Friday, 12 December 2008

RECAP

Events at work.
Stress. Worry. Resolutions.
Birthdays. Anniversaries. Celebrations at home.
Fights. Arguments. Disagreements. Differences of opinion. Making up.
All this and more went into 2008.

The New Year's around the corner.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

IN MEMORIUM

Miss you, Azoba.
I sometimes marvel at the relationship we had... Spent most of my time being in awe of you; you always seemed so much larger than life. You fascinated me with stories of your travels and the exotic places you'd visited: I'd look forward to your visits with Ajji, wide-eyed, and waiting to see pictures. Pictures that transported me to where you'd just been, whether it was seeing the peacocks gracefully picking their way along your backyard, or your ginger cat Laalu. Your steel-gray Nissan (which was a dream!) with you at the wheel, smiling into the camera, your eyes all crinkly and bright.
As I grew up, the awe turned into admiration for all you'd done, for what you'd become. Walking along the roads of your hometown, standing in front of the dilapidated block of flats you stayed in - Mum showed us our roots. And what strong roots they are, with you always having been firmly grounded in reality.
I'm sure your world with Ajji today is as vibrant and multi-hued as this one with us was. I won't even start to say that I miss you so.
Happy birthday.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

NOVEMBER

It's all about the memories.

It's odd how while pleasant, they can bring a tear to your eye. Even while you're reminiscing about time well spent in the company of people you love, how a sliver of memory slinks in to your consciousness and brings with it a small sharp stab of pain. How you wish you could turn back the time, have just that one more day with the person you love. How you wish that they were near you.

Maybe they are. Maybe they're just looking down at you, you who are encompassed in their eternal love.

I'll be thinking about this all through November.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

FIRECRACKERS!

Umm, I share a love-hate relationship with these, really.

Just don't like the loud sounds. Or the smoke. Or the smog that just envelopes the air. The green me wakes up around this time, and grumbles to anyone who'll listen about the gasping, wheezing environment. I swear that the world around is shrouded in depressed stale air.

Now here's the love part: firecrackers signal the festive season. Colours. Family. Friends. Food. What's not to like?

Green versus human nature. Ergo, we fence sit.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

OF BIRTHDAYS AND THINGS

Have always enjoyed having a birthday from the time that I can remember.

Sharing a birth month with my sibling meant that we'd have a combined birthday party - twice the number of friends, cakes, presents (interesting!) and double the fun as well! Birthdays while growing up meant a party at home with Mum and Dad planning everything weeks in advance, painstakingly working on the menu, the invitee list and sundry other details, just to ensure that we kids had the perfect birthday. Home-made savoury snacks, desserts and the ubiquitous cake, chips and soft drinks, games such as musical chairs and passing-the-parcel, streamers, buntings and balloons adorning the walls, paper plates and towels, plastic spoons and glasses, the last-minute preparations and running around... And there we'd be on the selected evening, blowing out the candles, cutting cake, and smilingly receiving the presents (and wondering just when they could be opened!), eating, playing games and pressing return presents into our friends' hands.

Those were the days, when birthday parties were put together and not manufactured. When it wasn't about the commercialism but the feeling. When life wasn't just about greeting cards and fast food chains and birthday party organisers.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

THIS ONE'S FOR RAAVAN

It's Dusshera time, and I see people getting ready to burn effigies of Raavan almost everywhere I go. Of course, you do know that this stems from the Ramayana, wherein, to cut and long (and very interesting!) story short, it was necessary for Lord Rama to defeat Raavan and bring peace to the land (among other things). In short, it was a battle to the finish, of good versus evil.
Naturally, Lord Rama, being the good guy (and I'm not even disputing the fact!) has always been portrayed to be the epitome of the ideal man, while Raavan, on the other hand, being evil, is dark and somewhat sinister. There are seemingly very few positive attributes that are associated with his character.
Here's where I beg to differ: it is possible to look at Raavan in a new light? It is possible to see him as a more complex, layered individual? Is it possible to add a few gray facets to his character, and view him as a more rounded person? Is it possible to not just tarnish him with black, but paint him as more real?
Maybe this applies to the Raavan in all of us.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

HEY BABY!


Flashback to the time back in school, when we’d sit at your kitchen window, sampling yummy stuff courtesy your mum’s culinary skills… To the time when we’d swap books to read, and discuss the characters like they were friends… And also to the time when we figured babies were not our most favourite topic of discussion!!

Cut to the present. Clich├ęd but true – how I’d love to be there at this special time in your life, when you’re probably still sitting at a kitchen window (this time, your own), maybe reading a book…. A baby book. (So how many people have had you read ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’?) Now, when a baby is so eagerly awaited, a precious l’il gift already so wanted and loved!

Wish you loads and loads of fun times with Baby! May each day bring with it wonderful moments that you’ll forever cherish.
Here’s to you, Mommy!
Hugs,
Vaijxxxxxxx

P.S: So do you regret not having figured out how to knit from back in high school?

TO A FRIEND


Good thought. And scary, too, in a way. You made me think...

Does this mean that we don't have the time to take a moment and look at what's important to us anymore? Is it that the world is spinning so crazily, and we're hanging on for dear life, fighting to make sure we don't fall off the carousel? Sure, the economy and its state of health do impact the world, but what about closer to home?

So you're going to be 62 in 14 years time. (Hmm, am not getting any younger myself! :) Looking back now, have you achieved (most of) what you'd set out to do? (No, attaining Nirvaana needn't be part of the list!)
Have you enjoyed the time you've been blessed with - spending it with people you love and value the most; your parents, spouse and child? Scarily enough, there may be a day when, if you sit back and take stock, there's so much more you could've done.

Made their lives - and yours - so much richer, more fulfilling, with the smallest act: a monsoon evening spent on the verandah, drinking tea and taking in the sight and smell of the rain; an afternoon spent with your child, dabbling in paint and colours; a day catching up with an old friend, maybe via good old snail mail.

Time to wake up, smell the coffee, and take stock of our lives, don't you think? You don't want the big picture taking away moments that could've been precious memories to be cherished in the years to come.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

PIN-DROP SILENCE


So much so, that I've been moving in a daze between work and home. Work, and then some more more. Home, clubbed with nerve-wracking traffic en route. Tumble sleepily into bed, and wake up to the same routine.

Need a day that is 'blank', devoid of any activity, thoughts or what-have-yous. A day dedicated to pin-drop silence (something we never did manage to achieve in school, in spite of the teachers' pleas). Bliss!

Monday, 15 September 2008

ABOUT HARRY POTTER. OR JK ROWLING

Enid Blyton
Richmal Crompton
Carolyn Keene
Franklin W. Dixon
...Take a bow!

It's their books I grew up on as a child/ pre-teen, and followed up on my love for reading with a gazillion books from so many talented authors as I grew older. It's been a long and fascinating journey with the books, always one of discovery and happiness at having found a new friend.

So what does this have to do with Harry Potter? Am I rambling on (as usual)? No. Yes. Maybe! The thing is, while a book may have stayed on in the memory, it's not always that an author has, unless associated with a specific book, if you know what I mean. See, like if you say Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell immediately comes to mind. Ditto Stephen King should you holler The Shining. Now here is where Harry Potter comes in. Or rather, JK Rowling does. The books are so magical (yes, I can hear so-JRR Tolkein-meets-Enid Blyton!), so unreal (yet real), so mystical...and yet they make you want to believe in everything that's written on every one of those pages. You can't help wonder whether you know, these things actually happen in real life (as we know it). So here's the thing. I guess Rowling's brought alive the child/ teen in me. After all, who said that fantasy is only for people in the single digit age-group? A little bit of fairy dust and magic works for us all!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

SEPTEMBER GARDEN

September's a happy month.
Here's why:
First and foremost, it's Mum's birthday month. That in itself makes it special, because Mum's super special. (A separate post will see me go into raptures about Mum sometime.) But hey, do think about it - doesn't your Mum make your day? If you live together, or close by, a smile, a hug, or even a few quick words (or gossip!) exchanged can do it. If you live a distance away, or your Mum's that extra-shiny star in the sky, even a memory can do the trick. Anything, really, because Mums are always, always there.

Next, my window box flowers bloom. They're finally not rain-soaked anymore, neither are they gasping for breath (and water) like they do in the scorching hot summer. They're in that happy plant-world balance of good food, sunlight, shade and just that occasional rain shower. If you look closely, when it rains in September, it's almost as if the flowers are reaching out daintily to the sky, their delicate faces uplifted to capture that tiny sparkling jewel-like rain drop. Beautiful.

While on the rains, let me tell you that for someone with hair that can at best be (politely) described as frizzy on a good day, the fact that we're slowly inching towards sunshine is goooooooood. No more bad hair life, never mind days. Honestly, HOW can those waif-thin (Another grouse. Hmph.) models look all hot and sultry with rain-soaked hair, pray tell?! I can manage a frumpy and mouse-like, and that takes a lot of effort. Else, we're talking clumpy and we-have-given-up-on-life strands that stringily stick to the scalp. *whimper*

Plus, we're inching closer to November. Dunno why, but just love November. Maybe it's the sound of the word, I dunno. But November it is, as far as the best month of the year goes. You know, it's just one of those random things, like lucky numbers and the sort. But back to September...

Also, come September (Ah the old movies!), it's the advent of the festive season in India. It's from here on that we move into new clothes/ fairy lights/ scrumptious food/ magic mode. Pure bliss.

Yay, it's September!

Friday, 8 August 2008

EIGHT-EIGHT-EIGHTY

This is for my BFF, whose birth date this is. (She now has her baby son to share her birthday, too!)
Schoolmates since grade seven, we never did speak while at school, moving in different circles as we did. A tentative friendship was struck when on the suggestion of our tutor, we walked to and fro from French class, seeing that we lived down the road from each other. Initial hesitation and awkward conversations gave way to an amicable walk to class, exploring topics of discussions other than French verbs. Slowly, we'd spend evenings post class and homework together, with me hollering for her outside her window. She'd pop in the window, either inviting me upstairs to her home, or skip downstairs for a stroll along our tree-lined street. We grew up, sharing our fears, hopes, dreams and aspirations. And so the friendship was forged...
Growing up saw us apply for the same college, and become batch mates all over again. Schoolgirl giggles made way for college girl banter, boy talk and shared secrets: some of which we laugh over today! And so the friendship grew even stronger...
Nostalgia hit hard and it was tough to contain the tears, not just for me, but for her too, as she got married and moved away. From having the best friend so close by that she could dash across to comfort me when I was particularly low, or for us to go shopping together, or share her happiness, this stage was one full of mixed emotions.
Years later, with both of us married and leading lives with our significant others, two things have remained constant: the geographical distance, and our friendship. Would love to have the former change, with us being neighbours again someday. As for the latter, there are some things that are sheer perfection and needless to say, should remain unchanged... Touch wood!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

LAZY SATURDAYS

... Are now passe. However, am not really complaining about working weekends, it's a good feeling to sink my teeth into something new and challenging! Moving up the corporate ladder, getting into a new role, planning and growing with a new team - it's a wonderful new world!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

DRUNK ON HAPPINESS!

Life's little lesson learnt: You can be drunk on nothing but happiness! It's the best non-alcoholic high... EVER!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

MOVING CITIES... ALMOST

So this is really from 2004, when the significant other and I had decided to spend our lives together, come summer 2005. And all was well. Almost. The thing is, while I was happily living in Mumbai city, he was some xyz miles (I can NEVER get distances right; I'm hopelessly geographically challenged.) away in the far away land of New Delhi.

Now the thing is, Mumbai is well, Mumbai. For someone who's lived here all her life, moving cities to India's capital city is not the easiest (or most palatable) of ideas to fathom. Anyway, so moving being in the name of love and all, wasn't much of an option - like extracting a rotten tooth, it had to be done. And there started my numbered days in Mumbai.

First things first, then. Mumbai is synonymous with the sea, the beaches, the gorgeous monsoon. Had my fill of them all - spent solitary evenings by the sea, just taking it all in, almost as if to absorb it for a lifetime. Took long walks on the beach; oh the feel of the soft cool sand between my toes, waves lapping at my ankles! Deep breathfuls of the salty, tangy air. My own little heaven, to be assimilated and imprinted on my mind.

The almost in the subject line that you see? Well, Somebody up there loves me - barely was the engagement ring on my finger and the congratulatory messages pouring in, that one which made my world even more perfect came in: the fiance was transferred (for good) to Mumbai on work!

Mmmmmmm-hmmmmmm....so it's now the both of us, taking those walks by the sea, breathing in the wonderful salty air in tandem...and building castles together.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

GOODBYE, GRANDPA

It's been five years now; but still just doesn't feel like it.

Seems like I've just spent a holiday with you and am heading back home, only to see you soon. Every visit, when I'd walk out your door, after that one last hug, I'd look back, wishing time would stop still. I'd wish that it were time for the next vacation already.


That last time we met, that last hug we exchanged. Even though it took all your strength, all you could do was wish us well, thinking about us, that 'God bless' was the last thing I heard you say to me. And that we shouldn't worry about you. Didn't know it would be the very last hug you'd give me, or that it would be the last time I'd see you.

Memories are all I'm left with. The pain just doesn't go away.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

GROWIN' UP

Not sure that i'm a fan of the growing up fanchise, really. There's responsibility, people interested in what you do, how you do it, when you do it. There's this virtually permament glare fixed onto you, especially by those in authority.

*grumble*

Sunday, 8 June 2008

GARDENING GLOVES

I love my little window box garden. There's nothing as soothing as waking up (even if it's not too bright and early!) and looking out the window at the myriad colours vying for your attention. Occasionally, we're hosts to tiny little birds that we don't even recognise; butterflies too. Pottering about on weekends, happily convincing myself I have a green thumb or two, can spend a nice bit o'time digging away... followed, of course, by a nice hot mug of coffee.
Dunno about anything else, really, but there's one thing I've learnt: plants make you happy!

INTRODUCING TED THE TURTLE



Meet Ted. He's been with us a few weeks now, and makes one cute l'il (and I mean little!) pet.
Moves fast - whoever said 'as slow as a turtle'? - and is rather grouchy when you pick him up.
Hello, Ted.

MONDAY BLUES

Want to stay home and enjoy the rain.
Want to get done a million things that I'd planned to do over the weekend, and didn't get down to doing.
Want to take a break from things, sit back, breathe easy and enjoy my space.


Goodbye, weekend. Hello, Monday.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

HERE COMES THE RAIN!



Rich earth, the smell permeating your lungs. Flame of the Forest, laburnum and rain flowers jostling to display their fiery colours. A darkened sky, the rain beating down...
... The Gods have conspired to create the perfect magical rainy day!




Sunday, 11 May 2008

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Mum,
A friend for life.

All those times that...
She's kissed away wounds (from scraped knees to broken hearts) Made your favourite food just because
Given advice just when you needed it the most
Helped with your homework
Guided you, helped you take those hesitant first steps
Always been there for you, loving you unconditionally

Love you, Mum!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

NOTCH UP ANOTHER YEAR...


We're a year older today!

Happier? Yes!

Content? Yes!

Regrets? No!

Guess we're doing good! Happy anniversary to my significant other!

CHEERS!


We're celebrating three years of togetherness.

Three years, more happy than otherwise.

Three years, some wonderful moments and memories to cherish.

... A good feeling, this!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

TOGETHERNESS

May 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary... Here's to many more years of togetherness!


We love you, Mum and Dad!



SO I'VE SINNED!

Groan. Ate more than I should have of that deelish chocolate brownie. Or two. And did I mention the chocolate sauce? The nuts? The smooth cold texture of the vanilla ice-cream as it whispered down my throat?

Really, it did call out to me, said my name over and over. Now, you don't disappoint friends, do you? Ahh... say it's okay!


Wednesday, 19 March 2008

BABY TALK!

Bring in the best friend. Add her (then) three year old daughter.
The following conversation ensues:
The phone rings.
Friend (F): Hello?
At the other end's her hubby.
Hubby (H): Hi.. how's your day going?
Daughter (D): Mommy, who's that on the phone?
F: Papa.
D: Oh! I want to talk! I want to talk!
F gives D the phone.
D: (Very tentative) Hello...
Pause.
Then, in a VERY loud aside to F, which H can obviously hear:
D: But Mommy, which Daddy's phone is it?

OF GODDESSES & QUEENS

I simply love the concept that Indian goddesses are alive, deep in meditation atop a hill, possibly holed up in a smallish cave that's impossible for a human to access.

Just spent the past weekend trudging up one such mountain top, a 16-odd kilometer walk-crawl that was seemingly endless, but so worth the cold, thin air and breathlessness. Okay, so I now have muscles I didn't even know existed, that are making their presence felt rather vociferously. Unrelenting.

Ah, it's a long way to go towards even a modicum of spirituality.

LAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZY

The dictionary meaning be as it may, I'm almost embarrassed to think that the adjective now applies to me. Been ages since a blog post, ages since I tried anything creative (I'm talking paints, canvas and a brush here) on a weekend, been ages since I did anything fun for myself.

Time to change, methinks.
Decoupage is the latest rage.
Blogging is now back with a bang!
Artsy stuff is on the anvil.

I'm back to life!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

CHILLIN'

Literally. It's around 9.4 degrees, and cold, by Mumbai standards. A good feeling, this, all tucked up, toasty warm in a quilt, sipping on a mug of coffee. :)
Sometimes, life doesn't get better than this!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Had some really delish cake, the sibling turned a year older. (Don't know how much the latter part of the statement would be appreciated!)

It's a month for birthdays, February seems to be fairly popular. More updates soon.

Monday, 28 January 2008

ONE WEDDING, A SANGEET CEREMONY & LOADS OF COLD

Taking up where Mr Frosty left off, the North Indian winter just doesn't seem to understand that it's time for it to recede, not intensify at the end of January. Consequently, spent one cold day that led into an even colder evening.

The title's pretty clear - we went to multiple functions, initially dolled up in diamonds and silk, to end the evening wrapped snug in an exquisite Pashmina shawl, in a valiant (and fairly unsuccessful, I might add) attempt to keep the cold at bay.

Made a new friend, wished well to the old - here's to you, Siddharth and Becks!

More on this soon!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

HELLO, MR FROSTY

Not too sure about this cold thing. It's been between 1.6 and 2 degrees celcius the past couple of nights. Woke up at the ungodly hour of four in the a.m. to catch a train to Agra. Breathed in the Taj Mahal later in the day, but that's another story. Or blog. Or two. We're cheering tonight, seems the good ol' mercury's deigned to up itself by a couple of degrees.

Never mind the food, bring in the coffee and the moisturiser. And oh, don't forget the strawberry flavoured lip balm.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

AWAY FROM HOME


Plan holiday. Book tickets. Go shopping. Get organised. Pack. Realise you've packed everything but the kitchen sink hence no space in luggage. Grumble. Unpack. Grumble. Repack. Fret-fume-done. Go on holiday.

Day 1: Have a good time.

Day 2: Still having a good time.

Day 3: Ho-hum. Not bad.

Day 4: Wanna go home!!!

Homesickness sets in quick! So much for the holiday; somebody put me on a flight back home!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

BIRDS AND THE BEES

Wonder why discussions pertaining to the birds and the bees are taboo in some (or is it many?) societies? Wouldn't you rather raise an aware and educated child rather than one who is ignorant, has inaccurate information and consequently may have to go through pain and heartache - God forbid - at a later stage? Granted, you cannot protect a child forever from the world, but as a responsible adult, you can help minimise the pain that he/ she may unfortunately go through. More so, proper and timely education when imparted is very obviously the key to the solution. Why do we behave like the proverbial ostrich, sticking our heads in the sand, oblivious to everything around us? Ignoring a problem is not the solution, doing so only festers the growth and definitely does not make it go away. In a world wherein the HIV spread is rapidly on the rise, teenage pregnancies are rampant, why do we choose to sit in our ivory towers and gloss over the issue?
I'd think it's time we woke up to an educated world. It's the only way to save our children, and safeguard our future.

RING IN THE NEW!

Happy New Year!