Thursday, December 31, 2009

Twenty Ten.... Here we come!!

At the stroke of midnight... new year begins.. with that will begin new decade.. new hopes.. new pretty much every thing.. The year will be 2010 (Easiest said: Twenty Ten!)
I am exicted about the new year.. as i was the last year, and the year before. The stroke of midnight has its charms.. the sky lights up in fireworks, everyone is screaming in joy, huggling in delight and welcoming the new year! Its simply wonderful.
I try to beleive in "What you do on 1st of Jan, you do for the rest of the year!" Like always, i will definitely make sure we are chilling this day, will eat, will drink, will be merry and be surrounded with SD, V and our friends. And yes, i will make sure to step out at stroke of midnight to grab the fresh freezing air outside! Its a tradition what can i say!
I remember during school, i would open a book and study (Yes, geeky!), In college, i would always try on my pretty outfit (yes.. cheeky) and yes, all these years, i always do hit the gym on jan 1st.. even if for 15 minutes ;-) The one thing which i know i would avoid on this day is "chores"... Hehe!
Like always, i look back at this passing year. 2009 was a year of firsts... a lot of them! With a toddler in tow, its expected as well. Cliche'd as it may sound, the year went by really quickly.
For the coming year, I have newer resolutions which i know i will break. I will once again promise to do X, Y, Z and turn up doing A,B and C. And like all years, at the end of it... i will look back and reminice about the year which went by.
And like always, it will be filled with wonderful memories, some crazy times, some happy, some sad moments... but overall.. perfect!

Wishing you all a Very Happy Twenty Ten... Create Happy Memories!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday traditions... or none!

Growing up, Christmas for me, was just winter vacations with a bearded cute and chubby man in a red suit. My childhood memories for Xmas are faint. But yes, i do remember the yummy eat cake at one of our friends. But that’s basically it. During my pre-teens, i was in a Catholic school. It was then that the stories behind Xmas came to life. That’s when i was "exposed" to the mythology, the history and the traditions of Christmas and Santa. It was then that i heard Ho Ho Ho, the Christmas Carols and the music! Needless to say, i loved it! But by then, i also knew i was a bit older for asking Santa for presents. And my parents knew, they couldn’t ask me.. Naughty or nice? Christmas for the family was days off and family time. I do remember that my parents would always take us for a drive to see the Xmas trees and the decorations of hotels and churches!
In college, Christmas was with the tradition of endless Christmas parties. Where Santa and Xmas lights were the last thing on someone's mind! They were the backdrop! It was more about dressing up, socializing and enjoying the evening.
So i don’t remember, sitting at the edge of bed the whole night, looking up in the sky for "magic" or tearing through gifts early morning.
And i was completely okay with that. But i still loved the "special" air around Xmas... it was for me, Diwali all over again; loads of gift, loads of socialization and yes chocolates. This for a sweet tooth like me was enough!
After i moved to United States, Xmas was always special in its own ways. I would watch my American friends from the sidelines as they would scrounge and work through holiday madness as well. I would help out, volunteer for the gift wrappings. They were happy, since it was big chunk off their plates, and i was happy at using my "creative" skills!
So i have always enjoyed the holiday festivities.. but from the sidelines! The true personal excitement for Xmas only started for me after i had V. Last year for V's first Xmas... we got her a lovely red hat, a dress and stood in line for hours and hours to meet "Santa" who looked so real! It was my first time meeting Santa! The real thing.. not from the sidelines.. but i was in the mix of it.
This year again, V got her picture with Santa. Santa was nice to her and asked her to eat her veggies and be a good kid! She was partially confused but happy to get her Santa button and cookie to follow!
SD and I deliberated long and hard whether to put up a Xmas tree or not. For this year, we decided against it. "She is still a bit younger to be bribed in being a good girl for a better stocking stuffer". Yes that was my reason ;-) But honestly, i don’t know what to do for Xmas. I didn’t grow up with it. But when i visit other kids and her school, i see the excitement in these toddlers about Santa, the gifts, the looking out in the sky and the magic!
Next year.... may be, I will set up our own little tradition: May be a tree, lights, gifts and baking cookies and stocking stuffer. It does sound amazing.
But for this year, I am content at driving through the city on Xmas eve to see the lights, getting gifts for her school, having a gathering of people... and pretty much taking it easy. But i know, in our own special way, we will create our own Holiday Magic.
The beautiful snow, the Xmas lights of the streets and the "special" air around this time of the year will make it special!
So no matter how you celebrate your holidays...with or without tradition.... I hope you do create your own little Holiday Magic!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Turnign 50!

Hell no.. i am not... of course not.. there is a long long long time for that... but my sweet blog is turning 50... 50 posts old.... with this post!

You know i believe in the words: "It's a start"!!! as much as I do in "Life is Good!". Its the name of my blog for crying it loud. And I chose this name after I kept drawing a blank on what to call it..or how to start writing. I admit I had been wanting to this for a while... and every time would come at choosing a name.. I’d draw a blank. I wanted it to be catchy, to relatable, to be intelligent.. and yes to be cute, peppy , cheerful, funny and all other possible adjectives. But i couldn’t figure it out. I landed on: It's a start.. Thinking could procrastinate as long as i wanted to... i knew.. Without starting I’d actually never start. Hence the justifications of the lovely name of the blog roll!!!
And may be i was right.. since here 50 posts later... It's a start!
I write.. more correctly blog.. because i enjoy it. I can count the handful of friends who read this space. And yes, I pretty much do bully my family in reading and commenting on the same. Come on, who doesn't like waking up one morning.. and seeing more than one comment on the blog! Hehe. I have met wonderful people through the blogosphere, connected and re-connected with friends. Learned new aspects of people, shared common ideologies, argued a bit and yes I have learned a few new things about myself as well!
For me- It’s a start still stands true. Its a start- to what i dont know.. but just to something that i enjoy doing. This blog is more generic.. more of whatever comes to my mind... more of me, my thoughts and my observations (Gawd.. i am self obsessive!) ;-)
Hopefully the few people who do read it (After enough arm twisting) enjoy it as well.... if not all of the posts.. just some!
And yes, i am one of those who would shamelessly bring the blog up in conversations,.. just to peck friends curiosity in reading it. I would FB about blogging... and then poor SD.. ask him 5 minutes after i post: "Have you read it yet!"
Of course, my other blog is more specific and its about my experiences and transition from being a carefree (borderline careless), relaxed (borderline lazy) and chilled out person to a mother... Yes.. i am still all of the above.. but the other blog describes my transition into a mom!
But this blog.. remains my starting point. I know.. some day it will take its form and become purposeful and be directed... But for now, i am content at letting this blog be as it is! ;-)
And i am happy at turning 50 posts old!!! Come on that's half century... and coming from the land where cricket is worshipped.... at half century..... you'd be cheering and jumping up and down by now!
I am content by just grinning cheek to cheek!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Simple pleasures of life

We met a couple of our friends the week before; they asked us what’s your plan for the coming weekend.. i said: Nothing at all. That’s exactly what we did... nothing. And it felt great. :-D
Besides some impending chores and social visits... I did nothing!
Well.. May be something- i read a book. You might be wondering what’s to special about that!! Well, for me... I forgot the pleasures and the mental peace of reading a good book. I think its been almost three years, since i have read a book. The- What to expect, Baby Bargains, 3 little pigs etc... Just doesn't cut it!

SD and I were avid readers. We both would love to read in the nights, in the lazy afternoons and the lovely outdoors. Our tastes in books could not be any more different.. but our love for reading was on the same page. We would pack our bags for a trip in a jiffy but choosing a book for the trip would take us a while. I remember our trip to Sunny Sedona. SD and I were on the poolside in a gorgeous resort. All we did the entire afternoon was read, nap and then read some more and if it got too warm, we'd swim a lap and then come back to the book! Of course we had a basket of greasy fries and an iced coffee to carry us through the afternoon ;-)
Earlier, my roomie and I would spend hours reading. We have even read once at our pedicures. While she would willingly re-read her Harry Potters, i would pull her along to get some new ones for me!
But I somehow let the lovely habit slip by. SD has somehow managed to continue reading through the years. He has been encouraging me to get back to the books... but well i admit it, i have been slacking!
But this weekend, in the midst of doing nothing....i rediscovered the joys of reading.
I was just so excited about completing my book, every minute that i could possibly get, i read! Till 2 in the morning.. and then again while V enjoyed her siesta.....i continued with my book. The game for once was in the background. Aah!!!I was totally relaxed!
Honestly, the book was not even that great. but still i was engaged. I could sense the author's urge of having the book converted into a movie... It had the right elements of thrill and twists. But still, i enjoyed it.
And yes, by doing nothing.. and still getting a lot done ... i am refreshed. >> Totally and wonderfully!
Books... i am back! All recommendations welcome for a good read!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The fear

I have written about 26/11. Read about the terror stories and the tales of average common man turning into something incomprehensible. Things which i saw only in movies being repeated in real life and acts being more heinous, and crimes being more hurtful. Simply said, its not explainable. But i must say; The terrorists, have done one thing right, which is instill fear on a day to day basis. We might not think about it day in and day out. But its there!
Last night, we were at the airport dropping off IL's. It was a direct flight to India, so needless to say, over 85% of the travelers were Indian. While we were sitting with IL's and laughing at V's jokes, a lady late 40's came by. Sat down. She was dressed simply in black pants and black jacket. I smiled at her, she looked back. But that's it. Then in a minute asked us in Hindi if we could watch her luggage while she went to buy tea. Its just chai, we Indian's are tea-addicts. In a second, i said yes. I mean why not!
Instantly SD who was on the other side of the gate, rushed to me, and said: Why did you that? I was confused, did what?. He said- Airport officials make it very clear to not look after anyone's bag. You shouldn't have. Not in this day and age!!
I was dumbfounded. He was right. I should not have. We waited for the lady to come back. 10 minutes, no sight of her. Her luggage was right there, untouched. By now, i was officially worried. I mean who leaves there stuff with perfect strangers and goes for 10 minutes plus. Who in there right mind would volunteer to look after someone's luggage at an airport with strict norms.
Yes, i was anxious. I told SD, if the lady doesn't come in the 15th minute, i am going to the person behind the desk and telling him the story. Even if it might seem unalarming to them. Having seen enough movies, read enough thriller novels and having an active imagination, i had played out several scenarios in my mind. The worry had transformed to anxiety which was transforming to fear with every passing second. SD was calmer, though a bit upset at my carelessness, he volunteered to go and find the lady. She was "at the Starbucks sipping on her tea blissfully unaware. Phew! SD asked her to come back and take care of her own luggage. She stomped her feet back, and I think she was offended, since for the rest of the evening, she darted looks at us. But at that point, i didn’t care.
Then it hit me, Fear is deeply rooted in our minds. I have heard the announcements on airport and train stations: "Don’t leave bags unattended. Report anything suspicious!" For those 15 minutes of waiting, the words on the radio were making perfect sense; they were resonating in my ears.
Recently in my " eights " i mentioned "World Peace". It was by no means written casually. It might seem too general but it is true. Don’t all of us want to live a life without fear, without hatred and without anxiety?
Wouldn't you want to do something for someone without thinking twice? Even if it was a simple thing like watching over their bags!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Here are my eights's

So here it is..... I got tagged by Lakshmi.. and here is my take on my 8’s!!!

8 TV shows I like to watch:
1. Entourage
2. Sex and the City
3. Friends
4. Two and a half men
5. Everybody loves raymod
6. According to Jim
7. Curb your enthusiam
8. Southpark (Yes even though I flinch more in this.. its amazing to see SD being an excited kid through this show!)

8 favorite places to eat
1. Ghar ka khana..
2. Any chaat house/ road side bhel puri walah in Mumbai
3. McDonalds of India ONLY
4. Opera
5. Big Bowl
6. Yummy mom and pop’s joints (veggie!)
7. Hot Wok, Cold Sushi
8. Any place with yummy desserts ;-) Trust me list is endless!

8 things I look forward to
1. Smile on V’s face when I pick her up every evening
2. SD’s contented sigh after good food ;-)
3. Any chutti, any day!
4. Our planned and unplanned trips.
5. Having friends over for dinners and fun!
6. My walk back home from work.
7. My evening chai with inlaws which is waiting for me when I get home!
8. Hopefully run a 5K next year: Vision Walk!

8 things that happened yesterday
1. V’s drop off was lovely and tearless! Phew!
2. Had a long phone call with mum, brother and sister in law. Always good.
3. Work- Some very successfule meetings.
4. First flurries of the season! Yeah! ;-)
5. Had friends over for evenign cuppa chai and snacks.
6. V’s play date evening filled with toys, excited screams and dinner with her friends.
7. Took a nap while putting V to sleep. Any guesses on who went to sleep first, V or me??
8. SD coming back just before midnight and us chit chatting away for hours after that! Wow. And yes yawn now!!!

8 things I love about winter
1. Christmas!! Lovely lights, snow, cheerful mood, carols, red and green colors!
2. Getting my jackets out.. and mixing and matching with my stoles!
3. Being indoors and relaxing with friends and family
4. Wii time! Poker time! Board games time!
5. Looking out of my window in groggy morning eyes.. hoping there is snow ;-)
6. Office pot lunches, Christmas parties and Secret Santa :-)
7. SD, me and V cribbing at how cold it is and we are in all the time! To some extent its cute.
8. Knowing that winter will end and the summer will come!

8 things on my wish list
1. Bring a smile to all around. (Gawd, it sounds like a beauty pageant answer!)
2. Travel the world! Travel to known and unknown places
3. Take a interior décor class, be able to execute my vision for home improvements without fear!
4. Find a cure/ solution for diabetic retinopathy.
5. Loose the extra pounds (Without making an effort for it!) : Come on I can wish for it.
6. Have family closer to me.
7. SD for his wishes coming true.
8. More shoes, more purses, more clothes… and yes, more space to store them! Haha!!

8 things I am passionate about
1. V and ensuring she gets a well rounded upbringing.
2. Of course SD! ;-)
3. Friends and all the fun we have
4. Travelling
5. Desserts, yes all food as well, but desserts in specific
6. Being optimistic. There is light at the end of tunnel, always!
7. Life is good!
8. Family: I might be shy and coy (HAHAHA). But for me, family comes first and I can go to great extents to make sure all of the above 7 are well balanced!

8 words or phrases I use often
1. V and all her pet names
2. bubu
3. Love you
4. Listen naah!
5. Acha, lekin (Ok, but!)
6. Sorry
7. It’s like
8. Thank you

8 things I learnt from the past
1. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. Buckle up, chin up and smile!
2. Choose your words carefully, you never know when they can come to bite you in the a**
3. Count to ten if you are really mad.
4. Never let a fight/ argument continue past sunset. Begin each day afresh.
5. Smile.. you can get most done.
6. If you are down and beat up, dress well. The colors, the process will cheer you up.
7. Keep in touch with friends.
8. Saying sorry doesn’t make you small. Saying thank you doesn’t make you bigger.

8 places I would love to go, visit or see
1. Europe- Cruise, road trip and relaxation
2. Australia/ NZ
3. Any cruise!
4. Leh, Ladakh
5. Kerela/ Back waters
6. Machu Pichu
7. Alaska only in summers
8. The whole world- its charms, its wonders, its people! (I know again Beauty pageantish!)

8 things I currently need or want
Hahahah… Man man man.. 8 is too less a number!
1. New laptop with built in everything
2. SD’s new phone… and may be mine in the deal as well ;-)
3. Always need more shoes, more purses, more clothes! (I know I have said that before)
4. Definitely want parents and family to come visit us and V SOON.
5. V’s play area to be bigger
6. A bi-weekly maid service
7. A self pampering day with my girl friends.
8. World Peace!

And of course, you saw this coming.... here are people whom i am tagging [Yes, this is followed by a heeping grin and an evil laughter!!!!!]
Tine, i know you are no longer blogging... hence you forgiven this time ;-)

Lakhsmi.... This post took me the longest to write. Its so easy to write about general things, other people and observations. So hard to write about ourselves!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another one bites the dust!!!

You don’t wake up one day and say: "I apologize for the transgressions of the heart" with a full family in the background- a caring wife, and two amazing kids. Yes, this is about Tiger Woods.
Sadly the list of these icons showing there "human" side is endless. It could be Andrea Agassi (To whom I say- why now, were your endorsement deals running out, that you did this for shock factor!), Michael Phelps (To whom I say- You are a kid, and it natural to get carried away. I applaud your courage and your honesty! but...) and the latest Tiger Woods (To whom I say- Are you accepting to the tabloid rumors, are you confessing, are you apologizing, are you sorry? The statement is way to general. It will keep the mills churning for more dirt!). And yes the list of these icons faltering publicly is endless...

I know people are not perfect; it’s their life not mine, their problems not mine. And by no means i have the right to judge another one. I am sure they have a logical explanation, and they dont owe me one. But then there is something about these role models- these icons that get me all riled up.

Kids, youth, us, older generation, everyone look upto these achievers, the people with stature. They give all the hope, the courage to endure, to continue on, to enjoy, to cherish, to conquer, to win and loose with grace.
These achievers are iconic. Yes they are. They are who they are and where they with bucket load of sweat, tears of blood and a struggle! Their stories of success inspire.
But I also know these icons are human, they are normal people with extraordinary achievements. They will make mistakes like any of us. It could be a spur of the moment thing with them, a long habit which took a while for tabloids to expose or just a transgression of the heart!

I debate in my head, but I still feel bad when I see another icon bite the dust!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us!!!!

Clichéd yes.. But its true.. Feels like yesterday, that we took the vow of spending the rest of our lives together! To cherish each other, to stand by the other in times of sickness and health, in times of pain and in times of happiness and be with each other no matter what.
And yes, may be i am a convert to a hopeless romantic- I don’t believe i am said that out loud!

It is our wedding anniversary and i reminisce. We have come a long way from long phone conversations, long emails and even longer chat sessions, from frequent flight to cross country drives, to blissful married life!
Here is why i cherish this day, and why it is so special to me. Besides it being the day i got married!
Like most girls, growing up, i dreamed of my knight in shining armor on a white horse to come and whisk me off my feet and take me away. Luckily for me, it literally did happen like that.
I remember the evening we got married. He was dressed in beautiful gold, silver, slight pink slight blue shervani with glittering jewels all over and riding a white horse. (Its customary in my part of the country that the groom comes on a horse!) He was walking down the aisle covered in red roses, while i walked in from the the other side, the demure bride in gold, silver and deep pink gorgeous attire. I had the funny knot in my stomach. The minute i looked up, the moment was much more than what i had imagined it to be. For us, the world stood still, our family, our friends were besides us experiencing this moment with us.
It was just perfect.

We are building our lives together. Each day is special, each glance is cute, each argument is well taken, each gesture is thoughtful! Every minute is well spent. Our daughter V is a heaven sent gift. She makes us into kids one minute and adults in the next and then kids once again. Needless to say i am enjoying our role reversals very much. There are times, when i would see SD read V's books with much intent. He would see me playing with V's stuff toys.. and of course V would be with our blackberry's and laptops! You see 'role reversal'.

On our anniversary, i confess, on this day, there is always the same funny knot in my stomach. I can go on and on.. But i wont. All i can say is Thank You: To support me when i fall, to encourage me when i am down, to appreciate me when i achieve, to listen when i am angry, to lecture me when i am wrong, to love with my flaws.
SD..... Thanks for being who you are; a wonderful husband, a doting father, a caring friend, a naughty kid, a dutiful son, a family man, a comforting cushion, an ally, a spy, .. and above all.. being my 'bubu'!

Its a wonderful adventure.. and i am sure it will continue to be one. Yes the path, is hilly, its up and down, its curvy and its stable. But hand in hand, i know, we know... It will be perfect.
Here's wishing us a very Happy Anniversary!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chalta hain....

I know I am late for this... but somehow watching the HBO documentary last night stirred up a whole series of emotions all over for me.
I still remember that call!!! I was sitting in my office meeting in my power suit meaning business! I get a call at a very odd hour from back home, its my brother. I do pick it up in the midst of the meeting, considering the oddity of the hour! He asks- Have you seen TV, I was like come on, I am in a meeting. He briefs me: "A bunch of gunmen have entered Taj and are spraying bullets everywhere. All of us are fine, but our city is at war". I hung up. Shocked, taken aback and dumbfounded. My team asks if everything is fine. I said no. I excused myself, gathered myself together and went back to my meeting- business as usual. The remaining 45 minutes, were really long. I feared the worst. The meeting ended. I was glued on my black berry from then until I reached my desk. And then the reality hit.
I remember it was a long weekend here in US. And yes, long it was. We cancelled all our plans. Our wedding anniversary falls in the long weekend. We just couldn't make ourselves gather up to celebrate when our city burned! We were glued to the TV sets, ensuring to call everyone we knew back home and make sure they were safe.
Yes, it was very scary to be far away, but for once I was guilty of feeling better away than there!
Fast forward to now. It’s almost been a year. The documentary on HBO did a very good job of portraying the facts of the evening as they happened. It was true, it was disgusting and it was chilling!
For the hour the documentary ran, SD and I were glued to our couch and were flabbergasted. At the masterminds of the insane people who for some reason had the calmest voices during the attacks and were happily cheering while they killed, they murdered, they burnt and they spread the violence around. The calmest, shrilling voices i have heard! I was dumbfounded at the lack of leadership and the cowardice of our brave but unprepared Mumbai Police. I could see the confusion in people who were meant to protect the city. I couldn't get over the fact, the senior most people were shot within two hours of the attack and for the remainder 58 hours, no one stepped up, no one took charge of the situation! Not until the commando's got there!
I know hindsight vision is 20/20. And when we look at news after the fact, we can work out various strategies that might have helped! If not avoid it, then cope with it as it happens. We needed to take control, take charge and do the righteous things for the ten terrorist who got my country and the entire world at a standstill.
I know it’s easier said than done. I am far away from my country and I have no right at pointing fingers and calling names! I get that.
But someone explain this- 10 gunmen came undetected, they walked in the Mumbai alleys like they owned the place. They entered the most prestigious locations, heritage buildings and sprayed fire and were unhurt until the 54th hour of their "mission". All this while, hundreds of policemen scoured the streets in confusion, senior people in the command post who would get more information from media than their people on the ground. They could listen to the calls of the terrorists and still not take a pre-emptive strike.!.
The "chalta hai" attitude of us Indians, is now a double edged sword. We can adjust and mingle in any circumstances. We will "adjust" Things will keep happening, and we will keep getting hurt, and we will get up and look back and say "Jo hua so hua" (What's been done is done....). "Let’s move on!"
And the funny thing is we will take pride in coming back to normalcy in 24 hours! I don't get it.

Monday, November 16, 2009


That is something i like, i live by and i sustain by. I will spurt out something which i normally would not on this public blog.. But it is something important and will help explain the context of my remainder post.
I think, i believe in myself to be an optimist. I believe in the silver lining, i always know and think there is light at the end of the tunnel. And i remind myself and SD all the time to breathe, count to ten and smile. Things will always work out for the best in "long term!"
The reason i share this personal tid bit is because of this lovely post i read this morning. I have been following Sharell for a while now, and i enjoy reading her "gora" version of settling in my alma mater, my city- Mumbai.
Her latest post on Moving on Up once again reinforces my vision in the "long term" plan. There are times when i feel my core shaking up and me actually questioning the light at the end of the tunnel. But SD would remind me of my core and re-enforce me. But then at times its this blogosphere where unknowingly you'd meet new friends, re-acquaint with older friends or even just continue amazing relationships who'd in there unique ways would come to my rescue!!!
I am just glad to be surrounded with lovely people and have a strong support structure which in ways even they don’t know, help get my footing back and then i can continue to believe that in my naive world, Things always will work out and will always be for the best. And for that, i thank them. :-)
In SD's words. Life and some decisions in life is like Poker. In poker, you make a decision knowing what you have in hand and what’s evident from the cards below. You make your call at that moment with your math, your probabilities and your gut feeling. But you make that decision based on what you know now. The next card, the turn, might make you question your decision. But by the time the river card is opened, all bets are off. The decision you made then stands true. And knowing what you knew then, you wouldn't play it any other way. Life draws a parallel to that, you make some decisions with what you know at that point. And in the long run, it will be for the best since there is no other path you might have taken would explain anything else. Makes sense?

And oh yes, everything is fine. This highly philosophical writing comes in out of nowhere. Trust me. I could blame it on Sharell and how her lovely post made me think. Or it could be my highly caffeinated mind which is making me over analyze her words. Or it could be me just in my Monday Morning blue's!

Either or, now that is out of my system. I feel better, and i know "Life is good". But you would know that, the three words... "Life is Good" is something that SD and I believe very very strongly in. You would know, since you have this blogsite in your IE Favorites, in your daily to do reads and you read and tell all about this blog to all you know [Hehe Evil Laughter!;-) ]But if you have not been following my blog [tch tch!!!!Shame on you..;-)] you wouldn't know..... That there is actually some pattern in my madness! It all leads to one thing - "Life is good!"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crossing of the boundary!!!!

SD and I share a common passion with the outdoors, with socializing and with anything that involves having a good time. We love to do all this with V. By now, she is used to meeting all our friends, she is getting used to being picked up, being pampered and doted on. Above all she seems to enjoy it as well!
After having V, so far we have been successful at striking a balance between toddler activities and things we like to do
. The following is a very common day in our house: Day will be the zoo, evening will be the park, and once V is asleep and being watched by her grandparents, SD and I head out, for plays, for friends, for lounges, for the "grown up" stuff as we tell V.
This weekend, very sadly, I mixed the two. For the first time in two years and have been super guilty of it!
There is no other way to say this but that SD and I enjoy a good game of poker. Our winter weekends are well spent with friends who share our passion! But, there was a golden rule: We play only when V is sleeping or napping.
For a lot of reasons, yesterday the game started when V was awake. It was fine, we were at a friends and V had her play dates she loves to hang out with! She was super cool; no troubles, was happily eating, playing with her toys, her play date and singing merrily. She was oblivious of the fact that a bunch of adults were on the poker table and really hoping that the kids’ don’t come and read out the cards!
Of course she would come to me, if something was not right ="the toddler toy phone not opening, She was not sharing her snacks with her play date and other similar toddler troubles" And yes, I would tend to them. Would resolve the conflict and would get up to fix there snacks, wipe the mouths, hands, feet, and be back in time to make my "check/bet" SD would the same as well.
But I was torn; though I was on a roll, and winning my hands. As our friends said: "The distraction with her helped my poker face" I was at the same time not engaging her enough. Yes I would tell her be right there, but then I would wait until the flop and then rush to her.
So you get my evening, I was torn in my own pleasure and my amazing toddlers play time. Even though I consider myself a good multi tasker, so far I have not multi tasked with V's play time with my play time. (Yes the laundry, dinner, cleaning doesn’t count as multi tasking with V time! Wink!)
Phew, Don’t judge me, I did get her changed, did her bed time routine and put her to bed per schedule (Yes, in the middle of the game!) Thank god, our friends are super awesome and understand this! But yes, I did feel and am still feeling the guilt of messing the golden rule up.
The sad part is, I can’t say, something similar won’t happen again. There will be super bowls, walks, plays which will need this crossing of the "play times". I have to let go a bit and realize that she is growing up as well and does not need the constant engagement. She may actually enjoy reading her book by herself sometimes.
At the same time, I have to understand that with all the hard work SD and I put in during the week, its okay for us to enjoy our "grown up" activities with V awake. I don’t become a bad parent just because I let her be with messy hands for an additional minute.

Or at least that’s what I am telling myself

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Back!!!!

I really don't know where to begin.. It’s hard. Where should i start- should it be the sun, the sand, the amazing vineyard views, the lovely sea shore drives, the relaxing mornings, the late evenings, the lazy days! Meeting old friends, their kids, meeting family; where..
Where should i begin describing this completely rejuvenating vacation. Ah... After a long time, i woke on a Monday morning refreshed, and no effort. I was actually ready to get back to work! Surprising.
But yes, that’s what this vacation did to us. On our flight back SD and I were discussing different things on the trip that stood out, that made us smile, that carved memories! We had to keep cutting the other one off.. since there was always something that came up which the other one forgot to mention!

It was perfect, we got to spend time with V without any distractions, she learned new words, met new people, experienced different foods, visited different places and yes she enjoyed a lot! Dropping her off this morning was so hard, it was like the first time i started working after we had her! :-(
In the trip, we could actually sit down with SD's parents and have a conversation. Though they have been here for a while, i don’t think we could catch up as much. Since the weekdays are always packed with work, schedules and V. The weekends always go by in a rush. For the past two weeks, all we did was spend time together as a family. It was wonderful.

I know, this relaxed feeling wont stay long. We will be back to the schedule before we know it. The rushed mornings, the sleep schedules, the planned weekends and so on. But i also do know, these past two weeks made memories of a lifetime for us. I can still feel the saltiness of the ocean breeze in my hair. I can still taste the lovely food in my mouth. I can still feel the warmth of all our friends we met. I can still feel the comfort of the resorts. I can feel the sand in my feet, the grapes in my hand and SD, V and family laughing at jokes and awwing and aahing at the views. As i type these words on my keyboard, the whole vacation is rushing through my mind like a movie.

I don’t know where to begin and where to end to describe the past two weeks.. all i know is this.. now that i am back.... for the next few weeks, there will still be an after effect of the vacation. But the memories will be etched for a long long time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yes... I am a 'Plan-o-holic'

Finally we are set for much awaited vacation.. 2 weeks of no schedules, no meetings, no running around! Its two weeks of pure bliss, warmer temperatures, relaxed moods and yes... loads of fun.

But the past two weeks..hmm. Well has been the exact opposite. It’s been crazy at work, crazier at home and with dropping temperatures and a case of sniffles for most. Let me put it this way; I need the trip to start Today ;-)

This time around, I had decided to let go my super duper " spreadsheet planning modes ". I kept telling SD, this time I wont, I will not fret over my preparations, my need for having things in control! He would just smile and nod! I guess he does know me better.

Alas, How much ever I shy away from them, I know for a planned vacation, the todo's are my saviour. This is the sad state of my desktop screen right now... My desktop is filled with notepads titled "Todo, todo-1, todo-2" Trust me, there is a pattern in my madness, i know exactly what is in which list, and where i need to check it off. And i actually smile, when i move these one by one to the trash can! Urgh!

There is once again a master checklist! To Do list, packing list, food to carry list, meds to carry list, clothes list, this list and that list...... you get the idea!
Oh yes and the "not done yet" are as usual in big bold alphabets, red, green, yellow colored backgrounds to display the urgency of the same. And yes.. of course there are Back up plans!!!

Yes, I am disgusted at myself! And yes I do feel bad for SD, since he is at the receiving end of my "List-1, 2, 3"

This is how bad I am... I am actually scared for my poor black berry.. since if it crashes... out goes all the details, hence I am being not so green.; and have printouts for all. (Maybe, slightly green, the printouts are front to back!) But you get the idea.

Alas, i have put myself in the rutofoverplanning again. Silver lining: Luckily SD and I never detail out the trip itself...That’s pretty much... we will do what we feel like and what we are in the mood of (Thank God!). Remeber, its a vacation!

But like always, the preparations for the trip is what I need to be "under my belt"

Hence, I have to bend and say "I am GN, and Ii am an Plan-o-holic"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Line 43...checked

So this is how it goes.... You make the sixty mile drive, wear the warmest fleece, the warmest gloves, the warmest cap, wear the jump suit which countless other daredevils have worn before you. The suit fits you snugly, the gear is put on you by professionals; you are strapped in, taken to the flight.
Its like the movies.. but damn you are starring in it. There are cameramen all around you, your instructor is barking orders in your ears, cracking lame jokes to make to relax. You forget everything they told you in the orientation except the "breathe~!!" You look over your shoulder at your husband; who is doing the same.. trying to smile with a mind full of worries! You look anxiously at your FIL... sitting, smiling.. not talking much.. but confident.. and then you close your eyes.. and pray.. this better go well!!!

The instructor tell you its time (!), shows the alto meter.. its 10000 feet in the air.. at 14500 feet, the light turns red, then yellow and then green... and then before you know it... your friend jumped off the plane, then your FIL, then another one.. and now its you..
At the edge of the plane at this obnoxious height and this unbelievably cold weather... you somehow don’t feel the chill!!! You look over the airplane's door and think: “Why the hell am I doing this!!!” What you see below is corn fields.. lots of them, some tiny tiny things floating in the air (They are actually the people who jumped off!!!) And then you do want to close your eyes.. but you dont, since you do want to see yourself jumping off the plane!!! yes.. willingly jumping off the plane at 14.5K feet, with the cameraman before you.. and you right after... tandem.. tied to the instructor.. hold on.. tight!

And then you jump, the first three looong seconds pass by, you open your arms.. and you are Free falling... You cant think, but you are screaming in excitement.. and you know you are flying.. you are doing something that you wanted to do for the longest time ever.. you are diving in the sky... you are grinning at the cameraman.. you are looking up in the sky.... you forget everything... but you remember your daughters face.. and you cant wait to do this again with her! The sixty seconds of the free fall feel so long... The sheer rush.. makes you crave it more. The instructor tells you pull the parachute... sanity comes back.. at 5500 feet, you pull the parachute.. like there is no tomorrow. In sixty seconds, you fell 9000 feet at 120 mph!!!! (Thank god no cops in the sky to give me the speeding tickets!)

The parachute opens..(Thank God).. you are whisked up in the air once more.. and then its smooth sailing.. you are in the sky.. looking around.. looking down.. looking happy. Is that the Chicago skyline far away! You cant stop thanking the instructor enough.. you cant believe you jumped off... you want to just relive all of it again. You think.. wow.. your hubby did do this.. just for you... He did jump off the plane.. since you wanted to experience this moment with him!

The next five to six minutes are pure bliss. You cant stop thinking of how small you are in this huge world.. your perspective changes.. your views change... and the minute you touch down.. you get rid off the links from your instructor.. the links with which you were tied to the guy.. which ensured you don’t fall off.. you run in delight.. in sheer energy and excitement to see the hubby, give him the tightest hug.. look for your friends and FIL.. who made the jump.> Especially the dad!!! kudos.. he did the sky dive with you.. making the experience all the more special!

I ran towards my daughter.. gave her a million kisses, and told her.. we have to do this together.. when she saw the video.. I didn’t think she was so sure of it. After 18 years we will talk! ;-)

Yes.. I did it.. I Skydived.. in all sanity, i jumped off a plan at 14500 feet, came back on ground.. willingly...and now cant stop thinking and talking about it!
SD did it.. and not once did he say "This is not my idea of fun"He was more pumped up!
Papa did it... yes he did...!!!

You have to experience this at least once... it is best feeling in the world.. and no matter how many times or who tells you.. you only feel it when you yourself land on the ground.. and say: "Why the hell didn’t I do it sooner!!!"

Bucket list line number 43: Sky Dive.. Checked! ;-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Alone times or Lonely times..

There are some couples I know, who love to do everything together, work, activities,
Shopping etc. I have never seen one without the other person. The lady shakes her head off every time we recommend a girls only night. She said, what’s the need for that, let rather go out with the guys.. Hmm! The husband seems to enjoy it as well. Seems always anxious to be around the spouse and so on. When I first met them, I found it cute. I still do!
I don’t know if I can do that. SD and I both love to do new things together, do something the other one enjoys, and cherish others company (I mean we got married for a such reasons!). We both have learned to enjoy the others interests; for example, this year i am looking forward to the football season.. to cheer along with him and enjoy the game nights. He actually watches some of my favorite series. I have tried my hand at golf.. and he is going to very soon try the jump! (Rolling eyes!) You get the idea, as couples we do stuff together even if it was not our primary interest. But at the same time, i cant imagine doing everything together.

At a recent do, SD asked a friend of ours to join him for Sunday morning golf and added he had already hit the range on Saturday morning. The girls oohed and aahed and looked at me:” Are you okay with this?" I was thoroughly confused: "Him going out for golf.. hell yes". Someone chimed "But two days in a row!" And I said- Hmm.. why not. Conversations changed quickly. (Thankfully!)
But it got me thinking, does it make me weird by not wanting to spend every weekend minute with him. By not objecting to his weekend golf rounds. (In my mind, I am already relaxing in the play area with V and singing our songs). Of course there are times when I have asked him to not go out for cricket or golf.. just cuz i wanted him around the house, or just because! But more often than not, I love it when he is out for the sports which he enjoys. Why not.
He does the same, encourages me for my girl night outs, my cooking expeditions (Yes once in a while.. all i want to do is cook some hearty meal on a Saturday morning!), shopping trips (which i am sure, he thanks my GF's profusely for!) or may be just me wanting to be snooze...while he takes V to the park. Bottom line, both of us enjoy our time with other activities.. and not necessarily together!
It doesn’t mean, we don’t miss the other person! So far, luckily for us, we are completely okay doing something without the other person. It can be as simple as curling up on the couch to read a book, while the other is out. SD calls it "lone time". Rightly so.

In my naïve years, someone once told me, if one looks for alone time in a relationship, it’s headed for loneliness in the long run. As a couple, one must be ready and willing to spend all the time together.
Now, I am not so sure about that... It might be love evolving . To each there own, I think it perfectly fine to be doing everything together, something’s together whatever adds the spark in the relationship, whatever makes you wink after you are all dressed up to go out, whatever makes you smile when you see the other walk though the door!

Enjoy your time at golf, spas, dinners, drinks, bowling... Whatever together and separately…but make sure to share stories... Its always fun for me to know if SD's team kicked ass in cricket ;-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Follow Your heart...

Hmmm... No this post is not one of the mushy-mushy ones talking about following the heart for the right man/woman... it is more practical, more real and definitely still very personal: It is about following the heart for a profession.
All our growing up years, we were told by parents, teachers, and others we cared to listen to- "Follow your heart in your choice of work and the money will follow! If you chase money, you may have it, but not the satisfaction of work!" Ahem!
Is that true? Some of us are in the beginning of our careers, some in our formative years, and some in settled years and some "can’t wait for retirement" years! Whichever phase we are in- are we following our heart in our work? Are we doing something for the passion of it or the comfort (and may be money) in it?
I really enjoy my profession, and am pretty good at it. But per my qualifications, Ii should be a lab or a research project working towards developing wireless sensor technology for expanding commercial use!
But I am not. I am far from it, but I am in the field I really enjoy! But yes, in the long run- my heart lies somewhere else; alas its still not wireless sensors! I want to be doing something else, and tell myself time and again: What I do now, is a path of security and building up the base to do my own thing! Luckily the path is something I enjoy a lot as well… Hopefully soon will do my dream job!
So in some ways, may be I am not following my heart. Though, I am very passionate about my work.
Luckily for me, I was not forced into any degree or profession. My parents gave us independence and support to choose our own path, do our thing and become our own person. And yes, hence until recently, I was the only one in technology in a family filled with financial geeks! ;-)
Some are not that lucky: I knew someone, who was forced in engineering by his parents, but his heart was in fashion. He was really good at that. Another dear friend, who wanted to be in financial side of the world but forced into engineering. Almost ten years out, guess what she is doing- Financial management. She did follow her heart. I knew some, who were studying there course just to make parents happy or to get graduation degree. They knew the minute they have the diploma, they will be joining the manufacturing plants, diamond trade, teach, trade, whatever else. Then there were the others. I very close friend of mine; for the fifteen years or more that I know her, always wanted to be an architect. She is one now; she is following her heart, her passion in her work. But she always jokes:" I am still waiting for the money to follow!"

I do understand the fact that this is "real life" and one can either follow the poetry side of life or the prose side of it. For me, right now, I am on the prose side. The safe, secure, less risky path! I bow down to people on the poetry side, which is following the passion, the heart, the more (much more) risky side. Sadly, I know few (Very few) people like that.

In this "real world" Is there something like: "Follow the heart and money will follow?" Are you doing something because you love it or is it means to get you somewhere else or you are doing it for the security it may bring. Mind you, none is bad! It’s the path we have to choose in this very "real world"!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The morning cuppa coffee.

There is something about the warm coffee, with the right amount of milk and sugar in the morning. It has to be perfect... there are no second thoughts about it. I make a point to make my own coffee no matter where I am. I am sure they will do a swell job, but somehow I like the coffee 'my way'. Nothing fancy. If its Nescafe, then it needs to be done in one style, if it’s the brewed kind... is needs to be done in another way.
I am generally easy to please and definitely easy going, but not when it comes to my coffee.
Mornings are rushed, amongst all the insanity, I do manage sometimes to fix my cup, put it in the travel mug and sip along in my drive. If we are running late (which we generally are), i have my own coffee machine in office, I will brew morning cup and before i reply to the first email, i will sip on the delightful coffee...
I don’t think i am addicted to the caffeine(!).I keep giving it up every two to three weeks for a couple of weeks.. just to ensure i don’t get hooked on it. The longest i didn’t sip on it while we were expecting and beyond. Those were long months. Yes I would occasionally sip on the decaf, would love entering a Starbucks just to get a whiff of the smell, walk by the coffee isle in whole foods over and over again... (Sigh!)
In my growing up years, I didn’t have coffee or tea. I would stick to milk or the nimbu paani or juices or anything else. Tea... we were told, Kids don’t have tea, since it tans your skin; I believed them. Didn’t touch tea (minus the herbal ones), until after marriage! For coffee- it was those, once in a while treats that mummy would whip up.. It would be the cold coffee.. Shaken and served over ice!
My introduction to hot coffee came with the JATC and the Barista's opening up at every nook and corner of my city.. They helped me develop my taste and empty my pockets. A very dear friend of mine back home, would whip the Nescafe for hours while studying; and then serve me one of the most yummylicious coffee while the Bandra breeze touched my face! Aaah!
Slowly and surely, I started loving this hot coffee and kept getting more and more particular about the flavor. In school here, my roommate and I would always bump in the kitchen every morning and fix our coffee's> She would take her's with a dash of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.. and me... my plain Nescafe.... done right! Never once in our years as roommates did we ever volunteer to fix the other one's coffee; we both knew better!
SD and I love to frequent newer places, and try different foods and I will try their coffees. I love the Ethiopian kind with beans roasted in front of you, the Puerto Rican kind.. With the strong smell, the flavored beans is something which I have not developed a tastes for. Coffee needs to be coffee.. done right! My brother, always teases me that he will invest in Starbucks stock; just cuz of my love for their roasted brews.
So I type this, with my coffee in tow, I think, this is the perfect way to begin my day.. and the warmth of the liquid is perfect.. and i am definitely not addicted to coffee, but am just in denial of the fact!

Friday, September 4, 2009


For some strange reason, today, I am thinking about when I first landed in this country for studies. Landing with excitement, anxiety, fright and yes tonnes of books and two big bags to LAX. Yes, I had visited LA before, but as a tourist, and had only seen the 90210 side of the city. As my uncle drove me in his mini-van (where I had to sit on the right side and not drive!), through the shady neighborhoods, and low buildings to my apt. in campus... man.. was I shocked!
The next few weeks and months, were a blur while I adjusted, met old friends, made new friends.. And studied and gave exams with professor recommended "cheat sheets" and open books! Wow, it was so different.

Here are a few funny incidents that happened around me when my friends and I moved to this melting pot..
A very dear friend wanted to cross the road, and like a responsible person waited. (We were told in orientation not to 'Jay walk' ever!). So the crossing light sadly never turned green (for over 3-4 minutes) for her, she kept waiting. Then in her words: "A firang came, pressed this button on the lamp post, and the signal turned green, he crossed the road! I stood there once again missing to cross the road.. cuz I was laughing so hard at my own stupidity!"
Now, this friend has learned to cross the road but I still have preserved the email from her confessing her ignorance! (Hehe!)
Another friend of mine, would always wonder what was this (writing in exact pronunciation!) "pedzing" on the roads. She wondered, one late at night she came to the library where we were burning the midnight oil and asked: "Guys, What’s with this 'PedZing on the road! I don’t get it". We wondered what she was talking about, went out, checked the roads.. there it was written "Ped Xing" in bold letters on the road. It meant"Ped Xing = Ped Crossing = Pedestrians Crossing".. and yes once again, all of us laughed till we fell on the floor. I am sure, more than half the people who laughed that night, didn’t know the meaning of it until then!
And here is another one... (Not that funny though!) A friend of mine; staunch vegetarian, and a very bad cook. Would every evening go to McDonalds and ordered a Cheese Burger. He ate is, liked it and thought it was a nice patty. He did this for a couple of weeks very ignorantly, never once questioning what the patty was… come on, he had enough McD’s in India to know. One night (again one of those midnighters) we all went to the campus food court. We got the Sub's and he his "Cheese Burger" Needless to say, our jaws dropped and we were all bewildered. He honestly didn’t know, that the patty which tasted yumm... was actually uh.. not veggie or soy based. He felt bad.. very very bad. We could tell...But then after some soul searching he said "Ab kya, ab to kha liya naah, chuck it" [Translation "What now, have already eaten it."] As per him, he still is a staunch vegetarian but loves the McD cheese burgers (Yes my eyes roll every time!)

I can go on and on; with stories of grad school, initial work culture, my adjustments in this country.... some funny, some very funny and some extremely hilarious(!). I am sure you have some too.. so please do share!

It’s always fun to sit and reminisce about these stories. These past years, have been an experience...I have learned a about the culture and traditions of this land and that of my home land. And created some traditions of my own

And if you are wondering, why I haven’t shared my own stories about the adjusting times.. hehe... as the author(!) today I choose to not make a fool of my self... but am sure the "charrrriiiismatique.." story is sure fresh in every ones mind.... and as SD says: "Let everyone figure out your personality themselves.. why publicize it!" ;-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chersih them

I mean it... I got this email first thing in the morning, of someone telling me
FAMILY = (F)ather(A)nd(M)other(I)(L)ove(Y)ou/ I am not a big fan of forwards, but this one made me smile... and say- oh that’s so true.

The day goes by with rushed meetings and deadlines as usual, me keeping my head high working through, sometime looking at family pictures on my wall. They are my mid day break :-)
I write this post is to remind myself and you, that we should take the breaks, cherish the pictures, live in the moment and greet the family with love and respect they deserve.
A friend of mine was visiting home to celebrate her dad's birthday and spend some time with her family. I just found out that she lost her father on that trip. I was devastated and cannot imagine what must be going through her and her family. I have never seen without her cute smile and the only tears I have seen in her eyes are those she would get after uncontrollable laughter. I am so sorry for her loss.

The day became somber then, and I tried to continue on with work. Only to hear another bad news about another friend's loss... just one of those days I tell you. I could not go on.. I did stop everything, composed myself.

And now I write this... Savor all the happiness, the moments and the time. Call your parents, just to say hi. Say sorry like you mean it and most importantly tell the loved ones.. that you love them just one more time.
Count your blessings, keep my friends in your prayers and cherish your family.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anyway what’s your baby program?

What!!! Yes, I actually came across this on Facebook. Yes.. in full public view.. and for all to read.. and smile/ smirk. Now, as a disclaimer in all honesty, i don’t know the person and how close was the interrogator to that person, and it may be okay for her to be asked that question.. but OMG>. did it stir up some emotions in me! This is one unchartered territory, even for the talkative, inquisitive me!!

Being away from India for a couple of years has influenced my thinking when it comes to people's privacy. A friend of mine reminded me, some people will very blatantly very personal questions as - So what is your salary? Aren’t you trying for a baby since 6 months?, So, HOW iss your wife? I mean seriously!!!!
I am trying to live by the quotation: "Do unto others as others do to you!" simple. I conform to it by asking those questions, that I don’t mind answering myself. Give people’s privacy some respect man! Even with close friends, we might tease each other about kids et al and say.. the "chotu xxx" but its all in jest, I am definitely not going to blatantly ask that "anyway what’s your baby program?"

For me, one, its very rude and two, mind your own business. Yes, of course like any Indian couple, my extended family would always ask us, so when do we get the good news!! When do you become two to three and so on.. I still remember some sheepish person at the wedding... winking the eyes and telling me a few days after the wedding- Shaadi ka proof in a year naah!! What..OMG!!! I was bottom lined embarrassed, and yes was about to punch that person's face.. but the choodi ridden and mehendi colored hands of mine shied away from that. But i did get my revenge, the day the cousin got married; I did ask them the same question ;-) (In a more subtle way of course!) Evil me! I know!

I don’t even ask my SIL's, cousins or friends that! In some cases, Yes, I would drop enough hints.. (Naughty wink!) and sometimes even say it out loud, but when its only us! Them and us and not the "250+" friends on FB looking at that question! Urgh..

It's a very personal question, SD and I are very happy parents of a toddler now, and still there are times, when I am asked- so when does V get a sibling? She is the only one, you should have another one!!! .. It never ends does it? I mean come on.. Stop... "Anyway’s its our baby program, so please.. let us figure it out!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You are in bliss when....

You get up in the morning.. have the coffee already brewed! Head out.. sip on coffee in the backyard overlooking the beach! Read the paper.. and then tell the chef what you'd like for b-fast..or even fix it for yourself!
The kid is ready for school and you make the nice scenic drive to kiss her on the forehead, and drop her off.
Head back home then go for a nice swim, relax, come back out! And then call up one of the girl friends for lunch. Or even better, get ready post a healthy meal, and then work- work can be anything, it can be you working on a book, doing art work, owning a lovely boutique, having a well established business and you can WFh when you feel like it..Hmm.. so the basic undertone, is you are self employed.
You do the necessary work, and you love the job(it pays the bill come on..). Go for a jog, come back, pick your daughter up.. and have the evening dedicated to her... Hubby is back.. and you all have a healthy scrumptious dinner! The clean up- hmm, you have help at home! You make sure things are in order. The kid snoozes at sleep time, and the couple takes off.. once again in the backyard to enjoy the lovely sea side breeze and the walk on the beach with the cool moist sand touching your feet..and you enjoying the stroll knowing that your family is well fed, loved, and safe.....and by your side! You are in bliss!

Screeeeeeeeech halt! tring tring! Its 6:35 alarm! You wake up with a heavy head! Pull yourself out of bed! Stumble to the kitchen counter, start the coffee, put the bagels on toast, get the cereal boxes out, chop up the fruit, pack the lunches! Meanwhile, the other half is getting the kiddo ready for school, and getting ready himself! You sprint back in the shower, take a quick one, and the clothes are laid out from the night before. You dress up. Head out to meet the family for B-fast! Its 7:45... Esh! You pack up everything, clean up the kitchen and head out- Drop the kid to school in the treacherous traffic! Go to work! Have a working lunch.. and then in the evening, pick the kid back up! Have the evening dedicated to her (while the dinner is being prepared by the crock pots, and the ovens and loads of pre-planning!)....Hubby is back.. and you all have a healthy scrumptious dinner! The clean up- hmm, You make even the sink sparkle!! You make a quick dash to the gym.. and then You make sure things are in order. The kid snoozes at sleep time, and the couple takes off.. but this time in the living room, with the kid tucked safely in her crib! You are on the couch with your feet up, sitting by him ..and enjoying the warm breath, and a reading a lovely book.... knowing that your family is well fed, loved, and safe.. and by your side! You are in bliss!

Bottom Line: Life is good!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gals.. and there shoes!

What is it with us girls and shoes... and the only reason i say girls.. is that there are very few guys i know who ponder over shoes.. Except one- a very dear friend of mine has formed a FB group for people following his shoes.. i swear! And he has an amazing collection as well. But back to my point... What’s with us and shoes..

We go to a party... do the socializing part, and then ponder with girl friends, oh.. such lovely shoes, such a tacky pair, oh hot combo.... and of course.. i want something like this! Very rarely the same.. but something like it! Agreed, similar stories for clothes, and purses and accessories.. but for today, I will talk about shoes. There have been endless times.. when back in the car, I would tell SD< oh did you see her lovely shoes.. and he would shrug it off and say:"What!, no I didn’t, but I did like the food!" And if i say the same thing to my girlfriend, she would nod; and we’d have an excited conversation about it.

I still remember that quote from Bend It like Beckam- “Shoes- one black and one white pair, that goes with everything!” Oh man, I was in splits.. I had heard it before!!!
Without generalizing, at an Indian wedding, the guest will wear the fanciest of clothes, heaviest of jewelry, gorgeous hair do's.. But when it comes to there shoes/ sandals..... it will one basic pair- there reasoning.. oh its so hidden under the saree/ lehenga/ salwar suit.. no one looks there! Yes people look... you cannot be wearing black Bata slippers at a wedding in Taj! :-D (Man, i sound like a bitchy snob right now!)

I had decided this summer, to not buy any shoes for 6 months.. and i was doing perfect.. for 5.5 months.... over the last week, i bought myself two new gorgeous pair of shoes... and with barely any place in my shoe closet to fit them... But of course, i will not frown, and tell SD.. oh i will just make them fit there.. Knowing very well.. That time comes to go out; it takes me 20 minutes to just get the pair out. (I have to lift shoe boxes, re-arrange them..and then find them!) Phew.. But trust me.. Its worth the effort. For me, I get ready in 5 minutes for most occasions.. What takes me the longest is finding the right shoes! I swear, We can never have enough shoes.

My girl friend’s shoe collections will put all to shame... and we can talk endlessly about the same as well! I remember watching Sex and the City.. oh for Carrie's shoes.. and the Manolo Blahnik.> Man.. When i can put my hand on them...or more correctly, my feet in them.

No matter what, there will always be this one cut, this one color, this one style.. which we will not have. And will crave to get them. And yes, we take immense pleasure in wearing the high heels for a evening out.. and nurse our feet the next day! I know when i had a knee injury, I was so bummed out.. that i had to only wear flats for almost two years... so wow! My justification: And I am making up for it now.. the new shoes for my evening out tonight!

So though I am guilty for breaking my pledge…. The pleasure of the new shoes is more overpowering.. and I say: “Come on.. I deserve it!”

Is it only me?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Smile Factor

Not all know, but I am a member of a working mother’s blog site and i contribute on that site once in a while. This morning, I was browsing through the blogs I follow and to this site.. I scrolled down and i saw that one of the posts of mine was the Member spotlight! Cool Naah! It gave me a high and smile and most definitely made me feel good.

I don’t know what the criteria of choosing it or something is, but its like back in school, when for some reason, teacher really liked your essay and puts it up on the notice board for all the other students to read! I know me for one, would always try to be one of those.. but oh well, As you can imagine, math and science where my forte, teachers commended me on that but definitely not on my literary skills (I never had any!) But still, seeing my post as the member spotlight, made me feel like a little school girl again!

Few of the Simple things that made me smile recently:

V's mummy mummy: I go to pick her up from her day care, she sees me, drops everything she was doing, rushes to hug me.. and all the time is screaming mummy mummy. Similar thing at home, we are playing, and the door opens, per her logic- door opening = dad's come home from work.. So she once again leaves everything and runs to the door and says " Papa aaye papa Aaye" Very very cute! So that gives me a high!

A good hand of poker: Recently at a friends place, where we were playing post dinner friendly poker, i had pocket kings.. and below were a king, an ace, a pair of two's and a three...for any one who follows Poker- 3 K's and a pair of 2's makes it full house and a very good hand!! The opponents betting felt like he had an ace giving him two pairs.. i least excitedly played, kept matching and putting in a lot of chips.. but pretended like i had nothing (trust me, i would definitely put at least a B-grade actress to shame!). My friend went down bad.. he had more than 60% of his chips in the game.. and needless to say he was shocked..and we all had a good laugh! And it gave me a naughty smile for sure.

Decent party: We love to entertain and enjoy hosting gathering's for friends and family. We do it as often as possible.. and every time, if all went well. Friends bonded, liked the food, had a good time, towards the end of the party, i sit down and revel in the merriment and smile.

Emails: My girlfriends and I have a decent email chain.. sort of therapeutic.. and we all are in different continents, difference places in our lives…but we write to it almost daily.. reading that gives me a high!

Top of the charts: The thing that makes me smile all day: Waking up next to my bestest people: SD and V! Followed by looking at the family picture on my night stand with our sets of parents looking and smiling at us!

What's your "Smile Factor"?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life is not one big story, but a combination of little ones!

This was a line SD said right after a cop pulled us over for crossing a white line at a turn! The cop figured we were genuinely lost, and gave us directions to the place we were heading. Phew, a sigh of relief, no fun in getting a stupid ticket at midnight! So alls well that ends well, and then SD said the above line: "Life is not one big story but a combination of little ones!"

Few words but profound meaning. We both have been feeling that lately.. lets live more for the moment, all is good and we have to make sure what we do is good and gives us and people close by immense pleasure. Learn from the small things we see, grow with things we learn.

So here are the little stories in the past month, which have struck a chord! And these small stories will be a part of our bigger one!

On a recent jet-ski trip with friends, by lets just say, some stupidity of mine, we overturned the jet-ski. So the jet ski is upside down, SD and I were eventually laughing hard with life jackets in a huge lake, and really hoping our friends find us there! Eventually a lovely couple on a speed boat came, towed our ski and helped us back to our rental place. Really nice.. the lady said a simple thing, the week before, someone had rescued her daughter from the lake! So for her it was only overdue to repay it back to someone. Hmm... What goes around comes around i guess.

We met a cousin after ages, and while discussing SAHM and WM's (Short forms for stay at home mom's and working mothers, in case you are unaware of the lingo), he said a simple line: No body can bring up your child but you. At the same time, you have to spend quality time and not quantity time with the kids! As you can imagine he favored my kind- WM's and the guilt of working while V plays in daycare subsided a bit.... And i know its true, since we do may spend lesser hours with her, but definitely more productive and fun filled than when i was a SAHM. Point duly noted!

V and all of us went to Shedd aquarium in Chi town, just a huge place with a variety of fishes.. and dolphins and sharks.. and walrus.. and all you can image. I saw people of all ages, all colors, number of nationalities... just mesmerized by it all.. these lovely creatures, who don’t care what we do, where we come from and what our beliefs are! They live in there simple pleasures, and the mankind is staring at them, and cheering them on, as one! No differences, just one! Two things here, we all can live happily and share this earth without any issues.. and then, we should definitely go the green way to preserve what’s dear to us. I do want V and generations to follow to experience these simple pleasures!

And for going the green way- it may sound uber cool, so something which is a farce... Its not. We can all do something for this Green revolution- and the the title "Life is not one big story, but a combination of little ones" will hold true. If we do the little things to save earth.. all these small things by millions of people will add up to the bigger one- generations to follow enjoying mother nature in its simple, beautiful form.

So we must go on, continue enriching our loves with these little stories and keep an eye out for the younger ones to be able to do the same!

Monday, July 6, 2009

With a twist!

I have been writing weekly on this blog, there is no theme to it, just whatever moved me, whatever troubled me and above all, whatever i spent time thinking and pondering over... But for the entire last week, i didn’t have the inspiration to write. Writers block of sorts... We did do a lot of things- had friends over, went to friends houses, Took V to the fountain, the pool went for the long walks and of course the July 4th fireworks show. But still no inspiration.. and then suddenly out of my bi-weekly meeting with my boss! and tada! i have an inspiration!

My boss is an expectant first time mother. Like all, she is elated, excited and very anxious. She airs the same, and kind of looks at us "new" moms for words of inspiration. Amongst other things, i told her that before the due date- sleep a lot, watch movies, go to plays, go for walks, go to fancy restaurants and do all the adults only activities feasible with a protruding belly ;-)
She asked a simple question- why, don’t you do these things still?
And i thought- well i do! I still do, then why was i making such a big deal of it?

Hmm, i think its just the difference with a toddler in tow. SD and I still spend a lot of quality adult time together, and we do all the toddler friendly activities V should be doing. We still go for the walks, the restaurants, and now that we have help at home, we put V to sleep and try going for concerts and movies. Hmm, all activities are done but with a twist!

At a concert, we would call a couple of times at home, to ensure V is sleeping, and all is well. Though we are out with the friends with fancy clutches in hands, my hands misses the strollers. We will go for family dinners and carry enough spill proof cups and crayons and activities to keep this toddler occupied for the 2 hours long dinner. She is a good kid, but we don’t want to take any chances and have other adults stare at us or the older folks looking at us with disapproving eyes!

We will visit all our friends and host lavish parties at home, but there is enough non-spicy food for the toddlers and always an additional blankie if the little one decided to snooze.

We still sleep-in on weekends... with a different, SD and I take turns! One day i will have a late morning, and during this time, he will be up feeding her breakfast and playing with her and then the next day, i will be up sooner and he will be snoozing! This way both working parents get there fare share of lazy time and one on one V time!

So, i guess we do it all- with a twist!
And we love every minute of it..there is nothing stated above that we would like to change or alter.
So when i discussed this with the new mom to be, we both smiled- there is hope! And the i ponder- Its funny, the famous quotation goes: "Grass is always greener on the other side." But when a girl becomes a mom, and a couple become parents- the greener side is always on your side, the gleaming toddler eyes, the child like innocence in their laughter and the adorable mess all make the parents pastures green.. and yes with a twist!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Planned or Spontaneous?

I have been asked(don’t ask me why), whether i am planned person or a spontaneous one. Well i don’t know! And here is my reasoning for the same.

Like everyone else, we love to take vacations, short ones and the long ones. Travel to exotic and touristy places. See new things, do new adventures, meet new people, collect more magnets and shot glasses, take pictures and build memories of a lifetime.
SD and I are road warriors and have done our fair share of travels. Making the planned and the unplanned trips. Taking just couply trips, to chilling with a large group of friends and family. Enjoying it all! A lot!

For our vacations, I want to get the most bang for the buck! This means, countless searches for activities, bidding on the best deal for car rentals, flights, hotels. Calling up friends who have been there for recommendations, and oh yes, i almost forgot- there should be something for everyone. We need to plan trips which are toddler friendly, but not adult boring. This implies, there should be a mix of things, the adrenaline rush needs to be there, with aah so cute toddler parks.

So the planned trips: i need to have a list. A list for the things we need to cover, places to see, people to meet, things to carry, toys to bring along, food to carry, medicines to bring along(just in case) and so on and on.
Yes, i am anal. Before the trip, i will view, review, add, things to this master list with person responsible, status and comments. Yes MS excel is my best friend. I will send this list to SD and filter by his name, so he knows. Two days before the trip, i will start taking the clothes, shoes and all else out of closets, and put them in bags. I explain to SD that its my trips excitement, he shrugs, since we both know, realistically, i wont be able do it last minute, i will forget something and then fret over it!

I know that the night before the trip, i want to do nothing else, but
a. double check my lists that everything is checked off it (Smile!)
b. Ensure that on our return, we enter into a clean house (Aah!), and
c. Chill back...and enjoy some TV while my mind is already in vacation mood!(Grin!)

And then comes to the unplanned trips, i dont know how, but my mind switches off automatically. List, what list. I will ensure i have flip flops, sneakers, and one decent pair of shoes, and a swim suit just in case...the rest i dont care and i tell SD, Oh its America, if i dont carry it, no matter where we go, we'll find it! The bag gets packed in 20 minutes flat, the toys are put, V's stuff is in her diaper bag! Her food is ready.. and we can be out the door in less than an hour from the time we decided to take the trip. The only thing that i still do is "b. Ensure that on our return, we enter into a clean house (Aah!)"

Mind plays games you know. Both our trips- the planned and the unplanned ones, we enjoy immensely, the process, the aftereffect, the sore bones.. all say the same thing: Vacation well deserved and much needed! So if one asks, are you planner or a live by the moment person.. Honestly, i draw a blank, since i dont know! My preference: I dont care.. as long as i am away from home and on a trip- planned or unplanned!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet Nothings.

It's those sweet nothings you do, that makes the heart skips a beat, and cause the flutter in your stomach. The fancy gifts, the candle light dinners are a complete waste without the sweet nothings that your partner pampers you with.

Fathers day is around the corner, and for the past month or so, i have been stressing over what to get for SD on V's behalf, for SD's dad, for my dad. Agreed its a hallmark holiday and a perfect marketing gimmick. But i don’t see anything wrong with that. One may argue; you don’t need just one day to celebrate the father's day and mothers day and valentines day and the plethora of other hallmark days, you can do that any day, or should do that every day--- but you know what, we don’t.

We don’t make the mother sit and pamper herself everyday, while the father and kids cook up the meals. We don’t let the fathers go golfing every weekend and pamper them to the tee. We don’t take our partners to the lovely play every Friday night. These hallmark holidays, are necessary to just to step back and cherish the occasion. There is a reason behind these days, to make the recipient feel very special and cared for and count your blessings and smile. For the rest of the 364 days, you have the sweet nothings to make you smile!

In a crowded party, where you are mixing in, meeting friends old and new, laughing at lame jokes, and shying away from those bashing ones.... i tend to look over my shoulder and catch a glimpse of SD, and when i see him looking at me, with that sweet smile, and shine in his eyes...I smile! and i know that gestures means the world to me. Don’t get me wrong, Yes, i do love the gifts... i am a material person! ;-) So SD hard luck.. keep the gifts coming! But i do know that the day i get a gift, just because hallmark dictates so, it will not be worth it. I need the sweet nothings to go with it! And Yes, i am demanding.

I observe V, she will see someone new, offering her goodies or chocolates or toys.. she will just stare. May be grab the object, turn away and may be pretend to say thank you.. with just a small smile of acknowledgement. On the other hand, if someone sings her a song, makes her chase the ball, see a butterfly, smell a flower, i see the childlike glee in her eye, the naughtiness in her step.. and then the adorable laughter! Even for this 17 month old, sweet nothings made the difference!

So as another hallmark occasion comes, here is my two cents! By all means, get a thoughtful gift for the fathers who make everyday special and have taught you ride the bike, fall and pick up after yourself, and bring a smile to your face...But most definitively, for the rest of the year, do the sweet nothings which will make them happier, more proud and more special!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fad or not?

Its choices and preference right? Some people call it fad, others find it cool. One may find a yellow chunky brooch awesome and others find it garish. The pastel colored jacket may be soothing to one and boring to the next. The bright red hat might be inspiring to one, but loud for the other. I-phones are a must to one and an overpriced accessory to the other. The fashion trends are the same way.... i don’t know who decides that long tresses are out and bobs are in.. And then the next day, i will see 20 people on the street sporting these bobs.. Oblivious to how it actually looks on them. They are following the trend!

I have a fashion designer friend, one of the bigger labels in India, who will raise her eyebrows at my ignorance. I respect this line of work a lot. The styles and outfits and accessories which come up are unbelievable... and I bow down to their creativity! Honestly, as an engineer, my mind is corrupted by the straight lines of my profession. I could never imagine a safety pin being used as anything else but that... only to see dresses, necklaces, hoops et al sporting safety pins... and making it look really nice... it's someone’s style, but hey. To each their own right!

The same piece/ whether its religion, art, home decor, accessory, clothes, fb quizzes whatever: invokes one feeling in a person, and it may be exactly opposite to the other. We should learn to respect those preferences... and choices which people make.

Lately I have been in such discussions. Someone asked me if they liked some neon pink jacket, pretty cool cut. For boring and conservative me, it’s a big no no and i said the same being very honest about it. I am hoping the other person didn’t take any offense, since he was sure about the colors and styles which work in India. The very next day, i read an article on rediff/style that neons are very in currently in India.. and hey, the person was right! And i owned up and send the article across with sincerity.

These fads, trends, statements.. etc.. are all for the broader audience. Each person will pick a style/a home color/ an art piece which reflects them best. Even wearing a hat slightly tilted to the right versus the left, can make a huge impression and a style statement. It is not what you wear but how to wear it, that makes the difference.

There have been times, when i have stepped out of my comfort zone and wear something which I’d never imagine myself in..(Like at a recent do, a nice pink and silver sequined pauncho!) I have always admired it on mannequins and other people...but was too shy to actually wear it. We have all done this at some point. It’s a choice we make. One may prefer pastels all the time, but out in the sun, they choose the bright red and white polka dotted dress which appeals to them more than the grey jumpsuit! Its your preference/ choice that day.

I am blessed with very good friends, and within my set of school girlfriends.. we all have different professions, styles, tastes, lifestyle choices and very varied dressing styles. It ranges from models to journalists to art directors to architects to engineers to economists to photographers to SAHM's.. you get it...its varied~ But all of us gel very well.. And appreciate our interests, likes and dislikes... We don’t agree on everything; but hey, we will voice our opinions and know very well, this set of people will understand and respect our personal choices.

Discuss and argue all you want: Choice needs to be respected, and preferences need the space! This applies for all facets of our life. So next time you call something a fad, just give it some thought before.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It’s a guy thing!.. It’s a girl thing! Is it really?

As per a recent article I came across, which said: "There were others (women) who admitted to being control freaks, and didn’t trust their partners’ cooking. " and the article title read "Mums are still kitchen queens".
Hmm... it struck a chord, is cooking predominantly a girl thing... in today's day and age, are there still things which are considered as a guy/girl thing? Even now?

Mind you.. as i write this, i am ONLY thinking about our generation.. And not our parents or future ones....

Cooking... SD and I both cook around the house... no turns or such, whoever is up for it.. or nowadays, the less tired one.
Yes, when we have friends visiting... i become the chef. He does everything possible to help like chopping, cleaning... but the cooking will be my deal(most of the times).. and i don’t think that’s a girl thing! Its me being a control freak, since i would want the paav bhaaji to taste like one and not some mix veg+tava masala style!

There are a couple of things which even guys claim they do it better..... and would prefer girls not doing- like Grilling.. I recently went to a BBQ party, where all the guys claimed that grilling was a guy thing and women should chill and enjoy... Only to realize 20 min. later the grill was on, the guys were playing tennis and the gals were working the grills with corns, veggies and paneer!! Hmm!

Guys claim they are better at mixing the drinks.. well in all honesty, in the domain of mocktails.. its the other way around! And hence, there is no one gender again!

In 21st century, i think.. and i really hope, there are not a lot of things which ONLY one sex does better.. excluding of course child birth. but come on.. the guy is next to you.. holding your hand.. and listening to the "beeps" that he never thought the dainty wife even knew ;-)

A couple of years ago- guys did the poker+cigar, ladies had their rummy kitty parties or some retail therapy.. No more i say, the guys and gals, all sit on tables, floors with their poker face. And yes.. in the set of friends i know, the girl seems to kick ass at poker!

Spas, shopping.. no longer is only a girls forte. There are loads of spas offering a couple massage with a waiting list of over a month. May be the guy would not go out every week... but he will go once to the outlet mall.. and fill up the stock!and shop!I think what girls do better here is - stretching the dollar! We will check the online store albeit daily.. and when the price is just right..... they’ll place the order!

As i continue to ponder on these chores, i pen all the things which we has discussed as couples and friends being done better by the "other one": lifting heavy stuff.. hmm.. i see girls pumping enough iron to have the strong arms, cooking up a romantic meal.. i know a guy, who would stage him being out of town, only to surprise the better half with flowers, and gifts... and a home made strawberry cake!
Handy work: I guess both do it equally well.. may be the gal will hammer the nail and the guy will line it up right! Cleaning: Come on how hard is to vacuum? Both do it.. and nowadays i see more men on it than before (thank god!). Laundry: Separate the clothes, put it in the difficult is it? Child Care: Its a shared responsibility.. and trust me, when i take V to the park- i see more dads there than moms!
Work: We all know both are equally good whatever they do.

From my perspective.. its a partnership in its true sense.. and yes being in the US has pampered me to live in this partnership of chores/ work and child care! Even in couples i see around me, there is no particular "Guy thing or a girl thing" There is a balance. and an understanding of who does what (most of the times)

Come to think of it.. there is barely any particular thing which is a "Girl Thing or Guy thing". Am i missing something here?
There are enough contradicting articles out there which would disagree.... and again, i am not talking about who does it better.. the competency, but just the fact that both sexes can do it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Phew & Whoosh

So that’s two things i am saying for the past two days
Whoosh- since my vacation just flew by.........whoosh.. and i didn’t have anytime to register the thoughts.
Phew - Since i am pretty tired from my trip..

The trip itself was VERY relaxing and refreshing and recuperating. We did a lot and at the same time, didn’t do much! Saw the Kentucky derby.. Which i assure you gives you a nice high! Eventually we did see a couple of women with those fancy hats and dresses... putting my flip flops and Capri’s to complete shame!!!
The horses... OMG... they were like lean mean machines..... i could see their veins! See the muscles.. and to some extent i avoided eye contact with the horses, since i felt guilty.. they were racing at these speeds for our entertainment perspective.

Our destination itself- Hico, WV was beautiful. The green and the serene surroundings just took my breath away. Just felt one with the nature.. lying below the trees with grass only 3 feet high, surrounding us , the lake right there.. and SD blowing the soap bubbles for V, and her chasing them away.. and pointing to all butterflies... just perfect.. like time came to a standstill and it was us and the sky and the vastness of nature!

There were times, when i was alone in the lovely secluded cabin with V enjoying the cricket’s music and the rain tapping on our rooftops. There were times when we were tripping over each other as we had the bhangra music flowing and all girls going crazy with the dance moves. Come on.. We had a cricket team with us- only 11 people (counting V)

There were the poker sessions (in which i won once!), the game-Scategories with all of us laughing till our stomach's hurt. There was V singing and dancing and enjoying her "buba" (aka bubbles)! We became kids: dancing in the rain till our feet hurt! OMG the food... let me not even start, the clothes being tighter is proof enough i say!

And then, there was the heart stopping adventures... the canopy tours, the zip lines, the white water rafting, the small hikes.. and the BBQ's! There was of course enough "Ben-gay" being passed around for the aching knees, ankles, arms.. enough pain killers for the "Accidents" in high waters... the ice packs all around.... but it was all overshadowed and sooo worth it... ... since no matter what. Every one wanted more!!

We had amateur photographers with us trying to capture it all... but not one picture can do justice to the serenity, the fun and the bonding of the trip!

So while i do phew now.....i still keep looking at all the pictures of the trip.. where we had family with us, met new friends and old, ...
All i can think of... when i can do something like this again, with V telling me in the baby bable... "moh ps" (aka: More Please!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Are we too rushed?

So last couple of weeks have been super busy and stressful. With work, with move and with all other small small things.. Last evening, SD being very thoughtful, nicely recommended, "you know what, go for one of those long bubble baths.. and relax.. and i will take care of everything else"

I was like, no, there is so much to do.. And then checked myself and said.. you know what, why not? I think a break would be nice.. Just some time to basically do nothing. Dinner was ready, V was off to sleep, house is unpacked...let me actually take this time for myself.. and relax.

But something was not right, all the time with the candles blowing and the soothing music in background, all that kept going through my mind was oh i should do this, i should put that furniture there, oh, for V, i should make this for lunch, for SD, get this for fathers day, for me do my nails while i just sit!

And then it struck me, are we always too rushed? The 45 minutes were supposed to be just unwind, and not think of chores but to actually just relax.. And alas it was not.
Of course, i felt good after it, since body was relaxed and was very happy to get a break.. but the mind was not as relaxed. I know i should have just closed my eyes and let the music take over.. but no, the multi tasking brain of ours comes in play!

And i think, that's true for all of us at different levels....
~While driving, we listen to NPR to get news updates, sometimes oh so annoyingly check blackberry's for the emails.. make calls to India.. well just use the time,
While i drive right?
~While cooking, we'll do the laundry.
~While playing with kids, we'll have the Roomba do its magic in other rooms.
~While lounging on Mag. Mile, we'll check carters for the baby hat we need to buy so badly..
~While relaxing with a movie at home, we will have the laptop open for the best deals for home theater system.
~Once in a while when i do hit the gym for my relaxation, i will always have my favorite show that i missed, or listen to the E-book have been meaning to finish off..

So you get my point.. we are very used to multi-tasking- over working and always being rushed and hurried... We do not just sit back and enjoy the process of things..

I remember seeing my dad, a very busy man of course, but his two hours in the morning are dedicated to himself- he will get up at 5 go for the walk, do the yoga, go for the swim do the pranayaam and totally enjoy the time of unwinding and freshening up. He would always stop to smell the flowers, to feel the morning mist on grass during the walk! Its only after all this, will he pick up the paper, or start the computer to make the morning calls to us here! The rest of the day, he will be multi-tasking all through out. But the time for relaxing, he is enjoying the process.

Why are we so rushed? Is it our hi-tech lives or us never having enough time? Why?
I know i should.. stop... relax..smell the flowers and take a breathing moment!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Growing up into parents

SD and I were one of those, who celebrated our monthly anniversary the entire first year of marriage. We maintained a calendar a list of events/ places we visited we did when we were dating and post marriage. We would look at the excel spreadsheet, and remember stories of the expedition, look at those pictures.. and smile at our funky hair do's (SD had a phase of growing his hair that time.. i swear no spikes, just longer hair ;-)and me with funky bangs ]

Entire time for SD and me, like any other couple, was like a whirlwind and a never ending party! After i moved to DC, he would travel M-F, and weekends we would explore, new places, meet friends in the east cost, chill and pretty much never be home. And totally live on the spur of the moment. Then we said, lets slow down, lets actually be home for a bit! And we enjoy every minute of it. We'd meet our friends, and then chill the next weekend, by doing nothing but putting feet on the coffee table and enjoying a movie or going for a walk or a hike on the ‘Great Falls’.

We have a beautiful daughter, and the monthly anniversaries now revolve around her turning a month older and the calendar is more for her when she ate her first cereal, her first smile etc. etc. But we both still, once in a while sit down and reminisce about the first few months of new found happiness of parenthood and when V was small she'd do this. Completely forgetting, that she still is small ;-)
We have gotten into this wonderful schedule, if you will, over weekdays. Times of bowling on weeknights have been long forgotten. Our evenings are more to ensure things are in place for the next rushed morning. The good thing is V off to her dream land by early evening.... so we have the remainder of the night pretty much for ourselves.. to sit back and enjoy yummy home cooked food, and a nice Entourage episode.

Weekends are still spontaneous, yes it’s more around kiddie activities, but we don’t think twice before going with V to the park! She loves it, and we love looking at her on the slide with the wind in her hair :-) We still travel, meet all our friends, and make enough time for poker, movies (at home) and all that we did before! Yes, there are more planned brunches than dinners for sure! Only change, keep the volumes down a bit to ensure V doesn't wake up!
Yes, V is growing up, but i think more than her, SD and I are growing up into parents. Of course we do make our mistakes as parents. We argue about is this healthy for her or not. We'll discuss the day care, and which weekend park to play ball with her. With V getting bigger, we are evolving into parents. Still having our own time... knowing very well, very soon, weekends will be more for the soft ball games, and ballet classes.. and less of just "chilling" out.

Do we miss our more carefree and less responsible selves? Sometimes yes! But with kids, does life change? Yes, i would say it does and it evolves! It makes it more amazing and more beautiful! And its still a never ending party of the ‘goo goo’ and the ‘gaa gaa’ and the baby blabber!
“Life is good!”