Pages

January 16, 2017

'Priceless' couple

I've got almost detached from the television. Just to get addicted to Netflix and Hot star. We watch movies and different series almost every day on either of these 'channels'.

So, one day it happened that we got glued to Koffee with Karan's 2nd episode of the 5th Season. None other than the dashing couple - Akshay and Twinkle, were the guests.

I being a very shy personality in terms of public display of affection, over lovey dovey couple sometimes make me sick. Hence, for me getting impressed by most of the Bollywood couples who come to this show, is a bit difficult. But....

Akshay, for being the straight forward, hard working guy. *(Not to forget his physique at this age)*Twinkle with her charming dress and glamorous stones along with her wit,wisdom and authority in whatever she does. Everything about them seemed mind blowing.It was amazing to see such contrasting personalities (as Karan puts rightly, 'He is lull and she is the storm') tied up in the marital knot, living 'happily (and always progressive) ever after'.

Some of the fun and witty moments with notes....

***

Akshay kumar stole a part of my heart by showing epitome of honestly and transparency on the show when Karan Johar asked,what would that be when Twinkle says 'We need to talk'.

"It means, I would have forgotten to flush" (After visiting the loo), Akshay said.
 
***

Twinkle stole the other piece of my heart by showing her wit,almost all over the episode.

Karan: Isn't it weird that your real name is Twinkle and the nickname is  Tina?
Twinkle: My grandfather wanted my name to rhyme with my Mom's amd Masi's names. So other options were Sprinkle and Sparkle. Twinkle is much much better!

***

"I wanted to know exactly why am I getting married to him and where am I getting into", when she was explaining why did she made those two list out of one showed pros and cons of marrying Akshay. (Speechless at her clarity, if true!)

***

I don't even want to pen down how many times and how she whacked Karan without an ounce of diplomacy and a bag full of satire.

***

"The worst thing critique has to say about you", Karan asked Twinkle.

"They don't have to write, they have to just sing 'Mela dilon ka'..", Giggles Twinkle

***

"For a very small period of time I thought I was in love with Twinkle (The only female he had a crush on), I wonder how."

Twinkle without even blinking her eyes for a moment, "Because my testosterone levels are 11, which is almost as much as a man's and I had mustaches at that time"! 

***

When they realized that none from the couple has got an award for acting in a film,
Karan puts aptly that they are indeed a 'Priceless' couple.

Certainly

January 13, 2017

Chill Pill

If you are thinking that I'm going bonkers over what happened in the Cold Play concert in Mumbai last year,well you are wrong.

Mumbai has been performing beyond expectations this new year and has dropped its temperature to 19 degree Celsius at some points in last five days. (Yes, apart from my family,I miss winters the most in Mumbai) *Grinning at all friends back in Singapore*

....And I've got reasons to celebrate this season every day by...

-Indulging into Teh Halia. Yes the Malaysian (Singaporean) equivalent of Adarakh wali chai. Sayesha Didi is not here to make it for me (And how she has mastered the art!) and so I've finally acquired the skill to make Teh Halia using her recipe, albeit with a bit of change. A big piece of ginger in the mixture of water-let it boil (because hey, Indian Ginger can spoil the milk if we don't follow this step), add milk and let it boil, add spices (if you want to), sugar and chai, let it boil and viola, be ready to devour the tea. Didi, this is for you!

-By opening the big box of woolen clothes. (and omit wearing jackets but,use all the stoles and shrugs) How I miss wearing over sized pull overs. Hands-me-downs of my younger brother (Yes). I can go on and on about winter wears back in my home town but lets not open the Pandora's box.

-Going under cover. Ah,I meant under light Rajais. Mumbai needs to be more chilled to fulfill my dream of getting wrapped up in the thickest Rajai one can get ever. For now, light ones would do.

-By munching more on home made TilGud laddus, Methipaak, Khajurpak and what not. The so called winter in Mumbai never gives that appetite to enjoy such goodies, but this time- well, Bhagwan ke ghar der hai, Andher nahi. Of course, the season makes you a bit more energetic so you don't miss the work out. So, fayada hi fayada.

-By rubbing some ghee on soles of the feet, before sleeping. Now, don't ask me the logic but I like to do it  because it makes my skin supple and it reminds me of my grand mother every time I do it. It is one of the home remedies she used to swear by, to protect us from cold.

-By laughing on (in my head) people, going all mad due to the sudden chill, Mumbai is experiencing. I meant, come one. Ahmedabad stays on the terrace from early morning to late night on 14th and 15th of January, in around 7-10 degree Celsius. No, not to play Garba but do the second most favourite activity -Kite Flying. Lets not even talk about northern parts of India!

Do you guys like winter??





-


January 9, 2017

Gingered Up

I'm picky about drinks I devour. Well, if you are thinking about alcohol, today I am talking about Tea.When it comes to tea, I become a typical Virgo. (I'm an Arian other wise)

I generally don't drink tea out side. Not even in the office from the day our canteen contractor has been changed to some one who does not know how to make a little less sugary tea than what he serves. The reason is my phobia of tasting the tea which would be too sweet or won't have ginger in it at all. I do not compromise with the taste of tea at all. Only a couple of people (My Singapore roomie and our uncle from USA) can make tea for me.

It is not that simple. Nobody at home apart from my Dad-in-law likes my kind of tea. (Did I mention that Mr ISB does not have tea at all? Perhaps the reason he does not get my pain related to tea, is quite obvious ) Hence when my MIL makes it early in the morning, we get a little less stronger tea flavored with green tea leaves. Only Green tea leaves. Ginger does not appear at all as my SIL and MIL herself can not even stand one mm square piece of it. I being a bit in hurry (and lazy at the same time), do the Jugad of adding masala and warm it up to make it gulp-able for me. Things suddenly changed within a week at home last month. After this at-home-vacation, I stopped compromising on my morning tea. I started developing the skill set to make two types of tea in separate pots early in the morning.(and to wake up really early)

It was a win-win decision I could made.I'd designed the mental flow chart with timing calculations for the  dual-tea-making-process to achieve optimized timing. What do you expect from a nerd in the kitchen, hah? (My mother calls it Usual multi-tasking ladies develop to save time and efforts in the kitchen. Blah!)

From that week, I have been indulging into some brilliant tea early in the morning. (And there is one more person happy with my newly acquired skill set- my Dad-in-Law)


So it happened that yesterday morning, I was all excited to cook up a storm. Ages I have been cooking all alone (no,making tea is not cooking) and when my MIL and SIL decided to go to Rajasthan for a small break, I planned my own mini kitchen exploration during weekends. 

Now, it is not that I can not cook when they are home.It is just that both are very helpful and curious which does not go really well with my Pseudo-Virgo-Soul. I like to be in my own flow while I cook. I don't want to get judged for my 'it needs to be one more degree hot' method of cooking. Hence,I avoid such kitchen sessions when all are at home. (Our cook and mom collaborates better than my let-me-be-alone-cooking-sessions, anyway!)

So coming back to the Sunday morning, I had a list of recipes to dish out and one of the main dishes I wanted to cook up was 'Undhiyu'. The mixed vegetable sabji with only two table spoons oil, the way my mother cooks. Now it is no child's play. You have more than half a dozen winter vegetables to prepare in different ways, Masala out of six seven ingredients to be prepared and steam cook it in layers,such that vegetable chunks don't get soggy. 

I was quite nervous and hand called mom already thrice for small queries even when she had sent me the photo of the hand written recipe. Suddenly, I realized that coriander stocked in the fridge might not be sufficient. So, Mr.ISB came forward and went to buy another bunch while I prepared other vegetables for the dish. 

When he returned I suspected something else with the coriander bunch in the bag he was holding.

"What all things have you got? There is something else."

"I've got Ginger for you.", showing some dozen pieces of Ginger in the bag, Mr.ISB answered.

"But,we already have them in plenty!!", my mind was trying to calculate how many months do we need to finish the total supply of ginger we have got.

"Keep them, So that you don't run out of ginger for your tea"

Irrespective of our difference in personalities, you get me every single time. Reasons I've got married to you, Mr.ISB.


January 6, 2017

Made Up Expectations

I was never a Cosmetics fan while I was growing up. The way I see today's college going girls (even school girls some times) it is hard to believe that I was never into fashion- specifically Make Up. I can not remember more than two events where I would have even painted my nails. Talk about having a dad with discipline as a middle name (who believed cosmetics has/had lead content which can hamper kid's growth) or a very simple and beautiful mom who looked like a goddess carved out of marble (Complexion which I never got) without any make up- I was never exposed to 'Make Up instruments' or cosmetics.

As soon as I entered college my mom suddenly started feeling deprived of the privilege to kosofy her daughter like other mothers around her did. I was one of those girls who never came home late. Never watched movies with friends. Never went out for night outs. Never wore short dresses or even sleeve less tops (The true story is while I was too busy doing  GundaGardi, none of my 'guy' friends wanted me to be with them after evening or at a night out as I was the only girl in the class of mechanical engineering) How would my mother complain to any one in this matter? Her six-pockets wearing daughter (who could have got arrested by the fashion police) hardly bothered going out with friends or dressing up- forget using cosmetics. Hence, Mom tried her best to introduce me to the world of kohls and lipsticks (and got her self introduced too!) but I ended up using Vaseline lip guard only as the substitute of the lipstick.

Time flew and I left home for my first job. I continued being the same for about one and a half years and then I met my best friend ever. Booom.... She got me my first ever Kajal. Back home, I guess my mom did a secret little celebration after seeing my photos with kohl and a lip tint!

Anyway, the inertia had just shifted but not much, hence for next four years I hardly used any other thing than a kohl pencil.

Then came the era of my own wedding, internet and Youtube. I got friends who loved make up and had the skill to really do the 'make up'. I struggled a lot to be like them - peer pressure or the pressure to look good even when you are stressing yourself like nobody's business by travelling every week to cities. Of course it reached only upto a BB creams and not even a foundation or a concealer- well, just to come back to a lip tint and a kajal. (In a way, I tried to go main stream but...)

Today, I hardly apply Kajal. Lipstick is something I flaunt when I have some corporate meetings or functions to attend. (My secret to be on time every single time) Though I never thought of my image as a  lady who is too simple, Until last week.

I was digging out deep in my office bag, hunting for my favorite pen. After a few seconds, I threw my patience out of the window and started taking out things out of the bag- wallet, diary, key-chains, lip balm, hard disk... Wait... Yeah a lip balm stick . Packaged in the Pinkiest ever body- almost like a lipstick- if you understand what I meant.

And... To my dismay... My colleague's eye caught its attention and said,

"Yeh kya hai.. Tumse yeh umeed nahi thi" ,with a cunning smile.

*Bubblegum thunking her head on a virtual wall*

Talk about expectations. Made up expectations. May be not.

January 3, 2017

To the Job

I'm not a big Steve Jobs Fan but when he said, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." - I could not agree more.

I'm one of those people in the world who spend nine to ten hours a day at office, six hours a day. (Only Indians know how to slog it seems!) When 70% of my day time is being spent for something, I ought to love that very thing. And, I am fortunate enough to be in love with what I do. Then there are days when the stress and challenges build up to the extend that the EQ drops to zero and IQ goes haywire. You do not dislike your job but you just need to go on a break to feel the fresh air.

Last couple of months have done the same to me.Now I do not demand a vacation for some reasons but I definitely need to remind myself what this job means to me.

I created products from scratch. Ask an engineer working on a techno-commercial profile, when did he/she created something from scratch on his/her own. In my previous jobs of around 3.5 years I could never developed anything on my own entirely. Either the process was set or there were way too many functions working on it that as a junior or a mid level officer, there was little I could do. Making presentations in the same template, following up people or filling up excel sheets hardly fed my hunger of designing/developing something.

This job has given me exactly what my previous jobs lacked. A series of products evolved in front of my eyes and I was/I am a major part of the whole process. From picking our own customer calls to training a team of three, from struggling to code our own website to just picking up articles to post and give it to the IT team. From recording our founder's voice for our video to hiring a voice over for the same, from googling to find what is the name of the material we had seen somewhere to delivering products made up of the same material successfully. I won't take the credit on my own but when you are the first employee of the company, you can count yourself as the core part of anything happened/happening under the roof. The whole experience so far is more enriching than anything I did in last two jobs.

Beside my core work of developing products and establishing supply chain, I also handled finances for the very first time. Handling vendor payments, raising POs, raising invoices, following up. I also learnt a lot in IT section of the firm- keeping track of data base in the server, coding a bit, pushing data to the website, generating information and keeping a live deck linking to the customer care, and the latest learning basics of SQL to do sufficient job while we interview a person for our IT section!

And no, the list does not stop here. I learnt to work on the single conference table with other four to five people and collectively create mess. I learnt to coax people to keep it clean. I learnt to manage my diet when the pantry (a small cabinet) was filled with Paapi chocolates and biscuits. I learnt to enjoy home cooked food in the lunch break. I learnt to manage my subordinates and their stress as well (And I am still learning, to be honest) I learnt to manage to make our sweeper clean the office properly and to add- my director taught me that skill! I discovered joy of walking when the calls to vendors are being made.

I'm more than cheerful in the office now.I am more than 100% involved in whatever I do. I have decent salary if not deserving since last two years. I have a lot to learn on the way but I've two mentors to learn from. I've a couple of subordinates to count on.

I'm proud when we crack the order. I'm more than proud when we establish a system to help the client.

I'm happier if I recollect of my life without job satisfaction.



December 31, 2016

Resolutions 2017

Last year I had successfully converted two plus one (which I did not put on the blog for some reasons- DIYs, it appeared in my tiny brain in April)  out of four resolutions into 'some' results. I can say drawing timelines and plans to my goals pour some wonder potion of discipline in the hectic schedule I have. Blogging about them keeps my Buri Niyat of forgetting them in check.

So,here is to every one who still believes in planning the day, months and the year. Who believes in resolutions but with a practical mind set. Who believes in putting all of them on a piece of paper or in the excel sheet and track them with enough flexibility to adjust to the vulnerabilities in life. (Ooof.. How convenient I sound)


Patience/Anger Management
When I say I am not the one who has a lot of patience, it is an understatement. I may have patience while working on any kind of an issue on the office-front but in my personal life I'm far from it. In 2016 there were some instances where I just ignored on going things on which I wanted to react and not respond- it worked that time but later on the anger erupted and it went all worst from bad-in my mind. That is not being patient- and it drills down to my poor anger management. I was not really impatient like this when I was growing up. I have picked this not-do-good trait some where in 2010-2011. Needless to say, it creates a lot of disturbance unnecessarily.

The strategy is to really keep my mind (And mouth) in hibernation mode when I want to react. To think about the situation when I would have gone mad on the situation or the person and ended up with a disastrous outcome, rather than harping on my sentiments on temporary basis. 'Volcano eruptions' should not occur at all. This would be the tough nut to crack.

Fitness
I'd lost some weight and inches last to last year but the 2016 was not a very progressive year for my fitness. I managed to start running and yoga but frequency of  my migraine and allergic bouts increased and also, my calendar got really tight. I do not believe in finding excuses because if I want to do something -'I manage to get it any way' as my parents say,so this year I have to be really disciplined.

I do not want to make random resolutions but I've not figured out in Mumbai if gym is the best option or running would do just fine with the ever increasing level of pollution in the morning. I shall add a measurable goal in this post once I find that right work out for me.

Apart from work out, I need to stop eating junk. Last four months I have been eating a lot of fast food or snacks which I never used to touch. Partly it is because lack of time to plan out healthy snack options which are home cooked too-specially during office time. Partly it is my own mind which needs a temporary high through the binge. I would eventually eat healthy home-cooked food if I can control my mind. 

Involvement: 
In this era of distraction,multi tasking is no more a boon. The monkey mind ends up focusing on nothing than those 117 tasks pending with 25 tabs open in your laptop browser. Not to forget the chat going on in a few Whastapp group. Ah..Mess. This is an involvement issue and it has also crept in our personal lives as well. 

When you are with your friends for coffee, it is okay to not to look at the mobile phones. When you are reading a blog, it is okay if you close your gmail or even work mail. When you are working on an excel sheet, just shut that damn chrome. When you are taking dinner with your family, how many of us can actually be there 100%? Aren't we always into something X while doing Y? 

I believe our personal relationships affect a lot because of this. In the era of FaceBook and Whastapp, we forget that long mails or letters have much more warm attached to them than those tiny tid bids.Spending time with your family (which includes both sets of parents, relatives you like and friend you pick!) can really strengthen the bond and makes life less stressful if not warm. 

So the 2017 should come with better involvement in whatever I do. As small as folding sheets to ironing clothes to spending time with loved ones to training subordinates. Involvement with single mind. No multitasking unless I'm finishing daily chores. (My mom does it the best!) 

What do you guys think about resolutions? I do believe that measurable ones are better to track but behavioral goals are something which I need to work on at this point of time. Presuming it would make my 'to do' side of the life easier too.

December 28, 2016

The year it was, 2016!

Time for the annual performance review, like I always do.

January: I attended my very close friend aka the Singapore flat mate's wedding in Banglore! The most enjoyable wedding I've ever attended. It was a also a mini reunion of us, pseudo Singaporeans! I also became a bit bored with wedding shopping going on around me thanks to cousins getting married in Jan-Feb. I almost hated dressing up for Indian wedding and hence I enjoyed the easy peasy gown-flaunting-activity in the Banglore wedding I talked about. Any how, I had to attend the three days long wedding in Ahmedabad with a lot of heart burn. (Shh..) I secretly wished for a speed breaker in life.

February: The Abdullah was quite upset with Shadis Begaanas were doing suddenly. Though this month I suddenly started developing interest in Sarees! Also on one fine day refreshed myself by attending (super) early morning Parveen Sulatana concert near Taj!

March: Became a sciatica patient with a lot of body stiffness.  But one fine day, I got a call from dad that my mom is ill and has been hospitalized for the treatment of Kidney Infection. I had to fly in his absence and mom's diabetic almost killed me with critical state her heath went through. Thanks to so so many people's blessings and prayers mom recovered and smiles were back on our faces!Ah,by the way my sciatica disappeared through this shock therapy.

April: April came with a royal entry on the blog with the customary A to Z posts! The birthday month this time was spent alone without Mr.ISB and not to forget 'Birthday Blues' I experienced. Anyway, I managed to sail through the birthday with the help of some hand written mails as gifts.

May: Some retrospection happened! Decided to balm my heart burnt created by the fire of long distant relationship, through Art. This decision,I never knew would be the best gift to myself this year going forward. Started with my old set of watercolor set- to make this card for one of my mentors/dushman. Paid remembrance to my late Fai.

June: This month brought the best possible memories of 2016! I flew to Denmark where the Husband was already on a business deputation. The blog post on my Scandanavian trip never happened but we enjoyed our Wedding Anniversary  way 'two much'  while my mind also weaved (And blogged) some guidelines for ones who are interested in visiting Europe.

July: I revisited Singapore memories. Monsoon kicked off in Mumbai! Decoding self happened too.

August: Visited Ahmedabad finally and enjoyed a lot too- festive season , August comes with after all. Became Masi this year. Met my frock buddy N (finally) after her wedding. Did a bit of husband worshiping  HERE. Also this month, I could start the Buzzfeed type of a post series called Chai time Chichat!

September: One of the most difficult month for me as a non fanatic secular person. This month started the fasting of family members and relatives which also meant a lot of real and mental stress for me apart from a lot of work on personal and professional front. I also discovered the cold brew coffee this month along with Mr.ISB at a SoBo cafe house. This month was spent alone as Mr.ISB was busy in Denmark managing marine engines (With a home-break of ten days  in between his stay)- Needless to say,not a month to remember. Well well, not really. I channelized my energy to paint two Ganpatis to gift them to both mothers! I also went through a reality check for myself.

October: Finally wrote something about my grandmother which I had planned ages ago. Met my best friend's daughter and hand fun playing with her. Started a big DIY project - got cushion covers stitched from scrap silk, refurbished a Chor Bazar table lamp and re-organized decor in the room. Diwali preparation this year sans Mr.ISB was not that bad.

November: Finally my DIY decor and Rangolis were flaunted in the month of November. Even less visitors visited home this year- something very weird about festivals in Mumbai. This month also became a plant mom and reunited with West Side - which is one of my favorite brand chain in India.

December: A vacation at home happened. Sunshine smiled when our Uncle Aunty from USA visited us. This month after June,became a highlight that way. Real Chai time chit chat happened for a week I would say. Once they left- the vacuum added the ongoing frustration of not being able to balance inner peace and outer atmosphere. In a way, I realized that my struggle to adjust in a new family- however easy it may seem it is still to happen. Even after two years. No heart burns for others, it drills a hole in my heart though. Anyway time passed and then Mr.ISB's birthday arrived- we could spend some time together. Looks like I am back in the good mood again!

How was your 2016?????? Bumpy and enjoyable like me?

:-)