Friday, November 13, 2009

Three weeks to go!

Just three more weeks to go for the wedding, and I am hyper – excited! It’s taken me a hell of a long time to get here though. The wedding date was fixed in mid- Feb, and till mid- May I was like ‘Ohmigod, I’m getting married, and this is the end of my awesomely awesome life as I know it, what have I gotten myself into, should I disappear somewhere unknown, I wish I was European so there was no pressure on me to get married’ types. In fact, apart from some close friends, I didn’t even tell most people that I was going to get married this year!

Then sometime around mid-May, I calmed down and started accepting that I would be getting married. I certainly didn’t look forward to it, but since it was inevitable, it was pointless feeling pained about it. In fact, even for the engagement, I had no involvement in any of the preparations, and just landed 2 days before the engagement. In fact, I had booked a flight to Vizag on 13th Aug morning, and duly missed my flight, and incurred a total cost of 10k to get home on 13th night, with the engagement ceremony scheduled for 15th morning!

But then the engagement changed things for me. Anyone who knows me should know that I’m a total attention seeker, and there is nothing like a wedding related ceremony to soak up the limelight! So I totally enjoyed all the attention, all the compliments, whether genuine or not, and thought ‘hell, if I am going to get pampered and complimented and gifted and showered so much attention, then bring the wedding on!!!’. And that, dear readers, is how I came to look forward to the wedding.

Two months after the engagement, in mid-October, I moved home to Vizag, and that’s when the excitement hit in. In the last three odd weeks I’ve been completely involved in wedding preparations, and it’s been hectic and it’s been loads of fun. Since I got home, I:
- finished buying the wedding sarees. My mother and sister of course made this job infinitely easier for me my shortlisting two sarees for each event, so all I had to do was get them draped while they voted for their choice.
- let my mother drag me around to get the blouses stitched. I usually have nothing to contribute when the tailor and my mom look to me for my inputs.
- checked all the invitation cards for defects and smeared haldi on their edges. A thankless job, I later learned, with my dad saying that the way I put the haldi, it resembled dung!
- scoured every stationery shop in the city, and bought up every glitter/sparkle/glossy pen in sight till we found a pen that wrote to my father’s satisfaction – this of course for the invitation card
- met the decorator twice, over two cities, showed him loads of pictures, and waved my hands vigorously in front of his face as if that would magically help him visualize what I wanted. I also spent a painstaking hour writing out specs in Telugu, only to discover he knew English!
- met the lights guy twice, at home and at the venue, and again did the thing with my hands, this time even using my fingers (to indicate sparkly lights) – the poor man finally took pity on me and offered to put up a full dress rehearsal one night before the wedding so I could check out the lights
- visited all the guest houses with dad, gave him my valuable opinions on each, and provided him moral support by sitting next to him as he sat with a notebook trying to decide which relatives should be allocated to which guest house
- accompanied my father, my brother and my fiancĂ© individually on multiple rounds of shopping for their outfits. Apparently, while I am not good enough to select my own sarees, I’m the victim of choice when it comes to giving opinions on menswear

I’m beginning to feel quite proud of myself for having contributed so significantly (!) to the ongoing preparations. Alas, my contribution is sadly undervalued by the family, who are always questioning why I don’t seem to have gotten anything done during the day, why I seem to be asleep all the time and why I seem to be on the phone when I’m awake, and such irrelevant questions…..preparing for a wedding is easy, but realizing this picture of an admiring family gathered around me and singing my praises is impossible :-p

Friday, October 23, 2009

The idle mind again

You ever notice how almost everyone who doesn’t do well in examinations says ‘The system sucks. They just care about the handwriting and thickness of the answer paper, and don’t care about the content. That’s why I don’t care for examinations or for marks’. Yeah, right! Very few people actually have the honesty to say that they didn’t do well because they couldn’t study or didn’t care to study.

I’m writing this in the train, traveling to Hyderabad, for Bujji Anna’s engagement on Saturday morning. So I got talking with a bunch of students, and turned out one of them was from my school, albeit many years my junior. In fact, he’s junior to even my sister so one can imagine how old I felt! I mean, the kid was in the 6th standard, still in short pants, when I was passing out of school! So this kid was quite excited at running into his ‘super duper senior’ (as he termed it), and seated himself opposite me and started talking. And talking. And talking. Phew!

So I turned on my laptop and started…..err…..working. And he still didn’t stop talking. All of you out there who I’ve bored to death with my non-stop talking: rejoice, for this is divine justice. This has been a lesson to me and henceforth I shall endeavour to talk less and listen more – now let’s see how long that lasts!

You know how girls are tricked into believing that marriage is the most amazing thing that will happen/ has happened in their life, and that a girl who isn’t married is a girl whose life isn’t complete? You know how girls are tricked into going into a tizzy when their marriage approaches, who just can’t hold the excitement at getting married?

And you know how guys behave like marriage heralds the end of their life and have to be almost forced into it, irrespective of how much of a loser they are; while some otherwise simply amazing and awesome girls are so desperate to get married that they will agree to marry any random, useless guy who happens to pass by their way?

Well, I just don’t get it! I mean, why? Why, why, why??? Most women’s lives change completely post marriage. They leave jobs, shift cities, sometimes shift countries, take on their husband’s surname, and are expected to now belong to another family. In some cases, they are expected to cook, clean, take care of the house, take care of the elderly parents and the spoilt siblings of the husband, and even bear babies. They are no longer allowed to take any decisions on their own and are expected to consult their husband and his family, and defer to them.

Essentially, a woman’s life, as she has known it till now, completely transforms post marriage. And the ownership she has over her own life, which would anyway likely have been limited, reduces even more post marriage. And yet, women are supposed to buy into the myth that marriage is all sunflowers and roses, and are made to feel incomplete till they are married. Sigh! It makes me so mad.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean, of course, that marriage is like this for all women, though it is certainly true for a significant number of them.

P.S: Also apologize for incoherent, foaming at the mouth nature of post, which sudden drift from otherwise boring but sensible narrative of random thoughts, is bound to have led readers, if any, running for cover. Sorry, not done thing one knows, but couldn’t be helped…..strong feelings ‘bout it you know. Best I take your leave now, old pal. We shall catch up soon I’m sure!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I’m twenty – bloody – five years old. And it shows in my lifestyle. Somewhere along the years, I’ve slowly but surely shed my student persona and become a fully grown adult. While some habits and attitudes I’ve developed are about growing older, some are plainly about being old fashioned. Here are some clear signs of both:

  • The first and clearest warning is my complete aversion to SMS lingo. I simply cannot stand it. Even when I am texting, I painstakingly type out most words in full, with capitals and punctuations in place (which explains why I am not into texting at all). I’m trying to break out of this habit, and I’ve learnt to accept the ‘i tol d bss im sik bt m actlly wtchng d mtch bt dnt tll nebdy tht n gt ppcrn n ppsi n cum ovr aftr wrk’ as my lot in life. But when I get emails and chat messages from people in this new language, I have to force myself to take deep breaths, count to 10,000 and then prepare to read the mail/ message.
  • My reluctance to embrace social networking the way most of my friends do is the clearest indicator that I’m old fashioned. Sure, I’m on Orkut and Facebook. But I visit them about once in 2 weeks. I usually look upon these visits as a boring chore, where I try and respond to the messages in my inbox/scrapbook/ wall, return ‘visits’ from friends, leave the occasional comment on photos and status updates and get the hell outta there. As for twitter, I signed up a long time ago and have mercifully forgotten all about it. Yeah, I’m going to be one of those old fogeys who doesn’t tweet. Seriously, I’m amazed at how people find the time!
  • This new found desire to spend my Sundays doing absolutely nothing but roll about in bed with a book all day, watch endless reruns of friends, sleep like a bear in hibernation, and get my lazy ass off the bed only in the evening for a shower, and an hour or so at the Barista/CCD on MG Road before I head home to hit the sack – this is an alarmingly clearly sign of my growing old. Sure, Saturdays are hectic – I reserve my Saturdays for shopping, watching plays, catching up on friends and partying – but earlier, Sundays were an extension of my Saturdays – now they are my day of rest and recuperation.
  • I talk about working out and ‘being fit’. Now don’t be silly, I don’t actually work out. But I do talk about joining aerobics class and working out. Everyday I walk into office with my gym outfit and trainers and cool sippy-type sports water bottle, all determined to join the aerobics class thisveryday, but inevitably find urgent high-priority work to finish at 6pm, sadly forcing me to miss the class. My student persona never even talked about working out, leave alone carrying out this whole farce for delusional self-gratification.
  • My adult persona has a hidden cleanliness freak inside! Who would’ve though? She is not, let us be clear on this, any where close to Monica like behaviour. We are talking about cleanliness freak by my standards – its all relative! So now I actually keep the clothes in my cupboard neatly pressed and folded (instead of a haphazard mess from which I pick u whatever fall out first to wear as the outfit of the day), I mostly put things back in their place, and my living room and bedroom are largely neat and tidy on any given day!
    Now that I have proved I am grown up, have exposed myself for being quaintly old fashioned, I feel the urge to stand up for my student persona, to claim that she hasn’t completely given up one me either. But then, that’s another post for another day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hallo blog

Dear blog,

I’m sorry I have neglected you completely for the last two months. It’s not that I don’t care about you anymore. I do! Truly, I do.

The reason for creating you was to keep a record of my life – the places I go to, the people I meet, the things I do, the experiences I have, and so on. So when I’m 50 and I have ungrateful bloody children, who dismiss me as a whiny, prudish old bore, I can come to this space and relive my twenties and think of what an awesome life I had, how much fun I was and what my life was like before the ungrateful bloody children took it over. Of course, I could also simply not have children at all, and spare myself all the insecurity.

So that’s the reason you were created - to keep track of my life. Unfortunately, I’m usually so busy living the life that I don’t have the time to keep a written record of it. I’m not gloating, really I’m not! Now coming back to the point, I’ve just been too busy most of the time to write. And when I find the time to write, my mind goes blank. Like a clean slate. Which explains why I haven’t visited you in the last two months. But now stop sulking, and listen to all the things I’ve been upto in the last two months:

Went on a weekend trip to Hampi and fell in love the place. Seriously, why didn’t I take up history in my undergraduate course and become and archeologist? I could spend days and days looking around ruins, and not get bored. Anyway, the weather in Hampi was perfect, cool and breezy, the sun was barely there but it didn’t rain either. And since it was monsoon season, there were barely any tourists and everything was quite cheap. It was a perfect break.

Samee and I went to Eastern Europe for a 9 day trip. We flew to Budapest, spend two days in Budapest, then spent a day in the Tatras mountains in Slovakia, then went on to Prague for two days. We returned to Budapest from Prague, spent another day in Budapest, and the next day in Szentendre and Visegrad. It was a great trip, and we had a very exciting time. We also fought and sulked, and were very tired by the end of it, but it was an awesome trip.

I got engaged. Yes! I wasn’t too excited about it in the beginning, with ‘ohmigod, my single days are over’ being the prevailing sentiment, but then I slowly got into the groove of things, so I did enjoy myself. Actually, all the attention, the compliments and the flattery, generally being treated like a queen, having people buy you expensive gifts – what’s not to like? Bring on the wedding I say! But I now wear my engagement ring on the right hand because – (1) I’m used to wearing a ring on my right hand so I just removed the old one and replaced it with the new one (2) Since most people wear their wedding/engagement rings on their left hand, wearing it on my right hand means people wont just have to look at my hand to figure out my marital status. :p

I’ve also been partying like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve been watching lots of movies. And I have unfortunately discovered television.

So that, dear blog, is what I have been upto in the last two months! It’s been a busy couple of months, what with all the travelling, and missing flights in between and shopping for the engagement, and partying on Saturday nights, and recovering from Saturday nights on Sundays.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Good Life

Nike and I went to the Balkan Food Festival at the Chancery Pavilion for dinner yesterday, and it was THE BEST dinner buffet spread I remember having ever! We both wanted to go some place nice for dinner, and I was keen on a dinner buffet, since I had had nothing but soup for lunch. I remembered that the Chancery Pavilion was having a Balkan Food Festival, but we demurred at the cost of the buffet – it was Rs.850 for just the dinner buffet, and Rs.1100 for dinner buffet with unlimited drinks (beer, house wine, rum (Bacardi), whiskey (Blenders Pride)) – turned out to be completely worth it.

The buffet was at ‘Ithaca’ in the Chancery Pavilion. The restaurant is right next to the pool, with glass walls on one side so you can look out into the pool. We got a cosy table for two right next to the wall, so we had a rather pleasant view. I opted for just the dinner buffet on account of a sore throat, while Nike took the drinks package also. He had the red wine, and says it was quite good.

The Balkan Food Festival had on offer Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slavic and Turkish dishes – the dishes were typically accompanied by a little flag to indicate which region they were from. They also had a fair spread of Indian dishes for those who weren’t keen on experimenting. The spread was HUGE.

I was especially delighted with the range of breads on offer, and headed their first. They had soft cheese rolls, pesto rolls, country bread, French loaves, Ciabatta and Focaccia, along with herbed butter, paprika butter and garlic butter. I absolutely loved the soft cheese rolls as well as the Ciabatta, while Nike fell for the pesto rolls. For soup, they had Ribena Chorba, a fish based soup and Spanachena Chorba, a spinach based soup. Of course, we didn’t try either of the soups – that would mean we couldn’t make the most of the buffet.

For starters they had chicken, fish, lamb and vegetarian, which could be cooked in the Bulgarian (kebap) style or the Tandoori style. We chose the Bulgarian style. The vegetable starters were uninteresting - a skewer of grilled vegetables, vegetable patties, and stuffed potato. Nike didn’t enjoy the lamb starter either. The fish was served in cubes on a skewer, along with paneer cubes – we couldn’t figure out what was fish and what was paneer till we tasted it, since it looked the same! But the fish was sublime – soft and very well done. The highlight of the starters though was undoubtedly the chicken. It was some sort of a chicken patty made with chicken crumbs and lots of herbs. It was absolutely melt in the mouth yummy.

Their salad counter was absolutely mind-blowing. I think they had over 30 types of salads. Nike was of course thrilled with this. I am not a salad person at all but the salads here looked so different that I simply had to try a little of most of them. I especially enjoyed the Moroccan Olives, the Curried Egg Salad (egg with mustard sauce), Oeuf Marci (egg again), Zeleva Salata (which I think was beetroot with sweet corn), Macaronena Salata (macaroni based), Hummus and Havoc with pita bread and pita crisp and the Olive Salata (black olives). They also had Romania Salata, Kadambri, Titti Shrimp with Disco Papaya, Tuna Salad, Marinated Aubergines, Ruga Salata, Lamb and Summer Vegetable Salad and a couple of others. Phew! Apart from a ‘make you own chat’ counter!!

I bet that makes you hungry. I’m going to do a follow up post where I will write about the main course and the dessert. I think this is enough fodder (pun unintended) for one post.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Men That Don't Fit In

The Men That Don't Fit In
Robert Service
There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Random Notes of Music

Last week I saw a Wong Kar Wai movie called the Chung King Express. I quite liked the movie, though I can’t say I will be revisting it anytime soon, if at all. It’s just that I was expecting so much more from Wong Kar Wai, so I guess I felt a little disappointed at the end of it all….when I realised that the movie had ended, that is. I mean, I was watching, and suddenly I was like ‘Huh!! It’s over???’. When a movie does that to me, I feel very cheated - because here I am spending all this time and thought into your movie, and then when I don’t even realise that you have brought it to an end, out of the blue, I feel like you have pulled a rug off from under my feet – from under my feet, the feet of your rapt audience.

Anyway I digress. So there is this song that one of the characters in the movie is listening to ALL THE TIME. And the song is sooooo insanely addictive that now I am at listening to it all the time too. In fact, I’m listening to it right now, and it makes me disgustingly cheerful on a Monday morning – a Monday morning on the heels of a blurred weekend and a night out of work. So this song is California Dreamin’ by Mamas and Papas. Go listen to it here.

About the addictiveness of songs, its like that for me all the time. I guess it’s the same for many people I guess. Once I love a song, I listen to it in continuous loop, on and on and on, keeping at it for days, till I finally tire of it. People would say my taste in music is err…lets call it unconventional. Which is why the last song I was addicted to was ‘Love Mera Hit Hit’. I think I’m finally over it now…..thanks to California Dreamin’.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Can PMS explain.....

my inexplicable inclination to listen to the cheesy, made for music vidoes, item number 'Love Mera Hit Hit' in continuous loop, when the brilliant Delhi 6 and Dev D are around?