Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I should be doing that!

I had this interesting conversation with a friend last week. We talked about how pampered we are in India - there are so many things we should be doing ourselves at this age, but we have the easy way out. Now don't get me wrong, I know some of us are more pampered than the rest. But this is about me - it's got me thinking about the many things I should be doing myself or atleast capable of doing myself. So in actual fact this is a confession on how useless I can be.
1. Drive - I so wish I could drive. Here's the history - Just before I turned 18, I was really enthusiastic about driving and got myself some lessons and eventually my license when I qualified. After which of course lethargy set in and I have always had someone really reliable to drive me around!(thanks to My Dad, Rahul, Aashish, Renie, Mart, Thanigai and now Zac!). Now I am petrified of the thought of ever driving in Chennai.
2. Iron clothes - I hate this chore and have always had someone to do it for me. I'm sure I could do it if I tried, but not as well though.
3. Making coffee - this has always been a task for my husband, before which it was my mum which means I have never been able to make the perfect cup of coffee for myself!
4. Change bulbs - I know I can do this, I think I have in the past. But now anytime this needs to be done, I wait for my husband....terrible, I know!
5. Wash dishes - I can do this, but avoid this as much as possible. I love cooking and will cook as much as people around me can eat. But the dirty dishes after are a nightmare.

There are so many more things, but I don't want to look too useless- if I have not achieved that already - are there things you should do which you don't and why??

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Like Good Wine

There are so many things we learn to do(better) with age and experience. We might actually lose spontaneity, but we are certainly not as brash as we might have been. I can definitely vouch for this.

A few years ago, I would not have been able to deal with the various kinds of people I come across - I would either act snobbish or just shut up(or shut down). If someone was not like me or likeable by me(!) - I couldn't deal with them. I'm sorry I was that way, I'm glad I'm not like that anymore. Nowadays I find myself dealing with all kinds - the likeable ones, the tolerable ones, different ones, weird ones and the unlikable ones. And by 'dealing' I mean being sociable and not labeling someone because they are different.

Another skill I've picked up along the way is to be diplomatic - don't know if that's the right word actually - what I really mean is being able to put things nicely.....even when it isn't the best news to convey or the most pleasant subject. And who better to learn from than Mr.Gandhi(the original!) - here is a line from a letter he wrote to Hitler trying to dissuade him from causing The War.

"It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object, however worthy it may appear to you to be?"

Hitler went against all that Gandhi stood for. He must have despised him - or maybe he was really tolerable to the extent that he did not despise anyone - though that's really hard to believe. In spite of all this, he comes across really calm and collected. He might not have actually stopped the war, but personally, I would be far more convinced by someone who spoke to me like this. But then again - everyone is different!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Go Shorty, It's your Birthday!!

I turned 26 on Sunday and it gave us a reason to celebrate and party. We went out to Zaras which is always a special place because that's where Mart and myself first met outside of work. Loads of my friends showed up from work, school, college and otherwise. It was good fun. The next day we went out for the brunch to The Park which is also a favourite of mine - we had our wedding reception here as we love the food here! In the evening a few of my friends had organsied for us to go to this orphanage that I have been meaning to go to. This was very special. The kids were really well behaved and I was really touched to see their happy faces wishing me Happy Birthday at the end of their meal. On Monday my team at work also had a surprise for me - we had a bit of celebration at work as well. So it was a good weekend on the whole and I got some good presents to top it all off.
So here are some special moments in particular:
1. My brother hugging me(he never hugs anyone!) and giving me a card in which he had said 'Thanks for everything and that I was the best'! We never say things like that in our family - we are not very expressive - so it made it really special.
2. Mart's gift which he went to great trouble getting(thanks Renie)! He really puts thought into his gifts and cards. The card had a cup of coffee on the front. This is the first thing I ask for when I wake up and I will bother Mart till it is made - yes, he makes the filter coffee at home!
3. Everyone showing up at Zaras - esp Anju(not because she reads the blog - but 'cause I don't see her as often).
4. Having Zac back in the country - yay! Well this is not only on my birthday, but otherwise as well!
4. The message on the cake from my team - it didn't say just Happy Birthday - it also said: 'You make a difference to the team' - that was very special.
5. Finally the kids in the orphanage and the smiles on their faces. In spite of their misfortune, those were some of the happiest smiles I've seen in awhile. They also insisted on feeding me biriyani!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

10 things about me

Anju...see what you had me do today.....
I had forgotten my Blogger login for sometime now, that's why there hasn't been an entry in a while....you have to credit me for the excuses I come up with! But honestly, everytime I had something to say, I would try logging in and fail and give up. But Anju 'tagged' me ...you learn something new everyday. This led me to click on the'I forgot my password' button, which had me login to my hotmail account that I haven't checked in ages, and yes I have about 240 unread emails. This is how lazy or busy I have got over the last couple of months!
Moving onto 10 things about me - it is too vast a topic, if it were 10 things I hate about myself or 10 things I am proud of, it would have been a lot easier. But I'll give it a go - these are things that come to me immediately.

1. I am generally very straight forward and honest, which has got me in trouble in the past. I don't really believe in keeping too many secrets.

2. I love to exercise and one of my goals in life is to run a marathon someday.

3. I am proud of my Indian Heritage and would like to be a Gandhian.

4. The only hitch to being a Gandhian is my love for clothes and other materialistic things like perfume, shoes and wine!!!

5. If you are with me there has got to be 'a plan' even if it means lazing around or watching TV, I like to know what I'm doing next.

6. I love good conversation over food, wine or coffee - you pick and I'll adapt!!

7. This is for Munna - yes, I used to be crazy about MJ; for Mart- yes, I used to be a bit of a rock chick, for everyone else - yes, I used to be a wild child! But things change......

8. I'm terrible scared of dogs. But don't mind creepy crawlies.

9. With each passing year I see myself becoming more and more like my parents and it's scary, but it's nice to feel connected to them in this way.

10. I am married and life has never been this good. I enjoy work and have a great set of friends. But I'm such a pessimist, I am always fearing for the worst to happen as everything is going well.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My alone time

I haven't found time lately to blog, inspite of having a lot to say...like always!!! Reasons being...I have temporarily taken up another role at office and have been very caught up with work. Another thing I have not found enough time to do is cook....put food on the table!!! As crazy it might seem, I actually feel guilty when I don't cook a meal for a couple of days....the guilt might be due to a variety of reasons - eating 'oh so unhealthy food' from outside so often(family of mine - are you listening??!) and of course not being that perfect person who is responsible for preparing the daily meal!! The funny thing is when I was unemployed for a few months and spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I would feel guilty about not being at work, earning my own living and so own. It's really difficult getting the right balance of home and work and when it doesn't happen the feeling of 'not being good enough' sets in. At the same time, I have to salute all those women in the past - our mums and grandmums who have achieved this balance so well. Atleast nowadays we have things that make it easier for us - grinders, blenders, ready mixes and what not. Also the men in our lives feel the need to assist and will always oblige to a cry of help from the kitchen....sometimes you might have to cry extra loud, but it works!! I doubt it was as easy in the past.....and yet we(well atleast I) find it difficult. While on the subject on cooking, I really enjoy the time I spend in the kitchen...it's my alone time. I never considered myself very creative. Lefties are supposedly very creative by nature and I was an exception!!! I couldn't draw, paint and was never very good at even origamy(remember those books?! I collected the nice colour paper we would get with it!!). But ever since I started cooking, the little bit of creativity is being put to use. Today Zac and I experimented with making dosas and the joy when we got one right!!! My husband is always a guinea pig for the various dishes I try....but he has always been very appreciative and he says it is because he was deprived of good food as he was in England! Indian food is very easy, everything usually has the same 3 or 4 masalas and you can't go wrong...why even Shilpa Shetty cooked a chicken curry on TV for the first time... and apparently it rules!!! The only thing I have problems with are the names of things...the multiple words from various languages that are used confuse me....I mean can someone(I nominate Shweta) tell me the names of the different dals with the hindi, english and if possible the tamil names? Now that I've got that out of my system...here are few of my favourite foods : Fish n chips
Beef fry
A good home made chicken curry
My mum's homemade biriyani...very diff from the restaurant types
Subway cookies...chocolate in any form (wait does that qualify as food)
Sticky date pudding
Death by chocolate...back to the C word!
I think I should stop thinking of all this food....the gym calls!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dear Zac

Dear Zac,
It's funny how I write letters to you in my head....wonder if other people do this as well. The sad part is how I rarely write it down or type an email with the same thoughts. I think it has to do with the fact that we have lived in different places, different cities and even different countries a lot; and each time I experience something new or wonderful or maybe even something quite sad, I feel I should share it with you the next time I write to you or see you. I usually never get around to writing it down, so that's why we never run out of topics of conversation when we meet!!!
People keep asking me if you have changed from the whole experience of living in Australia. My standard answer is "yes....definately!". Well you have, you've aquired a few important skills like the art of making chappattis! Which I have to admit I cannot do. But you have essentially remained the same person, probably slightly more mature...but the same. For example, previously, if the topic of conversation did not interest you, you would automatically switch off! You don't do that anymore....wonder if you have noticed that yourself? Also your hair has magically got a lot straighter, it must be the magic conditioner! Imagine if you were to sell that in your homeland - Kerala - you would make a load of cash!!! Also, a few years ago you might not have even considered foregoing a New Years party so that you could spend it with family. You did it this year and Survived!!! Of course you played spoilsport and didn't take our calls - but thats another story!! Well what I am getting around to saying is that you have changed for the better but are essentially the same old Zac...always up for a good time, full of affection, never forming an opinion because of something somebody said, giving everybody a fair chance and a big fan of fish biriyani!
'Thanks for being you' Zacster and balancing out my personality so well(almost as well as Mart!).
Have a good year ahead....make the most of it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cheer Up love...it's not the end of the world!

"Cheer Up love...it's not the end of the world!" A stranger actually said this to me at the airport in London!

I have been meaning to blog for a few days now...last week was quite stressful. It definitely started off badly, what a typical Monday. Well, honestly I'm not one of those people who hate Mondays - you know people who invariable start the week in the foulest of moods...though I know quite of few of this kind! Monday is like any other day to me...just like Rainy days don't depress me. But last Monday seemed quite bad.
To start off with, the interviews I had scheduled for the weekend before completely flopped. I mean, they sounded like dream candidates....but turned out to be the biggest frauds ever, would you believe we were tempted to call the police!!!! How can you blatantly lie about your work experience and skills, you are bound to be found out...and isn't it embarrassing???! Ok, well even if you fluke it and get the job, how would you do your job without knowing what to do or how to do it??!!! I don't think I will ever be able to understand some people.
At the end of a hard day at work, I decided I needed to restart my yoga(I hadn't been to classes since my fall). As I was leaving work on time, my boss clocked me(Literally!) and pointed to his watch and said I was leaving three minutes early. I tried to explain that the time on my PC read 17:32...but he said that the only time that mattered was the time on his watch. Well okay then....what about the countless times I have left work after 20:00 on my PC and his watch!!! So I left for yoga class feeling terrible and completely unappreciated.
I didn't manage to enjoy myself as much at yoga either....my right arm was killing me and I wasn't able to do most of the routines or positions as well. I hate feeling inadequate, especially when I was able to do something that I can't anymore...it's sort of the same feeling I get when I can't fit into my favourite pair of jeans! For all my female friends reading this, you might laugh, but you know what I'm talking about...you've been there!
So I got home feeling pretty much like shit, and to top it off I had my husband give me a lecture about standing up for myself and being able to say 'no'. All this while I made dinner. I was so down by the end of it all, I had to end the day on a better note. So I put on my Christmas music CD...I know it's early, but there's nothing better than Christmas and Christmas music to cheer you up(well it might not work for everyone - but it works on me!). I don't know what it is, it could be the general festive spirit Christmas is known for or memories of many fun times during this season. Whatever it is, it worked for me...it's funny how the simplest thing can make you smile.
I'm trying to think of other simple things that can be used to cheer you up :
A good ol' sitcom.
An honest compliment.
Chocolate...it really works!
Bumping into a long lost friend.
The rain - especially when you are from Vellore.
The Sun - especially when you are from Stoke!
I'm sure there are a lot more you can think of....list them out if you can remember any..