Tag Archives: Growing Up

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.

:)

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47: Small Things

16 Feb

The one place where a woman gets to be a girl all over again is at her mother’s place. It’s not about breakfasts in bed or exclusive luxuries which never were a part of our routines before (we never got to eat breakfast in bed unless we were ill). It’s about realising the little things that get left behind when you move on and put your own home together. The ease to sit down,

the gentleness of her stroking my hair,

our endless bickering over the smallest of things,

her powdery fragrance lulling me to sleep,

the touch of her hands,

that filled jug of water that only I drink from,

welcome post-it notes,

pink lilies blooming at my arrival,

my fluffed up quilt,

and the best of them all…

sound sleep without the care of responsibilities.

It’s all in the smallest of things. Always.

Being Married

2 Dec

We turned a grand total of one, last week.
(I hope we turn many more years older, together)

With these months in my kitty, it feels like I can write a book about marriage, and on being married. Maybe I will, some day. But today isn’t that some day. Today I’m doing a little bit of what a lot of my year has been like…

That of complete surrender even when I desperately tried clinging on to the me I knew of all my life.

That of finding a newer version of the same old me.

That of learning to love beyond the cliches.

That of witnessing intensely powerful emotions even when all I wanted was to maybe just have an ice cream or do something simpler.

That of watching love, anger, hate, fear, sadness, and a lot of the unknown, collide, mix and interact.

That of understanding what leaving home really, really meant.

That of figuring out what those tears that I cried during my wedding, meant…much later.

That of  understanding compromise and killing subduing one’s ego.

That of accepting oneself and each other at the our best, average, worst, and ugliest versions, respectively.

That of communication, trust, and freedom.

That of allowing oneself and each other to be vulnerable all over again…love cannot embed or germinate in hardened hearts.

That of finding oneself in this merger of selves.

That of automatically loving the other even when white sheets of anger rained.

That of patience and the magic of time.

That of physical touch.

That of expressing and responding to desires.

That of eye contact.

That of sharing; almost everything (and I don’t mean email passwords).

That of comfort even with bushy eyebrows and forests freely grow on one’s limbs.

That of being co-dependent, not dependent or independent.

That of being alone in each other’s company.

That of picking which battles to fight.

That of understanding each other’s personal space.

That of silence.

That of responsibility, oh of responsibility.

That of not giving up no matter how hard it might get sometimes.

The list is endless, all that I’ve learnt, even more so. It’s been a crazy journey of running, walking, trying to catch up, going out of breath, getting ahead, staying in tune. Sometimes I run out of words to describe the experience, and sometimes my emotions get the better of me. I have learnt more about myself in the past few months than any book or words could have taught me. But I know I wouldn’t have come to where I am today without the help of those I turn to on a very regular basis. Knowing you aren’t alone is the biggest booster.

Marriage is a lot of hard work, I was told many a times. And truer words haven’t been spoken.

But it’s quite the ride if you and your heart are game for it. It’s a heart game; all heart. And it’s beautiful, even when you’ve forgotten to wear waterproof makeup. :)

Initiation Ceremonies And Learnings

6 Sep

Today the beginning of my maid saga finally took place – my precious flowery morning tea mug was broken.

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Here it is, from a time when I was having a grande morning.

I knew it was going to happen without even delving into or explaining how my instincts told me to be less lazy and do their washing on my own. It happens to everyone, I’ve seen these things happen all my life among various other freak (and most often calculated) incidents that do indeed announce the arrival of your house help. And so my initiation ceremony took place today as I heard the not so welcome shatter literally shatter whatever else it was I was doing at that said time. An earlier me would’ve gotten angry and would’ve even gone to the extent of crying in exasperation and wonderment at just how this atrocity happens with such ease by the hands of only a certain chosen few. But because I knew and ignored my own mental notes and voices, I could only sigh in resignation… I’ve learnt something new today; or a few things actually – do the important work yourself before it’s too late, never depend on anyone unless you’re smart or skilled enough to delegate, never leave the crockery to an external help or someone you suspect has butter fingers. I just wish it was some other mug that wouldn’t have been such a sore to lose. The new me has accepted that this was my fault to begin with.

However, there are far greater things to be watchful of – the sneaky appropriators, the silent food gobblers, the downright (and obviously) unapologetic kleptomaniacs…dealing with maids was always something I never liked nor directly engaged in. There’s a way with having a house help – male or female – which I’m clearly illiterate about. I’m not sure whether it’s the lack of assertiveness I suspect a massive lacking thereof, or that magic potion which gives you the strength to not only get your work done but to perhaps sow some seeds of loyalty in them too, which I’m in drought of. I do try and follow ma’s pearls of wisdom; her signature statement being – stand on your own feet. It’s true, for sure. But I’ve always asked what it is that makes some of us stick on and some of us just not give a shit. Either way, I can imagine mom chipping in right now to say that I’m investing too much time, effort and thought into something that doesn’t need that sort of giving. She’s a wise lady, this mother of mine.

I do dream of a day when I can pick up my load of laziness and perhaps do everything on my own. But not only does that make me feel stupid, it far from gives me that sense of achievement I should technically be feeling on having such thoughts. Oh well. I tell myself that this isn’t new and you’re probably going to witness bigger demons and extortioners in the guise of sweet smiles, fake promises and envious work experience. Handling human beings is quite a task – I promise I’m just about able to handle some of myself; how does the rest of the world do this?

And to think I wanted to be an adult.

Haha!

Unnecessary Happies

4 Sep

I don’t think I can blog enough about the woes of not having a gas cylinder at home. A lot of me just wants to shut that part of my life at present out and think about all that is going well for us. And then I feel hungry which triggers the grouse all over again. We don’t have a gas connection and never bothered getting one – yay us. Now that we’ve shifted, I thought it best to get one for the many reasons why a gas connection is a must-have. But it’s taking time, naturally, since it’s government related, I figure. The two of us are caught in a weird scenario, a middle path of sorts…of whether to try and wait it out for some more time or to chuck it altogether and find an alternative. I don’t think we can eat out anymore – apart from the fact that eating out feels like a punishment in more ways than one (thanks to taxes and what not), it’s eating a hole into our pocket which is getting more outrageous by the day.

So yes, I don’t want to think about this or talk about this or have to deal with this…I promise to stop soon.

In lieu of all this adulting drama, we chanced upon two places in a span of <24 hours, places that I’ve keenly noted down.

While on a drive last night, we ended up in New Delhi and around Connaught Place, when we began feeling the pangs of hunger poke our mind and belly. We ended up stopping at this supremely crowded roadside eatery which is a healthy sign we look out for when eating at roadside places. This collection of four shops, all belonging to a Jain Chawal Wale brand, I presume, is where we fed ourselves a plate of rajma chawal and chole bhature. This place is known for its rajma chawal (kidney beans stew on rice) and so I gave it a sceptical try; sceptical because it was also the most reasonable meal I’ve had in my life – a solid plate of food for INR 50. Makes it sound dubious, yes. But I took the chance anyway; it’s a thing I’ve learnt about these big cities especially. It was a really decent meal, I’ll admit, and I was glad to brave it…we do it in other countries, why not ours, I thought. We’ve had better chole bhature, though. I’ve been trying to master making rajma myself, and the husband thought mine was better than the one we had here – so I’ve no idea what to say, really. But if you’re low on the pocket arena and are willing to try this out and are most importantly, in NCR, do give Jain Chawal Wale a try.


Today as the day proceeded, we figured a brunch scene would make sense. We stopped by for a proper English breakfast at this quaint Joint Cafe which plays not only amaze rock music and is very tastefully done up, but also serves some soul-satisfying food. Well fuelled and ready to do some serious work, the husband came back only to snooze, and me to, well, dream. Food coma happened to us, I presume.


Here I am now, sipping on some tea along with a muffin that came along with our breakfast we obviously couldn’t finish. I feel very English in my own way and it makes me happy. Unnecessarily happy, you know? There’s so much of it sometimes that it’s hard to feel grouchy or moody about the sluggishness and general lack of interest that’s hanging around the air like stale, musty air. Speaking of which, I got us some air freshener pouches which mum introduced to my world – the stale, musty air is being tackled literally and figuratively. These pouches have also been life changing.

Unnecessarily happying.

I hope you’re indulging in some of this stuff too.

Have a great Sunday, ya’ll.

In Short

30 Aug

I had a four-legged house guest by the name of Ginger, whom I was to dogsit for the day; which was both exciting and more consuming of my time and energy than I had imagined. Of course I love animals and advocate for them in my own way, however the ending of yesterday brought home a clearer perspective of what it really is like to have a dog as a pet. I’ve had dogs as pets before; though to be really honest, they were my mum’s responsibilities – we were kids ourselves and so all the work and caretaking was hers to handle. We only reintroduced pets into our lives much later, with two and then three guinea pigs (we were assured two males until one of them was discovered to be preggers!); when the three of us were able and capable of being responsible and accountable for them. It wasn’t easy, so I really do not want to imagine what having a higher maintenance animal at home would really feel like.

It’s true that we only ever see the outside facets of having a pet; the real deal is when you’re deep in it and responsible for giving the animal the life they deserve; not what you think is okay for them – there’s a massive difference, I assure you. It took a while for me to arrive at this perspective – it took some solid arguing with my husband (who likes pets from afar but doesn’t advocate keeping them unless they have the space and company to really thrive in their life) and then eventually my own self, to arrive at where I am today.

This isn’t to say that I won’t ever have a pet. It just might take longer to get one and I’m absolutely okay with that. My only friends currently in my neighbourhood are two dogs; so that works – I’m theirs and they’re mine, and then we do our own thing – which is pretty darn decent and satisfying in its own way.

I’ve also gotten so caught up with writing about pets (haha!) that I’ve forgotten a) that this was to be a post about my current goings on, in short, and b) what I was to write next. Please give me a moment.

..

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We’ve been in the throes of house hunting and other shenanigans that have rendered the two of us completely devoid of energy – to talk, to think, and for me to write. Phone calls by the dozen x 250 have been made and received; so my next goal was to only ignore any/all calls that were lambasting my peace of mind.

In congruence with this unsettledness (haha!), we’ve been having bread pakoras and tea from outside almost every evening; like a ritual of sorts. I will stick that in my memory file as something precious. Besides, they’re totally amazing like that, especially their paneer (cottage cheese) ones. Yummers.

——x——

This post was started in the middle of all this hulabaloo (on 24th August) and was then promptly stalled and shoved into the drafts folder, because, well, one cannot sit and write blog posts on an expiring house lease – it had expired a couple of days ago – and in the midst of house hunting. But I’m back again, itching to write – my internet is functional – but of course I haven’t completed setting up the house.

Yes, we have found a place we love. It just about motivates me to go through what seems like a sea of boxes. How much stuff have I really hoarded?!

I miss my doggie friends very much. It was just yesterday when I kept my KFC bone aside for them that I realised it needed to go into the trash can straightaway. I did however get to say my byes to them – I think they sensed my leaving, like dogs always sense things. Susie came up to me ever so randomly after a long, long time and lots of love was shared. Kits (Potato) took a lot of love from me and was being extra needy on the morning we were shifting. He stayed in our premises the entire time. Breaks my heart, but then they’re very well looked after by all, so I left with some semblance of peace.

The husband and I have had the most eventful and uneventful time with respect to shifting; details which I will share once I’m more at peace. We really can do with a lot of love, home cooked food (we’ve been eating out for ever and I swear I’v begun despising it!), peace and quiet, and of course a genie. Let me know when you find one who is free and willing, will you?

I hope you have been well and amazing, dear reader. Best wishes to you and yes, it’s sooooo good to write, in spite of so much clearing up to still do.

From 15 Kilos To 20

17 Aug

I miss dosas — eating them, making them, smelling them, biting my way through them, watching my joy crunch its way through them. I miss dosas and I fondly remember the time I had not one but two benne (butter) dosas in one sitting at Airlines, during my visit to Bangalore last month. That was a first for me. And that was a downright shocker. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, yeah?

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Before I left Bangalore and ventured to that part of my country which sells this staple at exorbitant prices, I learnt how to actually make one, minus it breaking apart in front of my own eyes and my sense of dosa-making self esteem. Of course it only just took me over 28 years to figure the process out — I think that’s a fair time frame to pick up dosa making by, right? I’m those fussy, yet not-fussy dosa eaters because my preference lies in just two types of dosas – plain dosa and butter plain dosa. Sometimes it infuriates me to be so, erm, rigid, because I end up feeling this weird half-full sensation, unsure of whether I can eat my way through dosa number 2, but still desirous of dosa number 2; which wouldn’t really be the case if I ate a masala dosa in the first place. But I fall under that category of people person who thinks dosas and potatoes are just not meant to be together. I feel very secure in this community of one person. Do you feel the same way? If yes, that makes us two — so yay!

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I also came back armed with a suitcase overweight by five kilos, which I pretended was only 15 kilos. How that story at the airport went is better kept under wraps. So yes, these five extra kilos comprised masalas, masalas, masalas and filter coffee powder. One of my favourite and mandatory picks was a batch of rasam powder — enough to last me past the horribly cold winters we have, which are still months away, btw. But now that I’ve dived headlong into this rasam-making business over here, it seems highly unlikely that this rasam powder batch will last me till before winter starts. Wow. So much win.

So rasam was made this time and what an absolute thrill the entire experience was. The smells, the process, the feel of the ingredients, the anticipation, the tempestuous bubbling, the flavours, the sounds…the splutter, the gasp, the sizzle…it was worth it all. My kitchen felt like it was transported back to a Tam-Brahm’s house and I felt like I was walking down the lane of my childhood memories, filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of rasam. What a glorious moment, what a sublime experience. I’m sure to walk down that road again, and again, and again some more.

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This post has turned out to be more South-Indianish and food related (I’m not surprised), than I had planned it to be. The other thing I’ve been wallowing very shamelessly in and reaping the maximum out of is, of course, my very dear mug of filter coffee. No matter how judiciously I use this, I always go back lusting for more. This current potion of magic has been the cure to not just those random mood swings, but pesky headaches that appear out of nowhere, and also works wonders on relieving stress in a jiffy. All it takes is a whiff of its earthy aroma to encase my senses and make me feel better in an instant. And I’ve been trying quite earnestly to better my hand at making my desi cuppa joe better. This is what my coffee looks like on most days, and I’m stoked at how it looks, tastes, smells and feels. All senses spellbound – check!

It looks like I’ve brought back more of Bangalore with me than I did from my previous visits. Sometimes the memories of home; its sounds, smells, experiences, treats, sights; can be debilitating in that you need some form of instant gratification to reassure your leaving and moving on, which can be hard to find in a place so different from home. But it’s at times like these when you realize that home resides as much within you, as it does anywhere else. And with that thought, I came back to NCR with more Bangalore in me than before.

Currently Adulting

14 Aug

So this is what it feels like; this adulting business. When July made an appearance on my not so big calendar which PepperFry sneaked into my bag in the guise of what I was hoping was a beautiful sofa wrapped and folded till it fit in my palm (AS IF!), I knew that a lot of my month was chalked out into neat and not so neat plans. Most of my month was spent out of home, a lot consumed also in recovering from being away from home – adulting cue one.

Leaving for a vacation was always a delightful prospect and still is, even though my mind now makes space for the aftermath of said vacation, which wasn’t the case earlier on. The thought of coming back to a house that is not only dusty, but musty and not the way I keep it is a bargain I don’t particularly like engaging myself in. And so I’m reminded of the many, many times my mother felt the same way…except now I know why she felt the way she did and what it really means – adulting cue two.

We are now in the throes of house hunting which, while great and thrilling and exciting, is exhausting, stressful and really hard. Couple that with the weather here, which even though very kind, is still supremely humid and sneaky with when it decides to rain. We’re blessed with small mercies in that it isn’t gruellingly hot and unbearable in general. The reality of shifting base, packing, unpacking, setting things up, and doing it from scratch as moving always feels like – adulting cue three.

In the midst of all this, I’ve to constantly remind myself that we need to be fed…and that the cooking responsibility is primarily my forte and consequently my headache – adulting cue four.

Of course I’ve found myself consuming ragi porridge to get as much fuel as I can, a choice I wouldn’t ordinarily make for breakfast options – adulting cue five.

However, it’s another story once the day draws to a close; what with me being too pooped to even think about entering the kitchen. I’ve no idea how ladies do it, which is amazing and wow all in one, except I don’t particularly feel inclined to thinking about it right now. We’ve been ordering in and what a life saver that’s been. To be able to put my feet up, guzzle some much needed breezer and sink my teeth into some soul-stirring food is a luxury and also cue number one to regressing away from adulting. Yay! Of course there’s some guilt felt – adulting cue six, but it’s important to let go and not care so much, I tell myself – regressing cue two.

So that’s six points for adulting, and two for regression. Not bad, but we’re oh so tired. Plus the overcast, rainy, indulgent weather outside makes it harder still to even gather our will to go out. But responsibilities and priorities strengthen us otherwise – adulting seven.

On a not so side note, I’m constantly reminded of my mom having to do this, and everything else, and still holding fort, feeding us, keeping us happy and healthy, focusing on her work, travelling across town to get all this done by bus and auto, and not breaking down in front of us. Ever. I’m not even going to attempt figuring out that kind of adulting here, for my measly seven might just hit the negative mark, for sure. Life goals.

Old Memories, New Memories

1 Aug

July 2016 has been a month to remember; one that automatically gets filed under the precious memories folder in my memory catalogue. It was the month of testing my fears and surrendering to courage which helped alienate my fears in a large way quite effortlessly. It was also the month of travel, soul satisfaction and a sense of contentment that has been a while coming. A and I made a trip the mountains, which felt familiar and different in many ways – A is from the mountains, but we weren’t really visiting his home. It was a time ornate with discovering each other, our own selves, our country and the lessons only travelling with each other can bring out. That travelogue is still in the recesses of my mind and one I hope to put on paper sooner than later.

I also made a rather eleventh hour plan to visit Bangalore which wasn’t really on the cards till an opportunity made itself present. Therefore it’s been a conscious absence, this lack of blogging; what with one trip and another one a few days later. Visiting Bangalore was very agenda driven and I’m back with a sense of peace that I was hoping this trip would bestow me with. It is difficult to put into words this amalgamation of all things good and peaceful; this sense of calm and excitement, this merging of visiting old memories and making new ones. It’s one of those feelings that fall under the too good to be true sections.

Even though moving out was certain and kept aside for that someday most of us know is an eventuality, a lot of it seldom sinks in…because how can home stop being home, how can your own bed stop enveloping you like only your bed can, because how can that feeling of home ever change and become something else even if you leave it to create another home? Therefore typing the words going home makes me feel like I’m living in a parallel universe – because I am home and I am going home as well. I’m not too sure if the deeply connected fibres of this umbilical chord can ever be severed or even be made an alternative, if I was to be milder and less morbid.

Every time I go back home, there’s a rush of feelings waiting to embrace me…like the pages I’ve moved past, flip right back and settle…as if the old times never left. And yet there’s this newness which confronts these pages from the past; eventually settling in with an unspoken coexistence. The encounter can be confusing and confounding, slightly abrasive even, till the old and the new make room for each other and fit like pieces that needed completing.

Completeness. That’s what it is. And that’s when the realization of what home, growing up, coming back and seeking this feeling out really dawns upon me. This parallel universe business becomes less sci-fi and more telling of how we create semblances of the old in our new, consciously and unconsciously, till there are no parallel universes anymore.

My visit to Bangalore this time was bespoke with just this; where the lines drawn out by time became invisible and nonexistent, even.

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It felt like I was back without having left in the first place.

If I Could Turn Back Time…

13 Jul

I would find a letter addressed to myself that would say:

– Take care of yourself. Focus on your self. Yes, I would emphasize those two words as much as I could. I would decorate them with stars and sparkles and probably write them out in silver or gold.

– You’re on the right path. If you’re unaware of where you’re going and what you’re doing with your life, you’re on the right path because you’re still walking and have the need to go somewhere.

– Rest your faith in time and its absolute power.

– Surrender to the magic around you. Keep those bags down, stand up tall, and surrender.

– Keep an eye on your health. You aren’t getting any younger.

– But do know that your body is far more capable than your mind makes it to be. Push limits, build inner strength, challenge yourself mentally, physically and soulfully.

– Befriend patience, but stand up and ask or make a move, if you think the wait’s taking too long.

– Learn how to wear makeup, for Christ’s sake! While books, education, staying on the right path and building one’s self esteem is paramount, do understand that makeup is an art and needs to be known too.

– Stop caring so much about what others think. If it feels right, take the dive.

– However, learn to listen when you need to listen. Sometimes we’re so caught up with what we think is right and correct for us that we often fail to see it for what it could really be for us.

– Heartbreak is inevitable…so experience it rather than run away from it. More than your ex, it teaches you things you need to know about yourself.

– Fight. Fight for the things you want.

– Flirt. It helps ease things up sometimes.

– Relax. Life is unpredictable. You don’t want to live it with a constipated look.

– Learn that not every plan, every detail, every circumstance needs discussion and analysis.

– Letting go kills more fears than holding on.

– Embrace and understand failure to master the path of success.