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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Shame,shame, shame......on us!!!

The more newspapers i read or the more television coverage i watch about the rape in Delhi(on the night of16 December,2012)-the capital city of India-India,the next super power,the land of revered Goddesses like Durga,Lakshmi,Saraswati,Parvati etc...the angrier i get!! Angry to the point of my blood boiling and my mouth frothing!!! Angry to the point where i just want to get a cleaver and chop off the offending "dicks" literally, and then hang the "dicks" figuratively by their balls publicly sans any clothes and stone them to death!!!


Extreme you might say but then what about the brutal extremities that the young 23 year old girl suffered at the hands of the savages!!!What the hell is wrong with us?? How have we as a society become so depraved and barbaric that a young girl is pinned down by at least five men ,brutally gang raped, almost beaten to death ,has iron rods thrust into her private parts where her intestines are gouged out and then thrown naked on the road to die??? It is beyond nightmarish...it fills you with horror,fear,dread and a total loss of faith in humanity!!!
  

And i am sick to death of being afraid...afraid of being a woman,afraid of being attractive,afraid of wearing a dress,afraid of wearing lipstick,afraid of being noticed,afraid of stepping out!!!AFRAID,AFRAID,AFRAID!!!!! I AM SICK TO DEATH OF THE WORD AFRAID,OF THE EMOTION AFRAID!!! I want to reclaim my life, i want to reclaim my confidence,i want to have belief and faith in the law of the land,i want to hold my head high and live and work and play with DIGNITY,CONFIDENCE AND RESPECT!!! Is that really too much to ask and aspire for?? Should that not be taken for granted when you live in a free,secular,democratic country with an elected government in place???


What the shit did we vote for them for anyway?? Forget about the mundane bijlee,paani,rozi,roti crap etc..what about a frigging right to live,to enjoy,to maybe go to a mall to watch "The life of Pi" with your boyfriend and not get assaulted,gang raped and thrown naked on the road to die!!!!What about that??? We need answers and yes high time now that we as the so called responsible and educated citizens of India ask the right questions!!!!


We as a people have to get off our lazy,hypocritical arses and introspect and fight!! Fight this apathy,fight this fucked up "chalta hain" attitude,fight this air of complacence that it can never happen to us or our loved ones and fight with the powers to be, to protect us,to safe guard our honor and to come down really heavy on the offenders that no one in his right mind ever even dare to conjure up such a sick scenario in his dreams!!!!



Enough with the sympathy and drawing room discussions. Let's do something. Let's come together as a people and voice our utter disgust and loathing.Let them know that enough is enough and we shall take no more.Let's fight back.....lets have public debates and discussions and marches and protests. Let them not forget. Let that poor girl not just become another statistic in the hall of shame. Let her excruciating pain,humiliation and loss of humanity not go in vain!! Let her be a lesson...a lesson to all of us to shake of our sense of complacency to now finally Act and React!!!!!! 


And you woman out there learn to react...stop tolerating the harassment that we as the fairer sex suffer on an almost daily basis. Let's kick some butt!! Let us all learn basic self defense,let's start carrying the pepper spray in our bag and let's finally learn to stare down a bully or slap a man who shoves his elbow in our chest. Let's stop being afraid and let's prepare to do battle. A battle which may one day save our lives or our humanity or our sense of self.


Last but not the least my heart felt sympathies to that unfortunate girl and her family members and loved ones. I don't know her personally but have followed her progress in the hospital, i have wept bitter tears for her, i have raged for her and prayed for her and hope against hope that she does turn out to be the fighter that the doctors are saying  that she is and that she emerges from this night mare like a Phoenix from the ashes,ready to soar again!!! All the best and God's speed to her recovery and God bless!!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My naani ma's delicious 'Nihari'!

Some of my happiest childhood memories are associated with the time i used to spend with my maternal grandparents and cousins during the summer holidays. All ten of us-the cousins-from different parts of the country use to descend annually on to this huge,sprawling house, where my beloved naana and naani ma used to live  in Darya Ganj-in Old Delhi. This house was very typical of the olden days and had a huge,open central courtyard with fountains, a variety of birds in their cages,low seating areas with lots of colourful cushions and all kinds of trees like Jamun,Mango,Banyan from which swings and hammocks dangled. This courtyard was surrounded by a maze of large,spacious,airy rooms with high ceilings which were all interconnected and where we used to play hide and seek,'chor sipahi','dark room' etc hiding behind and under the heavy,antiquated teak furniture.

But my favourite room,if it could be called a room, in this house was the mammoth, old  'Rasoi' or kitchen with the olden style 'chulas',full scale tandoor,an ancient wood fired oven where rusks and biscuits were baked and an open fire where the pit roasting was done. This room was completely redolent with the most divine aromas where the 'khansama' or the cook who had been with the family for decades,churned out delicacy after delicacy to feed ten very hungry mouths! And my God what insatiable appetites we had!!! We would barely finish a hearty breakfast and then wanted our mid morning snack and when that was done, would start enquiring as to what's cooking for lunch and then once lunch was done would start requesting for Pakoras,Samosas,Jalebis and Sandwiches for tea!!! Gosh! It was never ending and i really pitied the old man and his assistant in the kitchen! They really earned their keep when we were around during the holidays!! But the best bit was when my naani ma used to step into the kitchen and weave her magic with her 'karchi' (ladle) and 'kadhai' (frying pan)!

I still remember the thrill of anticipation that used to run down our spines when we were told that naani ma was making something special for us for the next meal. She was the most awesome cook ever and transformed the simplest of dishes into the most divine creations. For example let's take the humble 'daliya' (porridge) which we used to have for breakfast everyday,she would cook it with raisins,pistachios and milk on a very low flame and once done instead of adding sugar,she which would mix jaggery into it and top it off with thick,clotted cream.The end result would be a breakfast dish fit for a king!! It would be that delicious and wholesome.

She was also a fabulous non vegetarian cook and made the most delicious aromatic 'Dum' Biryanis, tender,spicy,floating in 'asli ghee' Roghan Josh,fragrant,hearty, broth like Haleem with the over riding smell of freshly roasted Garam masala and Adrak, Raan which would be marinated a good twenty four hours with all kinds of exotic masalas and spices and then cooked over an open flame till the tender meat actually fell off the bone,melt in the mouth,buttery,velvety Kakori kebabs and the list goes on and on!! I can feel the drool in my mouth as i recount all this but her all time popular speciality was undoubtedly a superlative curried mutton creation called 'Nihari'!!!

 
Now without further ado, let me explain to the uninitiated as to what this dish is all about!!! It's basically mutton-the best,most tender pieces preferably taken from a kid not a full grown goat(as that meat can tend to be a bit tough)-which is  'bhunaoed' lovingly and painstakingly in 'asli ghee' with ginger,garlic,onions,'besan' (gram flour) and to which then a whole variety of  'khada' (whole) and ground spices are added ,some water and then it's sealed and left to simmer overnight on a very low flame. It is the best example of slow cooking that there is in Indian cooking and believe me it's worth the effort and toil!!

It's not an exaggeration to say that when my naani ma used to unseal the 'haandi' in the morning and add the juliennes of ginger and slit green chillies, bits of coriander and lemon juice as garninshing to the pot,the entire street or 'gali' used to get infused by the aroma and we had hungry,greedy neighbours knocking on the door to partake of the feast. 'Nihari' surprisingly is a typical breakfast dish and so obviously consumed in the morning (which is a good idea since it's so heavy and rich and you actually need the whole day to digest it). It's usually paired with a kind of sweet,salty,buttery ,flat,round bread called 'Sheer Mal' which are cooked with milk,sugar and saffron!! This combination is worth dying for and is part of our family's most treasured food folk lore!!

But alas!! We don't get to taste such heavenly delights anymore because my naani ma is now unfortunately very sick and ailing. She's suffering from severe diabetes, cardiac problems, has a steel ball in her shoulder from an accident that she had, has had pelvic surgery and needs urgent knee replacement surgery as well .She's barely hanging in there but i still admire her never say die spirit,independent nature and devoutness!

She still offers 'Namaaz' five times a day and reads the 'Koran' and fasts all through the entire month of 'Ramazan' even though she has been firmly advised by her doctors not to do so but she refuses to listen and does not abandon her beliefs and the routine that she has been practising all her life. She stoically and steadfastly holds on to her pride and dignity and is stubborn and obstinate as hell.May Allah bless her and take care of her. However old,weak,sickly and frail she might become, i will always remember her as this alive,super energetic, supremely efficient,radiant,potent figure always bustling  around in the kitchen and giving ten instructions simultaneously to the minions around her and preparing feasts for ten very greedy,rowdy and hungry mouths!!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

BEING A "FAUJI" BRAT!!

Oh! How i miss being a kid!! Those were the days! No tension other than maybe sprouting a pimple tension, just on the eve of a date,no worries other than the worry of the new cute boy in class not noticing me and noticing my "worst enemy"-yes those were the days when we had worst enemies and best friends,no real responsibilities other than maybe getting decent grades,being respectful to elders,practising good hygiene and being some what disciplined and regular in our daily routine!!

And the added bonus was that my dad was a "fauji" so it meant moving to a new place every two years-some quaint,sleepy little town like Deolali,Wellington,Mhow,Guwahati,Pune (yes! Pune was pretty sleepy during those days!), new house-and usually we lived in these palatial bungalows (according to current day standards!) with a huge front garden and a back garden and a separate kitchen garden (can u beat that?!!) ,new neighbours which almost became like extended family wherever we went,new school, new teachers,of course new friends and new infatuations and crushes!!

Life was exciting,carefree and funnnn!!And i just loved the whole process of packing up and moving to a new town and viewed it as some great adventure!! I enjoyed sorting things out, junking the rubbish,delighting over trivial treasures collected,reminiscing and storing all the important (to me!) stuff  in cartons,steel trunks and crates!! Aah! I remember those steel trunks and wooden crates! They are a staple in the forces and are completely unique and immediately recognisable!!! It was literally out with the old and in with the new!!!

Those days we didn't have all these "fancy shancy" Packers and Movers and we did everything ourselves. So we the kids collected all our friends together, supposedly to help pack and made a real party out of it!! Stuff was traded/exchanged,photo albums were pored over and funny incidents recounted, comics books were argued about and bargained over,old school books were sold to the local 'kabaadi", audio cassettes (remember those??!) were fairly distributed and some old favourites lovingly wrapped in newspaper and stored in cartons, impromptu catwalks were done with the clothes at hand and old favourites kept and the not so favourite ones were given away, addresses and phone numbers were exchanged with fervent promises of always staying in touch and being best friends forever!! Those were innocent and idyllic days! 

Meanwhile the adults had their own gig going! All the aunties and uncles that our parents were friends with got together again ostensibly to help in sorting and packing but it was more like an impromptu party with free flowing beer (what a staple that is in the "fauj"!! They guzzle it down by the bucketfuls!!!) and kebabs and of course music!!! In fact i credit my initiation into serious music, to these impromptu get togethers that we had on a regular basis!! Everyone would get their favourite record (remember those black,circular discs that would be played on those antiquated gramophone players??) and we would listen to the Eagles,Jim Reeves,Cliff Richard,The Carpenters, symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart etc.They of course had a battery of helpers with all the "bhaiyas"  and "sahayaks" and everything was very efficiently and superbly organised!!

I consider being a "fauji" kid a real privilege and honor. We were exposed to so much more,we travelled more-literally the length and breadth of the country,we experienced more-different customs,cultures,dietary habits, oddities and eccentricities of different types of people,we learnt always to put our best foot forward,to adapt to new situations and adjust with new people, we learnt to compromise,improvise, innovate and evolve.Maybe our fathers were not Mr.Money bags and our parents had to plan and budget and we certainly didn't have the best of clothes or fancy gadgets and didn't experience instant gratification in terms of material goods but we had something far more important and valuable-we had belief and ideology and principles!!

 Our fathers served the nation! They were officers and gentlemen! They protected our borders,they fought against the enemy so that we could sleep safe at night, they were engaged in the most noble of pursuits of protecting motherland and country!! Patriotism flowed in our veins and made our chests swell with pride!! Even now when i see an officer in full ceremonial uniform i get goose pimples!! There's just something so dignified,dashing and glamorous about him and he towers head and shoulders above everyone around him!!!

As a young girl i nursed many a romantic dream about marrying someone from the forces but destiny had different plans for me!! We all were a big, happy extended family- the whole unit-my father was in the artillery, a "gunner" he was called and there was such a unique bond and camaraderie between him and his fellow "gunners." Everyone knew everyone and all occasions were celebrated together and all losses mourned over unitedly!! It was about brotherhood and kinship and pride!

Why do you think that kids from the forces back ground do so well in life?!! They do so because they have a strong sense of self belief and self confidence, they are taught to be self reliant, to be independent,strong ,to have views and opinions and are not made into "sissies" and "pansies" holding on to their parents apron strings!! They are encouraged to think independently and have faith in their beliefs plus also most of us have also played active sports all our lives!!

 We were encouraged to go out there and play,just play!! So be it badminton,tennis,squash,volley ball,basket ball,horse riding,golf,swimming-we did it all and all these facilities were easily available and accessible to us!!! There was always a club with all the necessary facilities in which ever cantonment area we stayed!! And frankly there's nothing like sport to toughen you up both mentally and physically,to build your character ,to help you to brush aside the minor bruises and bumps and get on with it, to build up a sense of team spirit,sportsmanship,of kinship,of healthy competition,of forming life long bonds with your team mates and coaches alike!! Don't u agree??

Life was one big,never ending party and it all ended too soonn!! Yes, it was also daunting at times when our fathers went to forward areas and the families stayed back in the peace stations-when there were tensions on the borders, deadly skirmishes,terrorist threats,when our fathers were called on active duty to the front-it meant long absences,sleepless nights,tension/anxiety,sad, lonely mothers and tearful reunions but it also grounded us.

It made us realise the value of family,of discipline and the concept of duty before self!!! It made us realise the virtues of selflessness and the concept of right and wrong! It molded our character and made us strong!! Strong to take on this big,bad world and anything that it may throw at us!! So like i have said before-"bring it on"-i am a "fauji" brat and proud to be one and i will match you punch for punch and blow for blow!!! I will not be a pushover or a doormat and will be a person of strong beliefs and convictions and that my darlings is both a promise and a threat, which ever way you  choose to see it!!!!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

LOVE ME...HATE ME EVEN BUT PLEASE DON'T IGNORE ME!!!

This particular piece is dedicated to all the apathetic,insensitive and indifferent people who take their partners/spouses completely for granted and couldn't care less!! Wake up and smell the coffee you cruel jerks-there is nothing worse in life than treating the ones closest to you as objects of convenience and facilitators,as things rather than thinking and feeling human beings!! Another clarification-this is not a personal referendum on my marriage, so please no panicky,concerned messages from my family or closest friends commiserating with me.

I am commenting about the general state of affairs and what i see happening around me ,more and more as a rule nowadays rather than an exception!!! Indifference and apathy especially in a marriage has become a malaise, a disease afflicting all of us to some degree or the other and which needs to be tackled at the very base level if we are to preserve the relationships closest to our hearts..
 
 
So here goes...quoting from my favourite authors...highlighting how much indifference wounds,damages and actually destroys people and relationships!
  • "At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference."
  • "Because of indifference,one dies before one actually dies. "
  • "Forgiveness is indifference.Forgiveness is impossible while love lasts." 
  • "I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion."
  • "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
  • "Indifference may not wreck a mans life at any one turn,but it will destroy him with a kind of dry rot in the long run."
  • "People are what you make of them.A scornful look turns into a complete fool  a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy, a devil, a woman,who well treated might have been an angel."
  • "The most destructive criticism is indifference."
  • "There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference."
  • "Most of us have no real loves or real hatreds. Blessed is love,less blessed is hatred,but thrice accursed is that indifference which is neither one nor the other." 
Therefore, the above leads me to conclude that the true opposite of love is not hate but indifference.Hate, bad as it is, at least treats you like a human being,whereas indifference turns you into an "it",a thing. This is why we may say that there is actually one thing worse than evil itself and that is indifference to evil. In human relationships the nadir of morality,the lowest point as far as ethics are concerned,is manifest in the phrase, "i couldn't care less".


Hate is the other side of love and shows at least energy,passion,effort and commitment. Probably most of us feel surges of hate at some time or another,especially towards those that we love most. We can deal with this if we realise that these moments will pass and be forgiven. But indifference and apathy can become a disease of the spirit so pervasive that their darkness envelops everything. Then life is stifled and throttled at the root. If we don't value the people around us,they will feel our lack of caring as striking at the very heart of their humanity. If we have no time for life,then life and those close to us will have no time for us and will eventually drift away.

People often assume that extreme anger,frustration,jealousy or even hate are the emotions that are the most worrisome in a relationship. But i feel this is not the case. Strong reactions are more positive signs than indifference or apathy because even when negative emotions are involved,at least you know that the marriage is still bringing about strong emotions and reactions and strong emotions are only evoked when the other person matters or makes a difference to your life.

If the spouse did not care or were not still invested, you would not see the anger,fear or jealousy. Indifference is an indication that a spouse has almost completely withdrawn or checked out of the marriage. This often means that they are no longer listening,participating or engaging in response to the relationship. This usually spells the death knell for your relationship and you should immediately begin some steps to rehabilitate it before the apathy deepens and it becomes too late. It's so sad to see when marital responsibilities are carried out only due to a sense of duty and obligation and not due to desire,when there is no passion or motivation and communication is restricted to a bare minimum.
 
 
"Hating requires caring. In which case,i couldn't possibly hate you because i don't care." That my dear friends is a sad,unsaid and eloquent truth!!

At the risk of repetition....the opposite of love is not hate.......it's apathy. It's not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must "feel" something....or they couldn't possibly hate. Therefore ,there is some way in which i can get to them. But when there's nothingness...there's just a black hole and whatever you do or say just gets sucked in and lost in that never ending abyss!!!
 
 
Always remember that love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish it's source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayal.It dies of illness and wounds.It dies of weariness,of witherings,of tarnishings. It dies when its existence ceases to matter.
I would rather a romantic relationship turn into contempt than turn into apathy. The passion in the extremities make it appear as though it once meant something. We grow from hot to cold,but lukewarm,to my mind,is the biggest insult.
 
 
Apathy,unconcern,indifference,lack of interest,lack of emotion-it's what creeps into the marriage when one or both spouses aren't watchful. It happens when they allow the fire for each other to go out. It happens when couples fill their individual lives with other people,events,interests and pursuits to the point that the otherness is preferred over togetherness.It's when your husband stops chasing you. It happens when a couple shares a bed and not much else. It's when you look at him and wonder where your husband went. It's when he looks at you and he is too exhausted to try anymore.

So my darlings, the moral of the story is that never let your relationship with your partner turn lukewarm!! If there can't be abiding love all the time and there can never be then go ahead ,fight,argue,debate,discuss...if need be even shout,scream,abuse,yell at each other,tear each others hair and eyes out,break the china,scandalise your neighbours...let your frustrations,irritations and anger be known and expressed...please don't bottle them up inside...at all costs, guard against the surly silences,denial and disinterest!! Tackle it head on..nip the wretched thing in the bud...confront it head on...don't let it manifest itself in your relationship otherwise it will spread like a malignant cancer and destroy everything closest to your heart and kill your spirit!!


Monday, 14 May 2012

MY ENDLESS CULINARY DISASTERS!!!

Everyone who knows me even vaguely, knows what a die hard foodie i am!! Most people eat to live, in my case its exactly the reverse-i live to eat!! I dream about food,i fantasise about food, i barely finish one meal and i am planning the next, my book shelves are crammed with recipe books and magazines and most of the "to record" list on my Tata Sky plus set top box are foodie programmes!! Nigella Lawson,Donna Hay,Toni Baxton,Gordon Ramsay,Kylie Kwong,Madhur Jaffrey are demi gods and goddesses in my eyes because you guessed it-they are all chefs and make the most awesome,yummiest food ever!! I can just sit and drool and salivate for hours over the amazing stuff that they concoct on my television screen!!!

But alas! Loving food and knowing how to cook it, so that you love to eat it are two very different stories altogether!! I have tried in vain to learn how to cook for so many years but every sincere and diligent effort on my part is met with disaster, to put it mildly!! The moment i mention the word cooking (as in, that i would like to cook) my poor Santosh-our family cook,turns pale and breaks out in a cold sweat and now promptly requests for a leave under some pretext or the other!! He just can't see me decimate/destroy his beloved kitchen and his fav non-stick pots/ pans and mess up his superbly organised spice cupboard and fridge!! It's just too painful for him to watch and he believes in the age old adage, of "ignorance is bliss" so just disappears into thin air!! I mention the word cooking and poof!! he's gone! Magic mantra for vanishing Santosh!!
So then after Santosh's hasty,disappearing act, i am left alone in his intimidating,cold kitchen  with tens of bottles of masalas, pastes, whole spices and gleaming pots and pans glowering disapprovingly at me and almost mocking me in a very life like manner!!! Scary stuff!! Suffice to say that in spite of my best efforts-the end result of hours of chopping,peeling, pouring over recipe books and "bhunaoing" is not even worth my beloved Romeo's time and effort! Romeo is my adorable Labrador and  my most stoic,steadfast,loyal and loving fan but even his non discerning doggy palate can't take the stodgy,usually burnt mess that i produce before him after hours of patient and loving labour!!!
So demotivating and demoralising!! So now have decided, much to the relief of everyone in my household that i will not attempt to cook!! Will only attempt to eat!! Ha!Ha! That's a laugh! As if i need to attempt to eat! I am a natural at that! I was born to eat and eat I will till my poor, long suffering tummy can't take it anymore! Anyway Pudin Hara and Digene zindabad!! They have been my life long and very steadfast friends and have seen me through all kinds of adventurous and sometimes dangerous culinary journeys!!
I find this predicament of mine pretty fascinating-not being able to cook, to save my life as my dad was an awesome cook as is my mom.I remember as a child, on the weekends the whole house would be fragrant with the smell of garam masala , sauteed ginger-garlic paste and browned onions etc as "papa" would be conjuring up some magic in the kitchen. He was a Pathan and a die hard foodie just like me and so would make the most awesome and melt in the mouth shammi kebabs ,bhuna gosht ,Sikandari raan, kacchey keema koftas and biryanis. You can guess now why we were so popular in our neighbourhood with everyone vying for a place on our dinner table!!
My mom is still a pretty good cook and her specialities include Muslim delicacies like haleem,nihari,paya, aloo gosht, sheer maal etc. Pretty mouth watering and complicated stuff so i can't understand as to how i haven't inherited some of their talent and just fall so miserably short where my culinary abilities are concerned!!
My father passed away when i was thirteen but even now when my mom cooks,however much she cooks poor lady,it always falls short because we all hog so much and are literally licking the bowls clean!!! In fact, i set a record the other day when i actually polished off eight ghee-wali chapatti's (yes, eight!!) with her gobhi and shalgam (beetroot) gosht in one sitting!
Was quite taken aback and guilt ridden myself afterwards!! Couldn't believe it-i mean there has to be a limit to greed!! And predictably so, had the runs and literally didn't have a proper meal for the next two days!! What to do?! Was in a state of shock and disbelief- and with the dreaded  forty loomimg large-don't want my "qamar" becoming a "qamra" with my frequent eating binges!! So it's a torrid love affair on the dining table and a total nightmare on the treadmill as you might have guessed! 
 I try and work out pretty religiously-go to a fancy gym,have a personal trainer but it's a losing battle as the math just doesn't add up where intake and burning off calories are concerned!! So have finally given up-love food too much to ever give up on that so have given up hopes of ever being waif thin and pixie like!! Will always have chubby cheeks and a full, ahem! figure and a growling,insatiable tummy always wanting to be fed-so might as well accept it and smile!!
And by the way, read a very interesting article in Reader's Digest the other day that people who like to eat and enjoy food are most likely happy,satisfied souls and usually live longer and healthier than people who were not good eaters and who worry about every mouthful that they put in their mouths!! So there!! Now it's a proven fact that people who enjoy food, enjoy life and what else can one ask for from life other than to enjoy it and treat it like a blessing and live it as fully as one can!!! Bon appetit everyone!!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

LONDON DREAMS!!

Hi folks! What's happening! I know i have again dropped off the radar-was first getting ready to travel which meant packing a suitcase which i am truly lousy at!!! Just that one suitcase gives me nightmares -i pack and repack it at least twenty times because i am so indecisive-want to cater for everything-casual wear,formal wear,party wear,rain wear-since was going to wet and miserable London!!
So that took all of one week and everyone in my house was truly fed up of my  clothes woe and ran for cover every time i wailed about something, be that my four pair of boots were not fitting into my sorry suitcase or my new leather jacket was getting all squished or my conditioner bottle was leaking and so on and so forth! Then i was actually travelling -was in London for a week and the weather was awful-it was wet,wetter and wettest and i ran woefully short of all my rain wear and completely spoilt my tan,suede boots!

But in spite of the weather playing such a dampener-literally-had quite a ball! Mr. C was very busy,working as usual,poor chap! Didn't even have time for a proper breakfast and was just rushing around consulting maps and catching one tube after the next because his hoity toity and utterly selfish wife refused to stay anywhere else but central London because that's where her shopping havens and all the 'IT' places were!!! So while i was five minutes away from Oxford street and ten minutes away from Harrods-poor Mr C had to commute forty mins one way to work and back!! Talk about true love!!
Anyway so once my darling hubby departed for his long and arduous day, i would have another cuppa of Earl Grey and go for a leisurely,fragrant soak in my ample bath . Once that hard task was accomplished, would breeze down to the hotel coffee shop and have a grand,traditional English breakfast of buttery,scrambled eggs,golden hash,grilled fat,juicy mushrooms, blackened tomatoes,  tender,pale green asparagus, plump,perfectly browned, split in the middle chicken sausages ,crisp turkey bacon and toasted brown bread spread with clotted cream and the most divine and heavenly jams-raspberry,blueberry,strawberry,plum!! Aaahhhh! Heaven!!
It would take me a good hour to polish off this spread and my server would just gawk in utter astonishment at my humongous breakfast platter and give me polite smiles and make even politer enquiries if i needed anything else!! As if there was anything else that was needed and could be squeezed into my petite five feet three AND A HALF inch frame!!! Please note the "and a half inch" in capitals!!! That half inch is vital to my being!!!

 Once i was done nourishing or let's say over nourishing my slender (I WISH) body, would step out to start my day. However much people may crib and bitch about the unpredictable weather in London, one thing that we have to acknowledge, is that it sure spoils you for choice. There's just so much to do there-the museums,the art galleries,the theatre-Oh! I love the theatre! Watched "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables" this time round. Awesome experience and would recommend it to all my friends.
 Other than that, love the sheer variety of restaurants and cuisines on offer and the shopping is a different story altogether!! Mr. C dreads this aspect and keeps reminding me that we are middle class folk and that the Pound is worth eighty five rupees!!! In fact he says it so many times that it reverberates in my brain non stop and i am even chanting it in my sleep!! Eighty five Rupees to one Pound,eighty five Rupees to one Pound. I am sure you folks get the drift.
I then just spend the entire day getting lost in Harrods or Selfridges or Harvey Nichols. Just find it such a calming,soothing experience-wandering around by myself-browsing through the aisles,trying out the stuff i want to with no one breathing down my neck and yelling at me to move my fat arse !(By the way just to get our facts straight, my arse is not fat at all-and that's the only body part that i can comment on with such brazen confidence!!) Now to get back to the topic at hand-no annoying,over zealous sales person following me around bothering me,hankering after me or being obtrusive and then when i am are tired, just sitting down for coffee and scones in the magnificent food halls and ruminating!! A verrrry relaxing and holistic experience for the spirit-at least for me! 

Other than that, would really recommend the bus tours of London-they are fab and most of their guides are treasure troves of information with a great sense of humour. So, you start your sojourn from Green Park and the bus takes you to all the important land marks of London and how many of them there are! While you enjoy the scenery,the guide prattles on about the history and culture and throws in a little anecdote here and there about how it was in the days of yore. Thoroughly enjoyable if you are a history buff, like me!
All in all, a great week and it passed in the blink of an eye. Now i am back and firmly entrenched in my 'gharelu' routine of yelling at the brats, unpacking my four suitcases-remember i started off with just one,firing the staff,watering my "mariyal" plants, working off the zillion calories that i ingested under the excuse of being on holiday and most importantly pampering and pandering to the rather sullen and sulky hubby (understandably so) since the shameful American express and Citibank credit card bills just arrived telling sordid tales of my wasteful extravagances!!

 Aah!! The ups and downs of my life!! They would put a roller coaster to shame!! Anyway, roaming around with a rather sad ,contrite ,suitably admonished and woe begone expression these days-trying to elicit as much sympathy and compassion for my spend thrift habits and shopaholic ways !! After all, i was in London! The shopping mecca of the world and a little bit of indulgence once in a while is permitted!!! Wink! Wink!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Teenarized ( as opposed to terrorized) by Frankesteen!!!!

Just in a very pissed off mood. It's brat no-1's fifteenth birthday today-have shown him a real good time this weekend-lots of pampering,shopping,movies and meals out but the ungrateful wretch that he is,has not expressed a word of appreciation or thankfulness! Instead has been on a non-stop complaining spree as to how this wasn't good enough or that wasn't great and so on and so forth!!! 

I am so angry that I actually just feel like putting him down on my knee and giving him a good spanking with the hardest paddle brush that i can find at home!! Pure day dreaming on my part of course, because he's now at five feet and eleven inches and weighs 75 kilos so physically impossible for me to actually lay him across my knee and giving him the whipping that he deserves!!

What is it with the teenagers of today??? Why are they-with very few exceptions-such a shameless lot?Why are they never happy or content or appreciative or respectful? Why do they always want more and more and more till there's nothing really left to give? And what's with the surly,I'm so cool and you are a nut attitude,the pure defiance and rebelliousness that they exhibit at all times! Why is everything such a battle, not battle but literally guerrilla warfare, that you feel like giving up even before you have started !!If you say right to them then it necessarily has to be left! If you agree to left, then suddenly they want to go right! It's enough to drive any sane person absolutely crazy!!

 Frankly this indecisiveness and constant confusion i can still handle-what really gets to me is the utter lack of respect that they exhibit towards all adults in general! Are we there just in the capacity of their slaves and to do their bidding while they are our lords and master and order us around!! Or do we serve any other purpose in their life such as being guides,mentors,benefactors and other such noble stuff!!

I don't think so!! We are dealing with an increasingly selfish,self centred,self obsessed generation who just thinks about itself-the rest of the world be damned !! We are there not as their parents and figures of authority but just as the facilitators,providers and care givers-beyond that if we do try to assert our rights or enforce any kind of discipline-kaput!! Doomsday! World War three!! Atomic bomb explosion!! And you find that your dignity,self-respect,authority- everything is blown into smithereens and you are just left seething with fury and resentment and cursing the day that you ever decided to become a parent!!

Actually if i could turn back the clock, i would not elect to have children of my own at all instead would devote my time,energy and resources in an orphanage-really loving,caring and helping out kids who are alone in this world and have no one to call their own. And hopefully,they would appreciate all the attention and love showered on them and treat you with some respect,humanity and consideration.

I think back to our times and realise with a start as to how different our lives were. We were teenagers too and had our fair share of fun, got into trouble,bunked classes,disobeyed our parents etc but that under lying fear of authority or respect for our parents never left us. At the end of the day we towed the line and never went beyond a certain limit. Life was not about instant gratification like it is today, that the moment your child wants something he has to get it,right at that minute!! What bloody bull-shit!!

We had to work for our treats and wait for them-sometimes months on end! I still remember saving up my measly pocket money to buy a Sony Walkman and it took me six months but when i got it,i felt such an acute sense of accomplishment and pride! But i guess those were simpler times and we had none of the distractions or temptations that teens of today do!

I guess to some extent we as parents are to blame too! We all are busy,have crazy stressed out lives-running from pillar to post most of the times so therefore may not be able to devote the quality and quantum of time that our parents did to us. So in an effort to cover up and assuage that guilt and regret, sometimes we just give in too easily. It's too much of a bother to argue or explain or reason-sometimes its just easier to go along. And i think that's our undoing because the kids of today are a smart,wily bunch and they know when they have you by the b.... literally and figuratively!!

Enough raving and ranting for today!! Enough fodder for thought!! Hope you folks are dealing better with your kids than i am!!! If you do have any tried and tested strategies to deal with these "Franksteens"-do let me know. Will be grateful forever. Take care and  all the very best!! Adios!!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

My dirty,little secret!!!

"Ishq bina kya marna yara
ishq bina kya jeena.
Tum ne ishq ka naam
sunna hai, humne ishq
kiya hai!"

Love the above lyrics from a very popular song and really identify with them. "Ishq","mohabat","pyaar","ibadat"-like a slightly rustic friend of mine put it-" ishq kis jeev,jantu,pakshi ka naam hai??? Hai kya yeh cheez jo itna rulayein or itna hasayein??" To put it in the Queens language ,he meant -what is this strange thing called love that mystifies,fascinates,drives us crazy,makes us cry and definitely makes us laugh!! What is this wondrous,elusive,evasive thing and how many of us can truly claim to have experienced it! Yes, i am pretty sure that all of us have experienced love in some measure in our lives and in it's myriad forms but here i am not talking about that half baked,luke warm stuff-i am talking about the earth shattering,nerve wracking,gut wrenching,breathless feeling which makes or breaks you!

I am talking intense,soul mate stuff where you feel that the other person was created for you and you exist just to be with him and vice versa and everything is so perfect, though in reality it may really be completely imperfect yet you are oblivious to the obvious! Yes darlings that's my dirty,little secret! That's the stuff that fascinates me,excites me and gets my juices-creative i might add-flowing! And let me confess that i long for it and crave for it! What can be more gratifying and fulfilling than actually finding that special someone who just completes you,who makes you whole again,who makes life worth living,who adds colour to the dull greys of your life and banishes monotony,routine and boredom!!

 But where is this wondrous creature who will breathe new life into the utter monotony of  life?? And more seriously am i or say you ,even allowed to think these sacrilegious thoughts and have these wild fantasies when we are locked in the holy bond of matrimony!! Isn't it taboo to talk about such controversial stuff openly and be so blase in this utterly suffocating,hypocritical society that we live in??

Will i now be classified as a loose,characterless,immoral harlot?! A scarlet woman so to say! Come on! Open your minds a bit! We are living in the twenty first century and who are we kidding?! The amount of back door,sneaky romances that are happening in our immediate vicinity would astound many!!! But my lips are sealed shut forever! I am certainly not advocating adultery here-please don't get me wrong but what i am saying is that don't be so preachy and moralistic! Live and let live! Appearances are very deceptive and who knows whats happening behind closed doors! As human beings our first and foremost duty is to ourselves and only when we are happy ourselves can we do justice to people who depend on us! As a writer, i just feel that i have the artistic,creative license to talk about and write about contentious issues so please bear with me and indulge me a bit!! Don't act all moral and prissy about it!!

 Is marriage the be all and end all of life? Are you supposed to subjugate all your desires,hopes and dreams just because you are married to someone? And let's be honest-let's just drop all the hypocrisy and moral crap for now-how many of us-both men and women really feel fulfilled by our current partners and let me reiterate here that what i am saying does not mean that the folk that we are married to are not accomplished,decent people-of course they are and that's why we married them and stay married to them-i am talking about the magic,the insanity and passion that you feel when you are with that special, maybe i agree non existent someone!!

I know a lot of you may argue that the magic,passion etc has to do with the newness of a relationship and therefore fades with time till it reaches a stage where its non-existent and life goes on auto-pilot mode! I DISAGREE AND VEHEMENTLY SO!!! I think that when you are a with a soul mate or with the person that you are meant to be with ,then that passion may diminish somewhat but it never disappears-all that it takes is a small spark to re-ignite it and you are once again transported to la-la land!

Let's now talk in terms of the Indian society-most of us marry pretty young or at least our generation married relatively young-and i think that it's the stupidest thing to do-not because our partners are not nice or personable or intelligent-usually they are-very much so but because we had no clue as to what we really wanted from life and what marriage truly entailed. Initially at least, it's all about fancy dinners, late nights at the discotheque, pretty clothes and jewellery!! That's it! There is no real recognition of our needs or for that matter our partner's needs and what we really want or desired from our life or our spouses!! It's usually a whirl wind of cacophony ,colour and chaos in the Indian context!! And one thing naturally leads to another-we have our kids,decades pass and now we are firmly entrenched in the family routine!! Does it sound familiar?!

Sigh!! I am sure that you would agree with me that the family routine is great-it is and  that we all have fantastic times at times but as an individual,as a living,breathing,feeling human being, feel lost sometimes.Feel over whelmed by the never ending sameness. We go about living our life in a proper,correct manner as befitting our role in society but something in us  is just dying to be set free! We long to feel the sunshine on our face and the cool breeze in our hair!  We long to be just 'me'-just me without the encumbrances and baggage of society! Like Osho said "a woman is to be loved..not understood...that is the first understanding."

Yes, i want to be loved too just because i am me-there has to be no logic to it and certainly no understanding!! I want to experience magic,i want to dance till dawn and then watch the sunset ,i want to sleep all day, drink wine and listen to Mozart and Bach all afternoon,i want to go for a toe curling ride in a fast car with the top down!!

Yes! I want all this and more!! And some of you may frown in disapproval and twitter about my blasphemy behind my back but i truly don't care a shit!! It's my life and i will dream all i want!! There can be no moral licenses imposed just on day dreaming!!  And i do realise that this is also a lot of posturing,fantasising,conjuring and bravado on my part and that i may never get the opportunity to experience the so called "true love" of my life because i have missed the boat and that now it's too late and even if i do,i may not then have the courage or the guts to grab it because of the other loving ties i am enmeshed in but i will still dream,hope and pray that one day this handsome,rakish,utterly irresistible angel will descend on earth and kiss me awake from my very loooonnng slumber quite akin to Sleeping Beauty!!!


Yeah! Okay! Laugh and snigger all you want but i will carry on hoping and dreaming for that Utopian fantasy to come true!

I hope to live tomorrow and be able to write again after Mr. C reads this particular piece!! Wish me luck that i do survive and am not permanently banned from blogging!! Let me again reiterate that this is not just a personal referendum-it's what i see happening around me with alarming regularity!!!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

My achy,breaky heart!!

Hardly slept last night-just kept thinking,tossing and turning-some good thoughts,some sad thoughts and some pretty insane thoughts even by my rather lofty standards-the human mind-such a wonderful,bizarre creation which at times  both fascinates and scares!! I seem to be on a roller coaster of emotions these days-sometimes wake up feeling absolutely fantastic ready to take on the world or more specifically the bratty kids,the surly husband,the inefficient cook,the garrulous "maali",the smart alecky driver,the lecherous ninety year old "uncle" next door and there are days when i just want to bury myself in my cosy blanket and not surface at all!!I just want to lie in bed all day feeling sorry for myself and ponder my miserable fate!!! Gross exaggeration by the way, "the miserable fate" bit, in case"Allah" in all his everlasting glory is reading my blog and thinking what an ungrateful wretch i am!!!

Actually my fate is not miserable at all-on the surface of it-i have it all-a successful,handsome(ahem! ahem! remember beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder!!) husband,two beautiful,intelligent,spirited also bratty sons,a beautiful,well kept home(all thanks to me on that one,please note),decent looks,good health,a cook,a driver,a masseuse,a personal trainer,regular appointments at the beauty salon,a close knit group of loyal,devoted and sometimes scatty girl friends (please note, the word "sometimes" before i have five women baying for my blood!!)

So then i come to the puzzling and baffling question-what is it that ails me or rather makes me so moody and temperamental? Why am i always swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other? What is this restlessness,the fidgeting which keeps me awake at nights and makes me think bizarre thoughts? Why do i want to sometimes just pack up my stuff and run away..far,far away...to the Himalayas and take sanyas?  On a lighter note,what then would happen to all my pretty dresses and hundred pairs of stilettos!! Sanyasins, even sexy ones at that ,couldn't really be going around hobbling on hilly terrain wearing six inch high heels!!!

On a more serious note,what about my numerous responsibilities,the various roles of being a wife,mother,home-maker that i play? Would all that come to a nought ? I think some of my moodiness comes from my zodiac sign-i am a Scorpio-so according to Linda Goodman-i am intense,passionate,prone to extremes,loyal,devoted,easily bored,need new challenges and so on and so forth. But i guess it couldn't just be that! So have been pondering,thinking and analysing and have come to the PROFOUND conclusion  and please feel free to correct me if i am wrong, that i am not the only one who's going through this dilemma of life's choices. Up to a certain degree,all of us women,in this particular age group are facing the same quandary.

We are most of us in our late thirties to early forties-married to successful men who frankly now don't have the time of day for us as they are too busy chasing deadlines and crunching numbers,have kids who are between the age group of 10-15 years who are now firmly entrenched in the school routine and can barely stand us and only remember us when they want you to buy them the new I-pad or I-pod or whatever,have an established set up home wise where the maid and the nanny are in place and now are feeling that gosh!! life has suddenly passed us by!!

 All of life's challenges,opportunities,chances seem to be firmly in the past!!Another ten maybe fifteen  years and we will all be firmly in the middle aged,over the hill bracket!!! We all are including me,desperately trying to hold on to the last vestige of diminishing youth,are obsessing over each new wrinkle or crows feet that appears or grey hair which i personally now seem to be sprouting on a weekly basis. We all are looking for a reason ,a validation to exist,to go on,to make a mark,to make a difference. We all want to be vital,needed,wanted and desired and frankly that's not happening at least not to the degree that we desire!

So now i come to the next logical question-what do we do? For every problem their's a solution and for every disappointment their's hope! The solution i have concluded is acceptance and reconciliation and knowing that ultimately we all are lone riders! We come into this world alone and leave it alone! During life's course  we form our bonds and attachments but in the end they are are all superfluous and superficial! We bring nothing into this world and we take nothing back.Nothing in life is permanent other than the permanence of change and the sooner we come to terms with that the better!!

And maybe once in a while -this is a more radical suggestion-we should do drunken,inebriated evenings with just the "gurrrls" where we gossip,bitch out our stuffy husbands,our bratty brats and the hopeless,inefficient ,over paid domestic staff we have at home plus obviously drink lots of cocktails-Mojitos,Cosmos,Daiquiris,Sangrias...basically the works---drowning yourself in alcohol once in a while is a tried and tested therapy to vanquish all the ills in the world!!!

Before some of you prissy, moralistic types jump the gun and lampoon and lambast me,i am certainly not advocating alcoholism!! i am just saying that sometimes acting silly and drunk and out of control and letting your hair down where there are no more pretences and rules and obligations and acting crazy is a sure shot method to (temporarily) mend an achy,breaky heart!!! And i speak from experience,honey!

So bring out the sexy,backless dresses ladies and let's crack open a bottle of Champagne and let's have a ball!! Who knows tomorrow we may just be packing a back pack to the Himalayas and last i checked it wasn't very conducive to wearing backless dresses and having exotic cocktails!!! Cheers! Salute! Adios!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

"O meri jaan,meri jaan, kahan chaldi, pyaar ki pungi bajaa kar!"

Had an awesome weekend folks! Watched "Titantic" in 3D though there was nothing much 3D about it. No  flying objects or propelling gizmo's or in your face action, for which i was quite grateful  because full-on 3D movies literally give me a head ache. This particular movie though  caused more of a heart ache than a head ache for the hundredth time (yes! i have watched it at least ten times if not hundred!). I think James Cameron-the smart man that he is- just pulled the wool in our eyes and made a couple of billion dollars again by re releasing such a classic as now a 3D movie!

 Well! I am not complaining at all-"Titanic" will always remain one of my favoritest films of all times. I love it-i love the character "Jack" that Leonardo Di Caprio played and thought that "Rose"- Kate Winslet -was just so beautiful,feisty and spirited and matched him every step of the way- screen for screen. I loved the sizzling chemistry between them,the tender romance,the stolen kisses and the steamy-literally-make out scene!

I loved it because there was such innocence,purity,sincerity and depth to it! It made me realise with a jolt that how over the hill,jaded and cynical i had become over the last decade that i had stopped believing in the possibility of real or true love or soul mates.

 Life had become all about  duties,responsibilities,expectations,appearances and other exhausting and draining stuff!! Where was the passion,romance,the spark that lights you up when you see another person,the butterflies in the stomach,the sudden lurching of the heart and that intense,giddy feeling of utter ecstasy and delight when you are with the object of your affection!!Was it all a figment of my imagination? Were they tales of yore? Did i ever feel like that or is that memory so in the past that it now feels completely non-existent!

"Love", these days has just become another four letter word with not much meaning or gravitas. Everybody says it to everybody else and it truly amounts to jack shit!!! A lot of times couples say it to each other because then they just get the mental license to "bonk" each other without feeling guilty or embarrassed or awkward afterwards. Needless to say that the "love" flies out of the nearest door,window,ventilation shaft after a few 'bonking" sessions. In such instances i just feel that i wish we had the honesty to admit that what we feel for the other person is just plain,physical attraction or lust and not much else instead of using the other "L" word. Why abuse it when in reality it does mean so much more and is so sacred,pious and beautiful!!

I have no qualms in admitting that i am in love with the feeling of love. I am a die-hard romantic married to a die-hard cynic! I love romantic novels,films and plays-i love the mushy songs of days gone by. I love the concept of Devdas,Paro and Chandramukhi or Romeo-Juliet or Laila-Majnu. It just reaffirms my faith in higher,more noble values and things-much above the petty,incessant materialism ,selfishness and ostentatiousness and the constant need and greed of present day society!

I wish sometimes that i could turn back the hands of time and be sixteen again and go and fall in love once again. I want my knight in shining armour to come and sweep me off my feet and carry me away to Never,Never land where there's just beauty and nature and misty mornings and gondola rides and wine and cheese cake for every meal. Very important to mention that we will have to provide for a full scale gym in Never, Never land with a personal trainer in tow, because if I'm having wine and cheese cake for every meal, will become a fat frump in no time!! And don't want my knight in shining armour cringing every time he has to serenade this particular fat frump!! Please note-no offence meant to any fat frumps whatsoever!!! Just my personal opinion!

I want that thrill,that excitement,i want bells pealing, violins being strummed, i want a star lit sky and somebody reading poetry to me. But alas!! I don't think its happening to me-at least not in this lifetime!! Here and now, I'm stuck with the surly,grouchy,cranky Mr. C who thinks that the height of romance is when he buys me a new washing machine or vacuum cleaner!!(dramatic and loud sigh!!)All is not lost and  let's look at the bright side-at least i have spic and span,shining,stainfree clothes and clean,lint free carpets in my house!! Romance and passion doesn't make for such superb cleanliness-if anything-it creates more mess-literally and figuratively!!! Wink! Wink!

Motherly duties beckon-brat no:2 is wailing for me because he wants me to help him make a robot out of household waste-some stupid,cumbersome project from school!!! Sigh!! But i guess that's love too,definitely not the bells pealing and butterflies in the stomach love, but love is love is love!!! On that happy note,i sign off my friends and wish you all a happy, love filled-in whatever form- loving life!!! The keyword-you guessed it-is LOVE!!! Keep living and loving!! "O meri jaan,o meri jaan,kahan chaldi pyaar ki pungi bajaa kar!!"

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Nonsanse peoples!! No bloody shense of humar!!!

Subah please 3 baatoein par dhyan de-
Parents ke paas jao taki wo apko hug kare
Friend ko sms karo taki wo be hug kare
Toilet se jaldi niklo taki dusre b hug sakey!!!!

Ha! Ha! Sorry! I know very crass and totally belies my ahem! sophisticated image. But what to do-sometimes brainless humour is required to get through the day or night or afternoon or evening or whatever!!

Bear with me-just a few more----

Sardarji sari raat mujra dekhta raha.
Mujrewaali boli-saheb hamne aapko khush kiya ab aap bhi hamko khush kar do.
sardarji-achha ab tu baith mein nachta hun...

Dear Katrina Kaif,
It's just a mango drink,not mango flavoured condoms!! Take it easy girl!!!!

After operation, a girl to doctor-how soon can i resume my sex life???
Doctor-you are the 1st patient to ask this question after a tonsil operation....

Most Delhiites believe punctuality is like having an orgasm....
the later you come,the more successful  you are....

Women drivers are like stars in the sky, you can see them but they cant see you.

Ok, enough!Won't write anymore stupid jokes. But just in a pretty whacky,crazy mood . Was just reading about our darling Mamta di and how she got some poor seventy year old professor arrested and put behind bars because he circulated some cartoon of hers!!! The pits!! What's Indian society coming to?? Have we become so intolerant that we can't stand anyone poking fun at us or having an opinion? Is this what democracy is about? What about free speech and freedom of thought and action? Why can't we be more self-effacing and chilled out and learn to laugh at ourselves and see humour in situations. Isn't life as it is so heavy and serious and intense? Why cant we just kick back and let our hair down,relax and have a good hearty laugh and see ourselves with a fresh ,new perspective? Maybe their's some merit in someone else's point of view!

We are so easy to point fingers and laugh at other people but when it comes to us we all become such tight asses!! We take offence,bristle with anger,become indignant and overly sensitive.We take ourselves TOO seriously-our image in the eyes of the world has to be oh! so perfect and correct and untarnished that we don't realise that true perfection sometimes lies in minor imperfections!!Our individual eccentricities, our quirky traits make us who we are and unique and make us stand out from the crowd.If we were all ditto copies of each other-how boring life would have been!! So we do need all the weirdos and oddballs and nerds and "ghaatis" and "bhai-sahebs" and "behenjis" and society divas to make our life interesting and varied and educative!!! So smile folks,even learn to laugh a little at yourselves and let the world bring it onnnnnn!!

Missing in action!!

Hi folks! How are you?I have been missing in action the last of couple of months as have been tackling a lot of pressing issues on the home front. Firstly, my elder son,a.k.a brat no:1 went off to a weekly boarding school and my God! the whole process was so tumultuous,torturous and completely emotionally wrung me out! I have gone through the whole gamut of emotions in the last three months from happiness to his being accepted in one of the most prestigious schools in the country to sadness that my baby was finally leaving the nest and learning to fly by himself to extreme anxiety because he was being mercilessly bullied in the school hostel to anger at my inability and helplessness to help him out!!

So i have laughed,cried,lay awake numerous nights,pleaded,cajoled-the works!!! I am now a walking,talking encyclopedia on human emotions and human frailties and honestly now feel far older than the modest number of years that i have lived on mother Earth!!! Fine, i agree, that's an exaggeration!!! The number of years are not that modest but at least I'm still in my thirties-chalo i concede-late thirties but what the hell!!! Modest enough--the number of years that is!!!

Secondly after firstly that is, i have become obsessed with my body image. Just want to look thin,thinner and thinnest!! Which by the way is never happening since i am such a fond eater and that's a gross understatement! My family and friends will vouch for it. I love food-i can dream about it,fantasise about it,plot and plan my next meal for hours,take food centric vacations where i will have six straight meals in a day,watch all the foodie programs on television ranging from Nigella Lawson to Madhur Jaffrey to Gordon Ramsay to God alone knows who!!! Which brings me to my current predicament--how do i get to a waist size 26 when i pig out at least 26 times a month!!!

So then i try to over compensate by working out like a mad woman in the gym with my hair all astray and a wild,crazed look in my eye! I pound away at the treadmill as if no tomorrow and sweat a river on the cross-trainer, i vie with all the ahem! body builders in the gym for time on the strength training machines and i monopolise the lone trainer on the gym floor!!My goal always being to work off the Spaghetti Carbonara i had for lunch or the Chocolate fondant cake i had for tea or the double cheese omelette i had for breakfast!!!

 God! Please grant me some wisdom-or if that's a long shot-some self control at least!! Let me not start drooling or salivating the moment i cross a dessert shop in the mall,let me not buy all the foodie magazines in print,let me not pour over ten different recipes of "Moroccan lamb tagine" in the hope of deciphering it and passing along the exact instructions to my trusty cook Santosh to attempt making it at home!!

I guess its all a work in progress as am i! As are all of us! But as long as we keep on striving to do our best and be the best that we can be-it makes the struggle,the effort worth it! Life is about living,struggling,achieving,succeeding and of course failing! In fact i personally believe that failure is a better and bigger teacher than success because after a point in time we can start taking success for granted but failure rankles us,bothers us,keeps pinching at us and forces us to get up and take notice and sometimes that's what is required to get the job done!!!! Just the act of sitting up and taking notice!!!

So strive on and struggle on my dear friends!!! Ultimately we will all reach our destinations but in the meantime let's make the journey worth while and meaningful!! Adios!!