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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

140: For Ma

20 May

This cake was a long time coming; one that I’d been dreaming of making but just never got around to investing time over, until today when it just happened. Needless to say, it was the most effort I’ve ever needed to put in for a simple tea-cake, but the results, as you can see, were fabulous, and just thrilling, to be honest.

Today is ma’s birthday, and it was absolutely fitting to have this bubble up in my oven and fill my house with the fragrance of love, and all things that ma is to me, and each of us. Besides, she loves her teacakes, and I cannot wait to make this for her, because we all have an Alex in us that needs to bite the Marty in us too. :)

This reminded me of two years back when I made ma her birthday cake at home; it was also the year I was moving away from home and her nest. It had to be doubly special for reasons still too emotional to describe.

Time flies, and here I am, sitting with another cake over yet another year that has arrived at our doorsteps.

While I can’t be with her on this day, and couldn’t be with her on this day last year either, this sense of serendipity makes up for it somehow.

Love is ma. Love is a freshly baked homemade cake, too. :)

133: Friday Feels and Saturday Spiels

13 May

I didn’t, or couldn’t write much at all yesterday because I had a dinner party to huff about even though it was clear that there was no cooking on my part to do. Barring throwing some fries into the fryer, ensuring we had enough ice to soothe six summer parched party souls on a Friday night, keeping the beers in our fridge chilled the way my family likes it (though that was A’s job to take care of), and figuring out where we wanted to order from, there wasn’t anything else I had to do really. Except, I still was flitting around in those feels (also why I posted the picture I did, yesterday).

And that’s because the host in me, and more importantly, the dessert-maker in me couldn’t digest the fact that I hadn’t got anything to offer my family who was spending dinner with us yesterday. It’s a blasphemous thought, especially when I’m everywhere on social media when I bake, and nowhere when I have guests over. So in went a stack of mousses that I’d infused with coffee and layered with toffee cake crumble, ready to set for when it’d be time for dessert.

Except they hadn’t set or weren’t even close to setting. To be fair, it wasn’t a dessert to be made on short notice, and expect to set especially quickly under the summer circumstances that we currently are in. 45 degrees is no joke. Anyhoo, a prompt banana sponge was baked which not just added some literal cushioning to my semi-solid but beautiful mousse, but also made my house smell like it was the place to be on a Friday evening. I promise there isn’t a more inviting smell than that of freshly made food.

I’ve no idea where the evening went – before I knew it, it was past midnight and we’d packed my tipsy happy family in their car back home. We have leftovers to party with today, so there will be no cooking whatsoever; just shameless after-party binging of butter chicken, butter naan, chilled sirke waale pyaaz (pickled onions in vinegar), and of course some beer and tv to go along with it.

I reckon this is how some weekends ought to be. With exercise, which A and I seem to be avoiding like the plague. What a killjoy that was.

130: Girlfriend Time

10 May

There’s no denying the balms that are mom-time and girlfriend-time. I’m a sucker for both, and a hardcore fan of both, too. It was yesterday while tinkering around the laptop waiting for A to come back home from a super late work-day, that P from the states buzzed me. It’d been a while and given that she’s a new mommy trumps everything else. But she calls whenever she can, and we speak. The last time that happened, she asked me if all was well and said that I needn’t let the world or its stresses affect me, almost automatically once we said hello to each other. Yesterday, she needed to hear the things that I was telling her, or that’s what she told me as I went on yapping away like I always do. I even FaceTimed with her baby daughter, who looks just like her father, which P and I almost telepathically grimaced about for a fleeting second. It’s one of those we carry you for nine months (and a lifetime) and you still turned out like your dad harmless and non-regretful funda that gets a lot of us women, you know?

Today has also been an off which I spent a lot of propped up on my elbows texting my girlfriends, who are, by the laws of nature, in different parts of the world. But you take that and suck it, universe, because we still can be with each other whenever we like. Random small talk and rants spiralled into full-blown ventilation sessions and conversations that did naturally revolve around life, the men in our life, the domesticities in our life, the work-life imbalance in our life, and of course, the necessity to stand strong in life. It’s funny how different perspectives in the same conversation take shape and make you see various mirrors that you probably never show yourself, or know exist. My mother and my girlfriends are those mirrors. Not to be sexist, because my brothers and my husband are my main mirrors too, but I’m sticking to title specifications right now.

Anyway the conversations made me think about my life and my journey and assess where I stand in all of it. It’s all easier said than done, because each of us has our own contributory factors that make our experiences our own. It’s as simple and point-blank as this forward that my aunt sent us the other day – if we were all to sit at a table and present our problems for someone else to take, we’d all leave the table taking along with us our own problems and no one else’s. It sort of made absolute sense irrespective of just how much one might crib or feel troubled.

But having said that, there’s no better mirror to look into than a good, hearty, honest conversation with your support system, whoever they may be. Mine are my family and my friends; all with different curvatures for the view they need to show me whenever I turn to them.

127: A Day In Bed

7 May

I spent a large amount of my Saturday glued to my bed, risking the “in bed for too long” headache that almost always arrives in time to remind me of my lethargy. Having kept work at work, I had the weekend to my fancy, quite literally. Friday evening saw a barrage of random cooking that took place, without a thought and without much deliberation – I had a mutton curry going, a keema matar (mince + green peas prep) going, and an assortment of vegetables – to simply put it, the cooking bug had bitten me and there’s no other explanation for this sort of thing. Nevertheless, my meals for the weekend were more or less sorted, (but I still indulged in our Sunday rajma chawal prep), and there was time at hand to do exactly nothing.

So I called for some KFC (the nerve, especially after all that cooking!), sat on my bed and munched my way through the latest season of Scandal. Quite scandalous indeed, but one of the best I’ve seen so far. It also made me cry, which is a first. But then again, it isn’t surprising considering it’s Shonda Rhimes we’re talking about. How fantastically powerful each character has been. Needless to say, the feminist in me felt sated – because did you watch how fabulous that entire balance between men and women was? That’s what I think feminism really is; anything else just being too sickening to even stomach.

My binge tv-watching was all done, and while my head was relieved, my greed wasn’t. We hopped on to a neighbouring market which made me realise just how much I love being at home, especially during summer. Being surrounded by overly dressed people, so many of whom were my students I really didn’t want to even catch a glimpse of, the anti-socialite in me wanted to get back home and hang out with only my husband, and him alone. We’re glued to Designated Survivor, if I haven’t already told you. Chilled beers, mutton curry and rice, tv shows, and sharing a mini sundae, are according to me, one of the best ways to spend a weekend in. We are weekend-in people, because neither of us can stomach this 45 degree weather, nor malls bursting at their seams (which is all we really have here).

:)

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!

119: Where Do These Saturdays Go?!

29 Apr

From as far back as I can remember from my being married, Saturdays have proven to be my busiest weekend days. There’s this chaotic amalgam of magically waking up much before I want to, grocery shopping, prepping for the week, ensuring we get hearty complete meals into our systems, which is also sometimes generously fed by an excitement to just cook, apart from other unforeseen activities that make themselves present when they’re not needed or wanted. Fixing leaking taps, getting fixings done at home, tending to the payment of bills, etc, the list is like that bunch of sour berries no one wants on their cake.

Today has also been exactly like that. The AC guys who were to show up at 10 arrived not before 130, thereby pushing our entire schedule beyond what we’d imagined. But there’s a family get-together to attend and I couldn’t care less about this chaos for now.

:)

118: Family Fridays

28 Apr

If there’s anything more special than family time, do let me know because most of me cannot see beyond family and spending time with them. Mine was spent sprawled on the floor carpet with my youngest sister, twirling our hair in the fan’s breeze while listening to stories interspersed with random acts of social media stalking. It was followed by giggles, tea which we ordered from outside and savoured with bun bhujia, and just being lazy. Perfect summer afternoons, if you ask me.

I wouldn’t ask for more. Not one thing more, not one thing less. :)

98: Sisters And Saturdays

8 Apr

I can’t remember when last we sisters got dressed up to randomly walk around a mall and indulge in some unplanned retail therapy. It’s unusual for us to do something like this because we live in different cities and then again, we’re not mall people at all, especially on the weekends. But here we were, all packed into a car which deserved an All Ladies parking spot just because it felt apt, hopping from one showroom to the other. Needless to say, unplanned shopping did happen. That harmless set of accessories or dresses on sale, that steal you find at the bottom of a pile or those shoes that look too pretty to resist – they all were dunked right into our bags.

Malls and shopping were born to make us all broke. But (temporarily) happy and broke. Sometimes I wish to have enough and more to buy things that don’t make me think twice, but imagine how that’d pan out? Perhaps we’re best where we are, sometimes. Except when it comes to buying things you really need – because of course what you really need is never really there when you need it. After waltzing through the entire colour palate that was a cosmetic brand’s lipstick range, and after feeling partially colour blind (man those myriad multiple colours that pleasantly assault your senses!), I didn’t get what I zeroed in on. Fate. Shopper’s luck. Murphy. Call it whatever you want. It was there, and it struck when I wasn’t watching.

But this made up for it when we got back home. Back into our shorts we hopped, on the floor we sprawled out, and into this magic we caved in, sharing bites between us four. Whatever our respective lucks might be, there’s nothing more healing than sister time with the added bonus of a ginormous box of these sweet air fluffs! :)

 

74: Gratitude

15 Mar

My MIL’s here on a flyby kinda visit and there’s nothing more nerve-wrecking than not having your shit together. We’re still under the possible after effects of the bhaang we excitedly had, what with us being trailed by a pain in the ass headache, among other symptoms such as a general state of blahness, fatigue and what have you. So not having my faculties up and running to keep my house in order for her visit is the last thing I ever want, for anyone for that matter. And so it was with quite some trepidation that I left home for work having made just tea and breakfast soon after I woke up (there was only so much that my mind and hands could do at that hour!). I instructed her to relax because before she’d know it, I’d be back to handle lunch even though that was the last thing I ever wanted to do.

Telling a mother to sit still, telling a mother to relax, and most importantly, telling a mother not to work is a massive HAHA YOU’RE KIDDING ME AS IF I’M EVEN GONNA LISTEN TO YOUR BULLSHIT situation. I think they have it in their eyes, their expressions, their being, if you ask me. So when I got home, she’d already done everything I’d asked her specifically not to do. There was hot lunch of the perfect motherly kind waiting for us. Hot dal, sabzi, rotis, and raita – what more does a hungry child from school need? Every single effort spoke of a mother’s love. Every single scolding to go change my clothes and come for lunch made me feel like I was back home. The proper home home.

There’s nothing I’ve ever been more grateful for, today. Nothing.