Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WAVES

Waves
lashing,
roaring,
white foam.


Coming in from the sea
to pay obeisance at your feet.


Cooling,
tickling,
playful.


They speak
a language of their own.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

DEBATE

This one's got to do with ebooks v/s 'real' books.

What's an ebook, anyway? So the dictionary definition may differ (more than) slightly, but essentially it's a lovely book that's taken and put into electronic form, with no way to feel the pages, cool and crisp to the touch. No way to hold the book up to the old olfactory glands and take a deep breath, and inhale the - if I may - aroma. Have you noticed how each book carries a different smell, has a personality of its own? A new book, all crisp white pages has a sharp tang, while an older book, slightly mellow, a warm, musky aroma? At the risk of sounding like I have (more than just) borderline OCD, let's move on... *cough* objectively.

Why would I read an ebook? Umm, speaking for myself, at the risk of sounding geeky and so not with it, I may not. Ever. As of now, I don't. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes even remotely close to holding a book, turning each page over carefully, popping a bookmark into place, and then... re-reading it once done. Rinse repeat. At home, should you ever visit, you'll realise that I'm running out of space for mundane things such as linen, clothes, random odds and ends... and all because the books threaten to take over the apartment. It's a mutiny of sorts, really.

For the sake of argument, I do realise that reading something online, say right here in blogland, does come somewhere close to an ebook. It's not like you print these pages and read, right? Hmm. But I choose to ignore that. *looks away and whistles*

Convenience and things apart, I like my half hour of bedtime reading; there's nothing that puts a crazy day into perspective better. Unless it's a dog. Hmm. But I digress (as usual). Conclusion = no ebooks for me, not for a loooooooong time.

The dog is another story.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011

BEING

I amWho I am

No excuses
No pretenses

What do you see?
Rather,
what do you want to see?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

THE WEEKEND'S HERE!

Yippee!

Gonna catch up on reading a Tintin (or ten), of course. Now that I've just seen the movie - what else? The first one will be The Secret of the Unicorn - so I can go, hey! now this wasn't in the movie. Or, that bit from the movie isn't here. You get the drift.


Maybe another movie, starring my current Bollywood heartthrob. The hottie. The super drool-worthy cutie, a.k.a. Ranbir Kapoor. *melts into a puddle*

Family time. Very important, this.

Finalise vacation plans. Ooh, fun.

Turn out closets. Get ruthless with self and sort out clothes. (Note to self: DO NOT get sentimental.) Dust furniture. Put up freshly laundered, ironed curtains at windows. Sort out kitchen cabinets. Inspect Tupperware that houses suspicious growth food in the back of the freezer.

TINTIN!

Simply. Loved. The. Movie.

Fantastic animation, brought to life on an IMAX 3D screen. (Have you also felt like you're gonna fall while in the Dome? I always do. Sigh.)

Here's what I saw:
Every teeny, tiny detail - laugh lines around Tintin's/ Haddock's eyes. (Hmm. Girly, to notice.) Tintin's tuft of hair waving gently in the breeze. The Unicorn's scale model with some glorious detail. Waves in the sea. Bubbles. Bianca Castafiore's jewels. Snowy's velvety little nose and beady eyes.

And oh, the movie, too.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BUSINESS TRIP

After ages. Nice.
Good to meet up with people from other locations. It's interesting, the viewpoints you get. The same routine you follow gets a fresh perspective, with new ideas from your counterparts.

Hmm. New things to absorb and learn.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

OFF ON VACATION!

Yes, it's Diwali. Yes, it is festive. Yes, I am finally done with preparations. Of course, as usual, I'm sure I could've done more. In any case, too late now - it's a little past midnight, and here I am, channel surfing (a fruitless exercise, but being the eternal optimist,...) and blogging. And quickly sending/ replying to work mails, because...

... I am off on vacation. Hurrah! Yay! Yippee!

Nothing fancy, just the annual visit to the in-laws, but it's not reason to complain at all. Of course, will put up loads of pics while there *snort* when I'm back. Will blog regularly too. Okay, occasionally.

So what did I do to prep, anyway? Here's the list:
  • Cleaned house
  • Washed curtains/ changed bedlinen (which we do otherwise too, but it's almost mandatory at Diwali)
  • Put up the fairy lights and the kandeel, or paper lantern. (More on that later, remind me)
  • Piously lit diyas and placed outside the door (Again, more later)
  • Made chocolates. You think? Well, unfortunately this is the one thing that I didn't get down to doing. Sad. So bought these small pouches, bought chocolates, bought diyas and made up packages to give the neighbours. (You'll notice the malls love people like me - note the overuse of the word 'bought'.)
  • Bought gifts and wrapped them (LOVE that!), ready to give away with loads of warm Diwali wishes
That's more or less it.

So while I'm away (and possibly too lazy to blog), have a wonderful and safe Diwali, y'all out there!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

SHOPPING LISTS

Because it's soon going to be Diwali. (More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali)







Things to buy for:
  • The family
  • Friends
  • House help
  • Some acquaintances
(Given that there are just five days to go, yes, I am running late. Very late. All that I have done is the list, so far. *panic*)


P.S.: Will also be doing some crafts (senility second childhood just for fun) this weekend, so stay tuned for pictures!
*claps hands in glee* Oooh, what fun!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

WHAT'S ON YOUR READING LIST?

Currently, this is what my bedside table holds:


Been meaning to read The Tao of Pooh, Te of Piglet for the longest time now; finally got myself a copy and have made (very small, as of now) inroads into it. Good reading.

Of course, books by Betty Neels and Mary Higgins Clark are my all-time favourites, so I'm invariably re-reading (sometimes, even re-re-reading) some of their books - which is the case right now, too.

Weekend agenda: Finish up with these, start off a new lot, and also find some time to paint. (Meeting The Mother-in-Law Later This Month is on the cards; will be gifting her a me-made painting.)

MID-WEEK HOLIDAYS

... are quite my favourite by far.

Makes you happy about having managed to sleepwalk through half the week, with just a couple more days to go.

Am already planning the weekend!

P.S.: Did nothing today, but for digging into my jar of Nutella (mmm-hmm), and then taking myself off for a guilt-walk, an outcome of having demolished a good part of said Nutella jar. Sigh. :/

SPIDEY!

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!


Found him sunning himself on Mum's dining table this afternoon. Agreed, she cooks amazingly well, but that's no excuse for Mr Arachnid to stop by.

Ick. Ick.



Saturday, 1 October 2011

GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE

WHY does a public holiday have to fall on a Sunday? :(
Yes, that's the problem with tomorrow - I need a weekend! Can someone order me one now, right away, please?

WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

Not necessarily in another life, but say you were to re-do/ un-do stuff in this one itself?

Rockstar? Actor? Scientist? Doctor? Engineer? Artist? Teacher? Spouse? Parent? Sportsperson? Entrepreneur? Salesperson? Financial guru? Writer? Horticulturist?

Hmm. So you picked one.

But...

... somewhere, aren't we all (or most) of these things, at various life stages?
Aren't you a rockstar to the person(s) you matter to the most?
Aren't you the doctor who kisses those boo-boos away?
Aren't you the artist who works on those masterpieces that your parents proudly display on their living room walls?
Aren't you the financial guru who skillfully runs a home on a budget?
Aren't you the horticulturist who livens up a dreary room with a window box full of blooms? Aren't you the scientist, the engineer who thinks quick on your feet to come up with solutions to the most complex of (daily) concerns?
Aren't you the writer who painstakingly pens letters (okay, e-mails!) to stay in touch with those whom you care about?
Aren't you the sportsperson who sprints about from task to task, successfully juggling several activities at a time?
Aren't you the entrepreneur who works on your own new ventures?

Go on, don another hat today! Or maybe, just doffing it to yourself would suffice!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

SO I HAD A DATE


Not with the significant other, but some super exotic ones out of the fancy packaging above. (Apologies for the very well taken photo, but that's just lazy me who can't bring herself to haul out the DSLR and will make do with sub-standard images from the cell phone camera, you see.)

So what is the brouhaha about, anyway? Well, for one, the dates were simply divine. Of monstrous size, embedded in each was an elegant blanched almond, balancing the sweet taste of the date with the uhh... non-taste of the almond. Heavenly. Second, there's Van Gogh as well.

P.S.: The Van Gogh book you see there was just to place the package on, but I now like how two of my favourite (albeit unrelated) things have been captured in the same frame.

TAKE THAT, TRAFFIC MONSTERS!

Hah! *evil leer* Defied the Traffic Monsters this morning: reached work in half the time it normally takes, which is no mean feat, I tell you. Anyone who lives the horror that is Mumbai traffic will vouch for this. I dunno why and how, but I sure ain't complaining!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

TORTURE

in the form of the movies.

I'll refrain from naming said horror film, but all I can is that, for a change, I'm speechless. Speechless at how a perfectly good storyline can be ruined simply by long-winded narration that travels across continents, traverses time, space and eventually defies any and all logic.

I want my money back. Better still, my money back with compensation for mental harassment and physical torture (it was a three-hour film).

On the positive (?) side, there were two three (yes! three!) good things about the film:
  • My tub of caramel popcorn
  • My coffee
  • The interval

Saturday, 24 September 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM!

First, the cake.
(Pineapple and cream, yum!)



 And then, the present.
(A hamper, with Mum's favourite products from The Body Shop, some chocolate, foam-and-chenille-stem flowers, gauzy silver net and silver and gold ribbon to pretty up the basket. Think I succeeded. Or at least, Mum assures me I did. That's mums for you!)

Monday, 19 September 2011

BIRDS


These are what the sky was (over) populated with, earlier this evening.

MY KITCHEN WINDOW


is green.

Now if only my thumb, more so.

SOAP


Taking a shower just got more fun!

THE FRAGRANCE LINGERS ON

He would stand patiently on the corner of the pavement, under the shade of a tall old Ashoka tree, the wisdom of his years showing on his weather beaten face, browned with the sun, a slight smile playing about his lips. Calm, always unruffled, his arm stretched out, laden with fragrant garlands of delicate brown blooms, those of the bakul flower. Dressed in a white shirt, always clean and pressed, but one that had obviously seen better days, together with a pair of brown trousers, carefully preserved and crisply ironed on the crease. His feet ensconced in brown Kolhapuri chappals, and a Gandhi topi on his near-bald head.

This is how I remember him.

Every summer and winter break (and some weekends in between),  Mum would whisk my sister and me off to Pune, to her parental home, where our grandparents lived. Having to keep us entertained (and thereby alleviate boredom and crankiness), she would take us out for a walk every evening. It was on one of many such strolls that I first saw him, standing facing Kaka Halwai, a sweetmeat store, under the Ashoka. Mum did too, and exclaiming at the exquisite beauty of the bakul flowers, purchased a garland for her hair. This was only the beginning of our association with him. Every day, every holiday - I had got accustomed to walking down that busy, bustling street - and seeing him stand, alone, almost unmoving, hand stretched out to display his fragrant wares better. A slight smile, a confirmation of the price, and subtly shifting a garland from one hand to the other, to be placed in a waiting soft, velvet-like green leaf, deftly folded over and tied loosely with string - all then handed over to Mum, the smile in place. The pattern of years.

Today, whenever I pass by that street, I still slow down that corner, almost expecting to see him standing there, flower garlands on his arm, never once calling out to passers-by, in a bid to sell his wares. The tiny, delicate beige-brown blossoms, those that would continue to give out their exotic fragrance even when dried. Those tiny flowers that helped him eke out his living, for so many years. The dignity they offered him, his humility and gentle nature shining forth. Simple and unobtrusive, similar to the blooms he held.

Of course, he no longer is there... physically.

The fragrance, however, continues to linger.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

TV TIME

Harry Potter on the telly again! Hurrah! Off to watch The Goblet of Fire for the nth time.

ONE BIRTHDAY, PLEASE!

That's what I want. I love feeling special. I love the cake. I love them presents (heh heh!).

Oooh, I love birthdays! Can I have one already?

MY FAVOURITE CORNER


...of our living room.


That lovely glowy bit there?

Courtesy this:

When lit up:


TO-DO LIST

Because I love lists (never mind the fact that more often than not, I happily drive down to the supermarket leaving said cherished list at home), here goes:
1. Cleaning agents - a mop and a broom, please!
2. AA cells (or batteries)
3. Tomato ketchup
4. Veggies
5. Fruits
6. Yoghurt (or curd, or dahi)
7. Happiness Oreos

AND
*drum roll, please*

8. Bliss heaven manna NUTELLA

Am off shopping - if nothing else, to replenish my fast-diminishing supply (gasp! choke!) of item # 8 on the list.

BEING 'PROPER'

Back in the 80s, when I was in the single-digit age group, life was a lot less complicated. The early 90s, even. Did you know that being 'proper' was not a mandatory requirement? Nobody sang from the rooftops about how things were politically incorrect, nobody went all twisty to shout slogans about violent cartoons, nobody insisted that one of the - rather, THE - celebrated childrens' author of all time was racist, or even sexist. No comic books delightfully detailing the exploits of news reporter-heroes were quickly taken off the bookshelves.
...And then we got 'proper'. Bah.

Ergo, a certain feline and rodent duo were banned from homes, channels on the TV hurriedly flipped, with people delicately shuddering at the effect they apparently had on their children. No, never mind domestic violence, or even dramatisation on other more mature content on the telly that kids are constantly exposed to. That, of course, paled in comparison to the antics of the four-legged characters. How can we even compare the two? Gasp!

Consequently, beloved characters from books took on new 'correct' names, none that had sexual/ political/ racist/ any other seemingly offensive overtones. Worse still, you found that a toy or two had been erased from the bright, colourful pages of your childhood. Characters no longer looked the same, or spoke the same - if they were there at all!

So comic books were banned, panels from them (skillfully?) edited, and 'proper' versions were put up for sale.

Don't get me wrong, y'all - nowhere, and in no way, do I support biases, be it gender/ race/ lifestyle preferences/ any other. I'm as much for equality (or is balance a better word?) as you are. However, I honestly believe that some things that are sacred, and best left alone.

Somewhere, isn't it all a matter of perspective?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

FOOD FOR THE BIRDS... AND ME


Sunflower seeds!

For those of you who have read Enid Blyton (or grew up on them like I did), you must be familiar with The Adventure Series (http://www.enidblyton.net/adventure-series/meet-the-characters.html). None of the said adventures would have been complete without Kiki the parrot golden crested cockatoo, a multi-talented winged (and supremely able) partner in crime to the four human children. Among her (Kiki's, i.e.) favourite foods are sunflower seeds, which she picks up in her little claws and daintily nibbles at.

Dunno about dainty and/ or claws, but as the picture above suggests, a fair amount of them seeds are now ingested by yours truly. Yum yum.

Anyone with fun recipes for these seeds? Apart from bread/ similar baked goods?


A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN

...Isn't it?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a view of sheer awesomeness at the foothills of the Himalayas.

Thank you, Nimilita (a wonderful, wonderful friend - and not just because she lets me use her personal photographs out here in blogland), for a glimpse into what undoubtedly is Heaven - or as close as you can get to it, if nothing else.
 
 
This, I believe, is as good a reason as any to happily ditch the material world and turn holy/ spiritual/ whatever-suits-you, isn't it?

Friday, 9 September 2011

SUNSET ON THE SAND DUNES

Rajasthan.

Through my parents' camera lens.

PEN DRIVE

This came in complete with a video about the Chinese Year of the Rabbit too! Loved it! One of my more fun purchases in recent times, methinks.

FUN DAY AT WORK

... Involves:
- Music over the speakers
- Colleagues visiting from another branch office to celebrate with us
- Snack box lunch for everyone (and that too one involving apple pie and croissants, yum yum)
- Festive atmosphere (flower garlands et al!)

So I had one of those yesterday. :)

See?
(Ignore the bad photography - the lighting was poor too lazy to click better.)


SON OF SNAPE

While watching Part II of the Deathly Hallows, that's what came to mind. Heh heh! How is that possible? Well, imagine HP in Bollywood, or on Indian telly land. There, anything is possible! And by that, I do mean anything.

Sample these:
  • Husband/ son of the family declared dead. Widow/ parents of said son in mourning. Post funeral, that is. So just when the widow about to be remarried, the dead - yes, dead - husband shows up.
  • The Ms Goody-Ten-Thousand-Shoes daughter-in-law (DIL) missing/ presumed dead/ similar tragedy. Evil DIL (or equivalent scheming female relative) has taken over the simpering household and reigns Queen. In a twist of fate, the original DIL (believed to be dead, remember?) returns - with a shiny new face, courtesy the friendly neighbourhood Plastics Guy. Cosmetic surgery at its best!
  • Child marriage long over, the matriarch of the family does not like the single-digit aged grand-DIL, and hatches an Evil Plot to have her (also underage) grandson remarried - to another minor. Many twists and turns and years (and finally hitting maturity) later, said grandson moves to the Big City and falls in love, forsaking the sweet little wife from childhood - with Wife Part II, i.e. the minor from his nightmares! Tough keeping up, eh?
So I figure, if any of that can happen, why not the Son of Snape? Or maybe sequels involving business rivalry (now that Lord Voldemort is no more - or is he? Heh heh! *eyebrow raised*) between the Potter/ Weasley kids and the Malfoys? Or wait - maybe even a marriage between them! Gasp! Of course, this would only be a plot to take over the Potter millions. Ahhh! See - endless possibilities!

What's your version?

Friday, 2 September 2011

HE'S BACK!

That adorable elephant-headed God is here again!

Hello, Ganpati. Or Ganesha, if you prefer that. Or maybe just hello, Gamps.

SUNSHINE!

...after some zillion and one days of rain. Hurrah for the bright blue skies and shiny green leaves!
Let's make a list (oooh!) of sun-filled likes:
1. No damp
2. The dog stays dry (not that I have one, unfortunately)
3. So do the rugs and carpets (these I do)
4. No fungus/ suspicious ugly growths on walls (this itself makes it worthwhile)
5. Dry footwear (bring on the strappy sandals, do!)
6. No ruined pedicures (and ergo pretty feet)
7. No stupid umbrellas that overturn at the slightest hint of a breeze (and get you wet in the rain, bah)
8. No frizzy hair (close to the non-appearance of fungus, close)
9. No excuse to not go on my evening walks (wait, wrong list...)

Unrelated, but stay tuned for a festival update!

BLOGGER-ED!

Just as I (finally) get used to changes on Blogger, I see some more! Arrrghhhhh.... gotta go figure 'em out now. *grumble*

Monday, 29 August 2011

HUMAN PYRAMIDS

To celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, (most) parts of India celebrate a festive called Janmashtami, a.k.a. Gokulashtami. Traditionally, a handi (pronounced: haandee, i.e. earthenware pot) is filled with dahi (pronounced: dahee, i.e. yoghurt) and tied on to a rope that is suspended across say, two apartment buildings. This would be at a height of more feet than I'd ever like - somewhere in the range of 30 - 40. Ulp. What needs to be done is pretty simple - or not. Human pyramids need to be formed, to reach the handi, break it, and have the dahi spill over. Often, these pyramids have anywhere between four to five tiers, with a child atop the pyramid to smash the handi. There are local youth groups that vie for this 'contest', seeing that there is a cash prize attached to each such handi, ranging from between INR 10000 - INR 100000, or sometimes even more.

Thought I'd do a pictorial representation for you, given that this is the first time ever that I'd decided to watch the action live myself. Why? Am not sure this is my idea of fun, or a sport, seeing that the pyramid-ers work sans helmets, knee/ elbow pads, harnesses... you get my drift. What's enjoyable about possibly falling off the formation, breaking a limb or two - or worse? Anyway, that's for another post, steeped in reality checks.

Interim, here goes:
Step 1: Getting to the venue, on bikes (see - no helmets), or atop a truck.




Step 2: Behold the goal!



Step 3: Pyramid in formation.



Step 4: Err, a shot of these guys actually breaking the handi? Urm, my camera didn't cooperate. I was too late to click. Anyhoo, what's imagination for?

Go on, y'all know how you would whack a pinata, eh?

THE RAINMAN COMETH

... and never go away. Or so it seems. Thought I'd gotten done with my cribbing about the rain for this year, really. About the damp, wet dog smell on everything. About the fugly fungus everywhere. Ick. Ick. On the housework front, laundry that just doesn't dry, rainwater that craftily sneaks in from invisible cracks in the wall. Bah.
So the MET has predicted three days of incessant rain, which roughly means we're looking at maybe five-odd days or so, given that the MET track record is really nothing to write home about.
How do I get to work today? I wish I were a school student, just for the day - schools have been asked to close, given the rains. (Hmph. Distressing not to be able to look 13 instead of 30 some days.) Instead, I brave the rain, waterlogged streets, human and vehicular traffic and cautiously ease my way into the parking lot at work.

Getting home, you ask? Rinse, repeat.

TREE OF LIFE

That's what I spent my afternoon painting today, acrylic paint on canvas.


Ahhhhh. Bliss. Love those paint splattered fingers!

No, the canvas is a perfect rectangle; just that the photo's clicked at an odd angle. Really.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WROTE A LETTER?

I've almost forgotten how to write, more's the pity. :(
While happily tapping away at the keyboard is now the norm - and how convenient it is! - it's made us all forget what used to be termed as the 'art of penmanship'. How many of us today can actually put a pen to paper and write sentences, never mind paragraphs or pages, without our hand cramping up? Without getting 'bored', or 'tired'?

And let me not get started on spellings.

Friday, 19 August 2011

PINK, BLUE AND SPARKLY!

At the risk of sounding all giggly and schoolgirly, I must gush about having bought sparkle nailpaint. Sparkle! And pink. Pink?! Okay, dusky rose, or rather some fancy-schmancy name for it that's on the bottle. And dare I say it - blue! A nice, turquoise-y blue!

Circa 1990s, eh?

PUNISHMENT

...by choice.
Honestly, amazes me just how people are gluttons for punishment. How they can listen to insults, get tossed about by random anyones, and generally be treated as life form even lower than pond scum. Really, now.

One arguement might have to do with circumstances. Or so they'd want you to believe. But what happens, in that case, to being the Master Of Your Own Destiny? Can you, as an individual, not decide what direction your life is going to take? Or do you meekly accept what is, as-is? Sure, life isn't always fun (never mind the proverbial bed of roses), and there are times when you go, why me? But should you spend all your time whining why me, and do nothing about it, arrrrghhhhhh... now that I just don't comprehend!

Which brings me to self-respect. Even an ounce of that goes a long way. How can anyone take that away from you, huh? Again, I have no answer, but find it impossible to believe that you can be convinced that you're a waste of space on Earth.

Or is it easy to speak when you're on the other side - wanted, loved and secure in your knowledge of that? When you know that there are times when you will be down, but bounce right back you will.

My thoughts, these... what are yours?

WEATHER UPDATE

Mundane, you think?

Well, we've I've been hoping for clear skies since a while now, given that it's been some months of dull, dreary grey now. While romantic and all (only out of a window, or walking by the sea), there isn't anything even remotely so about having to wade through ankle-deep water, or worse. And of course, bugs. Ick. And fungus. Ick. Ick.

Being a home owner (and one living close to the sea) makes it worse: there are these hideous, fugly, just plain gross forms of fungi sprouting out the walls. I shudder to even take a swipe at them with a paper towel, because as I approach them, they seem to grow in size, smell putrid and generally reach out to me with musty little feelers. Ulp. Strategy: Get gooseflesh on arms and down the spine. Leave paper towel as-is, and scream for the significant other to help, i.e. clean away the creepies. Which he does (bless him), but only after having a go with the camera. Do we really need visual reminders of super creepy fungi? Do we?? Do we???

Oh for loads of sunshine! *whimper*

WHILE ON ART...

... I also love like think there's something about The Scream, by Edvard Munch. Something.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream)

Captivating, really. Makes me pause every time I see a reproduction somewhere.

ALL ABOUT ART

For me, art is roughly translated as Vincent Van Gogh. Have always, always loved his works, and wait for when I can visit the museum in Amsterdam. Until then, this is where is go: http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/

And of course, I spend lazy weekends (even though there aren't as many as I'd like.... grrrrr) with oils on canvas, working my paint-splattered way through The Starry Night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night), Country Road with Cypress Trees, or thumbing my way through a book (or two) on his works.

Ah, bliss.

Who's your favourite artist?

Monday, 15 August 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INDIA!

You're 64 today!


You have so much to be happy about, so much to celebrate, so much to be thankful for, so much to look forward to.
It's great being with you - cheers!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND

For most in India, it's a super three-day weekend. For me, two. (Yesterday - Saturday - was a working day.) Anyway, that's potato/ potato, really. It's a H-O-L-I-D-A-Y weekend, woohoo!

So while I may not be chillaxing on some exotic beach somewhere, diaquiri in hand, what I AM doing is watching back to back movies at home, catching up on some reading, blogging, shopping with the girlfriends, painting, cooking... not bad, eh?

More in a bit - pictures, too!

Friday, 12 August 2011

A FULL DAY

Too lazy to type much, but with good reason why: a full, satisfying day at work. One of those days when you're totally charged up, adrenaline pumping and believe know that given a chance, you can conquer the world.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

RUPEE ZERO, PAISE ONE ONLY!

Yup, that's the amount due on the husband's credit card this month.
Roughly, that would be equivalent to:
0.00022 USD
0.00015 Euros
0.00011 GBP

Bwaaahhhhhhhhh.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

BELATED, I KNOW...

So maybe I am just lazy don't have the best sense of timing. But anyhoo, here's what caught my eye (much) earlier this year at a local wine-and-other-things-alcohol-related store:


Greetings of the season, y'all!

WHEN THE FRUIT BREATHED FIRE

Dragon fruit, anyone?


Here's some more info on it, for those who may want to know.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya

WHEN FOOD LOOKED GOOD!


That, ladies and gentlemen, is a picture of what was served when I ordered Chicken a la Kiev for dinner at this new place in town. Oh, all right - it's been around forever, just that I seem to be the only inhabitant of Mumbai who had never been there. New to me, right? *grumble*

Deconstructed, that is:
Mashed potatoes made into the chicken, with food colouring for the beak.
Tortilla chips for the wings and tail (?)
The 'egg' was SINFUL - batter fried cheese and melted butter and some other bits of goodness
Served on a bed of rice, surrounded by chips and sauteed veggies (See, I knew it was healthy. Hah!)

Waddled home some gazillion pounds fatter, but oh-so-happy.

CHOCOLATE

Hmm, haven't made any in a while now. But here's a (badly taken) picture from when I did, a few weeks ago:

TELLY ON THE BLINK

So we're in the middle of watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for the nth time, when suddenly Hermione peers out at us from this gloomy, mud-coloured screen. That she's also eerily outlined (for want of a better word) in orangy-yellowish squiggles really doesn't help her case. Or rather, the telly's. Panic. Mad rush to the TV to switch off the mains, count to ten, and switch the TV back on again, silently sending up prayers to the Telly God. Apparently though, he's rather miffed with us: twelve hours later, Hermione still looks the same. Sigh.

Reach out for the laptop, Google Samsung India's helpline, and listen to Tinny IVR Lady for the longest time, before getting connected to "Hello, Ma'am, this is Whatsisname, how may I help you?". Turns out that the 'help' will arrive only after 24 hours, so until then, we have other forms of entertainment to choose from for today:
  • Listen to music.
  • Read. (Ah. Music to my ears, I don't need the radio now, really)
  • Paint. (Damn, where did that canvas get to?)
  • Take a walk in the rain. Hmm, maybe towards evening.
  • De-clutter my wardrobe. Uh, yeah, sure. *whistles loudly, looking skywards*
  • Just spend time chatting with the significant other. Now this can be done!
  • Cook. Err, rain check! Rain check!

Friday, 29 July 2011

TABLE?!

Sure, if you insist. That's what it is. A table.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really, now. *rolling eyes in head*

Okay, if you've finished laughing and picked yourself up off the floor, here's the lowdown: this was a table we - the significant other, a couple of friends and self - sat down at to dine. Okay, seriously, stop laughing! :D Where, just so that you know where to go for your next dose of entertainment? This restaurant at a budget hotel in small town India.

Buuwwahhhhahahahaaa.

ONE BLACK COFFEE, PLEASE!

Seriously, black coffee should be declared a religion. How is it even possible to start off the day *yawn* without a steamin' hot cuppa?

This is what most of my mornings look like:
Wake up smiling grumpy most of the time.
Look around bleary-eyed.
Stumble to kitchen.
Plug in the trusty best friend, uhh coffee maker.
Scoop in the grounds, add the water. Slosh some on hand, of course.
Keel over wait while the coffee manna is brewed.
Inhale the goodness.
Garner enough energy to open one eye, as a result. See what magic coffee can do?
Eagerly grab mug with both hands, inhale the happiness again. And again. Sip. Scald tongue. (Oh, how does that even matter? It's coffee heaven.)
Sip some more.
Open the other eye.
Mournfully look down at the dregs, wondering where heaven vanished to.
And then... start off the day.


Now, can this be anything but a religion?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

SICK OF BEING SICK

That's what I am. For the past couple of weeks or so, have been fighting off a miserable cold. And just as soon as I think I'm all better, whoosh! it's back. Blergh.

These days, those manufacturers of tissue paper are rejoicing at the business I've been single handnose-dly been giving them.

Chicken chowder, here I come... again!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

THE CITY IS WOUNDED. AGAIN.

As I type, three serial bomb blasts have hit the city. All in places wherein the human population is so dense, that even a stray pup wouldn't find a spot to place a tiny paw. And no, I don't exaggerate.

Tomorrow's headlines will praise Mumbai and her people, about how we're 'resilient', how we 'bounce back', how 'life goes on', how strong the city and her people are... Rehashed, recycled - just the venues of the tragedies change.

But this makes you wonder: where all can you hide? As long as terrorism has us in its clutches, we're just not safe anywhere. Tomorrow, we're all gonna be back at our desks at work, and today will be a memory we'll tut-tut about. Shame. It's so painful. Every time something like this happens, for a minute there you're cold with fear, and almost dread calling up people - you are so afraid of hearing the worst. You feel so helpless... and then your belief that politics is a joke is reinforced.

The question is: How long? Just how many more such incidents wherein the city continues to pay so heavily?

BAKING BREAD (OR BUYING A NEW MICROWAVE)

Did you know that baking bread is one of my favourite things to do to relax unwind serve with the soup at dinner?

So these days, here's what I've been attempting to bake. (Does 'attempting' raise an eyebrow? It should, if like me, you own a convection microwave too! Grumble.)
Flour - 200 grams
Baking powder - 1 heaped teaspoon
Walnuts - a handful (okay, maybe more)
Egg - just the one
Honey - umm, enough to drizzle over the walnuts and soak 'em up. So maybe 2 or 3 generous spoonsful.

Here's what you do:
Mix all the above ingredients, and pop into a pre-heated microwave for about 20 - 25 minutes.
When you hear the ping! - head on the micro, poke head to glass and try to peer in. When unsuccessful (as I nearly always am), open up door and stare at what was supposed to be the World's Best Baked Loaf and scowl. (Or maybe not, it may just turn to stone. No, scratch that, it can't get any worse, can it now?) Or better still, grab car keys and head on over to the nearest electronics store and drool at better microwaves/ Gadgets Designed To Change The Future Of Baking Forever. As I do.

P.S.: No, this fiasco attempt at baking bread does not reflect on my domestic abilities (or lack of them).

WHY COFFEENCINNAMON?

A little late in the day, I know, but here's the logic:
1. I love coffee.
2. I love cinnamon.
3. I love cinnamon flavoured coffee.

Not necessarily in that order.

Also on my list of favourites these days is my new diffuser (pictures to follow) and cinnamon aromatherapy pure happiness oil. So here's the thing: when you light this little tea light, there's the most wonderful cinnamon-y scent that wafts through the living room house. Bliss!
So add to that:
Coffee in my favourite mug
Instrumental music
Dim lighting
A good book
Nothing else comes close to this, when you wanna unwind at the end of a stressful day!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

TO HAVE A PERFECT SUNDAY, I WILL...

relax with a hot cuppa tea and the newspapers,
watch Harry Potter I (again, for the nth time) on DVD,
have a leisurely lunch,
blog,
haul self off to Phoenix Mills, watch a movie (Delhi Belly).

Happy to report that I've not even gotten past item #2 on list. (Okay, so I did skip to #4, which is evident)

*dances a happy dance* SO much to look forward to today!

Friday, 1 July 2011

WAITING

Six p.m., and he is obviously running late, she thinks as she patiently waits for him by the sea shore. It is a rainy evening, with a strong breeze and a wild sea vying for attention against the heavy grey skies, promising even more rain in the hours to follow. Shivering, she pulls her stole closer, and sits herself on an empty space on the low stone wall separating the sea from the pavement and the road beyond. Watching the vendors, cajoling people to purchase paper cones full of hot gram spiced up with sea salt and a twist of lime, she idly contemplates giving in and buying one. Just the vague thought of spoiling dinner stops her.

Some distance away, a man casually dressed in faded denims and a plaid shirt hurriedly steps off a bus, umbrella in hand, and starts to walk briskly towards the sea. Mr Mehta from Kumar's Coffee Shop waves out a greeting as he passes by. At the traffic lights, a young boy in a dirty but cheerful blue-and-white striped tee shirt weaves quickly between cars, exchanging copies of the evening papers for a couple of coins. He calls out to the boy, purchases a paper and continues to walk ahead.

There she waits without complaint, he thinks guiltily, and quickly hurries to her. With the familiarity of practice, he reaches out and weaves a small garland of fragrant jasmine flowers into her wind-swept braid. She turns around at the gesture, smiles and moves over for him to sit beside her.

Together, they open up the papers, and scan the Apartments Available section in the Classifieds. Until then, they make do with the privacy the sea and a low stone wall have to offer them in the bustling city of Mumbai.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

KIARA

Meet Kiara.

She's the building dog. Now what's a 'building dog'? Simple - when you live in an apartment complex in Mumbai where space is a luxury and hence can't have a pet (other than goldfish or hamsters or such maybe) at home, you have what is called a building dog. What this means is that a random stray walks in; the NGOs come in and volunteer, vaccinate, spay, feed - not necessarily in that order - the said stray (and subsequent puppies, if the spaying was a little too late) which is collectively adopted by the kids in the apartment complex and becomes the building dog. Of course, said four-legged furry friend gets a name, gets food (it's now upped to Pedigree) and above all gets loads of love, cuddles and play dates with the same kids. Works well for all.

Kiara entered our lives roughly around seven-odd years ago, and has been the darling of all since. Of course, she's now getting along in doggy years (fifty plus, eh) and sadly, as with humans, age does tell on her. (She isn't acquainted with Botox, you see.) However, the pup she was seven years ago is more or less how she is even today: playful, frisky, loving, sweet... and always, always makes you feel special. It's amazing how she can chase away your tiredness as you park the car at the end of a long work day and crawl home with a wag of her tail, one tiny whimper and a soft nose gently nudged against the back of your palm. The only treat she looks out for is a head rub, a few words cooed to her and a pat or two. Rinse, repeat.

Monday, 27 June 2011

MY DAILY FIX

How many of you out there also need their daily fix (many, many) scoops of Nutella?



(No image while I take my own and upload it; dunno about all those scary copyrighted pictures floating around cyberspace.) Finally! Done!


Serving suggestion I:
1 slice of bread
1 banana
LOADS of Nutella
How-to:
Spread Nutella on to the slice of bread, this nice thick layer that ensures zero bread visibility. (No, no - I don't hate bread at all; just that Nutella should be seen - and eaten - and not heard.)
Chop up the banana and top the Nutella, uhhh, bread with these l'il circles.
EAT! Hee hee.


Serving suggestion II:
Know crepes? Yes? Great, how about a Nutella crepe then? Trust me, it just doesn't get better than that!


Serving suggestion III:
Have you tried Nutella with pancakes? Yeah, hot buttery 'cakes over which Nutella is drizzled? Do!


Serving suggestion IV:
1 JAR of Nutella
1 spoon (or fingers, if said cutlery is unavailable)
How-to:
Unscrew Jar of Heaven.
Dig in with the spoon (or finger).
Need I say more?


How do *you* eat your Nutella?


P.S.: In a saner world, I see you folks slowly shaking your heads in disbelief, and thinking about un-reading this blog, or hey... maybe there's more of us out there? Please say I'm not the only one who needs a daily fix? Please? Pleaseeeee....


P.P.S.: Did you know there's a World Nutella Day? *dances a happy dance*