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138: Oh Gosh, It’s Just Thursday!

18 May

A lot of me, if not all of me, has been under the presumption that every single day of this week has been Friday. It first hit me when it was just Tuesday, thanks to the number of absentees my class. I just randomly figured it must be the effect of the weekend; and what a horrible killjoy my reality was. It happened on Wednesday, and now today as well. But at least we’re inching closer towards the weekend that I so desperately want because a) weekend, and b) our summer holidays are almost here and getting to school has just become tediously difficult.

I love summer mornings, the sun is up and out at a peachy time, it’s cool outside, and it’s just the perfect ambience to wake up to. But come 8am and all hell breaks loose. Some classrooms feel like furnaces, where the functioning of ceiling fans is futile. I have no idea how students sit through the entire day of classes in that heat. What a task. I’m certain none of us can wait enough to get to the final Friday of this term. But that’s still a little while away.

Oh man, it’s just Thursday, folks! The time to unwind is here, almost. And we’ll have to just wait.

99: Confessions Of A Scatter-Brain

9 Apr

You’re here, there, somewhere else, absent, present, everywhere, nowhere.

You think you’ve got it all figured out, and that’s where it starts and ends.

It feels like you’ve got a thousand legs, each firmly grounded in each boat, except we know we’ve got only two.

Time feels like a myriad concept, an invisible wave of fluidity that stays nowhere.

Multi-tasking seems doable, but only from afar.

The only thought that’s most comforting during all that stress and pressure, is that of sleep.

But of course it’s not that easy to throw it all away and actually sleep.

The pace of everything seems too fast, slow, and just unbearable sometimes.

You zombie-walk through life most of the time and don’t know how you made it out in one piece.

The best for the last – you think you’ve got it all under control.

88: Opposites Day

29 Mar

Things are falling more smoothly into some sense of a routine now. Where once it all felt like things were falling apart or that there was just too much and so little time to do the many things that needed to be done, it now feels a little more in control. I’m still to overcome my Monday blues and hope that dissipates with the arrival of a stronger sense of assuredness and control.

However, after that introduction, let me tell you that today was a day of opposites. No plan, and I mean absolutely no plan of mine went as per its setting. If there were set plans, then they all went awry, all the frikkin time. Sometimes you’ve just got to put your hands up and surrender; and today was that day for me.

Neither did my classes go as per plan, nor did my day’s schedule, and neither did my mealtime as well. Perhaps this is a rant, perhaps this is just me saying that it’s best to take days like these with a pinch of salt, especially if you’re a control freak who needs to have things done a certain way.

That said, it all makes the bargain of being super organized that much of a haha moment. I know life so far to be unpredictable. It’s stupid of me to have thought the rest of my plans would stick together all the time.

29: Babska’s Bloopers

29 Jan

It so often happens that life decides to pepper one’s routine with comic relief. A lot of it comes at the cost of my own faculties and stupidities. Most often they aren’t funny in the moment, instead just immensely vexing and irritating. However, in retrospect, some of them turn out to be good laughs, while some of them, as you will read, remain downright embarrassing. There are many to my credit, and the list only seem to be growing at a ferocious rate. It only makes sense to note them down here, because there are too many, too often. And the speed at which my forgetfulness is roaring forward makes this a good place to pen them down and revisit, when I want to have a laugh at my own self.

Leaving my phone to charge for hours, without turning the plug’s switch on.

Turning the kettle on, with the plug of the toaster inserted in, instead.

Similarly, switching the oven on, with the plug of the toaster inserted in, again! The thing with ovens are that their timers get activated even when the power’s off.

Forgetting that I’ve left water to boil, despite waltzing in and out of the kitchen numerous times, oftentimes even wondering what it was that I was performing said waltz via the kitchen for.

Starting the laundry cycle on, and with full confidence, minus adding any detergent in the detergent pocket of the machine.

Finding clothes that needed washing halfway past the laundry cycle. UGH!

To go a step further, I even forget that I’ve washed clothes and they’re left lying in the machine. This happens especially when I try to be efficient and get laundry done early so that they get extra sun time on gloomy, overcast days. The disappointment and vexation, I tell you!

Forgetting to keep the towel in the bathroom during bath time, especially when I’m either ready to step into the shower and/or have just stepped out of the shower! The irritation is twofold if it’s on a cold day.

Snuggling into bed on a cold day only to realise that I’ve left my bottle of water far away from my bedside table, where it ought to be. You can easily also replace this water bottle with medicines, books, and whatever else it is that one keeps at their bedside table.

Looking for my specs, when they’re *waitforit* right on my nose.

Consequently, spending stupid amounts of time looking for things that are also, right under my nose.

Keeping things so safely that they’re never to be found again, especially when I need them.

Forgetting my shopping bags when I’ve stepped out to shop for vegetables particularly. Each vegetable bag costs a hurtful pinch of thirty freakin bucks!

The worst and most embarrassing blooper I’ve ever had in recent times, and in the prestigious company of my husband was when I went all the way to the bank to withdraw cash without knowing what my account number was. It was just after the demonetisation drive began, where ATMs weren’t working and one had to rely on cheques and stand in serpentine queues. That was a nasty funny one I played on myself and my ego! Haha!

27: I’m Lost For A Title

27 Jan

The thing with writing everyday, or attempting to at least, is that the tendency to record the details of one’s daily life becomes a larger temptation. Sometimes I reckon it’s okay to consider this a journal, and treat it like one, but the main reason behind giving this shot of discipline a try was to be more aware, and conscious of what I’m writing about, whether it’s about my daily life or about anything else that strikes my whims and fancies. I did have a journal once upon a time, and in it featured what happened on a daily basis to the boys I hated and the ones I crushed on, the generation of a code language (which I’d become proficient in, I’ll admit), weird art and doodles, letters, stickers and what have you. My diary/journal had a name, and it was that of a prominent Disney character whom I loved ever so dearly. He was an animal, just to be clear, and I still love him, to be even more clear. :P

Moving on, I’m going to dismiss this disclaimer I began the post with, and tell you about the sumptuous morning I had instead. It was spent in bed, snuggled in the warmth of my quilt, well past when the alarm rang. Yesterday was an obsessively rainy day, and so it was the best and most delightful feeling to wake up at one’s own ease, minus any routine, on this overcast and grey morning that followed. It was indeed one of those experiences we dearly wish for, especially when it’s wet and cold outside, and one has to head off to work instead of sleep in. Well, the opportunity made itself present, and was well savoured.

Much of yesterday was spent horizontally, reading. I think I’ll continue the same today as well, for I do wish to finish this book before the month ends. Wish me speedy reading luck, please. Adding to my delight was the awareness that today is Friday, and not Monday, like I imagined. Maybe it’s a mix of yesterday’s holiday hangover coupled with the weather; which by the way, reminds me immensely of Bangalore’s. There’s something about overcast skies that is synonymous with my home city, and there have been countless times when I’ve revelled in exactly those moments, especially back when I’d be bumbling along the way in a BMTC bus. Those memories seem so distant.

Winter has begun its departure journey. The sun has shifted its position and timings, the cold doesn’t bite anymore, the air is frivolous with hints of warmth in it, and there’s just a general touch of springiness everywhere. This winter has also seen me more acclimatised to it than previously. It was up until just a fortnight ago when I started wearing my woolly pyjamas to bed, which wasn’t the case last year. The previous winter saw me warming my bed with an electric blanket well in advance, and hopping right in, woollies, socks, and all. This year was easier, even though it was colder. The things our body can do, and the strengths it has, are beyond astounding.

When I think of being more aware, more conscious, and more observant, it is but a habit I’m trying hard to instil back into my perceptions. I’ve been actively engaging in this change, and it’s made me more humble towards my own self, for starters. It’s overwhelming, almost. And definitely infinitely more peaceful. Perhaps you’ve already been on this journey of consciousness and insight for a while, but for someone who outplays the negatives over the positives, the wrongs over the rights, and who is more critical than necessary, it’s certainly been immensely insightful and calming.

This post has been of sorts; here, there, and everywhere. Even I can’t make sense of where it began and what I came here to write about. That I had no fixed agenda in mind, is crystal clear now. But that’s the thing, it’s not mandatory to have to have an agenda, or to try and prove a point every single time. I’ve to keep reminding myself that this blog here, and writing on it, isn’t a job or a fixture with routines, deadlines, and client inspections stuck to it. It’s mine; and what I choose to do with it, is my prerogative; as everything else that is mine, ought to be. While all this is certainly true and something I look forward to continuing with, something also tells me that this is an overdose of drawing parallels and being conscious. Haha! I’m sorry I took you on this rather long ride. It’s Friday, let’s get out of here, and make merry like Fridays were born to be made. Have a vodka with masala soda! Oh wait, do you love that too? I’ve been drinking this new favourite of mine like there’s no tomorrow; it’s so good, even in this weird, wet, cold weather. :)

Cheers and peace!

22: Some “Keen” Observations

22 Jan

While I was sitting outside, trying to absorb whatever Vitamin D I could from a very moody sky which refuses to give us the sunshine we need, I spotted in the Ficus trees a beautiful, long-tailed, brown bird. I’ve never been a bird enthusiast because there are too many to run back to a book for. When we were kids, and therefore imposed with many a morning walk to watch birds, it wasn’t something that really excited me; not because I don’t care about birds or nature, but because it’s too much of an effort. But today, I decided to be less ignorant and find out about the bird I saw, which was a Rufous Treepie. It’s such a pleasure to watch different flora and fauna, I promise; especially when I’m forced to watch pigeons, who, by the way, are the most useless birds this universe ever created. I don’t understand them or their purpose; they’re actually considered pests here.

During meal preps yesterday, a raucous cacophony raised by some mynahs led me to open the door and assess what was happening outside. I figured that either a baby had unfortunately fallen at the hands of a preying cat, or that it had lost its mojo to fly and fell at our doorstep (these things seem to happen a lot at our doorstep somehow), which the adults were unable to help. The scene outside was completely different, I kid you not. There seemed to be in progress, a wrestling match, with one mynah actually pinning the other one down, as the others cheered or jeered. They took a moment to look at me, assessed that they couldn’t really continue this sport any longer, broke their party up, and left with what felt like resentment in the air. These birds and their tales.

And let’s not even get started on pigeons. Apart from pushing the other off from parapets and ACs, and windowsills and off pretty much anywhere, they only otherwise twist their elastic necks and look at you, or nibble at the concrete pillars that hold the roof over our head. And yes of course, they mate and lay their eggs everysinglewhere.

My next keen observation happened when my maid told me that she wouldn’t be coming in tomorrow. I think it’s a conditioned response to feel anger/irritation/frustration when maids decide to take leave on what only seem to be scheduled births, illnesses, and deaths (twice a month, as per my maid’s conditions) that happen in places in and outside their current residence. So when K told me she wouldn’t be coming tomorrow, and that it had been decided, I naturally responded with irritation. But to be honest, there’s no one happier than me to not have the maid come in, because that means I have the house to myself for a longer period of time, that I don’t have to follow this schedule before she arrives, and that I can do whatever the hell it is that I like, without the ticking of a clock to remind me of her arrival. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for her service, I really am. But there’s nothing I love more than extended me time, even if that means I need to do the dishes once in a while.

Moving on, and this really is not a conditioned grouse as much as it is about ethics and civility, which most people, especially the educated lot, lack severely – and that is to throw whatever garbage they fancy, right on to my balcony. This isn’t exclusive only to me. I’m sure we’ve all faced this at some point in our life. Some are serial offenders, some are just downright pathetic about the entire thing. A lot of me gathers everything I’ve got to not take said garbage and keep it at their doorstep, where it ought to really be. Perhaps that day has inched closer than I imagined it would. Human beings are, and always have been, utterly disgusting. A actually laughs and states that I love everyone more than I love people, and that’s a 100% true. It’s also why I’m not welcoming of guests unless and until I want them to come home. Lol!

16: Middle Class Mentality

16 Jan

I found the inspiration for today’s post earlier this morning when I was pottering about the kitchen to get our morning bevvys in order. Said inspiration was found exactly when I was trying to scoop out every last drop and drizzle from a small honey bottle that had come free with a larger one. I couldn’t let it go to waste; there was easily a tbsp left inside, smeared lazily across its four glass walls. While I was in the middle of this operation, I realized to myself that I was, indeed, a typical middle class Indian who totally lives up to this stereotype. And I’m not even ashamed of it. Heck, that small bottle of honey costs 55 bucks! Btw, it’s Dabur, in case you’re interested in this buy one get (a smaller) one free.

Ps, I don’t like Dabur’s honey, but there was nothing else on the shelves, and I was too lazy to go find myself some other better honey. I miss the Coorg one we get in Bangalore. That never reminds me of the revolting experience I had when I first came face to face with honey, back as a child. Cheese, and honey, have been two acquired tastes, to be honest.

Moving on, here are some other things I’m very middle class about. :P

Asking for complimentary coriander/curry leaves and green chillies after buying vegetables, especially during winter when coriander grows with free abandon. Haha, it reminds me of that ad which is on tv these days – where that man discreetly asks for a bunch of coriander and chillies. But in my defence, if I’ve shopped for vegetables worth 200 bucks, then I deserve some free leaves which, in that amount, do not cost more than a rupee, if you ask me. Okay, maybe not more than four or max five rupees. Honest.

Scooping out every last drop of batter into the cake tin; or anything for that matter – honey, mayo, sauce, ghee. Especially ghee! My heart actually aches when I see these guys on cookery shows throw away what could easily be batter for a slice of cake (once cooked). Do you feel the same agony? I gasp every single time; silently of course.

Asking for my change back. Even if it’s two rupees, I am that Indian who will ask for it back. And if I’m frequenting a shop whose cashier is notorious and has a suspicious track record, I always take my card out. Also, I am not welcoming of toffees in exchange for change.

I compare prices at the supermarket. This habit also elongates my shopping time, which irritates A who finds it overbearing to even come shop for groceries in the first place. I strongly believe this habit goes a long way, and one A does not understand.

I tend to think a million times before getting something for myself, especially since I’ve quit my job. The do you need it vs do you want it debate is always a running commentary in my head. But when it’s time to shop, and when I’ve made up my mind to shop for myself, I do not acknowledge comments or debates, whether they come from me or from anyone else.

I am a hardcore paisa vasool (get the most out of your money) girl. Therefore I steer clear of buffets, sales, and these unlimited offers unless and until I am confident about doing justice to them. Most of the time, i.e., and unless I’m feeling indulgent. My trips to Nagarjuna, Mainland China, and Barbecue Nation happen when I’m ravenous. I think most other buffets in India suck. Especially the one at Chutney Chang.

My mind also constantly feels like it’s being cheated. Especially by the evil of errant auto drivers. My suspicion antennae are at their highest sensitivity when I’m travelling by auto. Haha! The others who also fall under this category are plumbers, electricians, and other handymen.

I am very middle class about excess baggage, especially when I’ve crossed the limit by only a couple of kilos and am without that seven kilo cabin bag that my ticket is allowed.

This post has actually made me feel like those irritated aunties who have a grouse with almost everything. Oh dear God. Lmao!

Just to end, and to be specifically clear, I am not middle class in the least, about leftover soaps that are too thin to use, but which can be combined with other thin used ones to make a ginormous lump of used soap, which apparently can be used. Cannot able to do that. Also, yuck. From a weirdo who thinks that soaps also need cleaning, especially if they fall on the floor, it’s impossible for me to even think of doing such a thing.

Yes, I do wash soaps too.

Hahaha!

Confounding Confusion

10 Nov

I’m a bit unclear about why the world at large is making such a hue and cry about an issue such as the outcome of this year’s shockingly absurd POTUS election, over and above the country that voted for their president itself. Why? Half of me wants to keep away from social media and half of me wants to tell whoever cares to listen that America is a grown up nation that can make its own decisions for itself, like it has and always will. I’ve no idea why we’re shedding so many thought calories over this really. Yes, he is a lot of things and more which we the world will never know, but apart from the horrific lack of choice a country’s people are always coincidentally left with especially during election time, isn’t it fathomable to allow the acceptance of this fate majority of the US wanted for itself?

It seems like we are getting a little too intellectual and socialist and selfless about something that the concerned party really doesn’t care as much about. What a ride in the park the past many hours have been. And maybe it’s time to stow away the judgements and armchair politicising for a while. A classic case of poking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong, because yeah Americans were going to come and ask us for our opinion before they went to cast their vote. So social mediaesque and so confounding; it’s hard to catch.

The other thing we were following so closely was the PM’s super strategic decision to do away with our 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Vikram Chandra brought up the same questions I had lingering in my mind once the euphoria of this very decisive change sobered down a bit, and it was – isn’t this new currency going to be illicitly produced and introduced in a matter of time anyway? How does one really curb or tackle this issue of black cash and corruption which has made itself so comfortable around us? He didn’t get his answers and perhaps the government hasn’t thought that far out yet or isn’t keen on divulging its thoughts, but this sweeping move was more impressive than I’ve ever seen in a long while. It isn’t as much about the issue at hand, than it is about having started somewhere. This entire episode has made me believe for the very first time, that operations on a large scale for the country’s benefit are really possible…that standing up to a people of variety such as ours, and armed with a sense of confidence, vision, faith and direction is actually doable. Of course there have been greater large-scale actions executed in our country in the name of taxes and their numerous implementations that have continually been enforced on us, among many others. But this is different and it’s going to be a while before the enormity of this strike dies down in my mind. I won’t deny I’m impressed.

So much is happening all around us. In the middle of all this humdrum, I see that Toblerone earned a cushy news spot on 9th November as well when consumers found the chocolate bar’s peaks to be thinner and valleys broader…all for the same price and minus any disclaimer. Oh to be cheated by chocolate and in the name of chocolate – blasphemous! I know I’d be disappointed to find lesser than I’d expected or was promised. But then again, we live in the land of Lays, so I guess we’re used to it? :)

And Then There Were None

7 Sep

The last time I had a proper routine was when I was working. My day started at a first obnoxious, and later beautiful 5am and was set in a schedule I loved dearly. There was time made for exercise, work, my meals, internet loafing and faffing, sleep, the in-betweens, and there was ample free time left over as well. Of course it took a while to get to where it ended up going, but the end result was pretty darn amazing. I felt productive, useful, efficient and a pro at time-management…only because I had the luxury to do things a certain way. Today there’s no way I could feel inclined to haul my butt to work and gym at 630am — unless I am chauffeur driven like I was back then. There was a synchronisation, a rhythm, a pace. 5am – alarm – 510am – alarm repeat – 515am – wake up – 550am – sneak out of home like a fox on some mission, slip into my drive, ease into some music, say my customary salutations – nothing more, nothing less (speaking, unless necessary, especially at that hour in the morning, was just not an option for me) – 630am – reach work, drop bags, head to the gym – 745am – reappear refreshed, showered, pumped up and starving – 8am – head for breakfast – 830am – get to work…and so it continued, like freakin’ Rolex clockwork. Unless Mr. Ravi, my erstwhile driver got late or something.

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And then I quit.

And moved cities.

And country zones.

And into newness bereft of any kind of familiarity – hello, it’s called newness for a reason I remind myself – waiting to see how and when I could recoup and find my way out of it.

Many months have passed.

I won’t deny that a routine hasn’t been grasped on to for dear life, because I’m a routine rat.

But I will also not deny the falling apart of many routines during this course of time – call it laziness, no compulsions, or just plain old indiscipline. I never was good with certain kinds of discipline – especially ones that involve more work than I want to put in.

It’s hard to find a path that you can mould yourself along with; and one that fits into your space with unprecedented ease and comfort. I seek it ever so often because it gives me a sense of order, of control, of just feeling good about myself. It makes me have something to do, though don’t get me wrong, being a housewife is far from easy. Sometimes I try and compare notes from then and now to see where I can do better and what I can do more or less of. Looking for that perfect zone which fits like a piece that always belonged to you – that’s what having your life tick like clockwork by your own standards, feels like.

In between trying to make excuses (because making excuses is my thang) and shirking off things for another day (hello my eternal lover, you procrastination, you), many a routine have come and gone. The last time I remember having a decent one I was satisfied with, was about over a month ago. And then a series of travels happened and kaboom. Oh the cons of travel, I tell you. I never ever thought I’d even say that sentence, but sigh…times change, people change, travel makes people change. I like this blame game.

At present I’m sitting at this laptop knocking its keys every which way I please, with excess weight that has fast become the leech I dreaded it to be, having consumed enough food from outside over the past few weeks to make anybody sick. Work has been lagging behind, progress on projects have been staggering to an all new low, and my fitness levels have taken a nose-dive into what anybody could easily label rock bottom. Or maybe it’s marriage – sometimes you just stop caring about this sort of shit obsessively. You didn’t go for that walk? well I’m married now, there’s so much to do. You didn’t make yourself that nutrient-booster salad? well, I’m married now, and who has the time to make separate meals anyway? You didn’t wake up on your 89234th snooze for some yoga maybe? Well, I’m married now and who gives a fuck?

I’d like to believe that a lot of us do.

I’d also like to believe that this routine creation thing could become a business, what with it being a game changer and all. Especially when you come across these trivia snippets of how this world’s billionaires wake up at odd hours or don’t sleep at all just so they can, well, be the (over)achievers they are, even on the working out front?

Well, if I had all that and more to my beck and call, I’d be a bikini model by now. No kidding.

If you, dear reader, are still reading this rather random post, I’d like to thank you.

I only ever came here to call out the importance of routine, especially for someone who laps it up like me. And lament about the lack of a strong one for the longest time.

Having said that, I better get back to attending to the many to-do lists I’ve conjured up for my own insanity – watching Suits while waiting for the husband seems to be right on top.

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Oh, Fraiser!

God save us who are compromised by amazing tv shows that we watch in stupid life-halting marathons.

Writing, Mating Pigeons, and Me

3 Sep

It works. Having a designated time, and more importantly, space to write, really works. There’s a discipline in it which I think I always knew but ignored/denied simply because I was trying to find an easier way out…plus there are some things I really wish didn’t need discipline attached to them. Of course, this is if one wants to be a writer writer, you know?

I’ve found a place and a space for myself where I can sit and write, where the words flow more easily and where I don’t really have to try too hard. It’s bright, airy, conducive to thinking and pondering and day dreaming and what have you because there are trees to lose myself in. And it’s quiet. The perfect kind of quiet, interspersed with conversations between crow, mynah and pigeon couples. It’s quite a welcome change, except when they decide to do their mating dance/act right in the middle of a thought process – not helpful, really. Also, it isn’t a mating ritual one wants to watch – I assure you there’s a lot of shoving and pushing and ousting. How aggressive.

What I have also been doing or trying to do more regularly is to fill my Facebook wall with positiveness because God do we need that by the truckload. Also because unemployment in general pardons a heightened sense of activeness everywhere, if you ask me. So I’ve been posting happy news, positive thoughts, good things while sometimes sneaking in some deep stuff here and there too. I feel the difference and I also feel more responsible somehow. I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this thought that came to my mind just the other day – being responsible about the stuff we post online.

There’s not much else to say at the moment, apart from the fact that my body has its own way of revolting against this phase of eating out. Yesterday I couldn’t get myself to think beyond a scoop of ice cream versus sweet curd for dinner. Ice cream scoop it was, though I did pick up a packet of curd as well. One never knows, especially in the midst of heightened PMS, right? I miss Corner House sorely. Nothing compares to it. Nothing. And so I make do with kulfi. But that also Bowring lays quite a stake in. Have you tried Bowring’s kulfi? Kesar Badam. Must. Try. Please. Given that this is a stronghold of kulfi type of cold treats, I try and be safe and just order one from time to time. I’m still to discover one that makes me go weak in my knees, tbh. But something tells me the wait won’t be long.

Have a beautiful Saturday, my friends. I’ll see you on the other side of yet another weekend! Geez, time is sure hurrying past.