower castes and sub-castes. And raping/murdering Dalit girls is an open show of the power the monsters possessed because they were — probably — of a higher caste or sub-caste. They were taught to be that way, and we can try to change their attitudes. But we shouldn’t be reactive and change the attitudes of criminals. We, as Indians, no matter where you reside in the world or how you feel about the caste system, should be proactive and learn to change our attitudes first. So that crimes like these will never be committed in the first place.