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156: Another Holiday Monday

5 Jun


What if I become broke? But oh my darling, what if you become rich?

I couldn’t help adapt the popular quote to this bookshop that I first visited as a child. It was a new experience because this was a bookshop of a different kind; one where they sold old books that smelt the best and even took back books you’d finished reading. 

It was just normal instinct to walk into a bookstore enroute the restaurant my friend A and I were heading to, to stuff our face with Mangalorean ghee roast crab. 

Our afternoon was delectable, to say the least. 

155: Sundays Of A Different Kind

4 Jun

This was spent sitting on a wooden seat at St. Patrick’s Church during Sunday mass, taking in Sunday mornings from a different perspective. 


It was followed by this debauchery with R, over conversations, laughter, reminiscing, and joy. 


Apt for a Bangalore Sunday morning after a long time. :)

Now on to the match!

154: Snapshots So Far

3 Jun

Some experiences are best described without words. 

Here are some of mine so far, and I’m letting these pictures do all the talking. 

Banana chips and post-dinner conversations


Saris, dosas, window shopping in Commercial Street.

Friday afternoons with family and these eyes

Impromptu visits, conversations, and homemade fish fry and prawn curry meals

Sunny, windy, shade-laden walks under these gentle giants

Andhra meals, laughter, and bubbly fresh lime sodas

Relaxing with baking

152: Homeward Bound

1 Jun

I’m off to Bangalore for a short while, dear friends. It’s a break I have been looking forward to, naturally, and now that it’s time to leave (yes, I’m writing this after my successful book hunt at the airport – I picked up Maharani Gayatri Devi’s memoirs), the wait has become even more unbearable. What once used to take us days to reach by train, now takes us not more than 3 hours – we’re fortunate; but now even these three hours feel like a lifetime. My check-in was smoother than I’d imagined at this hour – and everything went off with a happy, genuine smile from both sides – from the lady at the check-in counter to the lady at security check to my coffee waitress. It’s a great way to begin a day, that’s for sure.

I hope to be able to write regularly, but there might be more cheating involved during this period than I’d like to acknowledge. I’m referring to blog cheating and food cheating, of course. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between these secondary forces that pull me to Bangalore – is it the food, the weather, the memories, the walk back in time?, because the one thing I focus a lot on, is food. I’ll write more about memories on a later post; but food really seems to take precedence. Going back to what I was saying is that I hope I can maintain this venture while I’m busy stuffing my face with the madness Bangalore has to offer.

See you on the other side, dear reader! Have a pleasant and colourful June! :)

151: Magical May

31 May

Here’s what it’s been like in pictures. 

Hot. 

Relaxing. 

Experimental. 

Filled with debauchery. 


And just plain amazing!

149: A Day In The Lives Of Most Of Us

29 May

I woke up very early for a Sunday. Given that I had to go in to work as well, it felt oddly fine to get out of bed before 7am; after all, there’d just be more time to do the things I’d wanted to do. Sunday mornings, according to me, ought to be spent savouring the best the weekend has to offer – it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s pleasant, it’s the calm you need before the rush of yet another week begins. Therefore, in order for my Sunday to be perfect, it needs to be hearty in a subtle, non-overpowering way. For that, I have always imagined either sipping my tea whilst inhaling the aromas of a freshly baked cake rising in the oven or while digging into said warm cake as I have my tea. There’d also be the ambient sounds of chirping birds, the rustle of a newspaper, the crack of a biscuit or two (though they don’t really feature in this act when there’s cake around), minimal conversation, and perhaps the subtle seduction of a guitar playing in the background as well. I achieved some of this yesterday; except there wasn’t any cake fluffing up in the oven because I’d run out of baking powder and hadn’t bothered remembering to get a new bottle. I sought the company of my blog instead, when I still had tea to drink and was done with my papers.

Today was a different set-up. It did involve the appropriation of my Sunday morning fantasies, except, it looked and felt a little like this; something that may be all too familiar to you as well.

Please note that this is the dream I was trying to achieve – sipping on my cup of tea with A, while reading the newspaper in the ambience of chirping birds and the aroma of a cake.

I woke up and by default put on some water to boil for tea. In the meantime, I got the ingredients for my cake ready, and was just about to start on this process when; and I will use the now atrociously common phrase “but first let me…” (not take a selfie, but…)

…add milk to this boiling water for my tea.
…scoop this cream that’s collected on top of this bowl of milk and keep it aside.
…gather all the cream I’ve been collecting and make some ghee (clarified butter) out of it, since I already have the cream at hand.
…turn the tea off (it was done by then and was listlessly boiling away and becoming too strong for our liking)
…get the process of ghee-making started
…put my cake batter together
…oil my hair so I can let it rest while I have my tea, leaving me with enough time to wash it once tea is done.
…turn the tea back on (it had cooled down by now)
…wake A up, because I’ve become his alarm clock now.
…get our tea and biscuits on the table (the cake was in the oven)
…say hello to my plants which are now outside my house (as A opened the door to get the newspaper)
…read while I have my tea
…but wait, let me Instagram this perfect moment
…skim the ghee off the kadhai (wok)
…enjoy my tea-time. Babska, enjoy the present moment, always.

This is endless. This happens to each of us. This has become a regular feature of my life which, if given precedence over everything else, takes over my ability to do one thing at a time (is that necessarily a bad thing?!, you’d ask), or anything else that I might wish to do (like sleep, for example).

Some may call it the ants-in-my-pants syndrome; I just call it the this-domestication-gives-two-fucks-about-living-life-in-the-moment. Sigh.

Having said that, I did end up having my (still) hot tea with biscuits, as I instagrammed a photograph and then proceeded on to read, while enjoying the ambience of birds, the rustle of trees, the shuffle of the newspaper, and the smell of freshly baked cake and homemade ghee that was bubbling away, all in the company of A. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, and a great Monday today. :)

146: Getting Into The Skin Of Delhi

26 May

For decades, and even till late last evening, the idea of spending an obnoxiously hot summer afternoon outdoors was just never an option for consideration. Ever. I never lived in this part of the country for more than five years, all put together, and there was never a time when even during touristy summer visits, that we stepped out during loo-y, debilitating afternoons. Evenings were a lesson enough, whenever we did venture out i.e. But here was a chance I was getting to explore a hugely popular shopping market with a colleague after school hours. It was the beginning of the weekend and our summer break – a celebration of sorts was warranted after the mad day every single teacher had had. Therefore this was an opportunity on many counts – one of making new friends, seeing this city more, plus fabulous flea-market shopping which automatically adds +5000 points to the entire deal, no?

And so I went along with a colleague, and so we shopped till a point when all I wanted to do was get into my cab and flee from the market. I barely lasted 2.5 hours, but we did see quite a bit, and I did go crazy quite a bit too. From my explorations, here’s what I discovered about Sarojini Market in New Delhi:

They’ve got the best stuff ever.
They’ve got all the latest fashion trends hanging in every nook and cranny.
However, if there’s a fashion trend doing the rounds, it’s very difficult to find anything/something that doesn’t fit said trend.
They sell clothes at a steal. We picked up beautiful cotton shorts for the men in our families for 150 rupees apiece, tops ranging from 100-250 rupees apiece, and the softest cotton nightwear at not more than 250 bucks apiece.
I even chanced upon ceramics for a steal – where two beautiful mugs and a very pretty kettle cost me 250 in total.
Shopkeepers here do not bargain for some reason.
The ceramics stall guy did, though.
I prefer Lajpat Nagar for footwear and a greater refined collection of clothing and materials. Also, they bargain there.

However, all said and done, there’s no way I could’ve bought whatever I did, at the steal that I did, from anywhere other than Sarojini Market.

It indeed makes a shopper thrilled to find great collections and an even better price, without the pinch of spending the money that you do. I’ve never felt more satisfied after a shopping deal. Of course the last time I went to Sarojini Market was over a decade ago when I was a student and couldn’t exploit its offerings like I can now. But some things never change, and that’s just as comforting to anyone who wishes you venture into the streets and gullies of this market, where shops are as old as our grandparents but as up-to-date as the next tween is. Notwithstanding this weird habit (I’ve now come to realise; back then I was just another innocent alarmed Bangalorean) men have of fondling their crotches while talking to almost every customer; it’s a great place to spend many an evening at, because I’m certain every visit just allows us to explore just the tip of all that it has to offer. And having said that, I feel like a little more of me has gotten into this vibe that is New Delhi.

139: May Days

19 May

I’m sitting in my drawing room, at my dining table, with all my doors open and the fan on full whack, with some amazing music on, and just enjoying this Friday evening that is. We’ve been experiencing the tease of cloudy, grey skies for a couple of days now; and it finally drizzled while I was taking attendance today. As it drizzled, I asked my noisy bunch to stay still, take in the weather, relax and ease into our Friday morning while I took attendance. As if and what was I thinking asking a bunch of energetic, active teens to sit still. Stupid me. However, their fate twisted in my favour when they were told to participate in a story-writing activity which required them to sit quietly and think. Haha! I looked out of my window and into the lawn, savouring in every moment of this precious petrichor that came my way, while my teens worked on their adventurous creative story.

A has just come back home and we’re both hanging around, as the weather takes a turn for the better. This maddening breeze has taken over our overcast sky, as always and on cue, so I’m just going to take it all in before the clouds dissipate and vanish to feed other parched souls somewhere else. The windstorms that visit us here, come with an altogether spellbinding force. Everything in this part of the country runs on extremes; and I speculate that generations of emotions, mindsets, moods, and ways of behaviour have taken their own sense of identity due to the weather we have here. There’s both a sense of friskiness and seriousness, black and white, highs and lows. There are no in-betweens whatsoever. And as I speak, we have a full-blown dust storm raging outside, simultaneously colouring my grey sky brown.

Let’s not get into what happened to those precious clouds. :[

But it’s the weekend, and I must find a way to step out in this madness to get my weekend in order. I hope you have a lovely Friday. :)

 

 

131: Glorifying Busyness

11 May

has been one of those ideas my mind has toyed with for a long time now…you know, the kind of busyness that seldom allows room for anything else to show face even? that kind of preoccupation where there’s no scope for anything else. It was something I’d wished desperately for especially last year when I needed an anchor for myself and the straying frays of my mind. I have that today, thankfully. Except I’m left with time to really.do.nothing.else. when I’m in the throes of this busyness I so wanted. Not even the time to breathe, forget sit or drink water or even grab a bite.

Which sucks to be honest. There’s nothing more uncool than this feeling of running against time no matter how smartly you’ve tried to schedule your work.

I’ve been on this self-preservation drive for a while now. Nothing can or should or will come before those things in my life which need to take precedence over everything else – my health; my mental, emotional, and physical stability; my time; my relationships; my peace. It’s coming at a cost unfortunately; sometimes in the form of either staying back to tide my plate over or just losing some chunk of work or money, or both. It’s always about weighing those options against what you can and are willing to compromise and compensate with. Each of us have our own circumstances, our own journeys, our own experiences to help us draw these boundaries the way we do.

Back then I remember wanting this because the combined force of leaving home, adjusting to a new life and a new place, apart from the various hoard of responsibilities that came rushing my way, made me want to seek cover, an escape, something to find refuge in. Work has helped me find that solace. And now that I have it, it’s a balancing act of propelling this busyness with glorifying the simpler and more important things in life as well – in groundedness, in stillness, in quietude, in being able to clear my mind when I want to, in being able to live in the moment, in finding my zen and thriving in it, and allowing absolutely nobody else to encroach into my zone of zen.

It’s my own creation, my own discovery, my own salvation to attain in this glorification of busyness that’s gotten us all spinning past scooting days on a calendar, completely unaware of time, space, or even ourselves.

This is an effort, and one I’m working hard at. Or that’s what I’ve promised myself and the dark circles I’ve brought upon myself, among other things.

*clinks her glass full of iced tang at the one you’re sharing with her*

Here’s some music therapy along with some iced tang therapy for dark-circled men and women who need a minute to be still.

 

 

Peace and namaste to you.

120: Thank God For This Sunday

30 Apr

Because I’m on the go, this post is a photographic one. And man is it exactly the kind of Sunday I needed – quiet pubs playing GnR, mugs of chilled beer, great oriental food, and some amazing company.


Please excuse me while I indulge in some raucous laughter and unbeatable fish fingers with my booze. Happy Sunday, ya’ll!