A few of my favorite things

Hindustan Cables Limited, the town I grew up in and left once I started college, had little to offer. Fun and happiness were limited to playing with friends on the dusty, worn-out roads, surprise visits to and from relatives (did not have phone), good grades, Ma’s animated storytelling and Baba’s wonderful salads. There was no TV or playground or video games or malls or restaurants or movie outings but giggles were ubiquitous.

Little, seemingly banal to other people, things still make me happy. Some of my favorite things that make me cheerful:

  • Enjoying a book with a cup of coffee on my couch
  • Sharing stories with my daughter and sharing a laugh
  • Unexpected act of kindness from a stranger
  • New technology (software and gadgets) – Two years ago, when I installed my Nest thermostat which had the promise of reducing my electricity and gas bill by 50% using Machine Learning, made me so happy that I couldn’t stop sharing with my friends and colleagues only to be stared at by them as though I have landed from a different planet
  • Solving a software problem or creating a new software other people can use
  • Being able to make someone smile
  • Discovering a new recipe and cooking for my daughter (Sometimes she says “You are a good cooker, Mama”)
  • Seeing a squeaky clean house after my cleaning service leaves
  • Writing a blog post
  • And of course watching this from my all-time favorite movie, Sound of Music

My Favorite Things

Sharmistha’s Book

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Sharmistha Das

Sharmistha Das, an Indian immigrant engineer and entrepreneur, is the author of "From Hindustan Cables Limited - Journey of a Small-Town Indian Immigrant Woman". Every South Asian woman who has immigrated to America will identify with the adventurous journey of Sharmistha Das. Born in a small rural company town of Hindustan Cables Limited in Bengal, India, Sharmistha grew up with her brother, mother and father in a simple home without running water or furniture, but with a great amount of love. Supported by her parents, she left her hometown for Kolkata and became the first female engineer from her community. After her marriage, she moved to Bangkok, Thailand and finally to America, the land of opportunity and heartache. While working and bringing up her daughter, she got her Masters in Business Administration and started her own business. Unthinkable for a girl from Hindustan Cables, she got divorced in 2012 and adapted to a new life as a single woman and as a single mother. Sharmistha’s story will inspire any women to dare to live her dreams.

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