Sunday, December 21, 2008

Growing up

What an overwhelming day I have had. Never in my life, have I got so many phone calls, so many wishes and so much of positive vibes on one single day. Today I think I got more phone calls and emails than on the day my children were born :-) Oh—and the text messages too. I think I have managed to reply to each single one. A big heartfelt thanks to all of you who made an effort to call and also to those who wished me by texts, emails &scraps.

What totally took me by surprise was the sheer volume of well wishers. The phone was continuously ringing throughout the day. One call would end and another would come in. I am sure the wishes were genuine and heartfelt—but this birthday was so different from my birthday last year, where it went unnoticed. Only my family members and really close friends called. Then again, last year I really did not know so many people. My book I think has really touched more hearts than I imagined or envisaged.

Satish and the kids gave me some really wonderful gifts. The children made such lovely cards for me—they were making it the whole of previous day. (But more than that I do think the best present of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in one another) We also drove to this really picturesque place about 45 kilometers from Pune. It was a Balaji temple that I had always wanted to visit. On the way we stopped off on the highway for an authentic delicious Maharashtrian meal. I love long drives (picture clicked by me from inside the car on the way today) and really enjoy the rural landscape, green fields, trees, Ghats, flowers on the way, the birds—everything delights me. It was 6:30 p.m by the time we got back.

The previous evening the doorbell rang and I got a lovely surprise when the delivery guy gave me a bunch of 12 red roses. Just as I was beginning to smile he gives me a black forest chocolate cake, and as the smile turned into a grin, out comes a pink little teddy bear. I don’t know what it is about Teddy bears and flowers that completely sweep away most women, no matter what their age. A big thank you to Mayank MittalThat was really so darn thoughtful and sweet of you. It’s the nicest thing someone has done for me on my birthday in ages (apart from of course Satish). I think I must have mentioned this to almost every person who called today. And as though sending all that wasn’t enough, he called too at 12:00 a.m sharp to wish me.(He was the first person to call) The roses are still looking lovely. Chocolate cake was demolished at 12:00 a.m sharp :-) [Have linked his FB profile since he doesn't blog]

Mathew of Wetspark also had a surprise for me. He couriered me some absolutely divine chocolate and also sent some stickers for the kids. Thanks a lot Mathew. The kids loved the chocolate.(To be honest all of us did!)

It’s strange everything comes a full circle. When I started blogging it was because of a sense of shock and deep grief. Deep grief as I lost someone who meant the world to me—shock because some people whom I considered my close friends turned away when I needed them. Click here if you want to read it. This was written two years back when I just started blogging.

No wonder that little voice in my head keeps whispering “Success has many friends. Failure is an orphan.”

Funny how I don't feel my age yet how much I have grown up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's on your fridge?

How often have you walked into a friend's kitchen, and casually, as you were talking, and your friend's brewing a nice cup of tea for you, you've remarked about something on their fridge, that led to a whole new conversation?

Fridges do reflect a lot about the person who is using it. I have come across fridges that are so darn neat without a single thing on them, that you wonder if they have been used at all. Then there are others that have lovely magnets collected from different parts of the world. Then there are fridges like mine that just reflect whatever is going in life, at that point in time, or sometimes reflect anything that brings back happy memories.

I clicked a picture of my fridge and this is how it looks at the moment. It's full of memories and current happenings. Right on top are two magnets of a man and a lady that we picked up when we went on our honeymoon, ages back. They have travelled with us through the years and through moving towns, changing jobs, changing homes, becoming parents and continue to be witness to our lives. There are two photos--One is a picture of me and my son when he was a baby.The other is a picture of my brother and my son clinging to his feet.:-)It brings back smiles. Then there are phone numbers of my son's friends. There is a drawing that my son made. There is a list of chores for the household help.There is a daily menu for my children's lunches which the school has specified. (I like it as it means each child will bring the same thing and no junk food is allowed. ) There are two more magnets picked up during travel.

Now I'd love to see what is on your fridges. I am tagging the following to post a pic of their fridge.






Anybody else who wants to do it I'd love to come and have a look! Just post a pic and leave a comment in my comment box.

Do it! It's a snap-shot in time.Frozen moments that tell a story.

What's your story?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 things I learnt from my kittens


15. Even if you don’t like somebody you can continue to enjoy watching their antics and even learn a few things from them.

14. It's perfectly possible for a 36 year old to lie flat at a 180 degree angle on a cold, hard marble floor on a chilly winter morning for 3 and half minutes (the time it took to shoot this video)

13. It is also possible to not let out a single whimper even though a full grown adult male has stepped on you inadvertently as he did not expect you to be on the floor.

12. The best things are found in places where you least expect them to be.;-)

11. It is possible to hear 'You’re the greatest' and ‘You’re absolutely crazy’ from a child and an adult respectively and believe both completely.

10. It is great fun to beat your sibling in grabbing that little thing which you didn’t want in the first place but fought for it just because your sibling wanted it.(Just look at those kittens)

9. Family is family even if you fight.

8. Age does not matter what really matters is your attitude.

7. It is really possible to ignore a ringing phone and the tea that you kept on the stove overflowing after it has boiled, because you are so engrossed in capturing kittens in a video.

6. It is also possible to smile and clean up the mess, after you are done, because you’re so pleased with the results.

5. It is possible to mix music from a TV show which your child is watching into a video of kittens playing by sheer chance, and discover that they actually go well together!

4.It is possible to shoot an entire video by sticking a camera lens through a gap in a garden door grill which has iron bars just an inch apart, and yet get good results, without startling the kittens or the other people in your house.(They are used to my crazy ways by now)

3. If you want something worthwhile be prepared to bear a lot of discomfort.

2. If you lie on the floor you’ll get walked over.

1. What really matters is what you think—not what others say or think.
I don’t know about you—but I think this is great! ;-)
[Go ahead—make my day—say you loved my post, video and philosophy too:-)]

  • I am more a dog person than a cat person—but yeah, I find kittens cute.
  • I have a Garden cat and I like her—but that’s only because she’s actually a dog stuck in a cat’s body :-)
  • No kittens were injured in the making of this video.
  • No humans were injured too, although one had frozen elbows and aching muscles at the end of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Why true friends are like mornings

Sometime back I had made a resolution to post at least twice a week. Now when I look back, I discover that I haven’t really written as much as I intended to. These days, besides working on my second book, I am also writing for Times of India and Readers Digest Joy. Apart from that my fitness routine, managing children and daily chores in the home takes up most of my time. Somehow I feel that’s still an excuse. I always say that if someone wants to do something really badly, they will always find the time. Now I am going to test the theory that I advocate and apply the same for myself, and am resolving to post at least 2-3 times a week. If not a post, then at least an image which I have captured and which I would like to share. Good idea? What do you say?

Meira gave me this award which I am supposed to give to my favourite commentators.God! What a difficult task! If she had asked me to pick my least favourite it would have been easy :)[Relax—just kidding] I guess I am really grateful to everybody who comments as they have been kind enough to read what I write. So if you have ever left a comment on my blog—Thanks! This award is for you.[I take the thanks back if I have deleted your comment :P :)]

And now to the post.

This morning I received a text from a close friend.(This is the same friend with whom I had stayed when I had come to Bangalore for my book launch) .It was a forward about friendship.
I loved it. It was so true. I am one of those who reply to every text message I get, even if it’s just a forward. It just means that the person who forwarded it to you, thought of you for that brief moment that it took them to send the text and conveyed something that probably tickled them or made them think. I think messages like these are a nice way to keep in touch, especially when you have nothing to say. According to studies conducted by a UK based organization, (and many more I am sure) reconnecting with friends with whom you have happy associations is one of the most important ways to reduce stress. Just as I was typing this post, I felt an overwhelming urge to call my friend—and that’s just what I did. She was pleasantly surprised—It was just a brief five minute call, and we both felt so good about it. Instant mood elevators! What are you waiting for? Pick up that phone and say hi to a friend who lives in another town—Now! It need not be a long call –just a calling-to-say-I-am-thinking-of-you call. Did you do it? Good!

So here is your reward-- a picture that I want to share with you. I clicked it two days back from my terrace, just after my son left for school.He leaves at 6.30 a.m. which is pure torture for him as well as me.

But capturing moments like this makes it worth it! And it goes so well with the text that my friend sent.

True friends are like mornings. You cannot have them for the whole day, but you can be sure they will be there for you, today, tomorrow and always. Good morning.”

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Friendship and laughter


Humour is the best way to deal with stress, sorrow, depression and difficult times like these. There are many scientific studies which have proven a co-relation between good health and a sense of humour. Humour is a quality that enables us to find joy even in the most adverse of situations. Roberto Benigni’s movie ‘Life is beautiful’ potrays it so well, where it depicts the life of a Jewish man and his young son in a Nazi Death camp. (If you haven’t watched it yet, you are really missing something in life—stop reading and go watch! Click on title to know more)

How do you find humour? Some people are born with it. Some cultivate it till it becomes a habit and some cannot laugh no matter how much they try. (I do know individuals like that. I usually avoid them)

If you aren’t a great TV Buff and find shows like ‘Great Indian laughter challenge’ (I hate it!) particularly unamusing—what do you do?

You seek out people who are radiators—That’s what you do. [If you have read my book, then you know what I am talking about, if not I recommend that you go to the nearest book store :-)] . This post is a tribute to one such radiator, a person with a terrific sense of humour—Nikhil.

Six months back I did not even know he existed. Neither did he.[That I existed I mean ;-)] Now I find myself calling him up whenever I feel I need my humour dose. We met through my blog (where else!?) and soon we were chatting on g-talk. The first time I spoke to him I could almost feel him bouncing right out of the computer screen—there was so much energy, so much restlessness—so much of a go-getting attitude—he was so High Octane. I was kind of surprised and then I asked him directly if he was indeed like that. He admitted he was. I met him at my book launch (yes, that is me and him in the pic--I'm signing his book) and I half expected to see a guy bouncing up and down, jumping around like he had flubber boots in a basket ball match. I was a little surprised to see a calm (well—kind of!) guy with a pleasant smile and a sunny disposition. Fortunately for me I did not see him in the audience while I was giving my talk, else I am certain I would have been distracted.

What I really like about him is that I can be brutally honest with him, and he really does not hold it against me. He had left a comment on my blog (with his typical sense of humour and at that time I did not know him well) and I deleted it—then I pinged him, mailed him and explained why and I demanded that he should leave a comment that I like! (Yeah—I can be obnoxious, I know) He smiled and obliged. I decided right then that I like the guy.

He teases me mercilessly and I tease him right back. (Not that kind of teasing, silly—just verbal repartees) Yesterday I spoke to him on the phone and he asked me what else I was working on apart from my second book. So I told him that I had just submitted an article on Sports accessories for Times of India.

“Wow.” he says and just as I am beginning to feel very great and important he adds

“Do you know anything at all about sports accessories or are you just writing? Is it even your area of interest?”

“Have you forgotten?” I ask him “I used to play basketball at national level.” (Yes—I used to in college and at school)

“Ende amme” he says “Don’t start off. Yes I remember.” (If you understand Mallu, then you know why it’s funny—somehow ‘ende amme’ does not have an equivalent English translation.)

Then he talks about TV and gives me gyaan about TV personalities. I don’t watch Television. The only two channels I watch are music channels—VH1 and 9XM—and Nikhil has not heard of 9XM—but he gives me a long winded explanation of why the channel is called 9X. (yeah—he is like that.The guy knows a lot)

Then he asks me if I have seen NDTV’s Srinivasan Jain (I hadn’t). Nikhil could not believe it.

He says “Which Era are you from? Did TV exist when you were born? Oh—Are you that old?” Then he tries to convince me about how great Srinivasan Jain is and he says I’ll find him charming and a day will come when I will definitely fall for him.

“No way” I retort “ While your Srinivasan may speak well I fall only for men with well toned bodies. Apart from George Clooney who is an exception, I like Saif, Sallu, Shiny Ahuja and relatively unknown Punju guy who I am sure you have not even heard of.”

“Please become a fan of Srinivasan. He may not have 6 packs—but so what. He is intelligent.” says Nikhil.It looks like he has made it his life's mission for me to fall in love with Srinivasan.
“You are bi-sexual!” I tell him “You have the hots for him, right?” then I tease him mercilessly about how he would enjoy a threesome with Barkha Dutt (he hates her) and Srinivasan Jain.

We mostly talk non-sense like this. Usually after a talk with him, I’m in a great mood.

Sometime back he did something for me which really floored me. If you want to know what go here.(I am thrilled with it of course and that's putting it mildly)

He is such an unassuming and down to earth guy with no airs or attitude and he hides his achievements so well with his sense of comic timing. Look at this post he wrote. (It's one of my favourites)
He has also won so many prestigious National level quizzes and he knows such a lot.

I should have known.

I always had a thing for quizzers.