Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Do good and put it in the lake

Well for those who could not follow the pure genius in the title its an adaptation of neki kar aur darya main daal ;) Now for the saga behind this awesome title.

K had been complaining lately. About what? That he was getting out of shape. Mostly he blamed mil and me for it. Rather than exercising or exercising restrain on his intake, he put the onus on us to prepare smaller portions!! Yes - ghor kalyug! 

I had been pushing him to atleast go for a walk once in a while. But either he did not have the time or the mood. Yesterday I got a small window of opportunity and caught him. We had to go grocery shopping. After finishing I asked him to go on a long-ish route back home. First there was a crib session. He literally stomped his feet! I was like a drill sergeant. Nothing doing cadet. Walk on. 

After a point he started black mailing me. If I wanted him to walk I was to let him have a packet of chips. I was like whoa whoa whoa no kidding ! No chance in hell that I was going to open the chips. But then like a little nag the whining got a bit out of hand. I had to relent (God knows how I am going to handle the tantrums of my kid if I could not reason with an adult ) . I let him open the packet but he was to eat in moderation. 

Moderation as one may know is a subjective term. He had in quantities that he deemed moderate :|  He did wish to take shorter detours to home but I had to keep persevering to keep him on track. Finally with much ado we reached home . Was I happy to get a cribbing kid off my back. 

After dinner to get some scraps of appreciation I inquired if K enjoyed the 'walk' ? K was brutal in his reply . He felt uncomfortable, dragged and totally bored! ( bored in my company !!!! Talk about being absurd) He totally hated the 'walk' :(((((( 

Well everyone might not be as fanatical about walking as I am . Till I get a good walking partner and K some form of exercise he enjoys we shall go on our pursuits separately . :(

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boo boo again

I realise my last post was due day before yesterday. My mistake may be excused in the light of the event that I was to get back to work after 2 weeks and 2 days. 

The morning looked promising with yours truly being able to wake up before the alarm went off . It was an incredible feat in itself. Though that was the end of the good part. I was totally bleary eyed at work . It was very daunting to keep my eyes open. The developments over 2 weeks seemed more phenomenal than those over my year's maternity leave. Team members I was  comfortable with had tendered their resignations. There was some changes on the applications landscape. Maybe after a year I was prepared got a lot of changes hence they did not matter much. But I was off for only a couple of weeks out of which most of the days I was in town. It seemed a bit excessive to have upheavals at the end of it. Anyways that is all part of a day's work. 

The good part was yet to come.When I reached home Chiyaa was elated to see me. She came running and hugged me and started jumping :) I was filled with boundless joy. You can be so important to a little one! Seriously.Who cares about bank balance or promotions or what ever label the world tries to weigh you by? A little kid's love is enough to make all wrongs right.

K popped over since work was a bit light for him. Being his typical self, he suggested a plan for going to Chennai Express. Mil and I were a bit skeptical. Our last movie experience with Chiyaa was not so cool. We had gone for the Superman movie and she was a proper nightingale. One hour into the movie we had to make our way home . We were not sure how she would react to another theatre experience . We decided to take a call depending on how she took her dinner. She seemed fine after dinner and we opted taking our chances. K offered that he would take care of her outside in case she became unmanageable . We were like neki aur pooch pooch? 

I am a TOTAL SRK fan. To top it I am a Rohit Shetty fan as well. I lovedddddd the movie. I was literally rolling on the floor laughing in the first. What a re-invention of SRK. He was spoofing himself . He did not seem ill at ease at all(which he seemed in the last couple of movies) He also did some good ol dhishoom dhishoom which reminded me of the SRK of Darr and Anjaam. Boy was the movie a lot of fun. K and mil also enjoyed it. The icing on the cake was chiyaa watched very calmly for 1.25 hours. And then drifted off to peaceful sleep. Another SRK fan in the making??? Hmmmm maybe :)

Day1 at work after vacatin done and day 15 of the mini blog-athon done :) au revoir :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday highlight post

This is the last day of my vacation and the penultimate day of the mini blog-athon. I am happy for one and sad for another hmmm :)

So let me post the customary high fours of Sabbath day.

  • Mil made the most amazinggggg pepper saalan. With parathas it was to die for.
  • Gave the kid a luxurious bath in recently arrived haldi powder from India . She smelled like a Kerala Ayurved shala ;)
  • Was able to catch up on the book 'And the mountains echoed'
  • As chiyaa played with her dad and granny in the park I got time for some tlc for my self. I applied a face pack in like 100 years:) even though I am terribly irregular it feels nice to do something good for oneself in the blue moon :D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

An open question

Yesterday the Facebook update of a friend of mine read - A chilled glass of wine, with her favourite music playing and her kid dancing to it made her day. Some weeks back another friends status read - Warm sunshine and relaxing time with her hubby and kid made her day. Yet another one posted pictures of vacation  with her children in some amusement park. The one thing common to all of them - apart from all the updates being upbeat was - they were based out of India.

Which set me pondering. Why were the frequencies of such updates not so common from my friends in India? I know day to day life is a bit tougher in India but then are there no small joys? Is'nt having family within reach a pleasure? Is'nt visiting the length and breadth of India equally spell binding? Is'nt having a cuppa tea with pakoras on a road side stall on over cast evenings delightful. 

Of course there are inconveniences. There are the frequent power cuts.There are mosquitoes and ants. There is the slow internet connection. There is the constant haggling with auto rickshaw drivers. But I am not talking the big issues of corruption, infrastructure, basic education, medical facilities. I know these big issues are way better taken care of in the developed societies. I am talking about the small things, the little niceties, the sweet nothings. I am talking about the beauty of the Durga Puja pandals, the pani puri stalls, the peanuts on the beach, the carnage during the sale in Bata ,enjoying and catching up on MTV Roadies. 

As an instance, I have noticed that catch up between friends is so few and far between in India even though accessible but in a foreign land people go through hell and high water to meet up! Of course there is a plethora of delectable dishes uploaded and smiling faces in social networking sites again with the location being CA, Manama, NJ or Singapore City. I long to see such updates from Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Bhubaneswar. Of course they are not absent. But wish they were more,lots more. On our recent trip back to India, we invited some of K's friends over to our home. They could not all come at the same time given their own commitments. What surprised us was one of them asked K if he knew what another pal was up to. K did know - but the incident did not fail to amaze me. Is it because the bigger things take up so much of our time and energy that we lack the zeal to pursue the God of small things? Or is it the case of ghar ki murgi? Or (no offense) the residents of developed nations are more flamboyant because it is cool to show case those exotic pictures? Just an open question, I would love to be enlightened.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The trip is over already

It is unbelievable how quickly vacations get over. I had a whole lot of things planned - nothing phenomenal just the usual list of chores to be done properly. Utilize the 'sale' season and get some new clothes for Chiyaa, wash and iron K's work clothes (properly ;) ), get the fridge re-stocked, try some new recipes (Chinese and a little bit of baking), rest a bit, read a lot and of course take those long walks with Chiyaa. I even had a list stuck to the refrigerator. 

The first half of the time was taken up in preparing for the trip  to Paris. The second half has been taken up in getting recuperating from the trip. In the middle sits The Blur. A whirlwind trip. 

Like with any trip, the end always fills one up with nostalgia. There are so many pictures to be uploaded, comments on the pictures fly back and forth, memories are shared, and exclusively in my case blog posts are written. I end up reliving the entire trip again and again. The first Monday after the trip, K had to head back to work. I did feel very sorry for him. Even though I was to be busy with the kid, I would not have deadlines and schedules and meetings and propriety  to maintain. That in itself was relaxing. In spite of having the grind of work, K missed us a lot. He could help come home for a sneak peak at the kid. 

The cleaning and unpacking and the baby kept me busy. I could help miss K. Having him all  the time for the past 3 days had made me so used to him. I wished he would come back from work soon. As luck would have it, the backlogs at work delayed him. Once he was back, we savoured some home made chaat, hooked on to some random tv show and watched some random shows. Chiyaa was dead tired and slept like a little kumbhakaran  ;) 

I did manage to bake a banana walnut cake too:) 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We are kids again

I am not a Disney fan.I prefer Pixar cartoons. But you cannot go to a place with Disney land and not visit it. Day2 was for Disney land. There is something seriously hypnotic about the place. The place is filled with a lively zesty music. One cannot help but get a hop in ones feet. It feels silly yes, but I saw every single person, have a smile on their face and skip in their gait. The crowd went on open to be enchanted. 

What hit me first was the way the whole area had been set up. It took me back to some other time, some other place. It had an old wordly charm about it. Seemed like I was transported to the America in the 50s(my knowledge of how America might be looking in the 50s comes entirely from novels and movies so  I may be excused in making this judgement). We walked on and we spotted Eeyore. Aww he looked so cute with his sad little eyes. K was totally smitten and wanted a picture taken. Here too as with the Eiffel Tower there was the 'queue' price to be paid. We anyways stood in the queue in the blistering sun. I would have loved to go away and enjoy some more sights, but then I had to look at K's enthusiasm to get convinced to stand in the queue. We were closing on, but then they said that Eeyore would need a break and would come back in 30 minutes. :( Were we disappointed :( K would have loved to wait on, but somehow my patience was at its brink. We decided to move on. 

K was crest fallen. Not for long though.There awaited the Disney castle which had been recreated as the castle for Sleeping Beauty. The walk through it evoked so many childhood memories. We had lots of stop overs at adventure land where the Pirates of the Caribbean island was our favourite. I was prepared for the long queues and waits for the rides. One thing that  heckled me was the pram 'unfriendliness' of the place. We have been to amusement parks and theme parks within England, and were amazed by how child friendly they were. In Disney land there were more places that were inaccessible by pram. There were elaborate and big -guess what - queues of prams parked in many  places. Wish they were a bit more considerate to parents with younger kids. 

The plethora of merchandise also baffled me.At the drop of a hat there was a glittering shop with lots and lots of wares. One would need the self control of a sage to not get pulled into the commercial whirlpool. We too bit the bait and ended up buying a huge coffee mug (I have a fancy for coffee mugs ) and a little bag for Chiyaa. 

We were not bogged down by the number of places we were not able to go to because of the pram. We randomly went into a cafe area and saw the live dance performance by a group. It was very well executed. I am not much of a dancer (I have 2 left foot ) and I am very shy of it. I do not enjoy seeing dance much as well. Somehow the performance reminded me of the footloose and fancy free graduation days. Hmm... those times without a care in the world. I literally got tears in my eyes at one point.Now how ludricious is that! 

We took a train ride around the park. Randomly we went off to a steak house. The fact that drew us was the decor. It was set like an old western bar. The details were superb with rugs, guns, hoes, saddles. Luckily they served some vegetarian burgers, but we would not have minded sipping coke just to savour the decor. Out of no where I spotted Pluto. K spotted Donald Duck. We literally ran out of the restaurant for the photo op. Chiyaa was totally scared of Pluto.No matter how much he tried to cheer her, she was totally wary. She was all right with Donald. Lo and Behold we had Chip and Dale too! I think there is something intrinsically cute about squirrels.She was more than happy posing for the pictures with them. K noted how animated I was around the characters. He mentioned that I was literally jumping up and down (something I was completely unaware of). The hypnotic effect of Disney had smitten me.

Totally over whelmed by the sights and sounds we dragged our tired bodies back. We were to be treated to the Paris by night tour after which we were in no position for any more thrill. A good nights sleep was what we yearned for!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And we landed

The next day was a real early start.We were at the pick up point at 0500. The crowd in the bus was a medley. There were elderly couples travelling alone, there was one big family, groups of friends, there was even a couple who were clearly in their honeymoon phase (oh how obnoxious they seemed! I am quite averse to PDA . Imagine there is a wiki link to PDA!! Cool!! )

We were to cross the Channel through a ferry. We let Chiyaa play on the deck and boy did she go crazy.That kid has some secret source of energy (I believe all parents think so about their wards :D ) Ferry ride done, it was again a long-ish drive from the port Calais to Paris. As soon as we entered Paris, the kids in bus started chanting Eiffel Tower- Eiffel Tower. It was hilarious. Their enthusiasm was so endearing :) Even the tour manager could not help contain his giggles. He decided to make the first stop at the tower. 

The Tower was visible from afar. As all good things come at a price, the price for this were long queues. Queue to get in, queue to get into the lifts, queue to get a good spot for a photo, queue to get souvenirs. But then that's a small price.

The first sight of the building did not evoke any thoughts in me. I had hope to be awestruck with wonder. As had happened to me with the Taj. When I had had the first glimpse of the Taj Mahal, I was open mouthed. It was really poetry in marble. It was the most peaceful yet imposing structure I had ever seen. I did not have that goose flesh feeling with the Eiffel. I was to be surprised. When we reached the second landing, and I had a view of the city - was I blown away. The city looked marvellous! The view was breath taking! We proceeded to the summit and by that time I was head over heels in love with the place. Once we were back on the ground, I could not help looking at the daunting structure. It is one that needs to be admired from a distance. It is something like a rainbow I feel - beautiful from a distance , from close up maybe just a giant prism(I know I know me and my horrible similes ). The Eiffel was over whelming from a distance. The gardens in front of it with the well tended lawns and trees just added to the glory of it. We decided to grab an ice cream. I don't know whether I was seeing everything with Eiffel tinted err ...rose tinted glasses or was  it a fact - but that ice cream was the best ice cream I have had in a long time. It was one HUGE dollop of chocolate ice cream in a BIG cone. It was delicious. I could not keep up with the melting of the ice cream - because I was so distracted snatching glances at the tower and of course my kid who was going berserk in the garden. I was like a child all slobbered with ice cream. It was ridiculously silly.

Finally we had to bid a temporary good bye to the steel  giant and head to the hotel for sleepy time. There was lots more fun awaiting us the next day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The preps

We had been looking at making a trip to Paris since  a long time. Somehow one thing or the other hindered us. It would either be the case of leaves not being there, weather not being ok, personal engagements or for that even finances keeping us down. I had plans to go with a chartered tour because of the kid. I wished for the nitty gritties to be taken care of already so that we could sit back and enjoy the ride.

We decided to go by the highly recommended Star Tours.Like most places, UK is also highly capital centric. So the tours start and end at London (with pick ups being available from other locations). The pick up  was at an odd hour of 0100 which would not have worked well with Chiyaa. We decided to go one day ahead and put up at London itself. 

It did end up being a very good decision. K loves London. He for the matter loves the tube in London. He feels like Indiana Jones, reading the maps, deciding which line to take and where to go. He could spend the whole day hopping from one train to another. We did get to London and then of course we got tube hopping. Finally we got to our hotel. It was awesome. There is something about hotel rooms - the initial cleanliness, the spic and span towels, the soaps and lotions, the tea and coffees, the tv, the way everything is there in that small space - a sofa, a coffee table, a working table, cupboards, hair dryers, iron boxes, laundry (seriously  is'nt literally a home fitted into the small space) . Even the budget hotels make K and me go all ooo aaaaa :) Or then maybe we are simple-tons who are easily impressed :) 

The first thing we did was hit the bed. We literally had to drag ourselves out of the bed at 1600. The area we were putting up at was an Indian dominated one. K started doing yet another of his favorite things - search for Indian restaurants! I somehow see no point in eating Indian food in a foreign place , is'nt that what we eat at home. To top it,in our house, we cook fares from all parts of India (ok maybe not from the west :D ) . We have the regular south Indian meals, and I cook stuff that are essentially northern or eastern. So I don't see much point in getting the same food in a hotel. I prefer going for a cuisine which we cant make at home. But K  of course thinks differently. He just likes having the same food in a hotel :| We finally we opted for - guess what - Chennai Dosa :| Huhhhhhhhhhh.

On the way to the place, literally every person we saw seemed from the Indian sub continent. The place was crowded and the shops had an ethnic Indian feel to it. K even spotted a shop with the name written in Tamil and did a woo hoo. To add to the authenticity the afternoon was hot and sweltering. It was literally like walking on Rangathan street in Chennai! 

We were flooded with nostalgia as we entered Chennai Dosa and started ordering like crazy. We ate like little piggies till a point we could move no more. That's when we decided to do our bellies a favour, stuffed a paan and headed out. To alleviate some guilt, we decided to take a walk. We spotted a park and of course we had to let Chiyaa have a go. She went berserk and we ended up being exhausted. I am sure we burnt more calories than we had consumed ;) 

We wrapped up the evening with some fresh juices and headed back to the hotel. We had a very early start and a really long day ahead of us. As we snuggled into the duvet, I could not help thinking - the afternoon made me miss my friends. Not Chennai, not BBSR, not my family, not my acquaintances, but my friends. I wished to see them - Sam, Ashu, Roomie dear, S. I missed them a lot somehow. I have no idea why. 

With my thoughts hovering around my lovely bunch of friends, I drifted off to a coma like sleep.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I apologise

I know I have not actually kept my promise of the mini blog-athon. But I was missing in action for a reason and this is it. 

Gives me lot of fodder for the next posts :)

Pots of gold anyone ?

There was an amazing rainbow yesterday  or shall we say rainbows ?