Friday, December 31, 2010

kind of apt, wouldnt you say?

its uncanny that this song happens to be the song of today, on repeat. on a day like today. when im contemplating on days gone by, the passage of time, the speed of days and wondering what lies ahead.

of everything else there is to listen to at any given point of time, it this song that has completely taken over me today. john mayer has that way of gripping me tight, so tight that i have had this song on loop all day.

oh make me a red cape. i wanna be superman.

2010, where did you go?

its the last day of yet another year that has slipped away before i realized it. december was probably the fastest month for me, and i have wanted to say so much, but have had no time at all. i havent even done my customary end-of-year-retrospective-post, and it feels just wrong to know that i will probably only do it in the new year!

2010 has been life changing in many ways. it gave me my fair share of good time, bad times, challenges, highs, lows and everything in between. the only things i would change:
- 2011, please go a little slowly. so i can soak it all in and enjoy the ride while it lasts. for a year of so much change and happening in my life, i do have a sense that i would have liked some more time to enjoy it.
- 2011, dont spring too many surprises on me. im slow in adapting to change and i think iv had enough radical change for one year. i need some time now.
- 2011, please give me some definite direction. im done enjoying the joyride. i need a sign now.

no real resolutions this time. i tend to make so many resolutions along the course of the year anyway, that making one just for the end of 2010-beginning of 2011 seems futile. here's to another fun-filled, healthy, rollercoaster of a year ahead hopefully.

im not big on the over-hyped NYE phenomenon, but i hope youre having yourselves a fun night to bring in the new year :) mine will be filled with BBQ experiments, food, drink, music and good company. just the way id like to remember the year thats gone by.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

random musings

its december. for some reason christmas time, of all reasons, made me TERRIBLY homesick. i dont know if its a combination of feelings that have been piling up for a while, or what it was really, but homesickness has sure hit home this holiday season.

to remember the city i miss, the home i miss, the people i miss, im sharing a picture i took in december (same time of year) 2 years ago.

in other news. A LOT is happening. A LOT is happening in my head. thoughts dying to be articulated and crafted into nice long blog posts. but theres a lethargy that has set in. work has been up and down and long days have set in. so much so that when i come home in the evening, i cant stand to turn on the laptop. which is why i havent been able to blog and keep up with everything i want to blog about. my head is bubbling with incomplete drafts. its annoying!

the lethargy im talking about has crept in so deep that i didnt exercise all week. i didnt even cook all week. that amounts to one long week of eating all meals out and getting no exercise to burn it off..fat load of good its going to do for me. yes, the emphasis was on *fat*.

on the bright side iv had the priviledge of discovering lots of humble, un-fancy local foods. fish curry rice at some smaller cheaper more authentic joints, the wonder that is the fish thaali and the amazing world of rass omlette straight out of the road side cart!

i have been so lazy, that i left my packing for the wedding undone till 7 hours prior to the bus leaving. for someone as pre-planned and organized as me, thats MADNESS. so lethargic i was that i left my visit to the parlour till 24 hours prior to leaving goa. and on christmas eve, that was me being very optimistic. the result? a 45 minute wait till someone got some time to pay attention to me, and a 30 minute slot to get what i needed to, done. irony of ironies.

so we leave for hyderabad this evening. and i just dont want to go. im not looking forward to the wedding craziness. im not looking forward to having to be prim and proper and dressed up. im not looking forward to being a show piece. and im not looking forward to the socialization. ah well. go i will.

see you on the other side of the weekend.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

waking up to KLPD

i woke up convinced it was friday.
but its not. its thursday.
which means the weekend is more than a day away.

*face palm*

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Im beginning to realize that I cant write anything emotional.
What I write, lacks emotion.


Monday, December 20, 2010

comic relief

Prateek: machaaaaa
what up
me: nothing da
struggling with a brief
Prateek: its not coming off?
just pull it down da
its all cool
me: ayyo
Prateek: hehehe

Some humor in the day :)


Do I really want to persevere?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the truth

i miss work in bangalore. terribly.
and thats all i have to say for now.

so, it only when you think about a situation in retrospect and you have a comparison to match it against, do you realize just what you really had. and yes, im talking purely about the work situation.

i cant say it enough and feel it enough. i MISS my job at EY. TERRIBLY. with all my heart. i miss tindoo. i miss swati. i miss the dynamics and understanding we had. i missed how we stuck our necks out for each other. i miss how we had a silent rapport, where so much was understood without having to say it. i miss the kind of work i did. i miss how easy it was. i miss how much i enjoyed it and how i could exercise my will and be given credit for it. i missed how free i was. i missed how i was in charge. i missed how i had found that which gives me so much joy and satisfaction. i miss not having to fumble and figure out why im doing what i am doing. i miss having found that comfort zone. because right now im in so much discomfort its not funny.

today, i probably shouldnt be making a comparison. but i cant help myself. the stupidity that made itself visible to me induced the comparison.

after 5 pretty awesome days and 2 decent days, i had my first downright fuckall day. the easiest thing to do would be to blame it on the one thing that i think is responsible for making me feel this way. but a small part of me, and all the things iv learnt from my various professional experiences is telling me to calm down and introspect. so, introspect i will.

im frustrated and pissed off today. and its something i havent felt in a long time. not thanks to "work" at least. over and out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a weekend of firsts

its been a weekend of many firsts:
the first time (in weeks) that vc was home
the first time i devoured a goan fish thaali
the first time i allowed feni to overpower my love for g&ts
the first time i woke up at 5 45 am on a sunday morning, in goa
the first time i felt the need to wear a windcheater, in goa
the first time i watched a misty dawn turn into a moody mellow sunrise right before my eyes, in goa
the first time i enjoyed a goan breakfast in a roadside shack. fun! yummy!
the first weekend i spent as a working girl, in goa
the first time i cooked mondays lunch on sunday evening

we dont drive north very often because its always crowded. and since the season is well and truly here, even more so. we intended to have a quiet saturday night at home, in the company of mr feni and ms orange juice. but in the right company, it seems we can be convinced to do exactly what we had hitherto decided to avoid! i could blame that on the feni too.

so after a few drinks we ended up driving up north. we discovered that the key is to take the back route along the river and leave post 10 30. so at 11 pm, we walked into a steak house of sorts, enjoyed some live music that went on past midnight and then enjoyed a lovely drive back. at least i though it was a lovely drive back home. because i was driving. the two men i was driving home were 1) asleep, and 2) tense about how i was driving, respectively.

however, despite having slept at 1 30 last night, in a definite post-feni stupor, vc and i managed to wake up at 5 30 as promised and met up with some office folks and drove out to diwar island even before the sun was up. what followed was a few hours of gorgeousness, photography to capture it and many laughs :)

this was taken on the ferry towards diwar island:

for more, look here: Click!

soul satisfying music

Theres music of all kinds. The kind of music that is pleasant and makes you smile, the kind that kicks your butt and makes you get up and dance, the kind thats so mellow it makes you lie back and ponder, the kind that can play in the background by itself and put you in the right frame of mind to work, the kind that makes you head bang mindlessly, the kind that just makes you happy. And then theres the kind of music that grabs your attention and makes you want to do nothing else but listen. And feel it. In the lyrics. The rhythm and groove. The tones and the vocals. The music, the chords and the melody. The kind that says something to you. The kind that touches you and speaks to you in a way that only music can.

My grand dad always said that heartfelt music, performed/sung/delivered with emotion and intention, would always connect with the listener, regardless of the kind of music or listener. And Iv found this to be true in so many cases.

I listen to all kinds of music. From obsessing over the nostalgia that The Beatles bring, to the heady trip of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, to my new triphop/ambient music phase with the likes of Bonobo and Zero7, to mellower music like that of John Mayer, Iv found that there are some tracks that just hit the right spot. It doesnt happen uniformly with every song/track performed by an artist that I identify with. But with those select few, when that connect happens, that aha moment, that sudden gasping ohmigawwsh connect that sweeps you off your feet and transports you to another world, can give that music a whole different meaning.

I felt that again last night. Im a big John Mayer fan. Mostly because I think hes hugely talented, very grounded, writes beautifully and makes some amazing tunes and music. An all rounded musician, he is. And the reason I really like him is because so much of his music makes that special connection with me. Speaks to me. Its music I identify with. Lyrics that speak of things Iv felt and done. Melody thats clever, beautiful and soul stirring. And boy when he gets the groove on, he gets it on like he really means it. And thats what makes all the difference.

Last night I wasnt sleepy. And Id run out of downloads to watch. So I turned on the "Where the light is" gig that I had actually downloaded many moons ago, but just never got down to watching. And here is the opening scene:

It gave me goose bumps. That pretty much says it all.

The rest of the gig only goes upwards from that point on. John Mayer in 3 avatars. His newer style, his trio with their typical bluesy funky style, and his popular tugging-at-the-heart mellow music. This one gig alone took me through such a spectrum of emotions. From goosebumps in the beginning, to head bumping groove and rhythm that made me move even though I was lying in bed, tense silence when he lazily wandered over the frets of his guitar before wandering on to a familiar tune that made a favorite song recognisable, to having a lump in my throat at certain poignant musical moments in the gig, when he hit just the right note, took me by surprise and got carried away with a massive guitar-drum conversation with his insane drummer, to downright tears when he sang gravity.

John Mayer is like the Jamie Oliver of music to me. The same intensity, same raw passion and sheer joy at doing something he loves. It just comes through. Gushes out and engulfs you. John Mayers got it all. And everything hes got is all in this one gig. I absolutely must watch him live. I just added it on my bucket list. My life would be incomplete without it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

feni fridays freakiness

this is on repeat. it has been for a while.
i dont know if its because its because its friday night. or perhaps its because im just feeling cheesy and all. or maybe because i havent eaten any carbs all day. or maybe its just the uncontrollable punju-ness. or maybe its the association..but this one just makes me want to do the punju shoulder move.

theres something just so happy and joyful about this song. the video makes me want to wear wedding clothes and go to a nice fancy wedding and dance my ass off.

anyhoo, i think i have resorted to video posting because i feel like im bursting with energy and with things to say. the thoughts arent keeping pace with the forces that be and help me process and make sense of them. theyre racing out and away from me before i can put them down. too much has happened and much has been felt and far too much felt like it needed to be blogged about.

but. yes theres always a but, isnt there?
its been the first week of work. the first since march 2010. and seeing as how my life has drastically changed since then, and slipped into rolling weeks of timeless days of meandering, this new routine has kicked my butt big time. so i have decided to go easy on myself and not put unnecessary pressure on myself to blog as i feel i should.

so until i find time and more importantly, the mindspace to make a sensible post, please accept and deal with my bouts of madness. my random cheesy music videos. telegraphic posts and all things unacceptable in blogdom.

its been a fairly fantastic week. despite the madness and completely torrential routine. awesome would describe it well.

now im off to nurse my feni. its feni friday.
and im afraid im turning into a convert. but im so willingly let it happen, its ridiculous.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

slice of life

A day in what could very well become my everyday life.

Woke up at 6 45.
Ran through my chores that included a chain of nonstop running back and forth between, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.
Left for work at 8 15.
Got through yet another day of information overload, visual overload, wacky idea overload until my brains could take it no longer. Clearly, Im so out of touch with the world of advertising I left behind 3 years ago.
Left work at 6 30.
Tanked up the car, shopped for veggies, drove home.
Entered home at 7.
Started workout at 7 10.
Ended at 8.
Got dinner started at 8.
Showered while it stewed and simmered.
Continued to finish dinner off between 8 30 and 9.
Ate dinner while I watched yet another mindless and boring episode of bigg boss.
Cleared up the kitchen at 10.
Brainstormed with VC to try and "get the wack on".
Its 10 17. And. Im. POOPED.

Thoughts: How do "working women" do this? And my working life hasnt even fully begun yet.
If this is the life of a working woman. I think I was a working girl all these years. I have just stepped over and crossed worlds.

Oh, and did I mention, this is the day in what could very well be my life. IN GOA.
Oh, and also, I was previously self-employed. Free to use my time as I wished. And I gave that up.
For this.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

day 2 pondering

Day 2 is done. Yes, Im lost. Yes, Im confused. Yes, Im still clueless about where I am and how to get around. But I havent lost heart as yet. I guess thats an improvement.

Its too soon to say if Im enjoying myself or not. But heres a SWAT analysis of sorts..
The goods:
- Its nice to be out of the house
- Its nice to interact with people
- Its nice to have a sense of purpose, professionally

The not so good:
- I think Iv forgotten how I picked things up fast
- I think too much
- Its hard to break the ice and into pre-existing cliques, even if I wanted to do that
- The fucked up routine which will take getting used to

The challenges:
- Waking up early enough to make sure Im out of the bathroom and into the kitchen at an optimum time
- Trying to stay afloat amidst the information overload and the expectations I perceive
- Figuring out the right way to ensure I get the run/work out to happen and the cooking back on track
- Dealing with a lack of time for myself and making the most of what I have at the end of the day

I suddenly feel short on time. Its odd to spend the larger part of the day at work and just a few hours at home before I go to bed. I miss my free-life. But it just the beginning, and this time Iv decided I wont be hard on myself about unimportant things, and sink my feet in slowly. Here's to a new beginning, that I hope sees the light of day.

Im sleep-deprived, fuzzy in the head, yet hopeful :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

monday morning pondering #653

I am exceptionally aware of my yesterday and who I used to be then.
Im acutely perceptive about the person I am now, today.
It is tomorrow that continues to elude me. What will I be tomorrow? What will tomorrow be?

thought for today. and tomorrow. and forever more.

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go."


Friday, December 03, 2010


its been a lazy, lethargic day from the word go. from the moment i woke up, i wanted to go back to bed. and everything i did, i did slowwwwly.

days like this are miserable, because its a challenge to get myself to do the everyday things i ought to do. because i feel like i should clear up, do the laundry and get cooking, but i just lie there and expect that they will get done on their own. fat hopes. so i skipped clearing up and the laundry too. as a result theres random stuff lying around, and i cant stand to look. the furniture is strewn in an unorderly manner and its killing the monica gellar in me. the laundry is piling high in the hamper and i cant bear to look. but i had to drag myself to cook me a decent lunch, lest i resort to apples again. funny thing is, once i was in the kitchen i had a blast and i made a totally awesome veggie pulao (if i may say so myself!). the best part being, i didnt follow a recipe. i used my instincts and culinary sensibilities, that i would like to think have been fine-tuned in recent weeks. i also photo documented it, and published it on the food blog. you know whats better? the pulao totally hit the spot as far as flavour and taste goes! something i have failed to do until today. so yay.

that was but a minor upper in the otherwise mostly lazy downer of a day. after lunch i napped. big mistake. because the only thing that ever does to me, is further slow down all movement, thinking and even the mere intention to do anything at all. the evening dragged along. and i have officially hit an all time high as far as the lethargy goes. because i bunked my workout today. the only parts of my body that got any exercise were..
my fingers, as they clicked refresh on fb and typed emails and blog drafts.
my upper back and neck, from all the stretching and contorting into various horizontal positions until i found one conducive to lying down and typing.
my eye lids, thanks to the excessive blinking from staring at the computer screen and drying out.
in fact i think the rest of me is slowly fusing into the mattress below me.

so yeah. this has not been an altogether good day. except for the bit where i cooked and took pictures of what i cooked. that part was pure and unadulterated joy. and im going to tell you about that in another post. but first, i have gotto get out of bed, shut down this damn laptop and get some fresh air.

*proceeds to peel and detach self from mattress*

Thursday, December 02, 2010

what one does on a week of extended freedom.. evades putting ones thoughts down in a coherent manner, and resorts to spewing random tidbits of information, leaving readers to make what they will of what follows..

1) I finished Kafka on the Shore, and South of the Border-West of the Sun and am powering through After the Quake. Murakami is intense, confusing at times, but a very riveting author, whos writing is like taking a journey into a different world. Its hard to come across the kind of craft and story-telling like I have just seen in Murakami's writing. In the case of all the books mentioned above, I have had a hard time putting the book down and getting things done around here. Which if why, it helps that I am on my week of extended freedom! That said, I think when Im done with After the Quake, Im going to need something light, cheery and breezy to read. Recommendations?

2) In between being buried amidst my books, Iv also been on a food spree. We went to the IFFI version of khau-galli. Our very own promenade dotted with food stalls with a surprisingly tasty variety of street food from all over. Everything from dabeli and vada pav to pav bhaji and chaat, kababs and biryani, to gola and gobi manchurian! Read about it on my other blog. I was determined to take pictures because the street festivity presented many moments worthy of being captured. So I decided to go with my half blind eye, the trusty green dot that tells me when somethings in focus and went click-clicking away. Im personally not too happy with the pictures, but it seems I havent lost touch and I still have an eye. So hopefully this is the beginning of the revival.

3) Part of the food spree also percolated into my own kitchen and led me to try my hand at making BisiBeleBhaath! Lets just say desperate times call for desperate measures. I was food-home-sick (which is to say home-sick for food!) and something needed to be done. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and try my luck. And the result was a pretty kick-butt kinda BBB, if you know what I mean. So I was able to satiate our food cravings, and doing it rather well too. Hows that for a win-win situation? That endeavour has been neatly documented too. By me, singlehandedly. Amidst cursing VC for not being around when I needed him and his clever photographic eye the most! Take a look at my efforts on the food blog.

4) The food spree didnt end there. The husband has been making loud noises about needing to eat dessert for a while now. But I have been buried nose deep in my books and general glory of being free, and we had a bit of a milk-shortage situation, which seemed conveniently timed, to pay heed to his hints. However my blog-hopping led me to this fantastic blog: Divine Taste, where I found this ridiculously-easy-sounding recipe for Chocolate Custard. Milk, cream, chocolate, vanilla -- whats not to like? So I tried my hand at that too. Yes hand, because while one hand tried to mix the various ingredients together and make a complete mess around the kitchen, the other tried to juggle a DSLR and take pictures to document the process. For the food blog, of course! Take a look, and tell me my efforts of juggling 500ml milk, 200ml cream and a camera were worth it.

5) It makes me happy that the food blog has undergone that revival it so desperately needed. It was started over a year ago, as a means to make our weekends (in an otherwise very boring and dull week) entertaining, for the husband and I to indulge in the two things we love: food and photography. It is only in recent times that the "cooking" and "culinary" aspect of food has crept into our lives. What with moving out of home and setting up a home of our own, having to fend for ourselves food-wise, and the husband turning non-vegetarian again. Clearly, food has become more than a mere necessity. It is a priority!

Monday, November 29, 2010

signs of a slowly-turning-goan

you end up having a perfectly goan sunday afternoon, without realizing it.
it features:
goas best chicken cafreal
conversation and laughter
and.. wait for it..feni. so fresh, that you end up BUYING yourself a bottle to take home.
a drive through the country-side of north goa, escaping the highway and the traffic.
it was gorgeous, and i wish i had pictures. but you really just had to be there to see what i mean.

and yes, the chicken cafreal was TO.DIE.FOR.
also, i had a change of heart as far as my opinion on feni goes.

the only thing missing, was the proverbial afternoon siesta, which in time i shall master. i did say "slowly-turning-goan", right?

'nuff said.

a saturday well spent

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the last saturday, so to speak

yesterday, the dilemma of the day included wonderful things like: which new book should i read first? and should i change the sheets today or tomorrow? should i be upset or not?

now the weekend is here. and surprise surprise! the husband is at work. that leaves me, my list of chores (like changing the sheets) to be finished, and my 2 fresh and crispy books all to myself.

the good thing about having a bunch of reading is that you can take it anywhere you please, and you cont necessarily have to bound to your home. so once my chores are done, im thinking i should take myself, my books and my bathing suit to the beach. there i will bring on my good friend mr-sex-on-the-beach and kick back and let the rest of saturday unfold itself.

this is, after all the last weekend of utmost freedom. and i cannot let it just pass me by.

bedtime hilarity


Friday, November 26, 2010

random thought #6736

theres nothing worse than being the victim (for no fault of your own) in a situation, where you can do nothing to resolve it, but can only helplessly and tirelessly endure it.

mental note: some things will not change, so have no expectations.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

fishing into the past..

..can be a good thing. because then you discover moments like this:

and you remember the day when crazy decided to hook up with crazy. for life. and you can go back and relive the excitement again.

delight to my eyes

i love goa. i do. so much.

except for times when i have to wait 20 minutes in a medical store only to be told that only 1 out of 2 items on my list is available, and the one item that is handed to me is wrong.

and when the weirdo neighbour shuts her door at the slightest sign of my presence.

and when im driving at night enjoying myself, only to be blinded by the oncoming onslaught of high-beams. yes, EVERYBODY likes to drive with their brights on.

and when im cribbing about the occasional power cut. and the slow internet speeds. and the lack of customer assistance when you have a problem with either.

and when im driving around in circles trying to find things that i would find just around the corner in bangalore.

and when the idiot grocery store guy doesnt give me what i want simply because hes not in the mood.

and when i need something in the middle of the afternoon, or past 9 pm, but theres no way i can get it because panjim is asleep.

and when i realize i cant get a decent nice haircut without looking like someone pecked the hair off my head.

despite all that and more, i love goa. dont get me wrong. i do too. so much.

i love it for all the tiny restaurants and eateries, that dont have much of an ambience to speak of. yet serve amongst the tastiest food iv eaten here.

and i love it for the greenery right outside my window.

and i love it for the still-not-too-crowded roads and for being able to get anywhere in panjim in not more than 15-20 minutes.

and i love it for the openness, for being 7 minutes from the sea, and for the fresh air.

but most of all, i love it for the mighty watercolor clouds, insane sunsets and fresh clean skies that take my breath away..again..

and again..

and again..

and again..

and again..

and again..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

post-dinner pondering

perhaps a nice quiet coffee, followed by a cheerful dinner (yes, i know the order is reversed :P) is what i needed to suddenly realize again that im such a one-on-one kind of person. im no good in groups. in cliques. in clans. in gangs.

thanks karishma :)

sharing the happy news

my good friend BP has just had a baby in the month of september. i was over the moon and felt very happy for her and S, because thanks to my move to goa and being online all the time and her maternity leave and being online a lot, we have spent a lot of time chit-chatting right through her pregnancy.

since i have such a strong opinion on having kids of my own, BPs interesting stories and anecdotes allayed my curiosity about a lot of things in that area that i am so sure i will not tread into for a while. as a result i feel like i was quite a part of her excitement, anxieties, curiosity, and her sense of being overwhelmed. BP is tiny herself, and to think that she now has her own Tiny, is in itself such a wonder!

the point of this post is to publicise a blog of her own, where she details the new experiences of being a mother. i enjoy reading it, and i think Tiny is ADORABLE, so i couldnt help but share it here :)

read on:


kafka on the shore has left me mesmerized. and wanting more. so im on a murakami buying spree:
- after the quake
- south of the border, west of the sun
- norwegian wood, which iv read before, but wish to own

and since flipkart is slowly turning me into a shop-a-holic, iv also added in:
- the kite runner
- haroun and the sea of stories
- on the road, because i dont know where my old copy is and i wish to read it again

Sunday, November 21, 2010

what im feeling:

the joys of
..fitting into your jeans perfectly again
..not feeling overstuffed
..feeling energetic and light
..toned and healthy
..being able to wear that pair of shorts you stashed away for months (not until you're ..thinner, you told yourself)
..enjoying that everyday endorphin rush


iv done it again.
im off fb. yet again.
i dont know how long it will be this time.
i cant decide what made me do it, either.
i dont know if and when i will be back.
i probably will, i just dont know when.
all i know is it was beginning to eat into my time. and thats far too much time spent hooked on to a virtual social networking platform. id rather be out there doing something talking to real people, if there are any.

back to my book.

ps: in other news, the food blog has been updated :)

half the weekend wasted

the weekend is half-over. the husband worked ALL THROUGH yesterday, leaving me to find other ways to spend my saturday, which would otherwise have been spent together.

i spent the day glued to a book i have been trying to finish for a while now: haruki murakami's "kafka on the shore". with all the interruptions of entertaining guests and having hectic weekends, its often felt like the book has been dragging on and on and on, but yesterday with the house all to myself and not much else to do, i was hooked and booked. someone described the book as "a fall through the rabbit hole" -- and now, with just under a 100 pages left to go, i couldnt find a better way to describe it. it truly is a bit like being forced to delve into a crazy world. a world where it rains fish, cats talk and imaginary characters called johnnie walker and col sanders guide the character through what is destined for him.

in true murakami style the book beautifully blends crazy fantasy, with real-world stories of people, their feelings, their fears and insecurities and everybodys search for that something that gives them purpose in life. hes writing is such a perfect fit of style and sense. nothing more, nothing less -- everything balanced and just right. it made me want to go back to some of his other books that i have read, especially norwegian wood.

at 6 30, when i was told that the husband was still not done and wouldnt be done for a while, something snapped inside of me. the long working hours and weekends spent at work have been on for a while. yes, there have been exceptions in between. but they were "exceptions" and not the rule, which is what they should be. and after waiting all day long, i think my bp suddenly shot up and went thru the roof. momentarily i returned to the unreasonable, irrational, tantrum-throwing person that i have been in the past. a past that i thought i have left behind.

i needed to cool off. so i did something i used to do back in the day when i was angry, frustrated and pissed off. i went for a nice long drive. listening to ridiculously loud music. yesterday, i drove down to the highway, through the goa university, which makes a nice long meandering drive in the dark with trees creeping up all around you. all the while, i listened to the love album at an insanely high volume. then i went for a swim all by myself. my first swim at the pool since the rains have come and gone. truly refreshing, truly calming, truly what i needed.

the evening ended in the company of my good friend, mr g&t. yes iv grown to love him. sirish and the husband were there too. and we chatted about things high and low. i was distracted and not myself, though. somehow when we left, i felt i might have come across to them both as foolish, if just for that evening. but i couldnt care. i needed ice cream. so off we went to get me a sitaphal ice cream fix at naturals.

the plan this weekend was to catch the social network and harry potter. the social network ran for just one blooming week, and has been replaced by some shit. so we thought we'd settle for harry potter instead, but i have discovered that inox is not functioning for the next 9-10 days. IFFI times are here. and inox has been hijacked for the entire duration for IFFI screenings. oh well, maybe there will be something worthy of watching there :S

heres to half a weekend well wasted.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

on moving on

Nothing has stopped me from picking every opportunity to wax eloquent about how much I thank my lucky stars over and over for giving me a life in Goa. Iv done it on this blog, on the other blog, on facebook, in person and Iv done it till people have begged me to stop, and get over it already. I really cant help it though. Goa has been a truly special experience for me. Even now, so many months into our move here, several times a week, different instances, mundane and spectacular, make me pause and wonder about just how much my life has changed.

This move is something that will always be close to my heart. Something I will cherish forever. Because life as I know it, really began for here in Goa. It is here, that I discovered facets to myself that were hitherto hidden beneath many layers, waiting to be unravelled. I discovered a home-maker. I discovered an interest and love for cooking. I discovered a patient and collected person who has grown to love her solitude I had forgotten how to enjoy. I discovered the real joys of being married to someone you love. I realized how important together time is. I have made good friends from completely random people I have never known before -- a definite first-time for me. I have also discovered the absolute and almost unparalleled satisfaction of working on your own terms. This has also taught me how to straddle ones chores/responsibilities along with work. Life in Goa has allowed me to truly come into my own. Define myself, my individuality, my personality and see things as I want to.

Life in Goa has given me time, above all else. And an abundance of time does wonders for the soul. Iv had plenty of time. Time to choose what I do, how I do it, enjoy life at my own pace, spend days doing nothing if I please, spend days reading, watching television, painting even! I am always overcome by a feeling of wonder at how this has all fallen into place for us. I try, but I don’t have the words to thank the husband for his courage. To see what I see, to think for us both, to take the brave decisions we did, and to come out here and live the life we believe in.

Since March this year, I have basked in the luxury of enjoying this life. I could not think of a better time for this to have happened to me. But after much thought and deliberation, I have decided that perhaps its time to move on. And no, I don’t mean I will be giving up this way of life or leaving Goa. Slight alterations will be made. Reprogramming of life, so to speak. Rescheduling of the everyday routine. Im ready to give more of my time and energies. Into something more productive, more structured. Something that will give me definite returns – monetarily and satisfaction-wise. Its time to get busy. More updates soon..

Friday, November 19, 2010

waking up at the butt-crack-of-dawn

The husbands job often requires him to travel to Bombay. Most times, keeping the plight of his lonely scared-of-the-dark wife, hes back the same day, but sometimes he ends up staying the night. I must confess though, that although the first few times I stayed alone was a tad scary, Im now more than used to it.

The crux of the matter however is the going to Bombay almost always involves catching the early morning flight. And by “early” I mean REALLY early (by my standards). Wake up time happens at an ungodly 5 am. That in itself is not the problem. The situation is complex because the husband isn’t the kind of person who springs out of bed at the first ring of the alarm clock. Somehow the condition of being fast asleep seems to block his ears out to any kind of sound. Even an alarm ringing right in to his ear. Loud enough to wake me up, all the way across on the other side of the bed. To make matters worse, the husband is not the kind who swiftly and enthusiastically wakes up at first call. It takes almost 20 minutes of hitting snooze before he surfaces and finally gets out of bed.

To address the need to snooze for at least 20 minutes, and to be gently woken up as opposed to having an jarring alarm ringing in your head at 5 am, and to make sure he does wake up on time and never misses a flight, the husband has fixed himself a suitable, custom-adjustable alarm. It not only rings 20 minutes in advance, it also patiently snoozes once every 5 minutes, only to spring up dutifully and wake him up again. This suits the husband just fine, and he is more than happy to gently be woken up over a span of 20 minutes till his mind and body are accustomed to the idea of finally getting out of bed. Charming new alarm that he has for himself seems to be working wonders.

That new alarm would be me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


2010, enough with the bad news already?
i dont think i can take any more news of death, pain and suffering. im all done for this year.

A, i hope this isnt what i think it is, and that you will come back and this will all just be over.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

of things that have gone by without a mention

First off
After months of obsessing over her, her blog, her food (and other) photography, I randomly sent VC the flipkart link to her book. I must admit, I had no vested interest. I was just surprised to find it available on flipkart, and was sharing my surprise. 21 days later, one night past 10pm, when I was busy serving us some sitaphal ice cream, VC was busy unwrapping his latest courier delivery (which he slyly had delivered to the office). When I walked back into the living room, something bright and yellow lying in the magazine nook under the table, caught my eye. I thought I was seeing things. But I wasn’t. He bought me the book: The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Flipping through it now, I realize that not all of it is entirely doable sitting here in Panjim. It will take some effort to find sources for most ingredients, or even suitable substitutes, but I was over the moon with happiness. So I have a bit of the PW charm in my home now. And I cant wait to bring that charm into the kitchen. Thank you VC, this is why I love you :) Erm, and by "this", I mean your thoughtfulness!

The sister who came down to Goa last week, did so completely unannounced. I love surprises and shamelessly drop hints all over the place. I don’t need reason to be surprised. I love being surprised out the blue, for no particular reason at all. And Niyu is probably the only person in my life who picks up on my shameless hints and acts on them. In the years gone by she has surprised me with very thoughtful gifts, birthday parties, cook outs, and last week once again she pulled it off by showing up at my doorstep. The build up is what made the surprise even better. For weeks she moped about how she is sick and tired of the rut that college has become and how she would love to come to Goa, even if just for the weekend. I told her she was always welcome of course, but in true Niyu style she waited till the very last minute to act on her need to come. Of course she didn’t get tickets, and called me dejected and disappointed, like this was the last opportunity EVER! What she didn’t tell me though, was that a few hours after disappointing herself and me, her travel agent had managed to get her tickets to leave that very night. And the sly thing that she is, got on a bus, brought herself to Panjim, all the while cribbing to me over sms about how unlucky she is. And pretty soon when the doorbell rang and I opened the door, there she was. Best thing that happened this month :)

Oh, and also
Iv had an intense craving to resume photography again. But jinxed I am. And that’s not just an excuse. First I stupidly decided to leave my camera behind, without realizing that we’d both be left without one. Then when we saved up enough to buy ourselves one, my smart smart husband decided to forego the kit lens to buy a wide angle lens in a few months. What he forgot to think through was compatibility issues. To cut a long story short, the lens we thought we’d be able to afford is not compatible with the D5000. So either we wait longer and save up more to buy ourselves a compatible lens, or we make do with a cheap one that wont auto focus. In the meantime Im trying to make do with the 50mm prime. Which isn’t such a bad deal. It’s a fantastic lens for food, faces and close ups. Brilliant bokeh, lovely soft hues with sharp focus. Except, the sharp focus bit depends on your ability to manually focus it. And if youre like me, half blind in one eye, its pretty much a hit or miss situation. But I persisted. Then I transferred my raw files on to my laptop. Turns out I cant install the plug in to edit them because I use pirated Photoshop. Jinxed, no??

And did I mention
I feel like Im calmer these days. More gathered. More myself. More alive. And the best part is I feel a sense of peace like I haven’t in a while. Like Im comfortable with myself, where I am and the way things have panned out. And it’s a really nice feeling. I mention this not because it was a fleeting feeling that came and went in a flash. I have felt this change increasingly starkly in the past few weeks, and I think at a deeper level, Iv changed somewhere.

There, now I feel like iv said everything I needed to.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

trip-hoppin' my way around

i have an unpublished post about the incredibly varied kinds of music i have been tripping on in the recent weeks. but until i complete it and get down to posting it, heres a snippet of what im tripping on now.

recapping the weekend that was

the weekend began on thursday night. akshu, niyu, vc and i had a quiet drunken escapade that went well into the night. there was conversation, laughter, discussions about creativity, finding your passion, hindu-muslim rivalry, smoking vs not smoking and so much more than i cant even recollect because of the copious amounts of alcohol that we consumed. oh, and there was dessert at the marriot. that i cannot forget. i really wish i had a picture to capture the evening, because it really was the reunion that hasnt happened in years now. akshu has silently grown up over the years (i know this sounds like an aunty-statement, but for someone who has vivid memories of him in his diapers and a face full of drool, its overwhelming to be sitting across a table, sharing grown up conversation over drinks with him) and niyu is alays more cut away in bombay, than i would like things to be. so coming together is good. coming together is special. and when theres alcohol to go with it, whos complaining?

before i begin to sound alcoholic (if i dont already!) i must quickly say that i woke up with a touch of a hangover and decided to abstain from alcohol for the next..erm..6 hours at least. the hangover didnt deter the spirit. akshu, niyu and i drove down to anjuna. there, much to my horror, curlies was the only shack open. the sun shone high, the waves crashed upon the shore and a neat row of sun beds were snugly covered with foreigners of various shapes, sizes and states of undress. us indians were asked to pay for the sun beds. fuck you, curlies. the next time i will go back to shiva valley, where the shack boys smile, recommend what you should try and bring you the freshest watermelon juice.

so of course there was the regular order of watermelon juice, kingfisher beer and butter-garlic calamari. juice for me, to refresh my soul. and the beer for the kids, whose capacity for alcohol knocks my pants off.

the rest of the afternoon was spent swimming, which i have realized i love to do. theres very few things that can compare with the feeling of floating lifelessly and letting the waves take you along. literally relax, let go and float along. and theres very few places you can do that without feeling unsafe. anjuna is one of those places. when i wasnt swimming, i was reading. i have so much reading to catch up on its not funny.

i also caught niyu in one of her usual contemplative moods.

its the sea, i tell you. theres something about it. and the two of us have a special connection with the sea, the sand, the sun, the beach. an affinity i cant fathom, so i cant explain. the sea transforms me into a placid, happy creature.

of course there was a lot of eye candy to be seen, but not touched. interesting people worth observing. and sights to be soaked up and taken in.

friday night was dinner at home. with the fast becoming regular feature: g&t of course. one too many, perhaps. but interesting company and conversation flowed. kheema and pav for dinner, even though sirish and vc did such a good job of weeding out the peas from their plates and dumping them in mine. and there was even goan home-brewed choco-mint liqueur to be had after dinner. i was beyond satisfied.

saturday came sooner than anticipated. and the husband went off to work. but did that stop niyu and me? no. off we went. on sirish's recommendation, we went way north. to a place iv never been. iv never driven that far out. it was a long and beautiful drive. but boy was it worth it!

after the hectic scene at the "touristy" beaches of north goa, arambol was a welcome change. one lonely shack perched in a corner of the widest, quietest and longest beaches i have seen in goa, was where we chose to settle. there was a friendly nepali waiter who brought us cold coffees, fish fingers and fries. there were fit hippies doing yoga, hot greek men and women, beautiful fish, refreshingly powerful yet gentle waves to engulf you, and the best part: an overcast sky. being on a beach when the sun is hidden behind a canopy of thick cloud cover is the most amazing feeling. the heat isnt oppressive, the light isnt blinding, the light all around is warm and fuzzy and it makes swimming an absolute joy.

there was some beer. some wandering around watching pretty fish, crab art and the best part of it all: i made a come back of sorts. its been months, probably more than a year since i looked through a viewfinder. took a few photographs and enjoyed it. i guess it has everything to do with having a camera all to yourself. having company thats interested in doing the same things and a peaceful beautiful day lying in front of you.

some portraits had to happen of course. beach trips must be exploited for the amazing 4pm sunlight they bring.

leaving wasnt easy. when youre over-relaxed, that tends to happen. the feet dont move. the head doesnt want to lift itself and the eyes dont want to look up and face the road going home.

just when i thought this was the perfect way to go into a peaceful sunday, ravi sent us an sms about a bbq party at his place on sunday afternoon. going empty handed would be foolish. so acting quickly, niyu and i whipped up a makeshift tandoori marinade and stuck a whole lot of chicken in it. vc armed himself with a crate of beer. since this was our first time at tandoori, i slept with my fingers crossed.

sunday was gorgeous. just enough sunlight to need shades and feel warm. but a sky filled with grey clouds and a gentle breeze.

the bbq was set up. and there was fish wrapped in banana leaves, chicken cafreal, my tandoori, two other kinds of chicken, prawn in parsley and garlic, paneer, tomato and feta cheese salad..and of course a ton of beer.

then it began to rain.

and instead of running for cover, we decided to dance. and stay out in the rain as much as possible.

what followed was complete debauchery, as the whole lot of us (rain-soaked and drenched to our bloody bones) jumped into (or got pushed into..whichever way you'd like to look at it) the swimming pool. with good food, beer, rain, music and a swimming pool, the sunday afternoon couldnt have been much more fun. no pictures of the last very wet bit, unfortunately.

we went home drenched of course. but with a buzz in the head. a weedy high hanging over us. and the satisfaction of a sunday well spent.

but. it. wasnt. over. yet. not for us.
ditched by various others who claimed they would join in because they were either busy being/feeling old, or coining up new excuses to squirm out of the invite, niyu, vivek and i drove down to soul souffle. because they make heavenly mojitos. and had them we did. soul souffle has what can definitely be called the best continental food iv had in all my months sent in goa. great ambience, nice setting in the middle of virtually nowhere, yummy mojitos, good food, amazing caramel custard. oh, yes, self timed photography too..

good fun, wouldnt you say??

photo credits: niyu upadhya, myself (via the new camera and the useless phone) and sirish.