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 d├ęcor 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!