Monday, September 14, 2009

So when is the right time baby

I am confused.

Do bells ring? Or is it the voice inside? Or is it the bank statement? Or is it those relatives? Or will I dream of it one fine night?

Now you are confused too, right? Well I am talking about the right time. The right time to become a parent? How will I know?

Having been married for more than 3 and half years doesn’t serve the occasion too well either. Polite questionings have long been replaced by direct and often rude enquiries from all sorts of relatives. From ducking the questions, to giving polite replies to being rude, I have been there and done that.We were never the ones to base our decisions on what some vague aunty suggested so these inquisitive relatives could very well be kept aside.

But again, how do we know we are mentally ready to for a baby? Living the kind of lives we do, where there is no time for sleep, where careers rule our lives, where we pack our bags and leave for a trip impromptu, where everything happens without a plan. So how will we know if we are ready for the change? The only way to know it is to experience it. And what if we don’t like it then?

Could my feeling very happy when a friend’s 3 years old son decides to sit on my lap be taken as an indication? Does it mean anything when I beam at seeing those little ones smile at me? Or the fact that these days I invariable end up picking up and baby talk to some little one at the mall? This is all a very new phenomenon. I was not the types who run after children.

But again, I don’t think this new change can be taken as a cue. So then how will I ever know?

When we got married we thought we would be ready to have a child in 2 years time. After all 2 years seemed enough to settle down. It’s been 3 and half years and we are still as naive about the whole thing.

Looks like I am waiting for some divine intervention. Maybe I should consult a palmist or an astrologer. So all you parents out there, how did you know that the time indeed was right? Do any of you have regrets?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Virtual meets the Real

And so it happened. Without too much planning. Without going to and fro. One ping, followed by one suggestion on place and time. And lo behold, we met.

Who you may ask – our very own Monika, I say. And what a meeting it was. It was a weekday so I rushed straight from office. And was there dot on time, only to see the Red Cedia parked already. I obviously had no issues in spotting her in the crowded coffee shop. We hugged as if we were some long lost friends catching up over cup of coffee. And conversation just flew. Not even for a second there was an uncomfortable silence. Not even for a second were we stuck on what to say next. Least to say, it was delightful. The first peek at the watch shocked me no end. 2 hours had gone by and we hadn’t realized.

After meeting her yesterday, I am still wondering why it took so long. I should have met her ages back.

This was the first time I had met someone from the Blog World. I had major plans of meeting Mampi and Pinku when I had ventured to Delhi and Punjab earlier this year and unfortunately no plans materialized, thanks to the exhaustive wedding preparations from which I couldn’t pull myself away even for a few hours. I even planned meeting Mumbai Diva when I was in Bombay in May but even that didn’t work due to last minute flight changes.

Thinking about 10 years back, I would have been so closed on interacting with strangers. I would have died before following someone I didn’t know (reference to twitter). Chat and emails to people I haven’t met or didn’t know would be out of question. But now I see myself so open to these things. When I started blogging I hardly did interact with anyone. I used to sms Aman and my friend Anu and would tell them that the blog has been updated and that they should go read it. Then, almost a year back things changed, not sure how, but yeah I started opening up as a blogger. And now there are these real people most of whom I didn’t know before they left that comment or before I stumbled into their spaces. This is a world in itself and it’s a delightful place.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I was a Fish in my last birth

Let me introduce you to my latest love of the purely self indulgent nature. This new found love has overtaken my life completely. You might have noticed the absence from the blog. Reading as well as writing. This time though I am not complaining.

So yes coming back to my latest fascination – its swimming. Yeah, bring it on. But first a bit of history.

Now, yours truly has never been scared of water, being a Cancerian, I guess, has nothing to do with it.

Remember I mentioned that we had moved to this fantastic new place earlier this year? So the same place along with being the incredible place it is also boasts of this awesome swimming pool. First look and I was rearing to go, there was only a slight hitch – I didn’t know how to swim. I did some frantic running around the apartment to find out if they have any plans of getting a coach but I was told no such thing was happening for quite some time. Subsequently one fine evening, when the pool looked way too inviting I decided to jump. I was of course accompanied by a friend who knew how to swim, quite well. Some emotional atyachar later she agreed to teach me. 2 days of coaching is what I got from her. And then as always work overtook my life and swimming was forgotten.

Then about 3 weeks back, the urge to jump into the pool came back. This time I had dear friend, who now also happens to be my neighbor, for company. Since then I have gone for a swim each day (ok, I did miss twice) irrespective of what time I get back home and in-spite of how cold and windy the weather is. I don’t remember when was the last time I got so crazy about doing something. I am rather proud of myself as 2 days of coaching and another 2 days of splash splash, and lo behold, I know how to swim.

Yes I picked up the trick, and I am able to swim rather well now. Freestyle and backward both. And yes I am able to finish vertical laps as well, about 10 – 15 of them.

The way I feel when in water is nothing less than euphoric. Floating backwards, staring at the stars with cool breeze on my face. Ecstasy!! There is this constant chlorine smell in my nose. As evening approaches I start getting restless, itching to get away from everything and go to the pool. Usually the earliest I land up there is like 9ish. And once in I am the happiest. It’s magical. I wonder how I stayed away from water for so long!! It’s a blessing that I have K for company who if not more is at least as passionate about swimming. Aman too joins in but mostly only on weekends.

So right now it’s going great. For a change I am shutting my laptop and heading to the pool each day. That will explain the lack of new posts. This new obsession has earned me quite a few new nicknames as well which I will not divulge for obvious reasons.

So that was about my latest crush, do you too have one?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Of Birthday, Books and the time went by:

Last week was such a glorious one for the mighty me had her birthday on the 14th and since it was a weekday, the better half went all that way to ensure that festivities weren’t any less.

He started bestowing me with gifts much in advance. Shopping for Books and Footwear followed. Sunday breakfast at Koshy’s. Another round of shopping at Fab India. Mid night cake cutting in a candle lit balcony. Another round of cake cutting in office, followed by a sumptuous lunch treat in La Casa. Evening was spent partying at home. A small group of good friends, music, food, bubbly - you know the essentials. Aman took an off while I had to slog it out at work. His premise – “it’s my wife’s birthday and I want to have fun”. Although most part of his day too was spent in preparations for evening.
And life did look quite rosy. The week was made even more beautiful with some added shopping escapades with some fabulous dinners. Thanks Aman for making it so lovely.

I have been procrastinating about writing for way to long now. And thanks to this new addiction called twitter, blog has taken a back seat. So for all those who have been missing me, follow me here on twitter.

Coming to Books:
Among finishing other books I also managed to read Bringing up Vasu, by Parul Sharma. I usually don’t do reviews but this one time I do want to write a bit about this one solely because Parul is the first person I know who has a book to her name :). I have been reading her blog for a few months now and I feel I owe this to her.

Bringing up Vasu is a very good first time effort. The blurb of the book does full justice in telling the reader what to expect.
Let’s first talk about what I didn’t like and then move to what I loved about the book. It’s nice to end at positive note you see.
Firstly for a non mum like me there is just too much poop in the first half of the book. While I am sure that, the poop is the reality of life and sooner or later even I will have to face it, somehow reading about it didn’t excite me all that much.
Secondly, at some and I insist only at some instances the humor was a tad bit forced.

Leaving these 2 things aside the book is a very nice light read, for mums as well as non mums who might some day decide to become one. The book is funny and energetic. It has its share of moments that tug at your heart, like when the protagonist decides to take up a assignment and leave her new born in the hands of maid. Her dilemma, her confusion and her paranoia, I am quite sure all working mothers go through it. The book is about her aspirations to be this cool super mom which again, I think, a lot of women would want to be. The book is about how she wants the best and only the best for her son.
This book is also a must read for men who have these splendid notions that children are all hunky dorky and fun to be with. I do plan to force Aman to read it as well.

There are these letters that the mum has written to her son on completion of each quarter and they are an absolute delight to read. Parul ends the book in a manner which tells me that a sequel is in the offering. This genre of Indian writing is new, as I haven’t come across a book on similar lines.
Parul – kudos to you for pulling this off. I am sure we can wait for more.

Monday, July 6, 2009

2 Sisters and no Brother, God be with your parents.

Among the innumerable happy and carefree memories I have of my childhood there is also one gloomy memory that is quite engraved into my mind.

Having been brought up in a small town like Ranchi has had its own share of discomforts. Most of it, I never experienced. Thanks to the warm and loving family I have, Neha and me have had a very protected, lighthearted, affectionate and independent upbringing.

Coming to the point of this post, the most common childhood question I have been asked by every adult I met for the first time is “How many brothers and sisters you have”, my reply would be “I have a younger sister”. My response had always been followed by a quick “what? No brother, oh no, poor parents, 2 girls to marry off”
The adult could be anyone – friend’s parents, new neighbors, some vague acquaintances and sometime some god forsaken relatives. But the line of questioning was always similar.
Not only me, even my younger sister Neha has faced a lot of these. This one question followed by a quick dismissal and then the pity has made me go through a gamut of emotions. From the initial confusion to irritation to anger to rage to the ultimate indifference. If anything this probing left me a little more determined to make a mark.

This was outside. At home it was a very different scene. Our little family was picture perfect. Neither mom nor dad ever seem perturbed that they had only 2 daughters and no sons. This fact never bothered them. In fact in more occasions than one I had seen them shut people up when they started the usual course of “Oh Mr/Mrs Bhatia, but why didn’t you try for a third child, didn’t you feel a need for a son?”

So when we weren’t bothered why were others? When my mom was happy with 2 girls, when my dad was proud of his 2 daughters, when neither Neha nor I felt the need of having a brother, why was the society so concerned?

Today, both of us are doing well. I am well educated, have a good career and am poised to do even better. I am financially independent and happy in life. Neha is all set to follow suit, having just completed her MBA. How is it any different from a family which had 2 sons? Now the same old folks come and congratulate my parents on the having the proverbial “well brought up children”.

Why I say this today is because I saw the familiar story unfold in front of my eyes. I thought the world had changed. But be in the 1989 or the 2009, be it Ranchi or Bangalore, something’s remain unchanged. In the play ground of my apartment, I saw a 5 year old subjected to the same line of questioning. The little one, who had an infant sister, was visibly unsure of what she had said that had made the aunty so abject, simply shrugged and went off. I smiled, because I saw yet another independent and confident lady in the making.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Of Swine Flu

How could I forget writing about this, damn me. It’s totally outdated now but like heck I need to write it. So please bear with me.

Some of you know that I went to Sydney this May. I was there for about a week. My return flight was via Bangkok and instead of coming straight to Bangalore I had to change my flight at Mumbai.

Now there have been confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Australia. Considering I was coming back from there I was sure there will be some major delay at Mumbai Airport in order to do a check up. Add to it the fact that I had a stop over at Bangkok too, which also had had a few cases.

Reality how ever was quite different. At Mumbai International airport I was given a form which had a few random questions like - have I been to a infected country, did I come across someone who has swine flu, do I have fever and cold etc. barring the 1st one I answered no to all.
After submitting the form the guard on duty scanned me up and down and then declared me healthy. Just like that. I was authorized safe to roam about the city. That took my goat. What if I really had the virus? Wasn’t a through check needed, what if I hadn’t said the truth? Was my saying so enough to let me go?

This was back in May; I hear that situation is better now. Not sure as my experience was quite vague. Anyone else who has had some similar experiences?

Monday, June 29, 2009

June Update

It’s been a hectic and busy month. Work showed no respite, it never does, I guess its time I should stop hoping too.

Aman’s side of the family came visiting. And like good hosts we packed them all and took them to Coorg. (Pics are up on FB and Orkut, one on the header up there). Lush, green and raining. The heat tortured souls from North of the country couldn’t have asked for anything more. We stayed in the interiors of Coorg, in the midst of the coffee plantations. Lovely food, awesome weather and the most scenic surroundings. It was picture perfect.

We also did a quick 2 day trip to Chennai. For the uninitiated, the Bangalore – Chennai highway is splendid, be it the road or the landscaping. Parts of it are quite a delight. Chennai was horrible. I am sure the city is nice, but the weather was pathetic, and that for me is such a put off. For that reason I truly couldn’t enjoy it. It was sticky and humid and hot. You know the kinds where your own hair and skin irritate you.

For the good deed of the month – I forgo my official tour to Singapore to be with Aman’s side of the family. Now isn’t he lucky to be married to me?

For the highlight of the month – Younger sister has finally moved to Bangalore, bag and baggage. If you remember I was upset a while back and this was the reason. But now she is here and I couldn’t have been happier.

And yes, for the achievement of the month, I have learnt swimming. As in I have moved ahead from just the playful splash splash. I still have a long way to go, but who says I can’t rejoice small achievements.

I have missed blogging and reason being the lack of time. I have also missed reading a lot of your blogs, but I am doing the catching up. Bear with me all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some gentleman I must say

After my previous experience with Sakaal Times printing my blog post without permission, even small gestures of asking permission mean a lot.

I got a mail the other day from this guy called George. He runs a website called He was in the process of writing a review of this restaurant called Grasshopper in Bangalore that I so love. I had written about it a long time back.

He wanted to refer my blog url as part of his article and also use the picture. He could have done it and I wouldn’t have even realized. But no Sir, the guy duly wrote asking me if he could use my review. Of course I agreed. Feeling nice about his nicety.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And I am almost famous

One of my posts written in January has been picked up by Sakaal Times, and has been printed in their print newspaper.
This is the link to that old post.

Now Sakaal Times picked up the post, changed the title from Hindi to English and printed it verbatim. They have mentioned my name and my blog url.
Here is the link and below is the snapshot.

Now you may ask me, how in June, I discovered something that had happened in January. The reason is that the narcissist in me got active suddenly and I googled my blog url to discover this.

Now if you ask me, I don’t really mind. But it would have been polite of them to have mailed me seeking permission. Ok, permission is too strong a word, but maybe they could have at least informed me? Nah, don’t you think so too?

Now since I had to do something about it, I put it on twitter. Thereafter I mailed them, to which they haven’t replied yet. I also called their offices but couldn’t speak to anyone who would take responsibility.

Its ok, I don’t feel this is big enough to take up a fight.
Just wanted to share with my blog buddies my new celebrity status!!! don’t grin.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It’s sometimes nice to fall sick...

...that is if you have someone like I have who absolutely pampers you.
So me down with some stomach infection. The pain started yesterday. We have been using Bisleri water dispenser for last 3 years for our drinking and cooking water purpose.
Since I haven’t eaten any outside food in 2 days, this infection has to be attributed to water.
The moment Aman realized he got into action. A Eureka Forbes guy was called to come and install their latest RO water purifier. 15k spent just like that, but I love it :)

Since yesterday I didn’t sleep well (for the pain was killing me), today morning he woke up before I could and before our morning helps come in. We haven’t figured out a way of switching off the door bell. So before anyone could ring the bell, Aman was up and had the main door open. Maid came and was instructed not to enter my room for cleaning. The cook was asked to cook very quietly without making too much noise with the utensils.

I woke up on my own, to realize that Aman was late for his office. Steaming cup of tea and breakfast in the bed followed. And then medicines. He was late for work but didn’t leave till I was done with eating. There after he tucked me in the bed, gave me my laptop with the warning that I will take rest. He stocked the table with supply of food and then left for work.

So is it wrong if I say I am enjoying being sick. Am I mad?

Ps – I am under the influence of pain killers, so I might have just rambled. And I don’t feel like going through the post to edit it. Please don’t leave nasty comments!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Airports are strange places..

Airports are strange places. So are railway station and bus stops. But for the sake of completion of this post, I will be limiting my observations to Airports.

Airports are like tossed salad. Of what you may ask, of EMOTIONS says Professor Iya.

Sitting in the lounge, and too tired to go shop in the duty free store, I had an amazingly interesting time noticing people

- A young girl and a young boy. The girl still has her Mehndi intact and so are her Churhas. She mustn’t have been married for more than a week. All excited. Boarding pass tightly clutched. The boy on the other hand looks so love struck. He is unable to take his hands and eyes off her. No points of guessing that this is one smitten newly married couple off to their honeymoon.

- Exactly next to them is this group of 3 men must be in their early 40’s, engaged in some very energetic discussion. They are dressed in formals. Each pause from the discussion is spent in stealing a glance to the blackberry’s.

- At a little distance is this old lady, sitting anxiously. From the look of it, I think she is traveling outside India for the first time. She has her hand bag clutched close to her chest. Has to be a mother who is going to meet her child settled far far away.

- Then there is this lady sitting right next to me, busy giving instructions on the phone. It’s to her husband is my guess. All mechanical, without a single iota of emotions. Mundane stuff. She is finishing her duty before she looses connectivity for some hours.

- There is this couple standing in one corner, in a heated argument. They are trying to keep their voices low but still it’s evident that they are fighting. To save them the embarrassment I quickly look away but not before seeing accusing look the lady is giving the man.

- There is this man, must be in his 30’s and an elderly couple with him. My guess, it’s his parents. He is going all out to make them comfortable. He gets them coffee. He is constantly talking to them, trying to explain stuff (so it feels from his gestures). On the other hand this couple looks cheerless. As if they are being forced to leave the place that they so love and go somewhere else.

Then there are some lone travelers like me. Either on the phone, or immersed in a book or tapping away on a laptop.

In a radius of a few meters I see love, romance, monotony, career aspirations, fear, regret, hatred and a lot more.
Each one is traveling for a different purpose. Some happy, some not so happy. That’s life. We start and end at the same point but go through something so unique in the midst. That’s what makes it special and that’s what makes it worth it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And I don’t know what to do..

(You might want to skip this post, its depressing)

I think I am loosing my mind. I haven’t been this angry and irritated in months. Someone very close and very important to me (and before you jump to conclusions, it’s not AMAN) is driving me up the wall. Reasoning and logic are not getting me anywhere with her. I have never seen her so adamant before. It’s like banging my head against a rock.
I have tried being soft, being conversationalist. I have tried talking to her. I have had zillion discussions. But nothing seems to work.

She is just not ready to understand. She is hearing but not listening. And she is not talking. She is speaking but not talking. There has to be a reason but she insists there is none. If she doesn’t have a reason why can she just agree to what I am saying.

I am unable to take my mind off all this. I tried thinking of the nicer stuff, getting immersed in work and then IPL. But this is like a constant thought knocking my head off. Last week has been so heavy. It’s like letting the wrong happen. And watching it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love comes to Darling Harbor

I have realized that I suck at writing travelogues. Have tried a number of times before but haven’t yet finished any. And if you don’t write a travel update as soon as you get back it looses its Zing. My draft folder shows me this reality.

Coming to what I wanted to share with you folks through this post is what I saw at Sydney’s Darling Harbor. Now Darling harbor as the name suggests is this nice place along one of Sydney’s water front, replete with Cafes, Restaurants and Bars. Throw in the museum and the theater and it’s a perfect place to spend the evening.

After a long day I was etching for good sea food and I landed there. While walking towards this particular Italian restaurant I saw this guy not more that 16-17 years of age, busy putting up a floor mat right on the landing of the steps that lead to water. There were also a couple of boxes next to him. Me being me, thought to myself “now who the hell will come and buy things from him at this late hour”. Thinking that and not any more I went ahead.

The meal was fantastic. Delicious and plush. The satiated me had to get back to the hotel and I took the exact same path to get to the taxi stand. And then what I saw moved me beyond words.

The same guy had now set up the place. The floor mat now had a comfy mattress on it. It was lined by beautiful candles all around it. There were flowers all over. There was a small table and on that stood a tall bottle of wine and 2 glasses. And there he sat with his girl, hand in hand, her head on his shoulder, staring into the water, oblivious to people like me standing awestruck behind them.

It was one of the most beautiful sights I had seen in Sydney. I stood there for a good minute before realizing that I was in fact being a spectator to someone’s very special moment. Thereafter I walked off with a very obvious smile on my face.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quick Update.

Off to Sydney in a couple of hours. Packing still in shambles. It’s a week long trip. Have been very busy lately and I guess some of you might have noticed my absence from the Blogsphere.
There are just too many blog posts to be read. And there is even more that needs to be written. But all that will have to wait for another week.

Tata for now. Miss me friends!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Biryani Conquered

I have never in my life made chicken Biryani. I haven’t even seen one being made. Basically my relationship with chicken Biryani is that of a completely finished product.
Add to that the fact that both Aman and me completely drool over this dish. And since Bangalore has some awesome places which make out of this world Biryani, it never struck me that I should try my hand at cooking this dish.

Now this Thursday I had this brilliant brain wave where I felt like cooking Chicken Biryani myself. It was one of those days when I behave like one overtly devoted wife and want to pamper my pati dev no end. When I suggested the same to him he almost fell of his chair. There was this stunned expression on his face. Not that I am a bad cook and all that.

The reason which he then explained to me in the most earnest way was that he absolutely loves Chicken Biryani and he couldn’t let me play with his deep affection for the same. What if it didn’t come out well, what if it didn’t taste good, what if I forced him to eat it no matter how it tasted, aah too many questions!!!

I couldn’t believe my ears. How could he question my culinary skills? Not that I am an out of this world cook but then I am not bad too. In fact I am quite good, or so the people who have tasted my creations can say (I am fishing for compliments, Anu, Kanu and Nidhi, listening??)

So the wounded me, wiped the silent tear and got down to making Rajma Chawal, which by the way was oh so delicious. (I am not bragging, Aman plz tell them!!!). With this Aman thought that the Biryani tale would be over for good. But me had better ideas.

The very next day, after office I straight went to the nearest mall to buy chicken. Now this is something I have never done before for the reason that I can’t stand the smell.
This time I had a reason and even the smell couldn’t deter me. After having taken a thorough tutorial on “How to make Chicken Biryani” from a friend (god bless her), I was all set.
Aman usually comes home very late, so the idea was to make it, taste it and shove it in the dustbin if it wasn’t good.
If it was good then present it with all the fanfare.

But on this day he decided to come home on time, and with that he caught me in the process on making it. His expressions changed; the same incredulous look. But being the nice soul he is he silently stepped out of the kitchen muttering a hushed prayer.
Post that, I got on to the Biryani with a rejuvenated vengeance. Finally after an hour of sweating and puffing the “Biryani” was ready. And it did look quite good. I wish I had clicked some pictures!!!

I served and waited, and he took his time to come to the dinning table (for obvious reasons). He sat, my hear skipped a beat. He tasted and I almost fainted. And then he smiled, ah that lovely smile and then he hugged me. He said it was delicious. Had he not seen me making it he wouldn’t have believed I could have made it.
Woah, what a relief!!! And then I ate some too and trust me guys it was awesome.

So, who wants to eat the Iya special Chicken Biryani??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My new Abode.. (Picture Post)

This post is long overdue. Thanks to T and P for reminding me to do this.
The new home is doing wonders to my system. There is this positive energy about the place which has me all pepped up. Touchwood!!!
There is a lot to be done to do up the place. Right now we have the basic structure in place. I will be gradually doing up the house like I want to. Aman has put a budget freeze on any house expenditure for a while. There is a reason for that too which I will share with you eventually.

Lets start with how the setting sun appears from my balcony!!

The first one is the view from the living room balcony and the second is the view from the bedroom balcony.

This is the drawing room and the dining room (notice the curtains !!!)

That’s the sitting area.. The opening on the left is the kitchen

And this is the master bedroom

And these are my prized paintings!!!

I just realized I have no pictures on the Kitchen and the other bedroom.

So this is where I now live. I know a lot has to be done. My drawing room desperalty needs a new rug and some fancy settees. Those cane chairs are actually meant for the balcony.
But like I said its budget freeze as of now as something big will happen soon!!! Keep guessing!!!

Updated - as an afterthought why don’t you all pick it up as a tag. Its simple, take the reader through a virtual tour of your house!! Give it shot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The monkey is off my back

After moving to the new house, I had a brilliant brain wave.
I wanted a 24/7 house help. Although both Aman and me work and we spend all day in office, we don’t have any kids and neither do our parents stay with us. But still. I thought it would be great to have someone in the house to completely take care of the place.
Family and friends tried talking me out of this. They had their reasons of security, considering we were not in the house all day. Some spoke of privacy.
I had the basic set up in place. A maid that came and cleaned in the morning, a cook that came and did the cooking at night and an iron fellow who came and took the clothes each day. That’s most a household of 2 needs.

But the stubborn me wanted a 24/7 help. Some fanatical searching did give some results. With help of a friend we found a boy lets call him G who was ready to come and stay with us. I was clear that I didn’t want a girl (security you see) and I didn’t want someone very small.

Now when I saw G for the first time he looked really small. Not more than 12. I was shocked. We asked his parents and they said he was 15 and had been working for 3 years.
It was difficult to believe.

Anyways. I was excited by the idea so I bought their argument. And we got him home. I didn’t do away with any of the existing help. That meant that G had little work. I couldn’t ask him to do any thing. He looked so small. The moment he arrived the discomfort started to seep in. I stated feeling guilty of having a child in the house to do the house work. All my enthusiasm of having a 24/7 help vanished. I felt sick. As if there was this heavy rock on my heart.

And then I couldn’t take it anymore. I called his brother and asked him to come and take G away. All this conspired in the span of 2 days. I had him in my house for exactly 2 days. Third day his brother came and argued as to how G was 15 years old and that he has been working for 3 years and has been doing a lot of work. Whatever said and done, even if he was 15 he was still a child and I didn’t want to get into it. My conscience was getting killed. I said sorry, gave him some extra money and sent him off.

Ps: All this happened about 3 weeks back. This post has been in drafts since then. I couldn’t bring myself to post it. I am guilty of having him in my house for even 2 days. But then this space is my mirror. And putting it here means I have done peace with myself. Please be kind to me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

1 to 10 – my life in numbers

Interesting!! If life could be defined in numbers this is what my life would appear to be.
BTW this is a tag from Mumbai Diva

1 is for my one and only little sister who I adore beyond words. She is the sweetest!!

2 is for my 2 bestest friends both of whom I haven’t seen for eight months now

3 is for the number of exciting years I have spent being married to Aman. It’s also for the number of countries I have been to.

4 is for the number of cities I have lived in. It’s also for close to the number of years I have been working for

5 is for the number of delightful years I have been crazily in love with my man

6 is for the number of wine glasses I lost while shifting to the new house. 6 is also for the number of houses I have changed in Bangalore

7 is for the cell phones I have lost or broken in the last five years

8 is for my beautiful house on the 8th floor with the awesome view of the sunset

9 is for the number of years since I left school. 9 is also for the number of jewelry sets I got when I got married.

10 is for the number of Kilos I need to loose to get back in shape.

Done. Now this looks easier than it actually is. Requires a bit of thinking which I did on a hot, sleepy Thursday afternoon.

Cyn – since you complained that no one tags you, I appeal to you to take this up.
Anu – you too do it lady. One of my response refers to you too!!!
Monika – I know you love doing tags, so take it up.

Others – Like it? Pick it, and let me know. Would love to read it!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kiran Bedi and No Marks - II (maybe there is a reason)

Aman bought this link to my notice. Thanks love.
Kiran Bedi says -
“Beauty is like spotless character and this cream redefines beauty by not making you fair, but giving good and clear skin. It is an honest product just like my causes."
She added,
"A portion from the sale of each pack will go to drug addiction and women welfare centres.”
She wants to add a hall to her drug addiction centre with the proceeds.
Maybe it makes some sense. Maybe I was too quick to write that post.
I am ok with the second statement but first one still sounds ameturish to me. Being from the marketing domain I still maintain that there is a major mismatch between the product and the brand ambassador.
Having said that, the fact that a part of the proceeds will go for a good cause is impressive. Now we have to wait and see if people will really buy the product.
I again want to reiterate that I have nothing against her; in fact I respect her for what she has been. But as a marketer I can’t help but analyze the combination.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is wrong with Kiran Bedi?

A few days back I was interviewed by UTVi for a show which is yet to make its appearance. Among a series of questions that I was asked one was if I had any female role model.
Me being me said that I don’t have a role model but one woman I admire would be Kiran Bedi. Not that I ever wanted to become an IPS officer. But because she stood for what she believed and excelled in what she did in a largely male dominated field.

Now yesterday I saw this commercial where Ms Bedi was selling the god forsaken cosmetic cream called “No Marks" - I mean what the hell was that??
I haven’t ever seen such a miss-match between the brand and the brand ambassador.

For someone who has won enough and more accolades all her life, has stood as a symbol of women lib, has done the more than half the country proud, this “No Marks” endorsement doesn’t make any sense.

Fine so everyone has the right to earn money but even then how can anyone explain this disaster.

Ms Bedi – I had titanic regards for you and I am thoroughly saddened with this act of yours. You could have chosen something better.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gulal – this ain’t any review

I don’t believe in writing movie reviews. And this post is no different.
All I am trying to do is urge my readers to go watch Gulal.
It’s worth it.

After burning holes in our pockets by buying silk curtains for the new house (that’s dope for another post!!!) Aman and I decided to unwind with some movie. It was already 6 pm and chances of getting tickets for a 7ish movie were dim. Never the less we thought of giving it a try and viola we got the tickets for a 6:30 pm show of Gulal.
After a quick shot of caffeine we went inside the theater only to find that 70 % of the seats were unoccupied. Yes 70% seats were empty in a multiplex, on a Sunday evening in the first week of movie’s release.
Wonder why? Because the movie has no Khan, no cheap humor and no larger than life star cast. The fact that the movie didn’t receive any marketing prior to its release has played such a dominant role in people ignoring it.
So the basic premise of logical thinking holds true – how ever good or bad your product is, it is of utmost importance to position it well.

Anyways, let me not digress. The idea is that although the movie has been low profile and not advertised and marketed much, it still deserves a viewing.

Anurag Kashyap is at his best. And so are Kay Kay Menon and the other guy who plays Ran Sa. (I don’t know his name and no time to Google).
Movie hits you hard. It’s a story of love, treachery, greed, passion, innocence, fear, sadism and power.

Statuary Warning:
The language is abusive so avoid taking children for obvious reasons and parents for you might get uncomfortable, and if you belong to the cadre of viewers who cannot tolerate the swear words then excuse yourselves from watching it.

For others do watch it for the awesome lyrics, mind-blowing performances and astounding story telling!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Little one is not so little anymore

My younger sister has just started working. Now it’s a completely different story that I find it hard to believe that this little kid is going to office every day. She is yet to finish her course but the company where she got placed insisted that she start work right away. In normal circumstances her B School wouldn’t have agreed but I guess recession made them go with company’s decision.

With this all hopes of her having a good vacation at home before starting out with her corporate career came crashing down. She shifted to Mumbai the same day and joined office next morning.

Unbelievable!!! Coz for me she still remains the little one who loves to sleep. It’s hard to imagine that this brat dresses in formal business attire and reaches office on time. It’s equally hard to imagine that this little one will have her own money from next month. Now this little one is staying all by herself, managing her life on her own. Most of you wouldn’t find any big deal in that but I do because for me she still is my little girl.

This little one wants to surprise mom by getting her a new AC this summer. If this statement made me teary eyed god knows how mom will react to it.

I still clearly remember the day when she got a gold medal in Javelin throw in school. She was in Class 2 then. I still clearly remember how Dad and I dropped her for the painting competition and she made us so proud by getting the first prize. I still clearly remember the day when she wore a Sari for the first time for her school farewell and how stunning she looked. From painting lessons to being an athlete, from playing basketball to learning karate and yoga, from learning shorthand (yes even that) to being an exceptional swimmer, from trying her hand at cooking to being an excellent dancer this girl has been there and done that. Add to this the fact that she sings like a dream. With all this I had never imagined she would do well academically also.

Today when my little sister is almost an MBA and has kick started her corporate career there is no one who is happier (ok fine mom and dad are close!!!).Here is wishing her a very bright and a fulfilling career ahead.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I don’t feel happy this women’s day..

I was talking to a friend a while back and she told me that during a regular shopping trip to the nearby mall with her 3 year old daughter she caught herself unconsciously being conscious about her surroundings, taking note of who was around, who was watching her, and if anyone was following her?? And guess the reason – “She was dressed in jeans and T- shirt”

Is this how we have to live? In a perennial state of paranoia? Roop says we are physically weaker so no wonder women are being treated as second class citizens. She talks about being emotionally strong. But can emotional strength deter physically stronger men out there just to take advantage?
Monika has been talking about this too but will signing petitions help?

I don’t have a solution but for starters I feel a woman is as safe as she thinks she is. Carry a pepper spray and learn some self protection arts.
We all want to live in a world which will not raise eyebrow on seeing a single female walking on the road late in the night all by herself. We all want to wear what we want without the fear of some mishap happening.
I don’t want to drag Aman with me every time I go to pick up something from the nearby grocery store just because it’s dark.

But sadly we don’t live in such a world and maybe I am being pessimist but I don’t think I ever will.

So this woman’s day I just don’t feel like wishing you “happy women’s day”

Some Clarification

This post is needed after my previous post. I had some people call me to check if everything was fine, some other mailed and smsed. And a few left a comment. It was indeed very sweet of all of you.

I went back and re read my post and felt it was rather incomplete. Yes I am disturbed, have been so for the past few weeks and the reason is not directly related to me but to 2 people I am very fond of. Both of them have lost someone very close to them.
Unexpected to the extent of being malicious. That post was a mirror of what was going through my mind.

My prayers are with both of them. Nothing anyone says or do will ease their pain or lessen their loss.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Life is not fair…

And every dark cloud does not have a silver lining.
Who ever said that whatever happens happens for the good does not know a lot of things for sure.
In the end everything is not always right and bad does happen to perfectly kind and honest people who have never done anything dreadful.
And at times there is no justice.
And things don’t make any sense.
Some things should have never happened and sometimes there is no way to make things right.
All we can do is cry. But will that help?

Monday, March 2, 2009

The House Story

I have moved into my 6th house in Bangalore in the span of 4 years. Now those who have moved houses before will know this is no mean feat.
Now before you take me for some nasty tenant who is thrown out by the land lord, I will clarify. Let me start from the beginning:

Soon after I got my first job I landed in Bangalore with 2 suitcases and 1 bag. Oracle was kind to me and provided me with a guest house for the first 15 days. Those days were spent frantically looking for firstly some decent room mates and then some decent and not so expensive accommodation. I was lucky on the second front. Got a beautiful flat not very far from office. Also figured out 2 colleagues who were as desperate to find a house and flat mates. So the three of us moved into this house with all pomp and show. Things started like rock music what with shopping for curtains and mattresses and some stuff to make the kitchen functional. But within a week this rock music became noise. The other 2 women couldn’t stand each other. Arguments led to fights which led to a lot more. Let me not talk too much on the public domain. Conclusion was drawn – those 2 weren’t ready to stay with each other, and I was left with this huge house all to myself. And the otherwise mighty me was shit scared. And mind you all this conspired within a month.
(Duration of stay – 1 month)

That’s when I decided to move into a studio apartment and stay alone. Some more frantic hunting and a lot more money later I found a place. Mom and sis came over to stay for a while to settle me in. All was fine till they were with me but as the day of there departure approached the mighty me was scared again.
(Duration of stay – 1 month)

And that’s how I moved into my third house. This house was already functional. There were 2 girls already there and they were looking for a third flat mate. The setup gave me confidence and I decided to move in with them. This house was perfect in all ways. I enjoyed my stay there. But then Aman moved to Bangalore and we got married.
(Duration of stay – 5 months)

And that’s how I moved into my 4th house. This again was a very beautiful house in one corner of the city. But it wasn’t very far from my office. It was nice and spacious and a lot airy. This house we furnished completely.
Then career took turns and I changed jobs. The new office was 24 km from this house. Bangalore traffic was another pain. It used to take me 2 and half hours to get back home. I was on the verge of breaking down and we had no option but to shift closer to work place.
(Duration of stay – 1 year 9 months)

And that’s how I moved into my 5th house in Bangalore. Much closer to work, smaller compared to the previous one and much more expensive. The house was nice. The area was much better. All was fine in here also till a last couple of months when the lack of storage space started to get on me. The kitchen was small and all my beautiful dinner sets which my mom so lovingly had gifted me were packed and kept in the loft. Even the wardrobes were small and a lot of my clothes were packed into suitcases and kept in attic.
(Duration of stay – 1 year 5 months)

So this lack of space forced us to move into this flat which by the way is my 6th house in Bangalore. It’s beautiful; it’s big, it’s spacious and has a lot of storage space. We shifted this weekend and the process drained me completely. What with professional help I still ended up doing so much work. The house is still not set and I guess it will be a week before it finally takes shape.
The balcony faces west and yesterday after a very tiring day when I sat there and saw the sun set while sipping tea and holding Aman’s hand, all this hard work made sense.

I so hope this to be my last rented accommodation in Bangalore. From here I either want to relocate to north. And if it’s in Bangalore I want to move into my own house.

Pictures will be up soon, once I am done setting up the place.

(That’s a fairly long post by my standards, I am tired so I’ll skip the editing.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

This is why you should not have complicated names

A couple, both (un)blessed with really complicated names, had a baby girl. Now just to keep their identity confidential I will choose two fictitious names. So the Dad is called Ghayoor and the mother is named Zuebeda and trust me these are simpler compared to their actual names.

Now this couple has tried teaching the little girl how to pronounce her parents name for quite some time but in vain. Can’t blame the poor kid, can we?

Finally the day for her play school interview arrives. Now all parents here are aware of the typical line of questioning these play schools have. After the regular what’s your name, where do you live, what did you have for breakfast, came the mother of all questions – What’s your parents name?

The little girl in all her innocence replied “My papa’s name is Ravi and my mummy’s name is Usha”
On hearing this response Ghayoor fell of his chair and Zuebeda fainted. The principal on the other had checked and rechecked the form.

Ravi is the Driver of the family and Usha is the live-in maid. What can I say, but such is life!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tag of 50

Tag time it is. Was tagged by Mo to take this up. So here it goes. This tag is the best way to know a blogger.

Nope, have you heard anyone with my kinda name?
On Sunday, while watching Ballika Vadhu. Yup, I cry even when I watch emotional movies.
I like it but my mom says it is illegible… huh…
I try and keep lunch veg, but if it has to be non veg then its chicken all the way
No I don’t have any yet. But I have a husband who is no less naughty than a kid
Absolutely, I would be in love with me
Nah, I am quite direct most of the time. Some people take me for a Snob
Yup, and why this question, I don’t get it!!
I don’t think so, but again I am quite instinctive so I can’t say.
Never, I don’t do any work unless necessary
I love my name, so I would pick the same name
Death by Chocolate – Corner house. Fellow Bangaloreans will know what I mean
Mostly its clothes, now do I sound too superficial?? Ok then I’ll go with the more modest “smile”
Red – all the way
I wish I had it in me to shed off all these extra kilos that I have put on in the last couple of years. I wish I was disciplined.
My sister who is in Bombay and my parents who are in Ranchi
Why wouldn’t they, none of the questions till now have made me uncomfortable
White Capris, Orange Osho Slippers
Genda Phool, What else??
Hugo by Hugo Boss on Aman (mind it, Aman is important)
My very good friend Nidhi
Blog Blog zindabad, it is really sweet of her to send this tag, she knew I was down and out and thought this would cheer me up.. Yo girl, you rock!!!
Right now it’s Mahogany Brown, but then again it keeps changing
Hazel Brown
That’s a very unfair question to a foodie like me. The list will be huge Rajma Chawal, Chicken Biryani, Ice Creams, Sizzlers ergh I can go on and on for ever..
Happy endings all the way
Dev D and loved it
Orange Kurti
Spring :) can’t handle extreme weather, call it the Bangalore effect, we are the pampered lot.
Both and more ;)
That’s a fancy term, in office I have this old abandoned Mug. At home nothing. We keep our pens and pencils in the pockets of the fridge cover
Right now it’s Rehman.
Maximum City, Suketu Mehta
I don’t use a mouse. I am comfortable with my laptops touch pad
Whatever, as long as it is melodious
Me is a complete special package
Kanpur, my mom’s home town
I love wearing earrings. Big, small, chunky, trendy, contemporary, all kinds..
He was my senior in Symbi where I went for my MBA.
Right now its Genda Phool.
50.Favorite Musical?
I don’t know, not too much into musicals and all.

The rule says I need to tag fellow bloggers, so here are few people I would love to know more about

Mumbai Diva – she was missing from the scene for a while and has just reappeared. Please take this up, remember the tag of 18 and how there were so man similarities. I am eager to know if there are more

Nids – my childhood friend and a very new blogger. Nids take this up, it will be fun to know how well I know you

Anu – my very good friend and a very silent blogger. Anu, take this up. I know most of the answers but still

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And this time I remember

Today is the day when 2 years back I wrote my first blog post. It was on the insistence of this very dear friend that I started blogging.

Last year I forgot but this year I made it a point to remember, thanks to the outlook calendar.
So guys, today I complete 2 years of blogging, the first year was in oblivion only writing for myself. It’s only in the last 6 months that I started interacting with other bloggers and now have some very good friends. A full blown post will follow when I complete say 5 years of blogging.
As for now, happy birthday dear Blog. I love you more than you know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Piya se nazarein milaoon kaise???

I can’t look into your eyes,
And you won’t come close to me

Now before you think I have committed a grave crime and that I am ashamed even to look into Aman’s eyes, such is not the case. I am still a good girl and I haven’t done anything wrong.

So the reason for my misery is – Aman has conjunctivitis. Sob sob. It is exceedingly painful to see the little boy in distress. Watery red eye, oh how I despise it.

Note for other Bangloreans : The epidemic is spreading fast in Bangalore, take care of yourself and family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where is the Recession??

The malls are still puking people, I still struggle to find parking on a weekend. All good restaurants are still over booked on Saturday and Sundays, multiplexes are still running house full, I still have to stand in long queues to pay my bills in Life Style and Shoppers Stop. There are still too many people in Spencer’s and More. So where is the recession?
How much more time will it take to start affecting the Junta?

Ps: I might be sounding cynical, but what the heck.

Updated on 19th Feb- Aman's Comment is really apt, I am adding it to the main post.

Aman - "Find reccession in the falling realty prices,, see it in every day reduction in interest rates,, observe it in sales numbers of all car makers,, feel it in the stimulus packages been doled out your government,, sense it in the announced lay offs...

Look at the ACs being switched off earlier than ever, hand tissues being preserved like gold, holes in the wadas becoming larger, coconut chutney becoming thinner... and at a lot more places!!!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Genda Phool

I don’t have a count of the number of times I have heard this song since morning.
First in the car on my way to office for almost 1 and half hours, and since I reached office this song is playing on my laptop. In a recursive loop, again and again. I am addicted.

What a song, if you haven’t heard it till now go grab the music cd of Dilli 6 right away.

Updated to add – I have only darling husband to thank for introducing me to this number, if not for him I would still be living in oblivion. Aman that’s why I love you!!!

Too Much Mush

10 years back, when I was still in school, pre valentine day evenings were spent “hanging out” in Archie’s Gallery. This was along with a gang of girls who were all single. We went through each and every card and longed for the time when someone would serenade us with these. The soft toys, the cute miniature dancing couples, the heart shaped cushions, those musical key chains, the lockets that are broken in 2 pieces all made our heart skip a beat.

That was then, when I was still a teen, was in a girls convent, was an outright snob and read mills and boons.

Now yesterday, I went to this mall which has an Archie’s Gallery. I stood outside the store and stared hard. The whole place was done up in red and pink. All I could see were teddy bears and heart shaped pillows. The thought of going in and picking up a card struck me, after all it has been a while since I gave a card to Aman (for his first b’day after we got together I did some crazy stuff, well well that’s another post).

I took 2 steps towards the entrance and saw this huge crowd inside. All teens, apparently “hanging out” like we use to. Everything was either red or pink in color, everything either had a heart or a kiss printed on it. Everything just screamed of Valentines Day. Somehow the love was lost; rather what I saw was a very commercial, fabricated setup.
The mush was just too much for me to handle. I am anyways not very accommodating in nature and that whole atmosphere put me off completely. This on my face display of “love” left me with some kind of a queasy feel.

I am a highly romantic person, and I love all forms of expressions.
Now something I so enjoyed a few years back should have brought along sweet nostalgic feel. Rather I felt old and found all this display a tad bit silly.

Now before you take me for a refined version of Ram Sena, let me clarify that I have nothing against Val Day. I absolutely love celebrating all forms of Love. And why just this day in particular, I am lovey dovey most of the time.

The point I am making is about the extreme mush mush. Have I grown old? Why did I find the set up pretentious and blatant? I love going to the market during festive seasons solely because the place is done up and there is a happy feel around.

I think I am becoming old and things that were cute are now being categorized as silly. Is this also a part of growing up? I don’t like it then.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have been missing

Part deliberately, part not so deliberately.

Deliberately - because I was at home, for a family function. And I still feel guilty if I spent time blogging when I could spend all that time with folks. So this time consciously I kept myself from visiting the blogosphere. Tell me, do you also feel conscious if you spend time on internet when family is around? Is it normal for me to feel this way?

Not so deliberately – was because as soon as I landed in good old Bangalore I fell sick. It started with the usual, cough and then cold and then fever. But it went to become very bad. It turned out to be an acute case of bacterial infection in the throat. I am much better now, thank you.

Wedding was a grand affair. All my clothes were appreciated to the hilt and I managed to look good on all days (I am just being modest; I was looking gorgeous on most days).

This post is to announce that more of me is back, what with all the awesome food and sweets, a couple of kgs have been shamelessly added.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Off To Punjab

We leave for Punjab tonight.
This is my first ever trip to Punjab during such extreme winters. Bangalore has a way of spoiling us. Be it summers or winters, all months here are just so wonderful.

We are off to attend Sis-in-laws wedding. A grand Punjabi wedding it will be. This time for sure I’ll do a post on Punjabi weddings once I get back.

This vacation was planned almost 6 months back. All necessary arrangements were done accordingly (read leave approvals), but owe it to the market conditions or my luck, my leaves have been chopped to half. This meant I either postponed my travel by a few days or travel on the set date but work from Aman’s home. We choose the second option.
These days not many of us go on a non working vacation, I mean we are reachable most of the time. But work from home means I’ll have to be in-front of my laptop continuously from morning to late evening. Which means I miss out on all the fun and the last minute wedding preparations which at this time will be at its helm. But I am not complaining. At least I have the evenings and nights with family there.

Aman has been transported into a different world all together. He is so full of stories of his childhood. The winter afternoons, the fruit baskets, the parathas, the pani puris, the kite flying. I think it’s a good idea to make him do a guest post on this.

I will not be very regular on the Blogosphere for a while now. You see I still feel guilty spending too much time reading and writing blogs when family is around. So will keep hopping here now and then.

Only a few more hours before we leave,and packing is still in shambles. Don’t want to repeat what happened at Bhaiya’s wedding.

So off I go. See ya all soon..

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Phone Bina Chain Yahan Re..

Ladies and gentleman, I have yet again (mind it) misplaced my cell phone.
Yes this is true. I lost it 2 days back on a Sunday while parents, Aman and me were in Mysore. No clue where it went. It just vanished.

Well this post is not about the loosing part but about how I feel after loosing it.
Obviously I feel miserable. What with the sister-in-law’s wedding coming up all my energies were focused on shopping for the same and now I’ll have to spend money to buy a new handset.
Since it was a corporate connection I will get a new SIM card with the same number. The worse part is I lost all my contacts. And those who have ever lost a cell phone will know how difficult it is to rebuild the contact list. Looks like I will have to wait till my wedding anniversary to get all the personal numbers in place (the narcissist in me is so sure that all family and friends will call).

It’s been 2 days that I have been without a phone and I have started to like it.
The initial anger and frustration has passed away, and I have started to enjoy this part. It’s been peaceful. This is a pleasant break from the constant ringing. I call people when I want to. I don’t have to answer calls. I am so in love with this freedom. Work is surely getting affected but people desperate to reach me are dropping mails and I am calling them back on my own discretion.
As for family, they can reach me through Aman’s number.

I wish I could remain without a phone. I know that won’t work. But what I have decided instead is to be mobile phoneless (is that a word??) for a few more days.

Let’s see how this experiment turns out to be.