elevator-up-button-1024x440Using the elevator isn’t as easy as it sounds. Elevator logic and etiquette are actually rather complex and forever changing, and you suddenly realize (if you’re anything like me) that a day doesn’t go by when you’re not annoyed at somebody’s behavior or mannerisms while riding the elevator that day. It’s not like lifts have directions or a how to manual that everyone is required to read. Neither does it have visual diagrams that illiterate people can use to understand how to use this machinery. On top of that, using an elevator is not taught at primary school as an essential life skill, unfortunately.

I’ve really gotten used to the non-uniformity in elevator practices among riders, but it hasn’t escaped my critical eye. I feel like today’s blog post has been waiting to be written for about 10 years now. Well, at least I finally got around to it!

I feel like its commonplace for myself and other people to make occasional mistakes while riding an elevator and getting embarrassed over our actions. However, I believed these mistakes were a rare occurrence while I was growing up. But when I moved to India, the ratio of clueless elevator riders seems to exponentially increase. (Is this why buildings still have a liftwala to guide you?) Unfortunately, since I’ve been living in India, the error in people’s thinking and ways is all-too-evident to see.  Whether it is getting on the lift without paying attention to the direction it is going in, forgetting to press the button for which floor you’re intending to get to, or not pressing the appropriate ‘up’ or ‘down’ key when calling the elevator to you, elevators are contraptions used to serve knowledgeable and ignorant folks alike.


So let me just cut to the chase –  it doesn’t matter where the lift is at that point in time, whether you press the ‘up’ or ‘down’ button is very straightforward. If you would like the elevator to take you up to a higher floor – press the ‘up’ arrow. Even if the elevator is already on a higher floor and needs to come down to get you, you simply need to press the direction button for where you want to go. The elevator doesn’t need to be told how to act, you need to feed it information on where you want to go and it’s up to the machine to figure out how to do it. And if you want the elevator to take you down to a lower floor – press the ‘down’ arrow. Regardless of whether it is already on a lower floor and needs to come up to pick you up and take you back down, you simply inform the lift through the ‘down’ button that you’re destination is below you’re current location.

Related Sites:

How to Operate an Elevator and Make the World a Better Place (disorganisationguru.com)
How to Use an Elevator (katyjane.wordpress.com)
Nudging to choose elevator arrows correctly (mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com)
Going up in the world? Why where you stand in the lift reflects your social status (www.dailymail.co.uk)
How to use an elevator… this is silly but plz help? (in.answers.yahoo.com)
How to Ride an Elevator (www.wikihow.com)


**I wrote this piece for school back in 2004 when I was in high school (age 16). It was a miserable failure as a satire piece, and my understand and use of the term cannibalism is completely wrong! But I love my imaginative ideas for the piece, so I’m sharing! 🙂 **

Hunter or Hunted?

There is a perpetual common belief that cannibalism is wrong, while hunting is okay. Whether it be with a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or something more distinctive, like a slingshot, army knife, mallet, or one’s own hands, hunting is still legal in some areas – when following certain conditions – but legal nonetheless. How can this be? Won’t inflicting harm on animals, intentionally, breed more violence among human beings? How can someone who kills other living beings for sport, or the thrill of it, not be considered a cannibal?

I propose a solution, more precisely a lesson that will allow the wrongdoer to see and feel the gravity of the situation in which he has been put upon himself. This method will be conducted in two stages. The first will be used for those who hunt with traditional weapons, such as the rifle or shotgun. The second and more dangerous of the two will be for individuals who like to take risks by hunting with mallets or their bare hands. Although the two solutions are very different, both will be very successful in reducing the number of hunters in society today.

The first method allows the hunters to get to know the atmospheres the animals live in, especially the ones they were caught trying to kill. Prisoners are taken to a special jail that is not a building with cells, but resembles a real forest with animals. The goal is to last two days in the wild, with only their jail suits and a bottle of water. No shelter is provided and neither are weapons to fight off predators. Survival instincts and being comfortable in nature is a must to pass the course. On the other hand, the second method demands prisoners to be placed in an arena without any weapons or armor, and encompasses the idea of gladiators. The animal the hunter was till recently trying to kill is then placed alongside the criminal, followed by another. If they are not fierce, such as deer or rabbits, they are to be substituted with wild animals, like bears or tigers. Without any protection, the goal is to survive the attacks of the “enemy” for five minutes. These two methods will make many, not only the criminals, think twice before going hunting again.

Hi Everyone!

I think it’s getting to be nearly 2 months since I’ve written anything on here, and boy has it been a crazy and eventful 2 months! I’m getting ready to go to Chicago in a few weeks so that I can start my ‘MA Program in the Social Sciences’ which could more easily be described as my second MA in Anthropology and hopefully some History mixed in. So the countdown has officially begun. There is a lot more preparation to do before I make the big move, like finding a place to live (!) but hopefully luck hasn’t left me and it’ll all work out in the end.

Part of the prep of leaving home has been to help my mom (whose birthday it was today coincidently – Happy Birthday Maa!!) make some room in the house by getting rid of years and years of paperwork that I’ve hoarded since my high school days (eek!). So we’ve just got suitcases full and my cupboards are overflowing with clothes and lots of memorable junk, so the spring cleaning for Manjree has commenced. Boo-ya!

Anyway, so the good news is, while I was rummaging through stacks of projects and lecture notes, I found my ‘MEMORY PILE’ – which is literally a pile of poems, stories, essays, etc… that I’m really proud of from the olden days – which means I’ll have more to post on here soon. I thought I’d lost it, and it majorly sucked because nothing was saved on my computer since my last one unexpectedly died years ago. But thank god I’ve found it now and I’m not letting it out of my sight anymore… So a big yay and thumbs up!

I’m excited to share my writings with you…keep an eye open for upcoming posts!

~ Manjree

This is going to be me in a year’s time… I decided to join the University of Chicago for an MA in Social Sciences this Fall…

This is me now… As I fill out student loan applications…


March 22, 2012

I just received my last rejection in my mail today, which gives me a depressing total of 0/6 schools I applied for to do my PhD in this year. It’s been a grueling process, not to mention the toll it’s taken on my pocket. I still can’t believe that hundreds of people apply to each graduate program and put in all this effort, only to receive a paragraph and no explanation in reply. Even for the handful of people who get accepted, it must seem like they got lucky because the schools accept soo few applicants that it must just seem like a dream come true that is unexpected. On that note, one of the schools that rejected me for a doctorate did recommended me for their one year MA in Social Science program and I was accepted into with partial funding. While my first thought was – I already have a BA and MSc, why should I do another MA! – that thought was quickly replaced by relief for at least getting accepted into something, plus the fast that a double masters wasn’t the work idea…

It wasn’t long ago that I thought I’d do a PhD in a different topic (my original topic) in the UK. But as it turned out, lecturers and professors I emailed both in the UK and US wouldn’t give me straight answers or even reply to my emails, and my topic dwindled down and evaporated into the abyss. I didn’t have time to mourn my dream PhD topic (which was a continuation of my MSc thesis) as I only had 45 days before applications had to be submitted. So I put my brain into gear again and thought of another topic that could match the first in creativity, uniqueness, and potential.

By this point I also started to wonder about financing my studies, as I didn’t want to burden anyone, and decided to concentrate on schools in the United States. At least I could get some teacher training or research trainingwhilespending lots of money!While chances were slim of getting funded, at least there was a chance – unlike studying in the  UK and Australia – to get others to fund part of my study. So it was decided I would change my focus from the UK to the US, but the question of a valid thesis question still needed to be procured. I finally decided to go out of my comfort zone and changed directions from a formerly hardcore Archaeological Science topic to a European History/Art project. I justified my transfer in my personal statement and though every method I could think of. This time around I didn’t have time to ask prospective professors for their opinions. Or to be more precise, I didn’t want to hear what they had to or didn’t have to say.

I’m sure life will go on, but I’m not quite sure what to do next… I need to give the university that offered me a spot on their MA program my decision by May 1st, and I will be applying for a research grant come mid-May, but as the acceptance rate for that is about 5%, I’m not keeping my fingers crossed for this one either. As I see it, the less disappointed I’ll be if I have fewer expectations in this part of my life. Other than that, my future is, at least for today, a blank slate.

Wish me luck on my journey…

Poem: A Junior

January 27, 2012

**I wrote this poem for a class assignment back in 2003 when I was a junior in high school (age 16)**

A Junior

A junior attending Marlborough High
Goes to school with one big and one small eye.
A girl with light brown skin and jet black hair,
An obedient student there.
Her listening skills are her best features,
Whether focused on her friends or teachers.
Old, Japan-bought pants the high-schooler wears
With her black jacket and T-shirt with tears.
Not much for appearances and fashion,
She’s more comfortable doing addition.
When the bells indicate school is done,
Her effort and obedience have gone.
She goes home to procrastinate some more,
Returning to school sensible once more.

Poem: History

January 22, 2012

**I wrote this poem back in 2002 as a high school sophmore (age 15) for an English portfolio assignment**


There is no greater feeling in the world
than craving all the knowledge of the past
and wanting to know all there is to know
yet not being able to know it all.

There is no greater feeling in the world
than visiting a historic landmark
like the brilliant Himeji Castle;
to set foot on the same sacred terrain
where so many before us lived and died
in another dimension completely.

There is no greater feeling in the world
than reading a first rate non-fiction book
about the horrendous Second World War;
it taught an unforgettable lesson
that such events should not be repeated
for such mistakes could be disastrous.

There is no greater feeling in the world
than watching a movie or video
on Ancient Egypt’s bizarre way of life;
to compare their splendid customs with ours
and appreciate their complex structures
which are more like fantasies in our time.

There is not greater feeling in the world
except the moment of satisfaction
when you come across new information.
that opens your eyes to another world.