Saturday, October 1, 2011

stillness and weightloss hopefully

you know when i kept saying i am not a morning person? am beginning to think that is a different life. post the pooch, my body clock has been reset and i am able to wake up with no alarm around 5.30 a.m. thankfully, waking time has been set back by an hour.

I have written many times about how much i love my own company. not that i dont love the company of others, but I find it reassuring to be alone sometimes. There was a time when i was younger and i constantly needed people around me... not anymore.

the silence, the whirring of the fan, the sips of long forgotten and therefore now cold and yucky chai, the sound of my typing on this battered laptop, sometimes the clicks of the mouse when i play spider solitaire, the sound of the washing machine spinning crazily the last set of clothes in it, reverse horns of cars in the basement, sometimes dogfights in the next compound...and me.

i've made some very important decisions in this stillness, sometimes grieved and smiled all by myself, also done a lot of work and i have come to love it so much. so i may just change my stance and become a morning person :)

in other news, my brand new cot is almost ready and we will be moving from the mattresses on the floor onto a cot and bed very soon! now that Sage sleeps on the floor and uses the mattress as a pillow, i wonder how he'll react when we no longer sleep on the floor.

walks with Sage have begun, today is day 6. i havent spoken to as many people in 7 years as i have in this past week. all that walking will hopefully help me lose some weight now that nothing else seems to work on my girth.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I went into baking overdrive last week. I baked like a woman possessed and used 2 kilos of maida and an equal amount of sugar in less than 4 days! i put aside my preferences for low fat, multigrain and took on buttercream icing! even if i say so myself, everything turned out great and i had a ball. i would do it again even braving the sore back!

i baked on order 6 dozen cupcakes in rich chocolate with chocolate ganache and red velvet with buttercream frosting. a day later i was baking an orange pound cake, chocolate choco-chip and 1 doz cupcakes.

its a lesson i needed. to put myself aside for a moment. cos i have been so focused on myself for all the wrong reasons. and the compliments have since been flowing in and i have loved every minute of it!!

the pup has a blog of his own, where i will write stuff about him and hopefully spare this blog!

my cot is almost ready! i cant wait to have it.. just needs a coat of polish.. i went to see it yesterday and it looks gorgeous! need to pick up a mattress now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

making peace of the pieces

its been a great week for me! touchwood... i am in a happy zone, like i am on happy pills... some annoyances are still there... some shards of the last few weeks...

i spoke nonstop for 3 hours on the phone yesterday morning. with my friends U, N and S. Sage went ballistic. jumping and leaping and nipping at me for attention. i sat on the couch in the library to avoid him and he jumped at me and pulled himself up just to let me know how annoyed he was.

i told U of the happenings of the last few weeks.... she's always brutally honest.... she gave me an angle i didnt think of myself... she said "think of it this way... the same stuff that people think you need to change, has given you the strength and the tenacity to overcome huge problems in your life. where would you be without it?"

thank you my darling.there is a reason i love you!

I've made peace with my bad haircut and if i may say so myself am totally rocking the fringe!

how has your week been?

leaving you with a picture of Sage sleeping on the dashboard on the 6 km drive back home after sunday lunch at my in laws place. he climbed up himself, flopped down and was totally unafraid!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

updates about the state of affairs!

so if you have read this post here's an update

attics have been cleaned out
all the stuff "i will use someday" has been thrown out
organised stuff to put away by category
all the knick knacks i have no place for / removed because of Sage, have been boxed and labelled and stored away
got rid of all my old papers/ books (including college notes) and magazines
cleaned out the chest of drawers
organised the crockery units
emptied the third bathroom i was using as a store/ dump

now i need to sort out K's old (read FAT) clothes and arrange for them to be donated
organise the laundry cupboard
organise the balconies and pots and potting stuff
figure out how to hang the damn cane curtains!

am almost done!
am already feeling like a happy shiny person!

south north and what not!

everyone's panties are knotted these days with a post that some girl wrote which had rather crude stuff about north indian boys. then there was a retaliatory post from a northindian boy. then another popular mommy blogger dissed the girl and shamed her... in between, so many tweets about it...

the girl got close to 400 comments, the guy i dont know... his post lacked punch.... i didnt follow up further...

today again someone tweeted about the post... i said i found it funny... i recd a barrage of "why it was not funny" messages from one person...who wanted me to retract that i found the post funny. i was given 10 reasons why it was in bad taste. wouldnt be the last time i was laughing at a crude joke.

about sterotypes... they are everywhere. north vs south, telugu vs. tamil, white vs. black. we are possibly one of the most stereotype subscribing people... so why crib? has it stopped some vital decision making of yours? if yes, you have every right to have your panty in a knot.... if no, move on.

my point is.... blogging is a public platform, yes... but it has no censorship and no one to monitor. which is why a lot of people write exactly what they want. so this girl wanted a lot of attention, she picked a topic that had enough stuff to exaggerate and she wrote about it.

some found it funny, some rude, some crude...whatever....

if you feel so strongly about stereotypes, dont encourage it. there are enough idiots you encounter in real life... now add to it that everything said and not said online can be shredded and ananlysed. am sure the only one laughing is the blogger herself.

there are enough opinionated bloggers out there, they have their own little mafia. and you should see to believe the kind of mobilisation that happens. the fors and against, i'd like these people to come face to face over a debate and then see how much steam their beautifully articulated arguments will have....

above all, i just feel we've lost our sense of humour. more than anything, we need to have an opinion on everything. which needs to be taken seriously. we have to have a point and a counterpoint and have to win an argument at any cost.

most of all, us indians, whether north indian, south indian or central indian, we are equally screwed by a system that is making monkeys of us.

i dont know... i dont care... you like it.. read it... didnt like it... dont read it... but expecting the writer not to write her opinion, however much you disagree is the silliest thing.

am not posting the links here on purpose...because i side with neither

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wisdom and self doubt

I've been thinking a lot. it comes with the territory of nothing better to do and too much free time on my hands. I am generally a very cognizant person. I have an eye for detail, both for people and things. I also have a degree in psychology which helps me look at things a bit deeper than surfacial. so its very rare that something within myself  escapes me. its a good and a bad thing. good because i know i am an ass to live with when i am being a superbitch. its bad because i cannot feign ignorance and wallow in self pity even if i want to. i guess it comes with the territory.

So for the last few months, i know i have been crabby and irritated and i talk in a raspy voice. one thing about my voice, it isnt the usual saccharine girly/ womanly one. even when i am not trying to be a bitch, i sound like one. once you get to know me, you will know my attitude has nothing to do with my voice. its natural and i am trying to control it but sometimes, but its such an effort and i always feel like i am under the scanner trying to modulate my voice and its a pain when i am sound angry even when i am not, cos that is the way my voice is dammit!

so anyways, i was told a few weeks ago that i have been all sorts of undesirable things. have been giving bad vibes and am always complaining. point is, i know all of this. and i have reason to be all of this and more...i felt very bad. because, when i encounter people, friends, family anyone, i accept them at face value... i never tell people, change this, do this, do that or i wont be your friend....i allow them to be themselves. that's why they need me, to be themselves around me. yeah i may crib about them here, or i bitch about them to K. but we all do. in my life, i have never ever told anyone with the exception of K that they need to change or make an improvement, or get a grip or go for meditation or do a self improvement thing. if anything gets too much for me, i retreat. give myself a breather, but have never ever given unsolicited advise.

I seem to attract it a lot tho. I have had so many people tell me to do this, try that, calm down, feel inspired, be disciplined,stop wasting time online, get creative, get productive and what not. basically, if i had any lower self esteem, i'd have believed that i was worthless and have gone down a spiral of depression.

surprisingly, this advice so to speak, is never from the primary stakeholders of my life. My mother, or brother, or K or anyone else i hold closest to my heart have never told me to change, to speak more cheerfully or to do one damn thing to change myself. K asked me to think about it this morning- 'Why is it that none of the chief stakeholders (he named some names) have never asked you to change? because this is the way you are, thats it. somedays you are happy, some days sad, some days rude and some days sweet. stop spending time on trying to change for people who arent even the cornerstone of your life. i cant believe you are even thinking about it'

it made me think... back to the friends i had in school and college... no one then asked me to change.... they still are in my life... they love me for what i am.....

its only in my adult life that i have been constantly "shown a mirror"

no one notices that i am very polite. because of my voice and the way i speak again. I never ask people personal questions, i respect everyone's personal space, i never tell them they're idiots, i never talk about their relationships or the lack of, i never ask about money or where they are getting it or where they are spending it, i never talk ill of families (except my own and i think that needs to stop).

i talk a lot about myself. about my family, my decision making process. i explain myself too much. i expose myself too much. I think i need to stop that. i need to stop generating fodder for everyone to pick up and tell me what to do and how to live my life.

I need to shed all this excess baggage.

A friend once told me that i give too freely of myself... my time and talent and heart... and that's why everyone thinks its a free for all.

i never cared for what the world thought of me.... i am finding that increasingly i do now... i need to reset properties and go back to my core....

p.s: am crying as i write this

Added after reading two comments here:Sometimes i like to cry just to let off not depressed or anything folks! thanks for the kind comments. it just beats me how everyone is holier than thou and doesnt look at their own fucking mess of a life, but advises on! that's my point....also, that i saw wisdom in K's words despite all the self doubt. I am not changing up anything except putting in some boundaries. Thank you tho, for taking the time to comfort me

life in the times of the sizzler boy

i got a lot done yesterday. after the rant, i made a to-do list and got my act together a bit.

i ordered my cot. a lot like what i wanted.... and thankfully my carpenter Zuma should be able to make it exactly like the picture i gave him. Indians are so good at copying!

that apart, the real joy of my life right now is Sage. After putting me through sleepless nights and backbreakingly busy days for the first few weeks, we have now settled into a beautiful routine. He's grown so bog so fast that i tear up when i look at his baby pictures on my phone...

Sage is now responding to his name, sits on command and even pees on command. I need to potty train him and that i see is the biggest challenge before me.

We found a great no nonsense Vet closer home. She seems to be on the same wavelength as us and that is a relief. Am happy with her prognosis and treatment of Sage's stomach condition.

K is besotted. nuf said! he cant see beyond the pooch!

my favorite times are when he plonks on my feet to sleep while i am at the computer or when he lies down alongside me to play with a toy while i am reading in bed.

Sage reserves his most slobbering kisses for K who seems to enjoy all the action!

he's gotten very mischievous, creeps up on elbows and steals footwear outside the other flats and really runs with them in his mouth like his life depends on it! difficult to keep up with my current girth!

loves to chew on everything, paper is a favourite, plastic bags and oh the anxious night when we stayed up all night after he swallowed my rubber frog motif from my chappals!

writing all of this here to say thank you darling Sage. you have brought more smiles into our lives than ever imagined....will want to remember this even when we manage to make you into a 'well disciplined' dog!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

how too much of the internet led to project home declination

if someone would have told me that i would upset my own apple cart by embarking on something so ill advised, i would not have believed them. today i just want to turn back time and get back to where i was before this whole mess unravelled. i took up a home improvement project which has turned into a long drawn nightmare!

for a while now i have wanted to paint my apartment, change a few things up and make it over. ever since we moved into this place 8 yrs ago, we didnt do much except make do with some hand me down furniture and buy a lot of soft furnishings. dont get me wrong, i am very house proud and managed to make everything look just so well put together. the compliments i get for my home and the pictures i take are all testament to that.....

i had been browsing like a maniac, collecting pictures for inspiration, pinning them to my mood boards, saving them on my computer hard disk, taking printouts etc. all those pictures of beautiful rooms with lovely soft furnishings, lamps and furniture that just spoke to you really messed with my head. whatever made me think i could pull it off?

around my birthday in july i wanted to give my home a makeover, a facelift so to speak. we didnt (still dont) have a sofa, a paint job and some additional storage... what started with the best of intentions... has become such an eyesore that its burning into my head everyday.

lets begin with the paint job. i had this bright idea of pristine white walls. if anyone suggests that to you, especially if you dont have a painter on call for touch ups and a retinue of servants to keep scrubbing the walls, just shoot the person who suggests this to you. this ofcourse was my own idea, so reason number one to shoot myself.

i am only completely happy with the paint job in my mother's / guest room. white walls and a green ceiling. i still need curtains and some art on the wall. i got a window seat done here which i am pretty happy with. ofcourse the carpenters gave me such an ulcer that i dont think i will work with them again.

the library got a lovely shade of grey, we recently got put in some glamourous blinds... we need to chuck the makeshift seating there and get in the sofa which was originally for her, but now in the drawing room.... we also need art on the walls...(completely incomplete)

my bedroom has no bed. K and i cannot decide on a bed, i havent found anything i like in a store, and i am unable to explain what i want to my i type this, i have decided to do something about this. i chose a design, called my carpenter...and i think i should have my bed by the end of the week. such is the therapy that blogging provides. much cheaper than a shrink!

i need a sofa for my drawing room like now.... somehow i have never been able to find anything that i like.....

my balconies need a clean up, my cane chiks need to be hung, my budding vegetable garden (pots only) need to be taken up to the roof if only to protect them from sage! whew... thats a lot of stuff that needs to get done...

oh yeah, dont forget the bathroom which now doubles as a dump store room. i do not even want to go thru some of the stuff which is there! 

so all in all, after 8 years in the same house, i have managed to take a perfectly functional and mostly pretty house and make it to look like we just moved in... am turning a corner and i see unfinished business. the worst part being, i am so overwhelmed that i dont feel like lifting a finger! now with Sage i have the perfect excuse too....sometimes, i look around and i want to cry...i want someone to come and magically change everything... if only wishes were horses....

looks like i have my work cut out for the next couple of days... and the only way i can get out of this rut is to get off my behind and start doing something about this. 

ok. two birds with one stone... ranting = feel better + ready reckoner of stuff to be done!

Monday, September 5, 2011

travel and the single girl

my friend N is in England this week. she's been there 5 days already and sends me a picture or two everyday. She looks like she's having a fantastic time. she has friends there ofcourse... but when she planned this whole trip, staying with friends wasn't the reason she chose to visit. it was just a happy coincidence... i know cos i was part of the discussion. 

as i write this, another friend of mine, V is trekking somewhere in leh/ ladakh (dont get at me, i know they are different places, i just dont know where she is right now). she's gone with a friend, and his group of friends... incidentally all boys. this will be here third holiday with said friend. 

i am happy for both these girls. they are great at their work, are very valued as professionals, they are a riot to be with and are steadfast friends.... they incidentally are single... one lives abroad... so has to deal with the "how pathetic you are not married' once every two years...the other lives here and has to deal with it everyday... they are strong... they laugh it off. they are also waiting for an interesting guy.

but i digress, its not about them being married... its about how a lot of girls are travelling alone sans family / husband/ boyfriend. sometimes on their own, sometimes they join a group. they take a week off, buy their tickets, pack their bags and just go somewhere.

there are a lot of groups that are professionally managed to handle organised tours for women like WOO - Women on Wanderlust or girls on the go. they ensure women are safe and have a whale of a time. more and more girls are going on their own too, either with a friend or on their own. i know of atleast two who have done this in the past few months. 

why do women want to travel sans family? because like everyone else, they want to have a good time and just travel for what its worth. a lot of times, being a woman and a mother more specifically means that just the venue changes and sometimes choices of food and sleep become more painful, but you arent relieved of your mommy duties... you still have to do everything you did at home... while everyone else is on a holiday. so its no wonder that women want a breather that is really one!

i've never travelled alone. most of the travelling i did was as a student or an unmarried working woman..but that was just back and forth to and from home... i have gone on sans family holidays tho... with a group of friends... with the significant other... i've loved it... i always wonder what it would be like for me to take a holiday now alone... without K or family or anyone else... fortunately, my family isnt annoying on holidays (well, almost). so i've never really wished them away...but just for once, i wonder how it would be to visit New York City all by myself.... will it live up to its reputation as maximum city? or london perhaps? in a museum although i dont like them much! or turkey maybe? something to think about....

i think this post is just getting pointless.... so stop i will 

Friday, September 2, 2011

explaining myself

I didnt mean to sound ungrateful in my post on gratefulness. i know i may have come accross as that kind of person who counts her blessings in kind... i mean, i counted a car and a phone in that post. I am grateful, for the love of K and the love of my family... i think i cherish them now more than i ever have... i miss my dad so much, despite all his and our failings... and the frustrating times we lived through, i think he and i would have been so happy to live through this phase of my life together... i try not to romanticise that part... because, it was perhaps the toughest most bewildering part of our lives... full of a lot of things noone should live through... yet it fills me with so much regret that he didnt live to see this day. 

it taught me such an important lesson. to cherish the people and relationships around me in the present. So i give my friends the kind of attention i would want them to give me.....and its not always reciprocated.... i have pursued relationships which sometimes i wondered why i wanted so desperately even tho the lack to attention was at low self esteem times deprecating to say the least... but it paid off. i am surrounded by the ones i love... i live in a home that's all mine... and i have a warm bed and hot food at all times. even on the days when i am feeling rotten and unworthy, the lord gives me home delivered cheese crusted pizzas to make me feel better...

so i am really greatful for all the living - loving things in my life... occasionally i am also grateful for the stuff that isnt living!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the year of gratefulness and its only the end of august

i began this year with a lot of misgivings. i was so glad to see the past year end. i was so sick that its not even funny. and i lost my funny bone some would say. all i gained is weight and grey hair!

but this year has not disappointed me. it has overwhelmed me with the love of my most precious and gifts in kind. i got most of the things i've been hankering after this year. a makeover for the house, a car and now a pup. they continue. today my brother gave me the latest phone for no reason. he just got one for me and sent it thru a colleague. i am blessed. and grateful. and as of now... my cup overfloweth. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

how long will this last?

i havent looked in the mirror for a week now. which means counting the grey hairs at my temple has not happened. i have also not looked and found fine lines (which advertisements for anti ageing creams have shown me where to find) on my forehead. 

Sage has decided to give me a refresher of an education in living i think. I had forgotten that the pooch wont mind what you are wearing or if you havent waxed and threaded in 3 months, or that you wore your holey pyjamas or what you smell like at the end of a long day. 

he follows me around like mary's little lamb the whole day. am trying to banish him from the kitchen when i'm cooking as i dont want a beggar dog, but he's currently taken to lounging under the kitchen sink till i am done. something tells me he will spend his summer afternoons there as well. the bathroom door mat becomes his bed when i go in for a bath and he's overjoyed to see me emerge after my 3 minute bath like i went to war for a few months. i wonder if he's trailing me only because i am "meals on wheels" for him?

I am trying to potty train him, in an apartment, its been my greatest challenge. he's teaching me once again that there's more to being a dog lover than cuddles and play time. that it takes patience and stamina all at once. 

i am ok with everything till now....but i wonder when i will begin to go back to looking for grey hair in the mirror.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And we called him Sage

I grew up with animals around me. Multiple dogs, a couple of cats, fish in a tank, chickens bred for their meat which i refused to eat and at certain times assorted stuff like rabbits too, always lived in my maternal house. infact K used to refer to my house as "the zoo". 

I cant say if i am a cat or a dog person. because i am equally in love with both, but due to sheer numbers and experiences, dogs outweigh the memory of cats in my life. With a large house, and the family belief that one kept the other active, we always had atleast two large dogs at any given point...sometimes three. which makes about 20 give and take a few. I could never understand why people didnt like animals and dogs and cats for that matter. Welcome back home is something one will never understand unless you've had a dog put his front paws on your chest and slobber your face. the mud paw prints on your clothes are a very small price to pay for the love you receive. 

once i got married and moved into an apartment I had to adjust everything from my wardrobe to social skills and even learn voice modulation . Simply because there was such less space. 

add to that a husband who wanted to strangulate my possessive dog the first time we spent the night at my mother's house because she was very jealous and wanted to share the bed with us. she sat at the door and whined till i let her in, she then proceeded to wedge herself between us and sleep the whole night. a man who never willingly touched an animal except on the dissection table was suddenly sharing a bed and pillow with a canine who growled each time he even stirred.

i can assure you it wasnt love at first or second or even third sight. Life moved on and Cindy moved to bangalore with my mother and brother. She reserves her warmest love for K these days cos he pampers her silly. We just had to allow time and subtle reassurances that she wasnt going to bite him. this for a man who wouldnt touch a soft toy because it felt 'furry' was a huge step.

I never got over my craving for an animal. I pondered over having a cat since they are so independent and care two hoots if you come back home at the same time of the day or not. and most of all can crap in a litter box which means they are more suited for apartment living but K would have none of it. 

the last few years, i was convinced i wouldnt cuddle another pup. city living and travel and the vagaries of being a DINK couple meant that we were not willing to bring everyday demands and care and initial chaos into our lives....

increasingly, i began to convince myself that watching cute puppy antics on youtube was as good as having a pup. now i feel like laughing at my bravado. 

last year this time, i took on the responsibility of baby sitting a friend's labrador for a week. he was to be married and had no where to leave his 'son' and so i offered my home but didnt bargain to losing my heart. newbie made me realise what i was craving and also gave K a glimpse of the person i would be with a pet around. for me, it made me realise what a closet dog lover lay behind the years of not wanting to touch any animal, except when dead and served up on a plate.

K finally felt that I was deprived long enough and i got the go ahead to look for a pup. i hunted high and low, contacted breeders, kennels and animal shelters. i couldnt seem to find anything that i wanted or liked. the breed was wrong or the price to high or nothing worked ever. i was keen on a beagle for its size, then a spaniel and then just when i was going to put an end to all the pining since i felt like such a wuss, i walked into a vet's clinic to check if there were any puppies available through them. I made a couple of calls half heartedly and as i walked outside, i was accosted by a man who asked me in typical movie theatre black marketeer style if i wanted a dog and that he had a golden retreiver pup for sale. He looked like a shady guy, so i hurriedly took his number and left the place. the guy called me about 5 times that evening. and about 10 the next day. i stopped picking up after the second call. I hadnt even considered a golden retreiver since they are large animals and need space. on the 13th, after lunch at my in laws, we came home to rest and K was vexed with the dog breeder's incessant calls and asked me to just call and tell him we'd go look at the pups.

I knew then, that life as we knew it, would never be the same. I had 10 minutes to choose between two pups. their parents came along and since the trailors were so gorgeous, we signed on for the movie. in a blink of a second and with the exchange of a few notes, i had a 7 week old puppy in my arms. i nuzzled his face, carried him in my arms, he never once looked at my face, but just sighed, and flopped down, sleeping for the most part of the 45 minute drive back home. waking up only to pee and poop and throw up on me. What can i say? i had waited 8 yrs for this!

a few anxious days of getting my dog raising mojo back, answering all of K's incessant questions and a lot of oh my god i would have tripped over you and killed you later, we have settled into a nice space. I know we'll not be able to traipse off like before, locking the house for days together, and yes my pooch wants to be fed at the insane hour of 5.30 a.m every morning, he has also scent marked my entire apartment and ofcourse i have to kiss my spotless house goodbye, but one look into his eyes and i forget all the mischief he has been upto.

I wanted to call my dog mojito, but this one didnt look like that... his sombre look prompted K to say he was sagacious. And so, we called him Sage.

Say hello!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the thirty day photography challenge ~ in words

So as i drag my feet with the 365 day project for 2011 which over the last few months has turned to lead, i accepted to do a 30 day photography project with a bunch of enthusiasts on fb. i havent counted, but i think i took about 45 days to finish it.... i am very unhappy about this and i wont tell myself that finishing it was what was important. yes it was... but doing it on time was as important. i hate myself for my procrastinating nature at times... i can just sit on the stuff i need to do for months.... that;s something i need to change. am working on it....

coming back to the pictures... the enthusiasm for the project was high in the first one week... i brought out all three of my cameras and earnestly carried around my old p&s in order to capture a moment here or a montage there... i eagerly looked forward to what the other's were posting and how they were framing and composing their pictures. each day had a theme and it was quite nice to see how we'd interpret or capture the same theme. i must say i was jealous a lot of times... and wondered why i wasnt able to think of something similar. there were days when i couldnt decide which of the many pictures i should post...on certain occasions, my shots would be similar to what the others posted. honestly, my first instinct would be to change it and put something else... but i resisted... i realise how much what others think still affects me....

i had fun while i did this. i dont think i have ever used my tripod as much as i have for this project. especially for the night shots and the self portraits. i can not forget waiting in the kitchen with my tripod and camera for the pressure cooker to let off steam to get a nice shot...or sitting on a milestone on a dark street with people giving me weird looks to get my long exposure shot....or shooting my mother while she was busy talking to me without her knowledge....

the photo project has been very uplifting for me... esp since i have done one 365 project, i know how fulfilled i was at the end of the year...and even now... to look back on the pictures... i am energised to do it all over again and fill in the gaps....

up next is a a-z project that i have been shooting for... will finish posting soonest!

to see all the pictures... click here 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

some days

some days the mind is as clear as the bluest cloudless skies... on others its as misty as a hill station in winter....sometimes it oscillates between both...embracing them is what i can graciously as i can...because both are methods...

am glad and good at what i do but i could do so much more....

order or chaos? what do you prefer?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

confused....also sad

When your parent begins to discuss in great detail, the things that you should / should'nt do in the event of their death, it is scary and morbid all at once, and makes for a very uneasy conversation to put it lightly. Details about what has to be done in case of casuality. What ceremonies to be followed, what to be omitted, who needs to be informed, what needs to be donated, etc etc. This has become dinner table conversation. and it scares the shit out of me. Amma says she wants us to know what she wants, and that it is something that we need not shy away from. I on one  hand agree with her. however, it doesnt fail to make me sad and feel helpless. In the past few weeks, there have been too many bereavements in my circle of family and friends. so the hows and whys and whats are being talked of over and over again. 

its a little morbid. but its also cool that my mother thinks its ok for her to tell us what she wants. so i am confused at how i should react. on one hand it reminds me so constantly of time that is passing. that she is firmly thinking of life for us after her... just acknowledging that makes me really sad. you always look at your parents as being invincible. and for them to talk about death so freely is unnerving. it has made me so aware of my mother's thoughts and what she is preparing herself and us for. in that way, she is always a few steps ahead of me... preparing the ground, like she did when i was going to college, moving out of home, getting married.....

parents. regardless of how old their children are, are always looking out for them.....mine, is no different.... but this whole thing, is making me sad and confused.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

waging war at home

am at the laptop early in the morning which is a regular thing now. my most significant relationship today is with the laptop and therefore with the internet. but that isnt the point. i spent the whole of yesterday trying to find things i believe i put away in certain places. my memory failed me and i couldnt find them in those very places. what started then was a disgust at the way things are organised in my house, especially in the storage loft of the study and the guest room. boxes of stuff i have forgotten about. and if i have forgotten about them, i dont really need them. so starting today is operation clean up. i need to find place for all the things i need, and discard the stuff i dont need. i did this with the kitchen a few weeks ago and i am amazed at how much more productive i am in the kitchen because i know exactly where everything is. 

one of the biggest things i need to sort out and organise are the pictures. its not easy to keep 30 odd years of memories of both K and me in boxes. when the in laws moved here and were unpacking, i picked up a tonne of their b&w collection as well. some of that needs restoration. 

i found a whole carton of my crafting and cooking books that i had forgotten i owned. i need to find a permanent place for them. and my sewing machine. which currently sits in the holy temple of the library and is irking K no end. 

pictures to be frames, space to be decided for wall art...wait, before that i need to paint a few walls!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

blogging again

my food blog has been resurrected. i cant tell you how happy i am. while i believed that i never stopped blogging, churning out 6 posts per year is not very nice. fortunately, my blog stats show that readers have been faithful and come in the hundreds even when i was away for a couple of months. sometimes searching for weird tags lands them on my blog, but still! what changed is my attitude. i have made hundreds of meals to help K with his phenomenal weightloss even though, we have tried to move away from food being the centre of our lives.but the result of which, I dismissed almost everything as non blog worthy. even my fancy pants camera couldn't make me change my mind. the gentle coaxing of a few friends and inquiries from readers made me post once, i tried to remember why i started blogging, as a personal food record... to look back at the kinds of food we ate, enjoyed, experimented with and sometimes rejected....then twice and in the last few weeks almost 4 times. while it is a personal journey, when i moderate comments or see the number of people that have visited after each new post, i realise how happy it makes me. more than anything, i have a new interest in blogging now and am as excited as before. i have a few ideas for new themes, especially one on doing a series of healthy but tasty recipes. i hope to be able to resurrect the photoblog as well. wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Period Pains

again an unintended blog hiatus. a lot has happened. we went on a beautiful holiday to bhutan, K's family moved back lock stock and barrel and in a few days, mine will be here to spend easter. Bhutan was gorgeous... for some pictures, head over to the cooking blog. K's parents moved back to hyderabad finally after 8 years of  subtle and not so subtle brain washing.

I am typing this from my bed. am lying on my back, propped up with pillows, with a hot water bottle under my back. its that time of the month for me and today i had such a miserable morning. a few years ago, i didnt even notice when my periods came and went. all that has changed the last few years. this particular period has been very difficult. i couldnt wake up at my usual time this morning because of my discomfort and only waited for K and the maids to leave to get back into bed and rest through the crazy cramps. while i am grateful that i can take the day easy and rest this off, i feel so terrible for women who do not have this luxury. 

i am also grateful that i dont have a family that treats me like a pariah when i have my period. i have a neighbour living on the 3rd floor of our building and their balcony faces ours. each month, i see the young daughter in law, sitting during the day on the floor of the balcony and at nights, sleeping just inside the doorway. i wonder how she feels that something so personal is out for public view quite literally in her case. And while i understand the whole spiel that it is intended for rest to the woman etc, why cant she rest in her own bed/ room and the comfort of her home and not be isolated on the balcony? what if she wants to lounge about and watch tv? we once shared a maid with these neighbours and they asked her not to come work when she was having her period. the maid was more than happy since she could get off easily and drew the line when they refused to pay her for those days. her stance was that she was ready to come and work, they refused and so they had to pay her. she was not willingly dodging work here so she was entitled for her pay. i agreed with her.

infact, i think it is a time when i do appreciate the rest and all. and i do rest "if i need to". but i would hate to be treated like a leper. i would hate to be isolated and then told that it was for my own good. and served food like an untouchable.

most indians, follow some kind of ceremony to celebrate / mark the first period of a girl. even in our predominantly christian household, the hindu influence was unmistakable. i knew exactly what was happening to me and had my mom to talk to. I hated the morning ritual of swallowing a whole raw egg with sesame oil, said to strengthen the back and general health. and refused to do continue with the raw egg swallowing after 2 days, my mom too didnt force me since she was scared i would puke on the floor! apart from that, there were no restrictions and life was as usual. i was not very comfortable with the whole ceremony that happened at the end of the 5 days. but since we lived in a quasi joint family with my uncle and cousins next door, and every celebration from a birthday to an anniversary was celebrated with the same set of 2-3 families, we had a celebratory lunch. i did find it very embarrassing, but in about 10 minutes i was quite happy to be fussed about and we had a prayer, i was blessed and then the shower of some nice gifts happened. i also remember being insanely jealous when my cousin had her period because her family was richer and had a huge ceremony with 100 people and she had a gorgeous saree. i didnt for once wonder if she was jealous of me since her period was announced to the whole world. I do know that i wouldnt do it to any girl i know. infact when my niece recently started hers, i just talked to her about hygiene and left it at that. i didnt think she could handle anything more than that....

the whole flowers and fruit and clothes and gold routine, is very indian / hindu and i remember being told by my aunt to not go near the church altar for communion if i was having my period. very similar to the do not enter the temple ritual. i realised it was absurd and the same god i worshipped had made me, periods and all and unless i was dying with cramps or discomfort during which i would generally avoid stuff that made me more uncomfortable, i would not follow  these silly rules. infact no one needs to know i am having my period. its my business and what you dont know wont hurt you. so if any of you have this no touching business or no enterring the kitchen stuff, i am sorry, i may have violated your rules. i have been to temples, poojas and churches when i have had my period and will continue to do so. what you do need to be particular about is only two things, hygiene and comfort. 

life moved on as usual with the next period. infact i can vouch that i used it as an excuse when it suited me, to run errands and do stuff rather than have my family isolate me. even today, i use pms as an excuse when i know i have been unreasonable, K is the only one at the receiving end. 

in school i remember girls being embarrassed when they missed school and ashamed of themselves if they stained their uniforms and it being treated like a major catastrophe. i couldnt understand why we needed to be ashamed of something that one, is totally normal and natural and two,beyond our control. oh and the embarrassment of buying a sanitary pad. i had that too, sending out my mom when i needed it, mostly because there was an idiot in the store who used to be lecherous. i found a way out by buying my stuff at the supermarket, always stocking up so i can avoid emergency runs. the last thing you want to do when the hormones are making you crazy, and the cramps are making you nauseous, is to be caught without the comfort of a sanitary pad/ tampon. my years in a hostel refreshingly exposed me to girls who would matter of fact ask if you had extra sanitary pads, cos they ran out. if i do send K out to buy them for me, he will drive me and the store guy nuts with calls to ensure i have the right brand/ specifics and he doesnt make a wrong purchase and add to my discomfort. infact he apologizes that he cant share the discomfort with me. is ever willing to wake up in the night to get me a hot water bottle, tablet if i need one. i think concern and consideration beats any explanation that is given to force isolation on menstruating women. but like all things that have lasted past their prime, we are made to think that these practices are for our own good and due to our lack of ability to spot a good thing when we see it, we call it useless.

i realise that i was fortunate enough to develop my own sense about my periods and menstruating and i could practice what suited me and comforted me best. this isnt the case with every woman even today. there is no dearth of people and practices that continue to make us feel different in a not so nice way. every opportunity including a period which is the most natural thing to happen, is used to make the woman feel like it is a curse and her secret to be kept covered lest anyone knows of it, and yet is made to live the life of a pariah in varying degrees, not based on her comfort, but on the permissiveness of the family she lives with. makes me sad and angry at the same time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tuesday marathon

I went to watch the kings speech and black swan today....back to back again....
I loved the king,s speech....a story of an I'll tempered reluctant monarch who is trying to live up to the burdensome expectations that threaten to crush him...poignant, funny and utterly beautiful story of how we all need the love and support of people we trust to overcome something or a achieve something.....I loved the portrayal of the relationship between prince Albert and his wife the most....more an the obvious one between the tutor and the student.....silent, strong and supportive is how she is....
Colin firth is one of my favorite actors and as much admiration that I have for his immense talent....I couldnt help but marvel at the quality of writing that begets such a superb performance by an actor......

I couldn't help wondering when there would be a movie in India that did not make mockery out of a physical or mental condition......we don't treat so called normal people with dignity, so forget about people with disabilities or conditions which are thought of as disabilities.....

Like everyone else, I have no doubt of the abilities of Natalie postman as an actress....however to see her transform into a woman tormented by her own self is something else....the genre and the darkness of the movie is something I hadn't expected, because for once I didnt read the review before going for this movie...I did know that this was about a person tormented by her own self and the world around her.....

The film surprises you and is testament to the genious of the creators....however, it left me feeling very heavy....o needed a lot of time to remove the images out of my disturbed me that much.....I kept thinking of the madness one has to conquer, to be perfect or super successful...the demons one has to exorcise to reach a difficult goal.....I questioned my own perseverance or the lack of.....more and more I wonder how much we must value success to attain it....and once attained, is everything worth the sacrifices...if yes or no...who decides.....

Both movies makes you think more and more that no one person can succeed without the help or support of many people around you....also that sometimes it may be that the very same people around you want that success for you more than you yourself......

It made me go back to my childhood.....where everywhere around me, my friends and classmates had parents who drilled it into their heads that there was no life beyond being a doctor or an engineer. It left me confused....I wondered if my parents didn't care for me enough to guide they always told me to pursue what I wanted...i wonder if the life I have now would be different, more focussed and disciplined if I certain choices were made for me....

Anyways...I needed. Lighthearted rom com to get my mind off all of this....of course...I didn't find anything so I watched some tv before drifting off to sleep....

Monday, March 7, 2011

this and that

  • today's post will be in bullet points!
  • have spent a little more than a week in my new home office and i love it
  • its pretty, functional and is keeping me motivated to finish my work
  • i feel like getting in touch with friends from the past who are no longer an active part of my life
  • i know they (friends) arent in the present for certain reasons, but sometimes i just miss them
  • am wondering if i should cut my hair really short
  • its a few inches above my waist, but i wonder if i can chop it off till above my ears
  • i went shopping today after a client meeting
  • it was for my entertainment, i spent 4k in the bargain and am feeling very guilty about the needless expense
  • all of that was spent on stuff for the house...this makes me less guilty than before
  • i miss my mom
  • yet i had the most random of phone conversations with her just now!
  • i also miss my talking about him a lot more now than ever before
  • i met a friend from college on the weekend...was happy 
  • i am hoping to be more gracious about the heat throughout summer

Friday, February 25, 2011

talking about what i do

its friday and i am not going TGIF. In my case, monday, friday or sunday are all the same size and mold. you see whatever work i do which is little and far between, i mostly work from home... in my nightclothes till i decide to go bathe myself... so big fat difference the day of the week makes to me. in the past, i looked forward to the weekend, because that meant time with the significant other. Since he got entrenched (yes thats the apt word) in an assignment that has given him a challenge, a healthy paycheck and an associate he spends all his waking hours with, either in person or on the phone) he works all days of the week including so called weekends. so in a sense, i now have completely lost track of what day or date it is. it really doesnt affect me one bit.

so what do i do? i am a training consultant. this means that a couple of times a month, i don corporate garb and talk and train people to be better versions of themselves, or how they can get more work done out of themselves or others and how they can be whiny without appearing to be so.....its fun for the most part, which explains why i still do it.

for the rest of the time, i bum around. really. i didnt want to be 60 before i retired. so i quit the rat race much before i turned 30. i cant seem to be able to come up with a valid reason as to why i quit....dont get me was a decision i made being fully aware of what i was doing, but my reasons usually meet with an "are you nuts?" kind of expression from who ever i am talking to...

even my mother, i thought would strangle me when i said i was quitting work. she must have had a mild heart attack that all that expensive education she struggled to put me through had gone to waste.

i love my time alone. i read, write this blog and two others, i sleep, watch day time tv and yes i work when i need to. i make decent money, i own a house and car and am debt i really see no point in being tied to a job or a desk or anything of that sort. i mean,  i have no issues with people who love it...and some really do... but that's not for me. and i dont whine about not having a fancy designation or a company paid for trip. because this is what i chose of free will. ofcourse i am not superwoman although i may have come across like that if you have met me in real life... i have my days in the dumps when i want to stick a stake through you because you are earning more than what i am...but i smile or take a nap or do something else which will distract me from killing you.

if there is one thing that ticks me off more than anything else is that people cant get why i quit working to be a "housewife" i mean, even tho generally staying home is considered uncool, being a sahm is way cooler than being a housewife.... so what business had i to do this when i didnt even have the excuse of children? but its ok. i have ticked such people off my list of people to kill and ignore the questions now.

so what do i do? i spend a lot of time online. the significant other thinks it is addiction. it may be. i am a voyeur and i love whats going on in other people's lives and i like that i dont have to be productive about it all the time. so i browse, read blogs and read inane conversations about travel and movies on twitter. and the internet has made it so easy to follow the goings on in other people's lives minute by minute...and mostly they want you to know what they've been upto so they make all the information easy to access anyway.

i read a lot online.... interiors, decor, photography theres such a wealth of information on happenings and techniques that is available for free online. also foreign newspapers and publications.... and it gives me a kick to use information i picked up online in conversations... like telling someone that damask was very in right now as a decorating trend.... or that owl motifs are hot accessories.... or that nothing can take away from linen in a tropical country...or that some obscure herb from south america can actually be sourced in hyderabad now in a secret little shop. some of this information is useful. some isnt. but its all there.

i have two balconies teeming with assorted plants, some vegetables and other stuff...i potter around and tend to them. i keep a super neat and efficient house. but this was true even when i was working fulltime. if you come home unannounced, i will not be scampering to neaten up or sending out for food. that's a promise.

i also am 'learning' photography. so you will find inane objects and sometimes people being subjected to my shooting! which also translates into a lot of time spent reading and practicing.

i used to use cooking and baking as therapy. but when the k man decided he had imposed a blanket ban on carbs after a certain time (and look what it did to him! lost him 44 kgs!) i kindof have lost interest in that too. i  leave the mundane everyday cooking to Renuka. she'll never be in the same vicinity as i am as a cook, but she puts edible and familiar stuff on the table and we're ok with that. but when we have guests, or my mother comes to visit, or i am feeling particularly happy, i don the apron to show off a bit.... (what? i never claimed modesty as one of my virtues)

i cant imagine what i will do when i really get older... i am talking 50's and 60's if i live to see the day. because i have gotten used to my free time...and my bumming around.... i have been spoiled to go back to the desk and the grind. i always said i dreamt of being a beach bum.... well...i think i am living my dream ... minus the beach, but i will get there.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


its the third week of the new year and i have been unable to write anything here yet.... i come here and go back, without posting and with over half a dozen drafts in my files.... its been busy mostly. with most days spent at home in the company of amma who came here on the last day of last year, time spent with N, i must say i miss her terribly now that she's gone back to la la, chatting and eating and just hanging out.....just typing this here is making me nostalgic...finally dividing the spoils of the war...errr the sale proceeds of sugar n spice between me and A and i am flush with money which is a good thing cos i havent earned a penny since dec and it was making me very in laws were here househunting and that was a hectic week again... they left yesterday and the IL's got along like a house on fire but that will be fodder for another post when i have the time and the inclination.....i am so relieved they found an apt they liked and finished paying the advance for it....cos it was like a see saw for a while and moments of tension.... more later, when i am not stuttering and can be more coherant....