Thursday, December 20, 2012

Don't Talk Anymore

I wish we would stop calling the Delhi incident a rape. Because that is not what this was. This was a brutal act of violence. And like many acts of violence, this was done because the men felt they had the power to do it. They were not afraid of the consequences. We need stricter laws you say. Is there a dearth of laws in our country? Do we not having traffic laws? But we are not afraid to break them because of the lack of consequences. Violent criminals have the same mindset. Whatever be the motive and whatever be the crime, if the consequences are severe then the perpetrators are deferred. And yet, if our government and police are empowered with swift and severe punishments, then be rest assured they will be abused. I say the victim and her closest kin should mete out the punishment to such people. In the presence of authority and the national public. Let the media show it live and let others be warned. And for God's sake India, stop being ashamed of being Indians. Be ashamed of the people who do this but don't taint your country. You are a part of this country too. You condemn the nation, you condemn yourself. If you want to bring about a change, go ahead and teach your kids about respecting women and more importantly, practice it too. Don't trash a bad driver saying women can't drive. Don't comment on a woman's attire in public. And respect the law. Even the smaller ones. Only when you do this, you are setting the example that will bring about the change. Else we can all rant and rave on social media and keep cribbing about the pathetic country; sweetly forgetting the fact that it is you and millions like you who make the country. So don't talk anymore. Just do..

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hot Chocolate

I was craving a cup of rich creamy hot chocolate yesterday. I resisted the urge exactly fifteen minutes before setting the wok on the stove. Sigh! There goes my eat healthy resolve... The good part is that I made this with jaggery instead of sugar.

My Coffee Mug!

Do you like Hot Chocolate? I did not like it till about two years ago. Then I came across this recipe on the net that used cooking chocolate, melted it in the microwave and then stirred in the milk. Taking inspiration from that, i started melting sugar / jaggery and cocoa powder in a walk, cooking the mix till smooth and then adding milk. No powdery texture here... smooth chocolate flavour! Pure sin! Yummm....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Second Chances

A friend-colleague (you know the nice co workers who stay in touch even when they dont work closely with you any more and who ask about you and your personal life) got married recently. It was his second one. I know of at least two other people who are have been married twice. Why am I talking about this? Because it is their second chance at marital bliss. I, for one am all out for people who move on in their life. There is no point wallowing in misery about what is no more or what did not work out. Take the time to pick yourself up and build another life. Find happiness.

Source: http://www.yourfbcovers.com


 I remember when I was young, my mum told me about a family friend. The lady took ill and eventually died. She had two kids who were in early teens. Their dad remarried after a year or so and people did not like it. I do not know the whole story but I do know that the children lived with maternal grandparents after that. Maybe it was the new couple who decided that. Maybe it was the grandparents who were adamant about taking the children. In either case, it was the couple who was made to look bad. Doubts were cast about the new bride and her intentions. I felt sad and wished they could live together and be happy for each other. Today I wonder if they felt their mother was being replaced. I wish someone told them then that this can never happen. Their mother can never be replaced, but you can have another lady in your life with whom you share a similar bond. Maybe I am too idealistic. I just want people to understand each other a little better. Think about the quality of lives that would improve!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kiddo, Shopping and some Girl Talk!

So it has been ages since I wrote. December end is generally slow work wise and there has been a rush to get things done. This checking off items from my to do list does feel great!

The kiddo and hubby have both been battling cold, cough and throat irritations for a while now. Those have been quite bothersome. But the one thing that I have learnt from the kiddo is that kid don't let anything get in the way of fun. Whats a little illness? If she has to play, play she will. She does not care if her nose is blowing, if her temperature is rising or if her chest is congested. The moment her energy levels are up to it, her tricks begin! If only we adults could be like that. Not letting small things bog us down and springing back into action easily :) Life would be so much more fun!

Speaking of fun, I sure am having some planning an upcoming vacation. I have to pack light and capsulise my  and my little lady's wardrobe to get the maximum benefit. I am not known to pack light on vacations! This is going to be baby's first train journey and mine in almost a decade. (Not considering the 4 hour shatabdi runs) An overnight train journey with a toddler who doesn't sleep thru the night! This is going to be fun :) I have shopped a lot of clothes for her that are roomier, to layer multiple sweaters underneath. I fail to understand why they make mostly pink clothes for little girls. Agreed that they look adorable and I too like to deck her in pink. But her wardrobe needs other colours as well. She cannot be wearing only pink all the time! There are many other lovely feminine colours that would look great on little girls like coral, sunshine yellow, mint, emerald, cobalt, purple, lavender and tangerine!

Speaking of shopping how disappointing was the online mega sale on 12th Dec? Being online shopping freaks, we were really looking forward to it. Sadly, it was all hype and no substance. The websites have better sales on their own! And to think they were comparing it to Cyber Monday. I think they will need more lucrative deals if they want this to become big...

And now for some girl talk! I had this sudden urge to arrange my lipsticks by colour the other day. Nothing wrong with that right? Except it was the middle of the night. Can you believe that? Attribute it to husband's frequent travelling. The amnesia bug hits me big time. The day he is back, i am snoring away peacefully :) oh well!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

My excitement levels are sky high!!!

Am soooo excited today! Something that I have been wanting for a while came true yesterday. Too early to reveal, but I know it will work out :)

Also, I have been seeking answers to a few questions over that last couple of weeks. I have the answers now. I know the path and have begun walking on it. Feels like lightbulbs went around me :D

Sure all is not hunky dory yet, but it is getting there...!

Winters have set in and my dependence on hand creams and lipbalms has gone up.  I am still searching for an effective, affordable chapstick. The rate at which I lose them in handbags and pockets is unbelievable. Yes, I have lots of handbags ;)

In other news, my kiddo went swimming last weekend. The water was cold but we stayed for half an hour. Swimming tops the quality time charts in my book. The whole experience was awesome and fun for both of us. Best part was when I got the jacuzzi pool started. The water started frothing and kuhu thought it was boiling. She stepped away from the poolside and said "Garam" Even when I told her it is not garam, she did not agree. I had to step into the water and hold some in my palm for her to touch to convince her that this water was not boiling. Smart, eh?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

hello world

this is a test post from my new toy!

Thankful!

Between a fiesty two year old, a full time job and playing housemaid, I have little time left for blogging these days. I thought I was doing pretty well on my resolve to post daily until the travel and domestic (mini!) crisis hit!

But this post is not about a rant... I am thankful that my kiddo has been behaving well and letting me work. Am thankful for her toys and cartoons and colours that engage her when I need to concentrate on work. I am thankful that hubby eats whatever I put on the table in the evening and insists on eating out when I am stretched. I am thankful that I am able to manage and hope will continue to. I am not letting the stress get to me. Just being thankful and taking it one day at a time :)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh God, I don't have any shoes!

My little one is two going on sixteen. Honestly, she needs her face packs, creams and lipsticks just like mommy. Her outfit has to match. Her accessories have to go with the outfit and she gets a pick of shoes every time we step out of the house. Dressing her up for playschool every morning is a definite challenge and loads of fun. Imagine having a doll to play dressup that has her own opinions :D

So this is what happened last night. When hubs came home from work, we had an errand to run. He said lets  leave right away. I started getting her ready. When she was all dressed sans the shoes, I began getting ready myself. She went off to show her outfit to her father saying I am ready. He asked her to wear shoes as well. So she comes to me and asks for her shoes. I tell her that I will help her with the shoes in a few minutes. She did not like this response and says, "I'll get my shoes". She looks around in the room and doesn't find any. Can you imagine what she says next?

"Oh God, Mere pass koi bhi shoes nahi hai"
"Oh God, I don't have any shoes to wear"

I burst out laughing. When I told my husband, his eyes bulged out and we both agreed we will have some tough tween and teen years ahead. Sigh!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tikka

Hi ppl, today is Tikka as we panjabis call it... or bhaidooj for north indians and bhau beej for those on the western side. Whatever you call it, the essence of the festival is the same. The sister puts a tilak of red vermillion on her brother's  forehead and wishes for his long life. Ever since I got married, I used to send my tikka and a handwritten letter to my brother. This year, we skyped! It was definitely better than not seeing his face at all... he missed the hand written letter though. It was part of our tradition and he cherishes the letters. He claims that he has carefully kept all of them in his possession! Such a sweetheart I tell you...

That's him and me!
Coming to the festival itself, it is always the second day after Diwali. I think this was started for married girls! You know back when the girls were married off at a young age and sent to their in-laws' place. They were sure to miss the families na? Hence the tradition of brother travelling to her house for tikka. On rakshabandhan, it is the girl who comes to the brother's house to tie rakhi. On tikka, the brother does. Another benefit of this festival would be that the brother would come bearing diwali gifts for the whole family.  Kind of befitting the age old traditions of milking the girl's family. Other than this part, everything else makes sense to me.



Wishing all the brothers and sisters a very happy Bhai Dooj!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Entertainer

The traffic signal is a spot for trade in our cities. You can buy everything from newspapers, novels, magazines to peanuts, flowers and soft drinks. Not to mention the cleaners. The ones who have a rag in their hand that they move over your windshield and windows, often leaving it more dirty than before! One such guy was cleaning the car next to mine today. He did the usual- windshield, driver's window, passenger window and a customary parikrama of the car to show he did the other glasses as well. One would expect him to rush over to the driver's window and demand payment before hurrying to the next car. But this one did something different. 
He stopped in front of the car, giving the driver a full view of what was to come next. He raised his hands above his head and broke into a dance! It wasn't a jig, mind you. It was a dance. His arms and legs moved in broken coordination and for a full 30 seconds, he smiled and danced. Once the driver was smiling, he went over and asked for payment. I don't know what that guy paid him for, the cleaning or the entertainment. But i do know that he was paid. In the time it took for the signal to turn green, he'd cleaned and entertained yet another car. All the passengers were smiling in that one too. 
I think it was a great way of softening up his customers. Lets face it, nobody asks these cleaners to clean. They do it on their own accord. And then demand payment. Most of the people don't want the cars cleaned and often end up not paying the children. The time this guy spent dancing was definitely lesser than cleaning another car. I have no doubt that he gets paid every time! As for the people driving, they forget the stress of driving and smile. The others get a free show. Isn't he making the world a happier place?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali

Wishing you a very happy Diwali... may the festival of lights fill light in your lives and happiness in your hearts!



Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thank you Ganga!

By the time you guys read this, I will be on the road. On my way to Rishikesh and it will be my second trip in a month. I feel so so blessed at this moment. I know it is the holy river herself who has blessed me. I went there last month with my small team at work. We were there for one night and had an absolute blast!

When it was time to leave, I looked longingly at the river and wished to come back. I asked the Ganga to call me back. And she did. Another trip from work! Can you beat that? This one worked out against all odds. I am so thankful for that. More to my lovely hubs, who will play stay at home dad (while managing work) for the next 2 days.

I now truly believe that, "Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai" (If you want something from the bottom of your heart, then the whole world conspires to bring it to you)

And the fact that SRK himself said it helps a lot. Doesn't it?

Rafting Camp at Rishikesh: a glimpse of heaven


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Unaffected

I would like to remain unaffected... really, I would. But I can't. Kudos to the Indian newscasters of today! They present the stories in such a manner that I can't just stay unaffected. Try as I might. I wish I could take the news as just news and not feel the emotions that melancholy stories bring with it!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The "Pori" Mystery

My daughter is two and we moved to Kolkata a year ago. She has picked up a few words in Bangla at pre-school and her speech has smatterings of those. Often, we do not understand what she is saying! A few weeks back she says, "Mumma main Pori Hoon" (Mom, I am a Pori)

I was taken aback. Pori means girl in Marathi, a language I am fluent in. However, she would not have been exposed to it. Over the next few days, she kept on saying the same sentence; sometimes asking me to tell her a Pori Story. I would go and tell her a story of a girl!

This morning she wore a shirt that had a fairy picture on it. She points to it and says, "Mumma dekho. Meri shirt pe Pori hai!" (Look Mom, there is a Pori on my shirt) And that is when it hit me. Pori actually was Pari (fairy) said in a bengali accent! And now it all makes sense...

This is the pari mystery resolved!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Nokia

I am a Nokia loyalist and have been trying hard to make my modest Nokia 500 work for me. I think it works all right for my needs and is less than a year old. With new and tempting phones and gadgets out in the market every few months, the temptation to shift is very strong. But for now, I am determined to make it work!


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Fun Sundays Vol 1

Hey guys,

Ankita of Corallista fame has been doing Fun Sundays for the last few months and I love those posts of hers.  I decided to shamelessly copy get inspired by her format and do this post; since she tags everyone in the post anyway!

1. Weekend Plans?
My weekend plan was a bucket list of things and I only managed one yesterday! The one I managed was fantastic though!! I got my karwa chauth gifts, a brand new pair of trouser jeans and two lippies. Dark was, blue denim and no embellishments. Do you have any idea how difficult that is to find?? Phew! I picked lippies from lotusherbals.com who had a BOGO going on! Today I need to do tons of chores at home and plan my travel for the week ahead.

Source: http://shop.nordstrom.com
2. Have you ever coloured your hair?
I coloured them for the first time about 2 years ago. Mostly for grey coverage. About a year ago I switched to the Burgundy shade in Lo'real and had red tinged hair! This time I went for the Creme Casting Gloss variant in dark brown and loving it completely. :)

My most recent hair colour
3. Did you have a favourite toy?
Not that I can remember. I was more into story books, arts and crafts as a kid. I remember lots of afternoons painting and reading and not many playing with toys.
My Soft Toys!

4. Your favourite season?
When I was in Mumbai, it used to be the winters. The weather was quite pleasant and cool. Ever since shifting to the North, it is the post monsoon pre winter fall months that I like!

Source: http://www.screensavergift.com
5. What are you reading / watching currently?
I just finished The Unwaba Revelations from Amit Basu. This was part of the gameworld trilogy. Creative writing, but quite absurd! So am taking a short break from reading at the moment.

Source: http://www.risingshadow.net
What about you guys?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Nip in the air

Winter is coming, there is a nip in the air that I am quite enjoying. my morning coffee tastes (and feels) sooo much better these days. I have yet to get the woolens out of hibernation! Speaking of cold, I am headed up north next week. Its definitely going to be colder there but rafting beckons and I can't say no... ever since my first white water rafting trip, I am in love with the sport... i just wish I can do it every year!


Friday, November 02, 2012

The romanticism of Karwa Chauth

Karwa Chauth is the most celebrated festival in Hindi movies. Isn't it? Thanks to Yash Chopra (RIP), the entire nation knows about the rituals of it! I think he is also responsible for a new breed on converts who want to fast even if it is not their tradition to. I have always pondered what drives women like these to want to fast the whole day. And I think the answer lies in the romanticism created around the festival. The dressing up in lovely clothes, gathering together, doing puja and then song and dance! Honestly, the guys who have directed these must have never fasted coz by the time puja is over, we are conserving energy by speaking less... songs and dance? forget it.

But that's not the point here. All this happy imagery makes people want to be a part of it. And the chaand ka wait. There is an excitement in that too, na? Climbing on the terrace and gazing up at the sky with your hubby. Waiting for the moon to emerge from behind the clouds. Ooooh! So romantic. Forget about the bhook pyaas (hunger and thirst) that is supposed to be troubling you. The romance of the moment should distract you from it.

And with the moon rise, the stolen glances from beneath a sieve, offering water and the tender loving looks. Perfect Indian romance. Don't you agree? How can such powerful imagery not seduce the youth. No wonder even unmarried girls want to fast!!

My first Fast

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Dreams

So, I am trying to blog daily and today, dreams are on my mind. I started the day with weird dreams that left me happy. I don't even remember the dream now, just the fact that it left me happy. Funny, right? Some of my dreams are so strange I wonder where they came from. And others I can relate to... I understand where the thought originated. Its scary sometimes, facing your innermost thoughts head-on! At others, its a pleasant bubble that wraps around you, making you smile in the morning and loving that sweet cold nip. Enjoying the breeze of fresh air as you open the window...

A good start of the morning caused good things to happen today... my happy!! yayyy...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I just wanna write

I want to write again. I haven't written anything significant in a long long time now. God alone knows why. probably because I felt that I didn't have any significant idea or intelligent thought to blog about. But today I realised that waiting has not helped. This blog is for me. It is my space and I should not be afraid to write anything here. Even if it is Daa-Doo-Dee-Da Da-Doo-Dee-Dum! I am doing this for me. An outlet for my ramblings. So that's what this space will be. Maybe I'll get back to creative writing eventually. Till then, its the mundane thoughts!

The festive season has begun in India. We have had a fun filled Navratri / Durga Puja thanks to our complex. The fact that you have 5 straight days off helps too. Doesn't it? This is the first time I did a Kanjak puja on my own, without any elders being present. Thank God, it turned fine. I was one kanjak short when I began and the friend of one of the girls landed unexpectedly! Small miracles. I think the Goddess blessed me that day. Its the faith and the belief thats more important than the rituals. I feel the rituals are meant to serve as a guide and not be the restraining factor. Imagine if our entire society accepts this and starts acting accordingly. Don't you think we would be happier if we didn't feel the shackles of rituals we don't understand? I have learned this late in life. And now that I have, I hope I can follow it throughout and instill similar beliefs in my daughter (and her future siblings!) too. My one line parenting plan! Speaking of my daughter, she is half as tall as my husband and twice as talkative as me. I dunno why they call it terrible twos. I am loving the thinking, inquisitive, interactive kid that she is. A personality is definitely shaping up :)

I was talking about festivals. Wasn't I? Karwachauth is next in line on Friday and am looking forward to it. Not the fasting, but the dressing up ;) I am completely vain. I know.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Do You Believe?

In my Nth viewing of Kung Fu Panda this Sunday, we pondered over why Po became the dragon warrior (those of you who haven't seen this animated film, see it NOW!) and it call came down to two things. First, he always had it in him to be the dragon warrior, he wanted to be one, very very much and second was that he began to believe! It was only when he started to believe that he had the limitless power did he conquer his mighty foe.
Image Source:  http://ipfinance.blogspot.in/2011/01/do-you-believe-in-retainer-fees-for-ip.html  

So many of us have it within us to be something else... something great... something fulfilling... and yet, we do not believe.... we go thru with the motions of living, each day... denying us our destiny; simply because we do not believe!

Do you believe?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

I am an Indian First!

The other day I was talking to a colleague in Mumbai. He started talking to me in Marathi all  of a sudden. It started with a few simple words every person who has stayed in Mumbai is likely to know. Then, we proceeded to have a full blown conversation abt our project deliverables, agreed timelines etc in Marathi. For the record, marathi is not his native tongue and neither is it mine. But I guess he too knows it from having spent a large part of his life in Mumbai. At the end of that conversation, I was quite proud of not having forgotten how to speak fluently :)

The interesting thing comes next, a guy from his team who was on the cal throughout, calls me and seeks clarification abt a point. I explained and asked him why was there a confusion. He says, "Kolkata mein rehne waali Punjabi ladki agar marathi mein bolegi toh confusion toh hoga na!" (If a Punjabi girl living in Kolkata conducts business in Marathi, it is bound to cause confusion)

What should have irked me that m communication skills were being commented upon. It didn't. What irked me that I was not a foreigner speaking a foreign language. I felt like asking him "India mein rehne waali Indian ladki agar Indian bhasha mein bolegi toh ajeeb kya hai?" (If an Indian girl, living in India talks in an Indian language, what is weird about it?)

It is just amazing how we divide ourselves into groups and sub groups and sub-sub groups. If we as Indians can't accept our diversity, how can the rest of the world? I am an Indian first. A punjabi later. An Indian first and a marathi / punjabi / gujrati speaker next. An Indian First and a resident of Delhi / Mumbai / Kolkata next. Lets just accept it, ok? I am an INDIAN first.

Building Blocks

My daughter is playing with her blocks as I write this... she stacks them one atop the other... on every successful stack, she claps her hands in glee.. every time the wobbly tower collapses she says "dhamm ho gaya" (it fell) and laughs. She then promptly picks up the pieces and restarts her stacking... if only we could always be like this.. celebrating the victories, however small they might be and not getting bogged down by a failure; instead restart our efforts to be successful once more... she went a bit higher every time. Her largest tower was 7 blocks high... proud mamma watches happily :) 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cover the Haathis

So after the madness of cover the haathis in UP, am wondering what comes next. Banning cycles on the road? Preventing use of Lanterns? Preventing use of Lotus flower? Or cover all the idols in temples that have their hands raised in a blessing.

The great Indian Tamasha, I tell you....

On a lighter note, here is a fun snippet from a popular radio spot. The super awesome Mallishka is a riot, I tell you! Check her out on Twitter here


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Wanderlust Beckons

I feel the need to walk on a long winding road, surrounded by trees.. listening to the chirping of the birds, the whistling of the soft  breeze. I feel the need to sink my toes into velvetty moist sand, to feel the gentle waves lapping at my ankles and spot shells on a golden beach. I feel the need to look at colours of a valley, those twinkling lights far below and a canopy of tiny stars all over my head. I feel the need to row in a lake, peaceful water rocking my boat gently as if pulling me into a lullaby. That temptress Wanderlust beckons... but I have nowhere to go!

That was totally random, I know... blame it on all the people taking holidays to lovely places and putting up pictures on Facebook... :D