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182: Ma’s Touch

2 Jul

After what was an almost full day of work on a Saturday, I came back home to a freshly made and piping hot lunch courtesy ma. The table was laid with the spread adoring it lovingly. Dal, chawal, sabzi, raita, salad, rotis, pickle, chutney… it’s the biggest treat to have these burdens taken off your shoulders for even one day. I can’t be more thankful, really.

After a much needed siesta post lunch, we were off to my aunt’s for a Saturday night in, complete with good food, laughs, and company as always. Who says familying isn’t partying?

Tomorrow’s a brand new day and session, a final rude reminder that my holidays are over for a long time to come. But I prefer wallowing in the madness and beauty that was yesterday. :)

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162: Sundaze

11 Jun

Yesterday was a packed day that ended much later than I’d planned. From late lunch drinks and snacks with friends to drinks and dinner with family, we spent most of our day out. If that wasn’t enough, we carried the party on at A’s cousin’s place till almost 4am – something I’ve seldom ever done. I loved it, to be honest.

A lot of my growing up years have been spent following a routine, being the “nice” girl who comes back home in time, who follows rules. Staying out till late is my brother’s forte and one I never really understood. I guess it primarily depends on the company you keep – mine always met during the day and wrapped up latest by dinner. There are only a handful of times I remember being out till late with friends, and that was either during a holiday or over a stay over.

Having said that, sitting outside in bhaiyya’s balcony; chatting, laughing, sharing stories, convincing A that Bangalore is a good place to live in, and generally just watching sheets of clouds roll by while gentle music played as a cool wind blew was an apt after-party. It’s one I’m totally game for if an encore was to happen. Age does mellow us down; the urgency to prove a point on the social front blunts itself till it fades away. No more do you find yourself in the company of people inebriated beyond their capacity with the sfx of nausea taking over.

As dawn began to unveil herself, we returned home and fell into a satisfying sleep. :)

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.

105: Support-less Saturdays

15 Apr

We’ve been on a relaxing spree, I tell you. Neither did we go rushing off for a short weekend getaway, and neither did we make any grand plans in this sweltering heat to “make the most of this long weekend”. We simply stay put, ordered in, took cold water showers, powdered ourselves, and spread out to watch this new tv show A discovered – Designated Survivor. You’ve watched it? We were hooked on to it (even though some parts of it are astoundingly ridiculous) and we’re powering through it, one 60-minute episode at a time.

It was also today that I re-discovered the joy of letting my ladies loose and just easing into this maddening chaos that is summer. I’ll tell you that this joy is simply unparalleled. And it’s a sense of freedom like nothing else is. There’s no perfect way than to embrace this season, I’m certain. Couple than with endless cool drinks on the rocks, lying spreadeagled on the floor under the fan, and watching the sun’s rays sneak in through our dancing blinds, and it all fits. I think I’ll carry this on to tomorrow as well, because that’s just how long, relaxing weekends at home ought to be. :)

91: Sublime Saturdays…

1 Apr

…are made of this

A breakfast of leftovers: chicken sausages, pork sausages, mushroom + pepperoni omlettes with toast and OJ to go.

this

Browned clarified butter + vanilla sponge cake.

and this.

Grilled begun(i) bhaaja (brinjal/eggplant fritters) to complement our lunch of daal (lentils) bhaat (rice).

86: Of Revisits

27 Mar

The drawback of this challenge is that I’m constantly looking for potential blog posts whenever and wherever. It sucks because I become that creepy blogger who sneaks up on every unaware moment and throws the spotlight on it; waiting to prey on it with my bloggers’ magnifying glass. Sometimes I allow myself to be this way, sometimes I let go and let the blogger in me curse myself. The former option gratifies the post-hungry me, the latter gratifies the moment-hungry me. What can I say, it’s a win-win, lose-lose situation depending on how you perceive it.

I will not stop to tell you about the nasty pizza that ruined the culmination of what was an otherwise gorgeous weekend. I will also not stop to give you the gory details of just what it did to me and still continues to bestow on me. *have mercy* However, I will stop to tell you about revisiting my early twenties which were dotted with visits to my favourite pub (which of course, and sadly, doesn’t exist in its erstwhile form anymore).

Come Saturday evening, once we’d dropped my MIL off and returned back (to a comfortingly dark) home thanks to Earth Hour, we sat down together in the shade of a lone lamp and the embrace of a playful Spring evening breeze to this and daru (needless to say).

 

It was just a matter of time before one track tumbled into the other as memories snowballed into a collective of magic and washed all over me. A refreshing wave of magic and all things carefree and bespoke of earlier times when we’d guffaw over mugs of chilled beer, that free bowl of popcorn we’d judiciously savour (because two small packs came with one pitcher and what if we wanted to drink more but wasted it all on measly popcorn?), psychedelic paintings and conversations that were obnoxiously loud to keep up with the pub’s din. Those tables were much too large and broad, as we’d lean over them, still seated on our floor cushions, pretending like we were indeed too cool for anything. Sometimes we’d sneak in a smoke break if someone was feeling adventurous or had the money for such thrilling indulgences that made us feel rebellious and grown up all at once.

The music’d grow louder as we’d immerse our fast numbing senses into its depths; free-falling into the trippy world of classic music and alcohol. Someone would then rope onto their dimming inhibitions and adventure past page one of the menu; beckoning the waiter for more eats and beer.

 

 

Guns N’ Roses would come on and we’d lose it like we’d always belonged. Soon even the strictest of us would be lured into staying back, hanging out for another half an hour tops (what futile timelines those were). If GNR was on, that only meant the best was yet to come. And so it would. I always remember waiting for this magic to spread its wings and take me on its joy ride.

 

Pink Floyd epitomized the pub experience for me. It really was the cherry on this marvellous cake that this budding sense of adulthood brought my way. I remember sinking back into my floor cushions, shutting my eyes as I let chilled beer travel down my body like gold that knew exactly which spot to hit, and allowing myself to be carried away by this one particular track. Be sure to turn this one up. Always. :)

So it was just natural to be teleported back to those days the moment this track came on. And this hit the spot.

“Lost in thought and lost in time

while the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted…

…While I pondered on this dangerous and irresistible pastime

I took a heavenly ride through our silence…”

64: Weekend Gratitude

5 Mar

I’m going to refrain from too much writing today because it’s the weekend and it’s been exactly what I’ve dreamed of weekends to be like.

I woke up to a tickle and a laugh,

to tea that I didn’t make,

and which wasn’t made with tea bags and a kettle.

I was gifted the luxury of clarity, and therefore preparedness

when it came to our weekend meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner were sorted,

with time to spare for R to help clean up.

Dal chilas (lentil pancakes) with coriander chutney, and chai for breakfast,

rajma chawal with raita for lunch,

and an order in for dinner as we couched the night through a tv series.

Oh, there was the grace of an afternoon drink,

and the respite of a siesta too.

This was a Saturday of dreams; one that doesn’t come by with as much ease.

And I’m only thankful because that’s all there is to be. :)

35: Of Monumental Gratitude

4 Feb

This is my third visit to Agra; the city of the one and only Taj Mahal. The first time I came here was with A for a day’s visit, back when he was courting me. Unfortunately neither of us were aware that it was the closed on the very day we’d taken time out to visit it – Friday. After all, who shuts a wonder of the world down for a day every single week, I ridiculed. We drove down on a Friday, obviously oblivious, and returned back thoroughly disappointed; I’d come all the way from Bangalore back then. Our second visit was dominated by family time and commitments, which left us with no room to step out. 
This time when we planned our travel, I’d left the idea on its own…if it happened, I’d be thankful, and if it didn’t happen, I’d have to wait till my time to see it arrived, I told myself. With that, we set off for Agra again, to visit family. 

Today, at long last, this happened. 


The only thing I remember saying when I climed the steps up to the mausoleum was an exclamation! I’ve never ever seen a building this beautiful, this humbling. I will talk about my experiences in greater detail sometime. However, all I’d like to say for now, is how immensely grateful I am for witnessing this piece of history, beauty, remembrance, love if you will, and melancholy that made me stop and stare, today. 

30: All This And A Lot More

30 Jan

I’ve been so out of whack on the music scene off late, that whenever we do step out, my Shazam is more active than I am. I’d normally consider it rude behaviour (on my part) to have my phone out of my bag and active; but sometimes desperate situations call for desperate measures. Especially when you love a song, or cannot believe you’ve never heard this catchy track which the rest of the crowd is going gaga over, or when you’ve downright forgotten the name of a track you’ve heard before (the last point is a 100% me!). Of course I’m new on the Shazam bandwagon, and I don’t know where to look or hide my face, but what a lifesaver it has been. Many an itch has been curbed or soothed, courtesy this beautiful app. My Shazam list also has 83487234 songs, some of which, and much to my shock and horror, belong to times when I was a teenager and/or in college. Horrific, no? But this Shazam stitch will save me many a nine later on, I sincerely hope.

This ghastly realisation also makes me miss listening to the radio. Back when I was in Bangalore, my mornings were dedicated to Radio Indigo, and my drive back home was dedicated to Red FM (because it had aat gaane chipak ke – 8 tracks back-to-back, which made every single difference). Now it’s mostly Hindi music sprinkled into a Punjabi music playlist, which itself is sprinkled into a headache of ads and mindless banter, which is easily and entirely missable. Speaking of which, the other thing that is obvious but which I must state nonetheless is, that no Saturday night at a club/brewery is complete without Hindi/Punjabi music, even if its been playing English music all night. This show-stopper of sorts is what actually drives the crowd insane, along with of course, copious amounts of alcohol. The quirks of different cities, I tell you. The other scenes my eyes were witness to when we went partying over the weekend, make me feel like a 40-year old aunty who is still in shock. What this widening generation gap is going to do my nerves later on, only Mrs. Bennet (of Pride and Prejudice fame) will know. A was of course startled and taken aback by how a party of girls managed to change their outfits multiple times inside the club. Haha!

However, what took the cake on all counts, including feeling older, was that a lot of my Saturday was spent gardening. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my garden for a long time now, but numerous factors ranging from domestic budgeting (starting a garden is quite an investment, and not really on top of a newbie’s domestic budget list, unless you have that kind of moneh of course) to travels to living in a rented space, among others, kept me from actually going ahead with it. Saturday was a pleasant surprise because all this actually happened, and there was no one happier than me. It’s been such a long time since I got my hands muddy and my fingers entangled in roots. Gardening calls for a genteelness of a different kind, which I ought to invoke more of in my life. Pots were planted, some were replanted, and rearranged for good measure. Of course I was so thrilled and engrossed in this entire activity that my aching back was oblivious to me. It made me feel both scared and ashamed of myself – how delicate have I become indeed? A couple of drinks and some good music later, said prickly horrible backache was forgotten as much dancing happened. I’ll leave what Sunday felt like, to your imagination.

Whilst I was nursing my back on Sunday, and thanks to the effects of the alcohol I’d consumed, my mind could only think of biryani. And while I was wallowing in the magic of biryani (I’ve finally found a place whose biryani I love!), I came across an article which made me want to actually go and watch Raees. A hungover A and I got ourselves to the theatre in time, and he yawned his way through it. Please don’t watch it unless you are an SRK fanatic. I’m only a fan, and I was very iffy about watching it on screen; except the article tricked me into making that final conversion. It’s much too long, and filled with too many songs. I’ve no idea why there was such a hoohaa about the actress who was selected all the way from our neighbouring country (we have plenty of incompetence here only), and I’ve no idea why there was so much noise in the movie overall; it could’ve definitely done shades better on the brevity front. What I did like however, was to see SRK break the stereotype, because he did, and it was a pleasant surprise to see. But both of us, and A more, couldn’t wait for the movie to end. Sigh.

What we did enjoy and complete our weekend with was last night’s nail-biting match, that we soothed with bowls of gur and dahi (yoghurt with palm sugar) which we shared and thoroughly relished.

From random plans to meeting friends, from drinks and partying (after ages!) to shopping and gardening, from being caught by the cops (for another time) to catching a flat tyre, from hangovers to hanging over Raees, from T20 weekend matches to cold cups of dahi; I’d say it was quite a weekend that needed some writing about. Hope you had a beautiful one yourself, dear reader. Cheers! :)

 

21: Currently Thoroughly Enjoying

21 Jan

My life, at this very moment, feels like a scene right out of a movie. There’s the weather factor, which is oddly but expectedly, quite so very under. It’s an overcast day, which only spells cold and more cold. The sun has hardly been out, and when it does get the chance to show itself, it is but a mere shadow. But that isn’t the movie-ish bit, just a hugely contributory element, due to which the movie bit comes in on cue at present – I’m writing this post, all cuddled in bed. It’s one of those weekend afternoons, spent in the luxury of one’s blanket and bed. I was blanketed in, surrounded on one side by a lovely, comforting hot water bottle, and on the other side with my kindle, engrossed in the world of Anna Arkadyevna Karenina. I actually bought myself this classic a few years ago, and remember reading it with the exact same keenness as now, but stopped after the first part for reasons I don’t remember. A lot of me thinks it’s because I got tired of holding the book up while reading it; a hugely prominent factor because of which most of the bulky books I own, remain either entirely unread or abandoned.

Anyhoo, I was a fly on Anna’s wall, till the doorbell rang, just like how all doorbells ring when you never expect them to. In my very asocial case, I seldom desire doorbells to be rung at all, in the first place. I’ve mentioned my loathing for them quite abundantly on this blog – over here, here, here, and here – see? So, it did ring, and I was instantly and most irritably, transported back to this world, and far away from what seemed to be a very warm and lively ballroom. It was S, my istriwala (the guy who irons our clothes); and while I was disturbed from my very cushy position in bed, which takes a lot of adjusting to be perfect especially when you’re reading, mind you, I was also thankful that S not only showed up with my husband’s clothes, but also made me think about writing my post that was due today. I’d put it off for another day; the sheer blasphemy that ensues when you’re so darned tranquil and content, haha!

I feel like (a rotund) Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail. That’s what I meant when I typed the first line of this post out. I’m in my woolies, in bed, with my laptop on my lap, and typing away to glory, feeling very important, and purposeful. Also, the added sfx of my typing, makes me feel so inexorably complete that it had to feature in my blog post today. But that’s about it. The filminess ends here, for the post at least. Everything else in my life today, screams reality over reelity. A is under the weather, the hot water bottle is because the lower half of my body is on medical leave for the next few days, and my day since I first woke up, has been more organised and productive than any Saturday I’ve had in the longest time. My morning bevvys, tea, breakfast, and lunch were all made and done before the maid could leave; therefore ensuring that all my dishes were done and my kitchen cleaned before it struck 1030am; the bathrooms were cleaned, my bath was had, the house was cleaned, the laundry was done, post which K3G was watched uninterruptedly. I love it when I don’t have to get up in between watching something. It has all worked out well so far; even this blog post is up in time…and I couldn’t really care about dinner, so that’s an added bonus.

What I’m trying to say is that despite not having a genie to wait upon me, and make my domestic life a breeze, despite both of us being under the weather which is in itself not faring too well today, and despite forfeiting so many hours over a crybaby movie, all is well and to be thankful for. I’ve emerged feeling very well rested (because I’m still in bed), and like I’m in one of my favourite movies. Soon, when the restful headache begins to stir within me, I will make myself a steaming cup of tea, and still try not to care about dinner. After all, there’s only so much a faux movie star can think about, right? Besides, I’m that self-confessed precocious girl who thinks not all meals ought to be fussed over, or even thought about.

To sum up, I’m currently thoroughly enjoying:

this ambience that’s enveloped me
this wave of sloth that’s washed over me
this slight drowsiness that’s tugging my eyelids
this read that’s absorbed me,
and this Saturday, which feels like home.

Have a beautiful weekend, folks! :)