Limbic|Resonance

LimbicResonance

Credits: Pinterest

“Limbic Resonance is the theory that the capacity for sharing deep emotional states arises from the limbic system of the brain. These states include the dopamine circuit promoted feelings of emphatic harmony, and the norepinephrine circuit originated emotional states of fear, anxiety and anger.” (Source: Wiki)

Many years after divorcing Foxtel, we subscribed to a trial version of Netflix and got hooked. Never before have I watched back to back episodes of TV Shows with such commitment and intensity, that too, advertisement free! Now you know what I’ve been upto for the last couple of months – absorbing information from informative (mostly) and mindless (sometimes) shows. The addiction started with House of Cards, moving on to The Following, then The Returned (French Version) and most recently a Netflix production “Sense8″.

Credits: Pinterest

Credits: Pinterest

Sense8 is a play on the word Sensate, referring mainly to the feeling of awareness and heightened sensory perception. The first cryptic episode of this show called “Limbic resonance” is what captured my attention and subsequently landed me on the couch, ignoring household chores, glued to the devices at every opportunity to devour the 12 episodes of Season 1. Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for my household) the show only has one season so far.

Sense8 plot revolves around eight strangers from different parts of the world (Chicago, London, Mexico, Mumbai, Berlin, Seoul, Nairobi, San Francisco) who suddenly become mentally and emotionally linked. The main characters are called Sensates and all are exactly the same age in the show, sharing the same birthday, August 8. The plot magic starts when the eight characters become aware of their cluster, starting emotional interactions and trying to unravel the many mysteries unfolding in their minds…

I don’t want to share spoilers as it will tragically ruin the impact of the show. Watch it for yourself if the unexplained science fiction and paranormalish kind of shows excite you. This show was totally up my alley, although I must provide appropriate warnings – the show has very disturbingly graphic content at times – a typical Wachowski production.

© as|fa 2015

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Ambitious|Women

Ambition

Pix Credits: Pinterest

Went to a lunchtime brown bag session the other day to absorb some career advice targeted towards ambitious women, presented by Heather McGregor aka Mrs.Moneypenny. She was drop dead comical. A woman that refers to her children as cost-centre 1 and cost-centre 2 has to be without a doubt, hilarious.

This woman is a multi-faceted, multi-talented, driven, accomplished, dynamic machine. You can check her out over here.

She gave us all ambitious ladies a helicopter view of the 10 main points covered in her book (of-course she is also a published author), which un-surprisingly is called “Careers Advice For Ambitious Women”.

I want to summarise the 10 point advise from Mrs.Moneypenny with all you ambitious sisters out there 😉

1) Accumulate Human Capital – I know this term sounds fancy, but its not really, in fact its quite simple. This relates to “what you know”. Your technical skills, education, certifications and competencies. This is all that you would put in your resume. Heather’s advise is to ensure that this capital is constantly developed.

Don’t just acquire your degree and let the framed artefact rust on your living room wall of fame. Keep adding to your knowledge, its infinite. Sometimes us women tend to get relaxed with our circumstances and qualifications but sooner than we realise, those qualifications get outdated and we may in some cases have to start all over again.

Keep up with the information age, make sure that you continually bridge the educational gap. Human Capital is necessary but its not enough – this leads to the next point.

2) Accumulate Social Capital – This advise relates to “who you know”. Now don’t take this the wrong way. This advice is not asking you to improve your ‘brown nosing’ skills or make friends for an agenda. Heathers direction was to build social capital by helping people and be part of a regenerative community.

She mentioned her dislike towards the word “networking”. She felt it was a calculating word and believed rather that the multiplication power of positive experience related to helping others was far better method of building social capital than any other prescriptive formula. Social Capital is necessary, but, not sufficient.

3) No such thing as “I can’t do it” – Its important for us to have goals and push ourselves out of our comfort zone. Set up your personal (achievable) goals each year and accomplish them. Challenge yourself. Be in constant competition with your own self.

Heather decided (in her forties) she wanted to learn to fly and get her pilots licence and guess what – she did it! We all don’t have to fly a plane, but we must let ourselves get stretched to the point where we harness our anxiety to achieve and kick some serious goals.

4) Saying ‘No’ is difficult – but it is an important life skill – There are 168 hours in a week. I don’t know about most of you ladies, but I like to sleep an average of 56 to 60 hours a week, otherwise my mind & body do not function. That leaves a 108 hours.  I spent around 70 hours a week travelling to work, working and travelling back home. That leaves me 38 hours of free will. Now I try to squeeze in what I can in those 38 hours a week – mostly that is time with my family at home. Get practising on saying “NO” to all those reasons that take you away from accomplishing your goals. You don’t need to attend every single social event (I’m very serious, you don’t need to). Make sure you allocate your time and prioritise what you want achieve out of your free time..

5) You cant have it all – You know those ladies that have perfectly balanced lives, look like absolutely picture perfect super models, who have Mr Perfect husbands, well mannered & obedient kids that finish their homework before reminders, a beautiful house impeccably clean and spotless. Wake up from this fantasy world! There are no such ladies or households.

If you are hell bent on trying to do everything, then everything will get done mediocre. We cannot expect ourselves to be household goddesses and kick-ass career women. Something has got to give, you cant have it all darling.

Try to understand your own ambitions. What is it that you want to achieve? Focus on your priorities. Its OK if you cant lick off your kitchen floor – it doesn’t have to be squeaky clean, that’s why we have the 3 second, 5 second (20 second?) rule!

6) But you have to do it all – Now lets clarify that point # 5 was not advising you to neglect your household. Everything still needs to be done, but you don’t have to do everything 🙂 Understand the art of multitasking and outsourcing! You must understand what your bare minimum outsourcing requirements are and get those gaps plugged.

Make sure you create an environment that harnesses ‘equal opportunity’ at home. Make sure your family chips into the chores that needs to keep your household running. Get your kids working for you in an incentive based plan 🙂

Work on your coping stills at work and outside of work. The earth will not shatter if something slips, understand that things will slip sometimes.

7) Financial Literacy – The key part of career aspirations is understanding financials. Get familiar with the language of the boardroom, understand the financial metrics that challenge the executives. Be on top of your own finances at home. Do you know exactly how much $$$ are required to run your household?

8) Do more than work and family – Heather referred this to building the ‘third dimension’. Involve yourself in communities and charities, not only is this rewarding, it also will add to your social capital, and build your human capital by acquiring new skills!

9) Getting Noticed – 5% of time on self publicity – Personal presentation is important. How do you present yourself, how do you look? Are you carrying around a Fushia pink handbag in one hand and gossip magazines on the other? What perception is that giving out to your career counterparts. Ask yourself these questions and remember to pay extra attention to your hair because everyone else will!

10) Who is on your team? – Remember the ‘third dimension’? Well, ask yourself who you have supported both at work and outside of work and who supports you? Go on and mentor someone, take someone under your wing. Incredible things happen when women support each other. Its a circular behavioural pattern. It is also important to have a support network of people that will back you up without hesitation. Take stock of who is on your team 🙂

I encourage women out there to take over the driving seat of your own career. Step on the pedal. Accelerate. Be Bold. Take risks. Support one another. Most importantly, back your self with confidence.

Parting with a funny quote from Mrs.Moneypenny – “Remember, a man is not a financial plan” 😉

© as|fa 2015

Capital|Redemption

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Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran succumbed to their doomed fate on 29th April 2015. Capitally punished in Indonesia for drug trafficking. Executed by firing squad, just past midnight, after nearly 10 years of actively pursuing redemption.

They were guilty, without a doubt. Their intentions tipped off by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) which subsequently led to them being caught red handed by the Indonesian police. Narcotics trafficking carries the death penalty in Indonesia. They knew the risks. They knew that death would be the ultimate end, if they were caught. They carried on with their fallacious plan, ignoring the consequences. Their young blurred brains greedily excited about financial gains. Lots of it.

I’m sure they did not once consider the impacts that heroin would unleash to the community. The devastation it would cause families. The lives that would be lost as a result. Whether they were naive or conniving, we will never truly understand their intentions. They have taken those intentions to the grave.

The public is heavily divided in their opinions on whether Chan’s and Sukumuran’s fate was justified. The fact is that their fate was sealed the minute they were caught. It was just a matter of time. Indonesia was not going to change its laws for 2 Australian citizens. President Joko Widodo wasn’t going to miraculously grant clemency for two measly drug traffickers. I’m sure there is a huge drugs epidemic in Indonesia, more so than domestic violence, sexual assaults, murder and paedophilia. The fact that drug trafficking carries a capital penalty in Indonesia cannot be changed. There is no room for discussion on whether death penalty for drug trafficking is warranted. It will be challenging to determine the scale with which trafficking supersedes other heinously criminals acts in Indonesia. Those statistics are not easily obtainable.

Putting aside all these unchangeable Indonesian facts, and leaving out of scope the school of thoughts around Capital Punishment serving as punitive measures. I don’t support the execution of Chan & Sukumuran.

I get it. They perpetrated the crimes for which they justly should be punished. Drugs are killers of our society, killing our youths, eradicating sanity of our families. Yes, I agree with all of the above. BUT. I believe it was inhumane to execute them. Especially since over the last 10 years they had worked tirelessly towards redemption. That they had demonstrated change from within their core. That they had adjusted their life’s trajectory onto new tracks. They were remorseful and had apologised for their actions to all those they had personally affected. Prison had rehabilitated them. I believe in second chances. They should have been given a second chance. Their life should have been spared. Maybe they would’ve made positive contributions to our society. Who knows maybe they could’ve been another Tim Allen or Mark Walhberg or even Michael Coutts-Trotter. People change. 

I couldn’t help but feel sad for them and their families. They endured for the last 10 years. Its a long time to suffer, especially when the outcome was inevitable. Andrew Chan and Myurun Sukumuran have truly redeemed themselves as they faced the consequences of their historical actions. I hope that their execution was not in vain, serving to deter future drug traffickers.

© as|fa 2015

Inconvenient|Genocide

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Acknowledgements: Book by Geoffrey Robertson Q.C

Of course most people know who Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) is. She is the secretly despised and openly envied woman by all the George Clooney droolers, ever since their much talked about marriage in 2014.

She miraculously managed to lock Clooney down into a matrimonial relationship. An unachievable challenge taken on by many of Amal’s predecessors. There is more to this woman than style and good looks. She is unrelenting in her drive for taking on controversial challenges, especially in her role as a barrister.

She has truly inspired (me) by taking on her most recent high profile assignment – The Armenian Genocide. Amal will be legally representing the Armenians in a case involving denial of the atrocities by a Turkish politician.

Apologies for bursting bubbles. As you may have now guessed – This blog is not related to entertainment. Perhaps this should be a book review. Reality though, is that, this is my personal reflection upon reading the book “An Inconvenient Genocide – Who now remembers the Armenian’s?” by Geoffrey Robertson.

Today, 24th April 2015 marks the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

To be honest, I was oblivious to this chapter in history. A chapter heavily pregnant with deliberately perpetrated atrocities against upto 1.2 million Armenian’s by the Ottomans during the first world war.

It was these horrific crimes against humanity that gave birth to the word “Genocide” by Raphael Lemkin (architect of the Genocide Conventions). He primarily had the Armenians in mind when he coined the word “Genocide”.

Armenian genocide is recognised by more than 20 countries around the world. However, Turkey denies that the genocide took place, in fact it justifies the attacks on the Armenians stating that it was a ‘strategically necessary step in civil war’. But my question is – was it strategically necessary to brutally wipe out nearly 1.2 million civilians? Was death marching elderly, women, and children through the Syrian desert a strategic move to restore civil unrest?

How one human being can commit relentlessly callous crimes of merciless torture, vindictively wiping out generations of a race, is beyond my understanding. It crosses every pain threshold in the heart, making it unbearably heavy. It took me months to read this book. Each piece of evidence is masterfully unfolded by Robertson, detailing violation after violation of human rights.

Perhaps my heart is weak. I had to gather courage to continue reading it, which I’m sure is a speck in comparison to the herculean courage that the Armenians had to conjure up during first world war. To move forward rather than succumb to the wounds visible and most importantly to wounds hauntingly invisible. Every shroud of Armenian dignity and respect was obliterated by the Ottomans.

The book contains detailed historical analysis from various angles, backed with solid evidence from multiple sources of truth gathered from undisputed historical archives. It leaves my mind devoid of doubt that this genocide was a deliberate act to wipe out the Armenian race.

To mark the centenary, the least I can do is acknowledge that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation.

I recognise the Armenian genocide.

© as|fa 2015

One|Voice

Had many discussions recently, some constructive and then some heated, regarding optimism and positivity, specifically around tolerance of cultural diversity. I’ve noticed many around me, unreservedly lashing out at other nationalities, cultures for various reasons. Reasons that are undoubtedly trivial and egoistically glorified, to say the least. The magnitude of hate being harboured in peoples hearts stuns me.

I truly understand patriotism and loyalty towards ones own nation and its citizens. What I don’t understand is the collective venom in the hearts of people and how that transposes itself as personal attacks on social media.

Being the voice promoting respect, demanding tolerance and displaying a reflective mirror on those brimming with venom  is hard.

The venom sprays on me occasionally. Making me reflect (sometimes question) on whether this cause of positivity & optimism is worth its while. Recently just like magic manifesting itself in my universe, my thoughts and beliefs were validated. This sensational & inspiring video of the raconteur Barrack Obama is about the power of “one voice”. One voice has the power to change a nation.

So to all that are reading this – remember that voice is a powerful weapon – use it for a worthy cause and most importantly for worthy humans.

[Please watch the video]

© as|fa 2015

Cricket|Conjecture

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Image Courtesy – Danial Mausoof @ Adelaide Oval, India vs Pak, World Cup 2015

Don’t be surprised to read this Blog post on cricket. It was inevitable. Some of my comments are one-sided observations only. If you happen to be an emotional Pakistani, carrying rant on sleeves, refrain from reading any further 😉

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Would you believe that my first ever cricket match was the India vs Pak World Cup in Adelaide Oval on 15th February 2015. Never set foot on a cricket ground before this event, mainly because I have never really been interested in cricket. My interest developed once our daughter started playing girls cricket leagues two years back, then our son got involved in Milo cricket, soon after the backyard family cricket sessions were in full bloom and before I knew it, I was hooked. Let me clarify that my “hook” is exclusively as a spectator only. I’m not keen to step foot on the pitch for bowling or fielding. Batting, maybe you can twist my arm for that 🙂

The experience of attending a live world cup match boosted my interest levels significantly. I had no idea that cricket spectating would be so much fun, especially as a family and more so in a group! Adelaide Oval was beautiful, though I cant really compare it to any other stadium, but those who can have confirmed it certainly is one of the best. The atmosphere in Adelaide Oval was electric and buzzing with supporters donned with Green & Blue jerseys. Mostly Blue jerseys though as the population of India outshines Pakistan by far 😉

Our World Cup trip to Adelaide was with a group of Pakistani and Indian friends. We were all prepared with our team jerseys and plenty of face paints to support both the nations. I was clearly supporting Pakistan on the day, however I’ll be lying if say I didn’t struggle with thoughts on cricket team loyalties leading up to the start of World Cup. For some the choice of supporting a team is a no-brainer. But for me there were multiple layers of considerations to assess. Fret not. I have made the complex assessments and I’m crystal clear about my alliances – and there are a few 😉

#1 Team Bangladesh:

There is no dispute in my mind that Bangladesh would be my first preference. Its the country of my birth and honey like mother tongue. My heart will forever harbour a sweet spot for Bangladesh and of the vivid childhood memories playing in the patio of the red brick house that belonged to my maternal grandmother, nestled amongst the two remarkable coconut trees that are forever inscribed in my thoughts. There is no denying my love of Lychees, Jack fruit and my absolute worship of Rice & Daal – how could I not be a Bengali by blood.

The Tigers have come a long way in cricket, they have proven themselves as international level contenders, still the underdogs, but they have the courage and ability to come back guns blazing. Hats off to all the Tiger supporters for being so positive and optimistic about their team. My Team #1 all the way!

#2 Team Pakistan:

There is strong bond with Pakistan, it is my fathers homeland and the country where I spent most of my secondary school age. It is the country that taught me patriotism. The memories associated with excitement of plastering the Pakistan Flag all around the house to celebrate 14th August – Independence Day is priceless. It is the country where I developed my culinary love for Biryani, Haleem, Nihari, Bun Kebabs, Kulfi, and Kheer. The list is endless. I can carry on forever.

Supporting the Pakistani cricket team is like harbouring a constant heart attack. Regardless of their inconsistencies and fallacies, the love & support for them is undeniable. I only wish that all the Pakistani supporters keep their emotional outbursts at bay on social media. It is heart wrenching to see Green supporters thrashing their own team players. We, the supporters need to uphold our country’s honour and support the team regardless of the outcomes. There are many variables beyond our control, however the one variable totally in our hands is positive support & respect for the nation. We all need to ‘play the ball not the man’. We are the ambassadors for the nation fronting the world on social platforms. To be absolutely & honestly brutal, Pakistani supporters need to contain their emotional outbursts and work on social media etiquettes. The team did exceptionally well considering their circumstances. Wahab Riaz’s performance was exceptional. He is certainly a gem, his capabilities needs to be exploited further. Looking forward to Team Green taking on board the learnings from this World Cup, work on their short comings and bring back the passion and pride in their game.

#3 Team India:

I’ve never set foot in India, but I feel very connected to this country. It is the homeland of my ancestors. In fact, my maternal family still reside in India. I’ve never in my heart felt any rivalry with India, thanks to the upbringing of my parents, especially my mother. She was a woman so open to cultural diversity, always surrounded by friends from all parts of the world. She taught us to appreciate people on face value regardless of cultural and political boundaries. Maybe that is why the core of my heart is devoid of contention. Out of respect of my many Indian friends and the fact that we share the same soil, Team Blue is definitely worthy of my support. It also happens to be my favourite colour 🙂

Team India is definitely in form and a strong contender to take home the cup! I’m banking on them to get to the finals. I have to mention that I’m mostly impressed with the Indian supporters. They have this undeniable passion and conviction in their team. Love the spirit and positivity. Good Luck!

#4 Team Australia:

My adopted homeland, my home. I love Australia. I wish I could say the same about the cricket team. My only bone of contention with the team is the fact that they are so stuck up and racist. This is the only point that holds me back from giving them unconditional support. No doubt they play amazing cricket, but they have to work on gaining my empathy & alliance. Of course I will never discount them, as I’m truly patriotic to Australia, but I will continue to support other Australian sports until the cricket team learns to appreciate cultural diversity… 😉

So there you have it. My new found love of cricket and the sequence of my cricket team support. No doubt that sports instils passion, drive and courage for the players as well as the spectators. Team spirit is electric and contagious. Wishing that all the cricket supporters display positive behaviour and remain optimistic of their teams for the remaining world cup games. Remember that words are powerful. We all should use them to drive positivity.

The most deserving team will definitely take the cup.  My bet now is with Team India. 

© as|fa 2015

Wynyard|Homeless

Image Courtesy - Pinterest

Image Courtesy – Pinterest

She must be dead.

It’s been nearly two years. Ever since I changed my work route and mode of transportation into the city, we have not bumped into each other. I walk on the west side of York St now due to the train station proximity but my eyes continue to sift through people on the east side, at the bus stop right across Wynyard Park.

Every day for two years as I made my way up from the station onto work, my eyes canvassed across the street in vain, looking for a familiar figure hovering around the city bins. Just in case she was there, sifting through the rubbish like it was an obstacle course, looking for newspapers she could recycle for some dollars in return. Her method of survival. Her breakfast, and sometimes if she was lucky, her lunch for the day. She never begged. I assumed, her mind was concious of rectitude.

She must’ve been close to 90 years of age, or at least that is what my perception concluded after reviewing her appearance. I wondered whether it was homelessness or a difficult life that had aged her beyond her years. She was a frail little old lady, slightly hunched, her thin hair was steel grey, like clouds pregnant with rain. Always tied up in a small frazzled bun.

The first time I offered her money she looked at me for what seemed like an eternity. She was hesitant and I got uncomfortable at my gesture. I could feel the cogs in her head rotating at the speed of light. I encouraged her to take the money for breakfast. Finally, she gave me a toothless smile and thanked me. I will never forget that smile.

This incident set off the ritual for the next 4 years. I never spoke to her after that. It was a silent agreement. I would give her my change whenever I bumped into her and she would take it and give me a toothless smile in return.

I copped a bit of criticism from those I shared this information with. Some said I was fuelling the homeless druggies, others that I should be diverting my funds to registered charities as opposed to a homeless from the streets. In fact, someone raised the point that my virtues would not be considered by God because the homeless woman potentially did not share my religion.  I heard all those that placed their concerns on the table. BUT, it did not deject me from continuing my ritual. I knew in my heart she was not a drug addict. I cared even less about her religious beliefs. Or whether my act of kindness would be considered a virtue or a sin in the eyes of God.

We humans are made up of countless stacks of configurations. We categorise ourselves (and get categorised by others) into racial factions, religious factions, political groups, countries, continents and the list is endless. When you unpack and unstack all this categorical/factional bullshit, the only common denominator remaining is humanity.

I helped that little old frail homeless lady for the sake of humanity.

© as|fa 2015

Before|Sunrise

Before Sunrise – My husband loved this movie and has watched it many times over. My experience on the other hand, was quite the opposite. I know I fall in the speck of minority that did not love this movie. I couldn’t wait for the endless dialogues to finally conclude.

Our taste in movies are in total contrast, like night & day. But this post is not about this movie or our contrasting (sometimes conflicting) preferences. It is about the one aspect in this movie that I truly loved – Sunrise.

The serenity at the crack of dawn is subtly calming. I really love my sleep in’s – but the chance of sighting the sun rising makes me get out of bed. Sharing with you my Sunrise captures from the weekend early morning Bay Walks.

Parting with inspiring words by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

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Milestone|100 Days

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Image Courtesy – Pinterest

Wise men (and women) say that when you first embark upon a significant journey, the first 100 days are extremely crucial as it is a defining mould of your future track.

~ Today marks 100 Days of starting my Blog ~

I’m surprised that I’ve managed to keep consistent.

Its easy to lose momentum.

Image Courtesy Pinterest

Image Courtesy Pinterest

Incredibly, I didn’t fall on my butt (LOL).

25 posts to date (26th with this one).

Still committed.

Continue to enjoy typing up each post.

And what makes me happy is that you out there are following 🙂

Visitors from 35 different countries.

Love it.

Thank You.

© as|fa

Note: This officially concludes any further post entries into my “Inception|Beginning” category 😛

Australia|Landing

AustraliaToday marks 18 years of my arrival in Australia. Not by boat. By plane. Just in case you were wondering 😉

I have spent more than half my life in this continent, or country? maybe Island? That is by far the longest stretch of time spent in any country I’ve ever lived in. When I put this in perspective, it blows my mind.

They say home is where the heart is – my heart is certainly in Sydney. And why shouldn’t it be, I have practically spent the most crucial years of my life right here in this land of natural abundance.

Coming to Australia was not a coincidence. I had pretty much decided back in year 8 that Australia is the place for me. My fascination kicked off during geography lessons at school while working on an assignment about Australia. I nailed that task. My map of Australia scored 100%. I remember telling my school friends that one day I will be off to Sydney on the national Australian carrier, QANTAS. I’m sure they thought I was deluded, wanting to live in a land half covered in desert with the rest in sheep & cows. Or at least that is how our geography book portrayed Australia – the big exporter of milk, cheese & wool, but that didn’t deter my plans. Back in early 90’s most people (mostly boys) were only interested in travelling to the United States. Australia wasn’t even an option. I must’ve been one of the random few (girls) exploring educational possibilities in Australia. The reason mainly was to run away from the endless marriage proposals coming my way – at the ripe age of 18 – marriage was far from my mind. While most girls around me were getting hooked,  I was searching for appropriate courses in the farthest place possible on the world map – Australia 😛

My application for undergraduate degree got accepted in Dec 1996. Now that I think about it, the Australian High Commission was very efficient back then, I got my visa in under 2 months. Wow!

I knew at the back of my mind that this is it – I will not be coming back to my family home. I packed my stuff, along with my naivety, excitement, adventurous spirit and prepared for the long haul flight with…you guessed it! QANTAS. How’s that for conviction 😉

I guess if I had paused to think about the challenges I would face and how much I would miss my family, I would never have taken that first step – leaving home at 19 – travelling all the way to Australia – alone.

The last 18 years have been certainly challenging, but they have also made me rock solid as a person. I am who I am because of my experiences. It all wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my parents and that first crucial step – with eyes wide shut.

© as|fa