August 31, 2015

Grateful, In Sickness & In Health...#MondayMusings

Can’t imagine we are at the end of August already! The last week or rather the past 10 odd days are such a blur, what with having spent it being admitted in a hospital and all. Being sick does that to you. Everything passes by in a jiffy the moment you go under the weather. It’s like a tunnel, a dark one at that, where the whole shebang happens at lightning speeds. You do feel the pain and discomfort though, every bit of it. What do you know, there’s no respite there.

But while that happens at the slowest of paces imaginable, somehow you lose your grip on time, it just spins out of control. Before you know it you are at the other end of the tunnel having spent a good few days of your short life in a haze. But who can complaint as long as you do get to reach the other end, right?

So, after a week at the hospital, still recuperating and still very weak, all I want to do today is a gratitude post. The occasion calls for it, don’t you think? So, here I go.

I’m grateful….

  • that I had S by my side all along. Normally, I can manage things alone but I don’t think I could have done so this time.
  • that I have a younger sister who for the past week made sure she was there by my side at the break of dawn. And she normally doesn’t like waking up early mind you.
  • that my family cares for me, worries about me and that I’m not alone. The number of calls S received is a testament to that.
  • that S was wise enough to apply for health insurance. I would have never thought about it and would have ended up paying everything from my own pocket. I’m so grateful that he takes care of all this.
  • that my doctors took such good care of me. What would we do without them?
  • that S had decided to purchase a car very early on or else how would he have dragged me to 4 to 5 different places and that too at odd hours at night. So, relieved at his far-sightedness.
  • that I could afford to take off work in spite of have low leave balance. This reminds me I need to look for a new work place where sick leaves are given separately. Grateful for this reminder too.
  • that I have a cook who agreed to come of Sunday as well because I just couldn’t muster up the strength to make something.
  • that I’m all better now barring the weakness. Let me tell you being sick isn’t a great feeling at all.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope I have a better September. In fact, I hope we all have a better September.

Until next time then,
Wishing you good health.



August 20, 2015

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Are you on Twitter? Well, I’m sure most of you probably are. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the platform. There are undoubtedly a lot of positives to it. In fact, someday I might even do a post on that. However, at times the sheer negativity spread through it makes me nauseous, so much so that it even ends up upsetting me a great deal. How much stupidity, ignorance, filth and nonsense can you fit in 140 characters? There seems to be a competition for that amongst most.

As luck would have it, today is one of those days when the tweets of certain people from the blogging world really let me down. I realized how wrong I was about them. Let’s just say it makes me sad seeing our intelligentsia thwarting reason, forming uninformed, cynical opinions and spreading the same as well. Somebody needs to tell them that going with the noise is not really the sign of well-read individuals. That somebody is certainly not going to be me. However, they need to be told, what they are doing is not a good indication for the country.

I can’t change them all, can I? I wish I could but who would listen to me and why?

In spite of the disappointment that I feel right now there will be no sulking today. Instead, I'm going to share a few of my favorite things with you. In the process, improve my mood as well perhaps? Sounds like a plan.

They say talk about the things you like and everything will get better. Let's find out. So, here they are.

  1. Pineapples. Yes, pineapples are the only fruits that I like. No apples, no mangoes, no grapes, nothing at all. No, not even those exotic and ridiculously expensive fruits.
  2. Staying at home is my favorite pass time. No parties, no long drives, nothing. I take the saying ‘Home Sweet Home, there’s no place like home’ quite literally.
  3. I like reading books where the protagonist is a woman who teaches the annoying, cheating man in her life a lesson or two. What’s more, she neither flinches crossing the line nor gets caught doing so. S actually makes it a point to find thrillers with such story lines for me. God bless him for that and obviously more!
  4. I'm elated beyond words when my weekend plans of meeting someone gets cancelled. I just pretend to be sorry that things didn’t work out and relax at home.
  5. I love eating out even if my health doesn’t permit! S and I are so not health, or rather calorie conscious, which we know is not a great thing, but we just can’t help it.
  6. Tequila. Well, a girl needs to drink, doesn't she? I love, absolutely love tequila. Oh it has been ages since I last had a shot.
  7. My Kindle. I used to think I can never ever adapt to reading on a device. But shockingly I'm rather enjoying Kindle a lot. Of-course, the charm of a paperback is something else altogether but Kindle is not so bad either.
  8. Winter! I love winters. For some reason, the season brings about a lot of positivity and cheer, more than any other.
  9. Watching back to back movies or binge watching series at home. Trust me it is therapeutic, there is no other way to describe it!
  10. Ginger Tea. I can't believe I'm saying this. I was such a no tea or no coffee person until recently. But all that seems to have changed and today I need at least one cup of ginger tea to get through my day. And no, I don't like the bland Ginger Tea which they make in 5 stars. No, sir. I like the absolutely authentic desi stuff.

Well, that's all for today. These were just a few of my favorite things. Tell me what did you think? What are some of your favorite things?

August 17, 2015

To Leave Or Not To Leave....#MondayMusings

Back in school, I hated taking leaves. Yes, even when I was sick, running high temperatures, all I wanted to do was go to school. I never could tell if it was out of sincerity or just the comfort of the routine it entailed. But there was a voice inside, always coaxing me to not miss school, come hell or high water.

I remember it was chakka-bandh (a sort of protest where vehicles aren't allowed to ply on roads) one day and my parents, fearing disruptions, had decided that I should stay in. If my memory serves me right I was just in the 4th standard at that point of time. As the day progressed, my parents gradually noticed how restless I was on account of missing classes. Yes, classes which had very low probability of being conducted due to low attendance. 

I was so fidgety that my dad decided to find out how the situation was around town. And when he did, I was being dressed for school before I even knew it. Believe it or not, that day I attended class from the third period onward. I was so happy, almost as if I had won some kind of lottery. My teachers too were very pleased seeing my enthusiasm. There were not many students in attendance that day, for obvious reasons of-course, but I was elated that I didn't have to miss an entire day. Not very typical of a child, right? Sometimes I wonder why I'm so weird?

Gradually though the bunking bug bit me but not before I was in the 12th standard. And it continued later during my engineering days too. But somehow, somewhere the relief of actually attending every class as opposed to bunking was far greater. A strange thing to admit really.

Today, I keep annoying S, blaming him for not bunking often but in my heart I'm glad he doesn't. Why? Because if he doesn't bunk, I don't bunk either. Don't get me wrong, the idea of staying away from work, preferably at home, is extremely enticing. And I can go ahead do it without giving a second thought if it wasn't for some sense of responsibility for work that I have. Okay, I admit that's not even the main sticking point. The crux of the matter is I hate seeing my leaves being deducted. There I said it. I would have taken leaves more often if I didn't have to apply any or if S's leaves got deducted in place of mine. Ahh it's not selfish, he anyways has more leave balance than me so it makes perfect sense! Just don't tell him.

On a serious note though, what will I do with all the saved leaves if I don't use them? And if I use them they have to be deducted, don't they? Oh well, chicken and eggs all over again.

Anyways, today, I ended up taking an off from work. And you won't believe but all through the day I was wondering if I can somehow sidestep applying today's leave in the system. Me and my quirks, I tell you.

Tell me, do you have such strange whims when it comes to taking leaves?

Linking this to #MondayMusings & #MicroblogMondays



August 15, 2015

Me? I Just Oil My Hair Is All....#HairyTales

There are Fridays and then there are FRIDAYS. Yesterday was of the latter kind.

If you have been a regular reader of my blog then you must know a fair bit about my hair troubles by now. For those who aren't, I'm always there to recount those tales for you. So, yesterday something happened that made me think of an incident that happened long back in the year 2008. Yes, an incident related to my hair, what else?

It was early 2008; just a few months into my work life in Bangalore. My solo journey in the big bad world had just begun. How bad was it really? Well, I was about to find out, wasn't I? And that too on a sunny afternoon outside an ATM Vending Machine. So, this is what happened? As I stood in a long queue to withdraw some cash, the lady behind suddenly called out saying ‘Excuse me Miss. Hope you don’t mind but you know you have really awful hair? I pity you’. Yes she said that on my face and in so many words. For a moment I stood there, staring at her, trying to figure out if she was someone I knew but I didn’t. I felt insulted and puzzled being told off by a complete stranger. Falling short of words I turned away, withdrew money and headed home with a head of despicable hair.

That was about 7 years ago but I have actually been struggling with my curly hair ever since I can remember. A hairy heart break is what it has always been for me. But everything that is becomes everything that was one day. So, how long could this status quo continue? And just like that, I woke up one day with a new found acceptance for my brittle, dry and unmanageable hair. Alright, it didn't happen overnight but the bottom line is it did happen. Just like that I realized I was in love with my curls.

And yesterday something happened that reinforced this love further. It was late afternoon, a Friday, the weekend almost there. As a rule, everybody was in a good mood already and so was I. But what happened next improved my mood by many folds.

I was washing my hands when suddenly a woman entered the washroom. I didn't notice at first but she kept stealing glances at my hair. For a moment, the clock turned back and placed me at the ATM queue once again. Was the acceptance finally wavering, those doubts about my hair resurfacing? A voice suddenly brought me out of my reverie. It was she saying 'How do you maintain your curls? I try but it never works.'

Imagine me standing there, wide eyed. Flummoxed is the right word perhaps. I didn't know what to say. Would hugging her be the right response? No, I guess not. What could I tell her? It seemed like ages before I spoke but I finally did. Told her I don't do anything special except oiling my hair. Of-course, I couldn't stop there, could I? So, I went on to add that if I don't oil my hair it keeps standing, defying gravity. That I guess was a little too much information, something she didn't need to hear. But it was a gaffe worthy of being overlooked for my hair story had finally come full circle. 

No, I still don't have Rapunzel's hair and that's fine. What I have is my very own brand of curly hair that defines me, makes me unique and I'm finally very content with. If today I meet that woman from the ATM queue, I would tell her just that!

Tell me your hair story now. Go on!


Linking this to Write Tribe's 100 words on Saturday. Yes, I know it's more than 100 words but I just couldn't stop!

August 12, 2015

It Does(not) Matter..

Some days your thoughts just wander off to unchartered territories, don’t they? Taking abrupt turns; turns best avoided. Questioning, meandering perilously, tearing into everything you know and believe in. The same thing happened last night.

Now, I never, well almost never, go to bed without reading a few pages. It was during that nightly ritual that I came across a very hard hitting quote, to my surprise in a thriller. It, quite frankly, rattled me a little, sending me on one of those trips where questioning everything is the only way out. It was something about how insignificant our lifespan of 70 or 80 odd years was in front of the 13.772 billion years, and counting, of the universe. Basically no point worrying about anything for eventually it’s all about ending up in ashes or in a name written in some tombstone somewhere.

Imagine reading this just before going off to bed for the day. Add to that a steady pattern of mood swings, basically downward spirals, for the past two to three days. What do you get? Well, one very, very perturbed me I should say.

It made me feel irrelevant, made everything feel irrelevant actually. What does it matter if I get to strike Italy off my must-visit list? What does it matter if that ailment is treated or not? What does it matter if I take the next step in life or not? What does it matter if I love or hate? What does it matter if I worry? What does it matter if I step out of or stay in the bed? Ultimately, in the bigger scheme of things nothing I do matters, does it?

“How good is it to remember one's insignificance: that of a man among billions of men, of an animal amid billions of animals; and one's abode, the earth, a little grain of sand in comparison with Sirius and others, and one's life span in comparison with billions on billions of ages. There is only one significance, you are a worker. The assignment is inscribed in your reason and heart and expressed clearly and comprehensibly by the best among the beings similar to you. The reward for doing the assignment is immediately within you. But what the significance of the assignment is or of its completion, that you are not given to know, nor do you need to know it. It is good enough as it is. What else could you desire?” ― Leo Tolstoy

I cannot tell you how glum I felt as my thoughts went on this almost involuntary spiral. Worst part was I couldn’t even stop it. It kept touching one aspect of my life after the other. It was like being sucked into a vortex while the world around me collapsed. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say they felt hollow. I knew what I was doing, overthinking what else, but my thoughts seemed to be on autopilot. It kept knocking off one thing after the other, something like being in the way of a twister? Or, drowning, being sucked into a whirlpool. I still have the bitter aftertaste of what I felt last night. And it’s not at all good.

So, here I am writing all of it down. Putting it out there for you to read and tell me that I’m just overreacting. Yes, because it matters what I do. It matters to people who love and care for me. My life matters.

“The will to matter is at least as important as the will to believe.” ― Rebecca Goldstein

Truth be told, I don’t think that passage in the book was even the trigger. I think it was the fear of a big impending change in life which was yesterday’s subtext really. Don’t ask me what it is please. I’ll share when I’m ready. Until then all I can say is that I’m really, really apprehensive about a lot of things. I know everything is fine and will be fine but somewhere doubts linger. And questions of what’s the point of everything crop up.

“Each of us has a significant place in the tapestry of the world's story. The Creator, created it so. When we are misplaced or displaced from our singular significance—from fear, lack of integrity, playing small—the entire world is deficient. Each human being's expressive contribution is essential and impactful—including yours. So, Shine!” ― LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier

Anyways, so where was I? Yes, my life matters. It matters that I write because that makes me happy. It matters that my wishes are fulfilled. It matters that I desire to live well and indeed live well. It matters when I love, hate and worry. It matters that I build a home, a family and a journey. Everything matters and even that name on the tomb stone matters because it tells a story. It matters because in my heart I know it does. However trivial, it still does!

What do you think? Share what you think please for I’d love to read. One can’t get enough positive affirmations and I know we all need some.

August 10, 2015

Don’t Worry About Drying That Laundry, Mom’s Here.... #MondayMusings

Some feelings come naturally, almost as if you stepped into this world holding on to those. Such is the case when it comes to my sentiments about laundry. Truth be told, I have hated doing it from the word go. It was during my hostel life that I first collided head-on with the need to engage in this activity and the dislike came almost spontaneously. Up until then laundry and I had been blissfully unaware of each other’s existence.

Mom, I miss having her around to take care of everything. It’s selfish I know. Before leaving home for university and later for chasing this elusive entity called career, I never really had to bother about anything, let alone doing laundry. Yes, I was blissfully unaware of the efforts involved in deciding which clothes need to be washed, dried or ironed for that matter. The answer to all my laundry woes, or any other despair for that matter, was my mom. She still is, just in a different city with not much in her control now.

It was only when I started living alone that I realized Mom couldn’t be present at all times to take care of my petty issues. That’s when I well and truly grew up. Yes, that’s when I purchased a washing machine to absolve myself of all laundry worries. But little did I know then that it only solved a part of the problem, just a teeny tiny part of it!

Did you know there is a very elaborate process involved in doing your own laundry? It goes something like this.

  1. Keep track of all the clothes that are getting dirty.
  2. Have a good detergent with you. Apparently, there are separate detergents for different types of clothes.
  3. Just because you have a washing machine you can’t dump all clothes in at once. If you do, your favorite white t-shirt could end up a very weird shade of red, with yellow streaks too at times.
  4. If you want to starch your cotton clothes it’s best to wash them separately and not with your woolens.
  5. It’s probably best not to wash your beach towels along with the other clothes in your machine unless you want sand in everything!
  6. Apparently, you can’t use the same setting for every kind of load.
  7. It’s probably not a good idea to wash all your expensive clothes with your pajamas. Yes, even if you have a washing machine!
  8. You need to hang the clothes to dry or place them in the dryer, the washing machine doesn’t do that for you automatically. You can only wish it did!
  9. It’s preferable you hang the clothes to dry on the same day that it has been washed.
  10. And no the washing machine doesn’t iron those washed & dried clothes.

So, you see how laundry is so much more than just a word to me. Every time when I start the washing machine, I’m haunted by the activities to follow; the hanging clothes to dry part and then taking them down to iron and fold. Most of the time I pretend to be busy doing something else to make S take care of that (Well, the cat is out of the bag now but I guess he knew that already). He readily does it too because he knows how lazy I am. God bless him, I say!

With my reluctance to laundry well established, imagine my delight, when this weekend I woke up to all my washing done and hanging in the clothes line to dry. It had to be S for he does that for me most of the time. But he was still napping, so who could it have been?

Mom, yes, who else? Turns out her vacation is actually mine. No wonder moms never have off days. The lazy me though has shamelessly been basking in all the attention and care. Oh the unabashed relief in not having to deal with the washing (even if through washing machine) and drying is inexplicable. In fact, for two more weeks I don’t have to worry about the mundane activities surrounding laundry anymore because, well, Mom’s here.

Tell me do you like doing laundry? Or, are you like me?




August 6, 2015

Airtel 4G: The Answer To Your Need For Speed

Can you imagine a world without Internet? I personally can’t. And it’s surprising because it has only been a couple of years since it has in reality taken over our lives in such a big way. I remember there being a time when cyber cafes had suddenly sprung up, very new on the horizon. Going to a cyber café made you popular in school in those days. We would wait for classes to get over to spend just an hour at the café. Slowly, Internet came home and then out of nowhere entered our mobile phones, changing the way we use the device today. Internet, certainly, has become indispensable in a big, big way!

Since we are so dependent on Internet usage, it is but natural we need a network that can support our demand as well. Any network which isn’t fast is not what we want. From doctors’ appointments to grocery shopping, more or less everything today is dependent on apps. And a slow network only ends up being a hindrance. That’s where Airtel 4G steps in, true to its claim of the fastest network ever.

You can check out the offerings here at the brand’s new website for 4G. There are several options to choose from. You could choose from new myPlan unlimited options or even enjoy 4G with any of the existing plans. Whether postpaid or prepaid, you can now enjoy a faster network. In fact, utilize your devices better too, all with the help of Airtel 4G.

I have been using Airtel 4G LTE for about 2 years now. Prior to that it was Airtel broadband. And I can assure you, their service and network speeds have always been the very best. So, I know for a fact that having Airtel 4G on my mobile will definitely perk up my internet experience.

At the price of 3G, Airtel is offering its customers an opportunity to experience 4G. So, all doubts about it being expensive or unaffordable can be put to rest. The data benefits of your 3G pack together with 4G speeds, well, is quite worth your while I should say. What is needed is just a 4G ready device, a 4G SIM, which is in fact delivered free of charge, a 3G data pack and you are sorted. Simple as that! So, say no to all your ‘loading’ worries with Airtel 4G starting today.

August 5, 2015

We, The Traffic Virgins!

I have often been asked which country would I like to be born in in my next life and my answer has always been, right here in India. Well, we do have our problems but who doesn't? Moreover, for me the positives far outweigh the negatives. Yes, I crib about so many things that are wrong but then at the end of the day it's home. Trust me there are places which have it so much worse. Of-course, that's no measure of how well we are doing but we are working on our drawbacks. In fact, I'm sure one day we'll tighten those loose ends as well. I do hope I live to see that day though.

Well, talking of loose ends and the things that are wrong with us, I'm reminded of our innate disrespect for traffic rules. Yes, somehow we have been hardwired to not follow any rules and the traffic ones top the list! Just last year when I was in Dusseldorf and had to wait for the man on the traffic light to turn green for crossing a virtually empty road, I realized how much deep rooted this anomaly was in me as well. You won't believe it but every cell in my body wanted to cross much against my educated senses! Well, I guess you can take the Indian out of India but not India out of the Indian. But I must say I'm still a lot better, at-least I consciously try to be so.

So, why am I writing about this today? Well, take a look for yourself. This was the scene while returning from office this evening. Now, we need to take a service road which is basically a two lane road, one lane each for either direction. But then we Indians can't wait, can we? God forbid we have to wait. Today there were three parallel lines in one direction because queuing is something we just don't like paying heed to.

And no this isn't the first time I have noticed this. It happens every single day, possibly many times a day. Somehow we just can't get ourselves to be patient enough. Somehow we just can't get ourselves to behave. Yes, instead we like treating the road as our own personal minion!

  1. Our bikes prefer footpaths and not roads.
  2. Waiting for the traffic signal to turn green is against our basic nature.
  3. We honk when there's really no need for it.
  4. We suddenly take right and left turns without indicating that we are going to do so.
  5. We overtake from the left. Yes, where did this come from!
  6. We may buy big cars but don't know how to drive them respectfully on roads.
  7. We use high beams. Yes, we like blinding drivers coming from the opposite direction.
  8. We cross roads from anywhere and at anytime. If we get hit in the process, well, we blame the unsuspecting car drivers or bike riders for that.
  9. Helmet, well, we rather get our heads smashed than wear a helmet.
  10. Speed-limit? We have never heard those words. Isn't it an oxymoron?
  11. Yellow traffic light for us means giving a full throttle.
  12. Zebra crossing. What in the world is that?
  13. We even have roads with no footpaths.
  14. Driving in the opposite direction in a lane with the headlights and hazard lights on, at times adjacent to the divider, is our idea of getting amusement parks right to our roads.

Yes, well, we are a unique nation of sorts. Most of it we don't do knowingly. But the sad part is not enough of us make the necessary efforts to correct it either. But maybe one day we will, at least I hope that we will. Until then getting stuck in traffic due to our idiocy will undoubtedly be a part and parcel of our daily lives.

Tell me what do you think about traffic rules? Do you follow them? And what do you think of people who treat the road and those traffic rules with disrespect? Go on tell me, I'd love to know!

Until next time.

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