the 25th element in periodic table is manganese

the 25th element in periodic table is manganese — it’s a transition metal which is rarely found alone, and used for most alloys. basically, it’s very good for mixing into other elements to make them stronger. i hope the year 25 does the same for me. it makes my other years stronger.

being 25, i learned.

👩‍💻 On career

• it’s a privilege to be able to choose where you work/who you work with.
• make good friends in your colleagues, you look forward to Mondays.
• you don’t have to be 100% all the time
• make peace with having a MVP of your portfolio rather than nothing
• everybody is just mostly building it up as they go. …


Falling in love with a new city during lockdown

November, 2019. It was drizzling — the good kind of raining. It was there, but it wasn’t annoying me that my first day in Barcelona isn’t sunny. On the contrary, it felt like the city was offering me a clean slate.

Too bad that slate did not come scribbled with instructions on how-to-do-2020, but then it wouldn’t be 2020 if it came with a manual. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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My spot in Barcelona. It grounded me to this city. Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels

I used Duolingo as a manual for Spanish, but one of the first words I learned coming here was “vale”, or more like “vale vale”. Everyone uses it here — and it just means yeah okay. The v is pronounced as a b, so it sounded quite similar to the Indian-Punjabi Balle-Balle.


Well, I moved to Barcelona from India a bit before the pandemic.

Read the labels in supermarket carefully. Used baking soda for my cooking the first few days here, and wondered why everything tastes bitter. Sal ≠ Salt.😅

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Hey look it says “SAL” on top!!

But no really, ask for help even if you think you will manage fine. Accept all help that is given if you don’t need it.💙

Be it someone telling you the directions in the age of Google Maps, or someone helping you move. Take their help!

Also help yourself replicate parts of your old life as fast as possible. Making aloo paratha will not be on top of your list when you move, but do it if you loved it back home. …


Weird conversations in times of a pandemic. Of course with a cat!

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“Will pooping in my washbasin make you happy? Huh?”
I asked, very concerned.

“That desperate huh”, asked the person on the video call.

What am I talking about? Okay, let me rewind. My semi-informally-adopted cat was acting sad. Why was the cat sad? My flatmate has these two absolute adorable furry babies. For this pandemic, she had to be somewhere else for a while (like more than a month). So for a while, it’s just me and them!

For more context, I thought I was a 100% dog person, never had to double think that one. Growing up I only had fishes, rabbits and turtles as pets. All of which if you note, cannot produce audible sounds. I do not have a stellar record with plants either. I once named a plant sunlight so that I can remember it needs sunlight. …


How a day feels like in the life of a (very privileged) millennial

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Illustration by my sister, Tanvi

I wake up at 8 AM, yet another day I could not start with the 30 day 5 AM challenge. Well I really wanted to, but then also we are in the middle of the pandemic, and I am team don’t-make-it-a-productivity-challenge.

I get up, feeling the same. Same as last day, last week, and now even last month. It’s feels like a present with no tomorrow. I tell myself same is good. Not same could have been trouble.

Contrary to the montage of Anne Hathaway rocking those devilish Prada looks, I find that one top that feels like spring. Good thing I did not make that spring wardrobe capsule, because the only capsules I need this spring is turmeric and ginger. …


…to keep up the emotional immunity. From a normalish, non-influencer person in lockdown.

Grind the ginger till it’s juicy, and have it with hot water. Have hot water multiple times in a day. Don’t forget having turmeric. Put coconut oil on your hands. Do steam inhalations every night.

— My parents on every other call, courtesy Indian WhatsApp University

At one dramatic moment, I realise. My nose feels just fine. But what about my soul?!

Well being in lockdown (hopefully) does ensure I am building up immunity to fight the C-thing. …


I learned that..

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My official, being 24, portrait.
  1. I am a plant.
    A little sunlight, lots of water, and the smell of the damp forest floor after last night’s rain, is almost all that I need.
  2. More of what I need? Patience and gratitude. It was my mantra for the year.
  3. The year where I had set two major ridiculous ambitious goals for myself. I started the year thinking there is no way I can do it. One done, one half-done. Nothing is i̶m̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ undoable, if we just set our minds to it.
  4. About the other half-done goal, it’s alright. Trust the timing of things that happen. More than your calendar, your to-do lists, or your Kanban board on Notion. …


To enjoying what has already begun.

“Ah baalle, baallee”, the cab driver said confidently while lugging my 25kg suitcase at the back of his car.

It was 6 AM in Barcelona, and I had landed a while back. A couple of unexpected things had already happened. One, it was drizzling. No, it was pouring. When you think Barcelona, you think ☀️

All I was seeing and feeling was, ☁️☔️

Two, while I had carried my entire existence in documents for the immigration officer, he had simply looked at my passport, and said.

“Ah baalle, baalle”.

Why does everyone keep doing baalle baalle here. What relation could possibly be between Punjabi and Spanish? Also, if he runs away with my suitcases, do I have everything to survive the next few days? …


Spoiler alert: Not your typical Instagrammy travel blog.

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Well, we did try though.

Well for starters, this blog does not cover how you can enjoy a spiritual, life-changing day at the Matrimandir. You know that big golden globe thing. I would have used that picture as the banner here — if I had it.

In fact, I don’t have any landmarky pictures from this trip. But why you may ask? Well. With my two tripmates, let’s call them Mustard and Violet, we decided to just go there and read a book on the beach. And visit Matrimandir. That’s almost what we ended up doing..well almost.

Day 0…


About a label maker, my very own discount coupon, and 12+7.

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A friend on insta posted a picture of two marigolds sitting on her desktop at work, and captioned it:

Adult version of Dusshera.

Hmm, that hit me. Looking at my calendar last month, I was more touched by the day it was falling on, rather than the significance of this festival. My thoughts were, okay looks like the Monday's motivation is— Tuesday chutti hai.

That post by my friend got me thinking. What is a Chhavi-ish interpretation of Dusshera? So yeah, I decided to be a little dramatic, and find a few demons in my life, and decided to do away with them. …

About

Chhavi Shrivastava

Big fan of not-writing-regularly, sushi, working at Bumble, and the rare sun that shows up in London!

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