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.