1. I can also cook[My mom will vouch what a big ‘wonder’ it is]. I learned I can do things which I have classified as ‘not capable’ of only if I am prepared to endure certain failure and practice it. BIG lesson. Some day when I grow up to make my own money, I would be grateful to the kitchen and the friends who helped me with it.
2. Time is more valuable than money. I learned it through shopping online – those two days shipping and free super shipping have a huge difference in cost between them sometimes equivalent to the product costs. Learned/Trained to make more such decisions giving value to time.I also admire and adore the way they keep time for meetings and appointments. I wish i kill the Indian trait of starting at 9 from home for a 9 meeting at 9.
3.You can be honest and still happy. People trusted each other and that relieved half the pains in life. My boss never peeps in to my window and I dont hide tweeting or facebooking from him.Yet he gets the work done from me and I also serve him fairly well. They take your products back in shop going by your words. I am slowly killing my lies and one day I can vouch for “Sathyameva jayathe”.
4.Rules are rules. However tall you are you must bend to it and dont bend them. I learned this mainly on the road. People stop for STOP boards even if they are 200% sure that there are no vehicles on all sides. That makes life easy for all of us and makes it even predictable to an extent.For a non-conformist like me this was a revelation and I abide by the rules which make sense with full heart.
5.I had to struggle for my basic needs – food,shelter and even clothing at times. I had to plan my wash cycles, though I learnt to cook,cooking for 5+ people when you are bit low makes you avoid it, and we had to switch places and change apartments. I roamed in the streets without knowing whether I will have a home in the next week. All this made be understand the values of a sweet in the home,taste in the food and pride in the cloths we wear.
6. KIDS – KIDS are the reason the world is beautiful. I knew this way back in India too.But I was amazed at the parenting, they explain things to kids and make them make the decisions rather than making the decision for them. I cherish the moments whenever I managed to get little interaction with those little minds. And I also learned that my I.Q is less than the I.Q of a five year old:)- they are simply amazing!
7.Friendships – Having lived with more than 20 different room mates and worked in a changing environment where I had to deal with more than 100 changing faces, I understood that not all people should be treated equally. You may hate this but thats my experience. I am a open and outgoing guy and I love people too. But I shouldnt offer it to those who dont deserve it or use it for narrow purpose. I restricted myself and I have made certain good and new friendships which I will cherish till my last breath.
8. TOASTMASTERS – I learnt the value of being a toastmaster because that was one reason why I walked a different path – I mean I had to travel alone to attend the meetings. My love for it didnt bother walking miles or travelling in metro for long time. And when I was received well in those clubs I felt as if the whole America is receiving me with warmth(:)). And also I realized how much I missed my home club and how much the people in Chennai are part of my life.
9.TRIPS- Making periodic trips and discovering new lands with ‘good’ people makes you look back life with cherished memories. I dont remember the year that went by in terms of work. But I do remember the trips,visiting new places and getting inspired by things I observe in them.
10.BEING SOCIAL : He he. I have been hyper active in social networks even before but my facebooking has gone all time high. I do that to kill boredom and also to stay in touch with people I love.For those who know me well you should know what I am capable of and what I am doing now.Anyhow I will be making a cut in it when I lose time for a better cause. Never let the brain be idle for its devils workshop. Always America offered something to fascinate my brain when I was open minded:)
Thank you USA. I wanted a degree from you, I wanted a job I can brag about with my friends from you, I wanted a rich life style which I can show off from you. I wanted all these then – you didnt give any of it. But you gave me what I really wanted – ENLIGHTENMENT.Yes I feel it , I will improve myself and make my life and lives around me better with what you have offered to me. THANK YOU. Bye bye is just around the corner.