Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The year in retrospect (super duper long post)

There are times when one feels one has figured out something ~ a series of events, a person, a moment in time. One rests finally, with a sense of having fully understood the matter. Then suddenly a realisation happens which makes your understanding have a 180 degree turn. Suddenly everything that made sense does not. Or what you thought you had figured out, has suddenly turned on its head. 

The last few months I have steadfastly held on and said at every opportunity that I couldn't wait for this year to be over. At every turn, this year has thrown me a new challenge. I have written about it, I have pondered about it, shed many tears and spent many sleepless nights and restless days. 

The year began on a good note. There was the promise of something big happening. Every ounce of our collective energy as a couple was spent on nurturing the new venture. January did start on a very promising note. 

The euphoria and the excitement continued through February. We had a full house with a little Dachshund joining us for a week as I pet sat him while his family holidayed. We had parties and more parties, some planned, some impromptu. A breathless excited pace that made me smile each time I tried to catch my breath. I was becoming fitter with my workouts at the gym and came to a point where the highlight of my day was the time spent in the gym. I began to enjoy the excruciatingly tough all day travels to Guntur and back. leaving home before sunrise and getting back bone tired just a few minutes before midnight. The pit stops, the conversation, the food at small towns on the way and the skyline would become my friends. Some days, I would wait to actually get away from the mundaneness of home. 

March was again a round of frenzied activity. Several trips to Guntur for work included one overnight one where I had to stay at the house of my business partners' in-laws. Working on a small budget, that night while trying desperately to sleep for a couple of hours beside a child who kept kicking me, on a mattress which still had its protective plastic sheet cover and against a wall so dirty I thought I was on a horror movie set, I realised all that I took for granted. It was a situation I promised myself I would never allow myself to be in again. I was in a mad house, where out of politeness and spread over 400 sft, I had to join in a religious celebration that had an elaborate pooja every 4 hours. It was more than I could take. In a strange town, I just walked out of the house, for almost a mile, hailed and auto and went to a crowded marketplace for some solace. The train journey back home was something that I enjoyed more than I expected. Or maybe it was the happiness of just being on my own finally. 

The end of March and beginning of April, we spent in Goa. With two other couples. This was one of the most beautiful vacations K and I have had. Sage went crazy on the beach. He and I took long walks at sunrise, sometimes in the dark much before everyone had woken & played with street dogs that got friendly and stayed outside our cottage till we left. We ate in restaurants that didn't even ask for him to be leashed. I came back refreshed, but things were not to be the same again. Everything slowly began to get edgy and K spent unending hours at work. I would barely see him for 30 minutes after he woke up and before he left for office. I missed him terribly, so did Sage who began to get very clingy. Work for me continued with more trips to guntur. I was working with a bunch of extremely unprofessional and selfish people. One threw a tantrum in the middle of a contracted job and tried to take us for a ride. Another was just so whiny that it was easier for me to roll up my sleeves and get the work done myself. It happened more than a couple of times, when I got work done this way. I had to dig deep into my being, to handle these childish people, to take the high road, to be patient when they were being ungrateful, to solve their domestic problems so that they could come and do their work. There were days when I just wanted to pull my hair out, some days I wanted to slap multiple faces multiple times. I practiced zen. I spoke softly although in my head I wanted to scream. I offered solutions. I ran a ferry service. I felt like I had reached a personal milestone. 

This was a significant realisation for me. All the while, I believed I was an unlikely candidate for corporate success because I lacked patience, I lacked focus and I lacked the larger vision to only keep looking at the result I wanted and not the means by which I would achieve it. I was always given to understand by my bosses and sometimes peers that 'my fly off the handle and confrontational nature' was the chief reason I couldn't carve out a larger niche of success when I was gainfully employed. I put myself in situations where I had to face the heat and came out of them successfully, by myself. I felt very accomplished individually. This was a huge milestone for me. 

May was when the mayhem truly unfolded. We had a 'situation'. K spent about 18 hours being disconnected with the home. He had too much on his mind and his body was being pulled in every direction possible. It took every ounce of his strength both mental and emotional to get through each day. I saw him tired and weary and so cranky that conversations were to the bare minimum, lest I step on a raw nerve. My cook left because her husband was ill. I was in-charge ~ of the kitchen, of the house, of the family (amma was here with me), of K, of Sage and yes, of myself. I cannot even begin to describe how I felt. When the rawness has healed, someday in the future hopefully I will be able to talk about it.

I have issues with boundaries. I need them, I am territorial and even something as small as leaving a bag where it does not belong, or cluttering a table gets me mad. I am territorial and I need my space to reflect that. So when encroachments happen, on my time, my space, my emotions and even my energies, I crack. The only thing that kept my sanity during this time, was my gym routine. Doing push ups and sit ups and weights and holding the plank position was where I was channelling all my energies. I would go to the gym and pound the weights! and feel good about myself for the rest of the hour, till something else erupted. And erupt it did. On a daily basis, there would be something that ticked me off. All my energy was being spent pleasing someone else, or accepting things I didn't like to keep the peace of the house. Everyone had to make adjustments. I had to too and at times I felt taken for granted by the situation. This continued into June. Those weeks and months are a blur. I cannot even believe I allowed a few things to happen. the lines between work people and friends had always been blurry for K and this time too, a lot of the shit that was happening because of ill defined boundaries.

Prisoner of my own mind, I found myself accepting behaviour I would not have accepted normally. A complete invasion of my private space, a violation of privacy and sometimes smart alec answers which would have normally been met with a stare. Too much access to personal information, too much exposure to private matters and too many discussions over a life we have protected rabidly. Finally one day, when both of us had had enough, we spoke about it and amended the situation and restored some sanity and peace back to the house.

I turned a year older in July. It was a circus at best. My best friend wanted to throw me a surprise party at 12 to ring in my new year. Poor girl had no idea of what was happening and it took K's intervention to douse some of the 'would have been' blaze because there were new equations between the people in our life that were on the guest list. I made a new friend this year, a bright, confident 22 year old woman, who I connected with. It was easy to forget she was so young. I was rudely reminded of the age gap on my birthday. Amidst a lovely time with friends whoa re family, Amma and others, I was reminded of how much I meant to this girl. So important was I that she was pretty vocal about her happiness as well as her annoyance both in the same breath. Since I was in a fragile condition already, I burst a blood vessel and a deluge of tears followed what was supposed to be my best birthday ever, turned quickly into a nightmare. I spoke about this to N my other bestie and she explained a few things to me, about myself, my friends and my friendships. The next day, I called said friend, lets call her M and told her how I felt, we talked, laughed, cried, hugged and returned to our respective lives with a better understanding of our friendship. M has played such an important role in my life this year. She has been a pillar of support and a girl who goes out of her way to help, and will brush it off as nothing. She's called me names that include 'retard' and I still call her my friend!

August is a month I cannot remember much of. I spent the time mostly mending other's fences. mending family relations and assuring them that everything will be ok when you are not feeling quite so positive yourself is possibly the most important thing I did this month. I finally confronted my business partner and got paid my share of the dues. Concluding that it was possibly the most hard earned money I had ever made, and so not worth the effort! I also took a leap of faith and injected new energy into my languishing Classes. My Culinary Escapades classes have been something I have always had on the back burner. I started them almost 7 years ago and on and off while I have taken breaks, I have never really put all my energies into them. They have always been like a faithful friend, sometimes happy to be in the limelight and not complaining when ignored. I wanted to change that up and August was the month that saw me infuse energy into them. And they blossomed under all the attention. August was a month I began rebuilding my faith in myself as an individual. August was also the month when we found out without a doubt that our beloved Sage was epileptic.

A few lessons I taught myself, that no matter how tough the going is, look inwards for strength and you will find it. This year in essence was all about knowing myself better. the strength, the courage and hard work. I realised I just underestimated myself over and over again, and yes, the year was not a good one, but I did good at the risk of sounding pompous. I think I was the best version of myself.

September was when Amma turned a year older. A beautiful if sometimes painful 75 years on this earth. She has been an exemplary role model of courage and persistence. I would have liked to add smartness, but that she is not, retaining her innocence and gullibility even now. Because of Sage's condition, we couldn't make the trip to Singapore like I had promised her. this is the third time we have abandoned those plans for various reasons. She being the sport was perfectly fine with it. I needed to do something more for her, something special to mark her life and in less than 24 hours, I had a party hall booked to celebrate her birthday with her closest family and friends. I called my brother and asked him to bring the kids and come down. That was to be the biggest surprise for Amma. She couldn't believe her eyes when they stood at the door! Through all the secret planning, fixing the menu, buying her a new saree and getting her blouse stitched, deciding on the return gifts et al, my MIL and FIL were my pillars of strength and my co conspirators. The birthday girl had no idea what was happening and cooperated beautifully to being surprised. It was a beautiful moment, she was overwhelmed and gracious and I was happy to have been able to do this for her. I think as a daughter, life came a full circle for me that day.

October was a month that I cannot remember much of. Except the weariness of the year just dragged through. I found new and hilariously like minded people online and as is my practice, I overdosed on them. the addiction to whatsapp was complete, sometimes at the cost of the people around me. Much to their annoyance, it continued. I launched a couple of more classes and saw the Facebook page spiral out of control. It was a personally thrilling time. There were times when I wanted to go back into my shell, but like M said, I was too much in my comfort zone and needed to stick my neck out. I wrote for a few local magazines, reviewed restaurants, conducted classes, dealt with all sorts of irrational people wanting to enquire about my classes, managed to come to terms with Sage's illness and find the strength through all the tears. Amma bid us adieu as she went back to Chennai for a few months.

November is the month K and I completed a decade of marriage. 10 years is a long time to be with someone. it is a huge milestone. for us it feels like a few years ago. We have seen better times than this year. And while we talked about all that happened this entire year, we both felt it has been the most testing and challenging for us. We've always been a team, that is our strength and also our pride. Realising that nothing has changed is a great reminder of why we are together. I remember not being too sure of what I was doing even as I dressed for my wedding. The uncertainty, the cloud of doubt in my head and the rest of the family was weighing my shoulders down, I was tired of trying to convince everyone. Till I said to myself, I will take it as it comes. I cannot imagine being who I am with anyone else. He is the Yin to my Yang. The voice of calm logic and reason when I want to shout, scream and throw a tantrum ( and I do throw some awesome ones).  He is the man who tells me to try the most impossible things and will fret if I need to cross a busy street on my own. He is the man who will make fun of me all the time. The man who has no cares for the future and believes in the here and now, to my complete despair when I realise how much savings other people have! The man who has quietly been the wind under my wings, when I make a big show of even making a second cup of coffee for him.

We tell each other that between the two of us, I have the better Social Interface and automatically people think he got more than what he deserved and I got less. But the truth cannot be farther than that. K has taught me to tell the world to take a flying fuck as long as I believe in what I am doing. He will question your convictions not to challenge you, but to test how much you actually believe in them. So ten years on, with none of the trappings of 'family life' and with people asking us constantly when we will 'settle down' (I'm assuming that's the way to ask if we will ever extend the family), I realise the reason we are together is simply because we want to be together and not for any other reason. The fact that we have nothing that binds or ties us together in the form of children or any other familial obligations we may have to execute together and yet, if I were to choose all over again I would choose K. That is a staggering realisation.

Through this year, I fell in love with him more than I had ever. We had the most tempestuous year ever. This year has tested us individually, as a couple and as a family. And I am very proud of how we weathered every storm. When you are young and dreamy, you wish to be with a partner who can take the tough and narrow path, you want a partner who will stand up for his principles with not a care in the world for the losses that may incur, you want a partner who is idealistic and thinks without a care. Ten years teaches you that everyday living with a partner like that is not for the faint hearted. That there will be days and weeks when the uncertainty of decisions or the future will eat at your insides. That you will have more things to worry about than have a smirk for. That living with a partner of unbending morals means a tough life. And the realisation that you could not have chosen better. That you would rather rake yourself over hot coals than choose any less a man. It has been a tough year for us, and what held us together is what brought us together. You know now more than ever, that this is a good thing.

As December rolled in, I began reflecting on the year that passed. It went quickly in the good times (yes there were a few of those) and dragged on endlessly in the bad patches. I reflected on my inner strength and ability to face circumstances that were not to my liking. I realised that while I cannot wait to see this year end, it has taught me how deep my courage is and how strong my faith. That despite being flaky, I can take care of myself and my flock.

This is the only thing that I am grateful for this year. It pained me to see K's pain and despair. Yet not one day did I see the fire ebb in him. I was so proud to be his partner, even on the days when I didn't feel particularly generous of my time or my energy.

2013 has made me draw from an inward strength I didn't believe I possessed. Like a tigress, I gathered my cubs and protected them. Sometimes those cubs were my mother, K and Sage. I drew so much courage from the quiet confidence of my MIL. She has been the biggest influence over me this year. I learnt so much from her quiet resilience. I drew strength from her as I recharged. I know I can face any adversity on my own. I know that I can take over the reins and be responsible for the mental, financial and emotional well being of this family. With Sage, I realised that there is a life to be led once the tears have dried and the fears have been overcome. I am very grateful to be able to choose to work from home while I care for him. I am grateful for being able to enjoy so many days playing with him, scolding him and whacking him sometimes when he misbehaves. I cherish every moment of our time together. grateful for the undying love and unwavering faith he has in me, even when inside I am battling self doubt.

If I had a choice, I would not want a repeat of this year ever, but I am grateful for the experience because of how we have lived it.

There have been days when it took every ounce of my grace and dignity to get over a single hour. I looked inwards and was able to be strong, for myself, for K, for Sage, for the family and for all those I call my own.

This is a year I will not forget. This is a year I have learnt to forgive. This is a year I was able to cut through the clutter and focus on the people, the relationships and the work that really really matters to me. This is the year I have believed in everything everyone told me, and nothing anyone said. This is a year I have felt alone in a crowd and strong enough to be silent. This is a year I have lived each day like no other. This is a year I was battered, broken and healed.

As I wait for this year to close, I do not want to forget these lessons.

To my readers, I wish you a very beautiful New Year ahead. May 2014 be all that you want it to be, may your heart and homes and lives be warm and filled with the love and grace of those who matter the most.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The importance of keeping it together

It is the last month of the year and I cannot stress on this enough ~ Cannot wait for this year to exit. It has been the most difficult year of our life. Emotionally, mentally, physically, financially. Every which way I look, this has to be the year a lot of things changed for me and us.

the last post I wrote a few days ago, referred to Sage and his health. He has epilepsy. It has been a crushing discovery. That my joyful, playful, boisterous puppy is almost always drugged now and not his usual self has been so painful. We are hoping he will be better soon. He is getting all the medical attention he needs, we are trying to deal with this and live with it. I am mostly home bound now and spend all my time with him. K and I really thought this would be a one off case due to his habit of picking up rubbish on his walks and there is no telling what he may have ingested. Turns out he has a life long condition. The stuff we are reading online and the advice of the doctors suggest he will have a reasonably good life and we need to be tough enough to see him through this.

That's the toughest part, to watch him have a seizure and keep our wits around us and negotiate the 30 minutes it takes to clean him up, comfort him and reassure him that everything is going to be fine. It is tough to stay sane when all you want to do is flay your arms and cry. 

Work wise I am very happy the way this year has shaped up. I cannot help thinking if it would have been better without the bitterness that cropped up several times in business dealings. People who try and short change you, act like they are friends when it suits them and business partners when it doesn't. So suddenly in the middle of telling you how they cannot make a payment because their child has been mysteriously unwell for a month they will talk of professionalism. I had to chase someone for 6 months to get my payment and that has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have now decided to work with people only on an advance payment. It makes it unpleasant to state these terms, but its better than being cheated. 

On the classes front, a lot of people think that conducting cooking classes is not work, but you are just doing something for timepass, especially because you operate from home. I have heard rubbish that fellow bloggers who recently turned culinary teachers have accused me of copying their ideas and what not! I got sucked in for a while. Bitching my heart out about fellow frenemies, bloggers and random people in the home baking business who spoke behind my back. I got riled up when people in the baking business insinuated that they put in ten times more effort than I did for half the money. 

That's when I decided I needed to purge such people from my everyday dealings... easier said than done... I am trying, but every time I slip, I shake myself and get back on... something I have learnt from sage!

On a brighter note, I baked yet another rainbow cake on monday. This time for a girl so lovely and such a terrific friend. If there is one friendship that makes me feel special, it is this one.
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I couldn't go to wish her at 12, but K did and together with J my friend's hubby, they managed to somehow put up the bunting I made for the cake. I was not too happy, but it served the purpose!

Wishing my dearest B a lovely year ahead and may all the things she is chasing, come to her and fill her life with laughter and joy and happiness.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tough times

The last few days have been the toughest most emotionally draining in a long time... K and I really thought good times would roll... not anytime soon looks like...

I'm purging all negativity from my life... all the stuff that makes me mad, sad, stressed and spew venom...

help me in this journey

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I woke up this morning before Sage started his kapaalabhaati on me. Thats rare these days. I usually wait till I get mauled and only then reluctantly wake up... cursing the man snoring next to me... I think my first instinct is to want to kick him in the shins...but I just let out a very bad cuss word to begin my pre dawn morning and get on with it. Not so today! I woke up with a very vivid visual in my head... I was in a room, a very well decorated room with beautiful large windows and light and breeze flowing in... billowy curtains and lots of pretty things around.

I jump off the bed, and twirl around... into the arms of a handsome man... we hug, he whispers into my ears, I blush and we hug some more....

then we break into a song and dance! I woke up with a start... and realised I was dreaming that I was in a movie, it was kareena with imran khan (i like the guy, judge me!)

And with that my morning came crashing into reality and I just woke up and got on with the day.... the first task is to check my emails and messages on FB.

The last couple of weeks have been super busy for me with reference to my cooking classes. I have been teaching small groups of people to cook and bake for almost 6 years now... yet the attention I and the classes are getting all thanks to fb has meant that I get more specimens than before.

Sample these emails/messages

  • I want to set up a chocolate business. Help with where I can buy the required equipment, what will be the requirements and how to do marketing
Basically wants me to sort out a business plan, put it in place and run the gig. Wow.... and no 'thank you' nothing!
  • I want to attend your class, give details
I teach an assortment of 6 classes, err which one are you referring to? and if you do not leave an email id for me to respond to, how am I supposed to get in touch? surely you do not expect me to put all the information on my FB wall?
  • Why can't you have classes in 'proper' city
Because this is a home based business. And from where I stand, this is 'proper' city. If you really want to learn, travelling 10 kilometers like several others have in the last 6 odd years should not be a problem. Also, if it is really an issue, by all means find a class closer to you.

  • Calls and messages from people in the same line of work, enquiring to check price ranges. 
Err, if you are stupid enough not to protect the information on your social network profile, do not assume I am idiotic enough not to check. I wrote back to several of them asking why they would be interested in attending a rudimentary class when they are already experts in the said area, needless to say, didn't hear back from them.
  • I am a large corporate, we operate in a very niche market, we have very high profile clientèle. Would you be available to develop recipes and do a recipe demo for xx number of people? We are looking for someone with exactly your profile and expertise.
Thank you for getting in touch and yes I would be interested and here is my effort estimate and this is the expected compensation. 

"what? you will be on our flyer and your blog will become famous and that is very expensive, etc, etc, etc"

If you had a strict budget in mind, it would have been easier to just state that upfront and get on with not wasting my time. And the email I sent with the scope of work, well stop using it to mail others if you have half a brain and any spec of self respect. Bloggers are not sitting twiddling their thumbs. They put in a lot of hard work to develop a skill and nurture their talent. Do not expect it to come for free or peanuts. And hello, what exposure will you give me that I already do not have. I am quite well known without your help thank you very much. 
  • Enquiry from someone who intends to attend my baking class
"I want to know what oven you are using. I plan to buy one, please let me know the make, mechanism, capacity, price and energy consumption of the same"

Err, these are questions I will answer in the class.

"ok in that case, I am still thinking about it and will get in touch, I am actually out of station on the next class schedule"

Huh? You didn't know your travel plans 12 hours ago when you sent in the email?

I get calls, texts and emails from past students. Sometime to update me with what they are doing, sometimes to ask a question. The most annoying is when they just seem entitled to my time or information. an abrupt message asking where they can buy a particular item, or help them source packaging material or why their cookies didn't turn out right when they followed my recipe to the T. I really don't know sometimes how to answer, especially the last question, because every oven behaves differently. And it takes time and practice to understand it. 

Or a student who will sign up for a basic chocolate making class and ask questions or want recipes which are taught in the advanced class. How do I tell them that information is not accessible?

I am mostly amused and only mildly irritated with people who do this. But when you encounter this on a daily basis, it helps build patience and character. I was chatting with another blogger friend and sending her screen shots of emails and messages. She told me to tell them to %uck off. I said, if I really took your advice, I would be out of business very soon!

I try and answer all questions patiently. Often, people want a lot of assurance and information even before they have committed to attending a class, but I understand that and am happy to help where I can. I find it a very selfish tho, when people simply try to mooch off information. Narrating long drawn stories when all you want to find out is a price point. 

I spent a large part of this morning wondering if  I should write this at all. But I had to get it off my mind, so I did... now to hit the publish button!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

i do say f*ck an awful lot....

My gym trainer thinks i need to get a tee like this. I agree with him and a friend of mine is going to get one like this printed for me.

I don't even think this is a bad word anymore. Its more of an expression when I say "F*ck! I love that" or "F*ucking crack" or any other such stuff that gets said multiple times during the day.

today I said it when the said trainer tried to kill me with my workout... weights, pushups, squats...i did say fuck quite a lot! then i had to deal with (like always) scum of the earth... made me say it another few times...bad drivers, idiotic messages on FB, ungrateful people...i do say fuck an awful lot!

i also use it to describe something awesome.... fucking great food or something similar!

i live with my mom, that hasn't made me use it any less...

maybe i should get a dozen of these tees!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the comfort of the known

Yesterday morning, I was determined to get my routine back on track. Can it even be called a routine if it changes almost daily? I don't know. But in my head, a morning workout (which essentially is me time) is a big part of it. After almost two weeks of absenteeism, I walked into the gym with a flutter in my heart. the flutter was because I was anxious to check if I would be able to do my old routine, or struggle. Each time I reach a decent level of stamina and fitness, something happens to throw me off the rails. Last time, derailment was due to viral fever epidemic at home, other stuff that made it impossible to carve out some time in the morning, Sage being ill. It came to such a point, that I thought I would never be able to go back to the gym.

It made me fret for the loss of my fitness, for the loss of my sweat! and for the loss of my me time.

see the thing is, despite the fact that the mirrors tell you there is so much work to be done, and the extra set of squats with weights that your trainer gives you threatens to kill you, it still is awesome to see you push yourself.

I never thought I would find pleasure in pain!

I resumed the gym, went back to my daily routine through the day, dragged myself to my dance class in the evening which btw was so much fun, and sank into bed at midnight, with the tiredness that only a well spent day can give you.

it was a fabulous day. I felt terrifically energised and more in control of the stuff that I was allowing to happen. I hope this spell lasts longer than the last lousy one!

have to go now, the kettlebells, they are waiting!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


what is it that makes us experience the highest high and the lowest low in a matter of few moments... a few minutes, sometimes hours or if you are lucky to stabilise your heart rate and your mind, a few days...

i am one of those people who oscillate so badly that i am fearful of the chord that is seemingly holding me together. the chord that right now is holding all the pieces together.

i watch aerial acts performed by dancers/ acrobats and wonder if that is me in a more stylised version.

one moment when everything is so clear in your head, one moment when it is so hazy, you cannot even see your toes...

what is it about space that makes us so territorial. Its almost scary to see how our instincts are not so different from an animal who marks its space. that corner of your home and mind, where you are alone. where you are able to think and brood and recuperate. it is so important for your well being. to know that that is the space where there will be no encroachment.

sometimes it is that space which you dont have which makes you crazy. the thought that you haven't had a moment without someone watching you... that you havent been able to sigh without being asked why or even stay in bed with unbrushed teeth because you don't want anyone to panic...this balancing act is so tiring, draining and simply annoying. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Of friends, family and other important things

Sometimes, in between blog posts, so many things happen that I want to chronicle. I make a mental note of it frenziedly  and then promptly forget. or something else happens and I forget or don't have the nerve or the energy to do it. 

Sometimes, I just cannot get myself to write about how I feel because there are other people involved and by the time I figure out a way to do it diplomatically, the anger or the excitement or whatever other heightened emotion I felt, has passed.

this weekend I had two friends come stay with me from out of town. they are married to each other... the guy was my friend and colleague and I always looked up to him for all things work related. its his opinion that is seek when i need a work related sounding board or counsel. he is the silent brooding type, but rarely if anything, escapes his attention... also, he is possibly one of the most discreet human beings i know.... i met his wife through him (obviously!) and after many years of being a friend's spouse... we hit it off like a house on fire...we have similar backgrounds and temperaments and can talk nonstop without even coming up for a breath of air...

each time they visit, they infuse me with a good sense of energy... its nice to discuss stuff with them, individually and collectively and get a different point of view. it helps me think more clearly.

we spent the weekend together, with their 8 year old son. who is a self contained, intelligent, uninhibited and these days (rare) well behaved boy. by the time they left, late last night, I was so exhausted with all the talking and listening and thinking. but it was the good kind of exhaustion. the kind that makes you drift off into deep, satisfied, refreshing sleep. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The pages, they are turning themselves

Umpteen times this past month, I came here to mark my presence, to write a few words, to say that I enjoy this blog even now... I failed. 

Sometimes, months go past without anything significant happening and then something so huge happens that you forget to chronicle it because you are swept away in its force. 

Around April this year, I fell in love. So deeply, so unknowingly, it rattles me even now. The thing is, I have known this guy for almost half my life. We have seen each other grow and take on different tasks, succeed at some, fail miserably at others. Its easy to take for granted what you have right in front of you, when it is always there. 

something happened. A storm so tumultuous, that I wasn't even able to see straight, leave alone walk. This guy, somehow, got to be in the middle of the storm. Raging from all sides, ready to engulf and obliterate him. With him, was this helpless person, who sort of in a very irresponsible unknowing way, started this storm. And then I saw what he did, he had the hand of this person firmly within his own hand, held on and never let go. No matter how bad, how reckless and how dangerous the storm was, he never once let go of the hand that he was holding. No questions asked, no explanations given, just holding firm, because of a promise made. Because he said "I will take care of you, I will be there for you, I will protect you and I will not judge you when I am doing all of this"

The storm took a long time to blow over, almost 21/2 months in human terms. That is a long time to live out. That is 21/2 months of daily adjustments, everyday refuelling and going forward even when deeply wounded. All because of a promise.... because he was an honourable man. He didn't let go of that hand, despite the storm inside him, the personal losses, the tumult in his family, the fact that everyone questioned him. 

Picture this, a man is walking with another person's hand held tight. on a bed of glass shard ed ocean with the water right upto his nose, wading through water when there is a terrific storm, winds and gusts that blind you, and it is icy cold and it's raining. Not once does he let go of that hand, not once does he flinch no matter how much his soles are bleeding and in pain. That is the strength of this man. 

Its easy, when you have known someone this long, to look at the warts and not the strength. To look at the flaws which are so many and not the honour or conviction. To expect that for the sake of the overall peace and preferance of everyone around, he should take the easier more socially acceptable way out... but he didn't. 

This decision to walk with this person, protecting this person and ensuring there is a safe passage, has cost him almost everything. And yet, not a day of regret or anger has been shown. I really do not know what it takes to be someone like him. 

All I know is, this man, made me see him in such new light, that after being by his side for all these years, I wondered who he was and what he had become. I am honored to be in his life, to walk this journey with him, to be his partner. It made me realise what a privilege it is to be with him. It has made me appreciate the things I seldom understand and always questioned. It made me realise, that all great men make supreme sacrifices and do not show it even when they are bleeding. 

I fell in love, so deeply, that I felt the energy of this man even when I didn't see him. I realised that I didn't want to sleep walk through life and its decisions. More importantly, it has made me want to be courageous about myself. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Birthday Portrait

For the first time, I had someone at home to click my picture. My friend P came over to wish me on my birthday and I had her take possibly one of my favorite photographs. Rarely do I get a picture of myself. Rarer for it to be with amma. The lady who has taught me the most important lessons in life, and from who I have inherited almost everything else. 

I turn a year older today. This year like every other one, has taught me that there is no stillness in my life, and why that is a good thing. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

a year...

From groaning and finding every excuse in life, to getting cranky when I cannot leave on time, my attitude towards exercise is the most significant thing that has happened to me this past year. 

June makes a full year that I have lasted at the gym. I have never been this dedicated to anything besides my resolve when I wanted to get married!

One year, of not being able to touch my toes and now being able to hold the soles of my feet when I do stretches. One year, of panting like a dog at 30 skips and now being able to skip 100 times without stopping. a year of going from doing push ups on the wall because those were the easiest to do, to doing almost full pushups on the floor baby! (particularly proud of this). A year of not being able to even lift a 2 kilo weight to work out my arms, to being upset the day I don't work out with heavy weights. One year of being inconsistent and yet seeing the response from my body when I work out regularly. one year, of not giving a damn about who was younger/ slimmer / fitter than me.

one year, of agonising over two sets of gym clothes, wrestling sports bras and being unable to find a tee that doesn't show cleavage (in my case), waxing legs and scrubbing my feet clean (I workout barefooted).

I am not reed thin, because you haven't seen what I have not stopped putting on my plate.... but I am fitter than I ever was in life! 

I get a lot of "you have pulled down/ lost weight / slimmed down a lot". Makes me wonder how fat i was! 

the journey has not been easy. There are days when I think I will not be able to put another foot in front of the other as I do my forward lunges.... but I keep at it. The temptation of food and laziness and the sheer discouragement from everyone has been tremendous... but I am super proud of myself. 

there I said it! I am proud.... for sticking with it... for overcoming my guilt and getting my ass to the gym even when K told me I should not be selfish and spend time with him at 7 a.m on saturdays! for not caring about just my weight or that of other women around me... Of just realising, I am as young or as fit as I choose to be and I am solely responsible for my choices.....

In the past, I was a serial dieter... relying on cutting food to shed weight.... the day I realised weight loss and fitness are two different things, I was a better person!

Just hope this good sense stays with me.... 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Anxious is sometimes good

The hunt began three weeks ago. Amma is staying with me and one of the things on the agenda of this stay was to get her to the doctor who checks her eyes. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you will perhaps know, that Amma, rockstar amma is partially sighted. She has no vision in her right eye, after a series of glaucoma related issues, the optic nerve died and right now the eye is shrinking and may completely close in a few years. Amma thinks she looks like Lalita Pawar. But that's her sense of humour! and she has loads of it. Possibly the only way she has been able to deal with the hard knocks in life. 

her left eye, the "good" eye is now functioning with a 30% efficiency.This means, if you are an unfamiliar person and sitting more than 4 feet away, she cannot make out your face or features... you appear as a blob to her. This eye is what she manages with. Fiercely independent, she is a person about the house, wielding the knife with aplomb and cooking almost everyday. She scans through the papers with a magnifying glass, watches tv and goes about her normal stuff. She travels alone, although now only between cities where my brother lives and I do. she is also one of the neatest people I know and that's not because she is my mother! walk into her room 5 minutes after she wakes up and you will find a spotlessly made bed. When you meet her for the first time, and if you dont know the background, you would never guess she is partially sighted.

So why this ode to amma? when i started this post with a hunt? Last year, she had an unsuccessful cataract operation. Complications arose and the procedure, which is fairly simple, needed to be abandoned to save her leftover vision. The doctor gave her 6 months to get her nerves back and redo the operation. In the midst of all this, she came to visit and I insisted she stay for a longish period of time. 

We found a doctor who came highly recommended. Away from the world famous eye hospitals in hyderabad. We consulted with him, hoping he would be able to give us a breakthrough. A youngish doctor with thick fingers and a soft spoken demeanour. he had the patience to listen to amma and go through her case history. he then pushed his chair back, and asked "do you want me to be honest or popular?". I believe a good craftsman is someone who does not need to showcase his ego at every opportunity. a person who knows his skill, yet will do what is best for the situation. He very gently told amma that in her case, he does not see any need to get aggressive with her treatment. the approach needed to completely rest on preserving her existing vision. He told her quite frankly that her cataract was not going to be a show stopper and that any intervention on her eye would be done only when absolutely needed. The only thing he wanted was to review her periodically to keep a check on the state of the eye.

This was last year. This year, we went back to him for a check up. Hence the reference to the hunt. We were unable to meet him the day we went due to his ill health. He asked us to consult with another doctor, who also happens to be his wife. She took on a different stance. Telling us that an operation, tho complicated was possible under general anesthesia and that Amma shouldn't be defeated by her age! She negated every other earlier bit of advise. We came back with an anxiousness and a need to see the original doctor. 

I was wondering if he would also recommend surgery now. Considering one year had passed and that there could be some further developments in the state of her eye. Also, since one doctor of the fold had already advised that, would it be necessary to keep up the same stance?

It proved elusive to get to the doctor. First he was travelling for over a week. then his ridiculously inefficient and clueless support staff, scheduled and rescheduled appointments at will. Twice, we had a busy morning, mentally preparing amma, rescheduling the morning routine and just when she was dressed, we would be told that the doctor was unavailable. So when friends and family called to ask what happened and when the operation would take place, we had no clue. Am sure everyone questioned my credentials at having been unsuccessful at scheduling another appointment. On monday, I finally lost my marbles. On each of the three calls I made to the hospital, I yelled and threatened the person on the receiving end of the call. calling them inefficient and unprofessional, I recounted the blundering efficiency they had. Finally, we were scheduled to meet the doctor yesterday morning at 10.

up bright and early, we trekked down to the hospital. Finished the preliminary tests and waited and waited. Finally met the doctor who thoroughly checked amma again. She told him she was ready for surgery if he wanted to go ahead with it. He sat back, apologized for the previous inconveniences and told her he wasn't about to put her though an operation or any kind of procedure unless he thought it was absolutely needed. With that, i think i fell a little in love with a doctor who put his patient before his professional ego. It is so difficult to find someone like that.

We came out of the hospital relieved for having found a good doctor, who will not look at you like an invoice receivable. So the two weeks of anxiousness was actually good. While a lot of folks told us to look for another doctor, we waited.... 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


the scorching heat and the uncomfortable fact that despite air conditioning, when the weather wants to be a bitch, you have no control. Even normal everyday stuff seems to sap you of every ounce of your energy. the door bell rings and you just pretend you didnt hear it because walking up and opening the door and dealing with whoever is at it is going to take more effort than you wish to spend. 

Morning walks with the energetic dog whose friends are all over the next two colony roads makes you yell out more than usual. come back, not here, slowly and dont jump are all the bewildered dog that has hair like four woolen coats can here. this is the only time of the day when he can feel anything like his playful self, because in less than 30 minutes, the heat is at a boil. despite the fact that you can have a cold shower or sit with the A/C, you still feel you are worse off than the poor furry dog. 

Chores for the day get put back and delayed till it is almost time for dinner, yet there is no dinner. Making do with leftovers and short cuts, even the K man who never notices anything realises he has been eating dosa for dinner for 3 days on a trot. the seeds i planted a few weeks ago refuse to show any signs of sprouting and make me more anxious than i care to admit.

work that normally takes a few hours, stretches into weeks till someone not so gently tells you that you have stuff to do. even then, you grudgingly try to make a big show of finishing the simplest of stuff.

I have often asked myself why i become a different person when the heat is at its peak. I frankly do not know. and after all these years, am finding it increasingly tough to accept that the heat turns me into a different person.

the wait for the rains is like an animal on a parched dessert land. I work one day at a time, waiting and watching for signs of the earth that it will rain soon. The peacocks in the adjoining plot went nuts a few days ago. I knew that they would know before us all. so when the first drops of rain fell to the earth, I ran out and stood outside to feel them on my skin.It lasted all of two minutes and the heat after that was unbearable again. But in my heart, I knew that it was just a matter of a few more days and all would be well again.

and then, just like that, it began to rain. not pour, but drizzle a few times a week. sometimes i wake up to a wet street and puddles and dont mind it at all. hell i love it.... I cannot even remember how the heat humbled me and made me batty. that in my book, is when the tides turn. Welcome rain.... bye bye summer... you were such a bitch

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Missing my main lady

I can almost imagine what it must be like for a farmer to watch his parched lands broken into cracks by the unflinchingly harsh sun. Through the months of March till the beginning of June, the sun is relentless. It the worst time of the year to get to know me. I am usually listless, nasty and downright moody. More than permissible levels. and I drink... through the summer... anything liquid... water, chilled buttermilk, cold coffee, and lots of beer. its the only way i can keep sane.

This summer has been different from the last few in a lot of ways. To begin with, it almost reduces me to tears every time I remember that Renuka, my faithful cook for the last 5 years has left me. She had to relocate to her native place to take better care of her alcoholic husband who put the entire burden of earning on her. She has almost 10 people to care for including her husband, 2 children from his deceased first wife and two of her own. the princely sum she was earning in the city working as a cook in as many as 4 houses was proving to be too less because of sky rocketing rents and costs of urban living. She had no option but to go back to the village where she has property and can therefore live rent free. She hugged me and said if she can come back she would first come to me. But her sobs were reserved for Sage. She wept into his fur, holding his head and kissing him. Renuka was irritated when we brought home a dog. within a few weeks, she was inseperable. Calling him her Sona baba, she would cuddle Sage and feed him morsels from her breakfast. Even giving him fruit and allowing him to rob potatoes from the vegetable stand. She would become a wall between him and me when I was annoyed with Sage and wanted to punish him. She made his jowar rotis and hand fed him on the days I left home for work really early. 

Most importantly, for the control freak that I am, it was a tough decision to give up the kitchen and its daily shenanigans to someone else. In a years time, Renuka would be the only one who sometimes knew how much rice we needed for the month! I relaxed a bit and gave over the daily running of the kitchen to her. She would keep track of groceries, vegetables and even stopped asking me what to cook each day. once a week the fridge would be cleaned and bottles washed and dried. In short, she sort of made her place indispensable. the only thing that remained status quo was her cooking. She made excellent rotis, and dal, idlies and podi and araichavitta sambhar and baghara rice... everything else was a hit or miss. some days i would grin and bear. some days smilingly tell her that the food was terrible. but her smiling demeanour and genuine love when she said "madam garam garam paratha kha lo" or "khana ready hai, please kha kar jayiye" was enough for me. And she was regular. No french leave for her. She would plan a twice a year week long trip to bombay to her sister's house and let me know well in advance. i would be annoyed, but by the time she was back, i would want to hug her!

In short, Renuka was too good to be true. the only thing that saddened me was her personal life. With a good for nothing husband, and sons who showed all signs of going the same route, she was the main earning member of a 10 person household which included daughter's in law and grandkids at the ripe age of 40. but she would always be hopeful of the future being good once her sons were done with college and started earning. So when she told me she was unsure of returning, or even if she did, it would be atleast 4 months, I could not say or do anything but to wish her well. tell her to forget about the dues she owed me and thank her for her love and food. 

When she sobbed into a bewildered Sage's fur, her only question was who will make his roti and feed him now?

I struggled for a month. With a long staying guest and amma being here, the mornings at home are once again stressful and chaotic. Amma tries to help. making sage's rotis, chipping in to help with cooking lunch or dinner. But I am impatient, and fastidious and want things done a certain way at a certain pace. So i prefer to do things myself. by 10 a.m i am crankier than the most terrible summer...

My maid stepped in and asked to do the cooking for the extra pay. I was more than happy because she is an excellent cook! We are still grappling with the timings and her getting overwhelmed at times with all the washing and swabbing in addition to the cooking.

I am missing the value Renuka added to my life... and I know that it was just not the cooking... it was everything else she brought with it..

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Goa Vacation

The last week of March, we went on a family vacation. I have taken ages to write this, because I have mostly abandoned this blog. However, I needed to write down all that happened. Particularly because of the following reasons
  1. I was very happy with our vacation
  2. I wanted to share the experience with the meager readers of this blog
  3. wanted to share some do's and don’ts about traveling with a pet because that is still a rarity in India
We made plans to go to Goa. The reasons were many. Firstly, the humans wanted to go there. Secondly, it is one of the most pet friendly places in India.

The only part that worried me was the fact that goa would be like a furnace in the end of March. But we countered that by picking an air conditioned resort which was bang on the beach and meant we would have nice sea breeze the whole day.

I mentioned on the pet sitter’s forum, that a friendly dog was half the battle won while traveling. I said this because of a few reasons. One being, that a friendly dog is welcome almost anywhere. If I would have collected 10 bucks every time someone stopped to pet Sage or called him cute, we could have stayed an extra night!

Let me add well behaved to the list. We ensured right from the time Sage was a puppy, that people didn’t pet him till he was calmly seated. So despite meeting several strangers everyday, he knows that no matter how excited he is, he will have to sit still till they can pet Sage. No one wants to make friends with a dog that is over excited or aggressive. When people realise the dog is friendly and harmless, they lighten up and allow him into places like shopping arcades too where an ill behaved pet would hardly be welcome.

While we haven’t taught Sage any tricks like bring and fetch, roll over or even the basic handshake, he knows to sit and stay still when we are in public. It has held all of us in good stead and ensured we can travel with him and not be embarrassed or inconvenienced.

On our way back to Hyderabad, we decided to stop over at Bijapur. This is a small town and had hardly any hotels to speak of, leave alone a pet friendly one. We called a place, one day ahead of our journey to get accommodation, clearly mentioning we had a dog. We were assured we could bring the dog but Murphy’s Law was at work and when we did land up, after a tiring hot day in the car, with a tired and hungry Sage, they suddenly refused to give us a room. It was past 8 p.m and we had few options. After K spoke with them (politely) and said we had only made the drive because of their reassurance, also promising that he was a well behaved dog, they relented and let us stay. All the while during the discussion, Sage patiently waited on the leash with me outside the reception, but within sight of the manager. I doubt he would have allowed us to stay if he was acting like a crazy dog.

Most highway dhabas allow people to bring their pets. Except places like kamat and stuff. What we do in that case is, request for the food to be carried outside and eat near the car/ in the garden if they have one/ ask them to set up a table for us outside. They have the right to property and only a polite request has some chance of being obliged to. At a dhaba too, we ensure the dog is leashed and sits at our feet, not running around mad.

The most important thing while traveling with a pet is to know if he/ she can travel. Sage has been car sick from the time he was a puppy. All my dreams of vacationing with him crashed at that point. Even a trip to the vet would make him empty his intestines on the floor or seat of my car. For a full year, on the advice of the vet, we continued to take him around on short drives, in the city. To friends homes, the in laws place, to the market, etc. the first thing was to make this a routine, to make the dog comfortable with getting in and sitting in the car so that at some point he would be ready to go a longer distance. It is much more difficult to travel with a pet which has travel anxiety and has never sat in a vehicle.

Pet parents wanting to travel, try lounging with your pet in the car while it is parked for a few days, gradually take them on really short drives, increasing time and distance slowly. If your pet cannot adjust, it is better for everyone to leave him/ her at home or with someone instead of ruining everyone’s holiday.


Some pointers to other pet parents who would like to consider traveling with their pets. 

Pick a pet friendly destination / place to stay. Do your research, make enough calls, speak to the people and tell them if your pet has special needs. It should have enough space to exercise your pet and should not be very complicated to approach or navigate. So no heavily decorated place, no place that is above the 5th floor and no place that does not have a yard / garden or at least easy access to the road outside so we can walk Sage.

Pick a mode of transport that the pet is used to and comfortable with. We took Him by road (hired an Innova) and gave Him the middle seat. We also broke the roughly 700 km journey into two days. Covering about 600 kms the first day and the rest on the second. We ideally like to complete about 70-75% of the distance on day one and do the rest on the second day after a good night's rest. 

Carry enough towels and bed sheets (to line the seats and floor of the car, incase your pet gets sick), newspaper.

Carry food, bowls, water, glucose powder and stop every 3-4 hours for a vanilla ice-cream treat as well as loo breaks. We don’t feed Him till we stop for the night because Him have terrible motion sickness. That has not stopped us from doing road trips with Sage. We have figured out a way to combat it. Firstly, we start early in the morning, lets say by 5 a.m and stop about 5-6 pm in the evening. Him do not feel hungry till about 10 a.m which means we would have already covered 5 hours of driving by then. We give Him an anti vomit tablet an hour before we begin to help Sage. Stop for loo breaks, keep Him hydrated with water and give Him glucose powder every 30 minutes or so. Every 3-4 hours, we give Him a small cup of vanilla ice-cream. This is sufficient nourishment for Him till we reach. After the first hour, he figures out the routine, slump off on the seat and sleep.

The goa drive was a bit hard on him (as compared to Bangalore – Coorg last year). He vomited a few times, mostly bile. But once cleaned up, he was fine and good to go.

A word to pet parents, this is the stuff that works for us. We have been doing this after speaking to our veterinarian. In fact the glucose and ice-cream thing is based on her advice. Please check with your vet before you travel anywhere.

Once we reach our destination for the day, we wash him with a wet towel so he feels fresh, give him lots of water and feed him the amount he would eat for one meal. We do not try to over feed him just because we starved him through the day. We ensure we sleep early so the dog too can catch up on his sleep and recover.

At the destination:

We keep him leashed till;
He gets familiar with the place (usually one day)
People / staff of the place get familiar with Sage
There are other guests and if we are in public places like restaurants and shopping areas.

At the hotel / place we are staying at, I spread my own double bed sheet on the bed over the hotel provided linen to prevent / minimize damage.
While most hotels specifically mention that the pets are not to be allowed on the furniture and beds, we all know how much dogs love to leap onto said bed and furniture. While Sage does not sleep on the bed, he likes to climb on for some cuddling or play time. Most hotel linen is white and its best to carry some thick heavy duty stuff which will prevent damage and embarrassment.

Carry emergency medication for basic stuff and be in touch with your vet incase your pet needs anything.

I continue with his regular daily routine even when on holiday. So while I crib about waking up before sunrise on a holiday, it keeps the dog sane that he can still have his walk / meals / playtime as usual even though the location and people have changed.

At meal times, check if the pet can be taken into the restaurant and sit in an area where he/she will be comfortable. For instance, in Goa, we sat in places which were not bang in the middle of the restaurant, but on the side, so Sage had enough space to sprawl on the floor and didn’t come in the way of other guests.

Politeness and smiles go a long way in opening doors to people traveling with pets. We always called ahead at restaurants to check if we could take the dog and kept him leashed till they said it was ok to let him off.

Carry food, water, bowls and paper towels everywhere, preferably in a bag. So when the dog embarrassingly pooped in the sand in middle of a beach shack, I just cleaned up and walked on. We asked for ice cubes to cool the water for him and gave Sage his own food to prevent him from begging at the table (failing miserably, he is a sorry little beggar)

If people stop by to make friends with / pet Sage, we always make sure he is sitting and calm before they can do that. We also tell them specifically where they can touch him for the first time (usually the back or his ears) so the dog is not startled. We also repeat the key word “friend so he knows they are friends.

Some don’ts while traveling with a pet

Do not overfeed or drug your pet with tranquilizers or sedatives. If your pet is car sick he will repeatedly vomit if he has undigested food in the tummy. This is just a very unpleasant experience for everyone involved. Many people told me they give sedatives and mild tranquilizers to their pets. I discussed this with the vet who cautioned us against doping him (thank god!). I much prefer to talk to Sage, make him comfortable, and stroke his body while he sleeps.

Do not force your pet onto people anywhere. Most people are generally wary of an animal they don’t know and will be scared. This is natural. Do not take offense.

Do not leave your pet unattended no matter how friendly he/she is. He is one of the friendliest dogs around. Our dog loves it when people stop to pet/ talk to him. Yet I or K constantly has an eye on Sage. We do not allow people however friendly to lead him away from us and never ever leave him unattended especially when there are kids around. The problem is, they are new to Sage, and there is no telling how he may react. There could be a tone of voice or a gesture or a sudden movement which annoys the dog. Or they could do something to tease Sage. Or may just have a juicy piece of food on their plate that looks appealing. It’s better to be a little cautious than have unexpected behavior from anyone. In case there is a misbehavior, the pet always takes the blame and that can be avoided if the human is somewhere around.

Do not feed your pet strange food or something he / she is not used to eating. For the simple reason that Him don’t want to make them sick and ruin your holiday.

Do not exert your pet unnecessarily. We ensured he stayed in the air-conditioned room for the hottest part of the day and got his regular siesta. Walks on the beach were always early morning and evening after sundown. If we were going to a restaurant close by, we would walk; else we took the car everywhere we thought we couldn’t walk comfortably.

The resort we stayed at in Goa

They are very pet friendly, allow the pet in the lounge and restaurant provided it is well behaved and doesn’t bother other guests

Pet Friendly Cafes / restaurants

Coorg Pet Friendly Homestay

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Am struggling to keep my myriad blogs alive... have long abandoned the picture blog and am feeling so sad for it!

i keep coming back here and to the food blog and i must discipline myself to be regular...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

of having a lovely day...with myself

my friend N calls me a social introvert. I think she has come closest to describing what i have become over the last few years. I have written extensively and sometimes incoherently about my love for solitude these days. I love having people around. But a lot of times, when the socialising has spilled over a greater part of 3 days, I need to retreat into my silent zone for atleast a couple of days to be civil to anyone again!

I've had a busy last few weeks. Nothing that is earth shattering, but some stuff that has kept me busy and on my toes.

I spent the whole of today at a pace I enjoyed. the walk with sage, at a time when school buses were still not around, and sage could roam about leashless. came back home to a good cup of coffee and scanned through both the newspapers. spent some me time, reading, listening to trance, shopping online for shoes! and playing with sage. Could not have asked for a better time with myself.

in the evening, some friends dropped in and i was actually happy to see them!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

weekends...come and go

Its 3.30 a.m and i just finished a piece of work i had been putting off this entire week. 

I've had a nice weekend so far. spent today almost exclusively with K. for some part of the day on the couch, sipping beer and eating biryani in front of the TV. Something I never do... but it was so enjoyable! then the three of us napped till it was evening. We had guests over. A girl i randomly met on the road and her friend. She stopped me when she noticed sage one day. we chatted, she was sweet and very chatty... we exchanged numbers and then in a random conversation i asked her over for dinner. Had a nice time talking about everything... its refreshing to see young people... to understand their perspective... their thought process...their ambitions and everything else. I hope she and her friend had a good time too. She almost balked when i told her how old i was.

I blanched too. because i realise i am at that age when 22 yr old people think i am ancient!

tomorrow we go to the IL's for lunch. its been a good week so far... 

Monday, March 4, 2013

bits and pieces

This used to be my main blog you know, before the food blog came along...then everyone had a photoblog and i made one too.... then we got a dog.... its a different story that each one of them is lying in neglect. Like a dusty old house forgotten in the village when you move to the bright shiny city...the cobwebs hanging...the paint peeled off....the walls crumbling and doors weather beaten.... but still standing

Summer is here. not officially... but unofficially... doing a recce and checking just how crazy it can make me. Its succeeding I must say! Also the changing season is another indication of how much time i have spent away from this blog.... its real stupid for me to keep coming back and saying that anymore... i think the last 100 posts all have some sort of "omg its been so long since i blogged here" phrase included in it...

I'm baking today... After ages... actually after Christmas... I'm making Haathi's (a blogger i have been recently obsessed with - I'm harmless... don't get creeped out (yet)) Masala Bread. I'll post it on the cooking blog if that is a success.

I was sick almost all of last week. The training project in colleges is half done. I've been having a stressful time at best and almost lost my marbles once at worst. I have never worked with people who have driven me nuts like this before. endless conversations that bear no fruit. I am taking one day at a time to avoid anything blowing up. I cannot work like this and it is seriously frustrating me. However, its taught me very valuable lessons. of putting my work before my ego. a few weeks ago I had a situation which made me feel like a child who had smashed a toy and successfully put it back together. Literally i tore something apart and had to stitch it back together. easier said than done, and spread over 2 days, it gave me a headache that elevated into a full blown fever and cold. I dragged myself through the entire week. Friday and saturday I just couched out...browsed and slept, played with my dog. I think that's what healed me finally. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

here and there

so much to say... so much time has gone by from my last post and i really cannot understand why i am not blogging as much as i want to. in my head, i have written hundreds of posts...

I didn't quite get back on track with the whole workout and diet thing post Christmas and new year till almost the end of January. that upset me mentally and physically. I am still struggling with regulating the diet bit. A lot of take away, ice cream and general junk is happening on a regular basis.

the only significant change has been my craving for a drink! yes, after the three month self imposed ban, I thought I would celebrate and hurrah with copious amounts of alcohol. Funnily, I seem to have settled into not seeking out the bar cabinet. Yes the occasional sangria did happen tho.

K has been very busy with his new venture. He works almost 18 hours a day and I cant remember the last time he came home before 9 pm on a week day. he works on Saturdays too and I miss having him around to nag and generally be a crabby wife with him. Sundays when we are home instead of his parents home, he couches out... putting in another 18 hours in front of the TV.

work for me has taken an unprecedented turn. In the middle of January, I took up the execution of a college based training program. I designed it and had big dreams for it. the execution was where things got tricky. Firstly I had problems with the people who were on board. Essentially because one MCP didn't want to 'report' into me! He was some big shot trainer and felt he had more experience than i did. In the game of 'mine is bigger than your's', i won. for the first time, i got someone fired from a job. it shook me up a bit, but i did what i needed to do. I also hyperventilated a bit....but am OK now...

this workplace is located about 75 km away from home. that's one way. So each time I needed to go there, which was 4 times a week till last week, I was clocking almost 150 kilometers per day. to say that it was tiring and exhausting is an understatement. Till everyone settled down, each time there was an emergency, I had to jump up and jump in. 

This project has taught me so much about myself and startled me with how seriously and personally I take my work. I wouldn't stand for a shoddy job, if my name was associated with something. Also that I am done being a polite person if it does not serve any purpose. I have not confronted so many demons at once before. I am also quite impressed with how focused I was on the result and not the speed bumps. In an earlier life, each time something got derailed was because i was overwhelmed with the many issues that cropped up and abandoned the project. This time, I was focused on finding a solution that worked for the result we had in mind. 

Also, for the first time, it has taught me that I am ready to jump in, roll up my sleeves and get the task completed - no questions asked. It made me aware that I was willing to get my hands dirty, not just sit on the sidelines and bark out orders.

overall, work wise, it has been a learning experience. 

fitness is the only other thing besides work and Sage that is occupying my time. I am now working out in the evenings as mornings are turning out to be unpredictable. I cannot go in the mornings, because the house and K's routine goes for a full toss. If i go later in the morning, around 9.30 then the rest of my day's engagements get messed up. So I've settled into the evening slot, because K comes home late anyway. This gives me time to finish the gym, come home, have dinner and crash. is working out fine for now. 

people have begun to notice my leaner body for now. I get varying feedback especially from people who haven't seen me in a while. It ranges from "you have shrunk" to "you have shaped up well". I cannot say that I am not happy. Would like to see a lot more progress tho. I am happy I have been committed and the results are there for everyone to see.

The one thing that has been constant is the sunrises I do not miss. For the last 18 months, thanks to sage, havent missed a single one. It makes me feel empowered and energised.

last week I have been on a movie watching binge. 
i saw Gangs of Wasseypur 1&2. maybe because of the small screen, I was not too impressed with the movie... drags a lot. superbly impressed by the performances of the actors tho. Particularly nawazuddin siddiqui on who i have a huge crush, richa chadha, zeishan quadri who plays definite and also wrote the script of the film (supremely impressed).

Shaitan by bejoy nambiar, starring an motley ensemble cast if that is a phrase.... most impressed with the movie, its treatment and the young actors.... added bonus was understated tough cop played by Rajeev Khandelwal. So many hot men in one movie!

Paan Singh Tomar sent me back to visit Tigmanshu Dhulia's older movies of charas and haasil.... i loved Sahib Biwi aur Gangster. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Year....

Its the new year... a brand new one and I wish all my readers a wonderful year ahead...

I didn't have a very good end / beginning of the year. It was so reflective of how 2012 was. 

Personally K and I just clung to each other and rode the storm. We spent days and nights talking, discussing and reassuring each other that everything would be ok. Much as the first quarter of the year was shitty for K professionally, the second quarter was listless and unproductive.... the third was where things began to look better and finally took shape. I am happy he found a partner worthy of him and began to get all charged up again. there is nothing better than watching a man who is passionate about his work, find the partnership of someone who matches him intelligence and ability step for step. so workwise, things are looking up. K started his new venture and the only thing i told him was to think of nothing else, just concentrate on work and I would take care of everything else. I am trying my best to live up to both our expectations and be the supportive partner. 

I was glad the year was ending. I was glad we could put behind the betrayals of the past year and look forward to better things. 

on the 30th, against my good senses, i ate panipuri at an innocuous place and woke up at 2 a.m that night, feeling nightmarish, sweaty and chill at the same time. i felt like i was having a hangover when i havent touched alcohol in months. when dawn broke, i realised the panipuri was extracting its pound of flesh! the next two days, were spent with my back flat on the bed, when i could manage, and in the toilet when i couldnt. Even sitting up was making me dizzy. Poor Sage was so stressed with all my sickness, never leaving my side, and reluctant to take a walk with the watchman because he wanted his mommy. 

i recovered a bit by the 3rd. fed myself unbelievably obscene amounts of curd and rice and prayed i stopped looking like something the cat dragged in! by the 5th, I was tired of the rice and wanted to eat normal food! had to wait a few days more....

So today, the 7th of jan, I finally feel human again. I went to the gym and got a mild workout, i went out to meet a friend for coffee, I took a picture and didnt cringe when i saw it!

no resolutions for this year. I dont work on timelines. 

I wish for everyone a healthy year, doing what you enjoy and getting a lot of time with people who matter. 

much love.... me