March 8, 2018


In the center of the city, we work on the beach. (Dadar is central Mumbai, right?)

Sorry for such a lame word play, but no words can express the view we can experience, at the end of the lane where my new office has shifted to.

...And the breeze.. Ooff...

PS: Can you spot the sea link?


March 5, 2018

Chini Kum, Adarakh Zyada

This how I am greeted by a few people in our office building. No kidding.

When our company started operations in that shiny new building but a small setup, a couple of us were worried about food and tea. While I chose to bring lunch from home, we tried ordering tea from cafeteria situated in an open terrace downstairs. Who on earth can survive without that one cup of tea to overcome the afternoon slump?

Now, I have CCD! - Chai Compulsive Disorder. I can drink tea, made only by a total of four specific people. On the first day, I took eternity to finish it (Read: Acting as if I am drinking), I cried silent tears. I spent many days without tea. Meanwhile my flu got worsened in terms of frequency of bouts hence, I decided to take the plunge. I took the challenge of developing a vendor and supply chain for tea of my taste.

I short listed one of the vendors who would make tea in our own building. I made an agreement regarding the price, raw material (Read: Ingredients - fresh ginger and milk) and operational instructional. In fact, I gave the secret (so much that no one wants to drink tea made by this recipe) recipe in written.To my surprise, this guy picked it up really really well.

It became a routine for them to fulfill the order of this new tea as soon as they see me entering the cafe or hear my voice for the order on phone. The code name of the recipe was 'Chini Kum, Adarakh Zyada' because that is what would be my short description while ordering, so that they dont forget that I wont touch the normal tea.

Slowly,  my name and the greeting also became this four word phrase. "Good Morning" and "Good Evening" , "Kaise Ho" and "Madam Dikhe Nahi kal" got converted into smiles and "Chini Kum, Adarakh Zyada".


Yesterday we shifted to a bigger and better office. My heart skipped a beat when I was not greeted in the morning by the same group of people.  I missed my tea and smiles without our slogan the most.

Some where, I am not sure if I would get same smiles even if I get the perfect "Chini Kum Adarkh Zyada" Chai, ever.

February 13, 2018

Post Wedding Mayhem

The wedding at home is over. With a couple of goof ups and some funny incidents. The bride and the groom is off to their honeymoon while we, family members are busy wrapping up and surviving the muscle pain along with painful throats.

I and Mr.ISB are busy making that long pending list of tasks we could not finish in the week we were on leave. I am also trying to help in-laws at home to clear up the mess, we all have created in just two days. (Super human abilities, I say!)

While it is extremely difficult for me to explain the sweat produced in last seven months for this grand function, I thought highlights from the wedding days and post wedding days would be interesting to blog about. (I can see a couple of friends rolling their eyes and still reading snippets below)

  • The entire house was full of Sarees and Kurtas. We had a bunch of guests from Gujarat and US of A (Can we just declare USA as a part of Gujarat now?!) which means bottles and bottles of Aquafina and big suit cases numbered more on some days than dishes prepared at home.
  • Wedding at home means a lot of yummy food and chocolates from America. You can not keep yourself hungry in such a scenario. So, I did not. Khi Khi.
  • It was so good meeting a cousin who flew from America to attend the wedding. His constant support and presence made a bridge between us and the older generation. Am I making him feel old? The best part is, he does not care!
  • Not to forget our Kaka who also came down to India for the wedding. Now, this might require another post but I am still going to snatch a lot of his time before he flies back. Can I just say, nothing felt better about wedding than meeting him?
  • Gulp. The bride forgot to pack the bridal Dupatta (Extra one), nonetheless she looked very very beautiful. 
  • I flaunted a heavy red Saree, a Nath, a Dupatta, winged eyeliner and a Hathfool. Did not miss a single thing from my wishlist!
  • I also flaunted my favorite pearls in Mehendi. I could not agree more when someone said, 'Classy girls wear pearls!' 
  • There were oh so many guests in the reception. I have never seen such a big wedding before. Period.
  • I remember only fruits and chocolate mud cake from the huge menu in the reception. Those were the dishes I could taste.
  • There were some moments of irritations, stress and everything around. However, yours truly has a tendency to comeback to life after going haywire. Well, just to go back to the spike in a couple of days. Withdrawal symptoms, I hope.
  • Vidai was planned brilliantly by the bride, to avoid the mass crying session by our maternal aunts. Every aunt present was confused if the ritual they were carrying out, is Vidai or not! *slow clap* When the actual exit happened, only I and Mr.ISB along with a cousin were present.
  • I was so dead tired by the time reception reached the peak time. Our cousins kept on asking me to sit whenever there was a chance. I had to drag myself till the end of the function. Fatigue had kicked in by the time we exited the hall.
  • There were two small rituals left even after the reception. I had to drag myself to carry out the same. I just wanted to get things over.
  • The only best part about post wedding days (which are/were full of fatigue) is presence of our Kaka. We had a hearty breakfast with a long walk on Sunday. (I can walk forever with them actually!) A small shopping session along with dinner with extended family meant spending an entire day with him. He has the ability to sort out my thoughts and organize my life, even without talking about it. I regenerate faith in my own beliefs when I meet him. 
  • Talking about tired bodies. We all are drowsy , sleep deprived souls as of now. Irritated at some point and giving up on each other at other points. I, personally find it difficult to focus on my work. It takes four cups of tea to slog in the office. How do I reset my life? 

January 31, 2018

Wedding Mayhem

I am not even kidding when I say, I would have dropped the plan to get married if I knew my parents would also have to work like crazy to host a wedding. (I'm sure Mr.ISB's parents also worked really hard but sadly in India, bride's side has to do a lot more than the groom's family. Well...)

I always thought my wedding was exactly opposite of a piece of cake - traveling every weekend, either to Ahmedabad or to Mumbai had made sure that I do not have many choices while selecting my trousseau or gifts by in-laws. It also made sure that I get tired to no limits and stop feeling even a bit of excitement. My memories related to my wedding is close to zero.

Well, I have another opinion now, after a little more than three years. I think my wedding was easier than this one-city-fifty-fifty wedding of my Sister-in-law. It is a human tendency to start preparations late if you have a lot of time in hand. You have twenty choices to select your bridal wear, trousseau , decor etc. Both families share the cost, than taking up responsibilities of different functions , which means for that color of the bow tie on the covered chair has also to be agreed by six people from both families. Well, you get my point. Sibling's wedding is difficult to sustain than your own - Moral of the story.

I am living in the world where I have the most critical projects going on in the office. I am also suppose to go to designers to get myself a fitted attire for each function and help my Sister-in-Law and Mother-in-Law with the same. I have also enthusiastically (or over) taken up responsibilities of getting invitation cards printed, labelled and couriered to the respective guests' location. Oh, not to forget inviting a few of families and friends personally. Small jobs to keep up the hygiene level and the looks of home to the mark, are also taken up yours truly after evening. Guests have started coming home as well.While I love talking to relatives, the office job and other stuff suck my energy to even smile at them. God knows, how my parents did it while I was in a far away land, working in my then-office Pune.

The wedding functions kicked off last week with a couple of rituals at home, in which we hosted around 35 people in our Mumbai apartments. Lets not even start discussing about that day- Lets just say that I decided to order a couple of stretchers made for me and my MIL after the biggest and the last event is over. We want to reach home that night, you see.

I just hope writing this post takes away my pain and gives me some energy to enjoy functions for which we all have worked our hearts out.

Let's see!

January 23, 2018

Chai Time Chitchat #13

No, I have not fallen off the edge of the earth. I am still alive, wondering how to even start expressing myself through this keyboard. My blog deserves some updates and while I waited for that 25 hours-day to get over, I decided to pull out a chair in the drawing room amidst indoor plants, with a cup of adarakh wali chai. (I plan to revive the tradition of having tea with ginger once wedding at home is over! Also the above drawing room is a work of fiction)

  • Office. As the financial year in India ends in March I can safely say that this year seems to be the best, so far for our startup. (As if I own one!) That also means, we have more work than ever and we are struggling to keep our sanity level on check. The situation is good in a longer run if we take the correct decisions on time. As of now, I need a 30-hours day to maintain my work-lifewedding-at-home balance.
  • Home. It is all about wedding. The to-do lists keep on increasing and functions are approaching. While I try to be the perfect daughter-in-law (No pressure, blood in my veins needs perfection) but many a times fail because, office. Taking leaves is a problem too while the entire society is asking about it. "Your sister-in-law took 15 days off in your wedding." - for once, she did not like her work at that time and she had excess amount of leaves. I have 20 leaves to take in a year, if I take 15 now - how am I going to live my own life this year? Well, I can answer people only in my head.
  • Painting. I crave to paint stuff. Looking at photos of bottles, canvases, boxes and also a patch of wall- my director had declared to hide stuff from me before I start painting in office. Well, not a bad idea.
  • I  have these grand plans to style our flat and throw a few house parties. I should have included in new year resolutions but I am sure this is not happening in first two quarters. The mind does not even go beyond the wedding date. Indian weddings are fun for only guests may be.
  • In other news, Mr.ISB is again on his business pilgrimage to Scandinavia. Not that we can not survive the wedding preparations phase without him (I am my dad's daughter, can manage the mayhem, says my dad always) but it is always good to have him beside me when I begin to lose my sanity. Ok, he can do it over a call also. He can soothe my rough side or show me the mirror too. Don't you think, the best thing to happen in the world is to get the husband who is your best friend too? Oh, I was talking about our long distance relationship. I call (Read: Consoled myself) it a break to reinvent ourselves. 
  • Anger. I am angry at things. It happens when you do not have control over others' mouths when you are hosting the wedding. You feel extreme injustice many a times but apart from anger for a while it invokes my self respect. Also 'Karma' may be blesses me a little late, but that is okay. 
  • Cold. I have made a friendship with a strange type of Bactria. It just accumulates cough in my lungs. Blocks my nose. A bit of headache but refuses to budge. Nothing, nothing is unblocking my throat, lungs or nose. Nothing. I do enjoy Himesh Reshamiya songs though, at his point of time! 
  • How about a post listing things I want to do post these functions? I have scattered ideas all around but come on, there are days I can not even think about what to do tomorrow thanks to the fatigue. 
  • If any soon to be married couples are reading this - Please please focus on one super grand function if you have to have a wedding. Rest, should be toned down. Saved money can be used in buying houses, going on a vacation or investing in mutual funds (I'm tempted to mention - Subject to market risk, read the offer documents carefully!) or the best is to - let your parents keep it as a safety budget or the vacation fun, it is their hard earned money. We, as a couple regret many times that we could have stepped in and ignore the splurge. 
Anyway, hope to see you post wedding with another cup of Meriwali Chai! 

January 9, 2018

Resolutions 2018

Last year, I had decided to develop/change three aspects of my life - anger management, fitness and involvement. I thought, I should start from the follow up for three of them before putting up resolutions for this new year.

Anger Management/Patience: While I had plugged both the virtues together, I would say I grabbed many many situations to display my patience this year and missed a few in terms of anger management. I surely need to control my temper which hurts me more than any one else but I have realized, it should build in me organically. Consciously trying for it is affecting me negatively in a longer run.

Sometimes, people can not accept you with your flaws. It is human, hence ignoring that part would be a good deal. My voice is considerably high when I explain things, which is a part of my personality. I have been reminded of the same every day since I have shifted to this city. I tried many a times but this is something which is in my genes - high pitched voice! Unfortunately, people are still struggling to know me/accept me. I tried keeping mum, suppressing my opinions/explanations to avoid misconceptions regarding my attitude, but in vein. While I am trying to change myself, it hurts me a bit too much when people lecture me on how I am aggressive in the room full of saints. Needless to say, the intimidating personalities like mine are clueless when people ask them to change the core nature, just because they don't like it. I have not reached a point of self agreement on this.

Fitness: This followed a sine wave this year. While I started with a good note, around August I was detected with a sink in hemoglobin, Vitamin D and B12 levels. While I'm back on both grounds- with the help of diet and some medicines - I wish I could do away with fatigue I catch in case of exertion. The neck spinal issue which surfaced this year (aging!), is not resolved but now I know that postures are more important than I used to think of. With many lessons learnt, at the end I am satisfied with my performance on this resolution. I wish I would lose some weight as well in the new year, in a fit way though.

Involvement: This has backfired. I have made two huge mistakes in my job thanks to this 100% involvement formula. I kid you not, my brain works better if I am doing minimum two things together. No, it does not include music unfortunately- even if it is one of my favorite songs it has to be paused while I am working. But to be frank, this reality has stuck now and I am already working on it. The new year would hopefully being back to the grind in a more efficient way.


Now, its time to declare my resolutions for the year 2018. Unlike last year, this year I am going to make concrete goals. Just like a check list! (I can see my husband rolling his eyes - one more list!)

Health Goals:
  1. I would walk for 30-40 minutes five days a week, or a good old run would do too
  2. I would use staircase to climb up once a day, up to fifth floor at least
  3. I would maintain my water intake at any cost
  4. I would start to cook the way I want to. Sauteed Vegetables, Slow cook Pasta, Roasted Vegetables, Garlic Spinach Bhaji, Caramelized Pear, Garlic Tomato Soup, Leek Soup etc. 
  5. More fruits please. Last three months of increased fruit intake has suppressed bouts of flu. Hence, it clearly works for me and needless to say, I love fruits. It is easy peasy! 
Personal Project Goals:
  1. Driving (I see Red, People!)
  2. One Trip to any place in India (A family wedding can be an excuse)
  3. One Biiiiig vacations outside India
  4. Do more Gardening. I have realized, that is something which puts joy in our little bedroom. 
  5. Decor. This area has got my focus more than ever. Some day re-writing rules to design furniture would enter in my main agenda. Some day.

I am sure these goals are not that difficult to achieve but my current schedule would not let all of these things fit in easily. Lets see. Wish me luck!

Did you guys make any resolution this year?

December 28, 2017

The year it was, 2017!

Now I need to blog about two versions for this year. It is a bit of injustice to put stark contrasts in one single post but the lazy hyper me (another contrast) wishes to put it on a single post.

It is difficult to describe month by month like I always do this year, because I am in a fuzzy state of mind- the last quarter of the year was just too fast to digest things while the first three quarters were more like a combination of struggle and stagnancy (Contrast, I tell you!) while growing as a person and also as a couple.

Vacations. Well, I have to mention a friend's wedding at Delhi which I really really enjoyed. Now, every one knows my love for winters. Beside one vomit episode thanks to food I had stuffed myself with and a bit of frustration caused by poor management in the office- I was smitten by Delhi weddings! Another vacation happened in Kerala and honestly, we did nothing. While that was the most relaxing part, it could not serve the purpose of exploring a new place ,but relaxed atmosphere was something which really helped me to understand myself better. A trip to our Kuldevi's temple before a month was fun, clubbed with shopping hopping at home in Ahmedabad. I wish for one BIIIG and one small vacation next year some how.

On my personal projects, my garden is now a budding every day thing. I lost a couple of plants in October heat, only to revive them this month. Beside that episode, it was a real prosperous year. With the numbers of wine bottles in my window garden shows really a high point of plants. Khi Khi.
While I missed creating even a small card for Mr.ISB's birthday thanks to wedding preparations at home, I managed to whip up two Ganpati Frames this year, along with one rangoli and two cards for other family members. While I am on top of one of my dream (or the start of dream) project, if I finish it beautifully it would get a mention on the blog for sure.

A real low point came some where in the middle of the year when twenty two people died on a staircase of the Railway Station in Mumbai, just because of discipline issues. This is the staircase I use daily to reach office and I missed the accident by half and hour. Anxiety of falling sick a few days ago, with very high temperature while making an effort to even dial some one to help me could not subside as well. For almost more than a month, these memories kept on appearing in front of me. Darker times were created by my own mind. Juggling fears, office work and home did not help me much but some how time heals everything. The saying is no more a cliche for me. I won't say that fears won't come back, but I am aware that that shall pass too.

Fitness. While nothing can be more important than this. I did not put on for sure this year, apart from one or two times I crossed self imposed limits- just to fall back in place. While I still struggle to maintain my fruits and vegetable intake, water in take is something I need to work upon. I have also started clubbing walking and staircase climbing etc in my daily life. I think, I am in love with the french way of staying fit.

Career. One big and One small incident happened where I messed up the situation but I learnt from it. We are at a stage where we are facing sever ramping up issues. Needless to say, managing 30 people across India apart from my regular team was more than challenging, it is challenging even now but some where in between frustration I have begin to grow as a boss!! Khi Khi.

Majority of the chunk of this year was spent in setting up, planning and preparing for my SIL's wedding. The last part is now at the most intense stage. Shopping for clothes, ornaments, gifts, luggage and what not is being done and well, I would conclude this post by quoting my inner feelings for my parents, now when I am experiencing the intensity of managing a wedding as a daughter in law.

How the hell did you guys manage three days of wedding, accommodation for guests, meals, bridal shopping (the only thing where I contributed) and also a journey to Mumbai for the reception- on your own? The only person whose help was taken was my Brother.

How did you do it, Mom Dad???