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Best and worst of 2012

Have literally dragged myself to sit in front of the computer to type a few lines for the last post of this great marathon. Seriously, when I began this month with a challenge of this kind, I never thought I would have honoured the commitment. I owe all the enthusiasm to the bloggers who participated in the marathon and who kept the spirit of the challenge alive. And, after living up to the challenge for all the days, giving up on the last even if the body is protesting, is not done.



Listing down the best and worst of 2012 had been on my mind but somehow I couldn't get down to writing it down. So, here I'm before the year ends and to give a befitting sign off for the lovely 31 days of non-stop blogging.

Personally, this year has been quite good for me on all fronts. From taking the debut trip to a place outside of India, to having begun to work from home, (albeit on a very small scale) the year has been kind to me.

When I think of the worst, I can only think of how badly w…

Down and out

Down with a bad bout of throat infection, cold and cough! The timing is just bad in many ways. Seems like the marathon has taken a toll on me ;-)

A photo post will have to do today:

View from the aircraft while travelling from Bangalore to Mumbai:




Delhi gang rape- Sadhguru speaks (sharing the video)

The girl succumbed this morning. An extremely tragic fate that is unfortunately not rare today. While all of us mourn, empathize, sympathize and debate on what can prevent such acts in future, lets also open our minds to see the larger picture.

Found this on a fellow blogger's page and wanted to share it. Do watch it and share.


Guilty as mothers

*This has been lying in my drafts for months now. I had written it for something that never took off, so now publishing it here. A topic that has been written to death about, yet remains relevant.*

Guilt comes as a freebie with motherhood : for working women (WM) who choose to be stay-at-home mothers (SAHM) once the child is born so also for those who choose to join back the work force within a few months of delivery. The guilt is obviously about the choice they have made-either voluntarily or due to circumstances. The guilt that pangs the heart while leaving a wailing baby with either an aayah or at the day-care or even with grandparents to go to work is something most women in this situation are familiar with. While WMs have to doubly make sure that the child is not neglected, SAHMs do not have it easier either. Managing the house and being in charge of an infant or toddler 24*7 can be nerve-wracking. To add to it is the guilt of not being able to contribute to the family kitty. The…

Chaat-experiences

No trip to Bombay is ever complete without gorging on the yummy chaats. The sweet, tangy and spicy pani-puris that melt into the mouth, and the perfect mix of ingredients that make the bhel, sev and ragada explode into a delectable and myriad mix of spices within the mouth, transporting you to a different world of gourmet, is simply an out-of-the world experience.

Eating chaat was a matter-of-fact affair and never taken so seriously while I lived in Bombay. Only after I moved cities, did I realize how much we take smaller pleasures for granted and how special an experience this was to become. Only a few cities offer the perfect chaat experience and only people like me who have moved out of these cities to reside in certain other parts of the country that simply cannot match up to the standard, can feel the void in the gourmet world.

Initially, I'd filled with enthusiasm upon citing a chaat shop in these cities and would help myself to the similarly worded dishes. Alas! none has s…

Tom and Jerry live!

Watching the Tom and Jerry show live isn't half as fun as watching the animated version on T.V. Especially, when the bickering begins as soon as you open your eyes and you are longing for a peaceful cup of coffee with the day's paper. R and S are surely the human forms of the (in)famous pair.

Without the partner in crime, the individual brats languish in quiet boredom. Once the two meet, it is chemical explosion of a different kind. They have to replicate what the other is doing, notwithstanding the collateral damage or the semblance of general peace being shredded around. Added to the mayhem is the echo effect provided by the younger brat repeating every word uttered by the older.

Equipped with equal amounts of mischief quotient, one pulls the leg of the other with the sole intention of creating ripples in the otherwise calm atmosphere. The other takes the bait too promptly, as though programmed to perfection, and all hell breaks loose.

And, then at sometimes, they play with…

A different Christmas

An exposure to a festival that is alien to your native religion comes primarily either through friends or a common institution, like the school, that introduces one to all cultures alike.

However, having studied in a Hindu school, and having no Christian friends (except for one, but I only gorged on the sweets and cake her mom made), I was not exposed much to the nuances of this merry festival other than knowing the cursory general stuff. No exposure to jingles, carols or the significance behind the Christmas tree or even the secret Santa. The concept of the secret Santa was something I got to know much much later when I was studying German. In short, Christmas has always been some one else's festival of joy that made no difference to me other than the holidays I enjoyed.

This year, however, has been a little different. The excitement of the marathon bloggers celebrating this festival has been infectious and the better part being, of course, the secret Santa. I loved being the Sa…

Celebrating a double dhamaka!

Today is my 200th post in two years of blogging and incidentally it also my blog's second birthday, so its a double dhamaka!

Two years of blogging seems like an incredible journey. I've loved the journey so far and would want to continue as much as I am able to. Writing has been a wonderful discovery for me. It has allowed me to explore the various sides to me as a person and with every expression of thought, I've been able to relate to myself better. And, this is just one side to the story. The other side is the treasure trove of reading that is available. The amount of learning I've had by reading so many wonderful and knowledgeable bloggers around has kept me grounded and craving to learn more.

I wouldn't have arrived at the 200th number so fast had it not been for this marathon. I began this marathon with a lot of doubts. I never thought I'd last this long. And, I have only you, the entire team of marathon bloggers, to thank from the bottom of my heart. Wi…

A letter to my 10 year old self

This week's Write Over the Weekend theme at the Blogadda is to write a letter to a 10 year old and this prompted me to write a letter to my 10 year old self.Ten is a delicate age where you are no longer a little child, yet you cannot understand a lot of complex emotions. An age when teachers, marks, friends and the impression you create matters the most. An age that grapples with being independent and at the same time craving for familiarity and acceptance.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda 

Dear girl,

This is your 30-plus year old self writing to you. You might think I have forgotten you but the truth is far from it. Every time I look at my present self, I realize how far I've come from being you- a shy, introverted, unsure and under-confident school-kid who'd be scared even to ask the teacher permission to go to the loo. Today, I am a far more confident person, more out-going, who has an opinion on many things, is…

Top 10 destinations that I'd like to see before I kick the bucket

The theme post for this Saturday is the 'bucket list' and since I'd already done posting about it recently, I'd planned to do a different post. However, I was prompted by some lovely suggestions around and chose to list out the places I'd like to see before I die:



Given the fact that I haven't travelled much as yet, my to-see list is pretty long, figuring almost all the popular (and non-popular!) destinations within India and abroad. Still, I am going to try and list some of the top most ones on my mind here:

1. The top most has to be the one that has been immortalized by Bollywood as the quintessential destination for romance- Switzerland- Once upon a fairy time, I had envisions of myself and Mr.Right romancing in the alps. However the real life situation currently forces me to make hurried changes to the dream. With a toddler now thrown for company (?!), I am forced to re-paint the dream canvas to resemble a more family-ish outing. Well, at least so be it!

2…

Taking a stroll down memory lane

I took a stroll down familiar lanes. It felt nostalgic, reliving the days of childhood, of a life that seems like a different lifetime; when friends would gather around for an impromptu get-together during a power outage; when summer breaks meant you'd come home only for meal breaks, playing endlessly at some random friend's house.

I took a stroll down the lane where an old house stands. A house that once belonged to my grandparents. Now it is no longer ours. The house where I once frolicked about in carefree demeanour has changed too. After passing through different hands, it feels as though the house has found its worthy owner, one that befits the nature of the people who were the original owners.

It felt strange to stand outside that house and look at the houses around. The houses are the same but the inhabitants have changed. Every house reminded me of someone, every lane had a story which had me and my friends playing an important role.

I took a stroll down the lane that bro…

Will our children wake up to better news?

I am sure most of us would like to raise our children with all the right values. Many of us do go to lengths to see that they do not pick up traits that is harmful to the society in a bid to create a holistic society that is more tolerant and respectful of the other. And, this is urgently needed today even as we wake up everyday to horrifying news about molestation, a childhood gone wrong, tolerance plummeting to lower levels and apathy growing to newer heights. However, I really feel dismal about the future as I observe how a section of adult population thinks and acts, setting a bad precedent for the next generation.

I am a member of my apartment forum- a space for the community residents to discuss issues and share news regarding the gated community. Many a times, issues are blown out of proportion with more people disagreeing about a particular point and taking the topic thread to a very different level from where it started. It is interesting to note how each thread get…

The siblings

R and S, as I've mentioned earlier too, are a deadly combination. In some ways, they are quite alike and in other ways completely different. Both of them have mastered the part about keeping the adults in the house on their toes and tender hooks. Each has its own way of creating trouble and mischief. So, you can imagine how explosive the situation can get when two such minds combine!

Last year R lacked the social-cognitive skill to play along with S. Although he'd want S's company, he was unable to express himself or understand the concept of collective play. However, that is changed this year and it is amusing to see the two converse and pretend play. Of course, he is still a little too boisterous for S and this leads to many a ugly fight and frantic adult intervention.

I see that R gets a kick out of teasing his elder cousin! The more S gets whiny, the more he acts bossy and plays rough! It is a very crazy situation and it takes a lot of restraint and effort on my part to …

A day of remembrance

Dear Friends, fellow bloggers

I am one of the blogger who is taking part in observing silence for the innocent victims who lost their lives on Friday’s shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary school, Connecticut.  

When I heard the news, I was shocked beyond words. The mind is filled with questions that probably no one has an answer to: What made the teenager commit such a gory crime? Why did these children have to bear the brunt of whatever went wrong in Adam Lanza's life? Why did innocent little ones who were still living their blissful and worry-free lives have to meet such an horrific end? Above all, what was HE doing?

As a parent, I shudder to even imagine the calamity that has befallen the parents of these children. My heart and soul goes out to them. Also to those moms, wife, grandmas, friends who lost their lives doing their duties as teachers and staff of the school.
We, as bloggers, choose to observe a day of silence, to mourn the lives that were brutally cut short and…

Of joy rides, fun times and childhood

I am back to childhood times, thanks to R and S, my niece. This weekend was full of joy rides for the kids and going back to fun times for the adults. There is a small lake near our house which has been turned to a small amusement park for kids with some boating and other small-time joy rides thrown in for a very reasonable fee. So, that was our outing for Saturday evening. Popcorns and excited and joyous laughter from the kids made it a very happy affair and my sister and I had unadulterated fun by reliving our carefree days through our children.



We woke up early on Sunday morning, had an early breakfast and headed off to another popular amusement park near by. The kids totally freaked out on all the joy rides. R frolicked around the well-maintained park areas meant to relax under chickoo trees that made a lovely green and cool canopy. It was amusing to see him run after crows in a bid to catch them! S and he had a rocking time playing around in the mud and making the most out of the …

Sunday Fun-day

I decided to do a meme for a post today. I made a fusion of some questions from here and here at Sunday stealing.

1) Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?
umm..not really. I might rant and crib when the wound is new and hurting but eventually I tend to move on and forgive the person over time.

2) What is your astrological sign?
Do you want to guess?..many of you know it already..but the others can take a guess. Lets see how many of you get it right :-)

3) What's the last thing you purchased?
err..nothingapart from the mundane grocery stuff.

4) Did you have a baby blanket? Do you still sleep with it?
I do remember the blanket(s) I had as a child but I don't think I developed strong affinity towards them. I wasn't/not a person to have a sleep toy/blanket. Interestingly, R loves his blanket and cannot/will not sleep without it, however warm the weather might be!

·    5) Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? If yes, how’d it work out?
       Oh, yes!…

The new chapter of my life

I ran. Fast. Out of breath. Lungs bursting. Legs hitting the earth. I thudded up the path, around the corner, right up the stairs and reached the door. I flung it open and .................

...dashed inside.What met my eyes was something totally unexpected. My jaws dropped and my limbs gave way...

A few months ago: 

I had met him at my friend, Sakshi's house. He was handsome and had an air of royalty around him. I did take an instant liking to him despite myself. He seemed a little aloof but my friend winked at me and assured that she knew him really well and it would just take a few meetings for him to be friends with me.

I was not too sure. Rather, I was not sure if I wanted to be friends, just yet.

I had my own apprehensions. He and I belonged to completely different environments and I was not sure if I was ready. However, I decided to go with the flow. Sakshi was a dear friend who understood my loneliness after I'd lost my family to an accident. She made sure I was doing we…

At three

At three, R

-is a total chatterbox, rattling off longish sentences which may or may not mean much. It is funny at times to hear him string difficult words together only for the sake of saying something.

- asks a 100 1000 questions every few minutes. Why is so-and-so going there? Whose car is this? Why is it not moving ahead? Why did the signal go red?... and so on...

- has completed a major milestone- of being completely toilet trained. Happy to announce that we have half a packet of pampers lying unused. Once R began school, he was off diapers for the time he spent in school, later I found the courage to let him off even during the evenings at play. I had decided to stick on to the nights since I felt he is too young for the night times and more importantly I was not ready for the mid-nightly trips to the loo. My husband however insisted that we at least try for a couple of days. We anyway had the plastic sheets and if at all any accidents were to happen, it won't be so disastrous,…

My wishlist in a nutshell for 2013 and ahead

2012 is already coming to a close. It feels like just yesterday when I had written about how 2011 had panned out for me and what I'd like to do in 2012. This year has been a year of success in terms of having ticked off all the items that I'd planned to achieve. It is a great feeling. Although the tasks itself were not something that had to do with a lot of effort on my part, yet most things did fall in place with the time line I had in mind.

This gives me weird courage to write down my wish list more often. Maybe writing it down really makes the universe consider it wholeheartedly too. This post is not about what I'd want to do just in 2013 but a bucket list of things that I want to do on as a long term goal and a wishlist that may not come true in the near future or even at all.

Read more- I'd definitely want to read more, not only in the next year but also as a long term goal. The more I write and read other fellow bloggers, the more I feel inadequate about how little…

Chinese-wainese

Food is usually never a choice for topic on my blog. For the simple reason: I'm not much of a foodie. Although I like good food, I really don't have very strong taste buds and do not eat for the love of food. It is probably one of the reasons why cooking too is not my preferred activity. The husband is a complete opposite. I meant the eating part, not the cooking ;-)

However this month of marathon blogging will see a lot of exceptions to the rule :-)

We had the husband's nephew come over for a couple of days. So, yesterday afternoon, we decided to lunch out. With the husband and the nephew being lovers of the Chinese cuisine, we headed out to the newly opened branch of Mainland China.

We ordered Tofu in Hunan style for starters, exotic veggies in basil flavoured gravy for the main course along with some fried rice and hot wok Hakka noodles to go with it. We finished it off with an unusual choice (for us) for desert- ice cream spring rolls (spring rolls filled with vanilla ice…