Monday, December 31, 2007

The year that was………..

Its almost the end of the year 2007….i am reluctant to let it go….. but I will…in the hope that the one that takes its place will have very large shoes to fill…I hope 2008 will be all this and much more…..

2007 began very small key….. K and I were in Gandhidham…. With his parents and we watched TV till before midnight and went to bed…2007 began quietly… partly because we rang it in, in small town India…and it was 3 degrees Celsius……I realized how little I had seen of this magnificent country of ours….i reveled in the small and simple joys of that trip…and thus began this roller coaster of a year….of which i had absolutely no expectations from it….

The trip back to Hyderabad was filled with tension that I didn't think I could survive….in bangalore, my niece Rachel Aradhana was being born, while her mother, my SIL C went through what only mothers go thru to bring life into this world…I was filled with fear and joy and everything else mixed up….a hope of a new tomorrow…the first of the next generation coming into the family… I cried and rejoiced at the same time….and for reasons beyond everyone else's control, I became surrogate mother to a baby so reluctantly that I had no time to protest…..the next few months were filled with what only babies can teach you……I realized that any illusions I had about motherhood just evaporated…..a person not more than 14 inches ruled our lives and had full control over us…we were hapless beings….fear and sleeplessness were my constants….i didn't know if I was doing anything right at all….i saw a mother unable to cope with her haplessness…that the mind is willing but the flesh is weak….her two bouts of hospitalization left her with little option but to be patient enough to just recover and take motherhood by its horns….. Rachel has continued to rule our lives…my mother can talk of nothing more than her…and everything else takes a backseat….she will turn one on the 5th of Jan and I wish upon the stars for a life that is filled with health and happiness for her…

K and I spent valentines weekend amidst a congregation of people at a socio-religious body….he was on work and I tagged along…what I saw terrified me like nothing else….the mahasabha on an auspicious occasion was like an orgy and Woodstock rolled into one….i saw people whipped into a frenzy of delirium, and realized that that state of being is so potentially dangerous to themselves and others that it was surreal……….i saw firsthand how the minds of others can be controlled……….

The next couple of months saw the dream of the coffee plantations and the restaurant die a slow but inevitable death….i was heartbroken to say the least and took some time to gather myself together…..meanwhile K and I took off to idyllic Varkala…that's not yet very touristy, but getting there….we had a fabulous time and were reluctant to get back….just as I was willing to submit myself to irrationality, it ended and we got back to the concrete jungle we call home….

This summer marked the first visit of K's parents into our marital home….the best part of this being that we spent time as family and I got to learn a very different cuisine from my MIL…she was the master chef and I the willing apprentice….

Around this time….i went through a very trying phase of not knowing where I was going…professionally I realized that I didn't want to work in a full time job anymore….but letting go of an income isn't that easy…plus the fact that I have always been financially independent and that is a big part of who I am was something I had to deal on my own…..these were demons that I had to exorcise myself….no amount of K holding my hand as I crossed the threshold would help…….in not so much an act of courage, but as a final resort, with my friends and K rooting for me….. I took the leap of faith and began my handmade chocolate classes…I called it Culinary Escapades….. who would have known that it would open up something totally new, unique and all my own doing for me?? I cant believe where I have come from that first class with 3 people in it….. I did 3 classes per week, took them out of home, offered them at two locations and still the calls kept coming…… this time, everything was all mine…the heart thumps, the success and the lack of it too….. it boosted my self belief like nothing else has….it made me happy and brought back so many things that I feared I had lost…. It also added a uselessly exotic tag to me….the raised eyebrows and glassy eyes that I almost unfailingly get is to be seen to be believed!! Ofcourse no one believes it is hard work….but what the hell!! This is something that I do for myself, and I am very happy….. infact I have been featured on TV and in a couple of articles in the newspapers….. so much for the trepidation I suffered….. in the new year, I hope to take this further, consolidate and add on the repertoire that I have gathered so far….. wish me luck…..

Around the same time I entered the world of food blogging….i always was a lurker…. Who trawled the internet food blogs with wonder and admiration….and then one day, I took the plunge…. I could never have imagined that there was a whole world out there who shared my obsessive love and nasha for all things food….. Today, my days are incomplete without my daily dose of food blogs…. It has made me more conscious of ingredients, methods, tastes and cuisines……it has made me explore things I never would have otherwise….and best of all, it even made me overcome my fear of baking!! Hurrah for food blogs…..and what they do to me….. never mind K's complaints that I don't cook for him anymore…. So 15000 hits and counting Escapades has become an extension of myself…..

The last quarter of the year just whizzed past….K began consulting… between writing his book….we took a family vacation after 21 years….rachel consolidated herself as the ringmaster in complete control of our lives…..i began to enjoy the success of the chocolate classes…..diwali was a test by fire of sorts, with the many orders that made chocolate part of my dreams (or nightmares??) too….amma spent the longest time of a couple of months with me….we could have done without her falling sick though…..K and I completed 4 years of marriage…..and we celebrated the fact that we found each other….

This year liberated me in many ways…. I turned another year older without going as crazy as I did the last year…or the one before…. I came into my own and truly did things only that I wanted to…I got in touch and stayed in touch with people who mattered….i think I have calmed down and reached another level as a person…. I don't hide from demons anymore….. I fight them…head on….i've kicked some serious butt this year and I am proud of it…..

I just hope and wish that the new year will be all this and much more….i pray for health, happiness and contentment….. I wish us all a fabulous new year!!




Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas and the week before…..

Am wondering what I am doing sitting at my laptop a few days after Christmas….. tis the season to be jolly! La la la la….and all that….fact is, I am vegetating right now…and this inertia is something I am not able to shake off….i don’t feel like doing anything, for no apparent reason…I mean I don’t even want to watch TV (well the TV hardly gets switched on in my house anyways)

Lets see….Christmas countdown began for real after the tree went up on the 15th…I spent a couple of hours fretting as always about whether it was looking allright, if the top was bent slightly and comparing it to pictures in the dec edition of good housekeeping…..the tree lights gave me grief as usual and it took one kick to the extension cord to get them all to twinkle at the same time…. I baked and baked for two days…of course just a couple of hours each, but I will exaggerate…the vegan date cake turned out better than I expected and I had to stop myself from eating it all up….the Viennese pressed cookies were divine…and I was almost doing cartwheels in the kitchen…. Then realized that I didn’t collect my murukku press from a friend and I had to buy that…..also some plum cake which I wanted to make but didn’t……went visiting with U&A and that took care of a whole day and a massive headache……

We caught OSO on 22nd night and it was fantastic…I will write a whole post about that later….it was K’s bday on the 23rd…and we had a quiet lunch …just the two of us…..i finally had my hair trimmed and resolved to never have anything other than my hair done at f’s….. they were painstakingly slow and sloppy and the rooms had paint peeling from everywhere…I don’t like being in places that are kept badly…..came back looking like a million bucks (always do after a hair trim)….K’s friends decided to drop in for drinks…I warned I wouldn’t be slaving over the stove and ordered in pizza, but made some pasta for the foster son and K…..oh yeah we gorged on chat before reaching home….so the snacks came out and the drinks flowed till the wee hours and everyone went to bed, happy and high…… K suffered a relapse of the flu…what with continuous exposure to the elements and spirits since his early recovery last week…and I knew that Christmas wouldn’t be quiet the jamboree we’d planned…..i was just concerned with his incessant nose bleeding which would have sent me reeling if I was faint hearted…..

U&A to the rescue….i went to church with them on Christmas eve…and came back at 2 a.m…K was down with really high fever and I was at my wits end…the next morning was a late and heavy breakfast and no lunch…put K to bed with some paracetamol…..we’d called off the dinner party and I nevertheless wanted to try my hand at hyderabadi vegetable biryani…. Pat on the back it was smashing despite many hiccups and nervous checks…. Infact at one point I had dialed for home delivery and then stopped myself….. b&J came and spent the quiet evening with us…we had some wine, cake and dinner, while K nursed his Haldi and Milk.…wound up at midnight…..calls flew fast and furiously between here and Bangalore and comparing notes on how the day went…. I missed not being around amma, but I was actually not as sad as I imagined I’d be….

I hope the new year brings us better health…actually that’s all I hope for now…apart from wanting to live a healthier life and exercise a little…and keep track of my finance..and….ok this is going to be another post…..

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

happenings in my part of the world

after a long time i sit here past midnight with my computer...just the nerve racking and brain numbing sound of the machine dumping earth in the plot next to our apartment to keep me company.....k is in slumber land....he's hit the sack earlier than usual today...has it got something to do with the fact that his daily nocturnal talking companion is busy packing for a train he has to catch early tomorrow morning?? i dont know... and if its true i dont grudge them or their conversations..... i mean i hardly expect K to spend hours discussing the nuances of organic cereals with me...or the difference between unbleached flour and maida..... when i know that i cant even spell some of the things K talks to SRK about, who am i to grudge?

the chill has ebbed a bit, but my ice cold feet remind me i am sitting in a good hyderabadi winter this year..... i have spent the day well today.......infact one of the nicest things said to me today was by V my driving instructor, who said "actual mein aap join karna hi nahin tha, bilkul smooth aur cool chalarey aap tho.... no tension" i cant tell you how happy that made me feel....was a big boost to my driving confidence..... considering the fact that i waited this long to do it!! then i wondered if he was just soaping my ego...and decided to leave it for what it was worth....

i was chatting online with an old colleague this afternoon and i mentioned my driving classes...he asked me " what are you learning to drive? a plane?" most people cant actually believe that i haven't driven a car all this while... i mean technically i have a few times, but not with the intent of driving...i have always been given the steering wheel because i was just being indulged in.....

i had lunch with S today and we got into a chatty zone when she suddenly jumped up because it was precariously close to the time her daughter comes home from school and before i realised what was happening, she was gone!! it reinforced to me that parents always live their life by the time tables of their kids!! its nerve racking and very humbling, somehow both together................... tomorrow i will have lunch with a few other friends.....cook them idiappam and ishtu..... yum yum!! cant wait for tomorrow!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Where has the year gone?

suddenly i am all sad that this year is almost at its end.....its been a good year for us...both k and i have been able to exorcise personal and professional ghosts.... i am so happy and proud of all his achievements....i'm happy that workwise he is in a zone he wants to be in and is happy touchwood....

i have bravely begun to shake off the lethargy of diwali...yeah i know it was a looong time ago...but hey that's why its called lethargy!! i put myself on a healthier food plan from today.....binging as i did the past few weeks, it was becoming difficult to live with myself.....each weekend for the last 4, we have been eating out.... at first it is nice...especially since we went out to new places that we've not tried out before....then it began to tempt me and the icing on the cake was lunch buffet with a friend....while i was there at the buffet table, i could sense my system recoiling at the thought (and sight) of i will go back to my rice only on weekends....lots of fruit and juices and k has surprisingly asked for sprouts so that should be a welcome change..... i have already shed a kilo, so that is encouraging.........

Sunday, December 2, 2007

updates on life in general

I just can’t figure out how to activate a header on this site...I don’t know if i have missed something very obvious or irritates me that the entire first sentence gets picked up as a header.... if someone can help me on this, please do so.....

I had my midweek chocolate making class at a friend’s place in secbad.....partly because I couldn’t get out of commitments made to people who'd called and enquired....(there was a misprint in the Advt about the location) and more cos I thought this was possibly the only way I would honor a long standing invite to lunch at this friend’s place….we had a great time….she has a lovely home….her taste and eye for detailing shows in everything…. I’d also told her that almost everything had a story to tell…from the vases to the knick knacks….fabulous food, girlie talk and a round of shopping to complete your day…what more can a girl ask for…. Btw every time I go to general bazaar to shop, I end up buying what looks like half of the street….i am surprised that a goods carrier didn’t stop by when we called out for an auto!!
The first day of the last month of 2007 has come and gone and I did something very significant personally that I am very proud of……….at the start of this year, there were many things that I wanted to do and achieve, I am quite a sucker for resolutions (of course I never keep them…. Kind of explains how “lose weight” has been on the list forever)…..but its my way of keeping things on my mind and reminding me that I have “miles to go before I sleep”………mostly, by the time we finish half a year, my conscience begins to prick me and I usually succeed in stifling and drowning the irritating thing…this year, very importantly I needed to venture into an activity that would give me something to do that I enjoyed, bring in some cash so I didn’t have a helplessly financially dependent look on my face all the time….drive a car ( you hardly call driving on traffic free roads driving………….), get a driver’s license and get a passport (!! Yes I still don’t have one!!)
Of these, the first one I have conquered to some extent…. I finally ran out of excuses and started my chocolate making class……….. its kept me busy, given me some earnings and most importantly helped me get over my abnormal fear of failure and rejection…..i now have had a fabulous second half of the year, and have some ideas for more stuff that I want to do………..on the last day of nov, I finally enrolled myself in a driving school…its just been 2 days but I am doing well…..before the end of the year I will hopefully be able to drive on my own and get a license as well…………as for the passport, I have yet to apply…………….
something that wasnt on my 'to-do' list, but what i did anyways to great personal satisfaction, has been the writing of my cooking blog....... i began this one last year, but the cooking blog i began around the same time as my classes....its done pretty well for itself... it gives me better motivation to do lots of innovative things and i have had the opportunity to find similarly minded people...........
It makes me happy and I am glad that for once I am not berating or flagellating myself….. I feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence…I am not as crabby as I used to be…. I love my life this year…..
Losing weight…I shall leave for next year!!