Stranger 1 – Act 1


As you might already know, I am continuing writing about the story of three people I met at the airport. This is a continuation, so make sure you read the first part before you start this!

Ms. Senorita (Act 1)

A tall woman, with medium length black hair tied in a messy plait, she strode in flats, capri jeans and a red sweater. I noticed her only because she was was walking around, talking very loudly to random people either in English or Spanish.


It definitely looked like she was searching for something or someone. I was wondering what the problem was and I saw that she was walking towards us. She asked me if I had an Android phone charger – unfortunately, I was using mine and my phone was running out of juice. So she turned to the woman sitting next to me and she complied. I helped her with connecting the charger since it was closer to me and she started thanking me very profusely. There was a very clear boisterous, “bossy” tone in her voice. Like she was used to getting people to do things her way. I hope I am not painting a negative picture of her here- that is not my intention. I answered a lot of questions that she shot at me:

“Where are you going?”,

“Where are you coming from?”,

“College Station? What kind of a place is that?!”

I tried asking her meekly where she was going and I find out that she is not sure! I mean, she lived in Houston and she wanted to go to Ohio but she hadn’t bought a ticket. And she continued talking but throughout the time I was wondering – “Why would a person who was from Houston choose to spend a night at the airport AND not have a ticket booked to some place?”

My thought process reached a sudden halt when I realized that she was waiting for me to answer a question she had asked. Like an idiot, I replied “Yes!” (Always say “No!” if you don’t know what the question is!)

Anyways, before I knew it, I was lying on a massage chair that she offered, nay forced me into while she went to change her clothes. Throughout the time I was on the chair, I was wondering if I actually wanted the pounding on my back! I realized that I was not a big fan of massage chairs. So long story short, after about 40 more minutes of interrogation about me and what I do, she took her phone and went without letting me or the person who lent her the charger know if she will be back. Where did she go? Where is she planning to fly to? Will she return?

Stay tuned for Stranger 1 – Act 2 which should be out after a couple of other stories!



Strangers at the Airport – Intro

Strangers at the Airport – Intro

When I started writing this blog, I was surprised at how long it ran. I realized that there was no point in me writing the entire story in one blog, since a reader’s interest would definitely wane by the time they got halfway through – heck I was tired of all the typing and I don’t blame you all! So let’s start with the introduction!

Don’t let the title of the blog throw you off. I did not plot to kill anyone with another person like they did on the movie (so hang up on those 911 calls, please!). I mentioned in my previous post that I was traveling for over 72 hours out of which I was stuck at Houston Airport for one night. It was here that I met 3 sets of people from different backgrounds and somehow, in that one night, we developed a unique kind of a relationship that people do once they get talking when they’re in such stranded situations.


I want to start off with the chronological events. This turned out to be quite a fun night, despite all the millions of crazy thoughts that were running through my head. I have changed everyone’s names to obviously protect their privacy!

This is how it began..I was looking for a couch in a cozy nook so that I could get those 40 winks before braving the biting Chicago winds. I found just what I was looking for, a faux leather couch with a coffee table to its right and a cell-phone charging center to its left. To the other side of this coffee table, I saw that someone was sitting on a matching faux leather couch. I did not pay much attention to the other person and went upon making myself comfortable in my spot.

And then she entered!

 Stay tuned for Stranger 1 – Act 1!

Strong Intuition = Strong Conviction

Strong Intuition  = Strong Conviction

The last 72 hours has been such a blur. I was in Champaign, Illinois- spending the last ten days of a glorious vacation lazing around while my boyfriend went to school to continue his research. A few days before I left, he developed a rash and a painful boil on his left elbow. This was further accompanied by chills and fever. He visited the doctors several time and they started draining the puss out of his boil. The day that I was supposed to leave to Texas to continue school, his hand had swollen to twice its normal size. I kept telling him that I wanted to stay but he insisted that I leave since school was starting soon. So against my better judgement I left Champaign at 3:00 am on the 16th morning. I reached Houston at around 11:00 am or so and had to wait a solid 3 hours for a ride to College Station. I finally reached College Station, Texas at a little over 5:30 pm. While I was on my way back, I heard from my boyfriend that the doctors has got the results of the tests on his puss and that he was infected with the MRSA bacteria. For those of you who don’t know, MRSA is an evolved and antibiotic resistant bacteria. The medication given by them was not working on the MRSA that my boyfriend was infected with and they wanted him to be admitted to a hospital as soon as possible. You can only imagine the amount I kicked myself for coming back that day. As soon as I came to College Station, I decided to check WebMD to learn more about the disease. And yes, it is very true what they say everywhere. Do not Google your symptoms or a disease, because the internet only provides the most grotesque possible diagnosis. By the time I read the whole thing, I was reduced to a sack of tears. In a hurry, I decided to head back to Houston that very day and take the flight on the 17th morning at 8:00 am. Luckily, the person who gave me a ride to Houston from College Station turned out to be an angel in disguise. He was super friendly and ever so accommodating. Once I reached the airport, I met 3 different people, each of whom left a long lasting impression on me. I also learnt in the middle of the night, that my boyfriend was undergoing surgery to drain out the puss pockets that were formed in his elbow. He continued telling me that he had got everything under control and that all was well and I should return to Houston. The idiot even sent me a selfie from the hospital, but given how I was on the verge of tears for the past 12 hours, his picture only made matters worse.

On a lighter note: Guys – word of advice, don’t send your girlfriends/wives pictures of you in the hospital. It will only make them want to cry their eyes out more!

IMG-20160116-WA0003 (2).jpg

By the end of the night, I was more resolved to go to Champaign than ever. So, by the time I reached Chicago airport, it was around 10:00 am on 17th morning. I had to wait for a shuttle to Champaign till 1:00 pm and finally by the time I reached the hospital, it was 4:00 pm on the 17th. The next 24 hours went faster than ever, with regular visits from the doctors and nurses up until his discharge on the 18th late morning. After completing all the formalities, we finally got home by 4:00 or 5:00 pm on the 18th and then I was on a mission. A mission to clean up his room, do lots and lots of laundry and basically conduct a hygiene revamp of his living situation! Before I knew it, night had fallen and I was walking in -18 degrees weather to take his clothes from the drier. Since it looked like he was making good recovery, I booked my flight on Tuesday night and booked yet another charter from Champaign to Chicago and here I am, writing and hoping that I can publish my post with the current pathetic state of Wifi in the charter. I still have another good six to seven hours to go before I reach College Station and that is IF everything goes well in Chicago and Houston. So I am keeping my fingers crossed! So to summarize my travel itinerary for the past 72 hours:

16th Jan 3:00 am  – Left Champaign to Chicago by Charter

16th Jan 8:30 am – Flew from Chicago to Houston

16th Jan 2:00 pm – Ride from Houston to College Station

16th Jan 5:00 pm  – Reached College Station

16th Jan 7:40 pm – Ride from College Station to Houston

17th Jan 8:30 am – Flew from Houston to Chicago

17th Jan 1:00 pm – Left Chicago to Champaign by Charter

17th Jan 4:00 pm – Reached the hospital

19th Jan 3:00 pm – Left Champaign to Chicago by Charter

19th Jan 6:25 pm – Reached Chicago O’hare Airport

19th Jan  8:45 pm – Flying from Chicago to Houston (Hoping to fly on time)

19th Jan 11:30 pm – Reach Houston (if all goes well)

20th Jan 2:00 am – Reach College Station (if all goes doubly well)

I guess the point of my whole discussion was that, following intuition is of utmost importance to everybody. It is not easy and might feel utterly random and foolish. But you have that “gut feeling” for a reason – someone put it there for a reason. Don’t disregard this as something unimportant because if you do, then nature/God has a way of turning tables such that you are back to being exactly where He/She/It intended you to be.

Wish me luck!

Toasting sisters everywhere!

Toasting sisters everywhere!

It was on Jan 17th, 19 years ago, when I woke up in the morning to find my mum and dad missing from home. Naturally as a 5 year old, I began freaking out and ended up crying looking for them. It was only after I found my grandfather in the living room watching Television that I calmed down and asked him where everyone was. “They have gone to get your little sister”, he said. I thought to myself, “Oh! the day is finally here” and did a mental cartwheel before proceeding to sit beside my grandfather to wait for my dad to come pick me up to see her.


I still remember half-walking, half-running down the hospital’s dimly lit hallway. And when I finally entered the room, I saw my mother lying on the bed and smiling at me. She said, “Why don’t you say hello to your sister?” and that was when I saw her there – all wrapped in white with plump cheeks with a rosy tinge. My sister. I was dumbstruck for the first time in my life. Emotions that I did not know existed, came bursting forth. My heart felt so much fuller and lighter at the same time. People are often surprised at the clarity of my memory when it came to this incident. But I think it was only expected – I met the most important person in my life. No one can forget such important phases in one’s lives.

Now that she stands before me, a beautiful woman, I think of how fast time slipped by. I still remember our fights over toys and our gossips about boys among other things. Now looking at her- an avid reader, a budding computer science engineer and a beautiful woman with a wacky sense of humor – has deepened my relationship with her. When I see her stepping up and taking care of my family in my absence, having philosophical conversations with me about books or life, I can only swell with pride. Such brave and wise women, with hearts of gold are not found easily.


So Happy Birthday my love! Here is hoping that you get everything that you have ever wanted in life. I hope you continue to grow as beautifully as you are now and I hope I will get to watch you bloom into an even better wholesome woman than you are now. I love you and I wish only the best for you.

To all the other women and men who are as blessed as I am to have such supportive and wonderful sisters, let us take a moment to raise our glasses to these marvelous works of God or nature. Thank you for coming into our lives and brightening everything up. We would be nothing without you.

Goodbye Alan Rickman

Goodbye Alan Rickman

My eyes were only half open and I saw that my boyfriend was already up. I heard him say, “Samara, Alan Rickman passed away.” As opposed to jumping out of the bed, I thought to myself, “Wasn’t that Severus Snape?” and went back to sleep. When I woke up 20 minutes later, I read a text from my cousin informing me the same news. I think that was when everything started sinking in. I told all other Harry Potter friends of mine about this and that was when we started reminiscing about everything.

I started reading the books when I was about 8 or 9 years old. The movies were not made then and Rowling had written 4 books so far – the popularity of the books was still increasing slowly. Like all other kids my age, I hated Snape with all my heart. I day dreamed a lot about these characters – I used to think of myself as Hermione and a guy I had a crush on was Harry Potter!

I have always hated movies that were derived from books. But, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was out, I was annoyed that they did not name is Philosopher’s Stone, but I watched the movie anyway! I was bedazzled. The casting in the movie was spot-on. But I was particularly intrigued by Dumbledore and Snape. You can only imagine my despair when Richard Harris passed away. I was distraught when they casted Michael Gambon and it took me 2 more movies to finally get used to him. But Alan Rickman, and the ease with which he acted as Snape was amazing. It was so easy to loathe him when he said – “People will think you are…up to something!” in Sorcerer’s Stone.

I know Alan Rickman has acted in other movies and his true fans would rather prefer to remember him in those movies. But to me, he will always be the person who brought out a beloved character of mine alive on screen. I don’t think anyone else could have acted the good-day in a bad wrapper character with so much panache.

The world has lost an amazing actor and I have lost yet another favorite movie actor who linked me to my childhood. Nevertheless, the show must go on. I might wake up tomorrow with a slight hollow feeling, but I know that will pass. I wish you were here for many more years and I wish I could show a picture of you, all white-haired with a wrinkled face to my children and say – “that guy played the best Snape ever. ” Sadly, that is not going to happen and we will have to make do with whatever memories we had of you until today. To quote Alan Rickman/Professor Snape:

Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair.


Rest in Peace Alan. You will be missed.

Remembering Alice Paul


I was checking out the Google Doodle today and realized that today was the 131st birthday of Alice Paul. There have been instances where I have seen these doodles and forgotten about it in a matter of few seconds. But something in the doodle caught my eye today – Alice Paul was a feminist, she fought for equality and women’s right to vote. I was initially quite embarrassed about the  fact that up until today, I had no idea who Alice Paul was and I proclaimed to be a feminist. Anyways, here is a small summary I put together of who she was and what she did for women.


Alice Paul was a very well-read woman. With a PhD in sociology and a Doctorate in Civil Laws, she was a radical reformist with a  staunch belief in women’s right to vote and equality of women. Despite being imprisoned and subjected to severe brutality several times during her tenure as the co-founder of the National Woman’s Party (NWP), she tirelessly worked towards realizing her goals. A story that touched me deeply were the events that unfolded during the Night of Terror. Despite facing severe brutality by the authorities – and this included being force fed raw eggs with a tube pushed down her throat – Alice Paul continued to remain strong and fight for her cause. The part that makes me proud to be a woman is that after the court’s ruling on the Night of Terror –

The decision declared that every one of the women suffragists who picketed the White House was illegally arrested, illegally convicted, and illegally imprisoned. The women could have filed suits for damages, false arrest and imprisonment at once, however they did not.

And all this happened in the early 1900’s. More often than not, I end up wondering what we kind of progress we have had as women. A lot of times I end up sensing a gut-wrenching despair – I don’t see many women in engineering disciplines in higher degrees, not so many women back at work and not as many women in politics either (Here, I am proud to be an Indian, at lease we had a Prime Minister and some very strong female political figures). But then, the feeling passes. We are stronger than we ever were and we are only going up from here. Take a moment and be proud women and men all over the world!



Things to do in Vegas during the day!

Things to do in Vegas during the day!

It has been two weeks since I got back from my 8-day long vacation in Las Vegas and this has been a wonderful experience. As opposed to what is popularly shown in movies, Vegas has a lot more to offer than just casinos and strip clubs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people who hate gambling. I played and lost more than my fair share in Las Vegas (I will be back seeking revenge some day soon) but there is so much more to the place than just what is advertised on billboards. Yes, there are gorgeous women who instantly made me hate everything about myself, but in addition to all the glitz and glamour, there is a quaint beauty to the city and its surroundings.

So, here is a list of places I recommend APART from the usual places to visit in Vegas!

1. Red Rock Canyon

Located about 24 miles away from the Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area showcases beautiful and ever changing landscape. If you take the 13-mile scenic drive, you are guaranteed to be enthralled by the different colors strewn across mountains and hills. If you are a hike enthusiast, then you are in for a treat. There are a lot of hikes and trails of different difficulty levels. Also, make sure you take a look at the visitor’s center.  I wanted to spend the entire day there – you have the opportunity to learn so much about the flora and fauna and general conditions at Red Rock.


2. Death Valley

Death Valley is a must-see if you are in Vegas. Although, it is farther away from the city, about a 4 hour drive, it is well worth its time. We thought of visiting all the scenic spots in Death Valley in a day, but that was quite an ambitious thing to hope for. You need to camp for at least 3 days if you wish to soak in all of Death Valley. But if you have only one day to spend in Death Valley, then I would probably do the following:

a. Dante’s View – This is a viewpoint that showcases the haunted beauty of Death Valley.


b. Zabriskie Point – It is yet another viewpoint located to the east of Death Valley. You can see how the lava, ash and rivers have moulded the landscape into a beautiful array of colors.


c. Sailing Stones – Although I did not go here myself due to lack of time and good transport (it is be advisable to travel to this place by Jeep or a vehicle with hard tires), I would always pick this as my first choice of place to visit in Death Valley. These rocks seem to have traveled from one place to another over time and the reason behind this phenomenon was a mystery up until now where scientists think the rocks move because of a thin layer of ice formed underneath the rocks.


d. Badwater Basin – There are so many reasons to visit the Badwater Basin. It is the lowest point in North America, you can see salt deposits all around you and is full of eerie stories of hikers who died due to dehydration in this arid and extremely hot area.


If you do have some time left after visiting these places, you can also visit Artist’s palette, Devil’s golf course and Golden Canyon. There are many hike trails here as well.

3. Hoover Dam

A 50-minute drive from the strip, Hoover Dam caught my attention as an engineering marvel. The ideal time to visit the dam would be around sunset, also called the golden hour. You also are on the border of Nevada and Arizona so you keep shifting between different time zones!


4. Mount Charleston

What surprises me a lot about Mount Charleston is that despite being relatively close to the city, it had an altogether different weather pattern. There was snow only in about a 2 to 3 mile radius from the mountain. Once you cross that, you are back to Vegas and it’s cold yet sunny weather. This is a popular skiing destination and is great for spending time with family.


5. Lake Mead 

Although I was pressed for time and did not get a chance to see a lot of Lake Mead, I was very impressed by what I saw here. There is a lot of aquatic life to see around the harbor and if you are as lucky as we were, you will also see a coyote!! Yes, we saw a coyote which circled our car at least 10 times, staring at us with its inquisitive golden eyes.


Make sure you don’t miss out on these! Gambling is fun and all, but this is one hell of an experience too. You see nature at its best and that can never be a disappointment.

Welcome 2016

Welcome 2016

Another year..gone! The chilly Decembers have paved way to a colder and drearier January  – with the silver lining being the promise of  a “great year ahead”.

Many a times, if you think of it, a new year always symbolizes a “fresh start” of sorts. You have 366 days to finally start that travelogue, bake that creamy pudding pie or lose those last 5 pounds. Taking opportunity of this is totally left to us.

Then there are people like me, who make strong resolutions and let all the other things in life take over.

“Today is finally the day I read War and Peace..oh wait, 30 Rock marathon is on”

So I have decided to take it easy this year – make a few realistic resolutions and make them one month at a time! That way, when December comes, I will not be looking back on the year and wondering how much of my resolutions I actually fulfilled.

Then there are people like this:


Yes, you are Calvin.

Happy New Year folks! Hope we all have a great year ahead!

About Samara


“Why write a blog?” I ask myself this one question over and over again. “You have a journal that you promise to keep up every year and you always stop once January ends”. The answer to the question is simple really – the impact. I have thoughts that I would want to share not just with an inanimate object or a bunch of friends. There are issues that I believe need a more widespread response.


Now, coming back to me (I always love coming back to me!) – I am a woman in my 20’s and like many women in their 20’s, I am clueless about most of the things in life. This is further complicated by the fact that I want so much out of life. The pursuit of happiness is something that has driven me to the brink of craziness. Did I mention that I am an Electrical Engineer with a Masters Degree? (I don’t care much for it. I’d have rather been a Computer Science Engineer)

So you might have already guessed – I am slightly narcissistic (but who isn’t?). I have this constant tendency of wanting more – this drive has led me to better places no doubt, but has always left me feeling pretty dissatisfied with whatever I have. DO NOT think for a moment that I am a dark brooding person – people who know me/have met me will agree that I am always the belle of the ball (aannndd the narcism kicks in).

I want this blog to be more of a recording, if you will, of my quest in discovering more about myself and learning to be happy with what I have (that does NOT mean I am settling). I don’t want to know my limitations, I want to stretch them and go beyond. I have strong opinions about a lot of issues that might not necessarily line up with the thoughts of the masses – I want to voice those here. I don’t want to go on a philosophical rant (I am not qualified enough for it) but I do want to discuss issues that might not have one answer. And as a reader, I want you to comment away! Let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. This is the first time I have blogged EVER and I hope this turns out to be a successful venture.