Where’s the Fire?

Every time I see the two wheelers edging towards the starting line at a signal, or the burly bus nearly toppling over while trying to overtake the cyclist, or the car driver who can’t stop honking even when he can’t see any way out, I wonder, where’s the Fire?

I thought overtaking from the left was the fad but apparently now the trend is all about trying to go left while you are in the right lane, thereby slowing down the entire line of traffic behind you. It could also be trying to cross from the extreme left to the right while everybody is trying to turn left. I am not sure though, cause leching at female drivers at traffic stops and stalking them kinda is in vogue too.

It’s strange that you would start slowing down in the middle of the road just to attend that phone call. One: weren’t you in a tearing hurry before? Two: unless it’s a life and death matter, should you really take a call? (No, the party’s changed venue isn’t an emergency, nor are the sweet nothings from your sweetheart.)Three: And in case it is a life and death matter, shouldn’t you first try to protect yours by stopping to take the call? Oh just FYI, dear two-wheeler, if the mobile phone was invented to snuggle up on your shoulder while you tried your hand at one-hand driving, I am sure the makers would have made required design changes.

I understand you’re in a hurry, you got up late today and have to reach office on time. And you, yes you in the shiny SUV, you probably have world issues to solve which is why you’re trying to mow down the car in front of you, but can you hold on for a second please? Trust me, while I may or may not be battling against time, I am very fond of life and that makes me an over-cautious driver. If that counts as just being a ‘female’ driver in your book of definition, so be it.

I will not speed up. I will not start moving before the signal is green. And I will stop for a second longer to allow the beggar to cross the street safely. You might brush me off as a idotic ‘female’ driver, but I really don’t care. My responsibility is to the 3-year old sitting safely in his booster seat behind. I don’t care if you honk at me till eternity but I will only move at a pace that I personally feel safe for my baby. It could be 20 or it could be 100. Your sad little rooting-tooting horn won’t really make a difference.

I know you trust me to keep you safe when you overtake me from the left or drive bumper to bumper with me or try to prove that you are a super hero who can race with a car and still win the game of life! But always remember the sticker on my rear window which declares the presence of a tiny life in my car. So my responsibility is only to my baby boy. And trust me, I will do anything to keep him safe.

But don’t worry, I know you are in a tearing hurry, to go to the loo, to establish world peace or maybe just to meet your sweetheart at the end of your journey! So I will give you way every time I can. I will stick to my lane and let you overtake me. I will respect the fact that your tiny brain doesn’t have the capacity to remember basic traffic rules. So I will take the responsibility of watching out for my life and yours too at times.

I will slow down at every junction cause there is at least one idiot who thinks he’s the flash. I will wait an extra second at turns to make sure your blindness hasn’t prevented you from seeing my blinking bright indicator. I will honk and give you enough notice period before I overtake you. And I solemnly swear to over take you only from the right!

So, please respect the fact that the road is a public space, not the corridor of your house. I will respond to logical honking but I expect you to reciprocate. Remember, the red signal means I need to stop and not slowly inch towards the other side. There are special lights and buttons in your vehicle, yes even in your two wheeler, that helps you communicate with other vehicles around. USE them. The rear view mirrors you have so fondly adorned with blessings from your chosen god have other uses too. Last but definitely not the least, your helmet isn’t a ‘optional’ accessory to be hung on the aforementioned ‘useful’ rear view mirror. It is also not something to be whipped out only at traffic signals. And NO, your hair isn’t all that great that you avoid wearing a helmet.

I know it is TOO bloody much to ask all these from someone who’s been raised to believe that the road needs to be conquered. I know you cannot for the life of you fathom why the vehicles in front don’t just give you way every time you honk. I also realize that while you could count the notes that you used to get your driving license, you cannot differentiate between the colors of a traffic signal or read road signal posts that exist for people like you.

So, all I can do is care for my safety and hope that someday you will somehow discover why there are traffic signals or why you should overtake only from the right or why it is pointless to start honking as soon as the light turns green. Sadly, in your short life span, shortened by the absurd way you drive, you might not really discover these facts of life. So, I guess I am back to sticking to my lane and caring for my life while you race ahead to attend to that mythical Fire in your life… or your bum!

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Of cups and Pads and Menstrual fads.

Note: This is a Personal Review of the Menstrual Cup, in case you are a squeamish person with a weak heart, please skip this because it mentions menstruation, blood and sanitary pads as well.

My last post on Periods was so sober that I decided to write another one bitching about how bitchy I get during mine. However, without my PMS fueling me on, it is a tad bit difficult. So I  am going to make this a personal review post.

So, when I first started with my periods, my mom, introduced the Carefree pad to me. In the 90s, before the winged pads came into our lives, Carefree was the go-to sanitary pad. Cheap and comfort rolled into one. One could argue that the belt made it weird and cumbersome, but I kind of found it reassuring. Like, the painful belt reminded me constantly that I was on my periods and was protected as well. Changing it wasn’t just difficult, it took a lot of complex gymnastic moves and a well practiced routine.

In college, I was finally enlightened and I tried moving to the fancier pads with all their sticky backs, wings and blue blood. However, my gorgeous skin decided to suddenly become sensitive to all things not cotton. So I returned back to Carefree, with my tail between my legs and vowed to never try and change again. Painfully I stuck to the vow till about last year. So basically, for nearly 20 odd years I went through

  • Scouting for shops which still sells Carefree
  • Buying and stocking up pads for as many years as I financially can
  • Getting a jar of Vaseline for the belt marks
  • Discovering newer and easier ways of changing in and out of the pads

Last year, by some divine intervention, I happened upon an article on Menstrual cups. While it did gross me and scare me a little in parts, I was curious. So after doing a ton of research and reading like a 100 articles and personal blogs, I decided to give it a go. It’s been a year since then and I have never felt more comfortable about my periods… ever.

For everyone who has been thinking of changing over or is brave enough to try it out, please please please DO IT. While the GST and fond feelings for your environment might be the best motivators, do it for yourself. Trust me, once you do get a hang of it, you will wonder why you didn’t try it before. The scariest things about a Menstrual Cup

  • Inserting it might pain. A little, at first maybe. But once you master the trick, the whole process will become your muscle memory and you will not even think about it.
  • What if it gets stuck? This is probably the biggest worry some of you might have. Remember, there is no way up for it to go. As long as you know how to use your Kegel Muscles, you are golden. In the worst case scenario that you freak out and can’t take it out. Your Gynae can help. But trust me, I have helped at least 5 people convert and none of them had to visit the hospital
  • Silicon inside the body. It’s safe and reusable. Plus it is much better than all the synthetic pads and the moisture that gives you rashes.
  • Leaking and cleaning. It’s capable of holding the heaviest of flows for at least 3 hours, in my case. Changing/emptying is as simple as take it out, empty it, wash it with water and insert it right back in.
  • Hygiene. It is most hygienic since it only holds on to the blood. There is no absorption into anything or any odor. Sterilizing it in boiling water before and after your periods is enough.

Apart from the financial part (I have saved nearly 10000 bucks till date), it is so much more cleaner than having to feel that moisture and getting chafed while simply walking around on a hot day. Once you get used to it you will barely remember it exists or that you are menstruating. No more sitting down or holding your sneeze, no more skipping those trousers and definitely no more waddling around. And the best part? You can pee or poop without disturbing it.

If you are wondering why isn’t it mainstream if it’s so beneficial, the answer is simple. The companies manufacturing the pads won’t really like a product that basically puts them out of business, will they? Add to it the absence of any proper literature about it and you have a simple and useful product lost in the midst of brands.

I know I do sound like an advert at times but it is only because I really really love this product. I have bought two spare ones just in case the first one has any issues. But it’s been a year and it’s still working perfectly.

Please reach out in case you have any concerns or queries about the menstrual cup. I would love to help you convert.

 

Periods are a bitch. Period.

The first question I asked my mom after I got my periods was, ‘For how many years more, will this happen?’ Don’t get me wrong, I was well aware of the scientific facts and biological processes but nothing I had read had prepared me for it. I used to and still have unimaginable cramps which along with the fact that I react weirdly to all painkillers, is pure torture. The sanitary pad woes were a ghastly nightmare in themselves. I also remember, that mom never ever allowed me take an off. She told me this was something very natural and I would have to learn to live with it. So I did that.

We had an open conversation about it at home. There was no hiding of the fact from my father or my brother. My father would get my sanitary napkins from the shop and my brother would oblige my tantrums and bitchy mood swings for those five days every month. So, even when I went away to college and my guy friends asked me about my low mood, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them that I was on my periods.

Since I wasn’t into much praying, I never really got into the whole tussle of entering it while on my periods. Same went for the kitchen since I wouldn’t be bothered to fetch my own glass of water. Not much has changed. I still don’t go to temple and there is no restriction from my kitchen since I am the queen of it!

Given my background, I have been quite perturbed, annoyed and even amused at the whole issue of periods these past few years. There are of course some issues that I support, some I can’t really claim to be bothered about and then there are those few I completely disagree with. For starters, I don’t get the concept of free-bleeding, not because it is gross but because it is unhygienic. I also don’t appreciate the period leave that companies are offering. Trust me, while on a marketing level it might seem oh-so-cool, it is not so on the ground. Imagine you missing an important meeting because you are on your “period-leave”. Forget professionalism, how is that fair to your colleagues and team mates? My two cents, if you are unable to function at all (which isn’t a possibility), quit. Otherwise, suck it up and work through it.

I really am not bothered by the whole temple entry issue because I personally don’t get it. Whether you flaunt the religious reasons or swear by the scientific facts, I don’t get it. Period. Pun intended. And to all those fighting for it, do you really want to be somewhere you are not appreciated as a human being?

Coming to the issue of Sanitary pads, I support every woman who is fighting against the GST bracket it has been placed in. But I also urge you all to look at some of the better options available around today. Something as simple and revolutionary as the Menstrual cup, has been around for a long time. While I understand hesitance, maybe it is time you give it a serious thought.

All in all, sometimes I feel there is at times a little too much noise about something as natural and simple as periods. The changes will not happen unless you start at the grass root level.

  • Use the word Period or Menstrual Cycle. Stop hiding behind Aunt Flow or being down !!! Enunciate, MEN-STRU-A-TION!!! Loud and clear.
  • When you buy your Sanitary Pads, ditch the brown paper bag or the black polythene. Own the fact that you are a healthy woman.
  • Talk to your sons. Teach them that menstruation cycles are not to be giggled at or shied away from. Use it as a launching pad for all the sex talks you have to give. Be open and invite questions. Help the boys understand it so that they don’t grown up into men who claim PMS as a reason every time a woman is pissed off at them.
  • If you need time off from work, stop pretending you have a headache. Tell them your Period cramps are killing you and you need a chocolate bar STAT! If nothing else, it comes in handy in embarrassing people into giving you some time off. However, don’t use it blatantly as an excuse to shirk responsibilities.
  • Accept the fact that during your Periods there will be detours from your normal routine and behavior. Own them. Stop tying that emotional sweater on your waist!

Remember, while people go gaga over the free-bleed movement, lash out at the government for taxes or applaud the companies who treat you like a fragile vase during your periods, you will still go through those not-so-awesome 5-day hormonal trip every freaking month till your ovaries decide to retire. Till then, enjoy your womanhood.

Dear Readers…

I know my writing has been sporadic over the last three years. I won’t make my baby an excuse anymore. The truth is that I write my blogs… in my head these days. As I drive down the beach road and enjoying the beautiful sunset, I compose that heartfelt poem and store it. When Pickle says something incredibly cute, I immediately write it up, in my mind. The numerous pictures I take of everything I bake are in preparation for the post that never makes it to the page. At night, as I toss and turn, trying to mentally go through my to-do lists, I think of all the beautiful things I could be writing about and then pick sleep over all of that.

Just FYI, I am not lazy. People who know me will swear by it. I love to keep myself busy, and off late life has been going at warp speed. There have been instances when I have got Pickle ready for school on a Saturday and then had to take him for ghumi-ghumi. So, dearest readers, yes both of you, please bear with me as I work through a few more days of ridiculously busy schedules and then put down my equally ridiculous thoughts out here for you to read and like (you better!!!).

Thank you for all the support and appreciation and of course the mountain of patience!

I am scared.

I am scared of losing it all

A will to live

A fear of the unknown end

And a strength to walk on the thin line between life and death without the dread of … losing it all!

I am scared for my family, my love and the tiny part of me I would be leaving behind.

 

But most of all

I am scared of what my life would have meant …

Broken in the middle

Given an abrupt end

Will it still count?

 

Without any of the dreams fulfilled

Bereft of all the lovely people

Will it still matter that I lived?

That I tried my best?

That  I meant something to somebody?

 

Standing at the very edge of the losing end

Things tend to blur

Achievements lose their meaning

Failures seem to magnify

People are forgotten

And all the love just… ceases to exist

 

As the oblivion envelops me

I lost count of tears I have wept

The number of times happiness has washed over me

The people I have known

And the ones I have lost

 

I finally lose my fear and bid adieu

To the only life I have known

However inconsequential and minute

To the people who gave my life meaning

And in my loss I finally find meaning and peace

 

I have a crazy mind. Period.

Left alone without a nonsensical or fruitful project, it tends to delve into some ridiculous and dark thoughts, alternately. The words above are a result of one such gloomy Sunday afternoon. Gloomy because I lost my crochet hook, my phone was missing and my kindle was on charge, so in short, I was jobless and my mind wandered. To all my well-wishers, I am FINE. Nothing is wrong. This is just a creative piece of writing.

Dear M-I-L…

Dear Mother in Law,

I am your Daughter-IN-LAW. Period.

I am not your daughter. You are not my mother. I am not trying to be disrespectful but I need you to understand that you are not my mother. I have a mother. I may or may not like her either but she is the one… Also, I am not your best friend. Even my mother isn’t my best friend, not that it matters. I have a very close group of friends who I have selected over the 3 decades of my life. They have all passed my tests of love, patience and grace over the years. I have known you for barely 2 minutes. So, I am sorry if it hurts you, but you are NOT my friend.

I am not your child. I did not grow up in your house. I grew up in a different household. even if it is your next door neighbor, it is a completely different house. The layout may or may not be the same but everything within is different. Yes, we do place all the utensils in the cupboards above and the spices near the door, but they are still completely different from the way your utensils and spices rest in the same space.

Do you prefer eating rotis at night at your place? We too. I am sure you too slogged away every evening making those perfect phulkas like my mom did. But still, the taste of those phulkas were very different. The rules at the table were different too. Some days we would laugh and crack up at the silliest things while there were days when we would be all quiet. We usually did that by gauging dad’s mood or maybe mom’s. I am sure you had those days at your table too. But they were certainly different in all kinds of ways.

Yes, I love sleeping in, exactly like your daughter does. I love my skirts and my sleeveless tops like your nieces do. But you don’t like it. And that is alright because I am not your daughter and you are not my mom. I don’t need to care and I try my best not to. Don’t judge me for not caring. You are not the one who sacrificed her entire life to raise me after all. So…. it really doesn’t matter!

No, I don’t like doing puja. My mom never forced me to do it either (oh yes, that might make her a bad mom in your book, but in my book she’s is super cool and my book is all that matters because I am NOT your daughter, but hers). While I am not religious, I did grow up with a certain household deity making appearances in my life time and again. Your deity might be all powerful and much better than mine (according to you) but please don’t force it on me. Why? Simple… because I am not your child!

Yes, I am arrogant and stubborn. My mom loves me in spite of it. Don’t worry… you don’t have to like me in spite of all that… again… because I am NOT your daughter. I am sure you would deal with my attitude in your own way if I were your child, but that’s the awesome thing… I am not. Feel free to discipline your own child though.

I don’t cook and though my mom did teach me, I still don’t want to do it. You nag about it, because I am not your daughter. But that is exactly why you shouldn’t care… because I am NOT your daughter. You could use the time you spend bitching about me to whip your daughter in shape and teach her all your glorious cooking tips. Oh you don’t have any girls you say? Well, that shouldn’t matter. If you are the feminist you portray yourself to be, you should have taught your sons those skills anyway.

So let’s not pretend. Let’s not play games. Let’s just accept the facts of life. I am just an outsider who has no legal obligations to you or your relatives and vice versa ( I am sure you are not going to name me in your will or pay off my education loan, right?). I am legally married to your son and I have don’t everything to make MY marriage a happy one. Not to please you or obey you but because I wanted to.

I have parents, siblings and relatives of my own. They love me unconditionally in spite of all my faults. I don’t need any more. Well, I know my husband’s relatives are a bundle offer and I can’t really avoid it. While I will try my best to respect them all and care for them when they visit me, like I do for all my guests, please do not order me to LOVE them. They are mere strangers to me.

I have values. They might be very different from the ones you have taught your children, but that doesn’t make them any lesser. They are the values I grew up with and you can chain me to the wall and try to change them, I can pretend to change them, but the truth is that they will remain with me till I die.

I know you are a great cook and an amazing home manager but please do not try to teach me. Don’t try to ‘train’ me in your household rules and regulations. I am not a dog. That is your house, this is MINE. I set the values, rules and vibe of my house. Also, if anybody does need to teach me stuff, I believe my parents get that spot automatically.

No, I don’t expect you to change. You have spent the last 60 years or so in a set pattern and I respect that. However, just because I am still comparatively young, do not expect me to change either. If there are any changes to be made, I shall decide when and how.

Finally, can you please remember and respect the fact that I am a human being? Remember the times you gazed into your son’s face and your heart filled up with joy and happiness? My face evokes exactly those sentiments in my parents as well.

You do not have to love me. Hell, I am not that lovable any way.

You do not have to even like me. Not many do. I am not that likable either.

But you do need to respect me.

Because I am your child’s life partner.

Because I am the mother of your son’s baby.

Because I have don’t absolutely nothing to hurt you.

But mostly because I am a human being.

  • Stop comparing

You and I? TOTALLY different people. There is no NEED or COMMON ground to do so anyway. So please Stop.

  • There is no competition

We may share a person, but in two very, VERY different way. He’s your SON and my HUSBAND. There can be no role reversal or replacement so QUIT competing for his love. He is well equipped to compartmentalize.

  • My parents are your equal

Just because the ‘boy’ came out of your womb, doesn’t mean that my parents didn’t make the exact same sacrifices as you to raise me, the ‘girl’. In fact, my parents probably ended up doing more. I don’t expect you to invite my parents over for meals or call them or even send them presents. But the next time they call you, have some manners and pick up the call. The next time you bump into them on the road, don’t ignore them. Be human. Think of them as the neighbours you need to be fake-sweet to.

  • My love and obligations are towards my family not yours

When I married your son, I only married him. While I did obtain certain new relations in the process, my duties, love and obligations will forever remain towards MY family. The family I am related to through blood and not through a few scribbles on the paper. I am sure you expect the same from your son. So instead of ‘training’ me to maintain relations with YOUR relatives, try training your son to maintain the same with my relatives. Maybe I will return the favor.

  • Learn to Let go!

This part of your son’s life is supposed to be for his wife and kids. You have done an excellent job in raising a brilliant human being. Now, STEP AWAY. You don’t need to know where we are going or what are our plans for our children. You do not need to circulate the news of our new TV to all your relatives either. Let us be. Give us some space. You have had your time. Give us ours!

 

PS: After my last post, I realized that all of us face issues with our in laws. It need not be physical torture alone. Emotional abuse is harmful no matter the distance. We rant, crib and bitch about it because frankly, no matter how many posts we write, how many frank conversations we have, things are not going to change. What is more depressing is that women are mostly the ones torturing other women. And while a lot of the happy wives and the sons out there might not understand what and why we continue with our rants, these experiences are depressing and very stressful.

***Disclaimer: This post is a fictional piece inspired by many stories I have heard over the years. 

Here’s to US!!!

Eight years back when we decided to get married, I knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. After a lot of this and that, the wedding date finally arrived. I wasn’t a happy bride. Apart from the fact that I had to dress up and sit on display for hours, there was the usual boy-family issues that were bringing me down. At one point in time, I felt broken. While I knew there would be lot of hurdles with a love marriage, I didn’t count on my parents being hurt and harassed in the process of me getting my happily ever after.

There was this point in time when I decided I didn’t want to go through with it. Since the whole wedding hoopla was just an obligation to our parents and family, it was getting way out of hand. I was sulky, hungry (there was a lot of fasting) and mighty pissed at being the ‘girl’. I told T the same. I told him that while I would love to get married to him and spend the rest of my life with him, I wasn’t sure the wedding was that great an idea.

T told me, it would be way too messy to stop the wedding and all the arrangements that both the families had done for us. He asked me to hold on a little longer and go through with the whole thing. I didn’t know what to do. I wondered if I made the right choice. I wondered if I did get it right. Was this really the person I wanted to be married to? That is when T said to me, ‘This is just the wedding. It maybe the beginning of our journey together but it is in no way an indication of things to come. Our marriage is going to be so much better. I promise you that’. I agreed and as a result my wedding was not as bright as I would have hoped. I suddenly experienced the scales shifting as time and again I was put in my place since I was the ‘girl’, as time and again my parents were sidetracked. I bit down my feelings and went through the motions just to keep peace. Do I regret it? Of course! However, without going through those few not-so-happy days I wouldn’t have got the marriage of my dreams.

So, yes, he didn’t stand up for me or for my parents that day. But ever since that day, he’s been my rock. He’s listened to my complaints about everything under the sun and never judged me. He may forget dates and to buy me gifts even after my countless reminders but there are these little things he does that make me fall in love with him everyday. At a single outburst about cooking, he takes me out for dinner. When I need to stay in the kitchen with a lot of baking or cooking, he drags in his bean bag and phone to keep me company. No matter how much I complain about him being stuck to his phone, he always gets me my kindle at meal times. Every time I turn too bitchy… he quietly sneaks out to get me loads of food. At restaurants, he always orders extra that can be parceled for my midnight snacking. When I was struggling with Pickle he would take care of me. Whenever I take a stand, he supports me no matter what.

We have learnt so much about each other over the years and surprisingly, even now there are so many things we keep learning every day. With Pickle our relation has only strengthened and one can only dream of the kind of support I have received from him when it concerns raising Pickle. While I may rant and rave, I know in my heart that whatever happens, he’s going to be there for me. Maybe he won’t stand up and fight with his folks for me or make drastic changes in his personality, but he will always support me in his own way.

So, while today does signify the wedding and its 7th year anniversary, I am celebrating 7 years of being together. 7 years of ridiculous fights over where to go for dinner, 7 years of my taunts, reminders and a truck load of complaints, 7 years of my cooking and baking experiments, 7 years of him forgetting to buy me gifts and my grand gestures, 7 years of me turning to him for comfort, solace and understanding, 7 years of him still being my rock, my best friend and the best life companion I could have ever dreamt of.

Here’s celebrating 7 years of a work-in-progress marriage!!!

 

Saesha Creations

After months of creating, photographing, uploading and then waiting, Saesha creations, my baby, is finally live on Engrave.in. Check it out here.

I started out with just earrings, some quilled and some crocheted. I have plans to add some more hand made gifts that you can buy for your loved ones. My freelance work and Pickle’s schedule doesn’t leave me with much time, but I have enjoyed creating every thing on the list.

Please do check it out if you like everything Handmade!

 

Mr Murphy’s at it again!

I absolutely love baking. My cakes come out awesome when I do it for fun or in a relaxed manner. Contrary to the rest of my life, my cakes go poof when I hurry or am under any pressure. This is the main reason why I have never thought of starting it as a business.

This Friday was T’s 34th birthday and I have been studying and planning the cake for almost two weeks. The shape, colours, design and flavours were all planned. (For the record I wanted to make a 4 layer naked gooeey Coffee cake with buttercream decoratiohns on just a bit of it.) However, my Beshhht Phriend Mr Murphy (of the Famous Murphy’s Law) made an appearance and not just as a guest, he decided to stay for the entire weekend.

It started with Pickle  falling sick. Then T took a few days off to spend time with us. So nothing could be a surprise anymore! Between my visits to the doctor and coaxing Pickle to eat his food I somehow managed to get the necessary ingredients in place. Though I had planned to start baking early on the 16th, we had to be out of home on errands and I didn’t start till it was 8 pm. I then managed to under-cook my first two batches of ’round’ cake.

Royally pissed off, I gave up at 930pm and decided to call it a night. After tossing and turning for about an hour I figured I wasn’t getting any sleep so I might as well bake. I changed the plan and design. Baked 6 layers (I first tried cutting layers out of a single cake but it fell apart, Mr Murphy was having so much fun!) of vanilla and chocolate cakes.

I was done around 5 in the morning and had to start the day’s chores. Later in the day I layered up the cake (for once my whipped cream stood) and covered up the cake in Ganache. The weather was terrible and my buttecream was literally melting while I was piping it out. I finally put it in the fridge and finished decorating it.

Though I made a lot of mistakes and a lot went wrong too, I did manage to use a whole array of new tools and techniques and I am truly proud of myself for pulling it off. Yes, I did have a very different design for the cake and it didn’t turn up anywhere close to it but it tasted good. My Murphy finally left after the party and wasn’t too pleased!

 Here’s wishing T a beautiful birthday again. 

 

 

Tough Decisions

Three years into my life as a Techie I concluded with complete confidence that I wasn’t meant to be one. So I decided to change tracks and get into something more… me. Cracked GMAT, CAT, MICAT and the Personal Interview to reach my dream B-School, MICA. As luck would have it, the marriage plans that I had successfully put on the back burners suddenly were the highlight of my life. I fell in love and what’s more is that it was literally love at first sight (Echhhh! right?). As they say, Life happens while you are busy making plans.

Since neither of us wanted to wait and indulge in a long-distance courtship period (we knew we had found the ONE), we got married in the beginning of my second year of college. It was not difficult at all since T was busy too. Luckily he was posted nearby and I could make weekend trips whenever I felt like. We got a temporary accommodation allocated to us and managed to establish a “home” in the midst of travelling, studies and crazy office hours.

A year later, I finally joined him with a great job and thought the hard part was over. Let’s be honest, long-distance isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. As I settled down to a home-work routine, I realised something about me. Behind all the craziness, I was quite a conventional person. I was also a control-freaky perfectionist, who simply had to do it all. I found myself cooking up storms, baking random stuff and working for nearly 18 hours a day. However, it was fun. T and I would dine out, catch up over movies and managed to cross paths at home at least twice a day. The job was paying well enough for me to repay my loans but wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Within a year, I decided to forgo my bond amount at the company and shift. I got through many interviews and the blessed day arrived when I received my first acceptance. As an assistant brand manager for a media outlet. It was literally my dream come true.

Half an hour later T called with his news, he had been transferred to Vizag and we were moving in a week’s time. Being a naval daughter and wife, I have always been proud of the fact that I am good at moving lives. But that day, I wasn’t so sure. We spent the rest of the day talking and T vehemently proposed that I stay back in Mumbai and work. However, call it whatever, I decided I didn’t want to have a long-distance marriage. So I turned down the best offer of my career, pretty much gave up my career and moved with my husband.

The move wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped. T got busy and I fell into a weird depressing hole trying to piece back my life. There were no high paying jobs, in fact there were no jobs, period. I was overqualified for literally everything that the city had to offer. After 2 months of struggling I managed to get one job which eventually led me to another which helped me pay back my loan and settle down in the new place.

Now and then, I get these nostalgic pangs of having lost my career but you know what, I never regret it and I’d do it all over again given a choice. I have a beautiful family life and I have known what content is, first hand. That makes it difficult to go back to a life which doesn’t offer me much happiness. I have transformed into a domestic goddess which I didn’t see happening in a million years, but stranger things have happened!

Life is just a collection of the decisions we make. I had to make a few hard ones but I am truly blessed to have landed where I am right now. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

The Old-dress-rejuvenation project.

So… it’s been three years since the delivery and I haven’t really been able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight or figure. The frustrating part is where I have to go shopping for new clothes since the old ones don’t fit. There are also certain dresses which were gifted and aren’t really my style or are missing a few components but are too dear for me to throw them away.

That is why this project was born. Over the next few weeks/months I plan to take my old dresses and upgrade them to something that I would love to wear. Using my skills of sewing and crochet I have already managed to upgrade three such dresses.

Here’s a glimpse.

This one was a sleeveless jumpsuit that was tight on my waist. So I made it into a dress with butterfly sleeves.

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This one was fine but I figured a little crocheted edging on the sleeves will uplift the look… and it did!

And this last one was an old beloved denim dress with missing straps. So I did this…

There are piles of clothes waiting for me to reinvent them and I am having so much fun doing it. Keep in touch for more updates.

So long!

And 2017 is here…

A very happy new year to all you guys.

2016 was pretty awesome. There were a LOT of firsts for me. There was the epic roadtrip, the home shift, the broken ankle and of course the marathons. As I scrolled through my friend’s FB updates this year, I experienced mixed feelings. While some of them made me smile, there were those which made me wonder a lot about my life. Things have definitely changed in the last three years. From a full-time professional kicking ass in the office I have become a SuperMom (Yup! I don’t do anything half-assed!).

The transition hasn’t been easy or smooth and is still a work in progress. While on one hand I want to give Pickle every bit of attention, I also find myself losing my personal identity in the whole process. There are regrets, decisions that haunt but also unadulterated joy and happiness that I finally found in life.

Taking stock of the year has never been my strong suit. However, given the new things I have tried and succeeded at, in year gone by, I do feel proud of myself. Looking forward I know making plans and resolutions won’t work for me. My world is ruled by my 3 year old sweetheart and weirdly, I actually love it.

Some of the stuff worth a mention: I did finish my reading challenge of 75 books last year. (Gawd!!! I know it’s just the first day of the new year, but I love saying ‘last year’). I also participated in 3 marathons, had my first handmade Rakhi exhibition and Bake sale. I started crossfit and have been enjoying every bit of the new me.

Some stuff I am not so proud of: I grossly neglected my blog. Wasn’t my intention but I guess I didn’t really have much to write about. I also haven’t managed to keep my online shop updated and I really need to get it up and running again. I also had plans for a library setup at home which kept getting sidetracked and my books are still in boxes. The heaps of old clothes still need a home.

So here’s what I am gonna do.

  • Try to write at least once in two days
  • Make at least 4 items for the online shop every week
  • Free my book babies from the boxes and at least start painting the loft.
  • Donate old stuff and re-stitch, alter or re-design some of the clothes I really want to keep.

I also want to start a few classes this year once Pickle starts his school. I know I said I won’t be making any plans or resolutions, but the start of a new year doesn’t feel special till you have made these lists, isn’t it?

I am pretty sure most of you guys have done much better on your last year’s resolution than me. Hope you have a beautiful year ahead …

Loads of love!!!

2016: The year of firsts!

 

I hate running.

That said it is quite amazing to note that this year I ran (Ohkay!!!! WALKED) for three marathons while carrying Pickle and even managed to complete them in decent time. Yes, my heels are no longer in existence and yes Pickle will not want to sit in his carrier ever again, but it was so worth it!

This year has definitely been a first for many things. I started cross-fit. Yes, I know. The bug finally bit me. The first week, all I wanted to do was come back home and cry. The second week, I could barely move but still stuck to it. By the third week I was craving for more. And now after 16 weeks of training 5 days a week, I finally realize why people get addicted to it. It gives you a kind of high that leaves you exhausted but wanting for more.

I also participated in a baby wearing walk, a first for this city. It felt good to be appreciated by people for carrying Pickle for so long. I really struggled with people around and their judgement when I decided to carry Pickle. Within the first two weeks of his grand entry into this world, it was quite clear that he was the restless kinds. He wasn’t clingy or colicky but he wasn’t happy about lying down on the bed or in the pram for a long time. I first fashioned a sling out of an old duppatta and when I realized it kept him happy, I did my research and bought a good quality baby carrier. People judged, criticized, made all kinds of jokes about me carrying him. They called me obsessive and gave me loads of unsolicited advice, but I knew what was good for my baby and I stuck to it. T was the only one who supported me without any reservations. And frankly it paid off. I was able to move in and out of the house with ease. I took him to restaurants, parks and on planes and he would quietly snuggle up and fall asleep.

Now finally, after three whole years when suddenly there is a ‘fad’ and ‘trend’ of baby wearing, people are suddenly buying and using them (incorrectly in most cases). Anyway, the baby wearing walk was good for my morale I guess.

So overall, 2016 has been good to me. Let’s see what the next year has in store!

Shoe box

There’s  a shoe box under my bed.

It’s a nondescript one. This is the latest one in the line of shoe boxes which have found residence in my house time and again. Some claimed the bottom shelf of my cupboard while a few others usually loved snuggling up in the drawer of my bedside table. This one however, like the very first one, has grown used to the darkness under my bed.

There’s a shoe box under my bed.

I can’t make out the brand of shoe that it carried inside. Also, I do not remember since it’s been ages since I bought any shoe. The colour under all that dust seems to be a red of some sort. The frayed edges, threatening to fall apart at a moment’s notice, remind me it’s time to find a new home for what’s within.

There’s a shoe box under my bed.

It holds an assorted list of things. There’s bound to be an old pressed flower, barely distinguishable. Some yellowed pages torn from notebooks, a few tickets with their print long gone, a clear packet full of candles/ pencils or even stones, a promise ring, torn photographs, weirdly shaped pebbles. A few cards and gift wrapping papers must have made the cut as well.  They remind me of times gone by. Of loves lost through years, friends forgotten between the lines of gossip, acquaintances left behind. Memories… of all things good and all things painful.

There’s a shoe box under my bed.

Though it seems to be quite old, it is definitely not the one I started with. Over the years, the box kept changing and the memories inside; kept growing! Never thrown, never replaced… they just grew. Carted from one home to another… Sometimes kept under lock and key to escape prying eyes and sometimes displayed on my desk with aplomb.

There’s a shoe box under my bed.

Covered in dust, it patiently awaits to be held once again. To be cleaned while I ruffle through the contents one more time. Sifting through the letters dad wrote to me in my first year away from home, the recipes I scribbled while talking to mom over the phone, the “legal” documents and agreements my brother and I signed to decide the video game playing times, the chits I passed during mind numbing lectures, the first valentine card i received anonymously, the photos of my first crush with the head torn off, the print outs of the first message my true love sent me, the plane tickets from when I flew down for my marriage, the broken shard of my favorite mug which I threw in a fit of rage… the list doesn’t end.

There’s a shoe box under my bed.

It hold many things. Each of them has a different story to tell. Each of them takes me back to relive a different memory. Each of them has led me here… had made me who I am… has been my companion…

Each of them reminds of something happy, sad, exciting and even painful… There’s a shoe box under my bed and it has a life of its own.

Roadtrip #3: Sikkim

Presentation1After last year’s road trips to Kochi and Goa I was really looking forward to a more relaxed and luxurious vacation this year. However, T had different plans for us. We had discussed Bhutan as a destination but without proper permission on his end it didn’t seem possible this time so the next best thing was Sikkim, according to him. I actually thought a getaway at the nearest Novotel Hotel would be great too but that, I guess, was so ‘normal’!

As days progressed, I found T hunched up on his various electronic gadgets (the phone, tab, laptop, mapmyindia) and even paper maps at some of time. I went on with my daily stuff blissful in my utter ignorance in what was to come. When T presented me with the excel sheet of our ‘Journey’ details, I finally knew there was no turning back and I would just have to suck it up and do what I do the best – organize!

It took me a whole day to detail out and pack up all that we would require on the trip – from heavy woolens to the water heater and cup noodles. We packed up the car and on 8th of June before Mr. Sun made his appearance on our horizon, we were up and ready to roll. Pickle, thankfully, is a very morning person like us (he literally turns cranky beyond his bedtime) and was super excited for whatever was to come. As we took off on our epic journey, my only preparation was to empty my bladder and pray like hell that we find proper toilets on the way.

We stopped at Kolkata after 14 hours, T will say it was 13 hours and 15 minutes (like it’s some kinda achievement) and spent a day there meeting relatives. The next day’s trip, from Kolkata to Siliguri, was by far the worst we have ever been on (the return journey on that road was the same). After spending the night at the Skyview Lodge in Siliguri and eating a weird breakfast (we hoped for a continental spread and got puri sabji) we headed towards Darjeeling.

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Sikkim RoadTrip Jume 2016 @Sinetheta

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As the hills approached, the weather became pleasant and we started driving with our windows down. The climb was scary. T being an experienced hill driver managed fine and at one point proudly declared that you need just need to do two things to climb the hill, put the car in first gear and manage the clutch. Personally I felt the two things were, close your eyes and pray to all the gods in the universe.

We stopped at a roadside restaurant just short of Darjeeling to eat an amazing lunch that consisted of steamed momos and Chicken Chowmein. That’s when our vacation really began.

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The next part was again a little dicey and not because of the roads. T was confident that we would reach our hotel in another half an hour or so. Believing his calculation, I happily drank all the water in the world and then went through a tortuous time as Pickle made my bladder his private trampoline. We probably drove around the whole Darjeeling with no luck in finding our hotel just ‘cause T thought asking for directions, when you have so many gadgets, was pedestrian!

After I fumed and gave him like 30 million dirty looks in the rearview mirror, he finally started asking for directions. We reached the hotel just in time for Pickle’s dinner and didn’t have much time for anything else. Our stay in Darjeeling was really great as we ate (of course), drank (was there a doubt) and made merry amidst the hills in a beautiful weather.

From Darjeeling we headed towards Gangtok. The drive was beautiful the first half of it was literally on the banks of the River Teesta. A slight drizzle, the gurgling noises from the river and hot cups of Chai made it perfect. Though I am not a tea drinker, I figured when in Rome and all that. However, the chai from the roadside tapris were so much better than the ones poured out in our hotels.

Anyway, we managed to reached our hotel in Gangtok sometime after lunch and had enough time to unwind. We spent the remaining day/evening sorting out the paperwork for our Journey to Nathula and then hogged brilliant bacon-chicken burgers and bacon platters at a café on the MG Marg. The next day was spend in the Nathula trip which surely was the trip of a lifetime. Evening was hogging time again, along with some souvenir shopping. The last day in Gangtok was a bonus since we had planned to go up to Lachung but had to cancel at the last moment due to bad weather and landslides. So we shifted hotels ( to a much more luxurious one – T’s compromise for dragging me on the trip) and spent the day like regular tourists, doing touristy thing.

On our journey back we went to Lava which is a Forest resort in West Bengal and spent two whole days decompressing and relaxing in total isolation before our trip back home. It took us two more days to finally get home and though I had started the trip with a truck load of apprehensions and even subjected T to a full blown tantrum in the very beginning of it, I was so very happy that he actually decided to do the trip by road.

We spent the next whole week unpacking, retelling incidents, reminiscing and gloating over our loot of Sikkim Rum and Musk Brandy. Though it was hectic, it was definitely the trip of a lifetime and the mother of all road trips… yet!

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Lava – West Bengal Forest Resort

Oh kay…. Resort is a little stretched, Forest however, bang on! And… it was COLD, contrary to what its name might lead someone to believe.

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This gorgeous place is isolated and so far away from civilization (not really because right outside there is like a whole gamut of restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops…but in theory it is pretty far) that it makes for an awesome tech free family vacation. The cottage was an adorable little thing with just a bed, blankets and a geyser in the bathroom. With mist all around and nothing much to do we un-winded and geared up for our drive back home which was sure to be a pain in all the wrong places, quite literally!

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The food is served in a small canteen there and needs to be ordered before hand. However, if you don’t mind the walk, you can always go down the hill to eat at one of numerous restaurants there. Feel free to hog and overeat cause the walk up the hill will take care of it. We did try to venture out the next day to visit a tea garden but the heavy rains decided for us and we returned after only taking pictures of it. The slimy creatures all over, the deafening silence and the night long power cuts were the only inconveniences we faced and only because Pickle made us switch on our flashlight for the whole night because he hates the dark.

Though a very relaxing getaway, we sure were thankful to be leaving it and didn’t mind an early start. From Lava we headed towards Siliguri and went through the same painful stretch where we were literally sitting for hours. After driving like crazy and doing a lot of off-roading, we managed to reach the hotel we had planned to stay the night at. A hotel bed has never been this alluring in my life. The next day, another early start and a long long… long journey later we finally reached home. The drive was pretty eventful since we literally ate breakfast, of chocos and cold milk out of a tin mug, in the car, munched through hot wings bought from a KFC on the way and I got to do an entire stretch of driving while T ‘tried’ to sleep. Of course it was only for 40 minutes but the most active ones in Pickle’s day, so I got to enjoy T’s condition from afar!!!

Overall the whole roadtrip was fabulous and I can’t wait to do more… ok… not really. This was kinda enough for this year… or maybe not. With Leh and Rajasthan on the cards, you never know.

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By the river Teesta…. I sat down and peed!!!

Well of course NOT REALLY. Though I could probably write a whole book about the places and the manner in which one could pee while on a road trip, the banks of the river Teesta didn’t make the cut. The title was just too awesome to let go.

From Darjeeling we took off around 8 towards Gangtok. The drive was beautiful with the Teesta keeping us company most of the way. We bypassed Kalimpong since there wasn’t much to do and we really wanted to reach Gangtok by lunch. Once we entered Sikkim, except for the winding roads and high altitude, it was like any other city, bustling with energy.

This time around, to save himself from the wrath of my fury, T asked around and we managed to find our Hotel in time. We stayed at the Sikkim Delight- by Mango and weren’t that impressed. Though a very good budget hotel with good basic amenities, the food was plain horrible and after that one lunch we decided not to eat in ever. After a light snooze we headed towards the MG Marg, the most happening place in town and weren’t disappointed. The first order of business was to figure out our passage to Nathula and the folks at the Tourist Information Office were very helpful. Under their direction we headed towards the Army Cantt to figure out passes for us and our vehicle. Though we had to wait for a while, it was worth it.

Armed with passes and giddy about the fact that we could travel to Nathula on a Tuesday without the civilian crowd, we hunted for a nice place for our meal. Guides online suggested The Baker’s café and we were thoroughly impressed. Pickle enjoyed a veggie pasta in white sauce while T dived into the mouth watering pork platter. Though I had to wait a while for my big chicken and bacon burger, it was worth it. What was surprising that they took their last order at 7:15, we were literally the last people to enter. In fact, T had gone ahead to check out the place and while I was still climbing the stairs, the staff was putting the ‘Closed’ sign on the door.

The next day we started around 6:45 am and had to wait a while for our vehicle pass. Then we started towards Nathula. The journey took us around 4 hours and was as breathtaking as it was scary. The roads, contrary to popular belief, were perfectly maintained, thanks to the Army folks stationed there. We had absolutely no trouble reaching the Pass by 10 am. It was a surreal experience up there. With our Defence background, we did get a few privileges not offered to the general public.

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My very first snow

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At Nathula Pass

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The steaming glass of tea, the slight drizzle, Pickle exclaiming “Too cold mumma too cold” and the warmth of the soldiers there made that one visit the most memorable one. On our way back we stopped for the customary roadside chowmein and cuppa tea. Also visited the Baba mandir and the Tsomgo Lake.

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The rain did dampen our clothes and shoes but not our spirits. We made it back to our hotel in good time and went gallivanting once more on the MG Marg.

After a lot… and I mean a LOT of souvenir shopping (during which I sifted through 100s of fridge magnets and selected one, only to discover that it was one of “Bhutan” instead of Sikkim), we went to The Square for Dinner and loved it. They made a killer Cuba Libre and the little sausages wrapped in bacon were simply blissful.

The next day we visited the Rumtek Monastery and shifted to another hotel nearby, The Suhim Portico. This hotel definitely made up for all the crappy ones on the way, not that there were any but you know what I mean.

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That night we managed to buy our hoard of Sikkim Rum and musk brandy. We also dined at this little place called “The Taste of Tibet” courtesy TripAdvisor.

The next day we started off towards Lava. Though short, our stay in Gangtok has definitely left us wanting for more. If you guys ever plan on visiting Sikkim, please do not miss Nathula Pass. We didn’t manage to go to Lachung due to bad weather but it wasn’t all that bad. The fact that Pickle got to say Hello… and Salute… to the Chinese Guard at the border totally made up for it.

Darling Darjeeling

Of course the title is cheesy but isn’t Darjeeling like THE honeymoon destination in India? And I totally get it. The mist, the hills, fresh air and winding roads make for some really cozy moments. Add to it the hotel rooms with no fan or AC and just 322 blankets and you have to perfect excuse to laze around and just be cozy in a cocoon.

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We stayed in a hotel called The Traveler’s Inn. Of course it wasn’t the Mayfair but it had a clean room, clean blankets, room service and a view to die for.

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I was actually miffed for a while since there were no fans in the room (yes I am the types who loves to sleep with the fan on, no matter what the season). However, as night fell and temperatures sank I was suddenly grateful that there weren’t any fans. Out came the woolen socks, the heavy sweatshirts and stayed on till the break of dawn which was pleasantly around 4 am. I am so gonna live on the eastern hills… day begins around 4 and is done by 6 in the evening – how perfect!

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Since we didn’t have any time the day (evening) we checked in (thanks to T’s stubborn refusal to ask for directions), we had a hot dinner and tucked in. The dinner was weird. It looked great, smelled great and even had proper masalas but I couldn’t find any taste in it. It was really disappointing. The next day we left immediately after a pathetic breakfast of idli (seriously??? I traveled all this distance to eat the same old IDLI??? The one above does have a sense of irony).

We drove to the HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute) which also housed the Zoo. Though there were not many (or any) animals to look at, Pickle had a ball of a time running around. After the customary snaps, souvenirs and gobbling of snacks we decided to head back. the one mistake we did was take our own car… There are loads of one ways and turns and so when T tried to get the car back to the entrance to pick us he got stuck. We whiled away our time observing crazy people around (not crazy-crazy, just the touristy kind) and eating hot pakoras and home made buns. We reunited after nearly an hour and headed towards a parking lot. we had learnt our lesson and figured we rather park our car and carry on without it.

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Strolling through the mall road was so much fun. I gave away more of our money to buy useless crap and then luckily found ourselves in front of Glenary’s. This restaurant or bakery is a heritage landmark in Darjeeling. Of course we didn’t know it till we walked in and read about it. Our rumbling tummies led us well. We finally tucked in and started our vacation properly with Chinese Chopseuy, Beef chilly and a smoking chicken steak, Pickle had to be content with rice and Dal makhani. I discovered the lip smacking delicacies of the bakery downstairs along with beef and pork pickles, yum yum!!!

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After over eating and also packing up stuff we finally walked out and strolled aimlessly for a while before remembering that there were more things to look at. We hired a cab and visited the Peace Pagoda and the Japanese temple (the only ones on my list of to-see). It really was the ‘peace’ pagoda. The climate helped, with the mist floating around the temple and the pagoda seemed heavenly.

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After our short sightseeing we headed back to the hotel. Though we wanted to dine at the famous Revolver hotel, they weren’t taking any walk ins due to a busy season. We quickly turned to trip advisor and discovered this adorable café called – Gaty’s café. Now it is so hidden that you won’t trip on it during your strolls. You will really need to look for it to find it. The entrance is a little dark and dingy but once inside it you will soon warm up. It is like being in the soul of a true roadster. The décor along with the food/wine menu felt absolutely perfect. We toasted with the Old monk and waited for our food to arrive. Pickle loved his Pita and hummus as we dug into the platter of super spicy wings!

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The two day stay was too short but just enough for us to get addicted to this beautiful place. We missed the tea garden tours but our goose hunt around the hill station the day before made us feel like we had seen it all!

House by the sea

I love transfers. Though most of the people I know hate it, I seem to thrive on it. I love the idea of going to new places, meeting new people and making a whole new batch of memories. However, with T’s present job it didn’t seem likely that we would be transferred out anytime sooner. So we did the next best thing, we shifted our house. The shift happened during a bad time since I was still limping from my ankle sprain and was too disoriented to think straight. It did take us 2 whole weeks but we finally settled in. And if I am allowed to brag (well of course I am… my blog and all that), my home now looks absolutely gorgeous. However, the view from it is the highlight.

Here are a few snaps of it to make you drool (or not).

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The view from the balcony

Break ke baad…

So I sprained my ankle… AGAIN. However, this time it was with a twist, pun intended. The sprain was not just severe but also on top of an old injury which complicated the matter. The sad part was not the fact that I was supposed to be on bed rest for three weeks (Pishhhh!!!) but the fact that it was during the week full of crazy adventures (meaning ordering food and going out for random drives) with my neighbor who was leaving town soon.

Since I was asked not to put any weight on my ankle, I had to devise ways to get around the house to do my regular stuff. Pickle’s Panda bike came to my rescue as I could easily prop up my foot and then whiz around. He wasn’t too happy about it and kept hiding the bike. After nearly two weeks of dragging my ass (and foot) around on it I realized that the doctor (for a change) was right and this sprain was not going away in a day or two (as I had bravely proclaimed while refusing pain killers). So I looked around and found a kind stranger who lent me a wheelchair. Life was so much better after that. Once I had mastered rolling out chapatis while sitting on the chair, everything was back to normal except for my right foot which was twice its size and refused to get back to normal. You can’t imagine how frustrating it is for a restless person like me to have restrained movement. It makes me grumpy, irritated and a total jerk… (yes I am those things even when I have operational body parts but on a lower level).

After a whole month, as I glided (ok… rolled around in a choppy motion murmuring rosy expletives under my breath) on the wheelchair I wondered out loud at least 5987 times a day if things could worse. Well my question was answered as our house shifting got approved (after 6 whole months of waiting during which I had a healthy ankle). It was quite a feat getting through the entire shift while limping on my twisted ankle and managing Pickle’s tantrums. Thanks to T we did it.

It’s now two months later and the tissue around my ankle is still swollen. Although I am able to walk around fine, I still can’t climb stairs. The new house however looks absolutely gorgeous and I also managed an entire road trip all the way from Vizag to Sikkim. I might need some more time to start dancing but life does seem better now!

So Long.

To Do!!!

Do you ever get the feeling that your life has suddenly been reduced to an unending to-do list?

Since the second I wake up in the morning, I am stuck to my lists. The bond is so strong that it has now started to feel like a part of me. Though I have always loved lists, their precise directives, motivation to get things done… off late they depress me.

The wish list that I come across every now and then keeps getting longer with things I really want to do but have to time or energy for.

The book list that keeps me anxious at night.

The bucket list of travels I save for and look forward to.

The ridiculous number of craft WIPs that just-won’t-get-completed!

The list of groceries that has absolutely no end.

The list of courses I want to finish before I grow too old and tired.

The ideas for the books I want to write someday.

The things I need to teach Pickle.

The gifts I want to buy for T.

The things I have to discuss with ma on our next call.

The broken taps and cupboards that need to be fixed.

The various “guys” that need to be called to fix the previously listed things.

The bills I have to pay every month.

The queries I have for the doctors.

The events and happenings I need to be a part of.

The stories I need to look up to be up to date with the world.

The words I have to look up before Pickle grows up and asks me.

The friends I need to ping and keep in touch with.

The ones I have to wish for their special days.

The recipes I need to try out.

The ventures I want to invest in.

The career options I need to consider.

The activities to line up for Pickle.

The places we have to visit.

The restaurants to try food at.

The DIYs I have to undertake.

You see what I mean? Do you ever see an end to these lists? The lazier ones among you will ask me to chuck out the lists! The ones with OCD will understand why I can’t.

Yes they do depress me because I have so little time and so much to do. But they also are a lifeline… they provide me with so much hope. They make me want to live it up each day (even if it is reading a book instead of partying).

Lists are crazy… they make me crazy… but also bring order to an otherwise chaotic life. Today morning driven crazy by my overflowing lists… I started another list:

Things to do:

  1. STOP MAKING LISTS
  2. STOP MAKING LISTS WHEN FRUSTRATED
  3. STOP BEING FRUSTRATED
  4. MAKE LISTS TO REDUCE FRUSTRATION

 

So long!

I give up!

I give up!!!

After waging a very civil and sarcastic (yes… me being sarcastic is me being civil ) war with my insensitive and weird neighbours which included posting mean blogs, updating whataspp DP with meaningful pictures and cribbing to anyone who would listen… I am finally ready to give up!

I tried. I tried talking TO them… then I tried talking AT them… and I even tried talking ABOUT them. However, nothing worked at all. Dealing with people in denial is a whole different ball game than dealing with insensitive or rude ones. When we tried discussing, we were asked to’research’ the source of sound. The ‘faulty construction’ of the building was blamed as well. Yes sweetheart… that’s what this is… the B-grade cement used in construction is the reason why things drop on your floor and your furniture keeps moving around in the middle of the night! And the low quality bricks used is why hammers keep falling on nails and elephants run wild in your house. My conviction in the presence of spirits is a way better reason than that at least!!!

When I finally stopped indulging in juvenile acts of putting up mean DPs, one of my oldest friends from engineering college told me not to give up. He reminded me of my college days and told me to make use of the reliable 3P tool! The 3 P’s being ‘Pee, poop and puke’. I agreed and set out to figure out a very creative plan to take back the silence. But it was nearly 9 at night and I fell asleep. In the morning it seemed stupid and I realised my friend was being idiotic as usual (Sorry S… You are a total ASS).

My juvenile reactions were no doubt a side effect of 2 months of sleep deprivation and the one day they didn’t let their pet hippo to stomp around at night, I did manage to sleep fitfully and then realised… it was no use! Why was I trying to civilize people when it barely made any difference. They will never change… and I will only end up wasting my time and energy on some very very dim people. Also, in the very unicorn-sitting-on-the-rainbow scenario, if I actually do manage to make them realise their folly and change… given the transferable nature of our jobs, I might not be around for long to actually reap what I sowed. And I am definitely not the selfless types to let someone else get the benefit of my hard work!!!

So, I officially gave up trying to sleep, get some peace at the end of my tiring day and waging my war to civilize human beings. Now I put my faith in karma and pray like crazy that insomnia becomes their best friend and their eyes have bags under them big enough to accommodate their pet hippo and baby elephant!

PS:  Nevertheless, a huge thanks to them for providing me with enough material to vent, rant and write two whole posts!!! You guys ROCK… literally!

Pending Project #5382

I love doing a million things at the same time, restless hand syndrome or something like that. So you will find the TV blaring while I dance and cook and read too! I usually also have at least 5 ongoing  craft projects. I don’t know whether you remember but sometime around 2 years back I started Pickle’s room project. Although I continued filling it with toys, various activity centres and other colourful decor, I kept postponing the painting part of it. Yesterday I finally took a break from work and decided to finish it.

It was a lot of fun… I taught Pickle how to use the paintbrush and now I have a brightly coloured streaked floor, bedsheet, t-shirt and various toys. He not only managed to do it without me noticing but also picked up a bright orange to do it. Still, it was really great with him around getting excited about “Poo” and “Piggy” as they started emerging…

Surprisingly it didn’t take as much time as I expected. After barely 6 hours of work, this is the outcome:

DSC_1222

Now, ever since I have been drawing/sketching/painting stuff… I seem to have a lot of difficulty with the facial features. I remember one time I drew an entire “Fair” ground painting with blank faces … I just don’t get it right. I even gave up portraits and cartoons because of this and concentrated only on landscapes for a long time.

Because of this I am really tempted to leave this as it is… dunno… let’s see if I do gather up the courage to draw the eyes and cute noses of Pooh and his friends…

Next aim is to paint some scene from Lion King. Though the scene atop the rock with Rafiki holding little Simba is the best, I am really tempted to paint the one with Simba, Pumba and Timon strutting their bums!!!

 

01 Jan 2016

It is that time of the year again when we make resolutions (to lose weight, smile more), reminisce the past  and hope with all our heart for a better time ahead.

Being a defence brat, the best part of my dad’s job (contrary to popular belief) was that it was transferable. I absolutely loved the idea that I could live in a new place, make new friends, learn new stuff and then move on before it became a monotonous routine. Every time we moved, I was more excited about the new place than of the things I was leaving behind. In hindsight, I think it was mostly because I looked forward to another chance, a chance to do things the right way… or maybe just better. There were lessons I learnt in a place and then implemented in the next one in the hope that it would be perfect. It never was, every place came with its own set of challenges, experiences and even mistakes.

New years are like that… we take stock of what has passed, offer our gratitude for the blessings we have had, count the strengths we have gained from surviving the challenges and close chapters on our losses! And then like the year before, we move on… with hope.

As a family, we have had a beautiful year. Yes, T was away a lot which made it difficult but I finally started driving the Xylo (oh yeah dude… that is like a huge thing), I also managed to figure out the fuse box, learnt the art of making the maintenance staff work and wash and cut a whole chicken without using gloves! Pickle is growing up way too quickly but it is the most astounding part of our lives right now.I used to worry about the effects of T’s absence on Pickle, but then I realised… Pickle was just being inducted into the defence way of life… And I’m proud to say he is turning out to be a perfect defence brat himself.

On a more personal front I discovered that I have a secret hoard of patience which is inexhaustible when Pickle is concerned. That I am turning out to be a pretty good parent and that I do manage to do pretty well when need arises. I rediscovered my love for books, music and poetry, learnt new crafts, managed to learn and cook a lot of new dishes and also started out a more healthier routine (and followed it through).

So I guess it’s time for my resolutions of the year to come. Instead of simply stating them, I have decided to categorise them…

  1. one resolution that I can break every five minutes : Not to swear  ( just to make sure I break it I am mumbling WTF under my breath every five minutes… whoever said breaking resolutions was fun…)
  2. one resolution that will help someone else : To volunteer for some NGO work, online or offline. To donate stuff more often instead of being lazy and stacking them under the bed and “plan” to donate them!
  3. one resolution that brings out the child in me: To sing loudly in the shower (some good songs instead of incy wincy spider)
  4. one resolution that makes me a healthier person: To take up one physical activity that motivates me to get up from the couch! ( I wonder if watching the TV standing makes the cut)
  5. one resolution that lets me indulge : To binge eat ice cream once a month without fail!!! ( ooh… maybe it should be every week… day???)
  6. one resolution that I will keep till the end of this year : To keep in touch more effectively, maybe even revert to handwritten cards and letters (can’t wait to use all the inland letters I have in stock… wait… are they still used???)
  7. one resolution that helps me learn something new: To learn a new language and clay modelling
  8. one resolution that marks the growth in me: To stop my mind from wandering over random useless thing and to stops stressing over things that don’t matter in the bigger picture (or maybe it should be to stop being a total Bitch…? Nah… I’m great at it)
  9. one resolution that I can break in six months and not feel bad: To lose the last few Kgs of my baby weight. Two piece bikini… here I come)
  10. one resolution that is long overdue: To start writing my journal seriously again. (No peeking T)

There… I have finished the obligatory new year post… and thanks for reading… now go back to your mindless TV watching…

Here’s wishing all my faithful readers ( the plural is a little too optimistic… but what the hell… it IS a new year) a very very happy and prosperous new year… May this new year make me write more stupid posts that you enjoy reading.

Love you all.

ps: The only reason I wrote today’s date as the title is cause ever since I stopped working I never find the need to write a date… anywhere!

pps: this post started out as a matured and wisdom-y thing but I still managed to drag it down to my level

ppps: seriously??? you are still reading this?

pppps: Okay seriously guys… you’re great and I love you but stop reading and go back to what you were doing

ppppps: Ha!!! Gotcha!!!

pppppps: I love post-scripts and now I have literally lost the count of Ps …

 

!@#$ thy Neighbors!!!

Okay I have been too polite about this way longer than required. Just cause the big book told me to be nice to my neighbors (no…not that one… the society handbook!) I have been extremely patient… but wake me in the middle of my beauty sleep for the 6718th time and you will have to deal with the beast in me!!!

One of the greatest perils of living in an apartment building with neighbors (or clog wearing frisky baby elephants) living upstairs is the abundance of weird and at times scary noises at pretty much every second of the day! From the time they wake up till they wake me up at midnight from my deep sleep and force me to write obscene things about them on the internet cause I can’t go back to sleep, I don’t think there is a single second of slience… EVER!!!

It’s all about the civic sense you have. Like common sense, it lacks in nearly 99.9 percent of people around. However, unlike common sense, it can be and should be taught in schools and people who don’t pass the test shouldn’t be let out in the civilised world! Seriously!!! How difficult is it to just remember that there are people living under your floor. Oh the arrogance and ignorance of the people living on the upper floors! I really want to take my power drill and drill a few holes on the terrace at 4 am tomorrow just cause I can!!!

Since I am on the first floor with people living downstairs, I am always extremely careful about things.

  • I don’t walk barefoot since I have a heavy tread( yeah right!!! ha ha ha)
  • Pickle isn’t allowed to ride his bike after 7 in the evening or before 10 in the morning and NEVER in the bedroom!
  • The days I need to hammer anything on the walls I make it a point to inform them and even take permission in case it is late in the night.
  • My downstairs neighbour, a total sweetheart, messages me to be a little quieter on the days her kid isn’t feeling too well and I always oblige.

But somehow I have had the beautiful luck of being blessed with upstairs neighbours who have absolutely no civic sense or decency. With both sets I have take the pains of messaging politely about the noise they were cause after 10 in the night. I even went personally to talk to them with a crying and sleepy Pickle to politely point out that the noise wasn’t letting him sleep… The previous neighbours said sorry and that their daughter was riding her bike around, with training wheels on!!! DUH!!! Ask her to stop… she is your daughter… like seriously!!!

The new neighbours simply denied creating any noise. So I told them to get their house exorcised cause if they weren’t making those loud weird noises, there was clearly some spirit living under their floors!!! But frankly I think people should be a little more caring towards others around… especially when you are living around them or above them! I can do a million things to annoy the hell out of you guys… grrr….

  • My love for death metal can awaken at wee hours of the morning … on my absolutely brilliant surround sound home theatre
  • I might take to playing squash on the ceiling
  • I could try nailing every freaking frame on the ceiling instead of the side walls
  • I could practice my skill at the kill-the-spider-on-the-ceiling-with-the-hammer

But I don’t… cause I’m being NICE… Now that I can’t sleep no more… I have to find something less destructive to while away my time… which probably means no more mean posts about my neighbors and definitely no midnight snacking on tubs of ice cream….Hmmm…. eh…. maybe just one spoon!!!

ps: I updated my whatsapp profile pic to this… I know it’s mean.. but so is waking me and Pickle up in the middle of our night!!!

To all upstairs people – Be kind and stop stomping around

To all the others – sleep tight !@$$%%#@$$##

 

 

Dear Dog Lovers…

I am terrified of dogs. Period.

When I say I’m scared and keep the dog away, I mean it LITERALLY! It is not a request for you to demonstrate how cuddly and harmless your dog is. People have different opinions, likes, dislikes, fears and joys in life, accept it and move on. Don’t accept it but pretend you do and then bitch about it behind my back, “Whatttttt? She is scared of this adorable little thing?”. By the way, your adorable little thing dog is huge and scary to me (Okay… I just heard it and it SO doesn’t sound right… so I’m gonna go back and edit it a little).

Almost every dog owner I meet seems to be on a mission to get people to like their dogs. Dude!!! I am not gonna… so quit it and move along. You don’t know me, you don’t know my past, so stop judging and giving me that oh-she’s-crazy-cause-she-doesn’t-like-dogs look. Maybe I have had a bad experience with them… and which is why I am terrified of even that tiny sausage dog who only wants to lick my ankle. Or maybe I’m allergic to them. Or maybe, and this is one of those ridiculous yet feasible ones, I just don’t Like them!!! (ok take that nasty look off your face dude…. It’s just a dog) (ooh…”just a dog”???). Or maybe I was just born this way (Haaa!!! Deal with that you Dogist-or-something-like-that!!!).

Alright, if it makes you feel better, I don’t like cats either (hey cat-loving people… chill, I shall defend my tastes and address your love for your feline friends in some other post). And since I am here already, I also do not care too much about monkeys or giraffes or horses or elephants! I am not saying I hate them or anything. Trust me I do enjoy those cute videos and clips of these animals doing the most adorable things. However, that bit of fondness exists as long as they are only on my screen and nowhere near me.

I know… somebody did say that man was the most dangerous animal and so on (too lazy to type a reference note so just google it yourself) but I don’t care. I still can’t seem to pet these creatures without feeling apprehensive. I also know you love your mutt very very much but try and keep that love to yourself. Stop trying to convert me. Trust me, even pushing me into a cage of adorable puppies isn’t going to change my view or my irrational (if you say so) fear of them. So back off and keep your grubby paws and wet noses out of my business!!!

I don’t try to shove my fondness for lizards on to you, do I ? Maybe I should… I’m gonna get lizards and grasshoppers and beetle bugs and cute little crickets and release them onto you the next time you tell me, “don’t worry he is very gentle, he doesn’t bite… in fact he barely knows that he is a dog… he thinks he is a tiny baby”. Yeah right!!! That tiny baby is 6 ft tall when he stands on his hind legs and stinks worse that Pickle’s Poop!!! (ooh now that gives me another idea, maybe I should store some of Pickle’s poop… hmmm)

So, dear doggie people (no I don’t mean you, you mutt, I was talking to your owner), I respect the fact that you love your dogs. So much that you feel comfortable about letting your pet bite/lick/scratch your guests or allowing it to spray your guests drinks with their cute hair or keeping a maid just so that you’re not bothered with the whole walk business or even buying the most expensive PINK collar for them. I just request you to understand (or not) the fact FACT that I don’t. Judge me all you want, but just keep them away.

ps: Dear PETA, you don’t have anything to worry. I am too scared of them to even hurt them. In fact when instructed by T to throw stones at the strays to keep them away, I accused him of trying to get me killed since I sincerely believe if I hit the dogs, they WILL come after me and murder me in my sleep.

pps: I am seriously thinking of getting a monitor lizard as a pet, shoving it at people’s face and saying, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t bite. It is Totes Adorbs (Thanks M for this phrase… it is Totes Adorbs!!!).

ppps: Okay I am not entirely sure whether Lizards bite or not. I am just so tired to google it now (come on people, it’s like 5 in the morning).

pppps: I am already designing the “Beware of Monitor Lizard” sign in my head.

ppppps: Will T be on board with the idea? Maybe I will use the you-haven’t-got-me-a-single-gift-in-6-years chip to get him onboard

pppppps: Need to google compatibility with a 2 year old who thinks everything in the world is supposed to be eaten

ppppppps: Need to research recipes of monitor lizard just in case the above does happen, cause I am sure T would want a bite as well

pppppppps: Oh crap, now I have to write a Dear-Monitor-Lizard post to apologize and another letter to PETA to assure them that I mean absolutely no harm!

Disclaimer: In spite of my, ahem, “irrational” fear of dogs, I absolutely LOVE all the dog-loving people in my life and wouldn’t dream of hurting their feelings. It is ridiculously early right now and my thinking could be biased/damaged/mental!!! So if you’re a dog lover and find this funny, I love you more. If you don’t then… ummm I think I need medical help (??)!

Gifting guide for husbands

I am brilliant at giving gifts ( and bragging about it). I almost always manage to find the best combination of useful, well-priced and thoughtful presents for my loved ones(unless you are not someone I am really fond of and then you only get some weird bouquet of flowers or some random gift from some random store ).

For T’s birthdays, valentines and our anniversaries, I usually do a lot of research to come up with perfect gifts… something that he loves, something that he truly needs and something that shouts out loud how much I adore him. So from naming stars in the sky after him, hand stitching a complete memory quilt to getting him the perfect set of wooden cuff links for our wooden anniversary I usually manage to top myself every year.

T however (like pretty much all the guys I know) falls short in this department. His usual excuses are lack of time/energy… or the most used, “you have very unique taste in things and I don’t want to insult you by not meeting your expectations”! Seriously ??? As lousy as he is with gifts, he does have a way with words.

Last week in an attempt to hide my weight issues I figured buying new clothes will be much easier and convenient than trying to think of excuses for not exercising. As I raked up quite a hefty charge on T’s card ( mine miraculously disappears during such outings), he thoughtfully nodded at the number and made the grave mistake of saying, “I did want to get you here for your birthday shopping… good that we finally made it”. This was his very lame attempt at making up for the fact that he once again (6th time in row) managed to NOT get me something nice for my birthday.

I snorted, in a very un-lady-like-sinetheta kind of way and rolled my eyes at him to indicate that this is NOT a birthday gift. He gave me those cute puppy dog eyes and said, “But isn’t this better, I pay you shop?” Well on any ordinary day… YES!!! It is awesome (apart from the fact that I absolutely hate shopping and usually manage to avoid it by wearing my mom’s stuff till she goes and buys my stuff). But it’s a definite NO-NO for special occasions. After all T’s not my aunt from the faraway land who sends me money to spend on my birthday (Now I wish I did have such an aunt…).

Also, after marriage most guys take us for granted and forget that we need someone to make us feel special and precious. So to help out T (of course this won’t really work since apart from lousy gift-giving talent he also has a I-totally-forgot-what-you-said skill) and the other guys I know, here’s a list of Do’s and Dont’s for Gifting your special lady.

(In case you are a guy and hoping I would create a similar list for girls/women, sorry boss!!! We women are awesome at whatever we buy, whether it is the 10th brown wallet or the 5th green T-shirt. Plus you guys barely have that many choices and the fact that we are your special ones… is a gift for your lifetime. So there’s no need for such a list and if you want one, go write your own blog! Pfffttttt)

  • If you can use it, it is NOT a gift

Now a DSLR is a good thing but do you promise that you won’t touch it unless it is to click my fabulous DPs? No? That’s it… Not a gift.

  • It’s not the House’s Birthday.

A mixer, a TV, an Invertor are things that you use for the betterment of the household… So kindly do not buy expensive vacuum cleaners and call it a gift for my pretty hands!!!

  • I literally have a 1000 gift lists (and so does every other girl out there)

Ok 1000 is probably an exaggeration, its more like… a 100… or maybe 5…? Well I do have wish lists on every shopping app… That’s more than enough. And you have my passwords (at least the ones to my public wish lists). CHECK them dodo!!! They are not for me to remember what to buy but to guide you about what I WANT. So do us both a favour and go through them. Of course everything’s costly on the list… why else would it be a wish list? If those were affordable they would be on my already-bought list.

  • Clothes are not really gifts

Unless they are exorbitantly priced and something I wouldn’t normally buy out of consideration for your sweat and labor spent in earning the monthly salary. Yes the Label matters… What can I say, I am a material Gurl!!!

  • A little twinkle always works

Remember the adage (or is it a proverb? Fact? The holy truth?) “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. When in doubt… always think GLITTER! The more the merrier!!!

  • Books

They are amazing things to buy for me since I LOUUUWWE them … ( and here comes the…) but, they are more like the weekly/monthly groceries we buy not exactly a gift stuff unless it is a first edition/autographed/sat on/smooched by copy of my favorite book. A 100 books might make the cut off though 😉

So unless you are absolutely sure, don’t assume they would make great gifts for your lady.

  • Flowers DIE 😦

First : I hate flowers, they give me the heebie-jeebies and make me sneeze.

Second: When they die I have to buy more for their funeral and beh… it’s just a sad little circle of life right in my living room.

That said, I do appreciate a bouquet or two even without any special occasion ( as long as you clean up the mess before I wake up the next day).

  • Snuggly wuggly?

We are all cute and total kids at heart. You will still find that special someone standing on our bedside table wherever we are and however old we are. So yeah, a soft toy is a good idea … when accompanying the REAL gift not as a standalone.

  • Techie Jazz

An Ipod for a music lover, a kindle for a bookworm, a fitness band for the health freak , all make amazing gifts. Take some time out to personalize them to make them seem less cold and more cozy. Fill them with her favorite music, books or apps to let her know you care!

  • Stuff made with love!!!

Paint something, mixed tapes (or CDs/iPods) still rule, bake a cake (even the salty ones will do), give her a spa day, a day off from housie stuff will do too. The point is to take out some time and put some effort into the gift.

Okayyyy the list kind of turned out to be more of a “me” list (once again). But I am sure you guys will find some useful nugget of information if you dig down real deep.

Now that you know-it-all, go and buy me something pretty!

Roadtrip #2: Kochi

I was still reeling from all the boozy haze of Goa’s loot when T managed to wriggle out another week of holiday. I found myself in the car once more with loads packed up for our roadtrip to the beautiful Kochi. Though you might think I was getting better at packing up for roadtrips… It wasn’t so very true. I still managed to pack every thing I could imagine us needing there along with a truck load of yarn for my crocheting projects. When would I find time for all that… was least of my concerns.

20150727_072059_1

We drove straight to Vellore and stayed there overnight. It was a nostalgic time since I was back to where I spent four glorious years during my engineering. However, I was nearly shocked (not just surprised) to see the changes in that small town. I still remember the looks we used to get just for wearing jeans and now there were huge hotels, flyovers and malls too.

The second leg of the journey was absolutely gorgeous when we passed through the green fields and an amazing number of CCds (any sanitary stop on the way is a big blessing for my bladder). We stayed at the Deshadan resort where our cottage was beautiful and the water was like right there.

I also managed to get the whole body ayurvedic massage which was heavenly! The food was yummilious as well. We however ventured out for some of our meals and discovered these great places. There was one Cassia Hotel where we ate a buffet lunch for 300 odd bucks and it had chicken, prawns and fish!!! Of course we went back the second day as well so gorge some more.

We had another booking at the Turtle dove resort for just a day. Now a fair warning, this is the place you would love if you want no room service or wi fi to disturb you in the room and if you want to be lulled into your sleep by the nature’s noises outside. Being a little around the rainy weather a lot of slimy things were making their way out of their holes and it was a teensy bit irritating.

Their private beach however made up for the absence of room service.

We found this bakery around which had a restaurant on top. They too had a beautiful buffet- complete with beef, chicken, mutton and fish- only for 240 Rs. The only condition was that we couldn’t eat for more than an hour!!! It was like a dream come true… We hogged and hogged without any regard of the fact that we would be on the road the next day with no proper toilets on the route!

Of course we paid the price of our hunger pangs… and got delayed on the road since we kept stopping for bathroom breaks (not a nice feeling at all). But it was SO WORTH IT!!!

We did spend some time in the city as well… the beautiful malls and restaurant kept calling out to us but sadly we didn’t have the time. I managed to buy 50 books from Kerala Book house and also some 2 Kilos of freshly ground coffee. The synagogue, Chinese nets and all the other attractions were visited and carefully photographed too. I was definitely sad to leave Kochi, not just for the food but also for the fresh air and greenery.

We do hope to make it back once more someday…

Social irritants (JBB)

Ok, I recently discovered that there are actual people in this world who are so jobless and pathetic that they get together and plan their meanness because they have nothing better to do than poking their ugly noses in others’ business. (Boy!!! am I in an bad mood).

A few weeks back I met two women in the shopping complex. Unfortunately it was a really bad day for me ( PMS, Maid issues, Hubby away for too long etc). After the usual small talk they said that Pickle looked like T. I usually don’t ever comment on such observations but one of them went on and on about how his eyes and nose and chin and hair were an exact replica of my hubby. Now I love T, like a lot… but Pickle looks nothing like him. Other than his complexion he is pretty much his own self with maybe a few things that are similar to mine… his round face and pudgy nose. But everytime people see him they feel the ridiculous need to compare him with T just ’cause he is so fair.

As I said, I usually overlook these comments since it barely mattes. But that day was not a good one for me and I kinda got pissed off. Worse, I let it show on my face as I said bye and walked off rudely. Anyway, the day passed by and it would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been for another incident exactly a day later. I met another lady of the same group and she literally started her conversation with the words, “I’m so sorry”. I was quite confused as I asked her the reason. She replied, “I am sorry that your son looks nothing like you. He is an exact replica of his dad”. That’s when it struck me that these useless, jobless ladies had actually got together over chai-pani or whatever and discussed my irritation. Then they had come up with the whole plan to diss me off further. Imagine that!!!

Anyway, I told her that it just proved that it WAS really my husband’s child and if Pickle did look like me it wouldn’t be a good thing ’cause he would just end up looking too feminine… not something I would want for my boy. Then before she could take her foot out of her mouth and say another word, I walked off. Oh I would have loved to stay and give her a piece of my mind but I figured if they all were so bored that “I” was their best gossip story then I shouldn’t really kick them when they are down!

Anywho… I am hoping they leave me alone next time.

Life is a DIY

I sometimes have the feeling that our whole life is a DIY project of sorts. First our parents try their hand at it. Once they reach a certain level of sophistication OR complication, they call us adults and hand it over to us.

It’s almost like life, the actual project, consists of these smaller DIY projects which are usually always a WIP. Some attain the objective and meet a successful end while others are carefully maintained in a WIP status till the very end cause we don’t want them to end. Then there are the failed projects which at times we give up after losing hope and the others we start over and over again till we get it right.

I guess that is enough nonsense for today 🙂 I have a crochet shrug and a stain glass painting to get back to.

So long!

Raising Pickle

Pickle is 18 month old and is quite capable of keeping me on my toes every second of the day. Apart from the constant exhaustion and ridiculous amount of joy with him around, I have been learning so much. I am learning about babies, raising them and of course about my own self. I have decided to give my mommy self a little more space to grow and keep her away from my usual nagging, cribbing and bitching self. Just so that you guys don’t get too confused about the multiple roles I am playing these days… you can now hop over to my other blog to know what’s new with Pickle.

So long.

Random musings on a rainy day

It’s a beautiful rainy day and I am so sleepy that I might resort to propping my eyelids up with matchsticks like cartoon characters do. But when you have a hyper 18 month old running around the house in his diaper, you rather not close your eyes for even a single second since that second might be the only one he needs to pee on the carpet, stuff a crayon in his nostril or break the teeny liquor bottles you’ve put on display.

At times like these I take up conversing with myself about various random nonsense to remain awake. Right now I’m  narrating Pickle’s life. I know it sounds stupid but think about it. What if he grows up to be this talented writer and he happens to dedicate an entire book to his truly awesome mother, yours truly! He would probably end up writing something like this,

My earliest memory of ma is of a rainy day when she sat crocheting a cardigan for me. I remember looking at her face, which was too dark since the light was behind her, and wondering how she would react when she finally found out that I did potty ( a pretty big shitload) while successfully jamming the piece of orange putty in my ear.”

Or maybe this,

I remember the way ma used to scream. Of course it was years later that I finally discovered that it was her “normal” volume but to my baby ears it seemed like she never…. ever… stopped screaming.”

Or if he loves me too much, maybe this,

I do not remember when exactly I started talking but I do have a feeling a learnt it really early so that I could finally stop my mother from speaking continuously… at all hours of the day… or night!!!

And if he hates me, it would go something like this,

I probably farted for the first time when I was a month old. I was startled that my tiny body could make such a loud noise and eventually ended up crying. My mommy, true to her evil self found a brilliant opportunity in my misery. From then on, every time there was a strange smell around I would see her pointing at me and blaming me for it… and my dadda actually believed her :(.

Now, I do realise that this might seem like utter nonsense to you but then who said it had to mean something deep?

Bombay Velvet – A Review.

Did you happen to watch the trailer of this movie? It is absolutely Fabulous!!! Ranvir has that Shammi Kapoor look, every thing looks beautifully retro, there is so much magic that it totally entices you and makes you want to watch the movie, whatever it may take.

I have watched a lot of crappy movies in my life. And there have also been times when I have loved the movies people trashed (Sanwariya is such an example). So when my friends told me that the movie was full of it, I didn’t trust them. I still went ahead and watched it. To say the Bombay Velvet is a poor and sad excuse for a movie, is definitely an overstatement. Except for the “look and feel” and maybe a few songs, there is barely anything to be watched. There is no storyline to speak of, I mean come on!!! Seriously??? All of THAT over a negative??? Seriously??? Seriously???

Casting was weird too… it was almost as if everybody was trying too hard to be all retro… so hard that they just felt … weird… and wrong somehow. Ranvir might have done a great job in Barfi, but he totally stunk up the place in this movie and I expected so much more from Anushka. Ok let’s get one thing straight… Karan Johar CANNOT ACT!!! So please let’s not even go there. The other characters were… literally “extras”.

Anurag kashyap put too much effort in getting the look right but barely paid attention to anything else. I am no expert of that era, so I won’t comment on it, but it just didn’t seem… right. He tried to overdo the gangsta stuff or whatever… it just didn’t make sense. See this is the mark of a bad movie, once it ends, you cannot remember anything about it!!! Absolutely nothing.

I wish I could say something good about it, but it has pissed me off so royally that I only look forward to someone else making fun of it. Now that I will really like! In case you too have been psyched with the movie, go watch Dil Dhadakne Do.

Dil Dhadakne Do – A review.

Zoya Akhtar You Rock!!!

Once in a while, you get to read a book or watch a movie that totally gets you and has that feel good factor about it. Dil Dhadakne Do is definitely one such film.

Although I love my books to be gory, thrilling and even mysterious, I prefer my movies to be light and airy with not much melodrama which is usual in every Bollywood Movie (even the copies and the remakes!!!). So I don’t generally watch Bollywood stuff. Recently two movie trailers caught my attention and thanks to the marketing team, I was really looking forward to watching both. One was Bombay Velvet and the other was Dil Dhadakne Do. While one was a total bust, the other made me come out of my self imposed hibernation and write this.

I remember watching the multi-cast movies like “Love Actually”, “Valentine’s Day” etc. and wondering when our movies will finally grow up. Thanks to Zoya, I have my answer now. This doesn’t mean there haven’t been good, matured movies before… Dil Chahta hain is a great example. However, with the recent crop of random movies I had totally lost faith. PIKU was in itself a great stepping stone as well. However, DDD made me smile… and laugh like a total lunatic… after a very long time. Although it made Pickle and T freak out a little but totally worth it.

Every facet of the movie is truly exceptional, the screenplay, the casting (Oh the casting!!! Anil Kapoor has completely astounded me. Priyanka and Shefali were their usual amazing selves… Ranveer… was Ranveer… more about him later… in fact I might just dedicate a whole post to him!!!), the dialogues (although a couple of them were a teeny weeny bit cheesy but for maybe the first time, I have seen a movie with such honest conversations and as I mentioned before, PIKU comes close too) and of course the songs. The movie in its entirety was truly worth the wait and the watch.

What struck me the most about the movie is that it was all so true. Alright we all do not have rich parents, or business backgrounds or cruises to fall in love on but we all do have parents who put on their good faces in public “for society’s sake” or that total lukkha younger brother who has no idea what he wants to do in life or that amazing sister/daughter who in spite of being an overachiever, is never on the forefront just cause she’s a girl. We also have fathers who bribe us into getting that prestigious “engineering” degree if not a girl, the mother who screams like a lunatic and slaps you while hugging you in fright and delight, the brother who is always our partner in crime come what may and the sister who feels it is her “duty” to keep everyone happy. We have all been on that side of the conversation when we kept silent although there was a shitload of stuff to be said, or times when we just hoped the others would speak their heart out instead of pretending everything was fine or the dilemmas we have faced when our hearts and minds have clashed over issues.

The little jokes, punchlines and even certain slapstick dialogues that peppered the movie were so in sync with the whole plot. Overall, I think this movie is going into my stash, the one which I often break open on rainy days or happy days or even sad days along with my blankie just to feel good about life. I would suggest you go and watch it if you want to watch something sensible and grown up. Of course there are still loopholes and other grey areas which if you want to nitpick, can be very helpful. But as they say, every heart beats with a different rhythm, so let it… Dil Dadhakne Do!!!

Roadtrip #1 : Goa!

I met T in 2009, got hitched the next year and kept planning to make a trip down to Goa every single year after that. Somehow we never did make it, it was either my job or his which kept us away. There was this one time when we even booked the tickets and hotels only to cancel them in the last minute since he got recalled. Well… that’s life!

Anywho… this April he suddenly called me up from work and told me he’s got his leave approved. Although it was last minute, we managed to book our room in Goa and the next day we simply loaded up our car and took off. Of course with Pickle around I had many misgivings and the thought of managing a toddler (inside a car, however big) for two whole days was already giving me an ulcer but we did it anyway. The only comforting part was that I could take as many things as I wanted to (my favorite part of road-tripping). So starting from a nail-cutter to 5 extra pillows were all graciously dumped into the car as we took off at 5 in the morning with the sun barely on the horizon. The journey, the stay and Pickle were all absolutely amazing. Pickle was pretty happy to be in the car and although he was a little cranky on the second day on the road, it was overall very manageable and exciting.

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We made a stop at Hyderabad overnight and still managed to reach Goa the next day by sundown. I have been to Goa twice before, first when Dad was posted there and I was a toddler running around in my underwear (that’s what my neighbours still tell me) and the second when I visited it with friends in 2008. This time however, it was a whole new experience. I fell in love with the place to say the least and I am not talking about the booze, pubs or any of the party scene that the place is usually associated with (ok maybe a little bit because of my favorite Old Monk). We had booked the “Mango Large” room in Jasminn hotel which is pleasant little placed tucked away in Betalbatim (close to Colva Beach). in South Goa.

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We were lucky to get a great deal on the room charges and the suite was very nice too. With a microwave and a refrigerator I was totally at home since I could easily whip up Pickle’s food in the room itself. We had 4 days to go around and spent every moment exploring the place. We did the usual touristy thing as well… the beaches, the museum and the churches.

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With Pickle our night outs were not feasible but we didn’t really mind since we managed to gorge heavenly food at some of finest places.

IMG_20150412_162019  La Plage, at Ashwem had a great menu. We however went there for their famous “Chocolate Thali” and the private beach.IMG_0180

Thalassa was this divine greek restaurant with a breathtaking view. We plan to stay at their huts the next time we’re in Goa.

                                       IMG_0197The Chocolate Thali at La Plage

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 The Fresh Catch at Thalassa. 

With Mickey’s right around the corner and our trips to Tito’s, Britto’s, Thalassa and La Plage, life was dreamy and perfect. We also stuffed ourselves with the famous Goan sausages and a lot of sea food. What we really loved about South goa was the homey feeling. People around were warm and friendly too. Yes, 4 days were far too less and we were already missing Goa by the time we reached Hyderabad on our way back.

Pickle was a total sweetheart and loved the beaches and the long drives. Although I did have my set of misgivings about the whole trip, I did have a, much required, relaxed time. Apart from dawdling around on beaches and over-eating delicious non-veg, we managed to catch up on some quality family time!

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Our Loot!!!

Already looking forward to the next time we are there!

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The death of privacy!!!

I don’t know whether it is due to the web of social media or the simple lack of civic/common sense that makes people completely ignore the privacy of others…

I’m really really pissed off and I figured this was the best place to rant about it. So I usually never post pickle’s Pic or videos online cause I don’t like sharing my personal moments with everyone. However, the moment I send something to people , they promptly forward it to everybody on their list. It is SOOOOOO INFURIATING!!!

Seriously!!! I am his Mother, I will alone decide who gets to see the cute and personal moments of his life. But somehow they don’t get it. WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD THEY DO THAT??? If they need to share, they can always show it to people… Imagine my disgust when I find that there are complete ALBUMS of my baby on random people’s phone and computer!!!

IT IS SO NOT FAIR!!! How in the world do you make people understand? It is just so disappointing and irritating when random people call you and tell you how cute your baby is since they receive all his pics and videos…

I really HATE this!!! I so want to share his growing moments with people but when they have no respect for his or my privacy… I don’t feel like doing it anymore.

If you can’t beat them, make them join u!!!

So, 2014 has flown away but Pickle’s weight hasn’t… yup I’m calling it “Pickle’s weight”. It is technically correct since it is the weight I put on while “making” him. Anywho, I tried everything from dieting (a chocolate slab at the end of each day is NOT cheating) to exercise routines (running after Pickle IS considered to be exercise), but the weight is sticking to me (it probably has grown real fond of me).

I believe the basic problem lies in the fact that as long as I am fit and healthy I really don’t mind that my arm fat jiggles on its own and I still look 5 month pregnant! And until I am fine with the extra weight, I don’t think I will be working too hard at losing it. So, now plan B… I’m gonna concentrate on making others fat!!!

Plan B:

1. Make delicious baked products and other fattening stuff

2. Offer them to all your pretty friends and neighbours

3. Eat it yourself too!!! (Ok this part might not really help me but… who can resist a chocolate caramel cake?)

4. Repeat from step 1 to 3 till they acquire as much weight as you want them to!

Wow, in a perfect world that is SO going to work… Anyway I’m off to bake a molten lava cake… Have fun!

Resolutions??? Nah…

I know it is a tad bit late for resolutions but what the hell, I am a full time mom, timelines barely exist for me!!!

So every year I have these set resolution that I never EVER follow. Seriously people… who has the time. If we didn’t follow it the last year, it is obvious that we didn’t have the time or energy and since we are still alive, it doesn’t need to be followed. Simple. Every year I decide to blog more often or exercise more or some random goody stuff that everyone loves to read.

2013 I only made one resolution, “To have my baby or conceive before the year end”. And as promised, Pickle promptly arrived before the year ended. In 2014 I was barely breathing, so I didn’t notice when the whole calendar changed.

This year promises to be quite exciting as Pickle is almost walking and will soon start talking hopefully. There are a couple of things I have planned to get done before the year ends… lets hope at least some of them get done.

  1. Take a trip to some random place. A trip to Goa with T and Pickle is long overdue.
  2. Make loads of Amigurumi. I do have plans to sell some of my crocheted stuff.
  3. Read 50 books for the goodreads challenge. I plan to buy at least 3 books every month.
  4. Pickle’s room project. I have made tons of excuses for avoiding painting Pickle’s room. I think I better get it done this year
  5. Pamper myself. I have spent most of my days taking care of T or Pickle. Though it is all very satisfying, I figured nobody’s gonna take time out to pamper me… and so I am going to buy myself presents and treat myself to amazing stuff whenever I can.
  6. Bake a Chocolate mousse cheesecake. This one dessert has never been properly baked and this year I am going to get it right.
  7. Get a face clean up. I know it sounds simple enough but trust me I haven’t seen the inside of a parlour since Pickle was born. I have never really been the type to visit it regularly but once in two months for a haircut and a cleanup felt good. I actually had to go to the local barber to get a trim since my hair was too long and I was sitting on it. Another time I chopped off my long bangs and T had to trim it.
  8. I would really like to learn the complex origami stuff and teach Pickle as well
  9. Getting in touch with friends. With most of my friends in the same boat of marriage, kids and work, it is difficult to maintain correspondence. More so because I live in some godforsaken corner of the country and can barely travel anywhere without blowing a huge hole in my savings account. This year I will try to write letters to all those nincompoops who think I have finally vanished from their universe!!!
  10. Laugh. Ok I know this sounds totally cheesy and one of the resolutions on everyone’s list… but I do intend to be less sad (except when I am PMSing cause that’s just not in my hands).

If you find making resolutions equally clichéd, try planning a few things instead and following them through. And in case you need someone to nag you about keeping your resolutions, I am totally up for the job!!! Have a beautiful year ahead!

what 2014 taught me…

Apart from learning how truly amazing I am, the past year did teach me something more (definitely note humility). So here’s my list of lessons learnt…

  1. Raising a baby is the most exhausting but also the most rewarding job in the world
  2. I love not being at work. I loved my job, however crappy and mentally retarded my colleagues were. So when I decided to take a long sabbatical from work to take care of Pickle, I’d imagined that I would probably be depressed about it. However, I am absolutely loving it. frankly I barely have the time to sit back and mull over it…
  3. I have a lot of patience. I have always been impatient as hell. Although I was born in the 80s, I crave for the “instant gratification” that the present century boasts of. With Pickle I realized that I actually have more patience in me than even T, who’s like the definition of patience
  4. Never ever get involved in a group squabble. Any group of friends is like a couple and I have learnt it the hard way that it can never be good getting involved when they fight with each other. You usually end up taking sides whether logically or intentionally and then they suddenly kiss and make up leaving you at the sidelines feeling like a drenched little puppy who’s just be kicked in the guts!!! You end up being bad to both parties involved and that is definitely NOT a place you want to be in
  5. Never ever have expectations. It is just WRONG to have expectations of any kind from anyone except yourself. I still fall into the trap and end up sad when my expectations aren’t met… so I guess I am still learning… People (that is everybody other than you) will disappoint you. ALWAYS.
  6. In laws are in laws!!! Whatever you do or don’t do, you will always be treated like an outsider to the family. Surprisingly, Pickle, who is my flesh and blood is suddenly one of their own while I get treated like a baby producing machine who doesn’t even have any right on the baby anymore. I tried… a lot but after a while I realized that nothing really matters. The world will see them as loving, caring people and will wonder why you can’t get along. Nobody will hear the underhand comments, the snide remarks or the back biting. So I decided to concentrate on my family, T and Pickle, and let others go eat grass for all I care!!!
  7. Shut up. It is ridiculous to keep explaining yourself about the million choices you make. Nobody understands till they are exactly in your position and that will probably never happen. So why bother, their opinions will neither pay your bills or help you do your work. Just forget them and carry on with your decisions. If you make mistakes you will deal with it!!! Just remember that you do not owe ANYONE any explanations.
  8. No judging. After becoming a parent I have realized that it is sooper simple to judge people and give them random advice. So I try to be more understanding and if I don’t get them at all, I trust them to make their own decisions/mistakes and deal with them.
  9. Share every recipe. It is plain juvenile to keep recipes secret! I have learnt that the same recipe can produce different tasting dishes owing to the one cooking them. Also, it is your love for food that helps you cook an amazing dish, not some measured recipe on the net.
  10. Drink water. Every time you search for diet tips or health tips, you will come across the point which instructs you to drink loads of water and we usually skip that. I did too till I decided not to. Drinking even two bottles of water daily does wonders for your weight, skin and overall health. Try it. (Just remember to be near a loo at ALL times if you are going to binge on water)

Frankly I was barely aware as the year came to an end. The last year had some breathtaking moments with Pickle. It also had some miserable ones when I had to deal with completely evil, mentally sick, uneducated pathetic creeps who reside in the heart of civilization and manage to fool even the most intelligent people. Then there were few days when I barely knew whether it was day or night and the ones I never wanted to end. Overall it was a very happening year which surprisingly flew by. One day I was cribbing about Pickle being only 2 weeks old and being so boring and the next day I was running around him as he licked random corners of the house while crawling at a super speed!!!

Hudhud was the lowest point of the year but I surprised myself as I still managed to take care of the house and the baby singlehandedly. I even drove our Xylo with Pickle strapped in the carseat!!! Imagine that!!! Goes to show that the darkest hours does bring out the best in us. Enough gyaan for now, please spend some time thinking about your year and how you wasted so much time reading my blogs!!!

What did YOU do on New Year’s Eve???

New Year’s Eve is SO overrated!!!

Seriously, think about it. You can go out for a drink, dancing, dinner or random pub hopping on any (in fact, EVERY) night of the year. So why make such a big deal of that one last day of the year?

It is after all, just another day. It doesn’t physically end or begin anything, nor does it catastrophically change anything, then why the hullabaloo? In plain words, it is just a day marking the end of a calendar year. That IS IT!!! So stop using it as an excuse to drink more, party hard or kiss random people as the clock strikes 12. And for the love of all things pretty in the world STOP bugging about what I did on New Year’s Eve. Just ‘cause you went ahead and had random fun with stupid people and stupid drinks does not mean I have to do the same.

If you know exactly what you want to OR would be doing on New Year (which in my case is never possible due to T’s ridonculous schedule), it is a breeze. But try making plans at the last minute cause T is suddenly able to get away from work, and you will find it a nightmarish experience. I remember one time when we were stuck in the crazy traffic and had to wish each other in the car and then there was that time when we left a party at ten in search of good food, only to be welcomed by loooooong waiting queues everywhere we went. By the time we found a place (that too a freaking vegetarian one), it was 12, my mood was totally bitchy and thus the moment was ruined. We ended back at home with a sad parcel of veg biriyani which was too bleh to eat. Last year I was way too exhausted to even stay awake till 12 and I knew Pickle would wake up for his feed anyway, so we slept off and as promised, Pickle woke us up at 11:45 so we could wish each other.

After years of mishap, we have learnt to enjoy the new year on the 1st of January instead. Like this year, we went for a nice dinner on the 1st. There was barely any traffic on the roads and the restaurant was pleasantly empty as well. Anywho, I had fun welcoming 2015 quietly with T by my side and Pickle tucked up in his dreamland (ahh… ). Here’s wishing you all gorgeous readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year…

FYI, this random rant has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I spent my New Year’s eve eating cake dough and watching some crappy sitcoms instead of getting drunk, dancing wildly and taking a million selfies for FB!!!

Merry Christmas

IMG_8394Dear Readers,

Here’s wishing you all gorgeous people a Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas is like my favorite holiday… ever. I remember getting all excited about the gift cause my mom used to save up the whole year to buy me a barbie and my brother a GI Joe. (Yup, Rs 125 for a silly doll used to be a HUGE waste of money). Being raised in another religion, Christmas did not really mean much to us except for the gifts and the bright twinkly lights on my neighbours balcony!!! Over the years, I have managed to keep the holiday cheer alive by doing all that I can to be more involved. In Engineering college I managed to bully my friends into buying me Christmas gifts (yeah, me bullying people for gifts is like my motto in life!), during my work years I sang in choirs ( Ok fine, “sang” is a stretch, but I did stand near the drums and shake the tambourine like nobody’s business!!!), arranged secret santas with colleagues (another way of getting me some gifts!) and also bought cute little trees to decorate.

T is as enthusiastic about Christmas as me, so after marriage it was so much fun doing the whole tree, gift and drinking thing together! I even managed to make rum plum cake which I have been religiously baking since 2010. Although hard work, it’s definitely a lot of fun. This year it is Pickle’s first “conscious” Christmas. ( Last time doesn’t count since he was barely awake !!!)

My folks insisted on taking him to the Christmas party so that Santa could give him his gift. My argument that he had no clue who this Santa fellow is or that he can barely distinguish between his toes and fingers… didn’t really amount to much. So I took him but ended up enjoying the whole thing. The excitement was literally in the air with kids screaming their lungs out and running around randomly.

I also ended up baking 7 cakes for friends and family. Wanna know a secret? I hate Rum Plum cakes!!! No seriously, I never even taste the ones I bake.  But I guess it was good since people have been calling me up for the recipe!

Pickle wasn’t too excited (obviously) but he did have fun with his gift boxes and the wrapping papers. Only if his excitement would continue, I would never have to buy him anything more than some bright wrapping paper and big boxes for all his coming Christmases!

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Anywho… Hope you all have a beautiful Christmas. Ho Ho Ho!!!

It’s been a year

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Pickle turned one on the 13th of December. Although it does seem like yesterday that we got him home from the hospital, it has definitely been a long journey. I won’t lie and say that it was a breeze…. There were moments of complete exhaustion, frustration and even desperation where I found myself questioning the decision to even have a child.  Life as we knew it, before Pickle’s arrival has changed drastically and it would be fair to say that we are still adjusting to it. However, now that we are a whole year old as parents, we can call ourselves seasoned players of this game and everything doesn’t seem baffling or alien anymore.

We had a small get together of close friends and my folks on Saturday. I had heard wild stories of the varying degree of crankiness a toddler is sure to go through on his birthday. So, I outsourced the main cake and the dinner, ensuring that I would be only taking care of His Naughtiness, Pickle Pie. I did however, slog the day before to bake a rainbow cake. To say it was awesome is totally an understatement!!! It was nothing short of fabulous and I am very proud of it. More so since it was my very first attempt at it.

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(Kindly ignore the purple layer after red…. look at the rest of it… Oh so pretty!!!)

         The evening went as smoothly as anyone could imagine, contrary to general concern, Pickle was at his charming best and his naughtiness hit an all time high with two older boys around. It was a little alarming to see the future when I saw the two year olds tumbling around but then, with a boy that is the least you can expect I guess. He barely ate or slept as he was busy fighting with the two boys over his gifts. It was so cute to see him sitting in the middle trying to pull his car from a boy and screaming his lungs out. I finally managed to quieten him down and put him to bed at 9.

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Overall, it was quite a remarkable day. Looking forward to so many more of these!!!

I turned ONE!!!

About a year ago, when I was literally yanked out into this world, I wailed like a baby and flailed around trying to get back into my cozy home. As I squirmed, I was suddenly thrust towards this lady who kissed my forehead and smiled at me. She then said, “Welcome to the world Pickle!!!” and I was in love. Of course I kept crying, who wouldn’t? I was naked, cold, hungry and among total strangers. The lady on the table was the only one who felt close… related. I wondered if I had seen her somewhere… or known her before… eh!!! What the hell… I needed clothes… milk and a good nap.

However, these weird strangers had a completely different set of ideas. This one lady dunked me water to wash off all the goo and then bundled me into a blanket (thank god!) and walked off… away from the lady. I started to wail but was … oh… so… tired… So I slept. I did hear some people squealing in delight though.

The next thing I remember, was being taken to the lady and that was when I was formally introduced to my mom. She seemed weird… she kept laughing and crying at the same time and kept staring at me. No, seriously, she like stared at me even when I sleeping. It felt weird to wake up to see her staring at me so intently… but felt really safe. The moment I snuggled up to her, I knew exactly from where I knew her. She was my home for the last nine months. I think I was in her tummy or something. That was really assuring and I immediately warmed up to her. Later I was picked up by these big hands which were so gentle and warm. She called him my “Dadda”. Oh well… I like him… and I do remember his voice from when I was inside my mommy. So I cried a little, to express my joy and relief at recognizing him (cause crying was pretty much all I could do back then) and promptly went back to sleep.

Over the last one year, I have gone through a million little things a few BIG “milestones” as mommy keeps saying. I first smiled at her when I was 2 months old. Well, I had just learnt to do it and she seemed to be dying to get one from me so… It was really fun you know… these people would laugh and be happy at any silly thing I would do. Like one day I was suddenly startled by a loud popping noise… and mommy laughed so hard… I later realised that I had actually made that popping sound, by farting!!! Well I woke up and slept and fed and pooped at all hours for a couple of months… then I learnt new tricks like turning over, rolling back, crawling, clapping and now I even stand on my own some times.

I never thought I would get used to being out in the world but it is so much fun now… I have all these bright colourful toys… a whole room to myself… and these amazing people around… I am waiting to shock them with my first word and my elegant walk…Just waiting for that perfect moment when they will be caught off guard… hehehe that will be so much fun!!!

Anywho… I celebrated my very first birthday on saturday and had soooooo  much fun… I was so excited that I barely ate anything and went to sleep really really late…. there were so many people… streamers…. balloons… and colourful things around… who can blame me!

Now that I am one year old… I guess it’s time to learn some new tricks… what say? See ya all later… when I turn two maybe…

muuuahhhh!

NR and JBB!!!

This  post  is to publicly shame my work wifey, N.R, who after getting engaged has happily and cruelly forgotten all about me. This is also a warning to the would-be Mr N R, regarding his encroachment upon my time with NR.

Initially I was too busy to notice that NR had stopped messaging or calling me up as I was blissfully buried in nappies and baby talk. I finally got some breathing space and realised that the b*tch hasn’t remembered me AT ALL!!! This is totally unacceptable. I know, I know, a lot of people have forgotten me and I really don’t give a flying rat’s ass!!! But since this is my work wifey, I am royally pissed. She first forgot my birthday! IMAGINE that… Just imagine the nerve on this itty bitty thing… FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY!!! And now she won’t even reply to my messages. I know she is alive cause she is busy posting ridiculously random updates on social media like her life depended on it. And I also realise that the new love on her horizon is probably making her dizzy and mental at the same time, but it is no excuse to forsake her first love!!!

[Some senti for Crap’s sake]  Also, you all know how I have almost no “Girl”friends… There are only few girls that I have let myself get friendly with (along with an underlying foundation of hate, jealousy and sarcasm). So it really HURTS that NR would forget me after I gave her a cute teddy !!! It is also disappointing and frightfully morbid that she has kicked me out of her life after I so bravely let myself become her Phraand!!!! SNIFF SNIFF!!!

Dear NR, if you have any heart left (after giving it all away to would-be-Mr-NR), you will weep and buy me loads of books and teddy bears to make up for your cruelty towards me.

Dear would-be-Mr-NR, I already hate you for taking my work wifey away from me!!! In case you feel obliged to be in my good books again… buy me LOADS of books.

Oh… and this public harassment is because I am me and NR is NR!!! Love you B*aaatch!!!!

 

Heavy Issues.

That’s it. I’m NOT shopping for any more clothes… EVER!!! I will instead buy shit loads of costly Jewelry and shoes that I will probably never wear but atleast they will not make me feel like a whale!!!

Last weekend, after a depressing time on the weighing scale, I decided that since I might not be able to lose the pregnancy weight (Yeah… I am still calling my fat tummy – “Pregnancy weight”!!!… Any Problems????), I might as well buy some clothes, preferably in a colour other than black, which could help me hide the rolls of flab lying around. So I happily deposited Pickle with T and his favorite chewy toy so that I could browse and shop in peace. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I hate shopping but this being a necessity I waded through the racks diligently to find something that I liked.

Somehow, everything I saw or liked was in black… grey or black and grey. So either I have lost the ability to see colours or maybe there are no colours left in this world!!! Anywho, since I had firmly decided to buy more colourful clothes I managed to pick up a few which had colour prints over a black background (yeah that counts). And I was quite realistic about the sizes too… instead of my regular XS or S, I picked all Ms.

The ordeal inside the changing room was heartbreaking. Although I’m sure the mirrors in those rooms add like 20 extra kilos to one’s image, I was still depressed and just managed to stop myself from smashing them. So, all depressed and morose over the state of affairs, I decided not to buy any clothes anymore!!! I still do fit into my maternity clothes!!! and they are the only clothes I need… Ever!!!

I then proceeded to dunk my depression in a big tub of ice cream. And declared to T that he might as well kiss his hard earned money goodbye since from now on I will only be buying shoes and Diamond Jewelry. HUH!!!

Pickle’s First Diwali

As I have mentioned time and again, I am really not the temple going, puja doing, religious types. However, this Durga puja we did do the rounds of all the pandals in the rare hope of passing down some bong and some religious thoughts to Pickle. In the same thread, I did have big plans for Diwali, loads of lights, decorations, home made sweets and the usual meeting up with family and friends. Hudhud literally put a dent in my whole plan. Doubtful about electricity, we kept our decorations to a minimum but I still went ahead with the home made sweets plan as I toiled through batches of elo jhelo, besan ke ladoo and rum and raising chocolates.

Pickle wore a sparkling white kurta and was so totally adorable. We did make it to my parents place before we took off for a quiet dinner. It was not really BIG as I had planned but we tried in our small way. I managed to make a whole lot of sweets for the army men who get the water tanker every morning and also the security guards at the gates and the fire men who were sadly on duty in our campus (although there was a strict No Crackers rule, there was still a shit load of kindling lying around).

I really hope all you guys had a sparkling Diwali… May your year ahead be bright and prosperous!!!

Hudhud 2014

Living on a hill with a beautiful ocean view certainly has its perks. This October, we finally faced the downside of it all.

While the city of Vizag took its precautions for Hudhud , I remained blissfully ignorant of the oncoming storm. In my defense, it was a simple case of “the –boy-who-cried-wolf”. As almost-localites of Vizag, we are used to all the rain and thunderstorms that happen in this region due to the presence of the Bay of Bengal. And the last three cyclone warnings were pretty useless considering that while Neelam was raging through, we were enjoying a bright sunny day. So when Hudhud was predicted, we took it in our stride and forgot about it. Add to it the fact that I barely watch TV, let alone News, I wasn’t even aware that it had a name or was heading for Vizag. When Ma messaged it she addressed it to Pickle and said, “Pickle shona, hudhud is coming…”I pegged it for the cutsie baby talk we usually do. Then my aunt called up, all worried and anxious about it and I pretty much bit her head off stating very calmly that we are on top of a hill and nothing… “NOTHING”… will happen to us. Ya… I was eating those very same words for breakfast, lunch and dinner just a day later.

T was working that Sunday and everything was the usual… I woke up… cooked his lunch… went through Pickle’s routine, he left for work. The first indication (which we happily ignored) was when T returned stating that the winds were too strong and trees were falling all over the place. He had barely missed being hit by one so he just turned around and came back home. I was confused since he is the sincere types like me and measly winds do not upset our routine… that is when he elaborated that his car was rocking … !!! FYI it was a Xylo he was talking about.

I hadn’t gone out till then so I didn’t really bother much. I was also busy being happy about the fact that he could finally stay at home on a Sunday (those are quite rare). At around 9 when I finally sat down with Pickle for his breakfast, I listened to the wind whistle outside and realized that it might be time to take a few precautions. So we jammed old clothes under the doors and in the windows to soak up any water sprays. We seriously never saw it coming!!!

By 10 the wind was howling as the spray of water banged repeatedly against our windows. While I huddled with Pickle at one end of his nursery, T frantically ran between rooms mopping up the water coming in through the windows. Suddenly around 1 it all cleared up, we quickly drove out to another section in search of network… we saw fallen trees and poles everywhere and thanked god that we were safe at home. By the time we were back and Pickle had his lunch, we felt it was all gone and were comfortable enough to start watching a movie on my laptop. The remainder of Hudhud that followed was simply traumatic. I am not scared of many things… ya dogs terrify me but I love thunderstorms and heavy rains. And if I tell you that “I”was scared…. Trust me it was scary. The cyclone raged throughout the second half… till early hours of the next day. We had our rooms flooded with water… when I got down from the bed the next day I was walking in ankle deep water.

What happened to the other houses were far from imagination. My entire campus looked like a refugee camp, garage doors had flown off and banged into buildings and cars, tiles and even roofs in some places had flown off… tanks, poles, windows, door frames…. There wasn’t a speck of greenery around. Huge trees were strewn on the roads, landslides had occurred as well… in my 30 years, I personally have only read about such destruction and acute sense of despair. I would have never imagined all this happening to me. There wasn’t any network, power or water supply for the next 7 days. It was not impossible to survive the conditions, I mean there were those without houses, but it was certainly hectic. Now at the cost of sounding privileged, I must confess it is harder to live without electricity when you are so dependent on it. Without a maid to help out and with a ten month old, electrical appliances are what help me get through the chores. My washing machine, the food processor, the water heater… so, it was quite challenging to manage the house, which was already in shambles, without the resources.

No network though was heavenly… being totally cut off from the world outside helped me finish 5 books, indulge in crocheting and the conversations with T. Once done with the chores and dinner, we would just sit around and chat without the irritating TV or phones to distract us.

Kudos to our maintenance staff though, electricity and network was restored in just 7 days. I know me grumbling about these non essential things sound extremely silly when there were those who lost their farms, houses, livelihoods and what not… but I can only imagine, empathize and pray for them.

Also, I know this post is like really really really late and trust me even I am tired of stating Pickle as an excuse… all I can say is that I will try harder to post more in real time next ime onwards.

 

A few snaps…

IMG_7184 IMG_7186 IMG_7193

Pickle moment of the day

Since Pickle can crawl all over the place now, it becomes really difficult to keep track of what he is licking where!!! I gave him a ice lolly to keep him busy for a while as I sat there reading my book… Suddenly I saw this little black ant going towards him… I waited and watched as Pickle very deftly smashed the ant with the lolly and then kept licking at it nonchalantly!!!

Well, I am just glad the poor any didn’t suffer much!

Fashion Much?

Warning : The readers who have become fond of my mellow mommy self and do not wish to see my real nasty side should NOT read the following post. JBB!!!

I happened to see a few blogs by acquaintances which dealt with Fashion and style advice. There were posts after posts advising people about how to wear the shirts or their jeans… what to accessorize with their dresses and blah and blah and blah!!! To be honest I was quite surprised. I mean I have very very limited knowledge and taste of style and fashion. I pretty much have only Black in my wardrobe and almost no accessories. So it was quite fascinating for me to see how these lovely ladies could write so much about whatever they wore or whatever they think people should wear.

And their content was definitely well researched. As one blogger explained the dress she picked to wear while visiting a friend, she reasoned out her choice of colour (according to the season), the length of sleeves and skirt (according to the time of the day) and the brand (depending on the place she was going to. I can’t even imagine the thought processes one has to go through to determine all this. I would just pick up any t shirt (all of mine are black and slight variations of each other… its quite a mystery how I keep track of the washed ones from the unwashed ones) and pair it with jeans (the only pair which fits me… which btw are a men’s size of 28… the female ones refuse to travel past my thighs!!!). And this is not just cause of my baby and my hectic schedule… I was always like this. Of course I do dress well too. Any formal occasion and my sarees would come out… I have all sober colours and materials so… all are good for formal and official. Parties would mean either dresses (if they still fit me) or yet another black top over the same old jeans. But I have never spent days trying to figure out what to wear unless nothing fits me and I have to try a hundred before something is able to hide my LOWE handles!

These blogs didn’t just speak about the dresses… but also the type of foundation applied… I mean… seriously??? So wait… you mean to tell me that after I read your posts, I am supposed to make notes and keep them ready the next time I get ready to go out??? They gave detailed description of the shade of lipstick and the brand of eyeliner… their price… place of availability… !!!

I can reason out the writing part… You sincerely believe you have amazing fashion sense and would like to impart a little of what really makes you amazing to the poor fashion-sense-less people like me. I accept and commend you for that. I mean if you can take out time of your busy schedules to tell us nincompoops why you thought of wearing the red tank top when you went out at 6 pm instead of the blue one… you are truly inspiring and of a very generous heart!

What I still cant understand are the readers… are there actual … real human beings ( read fashion crazy gals) who would like to follow these posts??? So they would take notes (probably on a notepad since their tiny brains are already overflowing with colour names like Fuchsia and Champagne…) and then refer to them when they need to? Is that why you find girls everywhere in the city with exactly the same hair style and clothes?

I do not understand fashion… and when I say it means squat to me… it really does. Also when I say fashion and style to me is whatever I am comfortable in… I mean it…(unlike the celebrities saying the same while swaying in something exorbitantly pricey… of I accept they might be “comfortable”  in it). So it really baffles me when people can write so much about it.

All the sarcasm aside, I really do appreciate the material these people put up… I tried doing it and this is what I came up with :

T shirt – Black… Any brand… as long as it is washed

Jeans – Blue … again… any brand as long as you can close the button over your bulging tummy

Kajal – Eyeconic ( or anything that you find on your dresser)

Lip balm – Nivea

Accessories – Nil, since Pickle either licks/tugs or chews them all.

Shoes… Floaters… ALWAYS…. for maximum comfort… (I would rather walk out in my angry birds chappal… but society decorum demands I at least wear proper footwear)

ummm… Thats it… done… I am dressed to go to the

– mall

– restaurant

– market

etc etc etc

😛

PS : This post means absolutely no offence to all the fashionistas I personally know and admire…. if anything, it only accentuates my shortcomings in the glamour world 🙂 love you all