Friday, November 15, 2013

When They Sit Down To Talk

Get togethers, meetings and catch ups with people help sustain the feeling in mind that one is social enough and that he is interesting enough for people to waste their time on. Some people bank more on their relatives than on their friends, while some find their relatives ‘monsterifiying’ their lives and thus, find solace in the company of their friends. No matter who you confide in, the heart of the matter is that we all need someone close to vent out the flux which boils in our mind over the time and also, to console ourselves with the fact that we have someone worthy enough to be called at home or caught up with on holidays.

Growing up has brought along numerous kinds of experiences, some good, some bad, a few irrelevant and others useful. It has been hard to live as a kid, when you are too foolish to understand the whys and the hows and as a teenager, when everything you say looks exactly like the kind of food you eat – junk – until you hop on from teen bracket to a more mature age, 20’s, by when you already have turned immune to most of the things that happen at home and have figured out one answer to all the questions – YES.

So, you sit as a mere spectator in the family gatherings and speak only when asked to, resembling a monkey who acts when his master, the juggler, gives him a spanking. Thus, the experience I share today is one such, gained having braved all these family gatherings for ages. Whenever the seniors would sit down to chit-chat, one topic would always crop up, no matter what the context or the source be, the crux would mostly boil down to the same old regret stories. The previous generation or the one even senior has many things to regret in their lives, why or how they could not choose a better career, a better place to live in, better options in terms of the kind of person they are, a better bank balance or sometimes worse, a better spouse. They could talk incessantly on how time had not favored them in the past or why circumstances could not turn any better so to have them emerge as winners.

I loathe all these stories I’ve heard till date, because none of them sounds strong or convincing enough to have screwed their lives to the extent they could not think of any alternative similar or better. I wonder what gives way to these regret stories? If they are the ones who were given the power to think for themselves and decide, there should be no reason whatsoever to regret now. They should, in fact, be happy for the decisions they have made despite the bitter circumstances.

Anyway, since I am a mute spectator who keeps waiting when she’ll be asked to speak (which is seldom, considering how merrily elders forget our presence when they are with their folks), I keep jotting down excellent stuff like this for my blog - elders and their, sometimes funny, regret stories. Here is one coming from an aunty to quote,

Mere do bachhe na hote to main Mallika se kam nahi thi.
Oh, I guess you must have been clearly confused on what the aftereffects of a happy marriage are. :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diwali and the meanings it hold

Diwali, as we know it, is the most celebrated festival in India. As they say, the reasons fade away, the essence carries itself on. Today, no one really relates to what Lords Ram and Sita did back in time or what special happened in history that the whole country bathes in light this day. Rather, it comes as a reason to celebrate—everyone having their own. Let’s try to sneak peek into the different worlds and the meaning Diwali holds for their inhabitants.  

Diwali is when they can act as silly as possible without fearing of having their nose broken or getting a good spanking because everyone else is too busy to notice them.

Married women
It’s that time of the year when they get to dress up their best, the time slightly lesser in importance than Karva Chauth. Apart from dressing well, a good part of their or rather their husbands’ fortune is spent in things which no one else would ever had bothered to even look at before­­ – furnishings. In short, they have to change every ‘non-living’ thing which surrounds them because IT’S Diwali.

Married men
Well, their part of the story is typically sad. An old Chinese saying makes me more empathetic with this lot, it is easier said than done being a husband of a happy wife. He would spend the money wherever instructed to, he would carry the shopping bags when his ‘madam’ would happily hop from shops to shops, he would tolerate her bargaining in a grand shopping mall, he would take care of the kids who would show zero sympathy to their dad and would continue to make a monkey of themselves at public places, he would pick her sandals, stoles, hanky, watches and every random thing madam thinks she should not wear while getting henna applied on her hands, he would treat her at a restaurant as a mandatory fee for taking her out and STILL, he would bag seeing frowning faces as an award for marrying a nag and also, for trying to put up with her (let’s not consider the consolation prizes they have ‘earned’ as a part of their initial happy marriage – the kids – who are least bothered anyway). J
The lot that earns but doesn't know where to throw that money off
Well, this one is a bit different. Since they have just stepped into the corporate world and now started hearing money clinking in bank accounts at the end of every month, they don’t think it’s is valid enough to spend a holiday at home because their parents think that way. So, we see a lot of private clubs holding card parties and DJ nights sprouting up in the town.  
Older generation
This one has the saddest story to tell. They have seen the good old times when families used to get together to celebrate and they had a better hold on decision making in the family; when Diwali was rather a religious festival and the primary aspect of it was the ‘puja’ that used to happen at night; when they were the most respected in the family and their position was no less than a PM’s in a country. Now, things have turned rather upside down for them. They think they are as good as pieces of furniture, or even worse – the furniture is still cleaned or taken care of occasionally. The oldest lot looks down on the way Diwali is celebrated now and if it’s a couple, tell each other what they miss the most. Nonetheless, Diwali brings a reason for them to flash back and relive the old Diwalis they have celebrated.
For me
I, undoubtedly, do not belong to any of the lots, for it’s a unique ME. For me, this was a time to try something new, new hairstyle, makeup and pepped-up jewelry, which I would never have done otherwise. Puja, new clothes, bursting crackers and spending quality time with family members was something I got as bonus. In short, I had the time of my life this Diwali. Here are a few pics for you to sneak peek into how my world looked that day.  
A gift I had received from previously a colleague, now a friend - a pearl set.
A fish-style braid I tried to make
That's me. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Germs of happiness

The day marks its beginning for her when the sun rises up too high, when the world starts buzzing loud and its inhabitants begin to run hastily, resembling molecules in the liquid state, which unless freed into the gaseous mode, continue to buzz too close all the while.

Post a wide yawn and a lazy stretch of limbs, she will open up the windows, letting the duo, fresh air and sunshine, in. Sitting by the window for some time, she would thank God for granting her another day to inch closer to her dreams – the ‘always known’ bigger ones and the 'newly discovered' smaller ones. He has been way too kind to her, after all. 

Having dragged herself to the washroom while pulling up her hanging shorts, she would complete her daily chores – everything except for taking a shower! A lazy routine had brought along a habit of bathing at ease. Not giving up the darling night dress, which has incidentally become the uniform now, she begins her day at work!

If she says she has worked tad too long in one stretch, one has to understand that she has worked continuously for two hours and she, now, needs to take a nap. Post another really ‘long’ session of work, she would hit the gym and would also learn how to shake a leg on Bollywood numbers. When back home, a well-deserved, hot cup of green tea would await her, symbolizing an award for sustaining the tiring, read 'fun', work-out session. Having shown her colleagues how ‘hard(ly)’ she has worked all day, she would happily take a shower. Seeing how terribly tired and dim others appear in the evening when getting back home, this girl would, definitely, seem the freshest face in the entire time zone.

Few more mails, chatting with the once-stray-now-a-friend cat, TV, YouTube, some more work, chatting with the cat again, social networking sites, blog, a bit more work, high five to the cat, work, blog, reading, work, blog, calls, work, cat and the day ends – the end being the best part. She gets an array of the best books in the world, right next to her pillow, for no fee.

‘Working from home’ has brought along a way for discovery – of self, of interests, of loved ones, of people around, of life, generally, and of life, specifically. I must say that a profound mind and a profound life is in making, thanks to the turn life has taken *Amen*.

A great quote, which I happened to hear in a popular comedy show, would be fine to end this blog – if your present is not better than your past, you’re not living your life the way it’s supposed to be lived. *Cheers* 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Embracing the discomfort

My life swears to obey by the famous French saying, the only thing constant in life is change. Conquering the apprehensiveness, skepticism and anxiety that comes along with the nearing ‘change’ surely seems a task big enough to discourage many ‑ for others, growing and evolving is a message every second ticking away leaves in mind.

So, I made my mind to move ahead in my professional life having left behind a plethora of memories which were weaved, thread by thread, in the three years I had spent in my previous organization. I feel it’s absolutely correct that when there are no external forces to make you feel uncomfortable, you never feel the need to break the cocoon of comfort and step out. That’s why, along with change, one thing that I would happily embrace all my life would be ‘discomfort’. This feeling of uneasiness made me feel I am worth more and the belief paved my way to success and a more worthy life.

Stepping into the change and finally experiencing it have been two exciting phases in my recent life. I dare say that I am living the dream of millions—no matter how dearly I thank my God for this, it will still be less. Living every bit of my entrepreneurial role, I feel I am no less than a CEO of a big MNC. Thankfully, the atmosphere I got is conducive enough to write my success story without considering any punctuation marks. Did I say before that I am a real lucky bum; anyways, I don't mind tossing a flying kiss to sky again!

Lastly, the learning life has made me take back home is:
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I have grown up listening to numerous stories my mom has been telling me about the things she used to do, things she expected and things she never thought she would experience when my dad sadly stayed away for weeks or, sometimes, months while serving the nation. Marrying a defence personnel comes with a price tag, she feels, as she concedes that the distance, more than anything else, makes you go weak from inside, making you worry about the well being of the person besides not letting you concentrate on anything but the person. 

Frankly, I never took those stories too seriously; heck, I mostly listened to those seeing how excited my mom was to share all of her experiences with me. Amongst all the stories that she had to tell, letters was a common aspect that she used to focus on. Letters, according to her, took a week to reach the recipient and thus, left the sender guessing why and what she was talking about two weeks back when she would finally receive a response to the same.

My fiancé-to-be has just come back from England, a place where he feels his heart lies. While he was away for 1.5 months, I found myself right there, in the shoes of my mom, living all the stories she'd told me, as if they all were scripted considering me as the protagonist. The only difference here was the fact that it was way easier for me to communicate with him; thanks to the ICE age we dwell in.

This communication was one of the reasons why I feel I have visited London myself; my eyes, it looked, were roaming around with my body being very much sedentary. Now that he is back, his homecoming has brought a lot of reasons to jump around with joy and make merry—the GIFTS that I have been pampered with. I feel I have been adequately compensated for all the worry, anxiety, concern and most of all, well-wishes I had invested in him for all the time when he was away. 

Here is a glimpse of all his love wrapped in lovely gifts.

That's a jacket he's brought for my brother.

That's the kind of bag I'v always wanted to have.

Loads and loads of delicious chocolates :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Soliloquy: Who cares anyway!

When the things that happen around have way more impact on the atmosphere within; when the perceptions, opinions, thoughts and interpretations all battle amongst themselves to have a stand; when the matters boiling over in mind seem too crazy to be spilt out; when the world looks like a crazy sphere and us the sanest mortals alive; when fluxing out what mind has to say becomes a necessity and identifying who will understand it perfectly seems too much of a task, speaking to oneself DOES help; soliloquy, in fact, then acts like a medicine, an elixir or a monitor who ensures that sanity is in place.

When seen being practiced in public, it looks absurd but soliloquy is something which we all do, at some point, at least once in a day. While walking on my way back home one evening, I saw this half-awake, heavily drugged person lying on the footpath loudly complaining about the system, talking to himself, completely oblivious to the people passing by him. Living alone, may be, in a noisy world has made him struggle too much for silence in his life. For once, I did not see anything funny in his behavior; he did not look as if he has lost it or if he is a daft. He looked normal, a person who did not have a live person to talk to or to bounce ideas off of.

I, in fact, love this concept, of talking to self. This practice brings along multiple benefits which goes like follows. Firstly, since I am not saying the trash (that comes to my mind way too often) in front of the person who it is about, I’m saving my ribs from being broken or my face being deformed. I happily stay insured and safe. Secondly, there will be no complex in self-accusation. I could build upon the feeling of being wrong, identify the factors that could have averted the trouble and the things I could possibly do in future to insure I do not make an ape of myself again. Thirdly, I could criticize, applaud, appreciate, make commitments, over-estimate and curse myself without having to take anything on my ego. Everything, anyway, remains at home, no?

Further, I could discuss my dreams, no matter how absurd they may sound, and the possible steps I would want to take in order to inch them closer without having to explain whys and hows. I would want to learn belly dancing, dress in a neon-colored bikini, sip the most expensive wine on a private beach, become a multi-billionaire in a perfectly legal way, buy a lottery ticket every weekend, adopt a cub and NOT explain the ‘why’ part to anyone on the planet.
Lastly, when I am talking to myself, I might appear kooky to everyone but never to myself. I know I am the sanest person around with sound sense of judgment and fine taste in all spheres. Case Closed!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Sharing the Anglo-Western dream

This topic has been boiling over in my mind since quite a few days now, not because I am inching closer to changing my relationship status but because this concept seems much more worthy and substantive now that I have grown up.

Back in teenage, when major share of time was spent watching good old bollywood movies, cribbing about oldies romancing and humming aloud cheesy romantic songs, I always wondered how a man could bend on his knees so as to propose his love, giving up his chauvinism, the feeling he is worthier.  No, not me, it was the society in which was I brought up which is to be blamed for my frame of mind for I seldom saw men giving up to a woman.

On my way to maturity in terms of age and everything else, I have felt the wind of change. The Anglo-Western concept of bending on knees in order to pop the age-old-yet-romantic question ‘Will you marry me’ is no longer an ego issue with the masculine breed. I feel a modern city girl, once at least, daydreams of being proposed that way—the man in her life bent on his knees, with a ring (the metal doesn’t matter; or it does? O_o) in his hand, putting in all the efforts possible so as to hear a YES.

There is another perspective from where things might not look that rosy and admirable. It’s when the person in front is not desirable; who is a chump whom the girl has been looking for ways to not encounter ever. If such an unwanted person proposes someone, denying the proposal becomes more so an awkward and embarrassing thing to do, for proposals in public inadvertently attract eyeballs and many awwwws from the people around. Being prompt and opting an affordably sensible way seldom comes handy. Firstly, saying ‘no’ might as well make things worse besides making a public show. The fact that the person who is proposing should better be prepared to hear a negative response never finds its way to reality. Combating conventional prejudice that if a man has accepted superiority of a woman and her decisions,  she will have to say ‘yes’ no matter what stops her from doing that is quite a tough job.

I hope the modern generation learns to listen a ‘no’ whenever they bend on their knees to pop the question.  Aping West, if is done in a manner that advances us, should never be a loathsome subject. After all, chucking user manual to try hands at something afresh might not always prove you a geek. Showing true sportsmanship possibly could!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die.

If a person says he does not like to party, chances are he hasn’t met crazy animals of his like. Partying might not always mean wearing as less /better as possible, boozing and hitting the floor, dancing like no one’s watching, saying what might look foolish otherwise, shouting at the top of one’s voices, gormandizing on great food, cribbing hearts out, crying, laughing or in short wasting time ‘living your life’. It might also mean the above lines paraphrased! 

On my way to growing up, I might have attended numerous parties, with families, friends, people I don’t know or rather don’t remember, and for a number of random reasons, one of which also includes my friend’s losing her iPhone 5—that calls for a party too! 

So now, all eyes are set on me, for I am going to play host to the most tantalizing, happening, wishful, legal, and, of course, most tasteful culinary adventure in the town,  MY PARTY where everyone but the ones I choose to invite are allowed to watch and sigh from either outside the gates or from terraces of their homes.
Here’s how the invitation card would look like:

Click to expand

The most pataakhedaar-dhamaakedaar event calls for an extra-special invite too. The location has to be our own home. The reason why I am choosing my home as the venue is because it will prove to be a nice place for overnight stay for guests who wouldn’t feel like going back home after an exhaustive evening. Another reason which should better be kept under the wraps is that by partying at my home, I will end up saving a lot on setting up a venue and thus, could spend much much more on good food.

Now, because the party seeks the guests to dress down and come in the attire of the place where they would want to settle having retired from work, it would be great fun to see everyone’s wishes so explicitly exhibited. 

Another glorious aspect of my party—the food—would be a perfect concoction of the best of north, west, south and east, so that all the guests could foresee their retirement days and imagine themselves having the best of what their dreamland could offer. All the parts of the meal, be it starters, main course, desserts or drinks will showcase what our country is popularly known for. Since hard drinks are common to all the states, that clause will be kept open and the best of booze will be made available.

So now, the stage is all set. We know where we have to go and how we have to look like, what we would be gormandizing on and what is there to gulp down and look pie-eyed. The only thing left is to design an agenda. The agenda which would clearly say, Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. ♥

7 PM: Meet and greet our clan. No kisses-in-the-air allowed—it has to show on *cheeks* if at all it has to happen.
7:30 PM:  Let’s dive into chitchatting and see where all of us want to settle and why.  Why everyone feels life after retirement would be better than now. Time to let the cat out of the bag!
8:30: Starters are up-for-grabs *only till the stock lasts*
8:45: Dance floor is open to be rocked and rolled. Get the best out of you today.
9:30 – 11:00: Pamper your taste buds with the best delicacies out there.  
11:00: Cards, carom, PlayStation, dance floor, gossips, show-off, food, everything is available if you wish to be further pleased!  
12:00: Head home or to the bed. The best of the dreams are waiting for you to close your eyes.

Anyway, no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep. I hope all my guests remember the pleasant experience plenty of spare time and reason to celebrate brings along!

I remember a saying which makes me want to revel even more, if life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life, then let’s get wasted and have the time of our lives.

This blog is an entry to the contest ‘My Gourmet Party’ happening on Know more at and see what best Kitchens of India could offer you. 
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