Sunday, December 13, 2009


2 years done....since the wedding.

Edited to add: I am in Pune with my family. All my sisters are here too, along with another guest family. So I celebrated with about 19 ppl at home. And the husband is back home all alone in the US, probably cooking his own dinner. Sigh :(

Friday, December 11, 2009


Some of the most interesting things of this trip so chronological order. There were so many things I did this time that I had always wanted to do! And others were additional bonuses.

1) The plane I was in took off while my seat was more or less, completely reclined, and I was flat on my back! Now that was a first, and it better be the last!

2) Landed in Pune instead of Mumbai or Delhi. Being home within an hour is priceless!

3) Finally getting to meet my colleagues in India. Working formally through emails and conference calls is just not the same as brainstorming something and sharing gossip over tea and coffee! The ice-breaking was SO important and beneficial to everyone. Am glad I got this opportunity. (The length of this bullet point says it all I guess! I really enjoyed my time here)

4) Another road trip with my school friend, Sona. We had gone to Hubli by overnight bus earlier to surprise our very close friend. This time, we went to Mumbai, to surprise our school teacher. She was stunned! We met her after 20 years! She was still the same loving, Didi! This was an amazing experience!

5) Finally getting to meet Ria and Princess Mia. This was a huge one too! We connected instantly (at least I felt so!) and I wish we had more time, and more blogworld friends (Ella, missed you for sure!) And throw in Anuraag Baasu as a bonus! Right, girls? He took a picture of the three of us, and we didn't even realize who he was!

6) Watching a Gujarati play after a long long time!

7) Meeting Tabbu (yes, the actress!) at the foot massage place at Mumbai airport. No, I didn't bug her for autographs or photos or anything. We just exchanged smiles and went back to enjoying our massages. Yes, she is absolutely lovely in person too!

8) The BIGGEST thing ever on my wish list, I saw the Pyramids of Giza! I touched them! I climbed up on one of them too! Oh, I am so happy, you can't imagine!

9) Another first for me, I traveled alone. All the way to Egypt and back. And enjoyed it!

10) I won a belly dancing competition in Egypt. Against Columbian and Jordanian girls! How cool is that, huh?

11) I danced with a whirling dervish! That's even cooler, no?

12) I have actually been taking the bus to and from work. Not everyday, but some times. Another first for me!

13) Met my first "best friend" ever. Met her after almost 18 years. Yet another experience I am utterly thankful for! And Sona was with us too.

14) This one's weird, for me at least. The bus driver asked me to jump of the moving bus :) Ok, so it was not moving full speed, it was not completely impossible (thinking of the Mumbai locals!), but I still find it amusing.

I have another month or so to go before I return home. Hope it brings me some more pleasant surprises!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Being settled is unsettling!

Most of my "firsts" are done and over with.

First job ... lost of count of how many I have had so far...4 maybe? Love my job, but yet its just one of those things you do, you know like breathing or brushing your teeth everyday? The excitement is gone.
First car ... have my second one, and love it!
First house ... love this house, not moving!
Married ... and staying married!
No kids ... and not wanting any!

I am settled! I have pretty much everything that I want, and I am satisfied. This realization is unsettling me. This is it? Bass?

With most things I do, I am really excited in the beginning, then I lose steam in the middle. Where the novelty has worn off, and the end is no where in sight. Its the point where patience is the most important thing, where you really need to trudge along, dragging yourself some times, just to make it to the finish line. I have so many unfinished projects, it is embarrassing! And it is alarming that I am treating life the same way! The initial excitement, the gazillion dreams, the enthusiasm, all have disappeared. And life is one project that I cannot afford to get bored of and stash away in some corner to gather dust.

Everything just seems to be the same old, same old, same old. I really need to bring the spark back into my life.

Friday, October 23, 2009


One word, so many meanings!

A banknote, a receipt, a proposed law, a bird's beak?

Or this really sweet postal worker at my local post office.

He is always so calm, has such a soothing voice. Look at him, and you know this is one very caring person.

I had gone to the post office a few months ago to mail Rakhis to my cousins. Luckily, I got Bill to help me. He looked at 3 similar envelopes going to 3 different states, and he instantly knew what it was. (He is either Chinese or maybe Vietnamese). Ever so sweetly he said, you are almost a week late, but I bet your brothers will send you a nice gift in return :) They didn't, but it was so kinda cool to hear what Bill had to say :) Very cool that he knew such details about our culture.

The next time I went to the post office, I was helped by someone else. Was she scary! Asked me all sorts of rude questions (which she was supposed to ask, I guess, but they just sounded rude the way she mouthed them), and looked like she had formed some not so nice opinion about me.

Today, I went again, to send my passport over to the Egyptian consulate to get a visitor's visa. There was Bill, and there was the scary monster working the counter next to him. I wished and hoped and prayed that I didn't have to go to the monster again.

I didn't :-) I went up to Bill and said, I have a bunch of things I need to do. He looked at the envelope with the consulate's address on it. And said, ok, tell me how much the money order is for, let me make that out first, and then I will help you with the rest. I did not even have to tell him what I needed! We got the money order out of the way, then started to prepare the pre-paid, self-addressed envelope I needed to send to the consulate. He started putting stamps on it, and I asked him if he could put all different kinds, since my husband liked to collect them. Of course, no problem :) He found some real cute ones for me :)

He finished everything quickly, then patiently organized and handed me my tracking numbers, and sent me off on my way.

He didn't have to be so nice. Not part of the job requirement. But I do know that the next time, even if I have to wait longer, I will wait to be helped by Bill :) Its a very simple, ordinary story, but it makes me happy.

Some people really spread sunshine just by being themselves, don't they :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Like That...

When I was around 5, I thought "izzikwaltoo" was a word. Then I actually learnt the language properly, and found out what it really meant when I said 2 + 2 izzikwaltoo 4 (2 + 2 = 4)

I also thought "zaa" was a word.
As in, 2 2 zaa 4, 2 3 zaa 6

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hard work finally paid off :)

Have been working out regularly for the last 5 weeks, and have come very close to my goal!
I had gained weight after my knee surgery last year, when I fell off the exercise band wagon.

5 weeks of dedication and I can fit into my pre-surgery clothes again :)

Awesome, awesome feeling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I went to the Indian grocery store today. They usually have some bhajan videos running on screens around the store, which I mostly ignore. The one playing today totally caught my attention. It was in Punjabi. A Sikh guy was singing. The bhajan was about Balaaji. I thought this is new, a Punjabi song for Tirupati Balaji, and I looked at the screen. He was singing it to an idol of Hanumanji!

I agree that I have been away from the country for a long long time. I agree that I don't go to the temple at all and thus not following the religions of India too closely. But when and how did this happen? Nothing wrong with it, of course, but still. When and how did this happen??


To all those who have missed me, sorry for being away for so long, and thank you sooo much for thinking of me! Have just been busy with a lot of different things lately, hence the absence. Not sure when I will be able to as regular as before, but definitely try to write more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Are far far far worse than animals.

I watched Hotel Rwanda last week, and one single image refuses to leave me:

A rebel rejoicing: with a bloody teddy bear hanging off his rifle!

Disgusting! There was a lot more brutality in the movie, but this one just stuck to me. How cruel!

Animals kill only for food! Nothing else! They kill out of instinct, but we? There is conscious thought going into our actions!

Ok, enough, I guess. I just had to get this out of my system. Hoping that writing it out will clean my mind and I can have some peace!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ha ha hahaha :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On my mind right now...

Are lots of different thoughts.....

I wonder "who" I am!

I live in the US. I like my life here. I do not miss India at all. Not even my family, not that much (that is yet another thought I will have to talk about...)

Yet, when it comes to news and issues and what not, I am more up to date about India than the US. I realized this during last week's Toastmasters meeting. There was no set agenda, so everyone was throwing in topics for people to talk about. A lot of them were about news making the rounds here (Letterman, some journalists, etc) and I had not heard of any of those bits of news! What's more, I was not even wondering why I didn't know any of that. Deep down it felt as if it did not relate to me at any level! So does this mean I don't really "belong" anywhere? Not here, not there?

I grew up in a small town called Ahmednagar, lived there for 14 years, and then we moved to Pune. I did not miss my home in Ahmednagar. Ever. I do not miss Pune. And I live here now, and this too doesn't feel like "home". "So then where do I belong? Do I HAVE to belong somewhere? I guess not. I like it like this.

Its just a thought, not something bothering me, so please, don't tell me "don't worry, its ok". Because I am not worrying, and I know its ok :)

[Comments saying "don't worry" will not be posted]

The other thought......
I was talking to someone the other day and they said, wow, 12 years in the US! Don't you miss India? I thought about it and said, nope, not one bit. Sometimes I want to see my Dad, but that's about it. Nothing else. Then I started wondering...have I EVER missed any place or person? Fact is: nope! Then I started wondering...hmmm...why would that be!

I realized that I never had any close friends. Ever. I had friends, but no one so close that I would miss them. I realized that I never did anything outside of the house, from people other than family (why? that's yet another thought :) So no place I miss hanging out at, no people I miss hanging out with. I realized that I was never very close to my sisters or my parents either. No one I would really talk to, you know? No one. Ever. I realized I was a loner! I never thought I was one. Because in spite of all this, I have also never been alone! Ever. So its weird, I cannot stand crowds, I cannot stand empty spaces. I need just the right mix.

I suppose this is good and bad. I can live happily wherever I go, with whoever it is that is around. I can readily talk to people, its not that I am completely aloof (I mean, come on, you are my friend, right?) Yet, I cannot truly create lasting relationships and friendships, no real bond. I will be a good friend, I will not disappoint, but yet, I will not miss anyone that's not around. You know what I mean? I wonder if most people are like this, or most people have at least one or two people they can absolutely not do without!?

Its just a thought, not something bothering me, so please, don't tell me "don't worry, its ok". Because I am not worrying, and I know its ok :)

[Comments saying "don't worry" will not be posted]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life is good :)

Nothing special to say, except that I had a great day!

Work was quite productive, had good food for lunch (I made it, so HAS to be good, hehe), came home and spent two hours toiling in the yard, ended the hard work with half an hour in the new spa. All stress melted away :) I feel good as new!

Still have my crunches to do, and cooking to do, and cleaning to do, but right now...

am luvin' it :)

Life is goooooood!

PS: Life would be awesome if I have enough time to finally apply a new coat of nail polish :D

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do What You Can!

Whew! So I finally presented my speech today! I was really nervous, but apparently no one noticed the tremor in my voice :) They all felt this was coming straight from the heart and loved it. A few people even came up to me to say they were quite inspired to do something!

Am feeling great :)

Here's the speech then...(WARNING: Its rather long!)

Today I am going to speak about a topic very close to my heart. I have written about it quite often on my blog, forwarded relevant links and emails to friends, but have never directly tried to share my thoughts with a group pf people way I am going to do today.
I want to persuade all of you to open up your hearts to the underprivileged people in the world.

To be honest, I had almost given up on this idea. Regardless of how I feel about it, how much I believe in it myself, I found it hard to convince others. Asking someone to give away their hard-earned money, or to spend time volunteering while they could very well be snorkeling in Hawaii, is hard. Then, a couple weeks ago, I came across an article about a 12-year old boy. This boy has raised more than $5 million and donated it all to help underprivileged children! Yes! He is 12 years old, and has raised $5 million for charity!!! He was 4 years old when he heard his parents talk about earthquake victims. They were talking about how a lot of money needs to be raised to help these people get back on their feet. He was eating an orange at the time, and he asked his parents if it was possible to raise money selling oranges? They were all for it, and he raised $350 in that first stint. He has not looked back since!

He started off by selling oranges, then sold hand-made crafts in the mall, at the train station in freezing winters, volunteered wherever he could, even went to Tanzania to volunteer, made speeches, and has also written a book! What this child has done is quite exceptional, not some thing everyone can do. Yet, his message is very simple. Do what you can! That is all. Do whatever you can! He says making a difference in someone’s life brings so much more joy than the latest gadget can ever bring.

He makes sense. I know it from experience. I have been sponsoring child education in India since the day I got my first paycheck. I have two kids right now, both growing up in very adverse conditions. One of them is studying for the same engineering degree that I have. The same degree that brought me here. I am proud that her grades are so much better than mine ever were! If I compare the joy of her some day leading a much better life than what she has today, to, lets say, my car, she wins hands down. If I compare the cost of educating her versus the cost of maintaining my car, she wins hands down again! I pay more for gas per month than I do for 6 months of her tuition.

There are many areas where we can help. There are many ways in which we can help! In fact, with so many choices, it is easy to get overwhelmed, confused and finally to give up on the idea!

So I am going to put forth some simple ways in which we can make a difference. The first one is to go to websites like All you need to do there is click! Yes, it is as simple as that. For each hit that the website gets, sponsors donate to fight hunger. Just one click is all you need to do. You can even sign up for a daily reminder via email to go click. They have made it so easy; there is no excuse to not do it ?

Another website I love is This one can actually help you find a word of the day for toastmaster meetings ? Play the word games, enhance your vocabulary, and for every word that you get right, donate some rice!

You can take it further a little bit by donating to charities. There are many prominent organizations doing excellent work in various fields like health care, education, women’s rights, animal rights, etc. There are some valid concerns that how do I know where my money is going? How do I know they are really doing the work they claim to be doing? The good news is that there are websites that help you research these organizations. The one I like to refer to They help you find organizations in a specific field, they rate organizations, they list the most popular ones, they list ones that are in the red for a long time. They have tips and guides for donors, questions to ask before donating, pointers on how to spot a scam. There is a lot of information out there. I would encourage you to explore the website. I am confident that even if you don’t have a specific cause in mind, you will find something you would like to support just by browsing through the information!

Now, there are people who say they don’t believe in giving away anything for free. There is a solution for them too! Microloans! Organizations like connect struggling entrepreneurs in third world countries with lenders who can lend small amounts like, say $25. This small amount goes a long way in changing the standard of living of these people, and some times even changing the economy of a small region. You may have a concern that these are inexperienced people, how would their business ever succeed, and I doubt I will ever get my money back. They succeed because their life depends upon it! For most people, it is a last chance to escape poverty, illness and illiteracy. They put in more efforts than the mucky-mucks in big companies to make it work! The average repayment rate is more than 98%. So most of the time, you get your money back. Even if you don’t, its just $25! Kiva does not pay any interest on these loans, but there are other organizations that do give out interest as well. If you go with one of those, then you save a family, and make money as well!

There are other options that are more time-consuming and take more effort such as volunteering, working full time at one of these organizations, or setting up subventions such as scholarships!

Bottom line is, there are millions of people out there who need help, gazillions of ways to offer it, and zero reasons to not do it! You can get a child off the streets, from a potential life of crime and put him in a school for less than the amount you spend on your daily shot of caffeine! You can help restore someone’s eyesight for less than the price of a t-shirt! You can make a big difference with very little effort!

Go click on a button, run a marathon, host a fundraiser. Do whatever you like, but, please, do something! More than anyone else, do it for yourself, it is good for your own soul!

This makes me want to laugh, and also makes me angry!

Just came across this piece of news that says an American passenger managed to get past the security systems at New Delhi Airport – and almost through Chennai on Thursday – before being caught with a gun and 35 rounds of ammunition in his baggage.

What makes me laugh is this:
He says he did not know the Indian laws about carrying fire arms on flights.
Hello? Are you dumb? Or do you think the people you are trying to sell this story to are dumb? This is almost like saying, I didn't know it was illegal to kill someone in India!

What makes me angry is this:
He got past the security systems at New Delhi Airport, and almost through Chennai. After the regular, almost monthly attacks all over the country, he could get past the security!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back by popular demand :)

Mia was missing me, so here to give an account of some little tid-bits from my life :)

Inneresting weekend. Wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow!
So what did I do...lets! Its been so packed I can't even remember what I did yesterday!!!!


-- We have new fences around our house. Lookin; good :)
-- We planted a whole bunch of different things by the spa. Lookin' good :)
-- We bought MORE plants! Will look good :)
-- While planting, I saw a fly chase and eat up a spider! Quite a fight the little guy put up! Lookin' ... never mind :)
-- We bought 150 pounds of salt. Go figure why :) Ha ha :)
-- I finally did some work for Project Why and am feelin' good :)
-- Dad's coming on the 4th of July, feelin' good :)
-- We have some 8-10 lilies blooming all at once, lookin' beeeyutiphool.
-- And the best one...I FINALLY inaugurated the spa! Half an hour in there, and feelin' great!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I really liked this birthday message I got from an online "wellness" community I have joined.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Power of Just One Goal

Did I tell you I have re-joined Toastmasters?

I had joined a club in my previous company in 2006. I gave my first two speeches within a month. My audience totally loved me. After the first one, I was ecstatic. After the second one, I thought if I am so good already, why do I need to do this? I switched jobs after my second speech, and never joined the new one until 3 weeks ago. I went back because I wanted to finish all such initiatives that I started with a lot of enthusiasm, but quit halfway out of boredom.

I am glad I went back. I am having a lot of fun. The various topics under discussion really stir up the brain cells that have settled down lately to think only about work and home. It is definitely good for the brain, the confidence, the variety of thoughts, the challenge!

I attended the area level International Speech Contest hosted by my club today.
The title of this post is the title of the winning speech at the contest.

The power of just one goal!

It was about the speaker's sister: mother of 10, grandmother of 24, who decided one fine day that she wanted to start running! She wanted to run everyday. That is it. Just run, no other goal related to time or distance. After she did it for a month, she decided to run every single day for a year! Once she achieved that, she wanted to run a marathon. She took a year preparing for it, and won the first marathon she ran! She participated in marathons all over the country, and one day decided that she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. No mean feat this one! Yes, of course, she did it!

It started with one small goal of wanting to run. Nowhere in the picture was the Boston Marathon! Yet, that is where it led!

The speech got me thinking about the way I dealt with personal projects. They all start with lofty dreams. I have dreamt of being a fashion designer, a writer, a social worker, a singer, a dancer, a winner of this very speech contest where I was among the audience! While I had more than the basic talent needed for all these things, I never understood the power of humble beginnings! I just wanted to be at the top while I was still eyeing the bottom rung. While I had a flair for a wide variety of things, I never understood the importance of focusing on just one of them at a time! My head was always full of more ideas than I had the time and energy for. The result was that I achieved nothing significant! The result was anxiety and a sense of helplessness that there is so much that I can do, yet nothing that I am actually doing!

What a revelation that speech was! I started thinking about all that I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, how it fit into the bigger picture of my life. Thoughts churned, and I started to see things more clearly. I was able to categorize tasks into must-do, can-do, and einhhh…why bother!

The things that bubbled up to the top were:
• Social work
• Writing
• Speaking

The more thought I put into this, the more I realized that they can all be connected!
I now have just one goal of my own that I feel really good about.

Present a speech promoting charity work within one month!

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Project WHY needs help!

I am re-posting this hoping to get some more people to pitch in. Project WHY needs your help! I received a touching letter from AnouDidi this morning:

Dear All

It has been a long time since I wrote and it is after some thought that I pick up my virtual pen again. It is not that you have not been on my mind. I often think about each one of you who have made pwhy possible. It is true that one often wrote when in need as that is human nature! On the other hand I also knew that many of you dropped by the site or the blog and thus got all the news about pwhy.

I must admit that the past few months have been smooth sailing thus lulling us into a deceptive comfort zone. We reached the magic figure of 1K without much ado and once again the children did us proud. We had our anxious moments be it Manu's health, or a little boy's dreams shattered but somehow weathered the storms. We had our huge moments too be it the surgery of a little scarred face or the miracle that made it possible for us to send our little proteges to boarding school.

Yes we lived exhilarating times and somehow did not realise that some promised had not been kept. Hence we were totally taken aback when we realised that our funds had dwindled. Today we do not have money to pay our monthly commitments.

Before you wonder how we got to this situation let me explain our funding pattern. We have solid commitments for about 60% of our needs, the rest has to be raised ad hoc. A slip on my part or an unexpected payment (like the one time of the boarding school) and we find ourselves in the lurch!

We need your sustained help, a small amount that you would send us on a regular basis. Is that asking too much? I do not know. All I can tell you is that that tiny amount may help a child remain in school, or help a challenged child smile or another get the urgent medical help it needs.

Love and blessings



Going with the Christmas spirit, and for a cause VERY close to my heart, I urge you to help the kids that call Project WHY their shelter, their playground, their home and hearth! What is project WHY you say?

It is a non-profit organization based in Delhi helping out slum kids of Delhi and their families, in any which way possible. go, yet another non-profit. Here me out, please, before letting out that yawn.

This is not just another non-profit organization. This one is special. Anou has made it special! They get NO support from the government or any other institute. Their teachers are from WITHIN THE COMMUNITY! Anou is known as the lady who made a sweeper into a teacher. Most of the teachers at their school are slum dwellers, with a minimum education of 8th grade. So the benefits are reaching every where! Everyone earns and learns with dignity!

They now have over 600 children and run two early education programs, one prep class, four primary and one secondary after school support programs, a day care and life skills program for 20 children with disabilities as well as a computer center.

Anou is indeed leading a revolution at the grassroots level. The primary charter for the organization is education support and life skill enhancement of slum children and their families. But believe me, they do more than that. They have helped a lot of these kids get life saving surgeries and other medical, financial and emotional help. They have helped get them out of the streets and into a classroom. Off the foot path and into a home! They help wherever they can, and NO ONE is every turned away.

I was introduced to this project through a comment on a friend's blog. She had written a poem promoting education for one and all. And someone had pointed her to this blog by Anouradha Bakshi, the director and founder of Project WHY. I dropped by, and have been doing so everyday now, even have Anouradha as a Facebook friend.
The poem by my friend was beautiful, but the blog is a private one, so I cannot share it here. (Ella, I am talking about you, dear!)

Anou's blog is a window into the lives of these children, the difficulties they face with so much courage, the basic rights that they have to fight for, the smiles on their bright little faces which are so innocent, and so unfortunate! And so much talent and potential! The stories Anou puts up are heart-wrenching, because the little ones face so many adversities, and at the same time they are heart-warming because the kids are not alone! pWHY is there for them!

Project WHY has started another initiative called Planet WHY. This is also a very very special undertaking. I will let you take a journey to that planet yourself and explore it with your own eyes. It is truly a world of its own.

I can go on and on about the project and the little angels. But now...lets get down to business, shall we? :D

I ask you to donate Just One Rupee A Day to Project WHY. What is this?
It is an initiative of pWHY where they make it possible for even the poorest in India to contribute and make a difference. It is only Rs. 365 a year. Less than what you would spend on a decent dinner. Less than a movie for your family at that multiplex. Less than a pair of shoes!

Think about the difference it is going to make! I hear a lot of fellow bloggers "wanting to make a difference". Here is your chance! And this here is a proof of how it is going to help us build a better India! Anou Didi approached a child who would otherwise have gone on to become a goonda, and turned him towards studying, towards a better life.

This is real! This is effective! And Anou Didi is there to take it further. I have so much faith in the project because of the faith she has in the kids!

So once again, I urge all of you to donate Just One Rupee A Day. And maybe take a step further and donate Just One Rupee A Day for each earning member of your family. The kids deserve this! India deserves this!

Here's a link to donate pWHY via paypal.
And here is a link to other other ways you can donate.

Merry Christmas everyone :) Lets spread some cheer, shall we?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Very Sound Rules

Very sound rules which apply to everyone!

  • - Individuals
  • - Parents
  • - Employers
  • - Employees
  • - Politicians
  • - Civilians
  • - Rich
  • - Poor
  • - Everyone!

psst...although Abe is referring to men and brotherhoods only, its for the gals too ;P

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Okay people, please breathe a HUGE sigh of relief with me.

1 - 2 - 3 - NOW!


That's good.

Now I will tell you why you are so relieved.

We were having this nice lazy Saturday afternoon. I came back from some mundane household shopping to find two envelopes lying on my side of the bed. The hubby had sorted out the mail and left my junk for me to deal with. I had a short exchange with him about how he should dispose of such garbage for me. And then I get down to business.

One was from the DMV. I knew why they were writing to me, my car registration is due in a couple months. Groaann...more money leaving my little piggy bank. Leave it alone. We'll deal with it later.

The second one had just a return address on it. No name, no clue where it was from. I weighed it, felt it, seemed like something from some credit card company. Damn these spammers. Using up so much paper that I am simply going to throw out. Maybe I should just throw it out. Why bother opening it. Grumble, grumble, groan, groan, rip it open, jaw drop!

It is........


Green Card!

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Sushi Lunch

This is what I did today :)

My Japanese Lunch (Please click on the link to see goooood pictures)

I posted just the good stuff on the photo-blog. Unfortunately, there was not-so-good stuff too. Like this "thing" that my friend ordered:

I have cropped the picture, the original had his shocked face, looking very very suspiciously at what was served to him. I cannot even begin to describe how hard it was for the poor guy to eat this. We kept asking him to order something else, it was painful for us to even watch him!

Other than this...what else have I been up to....hmm...lets see...

I am reading a really great book on writing. Yes, reading about writing. I learnt so much from it, that I want to edit ALL my blog posts and make them more fun!

I am back on my exercise routine! I started on Monday, felt great for the first few hours after, I did exercise everyday, but was DEAD for one whole week. Darn, its hard!!! On the other hand, I am glad I didn't quit after the first day!

I am thinking about starting a series of posts on my blog. About things I like to do. A few ideas:

- Social causes: Feature one cause/organization per week. I loved writing about Project WHY, and would like to do more posts like that.
- Fashion: Well, I like to look at new trends and stuff, but not sure if I have anything to contribute. So maybe not.
- Cooking: Again, I like to cook (finally!!!), but I am not at a stage where I can give tips or create new recipes. I guess I could put up links to my favorite dishes? Favorite ingredients? Hmmm...I think I will explore this some more.
- Writing: This is a direct result of the book I am reading! It makes me want to write! How cool is that!

What would YOU like out of this list? I am not promising that I will go with the vote, but I want to know what is more interesting to most people.

It is funny how this post came about! I had only intended to put up the pictures of the Japanese lunch. And look what it led to! All I am doing is typing out my thoughts exactly as they are forming in my head. Is this what writing is all about?

Ok, full stop!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We had recently moved to Pune, and my mother had hired Alkabai as our maid.
I didn't pay much attention to her at the time, but now when I think about her, the mental picture that comes up in my mind is that of a beautiful, tall woman, impeccably dressed in a clean saree, neatly combed hair, a friendly smile on her lips. She was very efficient in her work, and soft spoken and caring in manner. The very picture of a happy, content person.

This picture got tainted the fateful day when her husband knocked on our door. He was dead-drunk in the middle of the day, looking for Alkabai. My mother said she was not there, and warned him never to come back to our house. He stood there asking for Alkabai's salary,
saying he was her husband, and needs the money. My mother simply asked him to go away and shut the door. He hung around peeking in through the windows for some time, then left cursing everyone, from Alkabai to my mother and anyone else that he could think of.

Alkabai was hiding somewhere in the house all this time, shedding silent tears.
"यह तो रोज का है, माजी. रोज पिके आता है, पैसे मांगता है. पैसे नहीं दिए तो मुझे मारता है. आज देखो मेरे पीछे पीछे यहाँ तक आ गया, और आपको परेशान कर रहा है", she said when asked what this was about. My mother did not know what to say to her.

A few days later, I walked out of our compound and saw the guy, unconscious on the ground with a rock by his bleeding head. People were gathered around him, and someone said that Alkabai finally got fed up and smashed his head.

Anytime I hear the words "Domestic Violence", Alkabai's face magically appears before me.

This was 17 years ago. I used to think that this happens only to uneducated, poor people. How wrong I was! Domestic Violence (DV) plagues each and every strata of our society and our world. It is the most rampant crime, and also the most under-reported one.

Why would anyone want to beat someone up?? Especially when they are family?
The answer is simple. Control! Domination! Insecurity! And it is easier to get away when it is family, because people do tend to keep such dirty laundry under wraps. Women are taught to be "resilient" and "silently bear" everything for the family's sake.

How did this ever become acceptable! Isn't it violation of basic human rights?
The main reason this is acceptable is because of the way our society is structured. Even I have been brought up to believe that "We live in a male-dominated society. If you learn to accept that, then you will be happy".

I did not think to object to this when I was 17. Thankfully, I have grown up, and now know better than that.There are a couple of key points in this statement that make me bristle today.

The first one is that of domination. Why anyone should dominate or control another is beyond me.
The second one is that acceptance of this domination is the key to being happy. This is the exact opposite of the truth! How can anyone ever be happy if they are being suppressed! Accept it? How??? And why?

Unfortunately, this statement sums up what most girls grow up believing and continue to believe.

I wonder why Alkabai didn't dump her husband before things got to the point they did.
Society is to blame again!
A single/divorced woman is looked upon with scorn. She might even fall prey to other lecherous men if she dumped this one.
She might have been afraid that he might come after her with renewed anger and force.
She might have been brain washed into believing that she deserved to be beaten up!
Maybe she just got used to it, and didn't realize that this is wrong and life can be different!
Maybe she had no support system, no one to turn to. So she just continued to be with the abusive partner thinking that "something is better than nothing"
Maybe she did not know that she COULD do something, that she COULD report to the police!

The effects of DV are deep and far-reaching. Not only does it affect the woman, but also any children in the household. Boys may grow up believing that it is okay to hurt someone, to control someone through violence. Girls may grow up with very slow self-esteem and also believe
that they deserve to be abused. And the cycle just does not end!

So what can we do to prevent DV?
As far as I know, most of us tend to ignore these matters thinking that it is the personal affair of the people involved. It is not for us to interfere. Truth is, DV is a crime. And crime is no one's personal matter. This crime needs to be dealt with just like any other. I agree, it is difficult to decide when it is time for outsiders to intervene since relationships are sensitive issues.

Yet, there ARE a few things that we can do.

If you see anyone being abused, stop them! Interfere, say something completely irrelevant, say nothing, anything that you can think of at the time, just do something to stop the chain of negative thoughts in the perpetrators mind.

If you know of someone who is routinely being abused, but is not doing anything about it, offer help. Let them know that you are there to support them in case they decide to take action. Make them aware of the laws that protect them against DV. Make them aware that there is life beyond their relationship!

Lastly, I think, it is critical to educate children in school about domestic violence. They should know what actions qualify as DV, and what laws exist for protection against them. If this is taught to them at a young age, I am confident they will grow up to build lasting and loving relationships!

It is time for everyone, regardless of cast, creed, sex, religion, every single person on earth to live with pride and dignity! Let's take the steps necessary to eradicate this monster!

Happy Women's Day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bell Bajao!

March 8th is International Women's Day. Think about what this means, and how you would like to celebrate it.

Yesterday I had sent an email to some of my closest girls (sorry, guys, the email specifically asked me to pick precisely 12 women :) who have in some way touched my life, made it better, helped me be a better person. I bet all my recipients loved it!

I now urge you to include more women in this circle! Not just 12! Not just the ones you know and those who have helped you. But those whom YOU can help.

How? By joining the campaign against Domestic Violence.

In fact, keeping in mind the recent events in Mangalore and Bangalore, not just Domestic Violence, but any kind of violence against women.

Those of you in India may already have heard of the "Bell Bajao" campaign. What is different about this campaign is that it urges MEN to take a stand against domestic violence.
It asks us to do just one simple thing. Intervene when you see abuse, some times that is all it takes! I read an interview of Boman Irani's on the Bell Bajao website, and the gist of what he said, intervention can be very powerful. Just interrupt them, look them in the eye, say something completely irrelevant, say nothing, anything that you can think of at the time, do whatever, but do it. Interrupt! It works!

Of course there are other things that need to be done as well. But this is a start!

So lets spread the word, increase awareness, and fight this beast once and for all!

I would love to see a post about this on your blogs on March 8th. I will definitely do the same.
Am specially looking forward to posts from the guys here :)

You can find more details about it at their website:

Even if you are not a blogger, there is a LOT you can do! The website has lots of resources that you can use to bring about change in your community.

Here is some history and more information about International Women's Day

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday :)

My blog turned a year old ... about 2 minutes ago :)

It has been a great one year with all the wonderful friends I have made here. Am not going to put names, for fear of missing anyone. The number of new friends is HUGE! You know who you are :)

It is amazing that I have met people matching my wavelength who call me Maasi (aunty), Didi (elder sister), friend and those that I myself call Didi and Uncle. And yet, I can totally "relate" to everyone. All gender and age gaps disappeared here. Everyone is simply a close friend!

My friends are architects, writers, home-makers, psychologists, photographers, students, environmentalists, activists, poets, armymen, film-makers, doctors and a whole array of professionals that I would never have interacted with without the blog world!

The other amazing thing is how much more aware I am of the world around me. How much I myself have grown because of my interactions with you all.


Thanks SOO much :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where do you draw the line?

WARNING: This is another one of those molehills that is about to become a mountain!

An acquaintance of mine moved here from India about 6 months ago. So far, he has proved to be quite irresponsible and insensitive to other people's time. I won't go into details, but lets just say that I (and the hubby too) have done a LOT of running around on his behalf.

So the latest is this... I got a call this morning saying that he is not in town this week, and won't be back in time to pay his rent, which is due tomorrow. So would I go pay it. I said sure, no problem. I asked him to email me the details (what is the amount, who do I write the check to, what apartment number do I put in, etc) and I will go and pay it.

Its the end of the day today, and I have not yet received any information.

So what's the vote people, should I write/call and remind him to give me the necessary info, or should I let it pass, have him pay the penalty?

Like I said, its not that big a deal, but how long do you cover for someone, and how old do you need to be before you stop expecting spoon-feeding (The dude has a 3 year old kid, btw!)

Edited to add: He did email late last night...claiming that he had too much work to write to me earlier. Sigh...some people! I wonder whether he saw this post!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Beautiful Is My Valley!

The weather and scenery has been changing quite dramatically over here in the last few weeks.

After a really long dry spell, the rain Gods were finally appeased! The skies were completely overcast for an entire week. I got a brief glimpse of open sky on my way home one evening. Just one small window!

But this was nothing like the monsoons in India. There was some hail in the valley, and a lot of snow on the mountains.

We went up to the mountains to get a closer look, but the snow had already started to melt. But it was still beeeeautiful!

The area in the foothills of the mountain was pretty rustic. A lot of ranches and horses there. Here's a nice little barn...

And this is a view of the Silicon Valley!

The valley also produces some GIANT lemons like these!
(Please do not ask me whether I am sure these are lemons. I wouldn't call them that if I didn't know, right?)

And boasts some amazing sunsets! Right in the middle of a bustling city!

Fresh air, clear blue skies, fluffy white clouds, views of emerald green mountains, almost like a painting...right in my parking lot!

Vintage Mercs!

And custom made bikes! This one is a "Big Dog". Had never heard of it until I saw one!

I have a few more pictures that I took today, but those will have to come in another post.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Broken Bhindis!

This weekend,I went to the Indian store to get my weekly supply of groceries. It was crowded as expected on a weekend night. As I walked in, I noticed a young guy, hooded sweatshirt, with the hood on his head picking out something from a bin in the middle of the store.

I strolled through the vegetable aisles, and picked up a few different things, and in about 10 minutes or so got to where the guy was cherry-picking some bhindis. I got curious as to what was taking him so long. He had been at it since before I got in the store, and had maybe 10 bhindis in his bag. I waited for some time for him to get done, and when it looked like it was going to take some more time, I tried to squeeze in next to him to get some bhindis for myself.

I finally saw what was taking him so long! He was breaking off the end of each of the bhindis he was picking up, and put, maybe 1 out of 5 in his bag. The other broken ones went back in the bin! What a waste!!! Then I surprised myself! I actually spoke up and told him, "That's not nice! You are breaking stuff and putting it back. Other people would like to buy some too, you know?"
He giggled! That was his only response! "He he he!"

From then on, at least till I was there filling my own bag, he did not put any broken ones back. But he had damaged so many of them already, it was hard to get anything out of there :(

I wonder if he even realized what he was doing before I pointed it out to him. He probably thought it was a good thing, picking out the best veggies that he could get.
I bet he would not do the same in an American store. Simply because it is not allowed there (not bothering to think about why it is not the done thing in the non-Indian stores!)
I hope he thinks twice before damaging goods like this.

And then I started to think about what I said to him. I did not tell him the real thing that was bothering me. That he was breaking something he did not intend to pay for! I hate this about me. I cannot think on my feet and say the right thing at the right time. Normally, I would not even say anything, thinking like a typical Indian, that this is not my problem, मुझे क्या!? So I guess at least thats a start. I spoke! Not just write about something hours or even days after the fact :)

Oh I go again! Making a mountain out of a pile of bhindis!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A wife's rights!

Read this bit of "Weird News" yesterday on Yahoo:

Boy Marries Dog

It happened somewhere in Orissa.
The boy is not yet 2 years old, and he was married to a neighbor's dog! Weird indeed. But there was also something very ironic...
The boy's wife's name is Jyothi. She was allowed to roam around in the streets after the wedding. No dowry was exchanged.

Now if only this was true of real wives. So many dowry deaths could have been avoided, so many women would be free to do what they want, wear what they like, meet who they want. The dog wife seems to have more rights :)

Hehe :) I guess I can draw parallels and conclusions and make mountains out of the weirdest of molehills!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Luck ... By Chance!

I will echo a lot many others who have seen this movie...

I loved, loved, loved the movie!

And it was the perfect setting for me too. I went with a friend and her sister to watch it in one of the AMC's on a week night. Almost empty parking lot, almost empty theater. There was only three of us, and then three more people joined later. Nice people, quiet as mice, with no crackly candy wrappers, no cell phones ringing, no kicking my seat. And hopefully they did not mind the three girls giggling away to glory!


Will not go into the story line of course. So will list out a few things that stayed with me even after I left the hall...

There is SO much talent in the Indian film industry! The opening credits featured a lot of the "menials", their hard work ... and their hard life! The set designers, costume designers, makeup artists, choreographers, editing artists, oh my, I wouldn't even know how much goes into making one single movie! I wish there were some laws about minimum hourly wages in India like there are in the US. It is heartbreaking to see such hard work, such beautiful work being taken for granted like this!

Then there was the whole unfair business of how people get a foot-hold in the industry. Such a stark contrast between the thousands of talented artists struggling for years and still getting nowhere; and the people with "connections" who get in (and are some times forced in!) so easily with no talent, no experience, no nothing! I suppose it is sort of like the political scene in India too. No qualifications needed, except for connections! How I wish that would change. But I digress...

And then there was the life of the poor little rich kid! Who could not eat enough because there were millions of rupees riding on her waist line as opposed to the poor kids (not featured in the movie, of course) who cannot eat enough because, well, there isn't anything to eat!
Niki Walia was a very believable character in spite of, like Vikram says, living in a cake! She was still so innocent and good at heart, just like most people are deep down within.

And now for the best thing about the movie according to me: the strong, independant and sensible Indian woman! Sona truly represents what the Indian woman is today.
She is not "Sati Savitri" who will sacrifice all for the man
She is not the wife from (I forget the movie...anyone remember Radhika with the curled up "choti" married to Rishi Kapoor?) who lives like a servant in her husband's house.
She is not Rekha from Khoon Bhari Maang, going all out to kill the enemy.
She is no Meena Kumari who will die pining away for her husband!

She is one very sensible woman, who knows what she wants.
She is very strong and refuses to patch up with her very selfish lover
She is very honest and tells him exactly what she thinks of him! She is neither mean to him, nor does she waste time in seeking revenge. She figures out what is right for her, and goes her own way!
She is very realistic and understands that she can either be sad that she could not act in big movies, or she can be happy that she is doing good work and is well liked by people.
She has oodles of self respect!
She chooses to be happy!

She is the perfect role model for women! Not just in India, but all over the world!

Move over Sita and Sati and whoever undermines the power and strength of a woman...

The world belongs to Sona Mishra!!!

I know there are too many !!!! in my post, but then that is how much I liked the movie!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

Who has the prettiest feet of all?

I DO :)

A totally narcissist post. Please don't ask me what this is about. I just loved my own feet that day I suppose :)

Click on the pic to see the pretty pretty design on my nails :D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My funny friend :)

I had written about my friend Brad before. That time he had brought me some cherries.
He spreads some real good cheer in my life. And flirts like no one else :) This guy has got to be the funniest person I know. And the best part, like I had mentioned before, he keeps it simple. Its the simplest friendship I have ever had to date. No expectations whatsoever, just peals of laughter. And bags of cherries :)

Had been having a boring, exhausting day, when I decided to clean up my gmail inbox. And saw an email from him that I had not yet replied to. I replied, and ended up in splits. Here's what followed:

B: I didn't even do my 100 situps for the day, what a slacker!!!! hahahaha :)

Me: hmmm..not sure how I missed replying to this one....100 situps? That's all you do? tsk, tsk ;-)

B: ripped gut :)

Me: Ok, I believe you :P
(not wanting to see a pic of what he was talking about!!!)

haha, I'm totally playing with ya, It looks kinda like the alien :)

is there a pattern on the abs? I hope its a flower pattern :) (So now I want to play too!)

B responded with this!!!
I was rendered speechless!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What I love about the US - Public Libraries

I suppose there are a lot of things, so maybe this will be a series of posts.

The first thing to go here has to be the public libraries!

- They're the best!

- They have all the books I would ever want to good condition!

- If my branch doesn't have what I want, I can place a request to get it from another branch within the same!

- I can renew my books online

- I can place hold on books online

- If I have a book on hold, they do not allow others to renew them. They respect my spot in the queue!

- Most of them have an excellent environment for kids: story times, lots and lots of books, and other fun programs

- They have a very good environment for studying...books, couches, coffee, peace!

- Cell phones are mostly not allowed

- They have free internet access. This was very handy when I moved to this city and had no internet at home, and had not started work yet!

-They help people with their taxes too (I think some libraries have some informational sessions)

- They have a lot of classes for free. One which I found very good was teaching English to elderly immigrants!

- They have reference books for EVERYTHING (I got stuff on crocheting, hubby got to learn about some electrical codes in our county!)

- They also have DVD and videos

- The one I go to has HINDI ones too!!!

- They are the very best!

They are an AWESOME service to the community! I am glad my tax dollars support my excellent library system.

Here's my little nieces in my library. (Yes, it is MY library :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My first love

Has to be Garfield!!! He is just so smart and witty!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Need help

Some of you may remember I had written a post about Borewell Deaths in India a while back.

My friend has come up with a plan for starting work on covering up these open pits. I have been roped in to write a brochure for her that she will use to contact people and get them to take action. I have also been assigned to task of naming the project. And I am drawing a blank here :(

Would really appreciate your creativity in coming up with something.

I just had a couple (very boring) names:

"Shut the Death-Traps"
"Borewells: Lets make them green"

Please help!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I got a speeding ticket a couple months ago.
I signed up for traffic school
There's an online option. Yayy! I don't have to spend 8 hours in a classroom!
I enrolled
I clicked on the "Start Course" button
First thing I see...

A gal with brown sunglasses in a light blue BMW convertible!

Now that's called really rubbing it in!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The one with lots of why's...

Why is negativity more powerful than positivity?
Why does a sneer have the power to wipe off a smile?
Why does a cold shoulder have the power freeze a warm embrace?
Why does fear win over faith?
Why does ego win over love?
Why is it easier to destroy than it is to build?
Why is suspicion more instinctive than trust?

Is this natural or conditioned?
I think it is a mix of both...sigh...

Monday, January 19, 2009

What does YOUR India look like?

I am reading all these articles where people are protesting against movies like "Slumdog Millionaire" because it projects India as a poor, not very nice country.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but have heard and read a lot about it. Of course :)

I wonder why all the uproar? Because the movie won awards, and we are jealous? Because what it says is true and are ashamed that the truth is out there for everyone to see?

There are other movies made about issues in India (Firaaq for instance). But they have not become so popular, and hence no protests?

Look at the other movies that are made in Bollywood. Where the lead couple sings and dances in Switzerland and almost everyone lives in mansions. That is also not the true face of India, then why no protests against that?

What is the true face of India that we want the world to see then? I think about the day to day life of an average Indian, and what story can we make out of it? I don't know :(

I loved Swades, but wasn't that also projecting how bad the Indian villages have it?

What story would YOU like to show? Which reality in India would you want non-Indians to know about? Can you recommend any recent movies that make you proud of India? That you would love to see winning top awards? Taare Zameen Pe maybe?

I am not saying that poverty and struggle is all there is in India. But I would like to know HOW we can separate ourselves from the poverty that is there on each and every traffic signal, on all footpaths, just about everywhere? Please do read this post by someone who works with slum dwellers everyday. See what she has to say about portraying this side of our country.

Slumdog Musings by Anouradha Baskhi of Project WHY.

Would really love to see comments on this one!

I can start off and say I would love to see a movie about the Chandrayaan...and without the song and dance trappings!

Edited to add:
And about how the role of the Indian woman has changed over the decades! Maybe something with three generations of Indian women in it! I can see a huge huge huge difference between the life, way of thinking, everything about my nani's life and my sister's daughter's life. They both live in modern day India!

Edited again (1/20) to add:
Just wanted to say that this post is not about dissing India, or supporting Slumdog.
I just want people to think about good things that they would like the rest of the world to know. Good things, like the ones I have listed above (at least I like them!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Raymond and Debra ... revisited yet again

For the uninitiated, please read the first two parts of the series :)

Raymond and Debra
Raymond and Debra - II

So...we were both working from home today, and went out to lunch. It was a Friday afternoon, and the restaurant was packed with people. We got our table, ordered our regular food and were sitting yawning and waiting for our food to arrive, busy in our own thoughts. One of the thoughts in my head being, all these people are talking and we are not. And that is fine, because we know everything that is there to be said anyway :) We don't have any catching up to do.

Then I started paying attention to conversations that were loud enough for me to hear.

As usual, there was an Indian on a table of maybe 10, giving investment advice to anyone who cared to listen. It made me wonder why do typical Indian men talk only about money and stocks?! I tuned into the table next to me.

Two colleagues, a guy and a girl out on their lunch break. The girl was talking non-stop. And her statements made me chuckle...

"I am so dying to get out of this place, but I can't right now because of (*whispering*) you-know-why"
(This one was repeated a lot many times. I was dying to know why :)

"So I hear you go home, get online and work from home. Really? People do that?! I can't be bothered to carry my computer home. Its too much trouble to get connected. You know what I mean?"
(You kidding me? I would stop breathing if I could not "connect")

"I have worked in Novell, and then in an educational setup. You know what I should do now? Medical. I should get into the medical field. You know what I mean?"

And then the very next statement....
"You know what I have always wanted to do? Open my restaurant. We're thinking of a pizza place in the mall. You know like how you go to the mall and you get hungry? You know what I mean?"
(This go to the mall and you get hungry, really made me laugh!)

And for some reason, the guy responded to this with "Baseball or football?"
Well, they do rhyme with "mall" and he was after all a guy, he had probably zoned out and was thinking about some game!

Then she started talking about her mother-in-law. And how she would not want her to come to her pizza place. Because she would mess it up. And then in a whisper...

"You know what I am scared of? That she will touch the baby!"
(My eyes went quite wide at this one!)

"Its not like she is my mom. You know what I mean?"
(Groaaannnn...I don't want to listen to this anymore)

We were done eating by then, and were SO sleepy! We tried to figure out whether we should sleep on our table, or the bigger one that the 10 people were sitting at, or in the car. We decided on the car since the table looked too hard to sleep on. And there was a tiny risk of being chucked out on the street ;-)

The husband, by the way, heard not a single word of the conversation. He loves his chicken too much, I guess :)

I rather liked this new version of Raymond and Debra ;-) No talk necessary, just eat and sleep :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Charity begins at home...

Cross posting again from Giving it a shot...

Charity begins at home...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Borewell Deaths

I have recently started contributing to a blog called "Giving it a shot". It is a very interesting blog, where we can contribute ideas for a better India, a better world!

Here's my latest contribution there. Do drop by! And also catch up on the other innovative (and often very simple) solutions to common problems.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's on your desk?

Went back to work yesterday after 3 weeks! And felt good to be back there. I looked around at all the familiar things in there, and realized something. Most of the things in there are gifts from friends and family :) Here are pictures of things exactly as I saw them when I had that thought...

The plant used to belong to my best friend. We used to work together, and she gave me the plant when she left. Till date this is the only plant that has been put into my care that is still thriving! And so is our friendship!

The little statue of Amba Mata is from my cousin.

The bracelet (don't know why its there!) is from the best friend's mom.

The cell phone is from the dear hubby.

Even the sugar packs were given to me! My friends at work brought me coffee and some extra sugar yesterday, since I was still limping a little bit from my knee surgery.

The coffee mug was part of the welcome kit from my previous company.

Gosh! Even the calendar is not my own! The cafeteria gave it!

And in this one...

The "chair" my phone is sitting on is from my jeeju. I think I just took it from him.

The pen which controls the little monkey in his car is from my sister

The frame with my nieces and nephew was from my previous company for completing my first year with them. The picture was sent by my sister.

The frame with my parents was a birthday gift from my niece, and the picture sent by my sister.

And if you look closely behind the pic of my parents, there is a small laughing buddha sitting in a candle holder. That was from my close friend.

FINALLY...some things that I brought myself...
The candle holder that the Budhha is sitting in
The car...but this one also holds memories of my best friend from childhood. I had bought it from her town when I visited her after around 10 years!
The cell phone cover...I made it :) But this one is new. Until a couple days ago, it had a cover given by yet another friend!

I like my love-filled office :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ria's riddle

Ria has put up a riddle. I will answer it here :)

She asks what I think of these words by Marilyn Monroe, whether I agree or not.
Here are the words:

"I believe that everything happens for a reason."
Well...things happen. We can either learn a lesson from them or not. Whether there is a reason, I don't know. Whether there is a lesson, yes, always!

"People change so that you can learn to let go."
You don't have to let go. You need to accept that people change, and accept them for who they are. Understand the change and go with the flow. Because change is the only thing that is constant!

"Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right."
This one I agree with :)

"You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself"
I do not like this other extreme of not trusting anyone. I would say you believe lies and get cheated so that you can learn to believe your own instincts. Learn to trust yourself ALSO, not just others, or not just yourself.

"And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

Hmmm...maybe. I agree to it somewhat.

Thanks Ria :) I liked putting this one together :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So thoughtful!!!

I am amazed at how thoughtful my husband is! Really!

I had knee surgery a week ago, and he has been the best caretaker I can ever have.
Preparing 3 meals a day, making sure I get the right nutrients, helping me exercise my leg, icing the knee, helping me take my first baby steps to get off the crutches, making a fun game out of walking. Am so glad and grateful to have him by my side.

But what inspired this post is today's lunch. He had to go back to work since yesterday. Yesterday he stayed home till lunch time, fed me and then he went. Today he couldn't stay, and didn't have time to make anything for me either. So he asked me if I could make some maggi? I said sure, since I am walking a lot now, and maggi is no big deal. Just put the pot and the maggi packet out on the counter so that I don't have to look for them.

When I went into the kitchen to make my lunch, I was amazed!
He had set the pot, filled in the required amount of water (so that I don't have to go to the sink to get it!), broke the noodles into even pieces and set aside in a plate, set out a spatula and a scissor next to the masala pouch! He knew I liked my maggi without any extra additions, so had prepared everything exactly like I would have wanted it. I did not have to move an inch to get anything else! He had even laid out the table for me! So much thought into something as simple as making noodles!

I am sincerely grateful to him and for him!


Dreams are supposed to be nice, right? Like when you say, "dream sequence" its always so nice and beautiful and mushy. Why then, are my dreams always so action-packed?

I don't remember having one single peaceful dream to date. Romantic, beautiful, a far cry from what I see. I see Osama, ghosts, accidents, death, fights, animals...always very disturbing dreams! I have so often woken up in bitter tears.

And some dreams like this last one from yesterday, I have "seen" more than once. So this one is completely wacky.

So we have this huge backyard, right? For some reason in my dream it was full of animals! All kinds! Bears, cats, zebras, giraffes. And the way I find out about them (in my dream) is I hear stomping of hooves, as if all these animals are running (ever seen the wildebeest migration in Africa? Like that!) towards my yard. Sometimes they run through the house and back out in the yard, like ghosts, you know? Through walls and furniture and people? They reach the yard, and then slow down, and then they are just milling around (hubby says he had invited them to a jungle party. whatever...)

I never go out to the yard though, just watch from the window. Once I think I had called the animal control people to take them away. Eventually, they go away one by one, as if leaving a party.

In yesterday's version, after the "party" was over, the doorbell rang, and I kind of saw a lion standing at the door. (Civilized lions ring doorbells, I suppose!) I was in my room, and couldn't get up because of the bad knee. So I just saw him at the door. Not sure how he got in the house, but he did, and came straight to my room. And then I saw that its a big, cuddly dog, not a lion at all! He's cute, but so sad, and climbed into the bed and tried to cuddle up to me, hit my knee in the process and what not. I petted him for some time and he calmed down. So he went in the yard (why oh why do they all want to go into my yard!). He found a ball there that he was playing with when I woke up.

The dream makes NO sense at all. But then can someone explain why my knee was hurting exactly where the dog was supposed to have jumped on it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

The key to a happy marriage

Read a really really dull and boring book over the last 3 days. It was about some guy who was once divorced, currently married and having trouble, and falling for yet another woman while he was still married (rolling my eyes and blaming the Vicodin for making me read the whole thing!)

The basic premise was that he wanted a marriage like his parents, which had lasted both their lifetimes, and was having absolutely no success in staying happy in his own. He realizes that he enjoys only the chase, where everyone puts forth their best selves, is at their best behavior, cares a lot all the time. Once marriage happens, all that simply disappears. We are simply supposed to "know" that we are loved, there is no need to show it to the other person.

So he asks his mom, how did her and dad stay together so happily for so long. And she said,

You have to fall in love everyday! Treat each day as the first day you laid eyes on your loved one and lavish them with all the attention you can!

That is SO true! We start taking our loved ones for granted and that is the biggest mistake.
Fall in love everyday, and the excitement of the chase will stay with you forever! The freshness of new love will stay with you forever.

Now how to do this...that his mom didn't say :) Hehe :)