Signs of growing up??

I must have grown up somewhere down the line. And I didn’t even notice it till today when I went for a blood test all by myself. Like all alone. And I didn’t freak out. Not when I reached the hospital, not when the nurse made me wait and not even when she ushered me into the room.

And then she came with the needle and examined my vein. She shook her head and commented on how thin my skin was and that’s when I noticed that my vein was actually quite visible. She changed the needle to a much thinner one claiming a normal needle would rupture my skin and vein leading to a wound. And even then I didn’t panic.

When she was all set, I calmly turned my head to the other side and single mindedly focused on my blackberry. I felt the stab and it did pain, but even then I didn’t panic. And within 30 seconds she was done too. She showed me the vial full of my dark red blood, and although I did feel a bit queasy it was nothing more than momentary.

I hope you guys understand the gravity of this situation. First of all a blood test, to be done by a needle and that to without having Aman or mom to hold tight too!! Perfect recipe for a disaster, but ladies and gentlemen, I conducted myself with outmost grace. And this must mean only one thing. I have finally grown up. Sigh.

Posted in Just like that | Tagged | 16 Comments

4 days into the big 3 and all looks ok!

Yep, it does. I am intact. No crumbling has happened. No arthritis has shown up. No new grey hair. And no wrinkles. This seems believable and something I can handle. And no, I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel any older and I don’t feel any more mature.

I did fret about this whole turning 30 business troubling my already troubled mind a bit too much. But as the day approached, I felt very calm about it, almost Zen like. I started to watch for signs and frankly didn’t find any. If A and I hadn’t made a big deal about it, and half the world hadn’t decided to wish me on FB and Twitter and smses and email and phone calls, the day would have come and gone without as much as me battling an eyelid. However the inevitable as happened and it feels as good as yesterday.

If only, I didn’t have a 20 something loitering around the house reminding me on every instance possible, how he is still in “his twenties” and how I have crossed the line!! Whatever!!

Now for how I made this memorable, first was the awesome holiday in Cameron Highlands, about which I wrote here and yeah, the pictures are up on FB. We did a pre b’day dinner at this really nice restaurant to be interrupted by the news of serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. Obviously we lost appetite, rushed home, called family to see everyone was ok and then got hooked onto the news. Slept with a heavy heart and woke up multiple times during the night to tune into news and confirm that nothing more had happened. And yes, I did thank my stars to be alive and witnessing my turning 30.

The d-day being a weekday had its disadvantages. But the awesome person I am lucky to be married too ensured that it was fantastic. So yeah, he got me to watch Harry Potter and those who know me, would know how happy and excited that would have made me. Also, just to reiterate, I watched it on 14th July at 4 pm Singapore time, which means it was way before you folks in US or UK or India did!!

Dinner was a pleasant surprise at this really up-market, fine dine Italian Restaurant, ilLido, a beautiful place by the golf course, overlooking the ocean. The food was delish and the company even more intoxicating! And if that was not enough, we had a barbecue party at home this Saturday. What happened there is dope for another blog post!

Ps: ah, the gifts, among the holiday, the movie and an excellent dinner, A got me a wonderful Spa Package which will be diligently used soon. And he is still not done so watch this space for more to come!!  My lovely friends got me a Guess watch.


Posted in Straight from the heart | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Cameron Highlands and Smoke House

These four days spent in Cameron Highlands have been delicately wrapped in softest silk, folded carefully and treasured in the safest, deepest corners of my heart and mind. Some holidays are just meant to be beautiful, it is like everyone and everything ensures you have as perfect a time as possible.

The stay at the beautiful “Smoke House”, an old Tudor style boutique hotel was par excellence. Our days started with the authentic English breakfast in their conservatory and then the leisurely strolls in their tastefully done gardens. Then happened the afternoon Devonshire Tea with scones, cream and strawberry preserves enjoyed on their terraces. Some lovely lunch later we would head out for enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the tea gardens only to come back to cozy dinners and conversations by the fire place.

Yes, Cameron Highlands were magical in all that and more. The weather also played its striking part, from being cold and misty and breezy to giving us those random bursts of delightful sunlight.

We did wake up early on our last day there to get the glimpse of the sunrise. And it was totally worth the effort too. What we got as a total bonus was a walk through the clouds when we decided to continue the drive to reach the highest point the hills had to offer.

Food was another highlight of this trip. After all food totally makes or breaks a holiday. Most of our meals happened in Smoke House and by the end of our stay we were ready to kiss the hands of the chef. Their dinner rolls, their vegetables, the steaks, the sauces and the gravies and not to forget the dessert, everything was to die for. But the highlight here would be the awesome, melt in the mouth, crispy on the top, butter scones! And what scones those were; we devoured more than imaginable quantity, topped with cream and strawberry preserves!

Scones with Cream and Strawbery Preserve and Devonshire Tea

But like all good things, this break too came to an end. I guess that’s the charm. Pictures are too many, but when I look at them, I see that they do no justice to my feelings. Some things are best kept to oneself and to quote Aman lets leave this holiday “Imprinted in the lowest drawer of my memory”

The Smokehouse

Posted in Travels | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

And who are we to talk about Racism?

A candid conversation with a close friend has left me distressed and besides myself. This close friend in question is a girl of impeccable upbringing, smart, very talented and educated. What I am trying to establish is that she is as regular and as extraordinary as you and me. And, yes, she is from Shillong, Meghalaya. And that has made all the difference.

While she sat across me and narrated one tale after the other of the amount of harassment and ill treatment she has received on account of looking different from others, I couldn’t help but be ashamed of ourselves and our society. Her each nasty encounter has been stamped by branding “her looks” as the reason for it. From Pune to Bangalore to Delhi, each city has been worse than the other

It’s not that I wasn’t aware of this prejudice. I have heard such remarks directed to anybody and everybody from North Eastern part of India. I have also read a lot about it. But hearing such firsthand encounters moved me beyond words. From being called names, to random people taking her for granted and another set of equally random people questioning her character and virtue, she has been there and faced it all, in the very country of her birth.

Being a responsible, law abiding and taxpaying citizen was never enough. There was constant reminder that she wasn’t welcome in her own country. And why just her, I am sure thousands face this issue everyday in India. Who are we then, to complain about racism and question how we are treated in foreign land? When in our own country we are biased and laced with prejudice against people from North East?

She has now moved out of India and she frankly she feels more at home and safer there than she ever felt in India. She is also beyond rage and angst. It’s like she has made her peace with it. This is a collective failure of the society and its inhabitants. How much more time will we take to get out act right?

Posted in Irks | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

An ode to the “Act of Turning 30”

Turning 30 will be a big deal. It’s just around the corner and there is no escape. After having whined and cried my heart out, I got my act together and decided to be gracious about it and accept it with open arms, hug it tight and never let it go. After all post this decade I will be 40 something! So while I will surely miss being 20 something, there is also no denying that I will rock my 30’s too.

Phew, but it is a big deal. And I won’t be true to myself if I say otherwise. I loved being 20’s. It was a beautiful beautiful decade. If there is a color to it, I would say it was Red. But like everything else, even my gorgeous 20’s need to come to an end.

What will change and what won’t? Am I expected to act differently, look older, and speak wiser? How do I do that? I don’t even have enough time to prepare.  Or do I just go with the flow? Will I wake up on 14th July with wrinkles? Will I suddenly have to wear power spectacles? Will I have more of grey hair and weak knees? Do I stash up anti-aging creams, under eye gels and hair colors? Should I buy a health insurance? Should I now stop reading Twilights and Harry Potters? Is this how one prepares?

I am not sure. I don’t feel that different. But then maybe when the clock strikes 12 on the midnight of 13th July I will! I do hope to survive and live through it and be here to tell you all how different it feels.

As for the big birthday, the guy is going overboard to ensure I have the most memorable turn of decades. A holiday in Cameroon Highlands, Malaysia to begin with. More, later. Till then let me watch out for the signs!

Posted in Straight from the heart | Tagged , | 24 Comments

I have been Twilighted

After vehemently ignoring “The Twilight Saga” books and the subsequent movies for as long as I could remember, I finally gave in. And am I glad that I did?? Just the other day while book shopping, something made me finally buy Twilight and New Moon along with some other books that I bought. I don’t know what that something was, because ever since I can remember these books used to be on top on the best seller racks and I never ever picked them. But that Saturday morning, it was like my hands automatically went to them and before I knew I was paying for them at the counter.

I am a hopeless romantic. I always knew that and the way I have been feeling about these books, it just goes on to prove that I am incurable as well. I started with Twilight last week, and didn’t get much time through the weekdays to read it. Finally, this Friday is when I had those needed hours and I finished it through the night. The first thing I did on Saturday morning was to watch the movie. As soon as the movie got over I started with the New Moon and finished it by Sunday evening. Stepped out only twice through the weekend to have some lovely dinners. I am on the third book, Eclipse, already. And itching to finish it but will have to wait till I get home.

You know what I love about these books so much – the fact that I can relate to how Bella Swan feels!! Absolutely, I know what she feels, the way her heart flutters and the way her mind is preoccupied. I am there. I know miracles happen. I have one, my own personal miracle. Sometimes I wake up in the night to just watch him sleep, and then I delicately touch him to remind myself that this is not a dream. Never before could I relate, at this depth, to the protagonist in the hundreds of books I have read. But this one time I can. And that’s what is making my heart ache when I read these books.

The way the books have been written is extremely simple, the language, the narration, the tone and the plot. After all they are meant for teenagers. And here I am in the last leg of my twenties, week in the knees, mushy in the heart, and all swooning over them. And then I curse myself for not having read these books and seen the movies earlier.  But then I thank my stars that I did pick them up. It’s been a while I have so thoroughly loved something I have read and seen.

Posted in Books, Straight from the heart | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Of Angels who come in your life – Post 31

When there are one hundred and one questions in your mind, when you start doubting the very decisions you have made, when you start blaming yourself knowing very well that you haven’t done anything wrong, you need that one voice to tell you it’s all right and that you have made no mistakes.

And I am blessed to have that voice in my life. That soothing voice from thousands of miles tells me to have faith, to believe and to be focused. That voice listens to me without judging. That voice doesn’t give me logic, but tells me to listen to my heart.

You know how sometimes these angels come into your life, and then it is up to you to sit up, take notice and hold them tight? This is what happened back in 1999 when I took admission in BIT for my graduation. And that’s when I met best friends R and A and I knew that these were the gems I had to hold on for the rest of my life. And I am more than glad I did.

Why I say all this is because yesterday was another such day when I was in doubt and I needed the reassurance. There are some facts that have come forth and I have accepted them as graciously as I could. By themselves, these facts don’t break my heart. What breaks my heart is the way others react to it. And really all I can do is ignore these people. Which I do, but sometimes it does break me too. And that’s when I thank my stars for these friends I have. One phone call and everything falls in perspective. I count my blessings and look at the brighter side of my life.

I can never say enough what you guys mean to me. All I know is that the older we grow the closer I feel to you guys. My life wouldn’t have been complete without you two.

Ps: with this post we do come to an end of the May Blog Marathon. A big thanks to all those who have stopped by, read and commented. Needless to say it wouldn’t have been possible without you all.

Posted in NaBloPoMo2, Straight from the heart | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Why the accent? Post 30

And that too, when you just landed in the USA like a week back? And anyways, what is the big deal in the US accent? Why couldn’t you be just proud of your natural diction and pronunciation, which according to me was pretty decent? But no, you went there and you have already acquired the great American accent in less than a week. I am sure you never learnt anything this fast ever.

So “Coffee” is already “Caw-Ffee” and “you all” is already “y’ll” and so on and so forth!! sigh, such fakeness?? And why do I have to endure it? Why?

You might think you are sounding very cool and all your relatives and friends back home are mighty happy that one from their clan has made it across to the better world. Really, well done, but please for heaven’s sake, cut that fake accent. You aren’t getting it right anyways. And it just leaves you in the middle of nowhere.

Posted in Irks, NaBloPoMo2 | Tagged | 26 Comments

Versatile and Lovely – The Awards – Post 29

Earlier this month, my darling Monika gave me 2 awards and I kept the announcement part of them for a day when I was clueless on what to post, ah, I do plan you see. So thank you my lady for these awards, they have come after a while and I love them.

The first is the Versatile Blogger award – accepted gracefully and passed on to the crazy team of NaBloPoMo. Rules say I have to state some random facts about me, so here they are:

  1. I shampoo my hair every day, no exceptions here.
  2. I don’t like lending books. You can have my clothes, even my shoes. But please don’t ask for my books.
  3.  Whenever I see a low flying aircraft the first thought that comes to my mind is that it is going to hit a skyscraper.
  4. I can listen to the same song in a loop for days together and not get bored.
  5. I have to know where Aman is at any point of time. Don’t confuse this with being possessive or nagging. I just need to know where geographically he is. Else I get very restless.

The second one is the Lovely Blogger award. And I pass this to Dipika(Mumbai Diva), Supriya and Chandni. I am digressing from the rules here, and creating my own new rules. It’s simple – list down the last 5 compliments you received.

  1. My HR manager in office told me this morning that I have lovely eyes and it looks like I am wearing mascara all the time.
  2. I met an old Chinese woman in the office lift and she started talking to me. While exiting the lift she turned around and told me “you are really beautiful”
  3. This morning Aman told me that I smelled very nice. It was the combination of my new shower gel and body butter (curtsey – Body Shop)
  4. Yesterday a fellow blogger left a comment on my blog – “Hi Iya, loved each post of yours in this blog marathon. Keep it up dear.. l wish I could write like you..”
  5. Yesterday I was talking to a friend about buying a kindle and she said that she didn’t associate me with a gadget like Kindle. She thinks that I am the kind who loves to hold her books and the feel of it. I have never told this to her in as many words. So this is the impression she has of me, and this surely is a compliment.

I also got awarded on IHM’s blog – The Prestigious Yellow Polka Dotted Cup and this one I don’t have to pass around!

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Comfort food for the heart and the mind – Post 28

Food and my association with it has been far beyond the necessary function that it performs – filling the stomach, that is. And I guess, it is because I have been part of a family that has always seen food as element to celebrate, to bring comfort or to rejoice.

As kids no occasion was spared. Happiness or sickness, celebrations or sadness, everything had some element of food in it. Saying that my mother is one of the best cooks I have come across will not be an exaggeration. And I say that not as “ma ke haath ka khana” type of feeling alone. That obviously is there but she is a master chef beyond that.

So while food has been an essential part of all the happy occasions, it also made its presence felt at the not so happy ones. Cold and cough meant yummy hot Sheera. An extremely tired day in school when the appetite is also lost meant hot dal and chapattis with lots of ghee. Returning from school in blazing summer heat meant chilled water melon followed by homemade lemonade. Wet rainy days when we were forced to stay indoors meant pakoras and chaats. There was so much that she use to make to ensure our tiredness, sickness and gloominess never got the better of us – Kadi chawal, Rajma, Paneer, Parathas, Kheer, Gajar ka Halwa, Kaali daal – all these and more were the perfect comfort food for me back then. Prepared by mom, these ensured that I felt better instantly.

And then I left home, back in 2003. And that meant I had to find the comfort elsewhere. I did find success but never totally, after all so hooked was I on my mom’s food. So chocolates and tea became things of unprecedented importance.

Now, after so many years of leaving home, I have finally found my solace of comfort food in what Aman prepares. Not a trained cook the guy is, but he has some magic in his hands. However simple the recipe, the outcome is always magnificent. On days when we both are really really out and beaten we don’t eat out. We get home late, too exhausted to even move a limb but somehow walk to the kitchen. And together in 15 mins we make dinner, while I do the cutting and chopping, Aman does the cooking. And then when I eat it, I know how lucky I am. My comfort is with me. And the food is here to stay.

Posted in Mom Dad, NaBloPoMo2, Straight from the heart | Tagged , , | 14 Comments