Sunday, May 29, 2011

same old hAAthi times, brand new location

So, 5 long years, 802 posts and 2414 comments later, Iv finally decided to make a move. The life and times of hAAthi can now be found at

We are now rolling.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Its been a long dry spell. Iv forgotten how good it feels. I havent done it in so long, I really couldnt help it today. I just havent found the time, but today I just couldnt resist. Iv been awfully stressed and tired off late and today I just gave it. Let my body just unwind and let go. And boy do I feel good now. All stretched out and relaxed.

Its amazing what an afternoon nap can do to make you feel alive again.

Its Saturday...

After what feels like an eternity, its the weekend again. And Im overjoyed that Im home, I woke up at my own will, and I have nothing to do. Well nothing imperative anyway. Work can be done, when I please. But I shall leave it to just that -- when I please.

On the list for this weekend is some much-needed organising of my second bedroom, which for the last year has been a store room/dumping spot for all things that dont have a dedicated place. And then I plan to complete the canvas I started last weekend and couldnt complete because of a power cut. And then mmaybe just for fun, I shall start another canvas. Or do another watercolor. Or maybe, just for fun, BOTH! And also, a huge stash of books arrived from flipkart (thanks to Karishma's awesome gift voucher birthday gift! thank you!) so Im going to spend the weekend sinking into that. There will of course be some cooking, because frankly Iv been so uninspired this past week. What can you do when youre getting over your sisters leaving town, and youre swamped with work, and never seem to get home before the sun sets.

Also, there is this incredibly uncontrollable urge to bake today. Which of course will be controlled by the sheer fact that I have no oven here :S hah! But what I do plan to give myself this week is an Idli stand! So we can have rava idlis for breakfast tomorrow, straight out of the brand new 5.5 lt pressure cooker, that I waited a whole year to get!

In the meantime, here's shenanigans from Niyu's last weekend here:

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Work has officially drained me of all my writing capabilities this week, and the last. I feel like I just cant make the words come out and make sense any more. So Im going to leave it to pictures.

VC getting ready to settle under the umbrella, with a book

Niyu contemplating a swim, in stormy seas. The monsoons are approaching and the sea has gotten so weird.

VC and his new fav thing to do

Priya came to town!


Posers, sick of posing!

And then the board-games began! Uno, pictionary, whisky and wine.

And the next day, as cloudy skies gathered above us, we roamed around Panjim and Old Goa, shooting random examples of beautiful Goanness on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, May 16, 2011


So how do you get over the worst week in a long long time? How do you come to terms with the fact that you just might be pushing yourself in the wrong direction, into doing something you know you dont have a passion for?

How do you undo what your life has turned into in just one week? A royal mess of efforts directed in futile activities?

How do you feel good about yourself again? About who you are, what youre good at, what youre meant to do? How do you believe in yourself again, in your abilities and your passion? How do you make life meaningful again, when all you've done for one long tiring week long is aimlessly force yourself to do something you hate, and fail at it, multiple times over?

I'll tell you how.

You get family together. You go out to the beach. You decompress. You watch the waves coming in and going out. You remind yourself why you are in Goa. You thank the stars for everything they've brought your way. You remind yourself that this is just a job. And then you tell yourself that you will give it your all, try with all your might and what will be, will be. And that the rest of your life isnt going to be ruined by the misplaced messes that happen at work. You remind yourself that life really is about happy times that happen in between the things you need to do to survive. Life is what happens when Im painting. When Im cooking. When Im sharing a laugh with VC. When we're sitting in the balcony, talking about the day gone by and sharing the most inane details with enthusiasm. Life is what happens when Im too busy enjoying the moment to really care whats going to happen next.

That's what I did to overcome and undo one of the worst weeks of my life here in Goa. A week that was altogether unsuccessful, depressing and so forgettable. I hate weeks that leave me with nothing meaningful to mark my life with. Last week was like that. It was like painfully trying my hand at doing something I know I cant. And failing. Like trying to ram through a steel wall, that wont come down. It cant be done. Much like me, writing copy. It just cant be done. And i feel the more I push myself into it, the harder it gets. The more frustrating it gets. And thats what brings unhappiness.

I feel like Iv solved the biggest mystery of the week. And I just needed to let go a little.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The kind of day that makes you want to tear your hair out. For real.
The kind of day that makes you wonder why youre doing the things you are.
The kind of day that makes you irritable and edgy.
The kind of day that makes you feel incapable and inadequate.
The kind of day that resonates negativity.
The kind of day that out to be spent on a beach. Cocktail in hand.
The kind of day that shouldnt be spent looking at a computer screen pointlessly.
The kind of day that leaves no hope.
The kind of day that feels like a wall.
The kind of day that never wants to end.
The kind of day that must end on a high. Because everyone needs a silver lining.
The kind of day that I hate.
The kind of day that really should be over. Thankyouverymuch.
That kind of day.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Im seriously allergic to..

Hypocrites. There's nothing worse than having to endure people with double standards, baseless generalisations and pretentious behaviour. Unfortunately, I meet more of them than Id like to on an everyday business.

Sometimes, I get fooled and caught in the trap too. Going out of my way to be nice, when really nobody cares. I found myself giving the husband a big lecture on being kind regardless of how people behave towards you, because if we were to stoop as low, how are we any different? But today, I find myself so pissed off for being nice. Because sometimes being nice bites you back.

What is it with insensitive people these days? How come its the "adults" that are sometimes the most childish?

Here's to keeping a safe and sensible distance and sieving the negativity out of my immediate atmosphere.


Sunday, May 08, 2011

What last weekend didnt have that this weekend has

1) Niyu's back!

2) And with her arrival came a real reason to go back to the beach again. VC and I have gotten so caught up in life, that I realise that merely driving my the sea everyday on our way to work is refreshing enough. Unlike 1 year ago, when we'd drive out 20kms every weekend and spend half a day or more at the beach, swimming, drinking, reading, photographing. Going to the beach these days is reserved for those special times when we have people visiting, and Im glad we finally had reason to go. I managed to catch a swim in the sea and it was divine.

3) A lack of painting. I didnt get the time to get down and paint, even though I went to the beach all prepared to do so. The sea green waters were far more tempting, and once I was in the water, the cool waves that lapped over me, swaying me around was just too relaxing for me to get out and go paint. So i traded painting for some water therapy. Happily, so!

4) The return of the board games! Something about summer nights, and Niyu being here brings out the board game competitors in us. So we played a few rounds of Pictionary and Uno last night, with some friends who came over. Needless to say of course, the combination of varied drawing skills and our trusted friend Mr Jim Beam, ensured that we had an entertaining evening.

5) Lots of cooking! I dont feel too bad about not painting at all, because this weekend seems to be filled with cooking. I made an entire lunch yesterday, and we cooked up some herbed sausages later at night. Today, we're embarking on yet another BBQ endeavour and Im all set to get with the flow of marinating all the chicken and fish Niyu and VC are out buying right now.

I think I need 5-day weekends, and a 2-day work week. My life would be so much more meaningful :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

simply breakfast

I stumbled on this blog sometime last year, around the time I was cultivating this unnatural obsession for all things related to food. Food blogs featured HIGH on that list. I was quick to "follow" it and have always wanted to try photographing my breakfast. Except nothing I ever eat for breakfast looks half as gorgeous as even the simplest things she eats.

Until today!

Yup, these are the first mangoes I have tasted this season. Fresh, bright and colourful, I hope this gorgeous start to the day has some effect on the rest of the maddening day thats about to pan out.

In other news the birthday was celebrated rather uniquely this past weekend. It amazes me how ever progressive year I end up torn between wanting to "do something" and "behave my age and not celebrate", and I always end up doing something that really surprises me. More on that soon.

The sister aka The Goof is scheduled to arrive sometime this weekend. And then begins another few weeks of complete magical mischief. I cant wait! It has been far too long. There will be cooking, there will be laughter till we pee, there will be photographs, there will be painting, there will be beer, there will be some BBQed prawns and there will be fun. Lots of it.

So while most of my life continues to be a landslide that I am constantly fighting against, I shall think about the yummy mangoes and the look forward to things to come. Because its good. Its ALL good :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

new love

Perhaps its a sign of things to come, that I spent my birthday doing this:
Im loving it so much I could very easily get used to it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

to be noted

In other news: the world is full of a lot of selfish people. The kind who need to talk to you only when they NEED to talk to you. The kind that only wants you some of the time.

Also, I hate feeling used.

The blues after a rainbow-y weekend

Today is the perfect example for a wet-blanket start to the week. After a gorgeous weekend, I came into work all guns blazing to get started on some long pending stuff. I thought today would FINALLY be the day I would get cracking on it and churn it out quickly and painlessly. But no. I don't quite know why, but the stress in the atmosphere/room is palpable. And my enthusiasm went from 100 down to 10 in just half an hour. Im uninspired, suddenly bleah and very bored. For no apparent reason. I don't know what triggered it off suddenly.

I have to learn not to let my surroundings get to me so much. I will probably never have the 100% most productive work environment. People will be noisy, there will be chit-chat, it cant be helped in an office. Why then, am I so easily distracted? Why is it so easy for me to lose the plot and drop all everything I have so painfully gathered and put together?

And its ONLY Monday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For my darling Amma

My sweetest most amazing Amma turned 50 today. Except in my eyes she isnt a day older than 30. Like I told her today, 50 is the new 30, and I cant think of anyone who lives by that (quite unintentionally) more than Amma does.

I honestly believe Amma is as young as she was at 30. I cant believe shes 50 already. Mostly because not too much of her (except those gorgeous silver streaks in her hair!) has aged. And the bits that have, have aged so gracefully, I hope I have an iota of her charm and grace and finesse when I turn 50. Shes calm, collected, grounded and so all-there.

Shes resilient, strong, inspiring and shes my rock. I may not have told her many times before, but she is the 50% of the reason why I am who I am today. Why I am where I am today. And she will always be a part of everything I choose to do or be. She and Anna are my whole world and nothing will ever change that.

So while genetically I have a lot of her in me, in my flesh and bones and blood, I hope I have imbibed at least a tiny percentage of the person she is today. The brilliance with which she wears so many different hats: mother, wife, friend, confidant, teacher, student, musician, performer, academician, doctor, counsellor, my own personal home-google. She does it all. And with such ease :)

I wanted to be there. In a way to give thanks for everything she has done, for who she is, and to celebrate 50 awesome years. But I couldnt go :( So how does one give thanks long distance? Pouring my heart out on this blog, through words that might be jumbled right now because of the emotional overload, is the only way I know.

Someday, when I look back on this day, I will remember how I ached to be in Bangalore, but decided to celebrate the brilliance of my Amma all the way here in Panjim, with some chocolate fudge :)

I love you Amma. And here's to 50 wonderfully inspiring years ahead!

Much satisfaction and so much joy

Another weekend is almost over, and despite the fact that Iv been struggling to finish some long overdue work today (and its caused me considerable pain :S) Iv had a lovely weekend.

From painting on the beach
Reading, chilling, making fun of VC who forgot to carry his shades and was forced to wear my very chicita new shades
To all the various kinds of foods, starting with the massive and yummy Goan veg breakfast at Cafe Tato's
The sinful cheese omelette that we had to settle for given the painting overdrive I had yesterday that rendered me incapable of going into the kitchen to cook lunch
To the impromptu BBQ dinner invite, I wish I had pictures to show because some of those experiments were so spontaneous and so scrumptious!
Not to forget the dessert I made
To the extra sleep today followed by another painting (picture coming soon!)
And more blogging, followed by a nice long brainstorm with VC.
And then MORE indulgence and blogging with the chocolate fudge
And perhaps a swim to top it off all nice and well :)

This is the kind of weekend that makes everything worth it again. Its the kind of life I live for. Its the kind of weekend that enriches and rejuvenates me.

*all my culinary adventures from the weekend are on the food blog

2 days, 2 movies

Dum maaro dum:
When will hindi movie makers learn the concept of "proportion" (of drama to length of movie), when will they learn taste and style? What could have been an entertaining, high tension, even if BADLY written movie, turned out to be an extra elongated, stretched beyond belief, badly written movie. Felt a bit like a BAD hindi movie inspired by The Departed. The verdict: totally missable


Made me want to go to RIO! Nuff said. The verdict: Must watch

Saturday, April 23, 2011

and another

Today, sitting on the beach at 8 am, painting away, I had an emotional moment with myself. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed about where I was. The reality of it hit me all over again. In Goa. Living 5 minutes from such beauty. Such peace. And the ability to take off and do things that I havent in years.

Thank you, universe.

finding lost things

Theres been a strong urge to go back to watercolor painting. Iv never "learnt" it, just always experimented my way around and discovered new things quite by accident. I dont have technique and I dont have style. I just know colour. And I know water. And off we go.

This has been a long time coming. So this morning Udaya, VC and I went to the Cidade beach. And though my perspective is totally off as is my sense of colour and texture, Im happy with the start to the weekend :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

another year gone by

Recently, the husband made an observation about me. That I tend to worry about the future, and reminisce about the past, to an extent where I lose out on the present. I think what is true in that statement is that Im all about memories and bits and pieces of my past, that I hang on to tight. Much the same way there are bit and pieces that I imagine for the future. Im not so sure that it keeps me from losing out on the present, but thats the husbands feeling.

Today, Im swept over by emotion and nostalgia again. As the day nears, I cant help but feel a sense of extreme nostalgia about the same time last year. And I cant help but recollect what a blast it was stepping into the 27th year on a beach.

It also didnt help that FB decided to throw up the Goa 2010 album when I logged in today. So here I am, letting my emotions overflow here:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

When I rediscovered my love for cooking

Some serious badminton fever is doing the rounds at work. So every evening around 6 30, people creep out of their various rooms and hit the volleyball court. Except, we use it to play badminton. I didnt realise how rigorous and energetic badminton was, and now Iv really taken to it, seeing as how waking up early in the morning to go for a run or get some exercise seems like a distant faraway dream. Iv decided that something is better than nothing, and badminton seems to be the way to go as of now. Its pretty addictive and Im loving it!

The downside (isnt there always a downside?) is that invariably we finish at 9pm (sometimes 10!), which leaves me oh-soooo-pooped by the time I get home that fixing dinner is easily substituted with a quick meal at Soft Rock before we head home and crash. As a result last week featured four Soft Rock dinner. And almost all featured chicken fried rice and chicken in black bean sauce. Its like Iv found the perfect Rice Bowl equivalent of my life in Bangalore. I <3 Soft Rock. Its my Goan Rice Bowl and chicken in black bean sauce is the new schezuan chicken. So heart warming, so homely. So come weekend, and I realised how much I have missed my kitchen this week. My repeated efforts to cook regularly have failed miserably. The biggest challenge is that with just about 16-17 waking hours on hand, its a tad difficult to squeeze in everything I want to do on any given day. So I can either have a good round of exercise followed by a good nights sleep, or I can have home cooked dinner and a good nights sleep. I cant have both. Tragedy of my life. But I have decided to just accept it. Im no superman. Trying to be super efficient gives me sleepless nights. Anyhoo, to give myself some good kitchen time, I decided to skip going out for the various possibilities of dinner last night, and stay in and make my version of Meaty Pasta. Inspired by Sandhya and some pasta tricks Iv seen on Smitten Kitchen, I decided something needed to be done.

It also helped that we had a bottle of this to be opened:

And this is how excited VC was:

Neither of us is on-the-rocks-brave so he had his with water and ice, and I had mine with Pepsi.

And diner turned out to be this:
A creamy, cheesy tomato-ey, red-winey pasta with a simple Balsamic Vinegar dressed fresh salad.

Half way through dinner, I stopped to tell VC how much I love cooking. I really do. When I cook, I feel like myself. Its me time. Its my thinking time. It gives me joy to labour over chopping things, putting them together, not following a recipe pat, throwing things in as I go along, and seeing what happens. When the result is spectacular (as it was last night), its like affirmation for that love for cooking. And I had that epiphany yesterday, as I was chowing down my pasta. I paused for a moment, soaked in in and thought to myself: its wonderful what having your own home and your own kitchen can do for you. And I highly recommend it :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

summer is SO here

Despite last weeks surprise showers and thunder and lightning and crazy-assed winds, we're back to suffering the sweltering heat.

Today for the first time in a long time, I felt oppressively hot. Like I couldnt breathe and I wanted to roam around everywhere in my skivvies. I guess its a good thing Im safely ensconced within the air-conditioned room in the office from Monday to Friday, so I escape this maddening furnace thats billowing outside. Because frankly, roaming around everywhere in my skivvies? I dont think the world is ready for that sight yet.

I couldnt bear to hang outside. Doing my weekly grocery/vegetable shopping was making me breathless and uncomfortable. Now Im safely back home, under the fan, enjoying my natural mango icecream in peace. Thank god for small mercies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Murphy's Law 101

You return home, alone, everyday.
You dont mind it too much.
Because you think of the days when you dont have to return home alone.

But on the one day you wish you had help to lug the bags of groceries up 4 flights of stairs, you can be assured you will have NONE.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Toast 2 slices of bread. Golden. Crispy. Just right.
Slather peanut butter on one.
Slather jam on the other.

Look at it longingly as the peanut butter melts slightly and your salivary glands begin to work overtime.

Put them together to the peanut butter hugs the jam. Tight. (Sula, this was for you :))

Enjoy the crunch of the toast with the gooey creaminess within it.

That's what I call Sunday morning happiness.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

aligned and in tune

After what feels like an eternity, I have a weekend all to myself. In town, no plans, no complications, no pending duties, no things left to be finished. I cant remember the last time VC and I have spent a whole day together, alone, just us, by ourselves. Complicated sentence that, but I cant begin to explain the enormity of how absurd that is because we live in the same home, go to the same office, and generally dont have widely varying schedules. Absurd no? That’s life these days, and that’s part of all the unsettledness Iv been talking about. Its been a weird few weeks. But the good thing is it seems like we’re getting back on track.

All the extra socializing has left us craving some alone time, empty time, meaningful time doing things we can do by ourselves. Time for me. For him. For us. So we spent yesterday evening, sitting quietly, reading, while I waltzed in and out of the kitchen checking on my cholle-wish-a-twist. The home put back in order, aromas of cholle wafting through the air, Damien rice playing softly, the warm yellow glow of the reading lamp, safe in each others company, out togetherness, suddenly it hit me. This is what makes our home, home. It’s the feeling of being okay to be by ourselves. No plans, yet perfectly comfortable. No conversation, yet completely in sync. At peace.

And that’s the feeling Iv been craving. Amidst the madding days and madding crowds, we’ve been trying to etch out time for ourselves, and failing miserably. Life gets crazy, it does for everyone. But we all need those few pockets of time, where we can slip back into normal mode, and be the people we are. At home, in tune and in sync.

Why should we believe in Anna Hazare?

Had I been in Delhi or in Bangalore, I would have been at the protest march in support of Anna Hazare. For so long now, Iv believed that what our country really needs is a revolution. A coming together of people, and standing up for what is right. FOr years Iv wondered how we have become so passive as a nation, getting excited in masses and hoardes only over cricket.

While I was over the moon last week, at around the same time, over India's winning the World Cup, a part of me wondered why the nation only comes together, truly unites, over a game. A game that has way too much money pumped into it. A game that does nothing for our country, than glorify a few men who already have more fame, glory and money than they need. Nevertheless, I was exhilarated. I celebrated. Had I a flag and a big procession following me, I would have been out on the streets too.

Yesterday, with all the Anna Hazare news that was beamed out everywhere, across status messages, cause links, the news online, the newspapers...I really began to wonder what Anna Hazare must feel like. Physically feeble, mentally very strong, fasting away in some corner of the country at the age of 73, not necessarily knowing how many people are "with him", as expressed online. By that I mean, we're with him in spirit. It took an old and feeble Anna Hazare to take the first step and bring us together, and then we followed. In spirit. Not in true action of course. Yet, Im over the moon that the government has sat up and listened. They have been forced to bow down to people's power. The way its meant to be in a democratic country like ours. I only wish we can keep it going.

Its good to know that we can stand up together as a nation, in matetrs other than just cricket. Of course thats just my view, tinged with pessimism. In my heart, Im happy. Im excited about the change. Here's someone who's put it way better than anyone I know has:

Why should I believe in Anna Hazare and the lokpal bill!

To all the pessimists.

From the India that was to the India that is - 64 years have gone past! What have we earned for ourselves? How have we changed? Does it make sense to brood over the past and comment in the present. I sincerely feel that we have no right to, or no need to. Start afresh. Now!

Realise that corruption did not set in one fine morning. Neither can it be weeded away one fine evening. The roots are deep. The ramifications deeper. The reasons many. The means multiple. We are today in an era, where corruption is just another sibling, but whom we wouldn’t want to acknowledge. We live with it. We are comfortable. We are guilty and we know it. I have bribed traffic policemen. I have bribed Govt. servants. Not because I wanted to, but because they wanted me to. Not again. I have changed. If you haven’t, begin. Now!

The question you need to ask is, do you deserve this? You do if you don’t believe in that one man. You do if you don’t act against corruption. You do if you don’t react against the corrupt. Now!

I consider myself to have matured overtime. I witnessed change. A change in phase. A change in outlook. A change in space. A change in time. 1999- I completed schooling without the internet. 2003 - I completed college without a mobile. A decade. The cocoon broke. I saw it metamorphise to a new world. A world of possiblities. A world of courage. How does it make a difference? It does - For the generation to come. The future of a new India. You have the moment with you. The onus. The responsiblity. Before the generation imbibes the wrong, set things right. Mould it. Now!

Don’t you believe that the end to corruption should start somewhere? Fight it for your mom who had to live with it. Scar it for your dad who could never attack it. Battle it for your younger brother before he thinks it is part of life. Frighten it for your little daughter who might bribe to escape a wrong. Kill it for the baby whose eyes kissed the first ray of light now. It’s a clarion call. Wake up. Now!

Be the silence, but don’t lose heart. Be the calm, but raise a storm within. Be the spark, but contain the flame. Be the hope, but symbolise the victor. A rupee less in bribe is your victory. Your parents’ victory. A country’s victory. Heroes and villains exist, but the ultimate victory is yours. Rattle the corrupt. May the tremors shake his cozy ground. Now!

The wounds might heal. Remember - The scars remain. Give it time. 2031. Twenty years. Not an exaggeration. The 40 year old officer would retire corrupt. Never mind! The 35 year old has the opportunity. The 30 year old has the belief. The 25 year old has the expectation. The 15 year old has the future. The 10 year old has trust. The 5 year old has potential. The unborn has hope. Remember - the change is you. Be the optimist. NOW!

(Dedicated to the youth of this country and all those who held my hand and walked me through the path of righteousness)

- Rejil

Rejil is a colleague and a good friend in Goa.

Friday, April 08, 2011

time off to empty my plate

My work-plate is a bit like a mish-mash these days, a khow suey of sorts. The problem is while khow suey is tasty by itself, I cant have too much of it. Not for days on end, meal after meal. At the moment, Im trying desperately to chow down stale khow suey to make room for new fresh tasty food that’s standing by, waiting for me to take a pick. But I cant refill my plate unless I empty it. Finish what’s on it first, like my momma told me to.

But the plate never empties itself. Because when Im making steady progress, someone quickly refills it without really checking with me if I want seconds. Leaving me with no room, no appetite and no reason to take on new things that I want to taste.

I firmly know now that the single biggest problem I face at work is the lack of the ability to say NO. I just don’t have it in me. Between being shy, timid and having a wrong sense of being obligated, I give in to being an absolute push over. And that makes it easy for people to disregard my plate that’s clearly overflowing with stale food.

The saga of crazy busy work days continues. Its not so much that there is a lot to do, there’s just not enough time to do it. Things pile on, deadlines get made, they draw near and some just fly past without my realizing it.

Anyhow, so thats the background. And to clear my very overloaded plate, I decided to take the morning off to work from home. So I can stay away from the banter, the constant chitter chatter, the incessant two0minute interruptions, the uneasy tension thats just a reminder of how much you have yet to complete. Away from it all. Even if just for a few hours. With the goal to finish off a few things that have been travelling through my schedule for days on end.

Working from home is a boon. I wish we could do more of it :)

This whole plate-being-excessively-full and making me feel a tad dissatisfied reminded me of an old zen saying: How can I show you zen, unless you first empty you cup. (Or in this case plate.) Things are clearly far from being "Zen", or optimal. But I guess the only way to make that happen for myself is to empy my plate first.

And today is a first step in that direction.

another realisation

At the risk of sounding WAY older than I actually am, and realising that such realisations probably have me aging way faster than Id like to, Im voicing a thought I had yesterday:

What is it with young people today and their desperate need to fit in?
Whatever happened to being yourself? Having a spine and the balls to just be who you really are? Whatever happened to being alright when youre all by yourself. What happened to enjoying who you are and what you have?

When did it all give way to craving the attention of people who might not want to give it to you all the time?

It makes me cringe every time I see someone change to suit the fancy and moods and quirks of people around them. When adjustments get made just to be accepted, to be loved, to be okay in another persons eyes. When people lose themselves in trying to please others.

The weird part is I see more MEN doing this, than women, who are otherwise known to be resilient and ever-changing/adjusting to their surroundings and people in their environment.

Its official. Im old.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

sudden realisation

Im such a push over. It amazes me just how much I allow myself to be walked all over. And yesterday I realised why. Its because I dont respect my own time. And therefore my time isnt respected by others.

Hello, Im Ms Door Mat.
Would you like to walk all over me? Come, be my guest.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

have my tears gone dry?

I used to be someone that cried a lot. At the drop of a hat. For any goddamn thing. Emotional, moving, gut wrenching, saddening, disappointing, all made me cry.

Whether I was overjoyed, or frustrated, or caving under pressure of feeling liberated, somehow the only way my mind came to terms with it would be with an outflow of tears. I accepted it as apart of myself.

Yet, in the last year, I have noticed that the tears have gradually decreased. I dont know if thats a sign of some sort of toughening up inside of me, or if I have just gotten over the phase of being overly emotional about everything, but something tells me this change is here for a while.

For someone that would cry several times a week, over various things in my Bangalorean life, I cant remember the last time I have cried about anything. And by that I mean the emotional overload sort of cry.

That said, today Im feeling so many things that would have previously induced an outburst. Im feeling stressed out, under pressure, scattered, unable to get a grip, and like Im struggling with time. Its a strange feeling to feel it all inside me, and not have the solace of letting it all pour out. Its just not happening. The tears jus refuse to come!

I dont know whether to be happy or sad. Its a strange kind of dichotomy, this.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Family is a crazy thing.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

we won!

You just KNOW its going to be a weird day when you send off an email titled "New copy and loins", instead of "New copy and lines".


That aside, it turned out to be a brilliant day. With us leaving work at 2, making adequate preparations for the match (mood enhancers, calmers, munchies, watermelon juice) and settling in to watch the whole damn thing, to the nailbiting finish. In the end, we won. But not after we had screamed the building down and ourselves hoarse.

What a satisfying day it was.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Yup, thats the familiar sound I heard whenever a deadline passes by me. I used to think it was a corny line every time I read in those trying-to-be-funny forwards. But today I realised that its SO true.

I happily and conscientiously put down my calendar for the day, first thing every morning. But invariably, I get stuck doing task #2-3 and rarely move past to actually complete what Iv set out to do.

Outlook 2011 kindly sets off an alarm whenever its time to start a new task. Like today. I was on task 2 for what felt like an eternity, and WHOOSH, deadlines for task 3, 4 and 5 just whizzed past. Just like that. Before I knew it, it was time to leave, and tomorrow I will carry forward the same old spillover of unfinished business.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

home bloopers

After an afternoon of much lazing and then some kitchen-cleaning, dish-washing, laundering, hair-oiling, more lazing, and finally showering, I settled myself with a large mug of steaming chai. Feeling absolutely squeaky clean and relaxed, I thought to myself, "This is the life", and hit ctrl+t and keyed in

A particular picture popped up at me, and I HAD to share it with my mum and sister. So I jumped, and somewhere between whisking my hand towards the laptop and typing things out in a frenzy, I knocked the mug of chai down. All over. Myself.

So much for squeaky clean.

Piping hot chai is not the best thing to have stuck to you, I assure you. And my first instinct was to leap off the chair and grab the tshirt off my skin. Forgetting completely that my laptop lay dangerously close to the very large puddle of chai that was quickly flowing towards it. My laptop was safe, and I was drenched in tea. Had the mug been tossed in the exact opposite direction (and it was highly likely), things could have been VERY different, and I dont think Id be writing this very elaborate post about how sometimes the silver lining is so thin that it's almost not there.

The result:
Im never drinking chai around my macbook again
I have a slightly sore/burnt tummy
I have been deprived of my evening fix of chai

Friday, March 25, 2011


Its a funny thing being friends, yet having those thin boundaries. Its easy to cross over and get into the twilight zone between familiarity and extreme closeness.

Recent events in life have proved that sometimes its good to just back off. Over familiarity breeds weirdness. Offering a ear when it is not needed creates awkwardness. Sometimes I think Im sensitive to whats going on, but I go the extra mile and try and be there, when the other person might not really need/want it. In such times its best to let go and lend a ear, if ask. IF asked.

That's probably another thing Iv learnt in recent time. Its all about timing. To do everything in its time. Not before. Not after. JUST WHEN.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Offlate, Iv been feeling excessively tired. Not physically, but overall. Mentally exhausted, physically lethargic, attention-wise too, its all been down. Sort of like I need my batteries to be recharged. Big time.

This hasnt happened to me in a long long time. The house is a mess. The piles of clothes lie around neglected. The sheets beg to be changed, but I dont make a move. The kitchen needs attention, but Im looking half-heartedly. My body has gotten flabby and slobbery, but I cant seem to get off my ass and do something about it. My sleep patterns are struggling to keep up, and Im not doing anything to make it better.

Its like the worst of times (physically), amidst the best of times (whats around me). There's so much happening sometimes I feel I cant match up. I miss the free times, yet Im loving the busy-ness. I want to sleep early, yet I cant get myself to finish fast.

As a result, I feel drained. Like an energizer bunny who finally gave up. Yes, it happens to the best of us.

So today, I decided to make a change. To bring in some positivity. And happiness, it turns out, is in leaving work 30 minutes early, stopping off at the local veggie store, stocking up on some not-always-on-your-list kind of vegetables, rushing home, putting on a big pot of sambar, and chilling out while the aroma surrounds you.

Ah, the simple joys. Thats all it takes. I dont need no fancy nothing. I just need my sambar. And my veggies. And the time to tidy up my home. And some alone time. And some good ol' writing my thoughts out.

But in the mean time, any suggestions on how I can chill this weekend, and catch up on some much needed rejuvenation?


sleepy head
lazy lump
lard bucket
hunk of ham

..just some of the ways to describe how i currently feel.

Monday, March 21, 2011

sending love and energy

My thoughts and prayers go out to Simmi, her mother and sisters. And Im praying for courage and strength to keep it together now more than ever.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An open letter to the year 2010

Remember the unfinished post I mentioned a few days ago?

The one that was meant to be a look back on 2010, that then turned into a look back on 1 year spent in Goa?

Well here it finally is:

Dear 2010,

You were a year of variety. Of rapid change. Of several happenings. Of adjustment, learning, moving on and coming into my own. Of a rapid succession of events, that often left me feeling like I was just left sliding through, trying to get a grip. Yet, I am thankful for it all. For everything that happened. The course my life has taken, and everything it has brought to me. Because it made me see that its better to be sliding through than sitting on the bench.

This year began with a move to a new city. While it was physically just a shift of base, in the larger picture that is life itself, this move signified a shift within time. From one phase into another. From one kind fo person into another. And in that sense, it has been probably the single most life-changing decision I have made in recent times.

Queue post in which I feel somewhat like a super hero upon looking back on the year gone by, since I moved to Goa. So if these things don’t all seem like a big deal to you, please note that they really were for me. Because most cases stated below were “first times” for me.

So why was 2010 such an awesome year?

Because 2010 taught me to be brave and take the plunge and do something I have shied away from all my life. To move out of my comfort zone. To break away from all things familiar, that I have cocooned myself in. Comfortable, dependent on routine and mundanities, unable to break away and move on.

Because 2010 taught me to take charge of my life, and develop the courage to live it on my own terms. And with that it taught me to face up to difficult situations all by myself. It taught me to look in the face of loneliness, unemployment, unpredictability, ill-health and figure a way out.

It was in 2010 that I discovered I had a domestic, home-loving, nurturing side to myself. This is something I didn’t even have the slightest inclination to, and therefore never imagined I would in the least be able to manage having a home. From someone who couldn’t boil a packet of milk without having it spill over, to someone who dived into the kitchen and learnt how to make whole meals from scratch, I have not only discovered I can do it, but I can do it well. And the biggest surprise of all: I enjoy it.

2010 gave me the opportunity to bring out the girl in me. The girl that likes a tidy home. The girl that takes pleasure in maintaining a well-stocked kitchen, plans her meals in advance, takes care to make sure there’s just the right amount of veggies and proteins in her meals. The girl who likes to change sheets, dust corners and enjoys being at home.

2010 gave me 10 long months in which to revel in the world of self-employment, to juggle multiple things, work at any od hour I pleased, anywhere I pleased, and most importantly: enjoy the moments in between.

2010 helped me discover the kind of work I truly enjoy. The kind of work that captures your mind completely and engulfs you within, without realizing how 6 hours whizzed by. The satisfaction that it brings is tremendous. 2010 let me taste that kind of satisfaction at having completed meaningful and truly enjoyable work. In a sense 2010 helped me find what I love.

2010 showed me what it is to be utterly and totally broke, and not know where your next meal is going to come from. But 2010 also showed me how to come out of it.

2010 showed me that it is when you are away from those you love that you realise who matters and who doesn’t. Which of your friends are true friends, and which ones FB friends.

2010 was about feeling closer to my parents than I ever have. It was about travelling a distance to actually develop closer bonds. It was about my parents turning into support+friends+guides+mentors all rolled into one.

The biggest learning from 2010 has been enjoying my own company. Somehow the loneliness just disappeared when I started doing that. When I restarted reading, painting, developed an interest in cooking, blogging, food blogging, photography and so much more. I was no longer lonely. And this is something I am going to find very difficult to give up.

2010 also brought me back to employment. I was lucky to have this opportunity in a city where writers have almost no work. And even though I got off to a shaky start, 2010 ended on a positive note, steadying my foothold at work.

2010 showed turned my marriage into a marriage. From roomies in love to husband and wife, with a home of our own, VC and I have come a long way. 2010 has strengthened what we have in so many ways. 2010 was a year of so few fights, and so much togetherness. A year of discovering ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Of etching out in our minds the kind of life we envision for ourselves, the way we want to steer our individual lives and the choices we want to make. 2010 was really about us.

2010 was about thinking hard and choosing wisely. 2010 was about making few, but meaningful friends.

2010 was about coming out of my shell and coming into my own. Of planting my feet firmly in the ground, in an area that now feels like home. It has taught me so much, through the varied moments of ecstacy, uncontrollable joy, despair, being down in the doldrums, the tears, the hysterical laughter, the beaches, the long drives, the solitude, the quest for answers, the love for life. It has been a priceless year here in Goa. Hopefully just the beginning of many more.

2010 taught me to love my life, and treat everyday like an invaluable span of time that will never come back. 2010 brought me back to life, and showed me how to live. 2010 brought me to Goa, taught me how to love it and make a life here.

2010 was about a dream finally coming true.

And for all that and more, I am humbled and ever indebted.

Thank you, 2010.
2011, bring it.

meandering thoughts

sunday-sleep-in? sunday-go-out?
drink? detox?
sit-on-lazy-ass? get-off-my-ass?
eat out? cook in?
buy books? buy kitchen essentials?

some of lifes dilemmas are not easy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

another kind of day

It seems to be the kind of day that leaves one feeling stupid. Very, very stupid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

in retrospect

I was just looking at my entries from March 2010. And i found the post from exactly one year ago.

Its amazing how my life has changed in leaps and bounds since then. In every possible way. Im settled. I feel at home. Im domesticated. Im employed. Im happy.

Theres an unfinished post in my drafts, something I wrote in January, as my customary looking-back-on-the-year-gone-by post. But in the thick of the newly employed life, I never got down to finishing it. When March came along, and VC and I completed a whole year since we moved to Goa, I revisited the post and turned it into a one-year-in-Goa post. Promptly, I abandoned it again. Looking back on this post form a year ago is making me want to revisit the unfinished draft yet again, and perhaps this time Il finish it.

this is the end

Yesterday, I heard that Cotton World has opened in Panjim. Immediately my little heart leaped with joy. Not because I love shopping, but because Cotton World is probably one of my most favouritestest stores, and in the rare event that I do shop, I tend to go there.

In over a year that I have been in Goa, I havent shopped. I havent bought anything for myself. Mostly because there isnt a single place in Panjim that suits my fancy or my taste and inclination in clothes. Cotton World presents a perfect opportunity for me to undo that :D

And then I heard that Cotton World has opened in Panjim's first mall. Along with Westside, KFC, and from what I know of the place, inadequate parking.

As much as I am happy that I no longer have to ask my mom to shop at Westside in Bangalore and send across stuff to me, Im kind of sad that this is most certainly the beginning of the end of another charming Indian town.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

i hate..

that my blog has become a place to rant.
that i have no time for myself. even in my own home.
that iv gotten into a rut where my time is not respected, and hence not in my control.
that its tuesday and im sulking.
that it seems like its going to be one helluva long and fuckall week.
that i havent spent any quality time with vc in what seems like forever.
that its been close to a month of no me/us time.

do something. someone.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

gurl toys

iv spent a large part of today:
- sliding through spaces
- dragging and dropping files
- docking and toggling icons
- loving the enriched colors
- discovering new trackpad tricks

and as a result: not getting much work done efficiently :)

im in love again.
and this time its with my new macbook pro.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

the scene today

There's really nothing to it. And no easy way to put it.

Im Bored. Out. Of. My. Wits.

How else would you explain letter writing that gets dragged out over 4 days?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A change, will do you good.

The husband is never home before 8 30 pm.
And he tends to work 3 out of 4 Saturdays a month.

Last night, he was home at 7 30. While I was in the office till 9 30.
Today is Saturday. Im at work. And the husband just called to ask me if I could pick up a few beers for him on my way home.

Hows that for a change of scene, eh?


Friday, February 25, 2011

good morning!

Few things can be as annoying as a misplaced sense of righteousness. Combined with the bullheadedness that refuses to see another opinion.

And they say Im stubborn.

The only thing that is worse than that, is starting the day off facing the 2. In an argument over the use of paper.

Oh, and while Im at it, Happy Anniversary to you too.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

home is where the heart is?

What do I make of the city I once called home? The city that has me feeling utterly torn. The city that in some way will always be home, and yet it’s the same city that I feel I have moved so far away from. The city that groomed me to be the person I am. The city I once thought I would never leave. Who ever thought going back home could leave one feeling torn? I didn’t, until my recent trip back home.

At its core, Bengalooroo will remain “home”, in the truest sense of the word. A place with familiarity. Comfort. Warmth. Where Im always welcome. Where I can go unannounced and still be welcomed. But as I recently discovered, it’s not where my heart is.

I just don’t know what to make of it city anymore. On one hand it is home. Because when I walk into my home, the apartment my parents live in, there’s a calmness I just cant fight. That old familiarity returns. The happy vibes and warmth envelop me. The smiling faces of people waiting for me – nothing compares. But that’s just the confines of the nest I once lived in. But outside of that? Nothing feels the same.

After my recent trip back home, Ive realized that its not the city that I miss. It’s the people, the associations and memories that I tug at my heart more than anything else. So yes, I miss my old home, I miss my parents, I miss the handful of friends I have. Heck, sometimes I even miss my ex-workplace and my friends there. But do I miss the city?

Not one bit. With every trip I make back, I realize how my tolerance for the chaos and hustle-bustle of that city has diminished. That’s when I realise that maybe home really is just where the heart is. The truth is, that place has become Goa. And that’s precisely why I feel torn. It’s a feeling of having to choose between the city that holds all my memories, and the city I now love as much as my own.

Monday, February 21, 2011

stuck on repeat again

Must watch. This week. Before Im off for the weekend again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


For the husband, whos been spinning through a far crazier few days than I have. Crazy days that have left him sapped of all enthusiasm for anything in life. Its a strange time when words cant make things better. All he needs is some space to think things straight and figure out a way to come out of it in his own time. It doesnt help when I ask over and over and over..Whats wrong? How was work? Why so stressed? Why so many smokes? Why so much whiskey?

Sometimes a song says it better than anything else. And even though he doesnt care for music/lyrics/melodies like I do, and this might not mean the same to him as it does to me, Im dedicating this to VC. The tired and exhausted VC. In the hope that the real energetic sunshiney VC comes back REAL soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ironies of life

Its Valentine's Day.
Im excited to leave work.
A big fat dinner is waiting to be cooked.
Experiments with close-to-authentic caeser salad (bacon bits, crutons and all!).
And caramel custard for dinner (flavoured with nutmeg!).

The irony is Im going home with Anand -- fellow partner in crime.
Together we will meticulously undo the bad bad joke that Murphy played on us, leaving our culinary dreams unfulfilled.

And the husband? You know where he is going to be?
With his boss. In his boss's home. Working on a presentation.

I love Valentine's Day!