Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 1 of 1

Three and a half years back I’d embarked on a personal project – 112 days of writing on my blog – a simple way of distracting myself from the fact that I had to spend those 112 days away from the Fellow. Little did I know that something as simple as this would bring with it a friend I’ve come to love a little bit more each day.

It began with comments on what I would write each day. And even those came much later, after weeks of stalking and mutual admiration (I would also follow his blog regularly). Somewhere along the way we got to talking away from the blogosphere. And the rest is history - dotted with some crazy lunches, insane amounts of laughter, even more food, weekend getaways and some seriously embarrassing videos on the internet.  

Age difference notwithstanding, I found it very easy to talk to him. Okay, so a lot of the talking involved problem solving and/or gyaan giving. But if you knew the stupid things he’d done and would then tell me about, you’d know I had no choice in the matter really. And it turned out that he gave the best hugs. Definitely a keeper.

As the months passed, he took control of his life, made important decisions, corrected stupid mistakes and didn’t bother cutting his hair or shaving his beard. Somewhere along this path to new awareness and more facial hair I became his therapist, for want of a better word. Of course, telling him to grow up and stop whining like a girl is not a method you’d find in any reference text. But it worked.

Yesterday, he grew up, this friend of mine.

And while I couldn’t be there in person to see this eternal 8 year old make one of the most difficult commitments there is to make, I knew he’d be doing it without a moment of doubt in his mind. After all he’d be crazy not to realise he was lucky to be bound by law and at least 2 different pandits to the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Today was day one of a new life.

And in honour of how we met, Day 1 of 1.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Growing Up. Or Not.

Note: What you're about to read is just my opinion. Please do not inundate me with comments justifying your lifestyle and decisions you make. The internet is not meant to be taken this seriously.

It's in fashion these days to complain. The weather, the prices, our politicians, the economy, public transport, no public transport, parents, traffic, a chipped nail, the neighbour's dog, the boss' wife...

Most of the times there is just cause for complaint. I mean, a chipped nail can be extremely annoying. Everyone knows that. But in most other cases, it's just the cool thing to complain. How else will you be part of a group? Belong? Today, accepting and proclaiming that you're content and happy with your life is extremely uncool. And what is happening because of this, is that people are hoping they have unsatisfactory lives, just so they get to complain about it. Not that people have a problem being fake. But still. 

Everywhere i look, there are people holding onto things they did 10 yrs back, hoping that if they don't think about it, they won't have to grow up. And i personally believe that if, as a 30 yr old, you insist on behaving and thinking like a 19 yr old, you're going to have a hell lot to complain about. Especially if your peer group has evolved over the years and has moved beyond drink fests, casual flings and dissing long term commitments. 

A lot of "free thinking" people might suggest that it's only in India that such pressure exists for people to settle down, as it were. I disagree. It's just that here, we are more vocal about such things and families and relatives are actively involved in the process. Intrusive even. But the pressure exists around the world. 

The latest in trends these days, is to complain about all the people getting engaged/married/pregnant. But if you're 30+, single and complaining about these things, it's simply because you haven't grown up enough to make such commitments. I'm not saying that everyone should be hitched and or ready to be a parent by 30. But if you mock those who are, it says a lot about you and not the other person.

And that's all i have to say.

*end of rant*

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Short Cuts

This is attempt number 873 at writing a new post for this space and since i've decided that i'm no longer mentally capable of achieving that task, i'm going to take the easy way out and use the "vishesh tippani" format so loved by Marathi exam paper setters in the Maharashtra state board. *stops for breathe* 

Bal Thackeray died. Bombay froze (literally) of of sheer terror, just like a deer does when facing a predator. It's pure self-preservation. I just wish we had the skills of a skunk and instead of rolling over and playing dead, the city had shot out super stinky stuff at the bad guys. It's been 3 days and the internet  is full of all kinds of analyses and discussions and opinions. I'm not going to add to it. At least not any more.

Pune was also in shut down mode. The only good thing that came of it was that the Fellow got to have a mini adventure when he went shopping for vegetables. Yes he does that. I've trained him well. Anyway.  We had dinner guests and no veggies in the house. So he heads out to the closest market which is literally abandoned. Except for one man who tells the Fellow to follow a kid who will take him to what he wants. Turns out, one guy was selling vegetables. Out of his house. He invited the Fellow in, offered him tea and proceeded to weigh out everything i'd put on the shopping list. And then he told him to take an alternative route out of the place to avoid goons on the lookout for any shady activity. The Fellow came home totally thrilled and with a new story for parties. 

Before the old man died, Diwali came to town. Our first time away from any family which was a bummer. But it forced me to clean up my act and do grown up stuff - like stringing fairy lights all over the house and lighting so many candles the Fellow was sure i was going to burn the place down. In the end, i cooked the food of my childhood Diwali celebrations and to add to the joy, the Fellow enjoyed it. So many days later, and i'm still clearing the house of marigold petals. Fun times. 

A lot of our old friends are going to be in town this December. It's going to be a happy end to an interesting year. With such a nomadic lifestyle, catching up with old friends is a pleasure unmatched. 

Am at the end of my rope when it comes to the Fellow's boss' wife. She's an annoying, loud-mouthed, opinionated, rude woman who thinks she's the boss of all the women she meets. And one of these days i'm going to bitchslap her in full drama mode right in the middle of one of her "i'm so cool" speeches. No really. Just because you drink neat scotch and don't have volume control doesn't mean you're cool.

The Fellow is crazy busy at work. Even as i type this out he's been at work for 12 hours. Which means that i've been alone for those 12 hours with no one to talk to. And for those who know me personally, you know what a huge deal that is. So here i am, super cranky and no one to vent to, knowing very well that if i vent to the Fellow after he comes home following an insane day at home, i'll be the bitch. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today I Was Told...

…I’ve been taking my medication wrong. I need to take it in the morning and not in the evening because what my doctor told me is wrong. You see, if you’ve been taking the same medicine for the last 15 years, you’re automatically made a doctor and the all knowing expert about it. Everyone else is wrong.

…I need to lose weight. Because I don’t know I need to lose weight. I like not having clothes fit me anymore. Also, it’s been a long time since I was this size so I’m shocking people. Oh the horror.

…I should go for my walk in the mornings and not in the evening. Apparently evening walks are only for mental good.  If I need any physical benefit, I need to go in the morning when the body is fresh. Sure. Because I’m the epitome of energy and joy at 6 am. Oh, and I can go back to sleep once I’m done with the walk so that’s supposed to be the silver lining.

…I should eat more fruit. A couple of apples and pomegranates a day isn’t enough. I should be able to put down half a watermelon and/or a whole papaya after every meal to make it count.

…I don’t drink enough water. I have to have a bottle surgically attached to my hand and make sure my kidneys are functioning at their optimum by drinking at least 10-12 litres a day. It doesn’t matter that my kidneys aren’t made to work so much. But so what? I have two.

…Bombay has *so* much variety in crockery. Which is why visitors who come here insist on buying more each time they’re here. Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong. You’re not supposed to make glassware last years on end. No. You’re supposed to buy a new set every year. Didn’t you know?

…My FitFlops aren’t as good as some others. They’re not as comfortable to walk in but where did I get them from? Because *everyone* is wearing them and it would only be right to buy a pair too.

…I have zero fashion sense because at my age I’m not wearing “frocks” when I go out with friends. Kurtis and jeans are for those turning 50. The young don’t wear them.

…I have fat arms. And a big bum. But these are hereditary so I’m not entirely to be blamed. Pitied rather.

…When I get blood tests done, I’m a fool for getting x, y and z tested. I should get only z. So what if all three might be important for a comparative study? Or that the same tube-full of blood can be used for multiple tests? No. I have to save that 100 bucks where I can. Because that 400 bucks on imported oregano (to be used in masala pasta) that was bought simply because it’s imported was plucked off a tree right?

This is day 1. The giver of all this gyan is here for another 2 days. You can imagine just how thrilled I am.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the Air

So jaded and cynical we have become of life that we’ve forgotten to look for the small joys, hidden as they are. It took me an hour long flight to Ahmedabad to realise this sad truth of our allegedly superior city living.

On the flight was a group of elderly women, on their first plane journey. That they were from a village was obvious from their attire and the fact that excitement hung over their seats like a happy cloud with rainbows streaking through. As the aircraft taxied for take-off, most of the passengers leaned back in their seats, eyes closed, preparing for what was a routine experience. Not these ladies. Childish giggling and whispers could be heard from them even as the aircraft picked up speed and leapt into the air. Oh how I wished at that time that it was my first airplane ride, just so that I could share in what those women were experiencing – unbridled pleasure and glee, untouched by the fake expressions city folk have gotten used to, as they saw the city growing smaller and smaller before their eyes and getting enveloped by fluffy white clouds broken only by arrows of sunshine. Of course, they were also the only ones on the entire aircraft who actually heard what the cabin crew was saying about safety procedures, even looking shocked at the idea of emergency landings.

As we flew to Ahmedabad, I don’t think any of these women sat back in her seat even once. All of them kept leaning towards the window, trying to get a look outside. At one point a cramped version of musical chairs happened when the women exchanged seats so that everyone could get a chance by the window. So much fun. And when the food trolley passed by, it was simply hilarious, their expressions, at hearing the cost of samosas and chai. Of course, there were some aware people in the group. They chose to lecture their friends on how to appear cool about prices when sitting in an aeroplane.

And then there was the new experience of going to the toilet in the air. I think they were waiting for someone to go first, all of them being a little shy. But as soon as the first one got up to go, all of them did. And their faces when they came back! I never realised that the cramped tiny space that passes for a restroom in airplanes could be so fascinating. Of course, i think that some of them went into the lavatory only to be able to describe it for years to come.

On landing, the women burst into spontaneous applause and laughter. Unable to control my curiosity any longer, I leaned forward and asked one of the men accompanying them what this was all about. And the answer thrilled me to no end. These women were all from the same village, most of them related to each other. The men accompanying them were sons, nephews, grandsons who’d decided to give them the experience of a lifetime. Since these women had only heard about, seen planes on tv and in magazines, they’d decided to fly them from Pune to Ahmedabad. In fact, the group was scheduled to take the evening train back to Pune the very same day, having had the best time of their life already.

I’m glad I was on the plane that day. Even today, thinking about that journey, I smile. And I remind myself that flying up there with the clouds is something to be excited about, no matter how jaded I might be on ground. 

Once the seatbelt sign was off, they stood up to look at the clouds  

Preparing to get off the aircraft

Group Photo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For the First Time...

...I’ve felt bad for people living in Bombay. Okay, maybe I feel bad for them (and myself) each time I’m stuck in a horrendous traffic jam in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, but today I felt sorry for them. An emotion I’d never thought I would feel.

I say them because I don’t live here anymore. Technically. Yes, I may spend quite a lot of time in this city and Bombay will always be home, but I’ve experienced life outside of potholes and traffic jams and muggy weather that makes you want to kill yourself every other day. And I grudgingly accept that it feels good. Sure, I miss the comforts of having everything at your doorstep, and I definitely miss the food. But I’m beginning to realise these are luxuries one can live without.

But I get ahead of myself here. What inspired such feelings was wanting to assuage the building guilt (of living on mithai for the last 2 weeks) by heading out for a walk. But as soon as I’d decided on resuming my evening ritual, I was faced with the problem of where to go. The beach was too wet and littered with plastic from the sea, the roads near home too full of open manholes, crazy traffic and crateresque (yes, it’s a word) potholes. Not to speak of the million and one construction sites that have left a permanent haze of concrete dust in the air. That left a joggers park with a round walking track of some 200 metres as my only option.

So the grandmom (forcibly taken for some exercise) and I get to the park and I realise that (a) all of the senior citizen population of the area were there and (b) most of the under 40 were there too. Walking the track was like walking on Churchgate station at 5.30 pm, dodging people right left and centre in an attempt to get ahead. Of course, most of the elderly were sitting on chairs provided in the park, content to take in some greenery and fresh air and gossip for an hour or two with friends. Some of them were brave enough to venture out for a walk, making their way around the track slowly and steadily. Then there were those who were obviously there on medical advice. There was also the category of walkers who seemed to have lost their way, standing out in their jeans and fancy kurtis. Which left the serious walkers, children and maids with babies in prams.

And this is when I felt sorry for people living in Bombay. And myself. I missed the luxury of stepping out of my house and having all the space in the world to go for a walk. I missed the fresh air, the absence of traffic, the long winding lanes I could go down without worrying about potholes and open drains. I felt sorry for the people in the park then, who had to search for a patch of green and some place to walk without worrying about getting hit by a speeding car. I felt bad for the children who couldn’t run around carefree and untroubled, restricted by the rules of the park and limited to a pair of swings. And I felt some relief that I wasn’t living in Bombay anymore.

Because I can’t imagine being bound by concrete and traffic anymore.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cut Off

For the second time this week, the phone lines went dead, and with that, the internet. And since my cellphone has no network inside my house, i was basically communicationless, cut off from the world for all practical purposes. 

Now, under normal circumstances, such happenings are most likely to bring out extremely violent reactions in me, with lots of tantrums and tears (of anger) and cussing at the universe. But i think i've been sleepsmoking or something. Because not one moment of crankiness happened when i realised the phone was dead on Saturday evening (after having spent 9 hours at the mall - something I'd rather not talk about till i can do so with good humour) and that there was no way to get it fixed till the weekend was done with. 

And i got so much done. I started and finished reading The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik all in one day. I doodled after ages and got a lot of artwork for the walls done (just need to get them framed now). I even did a simple DIY project that i'd been thinking about for weeks done. And all i needed for it was an hour that i wasn't online. I'd hoped to get some baking also done but i'm only human right?

So yeah. As much as i hate to admit it, being offline was good for me. And my to-do list. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Musings in the Dark

For the last hour or so, every 20 minutes, we're plunged into darkness. And silence. Except for the beeping of the UPS and the crickets outside the window. Lit up only by my computer screen and the iPad in the Fellow's hands, the house seems seamless. 

And then the Fellow asks, "What would you do if we were to live without electricity?" I told him we'd light loads of candles and read. Maybe bring out the board games. But he persisted. "Not for a few minutes or hours, but starting now, if you had to go without electricity then what?" 

I told him we would adapt. Like generations before us. Only this time, we'd be adapting to living without electricity as opposed to getting used to it. Adapting to changing times (and technology) is the only reason humans are still around. Otherwise there wouldn't even be a stone age man right? And i'm pretty certain that when electricity  was first brought into the house for things as innocuous as light bulbs, it wasn't received with open, welcoming arms. I'm pretty sure people clung on to their natural light sources as long as they could. 

If today, we're plunged into a world without electricity, I'm quite sure that a lot of us will  cling on to the last vestiges of the battery life on all of our gadgets with as much emotion as Nirupa Roy held her dying sons to her bosom. And then will begin the withdrawal symptoms. But eventually, and i'm guessing it won't take too long, we'll get used to it. We'll adapt. Our grandmoms didn't need a mixer grinder to make the most awesome food ever. We'll learn. We might even start talking to each other over dinner. And trusting the other when a time and place are decided to meet up at, instead of making 15 phone calls in 7 minutes asking where the other person is. 

And then there is all the quiet we'll have. Do you know how much noise all our electrical gadgets make? You realise this only when you have a power cut and you can suddenly hear nature in all it's glory. Yes, even in a city like Bombay. 

But this is all hypothetical. And thought of only because the Fellow was thinking aloud. What do you think? Would you be able to live in a world without electricity?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Not To Jinx It, But... is good right now. And i'm quite surprised by how content i'm feeling. Maybe it's something to do with putting up lamps all over the house and revelling in the soft light every evening that lends itself to a calm and happy state of mind. Or it's the fact that i've been spending quite some time in the kitchen revisiting my love for cooking and feeding people (while knowing that it's not a daily affair). It could also be the fact that regardless of everything i've been through in the past, I seem to have landed on my feet (in your face everyone who thought otherwise. Ha!) and haven't made the biggest mistake of at least a couple of lives. Of course, it might simply be the new medication i'm on. 

Whatever the reasons, i'm not complaining.

Someone Give Me a Time Machine

This is an extremely random post. Read only if you have nothing, and i mean absolutely nothing better to do. You have been warned. 

I was in class nine when i first read one of Georgette Heyer's books. And fell in love. 

Today, nearly 15 years later, i'm still in love. 

If there is one thing i really really really want to do, it is to experience first-hand, the regency period in England. Yes, I know that that time period in England was full of sickness and rampant poverty and the peasant class was exploited by the nobility and was illiterate and the weather sucked (which it still does) blah blah. Which is why i'm being very specific about whom i want to go back in time as - the daughter of a super wealthy duke. What? I can be selfish here, since i'm choosing to go back in time  (volunteering really) and all, in an age without the internet and microwave. I need to have the money to be able to really enjoy everything society had to offer then right? What is the point of going back as a maid emptying chamber pots (yeah, no toilets)? Of course, i would be able to have more fun as a man but i don't think i possess the stomach to be in a man's head even for a jaunt across the time-space continuum.  

So yes, i'll be content with living in the Regency period as a woman with a large dowry (quite essential then), bound by a hundred and five rules and crazy tight corsets that might give me lung disease and make me want to run a campaign for women's lib, definitely unheard of in 19th century England.

Yes, i may be sounding crazy right now. And maybe i'm romanticizing things too much. But I think I'd like to sit at a heavy oakwood table and use a genuine quill (none of your ballpoints thank you very much) to pen a letter on heavy, beautiful creamy paper, making sure to write in a tiny hand because paper was an expensive commodity then. And i'd like to wake up each morning to a mug of chocolate because apparently that was all in vogue then. Imagine.  I'd like to dress in gowns made of silk and velvet and real lace. Gowns such that i need a maid to help me dress. And do my hair up in fancy dos (ok i can do that even now, but still). And have all kinds of hats and bonnets. And jewellery that would, today, be called antique and unaffordable. Of course, i'd have to be every bit the lady and not curse (and in that time, even *damn* was an inappropriate word, yes) or sit slouched or show my feet in public (very forward that was, and not at all the done thing for a noble lady). Oh, and i would have to know how to play the piano, speak and read french, italian, do calligraphy, know the use of watercolours and how to dance several dances (none of your random all over the place kind of dancing). I would have to take care not to get freckles and have a healthy rosy look about me, even if it meant rubbing crushed strawberries on my cheeks to make them look rosy! And as an innocent young lady, i would know nothing about the birds and the bees. Expected really, since if you kissed a man you expected him to marry you!

Oh, i would also have to get married before twenty (the only acceptable age to get married) and pop children for the rest of my life but i'm certain i'd decide to come back to the future before that, er, happy occasion occurred. I don't think i'd be able to go long pretending i was a lady, what with my brain threatening to explode at the no cursing rule and the having to have a chaperone all the time. And i'm more than certain i'll start missing pants very soon, not to talk of rajma chawal.

So until such time as a time machine is developed, i'll stay content with day dreaming and sound slightly cuckoo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


24th May 2012: Once more i find myself at that ugly place called writer's block. This time it's the size of and as ugly as a certain industrialist's south Bombay abode. And all i seem to be doing is sit next to it on a small wooden stool, the kind watchmen sit on, and stare up at the cold concrete tower, wallowing in self pity.

30th May 2012: Several hours after i wrote the above, I decided i couldn't sleep and so ventured out for a midnight stroll through the house. No. Not to the kitchen (though anyone who knows me would have to make that assumption), but to get the ebook reader from the living room. Now, for some reason that i forget now, i decided to conduct this *excursion* in pitch darkness, confident as i was in my ability to avoid walking into tables and walls. And i did. I got back to my room safely. Which was when i had a spectacular fall, tripping over the Fellow's suitcase (which, btw, was right in the middle of the doorway). Now you remember i had an expensive gadget in my hand? Yeah. To save that, i sacrificed the right side of my body, landing quite efficiently, on my right palm. Where was the Fellow in all of this you ask? Snuggled under his blanket, snoring lightly. Anyway. I dusted myself off, cursed the man who was oblivious to his wife's predicament and crawled into bed. 
I spent the next 5 days with my right wrist in a bandage. The doctor i visited was mighty amused and a little concerned about my mental state because the last time i went to her was because I'd walked into a rusted metal peacock and needed a tetanus shot. Which, at my age, apparently, is a little weird. I want to know who decides these things. 

2nd June 2012: All day was spent recuperating from a dinner party the day before. I'd spent all day on my feet, first cooking a meal for some 8 people and then playing host. Thankfully we'd I'd make a good decision about the guest list and so not too much effort was spent entertaining them. Alcohol and embarrassing stories were enough. Of course, they also had their children to entertain/distract them as they went about systematically trying to break my new super cool coasters (and all because they had chickens drawn on them. But that's another story). Oh, and in other party related news, i'm now the italian food expert around here. Though credit goes entirely to the friend who very kindly gave me his red sauce  and lasagne recipe, which the Fellow has now requested i make at least once a week. Yes. I have my own Garfield.

5th June 2012: Here i am. Procrastinating. Hoping like hell i can get off that stool sometime soon.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012


This is attempt number 856857 at writing a blog post. The number of drafts i have saved could make half a terrible book or a full not so bad one.

Anyway, this time i'm keeping it simple. No rambling or digressing *way* off the point. Okay, maybe a little rambling. Where's the fun otherwise right?

So, i'm having a little love affair with watermelons. Never, in all my life, have i shown so much fondness for this fruit like i am this season. Maybe it's because it really is hot. Or maybe it's because this year, i have a maid. It makes so much of a difference if all i have to do is reach into the fridge and pull out a bowl of chilled watermelon pieces, as opposed to attacking a whole watermelon with a giant-ass knife. Takes the whole summer fun out of don't you think?

There is also a little Pak Choy love in the air. Now I've always loved this chinese green. It was the Fellow i was a little sceptical about. But i guess it was all about finding the right recipe and the right time in which to introduce the taste. That done, i now have a convert on my hands. Yay! But it also means that we're the couple that picks up all the pak choy from the vegetable section in department stores and appears all gleeful about it. Oh well.

Bangalore was visited last week to spend some quality time with the brotherinlaw, his wife and their 4 month old lab, Hobbes. It was a nice little holiday where we had no plans, no list of things to do or see. We could just float around the house in our pyjamas all day, feeding the dog bits of carrot in exchange for tricks. Fun. Apart from the road trip to Pondicherry (which is my next post).

Pune is as hot as it comes. Which is a bit unfair given that north India is having some pleasant weather, totally unexpected for this time of the year. Needless to say, the cooler is my best friend. Yes. Cooler. Not AC. I'm a simple person like that. Also i hate being cooped up in one room all day. It's enough that i have to be alone at home all day. But that's enough of that.

A small medical scare happened last week. But at least i can explain my weight away now. Of course, with the medication, if i'm still fat, it's laziness. And no will power when faced with awesome food.

Saw the Avengers. Loved it. But now don't know whom to have naughty dreams about - Tony Stark or Bruce Banner or Robert Downey Jr. or Mark Raffalo. Seriously. Add to the mix Kunal Nayyar (from TBBT) and David Boreanaz (From Bones) and i'm behaving like a 16 yr old with braces who has absolutely no control on her hormones. Although, i have a theory. Since i didn't have any of these gushy, swooning, sighing feelings when i was actually a 16 yr old, i'm making up for it now.

We leave for Delhi in a couple of days. The Fellow has some work and i'm tagging along. It's been ages since i've been to the capital and now i even have an awesome friend there to hang out with. So looking forward to this next week, yes.

And now that the words are coming again, expect a lot of posts in quick succession. I have to make up for lost time right?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Panic Mode: On

Tomorrow is our first dinner party since we've come to Pune. Some 20 people are expected (not counting children) and in a fit of craziness, i decided to do all the cooking. Needless to say, panic set in long before i started typing this out. In fact, the only reason i'm even writing this is because i can't cook/prep any more tonight. Why? Because my refrigerator has no space left in it to store anything till tomorrow morning. And so i have a few free moments before i force myself to go to bed. 

Anyway, my hands smell of garlic and my clothes are splattered with yummy italian tomato sauce. There is *so* much more to do that one part of me wants to throw my hands up in the air and run around the house screaming. The other (nuts) part of me wants to continue cooking through the night. But then the Indian part of me emerges and i think that if i do all the chopping and prep work tonight, what will my maid do tomorrow morning. What? Don't judge. I'm a very nice employee. She could have been doing all the cooking you know. And i could have spent that time painting my nails and trying on outfits. Ok, yeah. No. I would have just slept with my head under the AC draft till it was time to make small talk.

So. Here we are. The terrace has been washed and made tidy. The room where the children will be contained  given space to play has been dusted and cleaned up - meaning that everything that had to be moved has been dumped in the spare room, which will simply be locked up before the guests arrive.  The added advantage being that we have one room less to clean. The living and dining rooms (or that part of the house which guests will have access to) will be prettied up and dusted in the evening tomorrow. There is also a page long list of things-to-do-before-party-starts that i have, but i shan't bore you with that. Unless my party is a disaster and i have to vent here about all the things i should've done and didn't do. 

In the mean time, i'm off to bed where i shall try desperately hard to sleep and not lie staring at the ceiling, fighting the impulse to count spoons and plates at 3 am. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Edge of the Cliff

I'm standing here, at the edge of something new and exciting.
It has the power to be life altering. I don't know.

I'm standing here, not alone, yet all by myself.
Sometimes i wonder how i got to this point, this place. This edge.
And then the doubt comes back.
The fear.
But still i stand. Some part of me refuses to back off.
To accept defeat.
All i know is that i'm about to jump.

Ready to soar.
Willing to let the wind take me where it will.
I might fall.
But that only means i'm not strong enough to brave the skies.
And conquer them i will.
Some day.
One day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Random Notes

Too many things (once more) to write about.

Attended 21 yr old cousin's wedding last week. Needless to say it felt like we were getting a child married off. But she wanted to get married. I envy her lack of ambition sometimes. Makes life so simple if all you want from it is a husband, money, new clothes and parties to attend every week. 

Have realised that marwari wedding songs are super fun. There are songs for every part of the wedding festivities, songs for the bride and groom and songs for their relatives. Add to this traditional rajasthani tunes and awesomeness is guaranteed. Even a week later i find myself humming and singing  these songs.  Who knew i'd like something else that was marwari other than the food! 

Caught up with friends in Jodhpur. Yes. I have friends in Jodhpur. Never did i once think, in all my years of visiting the grandparents and extended family there, that i would, one day, have friends to meet. It was such a new feeling, even after having lived there for 2 years, to hang out with friends in a city i primarily associate with vegetating at the grandmom's house and meeting boring relatives every evening. It was worth it, even if i had to listen to the grandmother grumbling about me never being at home.

I'm a besotted aunt. My 13 month old niece has been going *bua bua bua* ever since i got here. Full heart melt happens. Of course, when she refuses to sleep and bawls her head off, i feel like smacking her. I'm fair like that. Adorable is in it's place but needing an army to feed and entertain her is another. Also the dog is feeling totally ignored and left out because the baby gets all the attention. So i've been sneakily feeding her almonds every couple of hours. 

My immune system is shot. A fortnight back i woke up with a sexy cold voice and a stuffed nose. For 2 days i walked around with a box of tissue papers and ended up with one less layer of skin on my nose. Thankfully my Rudolph impersonation ended before the wedding. Imagine the photos! Unfortunately, a cold wave hit Jaipur and the sexy cold voice was back. But you know how sexiness fades right? Yeah. Now i sound like Lurch from the Adam's family. Not sexy. Also i seem to be setting a record for most snot produced in 3 days. Yes, i said snot. Oh, and every time i blow my nose, the niece giggles. 

All of last week has been about everyone around me asking, no, telling me to have a baby. It's mildly gross and extremely annoying. Gross because your grandmother is telling you to go do it and annoying because it's none of anybody's business really. But all sorts of motivation is being provided. From cute custom baby furniture and clothes/accessories to expensive gifts. I personally believe that since there are to be no more weddings in the family for at least 3 years now, people just need another reason to party. 

Oh, and i think i have a crush on Ram Kapoor. What? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Questions Normal Girls Ask

Continuing from Mudra's list of questions, here is my own:

Another one for Palladium - Why no ladies restroom on the ground floor? I was directed to the first floor where, as Mudra pointed out, there are 4 cubicles. Maybe south bombay snootiness doesn't permit peeing in a mall and hence you didn't think it necessary to cater for us. But i'm from north bombay. I go when i have to. 
What the eff is/was Teddy Day? Who the hell comes up with/starts this crap? 
Older people who insist on being on Facebook and/or Twitter, why do you *all* put up passport photos as display pictures?

Also, girls who talk to their mothers on Facebook, do you have to *heart your mumma* all the time? Alternatively, mothers, do you have to be proud of your baccha on every one of her photos? Even when she's wearing a leather skirt and fishnet stockings in the snow?
Talking about fashion, all these fancy-pants shoe stores have come to India. But why the hell do they insist on putting 5 inch heels on everything they have? Also why the clunkiness? Or are their shoes only meant for the lollipop figured girl and hence the heavy shoes are required to weigh her down to stop her from tumbling over? 
Bombay Store. What is with the prices? Also Fab India. Seriously? 
Is being gay/lesbian/bisexual in fashion? Or was my generation just too busy doing other stuff in college (like studying. So lame, i know), and so didn't get a chance to explore own sexuality?
Oh, and if every man i meet (in real life or on twitter) complains about simpering, whining, Twilight watching, Edward loving, damsel in perpetual distress type girls, why are all the intelligent, funny, well read, Tolkien reading girls single? 

Several more questions are in the head but they are mostly those that i've ranted about several times earlier. In brief (and feel free to talk about them on your own blogs or in the comments) here they are:

Why do TV channels insist on showing the new Umrao Jaan with Ms.Plastic Bachchan every second day? Her performance is an insult to the memory of the whole profession really.

Why are doughnuts addictive and fattening? Ok so this is a rhetoric, for the universe really. 

Why the hell won't people stop talking about 21st Dec.2012 in hushed voices? I remember the same excitement about Y2K and look what happened. 

Why won't you leave that Beiber boy alone? All of you sing *baby baby baby oh* when you think no one is listening to you. Mainly because all the malls play that song. 

What is with the mass panic before a dry day? It's not like all of you are swimming in alcohol every non dry day. And if you do, give your liver a break. And if you can't stand the thought of an entire day without alcohol, might i suggest rehab? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012


He was envied by his colleagues and loved by his friends. His presence made any party more fun to be at. His was one of those charming personalities you read about in books and success stories. Wherever he went, he left behind a trail of unbridled laughter and fond memories. Everyone he met believed they held a special place in his life. Over the years he'd become, for a lot of his acquaintance, that one constant in their lives. He was their anchor, their shoulder to cry upon, the one person they knew who could be counted upon. 

And yet, he was alone. Disconnected from everyone around him. Sure, he knew a lot of people. But did anyone know him? Did anyone know who he was behind the smile and the one-liners? His fears and hopes? His frustrations and joys? Where could he turn to for support? Who was his anchor? On difficult days, where it seemed like all he ever did was help others through their problems, the weight of the world would descend on his shoulders and envelope him in a shroud of depression. The feeling of loneliness was never more magnified than at such times. Left alone with his thoughts, he felt he was definitely going crazy. The despair, the feeling of giving up, that gnawing sensation of having no one who cared enough. The morbidity of the situation came upon him like a hailstorm in June, leaving him breathless. No sane person would feel this way surely? 

But maybe it was normal to feel this way. Maybe he had to be insane to not want somebody by his side. to know him, not for his fabulous lifestyle, but for who he was once the parties were over and real life began. Maybe he had to feel this way so that he knew what he was missing. The one thing that would fill that void he'd begun to sense more often than before. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The anchor in his life. The shoulder he needed. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

When You Have Time To Think

And once again i find myself with so many things to write about that i'v ended up writing about nothing.

*So* much has happened in the last week.

The in-laws left after about five weeks with us. It took me four whole days to get used to being alone at home all day again. Also i was convinced for the first two days that my plants were looking sad and droopy, reacting to the absence of the motherinlaw and her green thumb. Turns out, they needed water. I'm kidding. It seems plants do that towards sunset. But i'm still on red alert, given my tendency to kill any plants i take care of. I have bad karma like that it seems. 

The weekend was spent in a manner that i assume is common for couples working in the corporate sector. All of Saturday the fellow was out, all of Sunday, i was. So basically we met on the weekend only for dinner. What i was doing all Sunday is worthy of a whole new post (like most of everything i talk about) but lets just say it involved escorting 800 plus women to the NDA for an all day outing. Yes. That many. Any we ended the day without any fights breaking out or anyone tearing their saree or dupatta. Quite an achievement i say. Oh, and I also won second prize in the lucky dip.  

The week saw us attending two parties (three including the one we have to go to in ten minutes). The first one was a smaller group of people and the happiest thing to happen was realising that an Air India airhostess can be identified from 10 feet  away, in any situation. Also, they really do look grumpy. Really. Oh, and the next party where there is dancing, i'm carrying ear plugs. I still appreciate the auditory sense that i possess. The second party we attended was labelled as a *Musical Evening*. This basically means that anybody in the entire station who thought they possessed an iota of talent could torture the rest of us realistic-about-our-own-talents people. So tortured we were that the Fellow and i decided to go watch TinTin that had been put on for the children's entertainment. But the tandoori chicken was yummy. Also we managed to leave early and did not have to listen to teenagers butchering ABBA for too long.

Grocery shopping happened. Finally. The mall was all decked up in the tricolour and was playing patriotic songs on full volume (on terrible speakers). Although i don't think it was the speakers as much as it was the fact that the cd must have come out of the cover after August 15th and was probably all scratchy. Same thing on TV. Bi-annual outing for most movies playing. And i think Gandhi should be banned from all tv channels. 

Last night another party had to be attended. And the only reason i went to it because i was tired of being alone at home all day. Yes. It's not as fun as i thought it would be when i was a child. This was one of those formal dos that had everyone yawning and looking at the time every three minutes. And yet it went on till nearly midnight. The only consolation was that i was smart enough to carry something warm to wear and could feel all warm and smug while the other women paid for their vanity and shivered through most of the evening. What? I'm evil like that. Maybe that's why my karma is all messed up and i kill plants. Hmm.

At this point, i've taken a look at all that i've written and i think i need to stop. Enough mindless rambling, dear diary type writing has been done. If you're still reading this, don't worry, the pain is almost at an end. Have a good weekend. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Anatomy of Pants

The biggest trial in my life is shopping for pants. I avoid it like the plague and i dread having to go buy jeans, linen pants or even formal trousers. Why? Because they don't make them for normal women anymore. And while people may have doubts about the normalcy of my mental state, i'd like to believe that physically, i could be categorized as normal. Whatever normal is. 

So i'm neither thin nor obese. I'm what they call *khaate peete ghar ki* or *healthy* (in the most euphemistic way). That, coupled with the curse of the Indian body type (which was designed, i think, only for sarees), makes it nigh impossible to find that perfect pair of pants. Why?

Because pants have a mind of their own. Which is as messed up as the people designing them.

Pants today look good only on the mannequins wearing them. Which means, that for those same pants to look good on a human, she needs to have proportions like that - extra long legs, almost no ass, a tiny waist. And what do I have? Neither of the above. Suffice to say, it's sheer torture inside the dressing room.

With formal trousers i never know what i'm supposed to look like. Maybe because i still haven't managed to find a good pair in all these years. There seems to be nothing out there that doesnt make me look like a short dumpling with a giant bottom. And if my derriere does look good in a pair, the thunder thighs grab your attention. No, don't visualise it. I can't afford your therapy. 

And don't even get me started on jeans. The problem starts much before the trial rooms. For some reason that i seem to have too much sense to understand, people manufacturing jeans have all decided that wanting a pair of jeans that actually reaches the waist is like asking for the moon and a couple of stars. No really. Try looking for  a pair of jeans that is mid-waist. The sales people will look at you with pity. Almost everything out there (at least in the women's section) is low waist. Straight leg, slim leg, boot cut, all in low waist. And pardon me if i'm being difficult, but i really have no interest in joining the group of women who make you cringe every time they sit, bend or do anything but stand ramrod straight. You know *exactly* what i'm talking about don't you? Yes. That.

So yeah, i hate shopping for pants. They just don't respect fat. Or being healthy as i'd like to call it. And if you're a skinny female reading this, please to not try and disagree with me. I might decide to sit on you and you know you will break. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Opposites Attract, Yes.

She was from the plains. He was from the mountains.
She was motion sick. He lived life at a minimum of 900km/hr.
She could live on icecream and frozen yoghurt. He didn't understand how.
She liked to be 5 mins early wherever she went. He timed it to the last second.
She was an organised neurotic. He never knew where his things were.
She ate aloo parathas for dinner. He insisted they were breakfast.
She froze at 17 deg C. He laughed at her and turned the fan on.
She listened to Bedardi Raja on loop. He worshiped Bob Dylan.
She had a mild case of road rage. He switched the engine off and waited.
She made friends at the drop of a hat. He took his time.
She didn't understand management and finance. He bought books about them.
She was a stationery whore. He was a slut for gadgets and gizmos.
She could live on sandwiches. He didn't think it counted as proper food.
She wore uncomfortable heels for vanity. He shook his head in disbelief.

Talk about opposites.

PS: this came to me randomly as i enjoyed some strawberry icecream earlier today, even as i shivered in the cold that has descended onto Pune.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Year.

Another year gone by and all i can think of is that time definitely did not fly by this quickly when i was in school and not having any fun. No really. Those painful teenage years never seemed to end. And now when i want time to slow down, well, you know the cliches.

Anyway. Here we are.7th day of the new year and already so much has happened (this is 4th time i'm trying to finish this. Damn you, distractions).

For starters, our Christmas miracle (as mentioned in the earlier post) was more like an end of year present. As soon as the new year started, she had to be returned to her owner. Yes. She was claimed. Of course, i'm waiting to meet the chap who owns her and give him a piece of my mind. You cannot keep a pet and then go away for months, relying on friends to mind her. Hmph. Anyway, the next day after we sent her away she came back. And then she had to be sent back again. Sigh. So now we'll just get a dog of our own.

End of year or beginning of new year sales are all over the place and the inlaws are giddy with joy. I was in Bombay when they and the Fellow ended up at Westside. They went back the next day. And the next. The fourth time they went to Westside, i was with them. Bought indian formals and got stalked by two aunties who seemed to want whatever i was trying on and buying. It stopped being funny 45 minutes later and after getting accosted in front of the trial rooms as well as the billing counter. Oh, they also wanted to know if my star sign was Virgo because our choices were *so similar beta*. Kill me.

Lots of plants were bought by the inlaws. I refused to touch any of them for fear of killing them. No really. I have a black thumb. As eager and excited as i am to have lots of plants in my house, i can't seem to keep any of them alive. And so i'm counting on the MIL to convince them that they're in a happy place and then i'll just water them everyday hoping like hell they don't die on me.

Also the Fellow and I have decided that we shall go for an hour long walk everyday. It's an excellent resolution actually. Very realistic. Really. And even better is that the results are beginning to show and if that is not motivation i don't know what is.