Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Miracle?

The Fellow is a dog lover and it's taken all of my logic and allergies over the last three yeas to avoid getting a pet home. No, i'm not an unfeeling person, devoid of any love for man's best friend. I'm simply aware of the hu-uge responsibility that keeping a dog is - especially since i'm the one who will be at home most of the time to train, feed and ensure regular walks, no matter what time of the day. Of course the Fellow disagrees, but you and i both know he's delusional. 

Anyway. After 3 years of postponing what i knew in my heart to be the inevitable (i'm a nice wife like that), the universe decided to intervene. 

A few days back, the Fellow left the city for work and the in-laws and i went grocery shopping. Just another day it was turning out to be, except that when we returned home that evening, we had someone waiting for us outside our door - a golden retriever shaped someone. A 6 odd month old puppy, the poor thing was obviously lost and even more obviously super friendly. She happily came into the house and surveyed her new surroundings. She even hopped into the car and enjoyed the ride while i drove around informing the authorities who needed to know we had a lost dog in case someone came looking. 

It's been 3 days and no one has. 

What has happened is that we've given her a name. Millie (those of you well versed in Hindi will understand the appropriateness of this name, yes). We've also learned that it is not us who takes her for a walk. No. She takes us. And since we didn't want the skin rope-burned off our hands (with the makeshift leash), we've also gotten her a new collar and leash, one that makes controlling her super puppy strength and desire to run towards any other dog she sees, a lot easier. Of course, everything is made better by the fact that she seems to have gone through obedience school and is quite possibly the most friendly and trusting dog i've seen in a long time.

And so after three years of putting up a fight against having a dog, not only with the Fellow, but also his equally dog obsessed brother, the decision was suddenly taken out of my hands. There really was nothing else i could do you know.

The brotherinlaw is convinced it's a christmas miracle. I'm not sure whether he's talking about Millie or me. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For the Attention Deficit

Every day of the last week i've started writing here. And all i have to show for it is a bunch of drafts in various stages of neglect. Yes, i'm easily distracted like that. Also i like to believe i think faster than i can process or type. What? It's possible. It's also possible that i've gotten so used to microblogging (read: tweeting) that it takes more than a little effort to write in longer, more meaningful sentences. 

Anyway. I'm writing now. Not in chronological order: 

The inlaws arrived last week and with them, a cold wave has hit Pune. It's awesome weather now and i got to open the trunk with our woolens even. Of course, the parents can periodically be heard to  complain about the heat and turn the car ac on. But they're from Shimla. They're allowed this. 

I cooked chicken for the first time ever. Lemon Garlic Basil Chicken with bread. I'm guessing it was a success, this experiment, given the way the Fellow didn't stop for a breathe while wolfing the meal down. Yay for me! 

I got pretty pink fairy lights in my balcony. Also I'm having a love affair with fairy lights right now and have a feeling this might turn into a problem soon. 

Finally got around to putting up picture frames all over the house, including a poster of Sholay in the dining area. But several more have to be put up still and photos need to be changed in the existing ones. Sigh. 

Made a vow to always have some fresh flowers in the house. Last week it was yellow carnations. This week it's yellow zerberas. I think i'll make the yellow also a constant. Such a happy colour it is. [While typing this, 2 of the flowers committed suicide by way of their stems bending. So now i have 2 bowls with floating yellow joy]. 

Got my wardrobe all cleaned out and organised. Now i'm a little scared to touch anything in it. No really. 

I fit into my blouses again. I wasn't in June. It's a bloody big deal ok. Now i just need to ensure i keep fitting into them till end February at least. A wedding in the family makes you feel this way, yes. 

Went to awesome stationery store and bought lots of paint supplies. Now if only i could focus on one idea in my head i'll be good to go. 

Got some work done. Now if only others would get their work done too i could die happy.

Spent a lot of time standing around, looking at the plants on my terrace and talking to them under my breath. Also stood around while the motherinlaw re-potted some and generally made her way around them. Why? Because if i touch them they'll die. Really. They always do. 

Have eaten more healthy food in the last week than i have in the month before that. The inlaws are obsessed about food like that. And no. Not fun healthy food. Boring healthy food. Sigh. 

Also have gone to malls more in the last week than i have in the month before that. The inlaws are obsessed about malls like that. 

Signed up for Secret Santa on Twitter and when i learnt whom i was playing Santa to, i quite literally jumped off my chair. And now i'm using up every brain cell i own trying to figure out the perfect gift. Not an easy task. 

Tried making besan laddoos, nani-style. Not bad for a first time. Of course, the grandmother is thrilled to tears. Though, she might be happier if i got pregnant and had a positive answer to her standard question of *any news?*

Oh and i finally went for a walk today. Let's see if i manage to do so tomorrow. 

I think that's all i managed to do last week. I'm hoping for a better next week. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Say Three

Post dated: 2nd December 2011.

Three years.

Of sleeping on the left side of the bed.
Of navigating from the passenger seat.
Of deciding lunch and dinner menus.
Of making watery maggi.
Of never having to look anywhere else for tech-support.
Of fighting over chocolate cake every single time.
Of explaining why cushions are important for the living room.
Of always having someone to talk to at parties.
Of trips to Shimla.
Of fighting over bandwidth and download limits.
Of rolling my eyes every time I buy apples because a lecture goes with it. Every time.
Of inside jokes.
Of not being in Bombay.
Of getting flowers whenever I come back home. Or even when I’m at home.
Of having late night ice-cream cravings fulfilled.
Of getting science lessons at the drop of a hat.
Of trunks.
Of being told I need to learn how to change a car tire and then not being allowed to do it.
Of sharing gossip in the car ride home after parties.
Of not having to explain how I want my drink.
Of relearning the meaning of hot and cold as pertaining to the water and weather.
Of understanding that a man can never have too many gadgets. Or wires.
Of being made aware of the fact that there is nothing like too much gaming.
Of finally learning that primary colours are all that he’ll ever recognize.

Three years. And we’re just getting started.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Goosebumps and Shivers

Yes yes. I'm back to complaining about the cold. What else can i do while in Shimla you tell me? Ok, so i might be able to talk about the gorgeous sunsets and hot momos on Mall road, but where's the fun in that huh?

So, since the last time i wrote about the cold, it's gotten colder. Even the locals agree. Of course, they might not bundle up as i do. Or complain. But they all agree that the cold has arrived.Never has the sun felt as good as it does these days. While in the sun, a feeling of well being and contentment envelopes you, dousing you in it's warmth. Step out of it into the shade, and the goosebumps come forth. For me, i could be in 4 layers of clothes, including a sweater and a fleece jacket, and the goosebumpiness still remains. Evil i say. 

Such is the power of the cold that even a non-tea drinker like me looks forward to tea time - just so that i can grip that piping hot mug of chai with both my freezing hands like it was a lifesaving device. And even then the warmth refuses to remain. It's fleeting. Lasts as long as tea does.
And so, the heaters emerge. Those wonderful contraptions that make the cold bearable and the shivers go away. Even now, as i type this, i have this lovely heat being radiated at me, allowing the blood to flow through my extremities once more. Yes, it makes me the sissy daughterinlaw and no, i don't care. 

All i know is that when i get up from my place next to the heater, there will be an electric blanket waiting, all warm and welcoming, in bed for me.   

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Uphill Task

I love Shimla. It's where the Fellow grew up and I can't help love a place that has so many awesome memories, even if they don't belong to me. It's as different as could be from where i grew up, in Bombay. And so while i walked to school through the gallis in Juhu scheme, the Fellow ran through a forest. My after school activity mainly involved walking back through the same lanes and standing in front of my building gate, gossiping with friends. The fellow would go berry picking, coming back home with a full stomach and a happily juice-stained uniform. I grew up on vada pav, he did on momos (and rajma). My vacations were spent in the land of camels and sand while he went into the snow clad mountains and in the midst of apple orchards. 

But most importantly, he spent his formative years walking. Apparently in the Shimla of 20 yrs back, cars were primarily used by government officials to and from work. Other than that, everyone walked everywhere - to school, to the market, or even across town to meet a relative. Now, of course, cars have caught up with this mountain town. And instead of walking, you simply hop into your car and drive places. Which is a very good thing for me. No, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against fresh mountain air. I even enjoy it once in a while. It's just that i prefer my walking to happen as a dash across churchgate station when there is a minute for the Borivali fast to go. Or as a whole day spent walking around Colaba. What i can't do, is walk around Shimla. No wait. Correction. What i can't do, is walk uphill in Shimla.

Please note that i can walk uphill on a treadmill without too much of a problem (at least it wasn't too much trouble the one time i tried it) It's when the upward slope is combined with a rarity of oxygen my lungs are not used to that i'm in trouble. I mean, i grew up at sea level and here i was, panting my way up a mountain at 8000 ft above that. Obviously i was going to start drawing up my will. Of course, there is that little factor called weight that i carry around, which can only make the uphill walk worse. How? Well, let's just say that  i fear the burn in my lungs will result in internal combustion. That, or i'll just faint where i stand because there is no way i could draw another breath. What? I'm being honest here.

And no. Even if i was 10 kgs lighter (sigh, what dreams are made of), the oxygen would still be super rare and i would still be clutching my chest in pain and agony as i walked up to reach the in-laws waiting patiently on top of the hill for me. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Being Multicultural

Growing up in Bombay, you take so many things for granted. Especially the food. And the people.

Only when i left Bombay did i realise how homogenous it is, how so many different cultures co-exist seamlessly. I never appreciated the fact that growing up in Bombay gave me an exposure to so many languages, foods and people. When i see the stereotypes that people not from Bombay live with, i have this urge to shake them and tell to not believe in what TV portrays. No, not all gujjus talk like that, just like not all their meals consist of thepla and dhokla. And no, parsis are not foreigners. And i may be marwari, but i dont go around calling people bhai sa and bhabhi sa. There is more to everyone and everything than tv and movies show. And Bombay allows you to be a part of that - of that tolerance and welcoming attitude (i'm not talking of politically driven agendas here, but of the common man in the local train).

So used to this multicultural living i am, that i find myself surprised when people don't know what dhaansak is or don't know how to make poha. It's also very surprising that the first thing people do on meeting/hearing about someone is to categorize them as belonging to a certain community and then acting on stereotypical assumptions. In Bombay, this difference in cultural background is just another opportunity to try new foods and celebrate yet another festival. Yes, the stereotypes exist, but just as a round of jokes. So christmas is about my friend's mum's whiskey cake and yummy marzipan sweets while Eid is about going to Mohd.Ali road and trying out everything (something i can't wait to do, now that i'm a meat eater). And come Navroze, all i can think of is caramel custard. My maharashtrian friends are good for yummy prawn curry and the gujjus keep me happy with enough junk food to last me a lifetime. Also, some of the most generous people i've known are sindhis and marwaris. And no, the sindhis dont walk around with a stash of papad in their pockets. 

Today, i'm as comfortable singing Christmas carols as i am humming garba songs. I enjoy roadside anda bhurji as much as i do fancy poached eggs at a popular brunch outlet. I'm perfectly at ease travelling in a local train or bus as i am driving somewhere in a fancy car. Everyday is a learning opportunity, new people, new foods, new cuss words.

And so Bombay may be crowded, polluted, noisy and generally unlivable to an outsider. But for me, it's the best thing that could have happened. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Of Diwali and Deja vu.

I started typing out what i was feeling earlier today. And then i realised i've already written exactly what i wanted to. 2 years back. Here

Enjoy the festivities and the food ya'll. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Of Sweaters and Scarves

I'm a Bombay girl. Winters for us mean a much awaited reprise from the stiffling heat and humidity, without it being cold in the true sense. So convinced we are that it doesn't get cold cold in Bombay,  that even when it did go sub 15 deg Celsius one year, no one really understood how to dress warm, wearing more fashion appropriate winter wear as opposed to functional ones. What? You know it's true. Those flimsy things arent really jackets you know. 

Then i got married to a Shimla boy. And learnt, for the first time, how to dress warm. I also finally figured out how women wear sweaters over kurtas and sarees  - when it's really cold, you stop caring about how you look and just want to stay warm. And then, as if the universe was making up for the all the time i spent in Bombay with fake winters, i got to experience two winters in Rajasthan - the cold making up for the terrible summers there. And suddenly, a whole new section in apparel was open to me now - winter wear. Heavy coats, jackets, sweaters, mufflers, wraps. I could buy them without any guilt and questions of where would i get to wear them (an important consideration, the guilt). I even (finally) bought a pair of boots that i could wear without worrying about the heat rotting my feet (as is very likely to happen in the mugginess of Bombay). 

Anyway. We're in Pune now, where the winters are moderate. Definitely no need for heavy winter coats and brightly coloured mufflers knotted in place. But does that stop the winter shopping? For anyone else, maybe. Not for me. I can still go into a shop and browse through silk scarves and brightly coloured sweaters, knowing that, wherever the fauj might send us, we'll always have Shimla. 

I've been here a day, and even with my extremities already cold (its a condition i shall discuss soon), i'm smug. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Of Compression.

One of the hazards of marrying a fauji is the nomadic lifestyle. Everything you buy (that is not clothes)  has to be considered in terms a) how easy is it to pack and transport and (b) whether it will survive a cross-country journey in a rickety truck. This makes it a tad bit difficult when eyeing glass stuff or really gorgeous but delicate things that wont last even one move (like that awesome handcrafted miniature ship, complete with sails and stuff, but that's another post altogether). But glass and the like are not the only things difficult to move. Books are. Especially if you own a couple of trunkfulls of them. Ever tried moving a trunk that had only books in it? It's akin to moving a large boulder (as i learnt the hard way), done only at personal risk and little care for your back. Also, it's near impossible to move. So what do you do? You could distribute the books over all your various trunks. But that has its own problems which i'll talk about some other time. Or you could do what we did - cartons. Bubblewrap inside and out. Except that we ended up with some 9 cartons of books, 8 of which are still waiting to be opened (owing to several factors not entirely in our control). But considering our experience with the one carton of books that was opened (as well almost another carton full that emerged from trunks along with the ones we've bought in the past few months), we can't help be glad the bulk of our books are still packed away. 

Before you gasp and call us boors, hear me out ok. 

In the last 6 months we've moved 4 houses. And with every move, at least one car trip to and fro from the old to the new house has been entirely dedicated to our books. Do you know how tiring it is climbing up and down stairs with armfulls of books and loading/unloading them? Especially if you love them and are loath to toss them around without a care? The last time we had to do this (yesterday), we finally put all the books in a big drum sized bucket and heaved it up to the new house. This is when the Fellow finally decided upon something we've been unsure about (and i'm still not entirely convinced, no matter how tired i am of balancing book towers as i try to open the car door single handed) - the Kindle. He has now come to the conclusion that Kindles (and other e-book readers) were designed for faujis. After lugging about one-eighth of our books around four houses (along with the unopened cartons, dont you forget), the man has finally had it with hardcopies and is now looking forward to his entire collection weighing in at a few hundred grams. And when i tell you that he even mentioned both of us with our Kindles, you'll know how serious he is. 

But for now, i'm holding onto my paperbacks (vehemently) and figuring out where best to get bookshelves installed in the new house. We'll have this discussion when we  have to move houses again. Till then, lead me to Flipkart someone. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So Much To Say

You know how too many cooks spoil the broth? Yeah. Too many things to talk about ruin your blog.  I have so much to say and so many things to vent/opine about that i can't decide what to write about and then end up just cussing under my breath and glaring at everyone, whilst playing Bejewelled on my phone. What? It's addictive. And really brainless. 

So let's get chronological. 

Week-long holiday happened in Singapore with the Fellow. Stayed with the sister and brotherinlaw and fed them aloo parathas. Yes, i did the whole big sister thing. I'm nice like that. Also, brought in the 28th birthday there, spending the entire day at Universal Studios, screaming my way through roller-coasters (which i was dragged onto by the unfeeling husband and unconcerned sister). But i got some brilliant strawberry pannacotta for lunch, so yay! Apart from that, lots of walking around Singapore happened - allowing me guilt-free hogging at every meal (a good thing considering how awesome the food was). Shopping happened too - bulk of it at Ikea (duh) and we were probably the only people to enter Mustafa and not walk out with a TV. No really. 2 golf sets, yes. But no TV. 
All in all, a good vacation. I would put up photos, but those have been jinxed. Ever since we've come back, the computer has been giving up on me, resulting in a motherboard and a harddisk replacement. Thankfully, in an act of supreme inefficiency, i didn't delete the photos from the camera after transfer and so i'm not too worried about losing them. 

Good News (the really good types)
So, the last few months of my life had been totally preoccupied with the one question that plagues a fauji wife - Where are we moving to next. Yes. Even though we'd been in Pune only a few months, another move was on the horizon. Unfair? Tell me about it. Anyhoo. To cut a long story short, after months of stress, uncertainty and new ulcers, just as we returned home from Singapore, we were informed that we get to stay in Pune. Yipeeeee! The perfect ending to a fantastic holiday the Fellow says. 

The Fellow found a fat caterpillar on the ground and i brought it home. Why? Because it was the kind that would become a butterfly some day. I put it in a jar and made holes for air. I also put leaves in it and checked up on it every 15 mins to check whether it was alive. It was. And totally hyperactive. Or it was just looking for an escape route. Why do i say that? Because 2 days later, the Fellow found it in the computer room, a whole house away from where i'd left the jar in the kitchen. Here's what i think happened - the jar was on the window sill and the lid (kept loosely on) blew off in the strong winds that were happening. And the wiley caterpillar ran for it. Sadly, his sad story touched something in the Fellow's heart and he decided to let it go in the wilderness that is our neighbour's garden. Sigh. The End.

Since i'm trying to become a *young entrepreneur*, trips to Bombay have to be oft made. Not that i'm complaining. But what was to be a couple of days has become a week and a half. Thankfully, this time round, i got work done. Also suleimani chai happened at Prithvi with two boys and a girl (and a really photogenic old man with a flute). Movie also happened with a friend i've known since we were 12 and i think he called me stubborn and impossible more than once during the evening. We also got wet in the unannounced and torrential rain that happened in Bombay on Wednesday evening. Haan, and the sister arrived on her way to Jaipur for her first karva chauth, but that's another story all together. 

Moving Houses
I'm writing about this primarily because i'm not doing it. Heeheehee. Yes ladies and gentlemen. The Fellow, in an act worthy of Superman, has shifted houses in 3 hours, trunks and potted plants included. All i have to do now is locate my stuff under all the mess that is bound to be the new place (you think he'll take the hint  and clean up? Or too much to ask?) Anyway. Whatever it might be, i was spared the supreme torture of moving and i'll be eternally (read: a couple of days) grateful to him for that. 

Next week we leave for Shimla where home and the inlaws (mine) await us. We haven't been there in the longest time and i'm totally looking forward to piping hot tomato soup and fresh french fries on Mall road. What? So i like food. Not like the Fellow isnt waiting to get his teeth into his favourite momos and chocolate pastries there. So, family time awaits us, and like i promised a pint sized genius yesterday, i'm going to try blog more while there, so maybe some productivity shall happen too. 

Phew. That was a long and totally random post. If you're reading this, remind me to send you a thank you note :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Don't Get It

What do bollywood movies from the black and white era have in common with movies from the, lets say, 60's all through to today, the 21st century? 

All of them have parents of the hero and/or heroine mouthing that one standard dialogue - "times have changed. These days girls and boys find their partners on their own. As parents we only want their happiness, nothing more". 

And then they say art imitates life. Lies. That dialogue is as fictional as the power Dr. Singh has sitting there in Delhi.

Even today, everyday, you hear stories about how parents are objecting to their son/daughter marrying a person of their choice. And while i can't generalise this to all the different communities existing in India, i know for a fact it happens more often than is healthy in that group known for it's dal-baati and chartered accountants.

I went through parental objection myself and am the rare case that actually got what she wanted. But not all girls (or boys) are as stubborn (or rebellious) as i am. Especially when faced with the entire family and the associated guilt-tripping. But the question here is not how firm the girl/boy is in their decision to marry someone of their choice. What needs to be addressed is why should they have to deal with parental/familial objections and refusals in the first place. Why, as a community, have we developed this reputation (not entirely untrue of course) of being anti-"love" marriage (or as i like to call it, self-choice marriage)? Why do our parents, their friends, the entire village all look at choosing your own partner as something that needs to be pointed at and probably burnt at stake with people throwing stones at it?

And this, when the chosen partner is not of the same *community*. It doesn't matter what the qualifications, personality or family background maybe. They may be better than what the parents would probably have managed through the arranged route. Just because he/she belongs to a different community (i hate the word but can't seem to think of an appropriate substitute right now), the relationship has to be objected to. 

Imagine what hell is raised if the person follows a different religion. 

Now, if you've still not understood the level of pigheadedness and ridiculousness parents are able to get to, just think of the young couple, who face extreme parental opposition towards their relationship and the dream of a life together, not because they dont belong to the same sub-sub-community or (shudder) caste, not because they believe in different gods. No. The reason for objecting to the relationship is money. Yes. Look shocked. Not because it happened. That too. But because it's not uncommon. It happens more than you'd like it to, and in more families than one. 

I get that if the parents are looking for a match for their son/daughter, they look for someone in the same financial level as theirs, often disregarding several other factors such as education and class (i've seen it happen). But when a choice has already been made, shouldnt it be more important to know that he/she makes your child happy and that how much money they come from is not really essential? 

How does it matter at the end of the day unless you're a money-minded pig who only wants to know that the wedding will result in grossly over-priced and gawdy gifts for you (this is specifically for the boy's family, who, unfortunately, in our primarily patriarchal society, still have some kind of superiority complex). But apparently it does. It seems to make perfect sense to everyone not of my generation (and to some of those who belong to it too). They've all rationalised this behaviour and thinking down to the last argument and have given it that glossy and irrefutable (in their minds) label called *culture*. Yeah right.

To someone who hasn't grown up in and with such a close-minded and oh-my-god-what-will-people-say-mindset, this whole attitude is mind boggling. Medieval even. 

 I did, and i still don't get it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Fire and Photos

As i'd promised several posts back, here are the photos of that fire in my house. And these don't have photos of the kitchen which i'll add whenever i finally transfer them from my phone. Any wonder we're planning to sue LG?
The fridge that caused it all.

Standing right next to the fridge. My bombed out lamp.

Next to the lamp, charred remains. 

Curtains would hang here once upon a happy time. 

Wiring that melted.

One side of the living room. All my photo frames look bombed out.

The much walked through living room. And a center table people kept wiping.

My footwear. 

The Fellow's table.

That used to be a plug point.

My dressing table. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Of Cooking

Since we moved to Pune in March I haven't cooked. Our maid (which, as it happens, is the best thing to happen to us in this city), turned out to be a fantastic cook and quite efficient to boot, a rare species and i would have been a fool (a fool i say) if i didn't take advantage of her skills. And then our house had that fire and   we had to move again and the fridge wasn't delivered on time and we had no functioning kitchen. Also the super-efficient maid had to go be a grandmother and who can say no to that right? 

Anyhoo. The fridge has arrived and we have an operational kitchen. Meaning, food can be cooked and we can even have leftovers. But the substitute maid, while efficient in her own way, is not a very confident cook. And so i did. Cook that is. And you know what? I had fun. I'd forgotten how much i actually enjoyed cooking, even something as simple as good old dal, sabzi and roti. I'm not talking about anything fancy. Just the familiar, comfort food that is ghar ka khaana. I guess i missed the thinking and planning ahead, the organisation of ingredients, the small tweaks in the recipe depending on my mood and that moment of thrill when you know everything tastes divine. Of course, i also realise that the only reason i'm feeling like this is because i havent cooked in nearly 7 months and as soon as the novelty wears off, i'll be back to complaining (duh).

And so tomorrow i let the maid take over the kitchen once more. Not because i can't cook. It's so that i can. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rajma Chawal Love

Steaming hot, fresh off the stove. 
Cold leftovers from dinner the previous night.
5pm snack craving.
Maa ke haath ka bana. 
Punjabi dhhabewala.
Third and fourth helpings.
Instead of butter chicken.
Sneakily unbuttoning jeans to allow that last yummy spoonful.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Roti, Kapda aur Makaan

The house had a fire.
The clothes were all soot covered.
And we'd been eating out for a month thanks to no refrigerator and functional kitchen.

We've moved into a non-sooty house.
The clothes have all been dry cleaned.
And today, for the first time in a month, our kitchen will be cooked in and homemade food shall be had.

You can't even begin to imagine the happiness we're experiencing. That Maslow sure knew what he was talking about.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Milk. Ice. Cold water. Fruit

Four things you will now get in my house (among other things, but these are what i miss most).

Yes, people who have been listening to me for the last month or so, we now have a new refrigerator, replacing the old one that committed suicide by fire. After waiting for what was probably the longest anyone has waited for a refrigerator (morons at Samsung), we finally have one. And now we can enjoy the simple pleasures of life - cold water on a warm day, chocos and cold milk for breakfast, fresh fruit anytime of the day, chilled frooti to go with reruns of Grey's Anatomy...and, well, you get the picture right? 

So anyway. Ice trays have been filled, bottles of water and juice boxes put in their place, vegetables and fruits put in the drawer, and magnets have been put on. The fridge is home. I hope it lasts longer than the last one. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Change and All That

Regular readers of this space (all 8 of you, thank you very much), please to note that instead of gyan giving, i've decided to flutter through life, confused and at constant risk of a really clean window. Or a Venus flytrap. 

The rantings shall, of course, continue. I can't afford a real therapist after all. 

Which reminds me, i need to vent more often. I think everything i leave unblogged is converting itself into fat. There is no other explanation really. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Of Soot and Awesomeness

So, there was a little accident in the house when the Fellow and I were both away. Our two and a half year old LG refrigerator decided it had had enough of life and spontaneously (or so I imagine) combusted. The result? A charred and bombed out fridge, curtains that cannot be used ever again except perhaps as rags, a kitchen that looked like it had been in Pompei, wardrobes that need dry cleaning, and wall resembling something out of a horror story, complete with blackened spider webs hanging off the ceilings.

I won’t bore you with the details (and there are a *lot*), but let’s just say that it took the Fellow and me nearly 10 days to move all our belongings to a new house and get about 90% soot free (10% being the clothes that were awaiting their turn at the dry cleaners). Of course, even before we were 5% soot free, the broadband internet connection was in place and the DTH service on track. We were home so to say (C’mon, you know home is where the broadband is). And just as soon as something of a routine was in place, however dysfunctional it might be (I mean, no pillows, or pillow covers, no functional kitchen, no fridge, no broom even, and just 4 curtains), I left to attend a friend’s wedding in Bombay and finish some incomplete work. And just in time. The next day we were allotted a bigger house, meaning that the just moved into house would have to be moved out of and into a new house again, making it our 4th move in as many months. Yes, that is the screaming inside my head that you can hear.

But before you start feeling bad for me, remember the Fellow and how awesome he can be at times like these. Yes. I do have nice things to say about the Fellow you know. Anyhoo, he insists I stay in Bombay, finish my work and not stress about moving house. He would do it all. And being the good Indian wife that I am, how can I not listen to my husband right?

PS: The next post shall be a visual one. Then you may feel bad for me and my soot-filled soul.

PS2: If you follow me on Twitter, maybe the next post will help you forgive me for bombing your timelines with self obsessed talk about soot and my traumatised life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TwitterADay365 - Day 29

Every once in a while you come across something that is so simple in concept that you wonder how you didn't think of it yourself. And then you know - the execution of it is so difficult that your brain simply helps you avoid all that work by not even dreaming of it.

Except that one Roycin DSouza not only thought of a brilliant idea, but is also executing it to perfection. An avid presence on Twitter, @RoycinD is the brains behind #TwitterAday365, a project that gives a face to twitter handles and which is fast gaining enough popularity for the 20yr old photographer to be hounded with requests and followers, many of whom are willing to do anything to be shot by him. And yes, Roycin is super thrilled about the enthusiastic response his project is receiving.

As for me, there was no doubt that i had to be part of TwitterAday 365. And since i wasn't in Bombay, we had to wait. Which probably turned out to be for the best, since MV Wisdom decided to make a crash landing onto the neighbourhood beach, making it the perfect backdrop for a true-blue Juhu girl. And once you're on the beach, how can you resist those pinwheels eh?

I'm Day 29. Go take a look.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grandmother and her TV

I’ve been home in Bombay less than 24 hours. Of these, I was sleeping for 8 and out of the house for 6. And in the remaining time that I have been in the house, I’ve managed to get majorly cheesed off at the grandmother and her TV. The woman (no disrespect to her and all that) watches all the crap there is on TV. She starts as soon as dad leaves for work (which is around 9am) and stops only for an afternoon siesta which lasts about an hour – and this nap is perfectly timed so that she wakes up for round two of bad TV shows. And you know what is worse than her watching her saas-bahu shows all day? She watches the same episode every time it airs. Which means, at least 3 times. Is it any wonder that she is always watching TV?

And for someone who hates physical activity of any sort, her fingers move rather quickly when she is changing channels, jumping from one to the other, avoiding commercial breaks and keeping track of some 5 story lines at the same time. It’s amazing how she manages it. Of course, to give her credit, she doesn’t discriminate. So she watches comedy shows as happily as she watches the sob stories, and does so across all the various hindi language channels, not seeming to favour any one. And if we (her grandchildren or her son) do manage to bully her into giving up the remote control to us, she doesn’t grumble or complain or sulk. She stopped doing that several years back when she realised we weren’t going to give in to her pretend sniffs. Now all she does is struggle to her feet and go into the bedroom to continue watching her soaps. Making sure she locks the door behind her.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Two Bits

Over the last couple of days I’ve read a lot of brilliant writing and some very poignant pieces on SlutWalk. Some rants, some personal experiences, all of them in support of an idea that needs to be addressed more than any other issue in our country. And proof of this need is the simple fact that there is more than one idiot out there who is still missing the point of the exercise, insisting on it being a publicity stunt and a demand for more attention.

So far I’ve been quiet on the whole issue, not because I didn’t support it, but because I didn’t believe I had anything of consequence to add to the topic. Today I realised that it’s not about how important my contribution is. What is important is that I speak out and stand by SlutWalk.

When people talk about women *dressing to attract* or *asking for it*, I’m taken back to when I was about 12 yrs old, a pre-teen, with the body of a girl and not a woman. It was evening and I was walking to an aunt’s home with my younger sister and mother. I remember I was wearing a t shirt 4 sizes too large for me and baggy shorts. The walk was a 7 minute one and through a busy residential area, never once taking us down lonely, isolated paths. Some 250 metres after we’d left our building, we were walking past a homeless looking man. And just as we crossed him, he reached out and caught hold of my arm, dragging me with him. Thankfully my mother had the presence of mind of scream out and hit him with her bag, after which he ran away. But that feeling of blind panic remained with me. Remains with me. I still remember being stunned and then feeling dirty. On reaching my aunt’s home I scrubbed my hand raw with soap and couldn’t stop crying. Why me, I asked my mother. For years after that every time I passed a man on the road I folded my arms and stepped a few feet away.

What had I done to attract that man? What would have happened if my mother had not happened to be there with me? Just getting my hand grabbed terrified me. Imagine what rape does. Oh forget physical contact. If you’re a woman reading this, just think back at all the times you’ve been whistled at or attracted a comment on the road. Then think of how you feel. I know my heart starts racing faster, in an ugly sort of manner and I hurry to get out of there, pretending to ignore the eve-teasers. And when you think of all those times you’ve been teased, look back at what you were wearing, how you were walking, whom you were with.

To a rapist it doesn’t matter. You could be in a burqa, you could be 12, you could be 60. Just because you’re a woman he thinks he can. Just because you’re a woman he thinks he’s allowed to. Just because our society believes the woman asks for it, he believes he’s not wrong. And because of this, girls are being blinded for resisting an attack on their body - an attack that strips her of every last bit of self, pushing her into a circle of fear, panic and trauma. And for what reason? Because men would rather find a hundred different reasons to defend their animalistic tendencies than accept the fact that they find it difficult to respect women? That men don’t consider this an issue that needs to be raised in every household in the country? Because just being a man absolves them of it all?

To all the men who think SlutWalk is a joke, I ask if you are comfortable sending your sisters, mothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends, aunts and cousins out alone on the roads of Delhi at night. The day you are confident none of them will be teased, touched or raped, then you have a right to talk about such issues with disdain.

To all the women who think SlutWalk is a joke, I ask, what are you afraid of? Or have you never been teased, touched or groped at in a crowd? If you have, then you will know how easy it is to hide behind silence. It takes courage to come out and talk about abuse. If you cant appreciate it, then shut up. Stay hidden behind your silence. Someday you might have the strength to come out and take a stand against something you believe in. I hope that day is soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DIY Lamp-type Thing

One balloon, half a roll of toilet paper, 100 ml of Fevicol, 4 cups of water, a paintbrush, paints and an eager to help husband later, I had this to show. For an experiment, I think it turned out all right didn’t it? Didn’t it? *glares at you till you say yes*.

Now all I need to do is find a place for it in my house and I can start making more. Maybe I’ll use twine this time. Hmmm.

PS: The Fellow simply burst the balloon once the paper had dried. Just in case you thought he was really useful or something.

A Monsoon Surprise

You know what brings a smile to your face and a spontaneous moment of thrill?

Waking up to find that the first rains of the season has brought with it lilies - a brilliant splash of red in an otherwise drab garden (which almost gave a huge sigh of relief as the first fat drops of rain hit it).

The rains are here and it’s going to be a happy season.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Off The Grid

Two weeks back we moved houses. And with that we moved our phone and internet connection. Now since BSNL works on its own timetable, we spent several days devoid of the pleasures of the World Wide Web. Of course, before smartphones arrived, this would have meant no access to email, Twitter or Facebook, not an entirely comfortable feeling. Unfortunately, the new house is anti-communication – seeing as there is not cell phone coverage inside the house. You only have to cross the threshold of the house for the bars on your phone to disappear – something that took getting used to. And once we did, it was quite easy to lose track of where our phones were, considering they were now nothing better than glorified alarm clocks.

Anyway. Since I was a little caught up with setting up house and settling into it, I really didn’t have time to miss the internet and/or my phone. And then the BSNL phone chap turned up. We were connected to the internet once more (and had a landline number where people who really wanted to, could contact us). But I hadn’t accounted for my laptop and the troublesome Wi-Fi adapter that I’d been dealing with for some days. And so even though the internet was up and running, the only way I could browse the web was by using the laptop like a desktop. Not fun. Not even a bit. Considering I’m used to multitasking (a fancy term for saying I have ADD), I need the television, the laptop (and internet) and my worktable all in the same space.

It’s been more than a fortnight and we’re all settled into the new place. I have nothing urgent occupying my time and attention anymore (unless you count worrying about the rain over-watering my plants as urgent). My laptop is yet to be fixed and I don’t miss the internet a bit. Honestly. For someone who was nearly addicted to StumbleUpon, Twitter, randomly Wikipediaing everything I could think of and being on chat 24X7, I’ve gotten used to not being online quite comfortably. In fact I’m as surprised as the Fellow is about the lack of withdrawal symptoms. One would expect me to go slightly cuckoo and antsy about it. Instead I’m astonishingly content.

I’ve been off the grid for more than 2 weeks and am in no hurry to get back on it. I don’t know when I’ll post this and it doesn’t bother me. Life is good and there are gobhi parathas for dinner.

Monday, May 9, 2011

These Adults

I’m older than you so I know better. Experience is what counts. These grey hair count for something you know. You learn from your grownups.

I grew up being indoctrinated on this. From school textbooks to morals of stories and even random gyan dropping by the grandparents, everywhere I went, this is what I heard.

Today, I question that. Ok, so I questioned it a long time back, but today I think I want to write about it.

Even as I type this, I’m witness to a society meeting happening in my living room – the only neutral place in this set of apartments. 15 minutes into the meeting, the decibel level went beyond the legal limit allowed in a gentleman’s house. And in the one and a half hours that followed, not only did the yelling increase, the language worsened. At one point I was afraid these 45 plus men were going to resort to physical violence. If not broken bones, a couple of slaps definitely. The youngest member of the society is maybe 32 years old. He kept being slammed by the building bully as a “balak”, a child. The oldest member, an octogenarian, periodically reminded people that all the stress would kill him sooner than his time. The bully’s ally used his lung capacity to the fullest obviously thought that the best strategy would be to out-shout everyone. And the aunties who came along just sat there nodding whenever their husbands spoke.

And the conclusion? Nothing. Why? Isn’t it obvious? Everyone here is an adult. They’re all experienced. They all have grey hair (even if it is under Godrej hair dye). And they all think they’re grownups. So who will listen to whom? They’re all convinced that what they know is best. Of course, it is also obvious that a lot of them are operating from insecurity and stupidity – making them more obnoxious, annoying and dangerous than anyone else in the room, simply because not only do they not understand anything, but they also don’t shut up.

So here I am. Keeping a tight check on my tongue and my tendency to say the right things at the wrong time (or the wrong things at the wrong time). Otherwise I would love to tell the fat uncle to get off the pure silk, hand-embroidered cushion he was sitting on, shut his trap, pay his dues and remember that being the size of two men doesn’t give him two votes.

Or the right to drink two glasses of the mango shake I served.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Elusive Ice-Cream

I talk. A lot. And this is an understatement really. If you know me beyond this blog you will have no problem believing me. And if you don't, well, believe it. Talking was something i've done well all my life. As a 4 yr old, i was introduced to my best friend's extended family as the girl who taught her how to talk. Go figure. And when the family went on a road trip (which, for an 8 yr old me was the hour long drive from the suburbs to *town*), i had a captive audience in the parents and sister.

Of course, dad would decide to use the opportunity to help me build some character, and of course, learn to hold my tongue for at least a few minutes (if not for the entire drive). What would he do? What any parent with a modicum of common sense would. Bribe me. And so dad would promise to get me ice-cream if i could stay quiet for 5 minutes. Not difficult you say? It's just 5 minutes after all right? Yeah well. Let's just say, 5 minutes is quite a lot of time, and back then, it felt like *ages*.

And now. Almost like the universe is making up for all those 5 minutes i never managed to keep quiet, i find myself forced to keep quiet as prescribed by the doctor. Ok so the entire left side of my face is killing me and not talking is making it better. But still. No one who knows me can imagine a quiet me. Even people who've met me once for a couple of hours are finding it difficult to believe. And my dad is just tickled at the idea and takes immense pleasure in going sshhh if i open my mouth to say anything.

It's been 3 days of no talking (10 minutes in 72 hours doesnt count) and i think i'm ready for that ice-cream now. With interest.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Way The Universe Works

For months now i've been complaining about how i need to get off my ass and work some weight off. And i was all set to start next week. Really. I was out of excuses and the will to procrastinate and postpone was fading quick. But then the universe decided to run out of patience and take things into it's own, mostly bitchy hands.

It messed my jaw up. Ok, so it might have nudged an already dormant condition to the surface, but the result is pretty much the same - i have to keep my trap shut. And you know what this means right? Yes. Look shocked. Even i dont think i can do it. But i sure am going to try. Maybe i will be successful in resting my jaw and wont see the need to talk for the whole week that it is likely to take for the swelling in my temporomandibular joint to subside. Oh stop laughing. I've gone through almost one whole day of talking no more than 3 minutes. I might just be able to manage 6 more days (at least).

In the mean time, not only do i have to go without talking (which anyone would think was punishment enough), i have to give up food also. At least food that has any taste (read: unhealthy food). Instead, i have to make do with liquid/semi-liquid foods. And you all know what that lists reads like. No? Khichdi, porridge, juice, soups, and maybe milkshakes.

Well, as the sister said, at least i'll lose some weight at the end of these 7 days.

You see how the universe is working here?

Saturday, April 30, 2011


A long time back i wrote this. The same friend is now mother to a year and some months old infant. Now considering that she got pregnant about 6 months after her newfound interest in books, she found herself reading up on pregnancy, what to expect and all that. Of course, since she bought her first pregnancy book in month 4, she skipped the first 3 chapters. Why read up what has already happened right?

Anyway, now that she is a responsible parent she is taking the buying of books very very seriously. And so picture books, nursery rhymes, story books and of course, alphabet books are being bought whenever possible. Now one would imagine the imparting of knowledge from picture books or alphabet books wouldn't be much of a challenge right? Wrong.

For starters, picture books are not what they used to be. So when she picked up a book on dogs, she expected cute stuff like cartoon dogs and lots of *bow wows*. Instead she gets a mini encyclopedia on the various breeds of dogs, most of which she can't even pronoune. So she decides to do the easy thing and tackle the english language. But apparently my friend is more than a little stumped when showing her boy letters of the alphabet. Why? Because ABCs arent what they used to be my friend. No siree.

No more does A say Apple, or C say Cat or F say Fish.

A says Ambulance.
C says Camera.
F says Fire Engine

The poor woman is having to relearn everything because when she says A and Apple in the same sentence, the poor kid is left looking at the photo on an ambulance.

Oh, and Z says something called Zeebu.

Yes. You read that right. Any wonder that the poor girl is baffled?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2.30 am Postings

It was a turbulent time. Tears, arguments and ultimatums. Uncertainty and conflict. The constant physical pain, the guilt, the choices. He was her support system through it all. The shoulder on which she cried. The number she called for the 3 am panic attacks. He made it all go away, seem like it was all in control. He made it all worth it. She was in it for life. He was in it for her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just One of Those Posts

I've been wanting to write for a few days now. I even have half a dozen incomplete rants sitting on the desktop. But there is *so* much going on in the head that it's getting a little difficult to untangle the threads and get past the knots. Every time i start writing i find myself going off on a tangent, a stray thought, a random idea. And then i'm just putting disjointed, unconnected sentences together in one space and hoping at least someone of them make sense. Unfortunately they don't. At least not to anyone who hasn't been inside my head and knows how to connect the dots - including even me most times. An out of body experience it is, with me hovering somewhere near the ceiling with a cold iced tea in my hands thinking that my drink needs more mint and less sugar. And then i'm left wondering what's wrong. Or right.

Go on. Join the dots.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

That Bubble

I'm in one those moods today where i can feel the energy bubbling inside of me. And no. I don't want to go for a run. That's not how i deal with my excess energy you know (maybe i should though. At least it would help me solve my weight issues). Anyhoo. What i really want to do right now is draw. Sketch. Doodle. Create. I want to draw the images forming in my head, even though I'm certain something will be lost in translation and it won't look anything i'd envisioned. I want to spend hours with some heavy drawing paper and a black ink pen, watching in satisfaction at the thick and thin lines come together to form a whole. I want to do so much, the ideas in my head are threatening to explode and it's leaving me restless and feeling incomplete.

And what feels worse than that is knowing that if i don't do something about this, and soon, the bubble will burst. Into nothingness. And i'll be left with nothing but this blogpost to show for it.

That Connection

Sometimes you could know a person for years and yet not know them. And then sometimes you meet someone with whom you just connect, and it's really really odd.

Today a virtual connection of a couple of years (finally) became a real one. And contrary to the popular belief that people who are entertaining online aren't in person, the intelligence, wit, insight and laughter was all present in reality too.

Over deep fried chicken with cheese, calamari, chicken wrapped bacon, a funny pizza with awesome toppings, doughnuts, rings, and a haircut, a friendship was forged. I think.

And if the doughnuts did not help, maybe all the grinning several hours later did.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oh The Nostalgia

The sister and I are both visiting home this week, a fact that's making dad very thrilled. Both his girls are home and under his watchful eye once more. All day when we were to arrive, he kept calling both of us and confirming flight timings and pick up details. And today morning, when he peeked into our room and switched the fan off - his favourite waking-us-up technique - i could sense his grin even in my sleepy, eyes closed state.

So we're papa's girls. It's the natural order of things. And as it goes, we too can wrap our father around our little fingers (oh stop looking shocked). Except when he decides to play it tough and then it's just funny. Really. Like the times he tells us that we better clean our room up because he's going to come *inspect* it soon. Or when he tells us he wont let us have icecream after dinner just like that. And better yet, when he hands out *conveyance money* every morning. And when we tell him we don't need it, we're told to just keep it and return it to him at the end of the day. Yes yes. We don't do that. Like you would?

But it's not about the money or the inspections or the ice-cream (ok, a little bit about the ice cream). It's about nostalgia. That familiar tone of voice, exchanging amused looks with the sister, laughing at the mother's head shaking at dad's unabashed daughter pampering. Everything that tells you all's right with the world and you're home.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hidden Agenda

Since i last wrote here so much has happened. And so much has not happened. To begin with, we still dont have broadband internet. On the other hand, we have a house, a maid, a well stocked fridge, an operational television and a flush that works (what? you know that is the most important of the whole list). But we still dont have an internet connection. We even have a newly waxed and polished car, a mall stuffed full of shiny new shops a mere 10 mins away (listen, after camel land with no malls, this needs to be mentioned. I mean, there is Body Shop even) and very nice neighbours. But the internet connection still eludes us.

Yes i'm obsessed. You know you are too. I've been without the internet for a month and more now. Ok so i get the basics done on my phone, you know, email, chat, twitter (and not necessarily in that order). But we all know it's not the same thing, regardless of what those advertisements tell us. I miss *real* internet. Sitting with my laptop for hours on end, I miss being able to search for spellings while i continue chatting and reading up something random on Wikipedia all at the same time. I miss seeing full sized photos. Stalking people on Facebook is just not the same thing. You know.

And so coming home to Bombay right now has a different meaning altogether. Officially i'm here to spend time with the sister and meet new friends. But really, all i want to do is spend quality time with my computer and the internet. Go ahead judge me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pune and my Phone

We arrived in Pune 5 days ago and since then I've gone on to get mindnumbingly bored and seriously frustrated with the lack of something meaningful and remotely stimulating to do.

Those who know me beyond this blog will know why the fellow and I aren't exploring a new city and new places to eat. Suffice to say, I'm fed up enough to want to even start exercising, just so I have something to do other than sleep, eat and watch tv. And while this supremely decadent life may seem idyllic to some, beware, it has the capacity to eat through your grey cells and leave you with mush for your brain amongst other things.

Adding to the mushy brain are withdrawal symptoms - no broadband internet yet. And while the phone has allowed the Twitter addiction to continue, its just not the same thing.

Thus, this. Blogger app for android. My experiment with blogging from my phone, an attempt to elevate the vegetable like state of my mind to that of at least a fruit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Photo

Sipping on her drink, she observed the scene around with interest - especially the mop of hair in the red tee shirt. Even in that crowd, he stood out. Maybe it was the way he sat, feet propped up in the chair in front of him, or maybe it was the fact that he seemed to be the only one not trying hard to impress the girl he was with. Then again, maybe it was his hands, the only bit of him in motion, drumming restlessly on the table in front of him.

And even as she thought it, he leaned forward to pick his phone up. Elbows resting on the table, his hands cradled the phone, surprisingly graceful. And just like that, the restlessness seemed to evaporate. His fingers, as if used to the motion, expressed a purpose, quietly confident. And then he smiled

She quietly reached for her camera. After all, she did have a thing for hands.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Of Being 16

As I checked boxes and bags to see what needed to be packed and what had to be discarded, I came across random stuff I hadn’t seen in years, including my only attempt at keeping a diary – a notebook I’d covered with pink and green ribbon and marked *Private. Do not open*.

Written when I was 16, reading the 50 odd pages that I’d managed to fill was, well, interesting to say the least. And when I say interesting, I mean a combination of embarrassment, oh-yeah-that-happened-moments and a lot of cringing. Ok. It was a little funny also. But mostly because I sounded like people had butterflies for souls and daisies for dreams (and by people I mean the boys I was writing about. What? I was 16).

But life was so simple. Or so it seems now. All I had to worry about was Boy 1 not calling me or Boy 2 sending me an email when least expected. There was also Boy 3, but except for his name that features a couple of times in the diary, I have no memory of who he was. And then there snippets about the first exams I had in college, the disturbed mental condition of the new friend I’d made, the deal my mum was cutting with me (lose 10kgs for ICQ. Yes. ICQ. It was that long ago), school reunions and meeting old friends (and commenting on how much some people had changed, mostly boys and the level of obnoxiousness), cousins getting engaged to the wrong people, and family vacations.

So for a quarter of an hour today morning, I was back to being an innocent teenager, discovering new experiences, people and feelings for the first time. And while I quite enjoyed reliving some of what I’d recorded more than a decade earlier, I’m *so* glad I’m not 16 anymore. Imagine having to lose those 10 kgs all over again!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


It’s been two years and some months since the wedding. And even today, whenever he comes back home after a month, a week or even a day away, I can’t keep the anticipation, expectation and excitement away. For hours before he is to arrive, a grin appears and stays plastered. It gets difficult to focus on any task and I find myself day dreaming in full teenage manner. Then there is the constant clock-watching/peering out of the window that happens (coupled with deep sighs) which just about completes the corny picture I’m painting right?

Well, then I wont talk about all the effort I put into my outfit and hair or you’ll just think I’m pathetic. Oh wait…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One of Those Moments When it’s Just Words. No Sentences.


A new life.

A changed life.

A new family.

A new city.

New people.

Different people.

And somewhere amongst them, friends.

And now, another change.

Another city.

Another set of people, differences.

And maybe, just maybe, friends?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Of Travel Companions

You know how some people look really familiar and you can’t figure out for the life of you why? And then you know how you assume it’s a very common combination of features and go on to plug your headphones in, ignoring that person? Yes?

Turns out, not a very good idea. Why? Because that person seemingly knows your entire family, is somehow related to you, and is (as you has correctly inferred already), a dragon of the kind that shreds reputations to pieces and gossips the ears off a donkey.

And so, after about two and half hours of getting away with pretending to work on your laptop (all the while watching Greys Anatomy S07), you are asked where you live. And little did you know that one small, innocuous detail will result in three of five travel companions naming all of your dad’s family, complete with details that made it to the gossip circuit, and start asking you all kinds of weird questions, including why you have no brothers. And then when you try to hint at ending the conversation (by the simple act of putting the headphones back on), they ignore the subtlety and continue talking.

The next 3 hours then see (mostly) one sided discussions on love marriages (these are spoken about in hushed, dripping with judgement tones), municipal corporations (with reference to how many people they know personally there), daughterinlaws wearing sarees and covering their heads (epic WTFness this), cricket, the Gujarat riots, merits of bhujiya, bread and achaar and of course, whether the train was on time or not.

Yes, a lot of mental barfage happened. And yes, parts of the brain withered up and died. But now you know that the next time someone in a train asks you where you live, pretend to have amnesia.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I became an aunt on January 14th 2011. And today, I still can’t give you a name for my month and a few days old niece. And not because her parents can decide upon one name. No siree. It’s because her greatgrandmother, grandparents, grand-aunts and uncles and aunts can’t decide upon one name.
And it’s beginning to get a little much, all this joint family love that is being shown. I mean, its awesome that the little one arrived amidst a wedding and all of the extended family. But taking into consideration every one of those extended opinions has only resulted in the baby remaining unnamed. Even a nickname hasn’t been decided upon. The only thing everyone is in agreement with is that the new greatgrandmother not be allowed to saddle the little girl with names like laddi, bitiya, barfi and other similar concoctions. Her latest offering was Laali or something similar. Yes. I know. She needs help.
But before that, *we* need help. And a name.
Edited: The day after writing this post, the baby finally had a name. Nandini.

Of Lists and Boxes

At most times the neurotic, list-making, slightly obsessed with organisation freak-show in me is very useful. I get things done and get them done well. And it keeps me happy, all those lists. Ask the Fellow.

Unfortunately, for the first time (since I realised I’m happiest making lists), this slight obsession is more of a hindrance than anything else. I mean, one would assume that packing up house and moving could do with some super organisational skills and perfect lists about everything (down to the last clothes-pin) right? Wrong.

It’s been almost 2 weeks and I’m going nuts. You try packing your entire house into trunks and you shall know the feeling. You also try doing it in the most efficient and organised manner known to mankind and you’ll be checking into a mental health facility at the earliest. Believe me. I spent several days coming up with the best way of packing everything, and when I was done, I realised I might need about 45 more trunks and close to 4 months to get it all done perfectly. And even then, I wasn’t sure how I would go about unpacking it all.

And so for the last several days, most of my time has been spent standing in the middle of the house taking deep breaths and hoping that if I stayed still long enough, elves would sneak out from somewhere and get all the work done.

In the meantime, I shall continue making lists till it’s too late to do anything but throw everything in the boxes and be on our way. Sigh.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The anger flowed through her like it had a life of its own – taking over like nothing had in several years. It was like all that control she had acquired in almost a decade was being burnt away by the sheer intensity and venomous nature of the rage that coursed through her body. It was all she could do to keep the words that threatened to spill out of her contained. Some part of her brain reminded her that what she wanted to shout out would only end up hurting everyone, her included. Instead, the anger spilled over in the form of tears.

Tears that hurt no one.

And then she wrote.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

And We Move

Bring out the boxes and bubblewrap, it’s time to get busy. The Fellow and I move to Pune in a month and amidst my excitement and thrill at moving closer to Bombay (yay!) there is a lot of (and I mean a *lot* of) panic happening. I’ve never had to pack up my entire life in one place and move to another at such short notice. The last time I did it, I was getting married and then the panic was of a different kind (naturally).

Right now, my biggest worry is getting everything packed. Seriously. Have you seen the amount of stuff we have? It’s astonishing just the sheer number of glasses we own. And I’m not even getting started on all the linen we’ve bought in the last two years. Of course, it might help if I actually started packing things up, instead of spending my time drawing up lists upon lists. But then if I did, there would be nothing to write about no? And so I give in to the neurotic in me and get giddy with happiness as I list out (very prettily, complete with doodles, if I might add) all the work I have to do in the next 4 weeks.

4 weeks. To pack up and move.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Wedding and All That

The sister has been married 10 days today and it's taken me just that long to get over the exhaustion. And since i've tried and failed at coming up with a blog post that would describe the wedding and how tiring/fun it was, i'll leave you with a few photos.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


An elephant-headed god.

An auspicious day.

It starts.

Bring out the antacid and the disprin.

And a foot massager.

Of Kites, a Baby, the Dog and Names

Since the last post so much has happened that i dont know where to start. Do i talk about how our kite flying was prematurely interrupted by the sister-in-law going into labour or do i start with how i spent 6 hours in a hospital room/corridor listening to the yells and shrieks that accompany the miracle of birth? Or maybe i should mention how the new baby is taking up all the attention and the dog is now spending several hours a day sulking and throwing dirty looks our way? And then i wonder if i should mention how (at least) 10 people have been trying for 5 days now to come to some kind of consensus on a name for the little one, and have failed spectacularly?

Either way, the story remains the same. Our lives have been thrown into a happy jumble by the arrival of a tiny little thing who is all sleep and no comprehension. The new father is still trying to *feel* like a father. We're trying to convince him that changing a poop-filled nappy will help achieve that feeling fastest. Meanwhile, the sister-in-law (who has conveniently forgotten her pain-filled, raise all hell shouting during labour) is in full new-mother mode and is a picture of bliss as she holds her little girl. Of course, i'm waiting for the day when her bliss converts into non-squeamishness at cleaning pooped-in nappies.

The new grandmother and great-grandmother are over the moon with joy and i foresee many a battle of wills about who gets to hold the baby the longest, who gets to bathe her, burp her and sing lullabies to her as she bawls her head off.

The brand new grandfather on the other hand, is more than content standing to a side and just looking at his granddaughter. His smile reflects his happiness and the fulfillment of a long-standing dream to have a daughter in the house (his own two sons not bringing the same grace and beauty you see).

The grandaunts are hovering around, knitting blankets and researching baby names. They're also quite useful when it comes to nappy-changing and gyan-giving (sometimes both together). And then they also have stories about how they did the same for the new father and it is only right they get pee-ed on by his baby too!

And us aunts simply have a new toy to play with. We're not of any help when it comes to cleaning her, feeding her or even managing her when she cries. But we can entertain her. And how. Yesterday she did the YMCA dance (with some assistance of course) and boxed her way into victory. She also gets rocked to and fro to Munni Badnam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawani just for kicks. And yesterday we got a bagful of baby clothes and toys, most of them just because they were just so cute.

So yes, it's been quite some 5 days we've had.

And the next 5 are going to be about the sister's wedding. But that's another post right?