Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blast from the past :) :

Okay so I was looking into the huge number of posts that make this blog. I am generally cleaning up and intend to no longer remain Anonymous by the end of the next 6 months or so.


Anyways, so while I was sifting through the 300 odd posts, I came across some arbit post about what my ideal husband would be like. It was quite an interesting read to know what almost 5 years younger R thought about all this and to compare it with who I finally did marry, Sid!

(Also I was called Moonwalker then and hence by Mr Moonwalker I refer to my future husband)

First point:
The most important thing for me is the character of the guy. Simple as that. I cannot bear flirts. Okay ,a lot of you would belong to the genre which believes flirting to be as healthy as 3hrs of yoga followed by a gigantic bowl of fresh fruits but i am as far from that group of people as is Pluto from Mummy Earth.So , Mr.MoonWalker has to be someone who doesn’t faint with excitement/get hyper/crack those i-am-sucha-dude jokes each time something in a skirt walks by.

I still think this is the most important thing in the man you seek to marry. And luckily for me, and touchwood, Sid is certainly not a flirt, much to my happiness. I dont know how women tolerate men who flirt outrageously. No, I do not buy the concept of healthy flirting.

Apart form that, times have indeed changed. Pluto is no longer a planet. Sob. Sob.

Second point:
As far as looks are concerned, no modern day Adonis is required.Hmm..just discussed this with Ma, she is real cool okay. So according to her, those,lean guys in thoda baggy white tees, specs, padhai-likhai waala luk are my types..hehe...maybe...the only thing is that Mr.MoonWalker's nose should be presentable..bus! submarine! helicopter!

Lean: No, not really.
Thoda baggy white tees: No, I have never seen Sid in a baggy white tee. In fact his casual clothes also sometimes look formal to me.
Specs: No
Padhai- Likhai wala luk: Hmmm…a lot of my relatives say that he looks really studious. But he was never really the maggu types. But yes, if we go by popular vote, he does look padha likhai wala
nose should be presentable: I love Sid’s nose. And all's good with the nose, all's good with everything!

Third Point:
Well read. Now see, most guys run at a good to very good average speed when brought face to face with a buk. The putative Mr.M should not be one of them. A fellow P.G.Wodehouse fan would be heaven sent. This is classic example of wishful thinking.*deep sigh!*.A bad case of wishful thinking.

Yes, that is what it now seems to be. A bad case of wishful thinking. No, Siddharth is no book lover like me, though he does pick up a book once in a while and there are loads of his books i found below our bed one fine day some 7-8 months after coming to London. He loves his cricket and his formula One. It was no surprise to me that he has just downloaded for 59 pence a game called ‘Need for Speed’ on my Iphone.

Fourth Point:
See, the problem with me is that even though I might have hundreds of things to say when some serious, emotional matter is under discussion, I just end up saying something totally non commital. My closest friends have braved these kinds of situations with admirable strength, valor and determination.*applause* I generally just hurriedly end the discussion as thousands of things scream their lungs out, silently, inside my teeny-weeny head. I can only hope that Mr.MoonWalker somehow understands this. He can also take Ms N's. 'how-to-manage-Ms-MoonWalkeer' classes held on Mondays from 6 in the evening. I hear she is quite good. God bless her.

Hmmm............well I do remain the same person from all those years ago. And this irritates Sid. But he has learnt to live with it, poor soul.

Fifth Point:
I get scared of people very easily. I hope Mr.M is one of those non-scary types. I would not like to be scared of Mr. MoonWalker. A simple guy would make a very nice Mr. MoonWalker

Mr Moonwalker wants things to work with military precision. But I don’t mind it because hopefully that will make me a more alert person.

Sixth Point:

Mr.MoonWalker should not dictate my way of living. If I want my hair streaked red( right now i have honey-brown streaks ,by the way)and Mr MoonWalker happens to have a distinct proclivity towards blonde, he is most welcome to get all his hair coloured blonde. Mine shall be streaked red . Full stop. Period.

No, Sid would never have a problem if I got my hair colored in which ever color I want. He might tell me it looks disgusting if I ask him. But if I cry once he says that, he might even tell me that he was just kidding and my hair looks great :P

Seventh Point:
I live by some rules..I have a pronounced sense of what's right and what's not. You see, I need to respect myself, I need to be able to look myself back in the eye when I look in the mirror( which since is very often...ahem..), I am very bothered about what I think of myself. This has to be understood by Mr.M. I am neither as frivolous as most girls nor as silly (atleast most of the times till I don’t see anything PINK .Then I go crazy).

Okay Living in a place like London where everything is OK this bit of my personality is something I have been thinking about. I do think that Sid likes this in me and appreciates me for who I am. Atleast I hope he does :)

Eighth and last point:
It would be nice if there are some common things that both of us want to do .It would be nice if he likes to travel, it would be nice if he likes mountains, we could plan stuff together and have a nice time doing it. It would be nice if Mr. M is a teeny, just a teeny teeny bit like me.

No, in a marriage you can't look at things at a macro level, all things become micro. And no two people can be similar at that level. We ( by we i mean human beings )are just not made that way. There are many similarities, we both work hard, are not really party people, dont mind plopping infront of the TV.....But yes talking about travelling, he does love to travel in fact he loves it much much more than I do. But I am getting closer to his level....

It is funny how Mr. Moonwalker is now Sid who I know and love. He is not some arbit man who I will meet in the future. When I was younger, on those rare occasions when I was not mugging up stuff, I would wonder what the guy I would marry was doing right then. On a number of occasions I had memorized the date so that I would ask my husband what he was up to that day whenever I met him. Unfortunately, even I do not remember any of dates except one.

It was the 29th of December, 2004. I now know what Sid would have been up to that day. He would have been celebrating as that would have been his 24th birthday. :)

Those of you with a lightning quick mind would have therefore figured out that today is Sid's 30th birthday.

Happy birthday, baby. Have a wonderful year ahead :)


P.S. For those interested in the link to the post I am talking about is this:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Marrakech, Morocco, Day Two.

So today started with a roof top breakfast with a view of the Atlas Mountains. Cris, our Romanian Riad manager joined us then to give us some more tips for the day and help us plan the rest of the trip.

By the end of the day we have walked for over 8 hours non stop exploring the city by foot.

The first stop of the day was Madrassa. We met a guy who was writing stuff in beautiful Arabic Calligraphy. We got our names written by him! Then we headed towards the Museum and spent some hours there.

We then came back to the main square walking through the souks, and found an Italian place for lunch(!). Then it was back to the hotel to catch a quick nap.
Refreshed after the half an hour nap, we set out again and walked almost upto the walls of the medina. We managed to find the Saadian Tombs and agreed that we have much grander things back home in India. Feeling all superior about it we left the tombs as happy Indians.

We then found a smaller square which had a multitude of cats and sat on the one of the benches there to rest our aching feet. Once we felt like we could walk again, we made our way back to the main square, waked around to the minaret, found some nice gardens there and spent a few minutes absorbing the beauty of them.

The main square today had newer things to offer. There were acrobats, jokers,, fortune tellers in addition to the regular lots. Also today there were a lot more people singing and in general making a lot of noise. There was this new guy there who would burst into bollwood songs each time we would pass him. Also, I noted this rather irritating habit of the younger lot to shout out ‘Indian, Indian’ when we would pass in order to attract our attention. Both Sid and I have mastered the art of ignoring everyone around us because of the rather aggressive way in which these people sell there wares.

Anyways, we had food at one of the stalls (stall no one one seven, will take you to heaven!) and came back to the Riad at 7:30 absolutely tired after SO much of walking.

I will put up the pics for the day once i am back in London and have that amazing
broadband speed back again!



Friday, December 24, 2010

Morocco, Day One.

So, I am typing away from the lounge of a Riad in Morocco.(Riads are traditional Moroccan homes). Sid and I are here because 29th of December is Sid’s 30th birthday and since he refused each gift i suggested, including the very convenient Ipad, I finally decided on a 5 day trip to Marrakech, the cultural capital of Morocco.

Anyways, so today was day one the trip. Thankfully our flight did take off (London has been snowed down really bad this time of the year) and we reached Marrakech on time, safe and sound.

A taxi came to pick us up and dropped us off at a point where it could go no further. Once there, a cart came to pick us up! We then walked through labyrinths of this fascinating city to reach out Riad. It certainly is an oasis of calm in the madness of the city.

The mangers of the Riad welcomed us with mint tea and tiny biscuits while explaining the maps and giving us helpful inputs about the city.

We are staying a room called the ‘Berber Room’ named after a native tribe of morocco. Both of us having slept really late night, and awake since 4 in the morning, promptly fell asleep and woke up refreshed at around 5.

I spent the first day roaming around the city and I must say it is such a colourfully vibrant city. We walked the souks and the roamed the main square. There is such an eclectic mix of things happening there! So there are snake charmers, story tellers, water sellers, food stalls, spice merchants, henna girls, men with mokeys, men with tortoises from the atlas mountains, men with dead hedgehogs, men selling stuffed faces of dead goats, men singing traditional music....the list just goes on and on.

The souks (or traditional markets) sell everything from spices to key chains to scarfs to figurines to food. The colour in some of them is just fascinating for someone like me who loves colors!

The spice merchants

However, there are somethings that hit me as well.

People are desparate for money. Some guy in fancy dress needs to see you look at him with a camera in hand and he will be on top of your head asking for money the very next instant. People, I don’t know why, have often in the first day asked us our religion. It goes like this:

Q: Pakistani?

We: No, Indians.

Q: Muslims?

We: No.

Q: Indians?

We: Yes.

Q: Shahrukh Khan! Amitabh Bachchan!

We then just laugh indulgently. It is also a fascinating study to see how Indian is equal to Bollywood here! And this is the local Moroccan I am talking about.

We met another man who kept on saying that Amitabh Bachchan is his brother. Also, we kind of lost our way when returning (it is impossible to remember the way! It is
just so very confusing!) and then this hoard of Moroccans descended on us to help out but obviously in return for money. And as the boy led us to our Riad, I felt really scared because i had no idea where we were going and if we were going in the right direction.

Anyways, we came in time for our dinner at 8 that the Riad had arranged for us tonight and we had a lovely time eating a Moroccan meal. Every possible shelf in the Riad has books on it. I can have a great time just sitting in and flipping through the books!

With that meal, a little more conversation, we decided to call it a day.

It has been an interesting day so far. I just hope Sid likes his gift 



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Legend

So, I was in class 8 I think when I met him first. In his mid 50s, semi bald and an easy grin on his rather sweet looking face, he was the third maths tutor Mum and Dad found for me. He was also a patient of my Dad and the two had known each other for a long time.

At that point in time when we first met Khan Sir, he had been suspended from his job for sometime and was looking at teaching kids to make some money. He had been caught taking a bribe. Of Rupess 500.

No, I am not kidding. He told that to us himself with endearing frankness that brought out a rather inconvenient giggle from me.

Anyways, that is not the point. There is this one particular incident I want to talk about.

So, my house is the last house on the road. Beyond that is a wall that separates our colony from the rest of world and the ‘naala’. ‘Nalaa’ is a big drain, for the benefit of my friends who do not know Hindi. Now those days for some other work, that wall had been brought down temporarily. So basically we were spending days whiffing in the delicious smell emanating from the Nalaa.

Just to put things in perspective, the Nalaa did a noble job. It carried the bodily wastes of the entire colony to I don’t know where. I really don’t even want to know where. It was always flowing and once the wall was down I could once in a while hear it make gurgling noises like any small delicate rivulet. Only one could not ignore what the Nalaa carried. We waited with bated breath (literally) for the wall to be put up again.

So one fine day Khan Sir was expected to come at 6 in the evening. 6 came and went but no Khan Sir. But there was nothing new about this, he was often late, and hence this was no cause for worry.

At 6:30 our door bell rang like a hundred times in a frantic mad manner. Alarmed, we hurriedly opened the door to see the local milkman standing outside the door with a scared look on his face.

‘Sa’ab, come quickly’ he told my dad.

‘Why What happened?’, asked my Dad.

‘Khan Sir’, said milkman as if that explained everything.

‘What about him?’, asked my dad.

‘He fell in the Nalaa’

‘WHAT?’ said my dad as he hurriedly made his way to the nalaa. Solely for entertainment purposes I went along with my Dad to ‘rescue’ Khan Sir. In a file, with Dad leading, followed by my brother, the milkman, and another neighbour, the rescue party marched to the Nalaa. I brought the rear end of the rather perfect file sometimes tripping over stones and gravel because of my dainty white heels.

Once we reached the Nala, and it was quite dark by the time we reached, I could hear Khan Sir’s voice coming from somewhere down below. Using my thumb and index finger delicately to close my nose, I gingerly bent forward to peep into the darkness of the nalaa. With my nose shut also, I could smell the strong, pungent odour of ‘bodily wastes’. Our colony is rather big, I thought to myself judging by the amount of substance I could see in the nalaa, happily flowing along.

‘ABC aunty had an upset stomach and had come today morning asking for some medicine’, my brother whispered in my ear before bursting into uncontrollable laughter. He had never really liked Khan Sir.

Khan Sir was sitting cross legged on the floor of the Nalaa looking rather comfortable and waiting patiently for us to do something. He looked up from the Nala as I looked down and are eyes met. Well, that was my tutor sitting in the middle of shit. But it was my tutor nevertheless and one could not really forget the formalities.

‘Hello Sir’, I said my usual greeting.

‘Hello R’, said Khan Sir from down below.

A moment’s silence as Dad, Bhai and the milkman stepped aside to discuss their plan of action.

‘How are you sir?’, I shouted at him. This was my usual second sentence to him. Even in the moment of adversity, we stuck to protocol.

‘Chal raha hai’, he said causally from down below.

After that I really did not know what I could say by way of small talk so I kept shut. The men had in the mean while figured out a way to pull him out. The neighbour and the milkman went to our house and got a ladder which was then put inside the nalaa.

Slowly, after some 15 minutes, Khan sir climbed out of the Nalaa with shit dripping out of every bit of him. Needless to say he stank.

‘Kaise, bhai sa’ab, yeh hua kaise?’ asked my Dad seemingly very interested in how one could end up inside a nalaa. Dad looked like one of those news correspondents who want to ask the man who has come out of the gutter how he is feeling. I giggled. Dad looked at me sternly which made me swallow the rest of the giggle and disguise it into a cough.

Khan Sir grinned sheepishly. And delicately raised his pinkie. Thereby meaning that he had gone there to pee, tripped over a stone and had landed elbow first inside the nalaa. He had spent some 20 minutes inside shouting for help when the Milkman heard him and somehow recognised him.

He had a couple of scratches on his hand and Dad scared of some infection decided to take him to the hospital. The car was brought out, a million news papers spread and Khan Sir made to sit in the front seat as Dad took him away.

It made a great story for years afterwards, and has since been told and retold and re retold a million times. It is now part of the family legend and I thought of sharing it with you guys.


P.S. Dad politely asked Khan Sir to freely use our house toilet whenever he felt the need. And each time he took a loo break after that to use our home toilet, my brother and I would look at each other and burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stupid Girl

Okay so there was a stupid girl who worked in a company. She worked very closesly with the Vice President of Sales for Europe Region who was known to be a hard task master and many people were afraid of him in a weird way because the VP never even raised his voice.( And I dont know why I sound like I am telling a bed time story to five year old, that is not my intention)

Anways, this one day, the VP left office with all his bags at around mid day but stupid girl ofcourse went on working. As the day went on Stupid girl kept on working as people started leaving office for home. So much so that around 6 in the evening it was just Stupid girl and 2-3 other people who were left in the rather large office floor.

Now, once done with work, Stupid Girl had some personal calls to make, one to Morocco and the other to India. But she did not want to do that in the open office space where she did not want to disturb the few people who were still working. Also mobile phones have a very bad reception in office hence the only way out is to make use of the IP phones in office. The VP's office was all empty, so she decided to get in there to make the calls as often people would go in to make calls or do their own work quietly.

So, there she was in the VP's cabin, the whole office quiet. She shut the door and started making the calls....once done she thought she would make a quick call to her mother since her phone had no charge and if she callled by the time she left office her mum would have gone to bed.

So with that noble thought, Stupid Girl dialled another number, and started a quick chat with her Mum.

Mum: What number is this?
SG: Office, but I am not at my desk, i am in the VPs room
Mum: Ohh say my hi to him!
SG: Mum!!! why would the VP be here, he is gone, thats why I am in his cabin. As if he would be here.

And with that Stupig Girl looked up. Looked up only to see, through the glass doors, the VP standing outside the closed door smiling... no almost laughing. at how stupid girl was soo comfortably sitting in his cabin, in his chair, using his IP.

Why he had come back to office at such an unearthly hour, no one will ever know. But there he was. He had even kept his stuff outside and was patienly waiting for Stupid Girl to finish her conversation.

Ofcourse, needless to add, Stupid Girl hurriedly ended the call, apologized profusely to the VP who seemed very very very amused even offering the services of his cabin and phone anytime Stupid Girl would wish to use either. Stupid Girl, however, spent the next hour feeling extremely red in the face!


And no, I will not tell you who stupid Girl is.

And no there are no prizes for guessing that.

And no, don't guess. DON'T!



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Like the millions.

Like the millions of women/ girls across the world to me also Prince William seems perfect never mind his thinning hair.

So he is the future King of England, has a tragic past where his parents separated when he was just an absolutely gorgeous looking youngster and he lost his mom later in an accident that still stirs something in my heart. And he is going to be king of England one day. And while he is not yet king, he spends his time flying that big hus helicopter of his saving lives of the people of his nation.

Oh well enough about William. This post is not about him. It is about them. Infact it is about a picture of them together that I saw today. I just absolutely adore this picture of William and Kate. It warms the coockles of my heart to see the pair look so happy.

Is not this lovely?

Friday, December 10, 2010

My latest painting. Do let me know what you think if you have a minute.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Ode to London

So Christmas is fast approaching. The festive season is almost here and I can feel it in the air.

Talking about the air, I must say that it is extremely cold now. It is almost pitch dark by 4 in the afternoon and you feel very over worked sitting in the office at 4:30 when it is all dark outside.

The temperatures are steadily falling so much so that snow is expected this weekend. And I cannot tell you how horribly excited I am about it! When I had come to London, it was all white. And I had loved it! While Sid would grumble about the snow and how inconvenient it made everything I was busy staring at the flakes that came out of nowhere.

I absolutely love how London looks now. I have always maintained that while I like London, it is my home city that I love and miss. While the latter remains the same, I have to say that now is the first time that London as a city is starting to win my heart. True, it is very fast paced, people are lonely, people are in a perpetual rush and are often rude, I have started liking this place. In fact I remember when we were about to leave London for our India trip which was to last about 18 days. I felt a weird thing. I felt bad about leaving London. And I was astonished. Because I have spent enough hors groaning and moaning about why London is so far from India, why we could not stay in India only, why we live here, so far from everyone who is important to us.

I find London so much better than in summers when everyone is going gaga over the sun. True, you get to wear skirts, shorts and shades, but nothing really beats how stunning London is right now.

Central London (particularly Oxford and Regent’s Streets) are decked up so beautifully for Christmas. The bigger buildings have lights, there are Christmas trees visible from windows, lights outlining presents, christmas trees, stars hang mid air giving the whole place such an extra ordinary feel.

If you have a good pair of shoes, London should be explored on feet. I just feel like walking over the whole of London. Often, of late, when we are walking to the grocery store or the cinema, I have to pause. Pause and admire how beautiful everything looks. Just simply take it in.

So, yes. While I can never love you as much as I love the city I was born and brought up in, you are turning out to be a place I might, just might, end up falling in love with.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Royal Wedding

Yes, so the newspapers have gone berserk.

Afterall the heart throb of millions had finally picked his bride. I think there would be few girs across the world who have not fancied what would happen if by chance royalty fell for them. Royaly for many would have often meant the hadnsome Prince William.

Memorabilia like plates, mugs and tea pots with the pictures of Kate and William were in the market the very next day, newspapers brought our souvenier editions to mark the news of the engagement ( mind, you not even the engagement, just the news which is 3 weeks late).....if someone who is as ditached from the royal family of England as unfortunately can be, I feel so affected by the whole thing, I can not even imagine how different things would have become for Kate because of that one announcements.

Kate Midleton is the future Queen Catherine of England. The daughter of an ex air hostess, Kate Midleton is now soon to be a royal. I have no doubt that millions of women, no matter their age would have felt a pang of jealousy as Kate flaunted her sappphire ring.

There have been multiple comparisons to Diana. Different newspapers have managed to hunt pictures where Kate and Princess Diana have been indetically dressed. There is also immense concern that Kate should not suffer the same fate as her mother in law.

I have been following the media frenzy around Kate and Prince William very closely and my heart goes out to Kate. True, she is marrying Prince William, the Prince William, the young boy who resembles his mother , the royal who goes on his kness to clean public toilets in Africa and the prince with a shy smile and easy likeable personality.

Yet, I can only imagine how Kate must be feeling. The sudden media glare, the impossible amount of attention that is now going to paid to every piece of clothing she is going to wear, every public appearance she is going to make....

It must be rather interesting to be in her shoes. For me at the moment, the royal wedding means one bank holiday. And means quite a lot!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Year

This day last year I got married. At the expense of sounding very cliched, i have to say that time has truly flown. As I sit down today, I cannot believe that it has been one whole year since that day.

A lot of water has flown under the bridge since. A lot has changed and many things have been achieved. I live in a different country now, have spent a lot of time last year travelling around Europe, work in a good role with some nice people.

The best abour last year has been Sid ( as it should be also) He puts up with a lot of drama that i do, makes up when we fight, makes sure all my paper work is done, helps me with cleaning and is in most cases a sweet heart :)

Most importantly, last year on 17th of November, we became man and wife. Today we are not only that but also, more importantly, better friends.

So, here it is to my husband of one year.

Happy Wedding Anniversary, Sid


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Email exchange in office today

I sent the following email to a collegue

Hi X,

As per our discussion, if you could start sending me invoices for accounts that you need verified, I will initiate the verification process.


The reply I got:

Thanks as always for your proactive support R.

I have already started working on this by asking Y to start work on this.

I simply craked up when I read the last line. I could not help but laugh out loud when I read this. I think I am going to save this email.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I am trying to do something i never thought i would ever do at this age and stage. In all probability it should happen but i am just being very superstitious about it which is why I am not talking openly.

The regulars, do pray for me that this works out. Trust me, you guys are going to be amongst the first to know if it does happen.

Wish me luck:)


Monday, November 08, 2010

I love being in India

Because it is where Mum, Dad and Bhai are
Because it is where I dont have to go to work
Because it is where you can get real Chinese food
Because it is where you can break a queue and get away with it
Because it is where men stare at you when you look good ( or mebbe else wise also :P)
Because it is where you get to bargain in Hindi
Because it is where the young guy in the store will move heaven and earth to get that red dress for you in XS size
Because it is where you are in the same time zone as that of a lot of very important people
Because it is where people clap when Akshay Kumar gets Aishwarya Rai in Action Replay
Because it is the land of paani puris
Because it where you get to see serials with more beeps than actual words
Because it is where you come across people from school and college in a mall
Because it is where you get really cheap shoes
Because it is where you get to sleep with Ma
Because it is where you get to gossip like crazy with Ma and Dad without thinking too much about the phone bill
Because it is where Yo China and its absolutely amazing Honey Chilly Potatoes are
Because it is where you can even cuddle a cute 3 year old you find in a store and will not be sued
Because it is.................home.........


Monday, October 11, 2010

Post 11

Two of Sid’s friends came over for lunch this Saturday with their respective wives. So once the lunch was over three of us girls sat down to talk. Now I have met both girls before a couple of times. One of them came to London only recently and since I came to London only in Jan, I have known the other one also for a very short period of time.

The men, however are batch mates from IIM. So they have spent 2 years living together on the same campus and obviously know a lot of common people.

So after lunch the men were thinking of going back to their respective homes by when we girls started talking. It started harmlessly enough with who (between each couple) does the cooking. But very soon we were happily cribbing about everything under the sun. How we have too much work, how we have no family here, how we sometimes felt like just leaving our jobs etc etc. The men kept shut and mostly simply listened to us speak.

Later the men moved out into the balcony. Us girls then started the more interesting discussion. We discussed babies, in laws, doctor appointments, the changes we feel since getting married, problems we were facing. We giggled and laughed and patted each others shoulders when needed.

We also managed to catch some snippets of the discussions between the boys. They seemed to be mainly discussing iphone, internet and property prices in London

If Men are from Mars, women certainly are from Venus!


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Post 10


I am putting up my engagement pic. I was going through the engagement album after months today and as i looked at the pic, i suddenly remembered how my heart as if it were in the wind all through out the ceremony.

It took me back to that day...*sigh*

It is funny how very soon i will be married for a year. Time sure flies.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Post 9

Lisbeth Salander is the heroine of the Millenium triology by Stieg Larsson. The triology is touted to be the best crime fiction of recent years.

And having just finished the three books back to back, I decidedly agree.

What is with a tiny girl who can smash a 100 feet guy who cannot feel pain. She has a photgraphic memory and belongs to an elite group of hackers.She can outsmart even the smartest people and spends a lot of time solving fermat's theorem. And oh by the way, she has a mysterious past, she has spent years in a mental hospital, is labelled as socially incapable and the likes.

Though it sounds far fetched, and is certainly the result of someone's very fertile imagination, you cannot help but root for Salander as she goes around mercilessly killing people.

That is what I find fascinating. A perfectly negative character who you kinda end up really liking. That is where the skill of the author lies.

Another remarkable thing about this series is the author's almost complete discard to tone things down a couple of notches. Rapes, murders are both spoken of very casually and described in a monotonic drab that funnily enough makes it all the more interesting.

The only problem i had with the trioogy is the excessive attention to detail. You end up reading paragraphs about a character who will never really do much in the book. So, yes, once you figure out the author, you will find your self skimming details about the police inspector who handcuffs the protagonist. Even if 3k workds are being spent on describing his career, you know he will not play a major role!

Anyways, having said that , I must say that I am not really a crime fiction girl, really no, but this one had me hooked. I have spent many content lunch hours in the office kitchen with this book.

I have this weird thing. When I finish a book i really like, I feel as if I am letting go of a good friend. Bidding him a good bye. I know, thats neurotic, but hey this is being typed by a girl who cannot sleep without reading and when sleeping she is more often than not hugging a big fat book
Day 8-post 8


I am exhausted. Yesterday was particularly bad. I was working till 5:30 in the evening which is when I went to meet N.

I cam back at 9:00 and worked again till almost midnight.

I woke up today with absolutely no energy. The weekend is round the corner but I have to make lunch for 6 people tomorrow, so it will not exactly be a relaxing day anyways.

I feel half dead.

And its been so long since I felt as tired as that.

Bloody quarter end.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Day 7-post 7

So today I almost got into an argument with a lady in the office lift.

I had pressed the button for the lift and was talking on the phone waiting for the lift to come. As soon as it came, I cancelled my call and stepped in the lift.

In the mean while, a lady started to press the button that close the lift doors just as I managed to squeeze in. While that was not rude enough, she muttered something about how the lift would not wait for hours for some one hovering around the lift.

I was quite taken aback by the unexpected tirade and felt a very familiar anger rush inside me. I had seen the lady before also as we work in the same office complex.

I think I said something back but it did not in any way reflect the anger I was feeling simply because no one has the right to be rude to a stranger for no reason. I caught my reflection as I started at her bewildered at her behavior. I seemed exceptionally disgusted.

Too pissed at how the woman had spoken to me, I quickly finished my work downstairs and as I walked in a few minutes later as a lady came and said hi to me.

She told me she was in the same lift as I had been. She told me that the lady had been very rude to me and she also apologized because she felt she should have come to my defense.

Yeah, she actually came and said sorry to me for not standing up for me.

Interesting how it takes different types to make this world, isn’t it?



Monday, October 04, 2010

Day 6 – post 6

It was such a weird dream. It was almost real.I saw myself checking mail on my iphone. I flicked it to come to the mail I had been waiting for.

I checked what the mail said. The news was unexpected but it was great. I was not ready to believe it and I put aside my phone. After some time I picked it up again and yet again flicked through the mail on my phone. No mistaking the email was there. I relaxed, it was no dream.

The alarm in my phone rang and my husband turned over and passed me my iphone to put it on snooze. I woke sleepily with the phone in my hand that my husband had just given to me. I shut the alarm when I remembered my dream. Barely able to open my eyes, I flicked open my mail.

And there it was. The mail I had just dreamt of, sitting there.


And yes, this happened to me today.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 5 Post 5

Time for a bit of good news.

My job is now confirmed. I am no longer a temporary employee with my company!!!

There are two things about this news that need note.

First, is the fact that I was supposed to be on temp contract till end of November. They shortened it by two months.

Second, along with this news, I was also informed of my first ever salary hike.

And as I walked out of the HR’s room I could not help but recall how desperately I had job hunted from Jan to end of April which is when I got this job. There were times which were so bleak that I did not think it would be possible.

I enjoy my work, I like the people I work with, working hours are decent.

I just hope I can go on doing the kind of work I have been able to do so far.


Friday, October 01, 2010

DAY 4- Post 4

Not looking up

Things are not looking up on a lot of fronts. Of importance is something I have been working on for almost the whole of this year. I have done my bit and now the ball is in someone else’s court. And that someone is certainly not responding.

In all fairness, it is a big project. In fact the biggest I have ever taken up in my life. I had thought the first part was the difficult one but now I realise that it was not.

I feel strained and stressed.

And I hate the hope that is there in my mind and soul even as I type this.

I so wish it could happen, I so wish it would happen…..I do not want to give up.

May be I should enjoy the process more, maybe then it will happen.

In other things, I have started missing home a lot. I am so far away from my family that I feel distanced simply because of the actual distance and time difference.

Maybe that is why people have kids. Some one who is your very own, till he/ she does not become a teenager atleast!

Anyways, am just a little depressed and sad. Hopefully I will come back with a more cheerful post tomorrow.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 3- post 3

Due to the quarter end and the fact that I just some 20 rotis, some 10 Hare bhare kebabs and kaali daal, todays post is just going to be a pic :)

This is Mount Schilthorn, Switzerland.

Take in the beauty

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post-2, Day 2

Des bulaye

Yes, so des is calling. Yet again. It always calls only thing is I should be able to justify the visit in my head.

I was in India in Jan, then in May, my folks were here in August and I am again going home in end of October.

Once you live outside your country, one of the most common questions you face is the inevitable, “So? When will you go back to India? For good”

Well..a. few months earlier the answer would have been a prompt, ‘Tomorrow!’ but now I see myself thinking differently.

That weird longing that was almost a physical pain has subsided and also I have realised that for my own sanity trips to India are essential.

My work is here, day to day life is much simpler, you are not expected to work on weekends, travelling across the continent is easier, travelling within the country/ city is very comfortable, people are polite and generally life is more relaxed.

But India is where family is. It is just one thing, but it is the one thing that makes all the difference!

While I do not know when we will shift back to India, I am just desparately counting down days to the India trip which is when I wont be working, wont be cooking and cleaning and will just be eating, sleeping, shopping and catching up…..…….

Ahh….The pleasures of a trip to India

Will 28th of Oct please hurry up and come!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog Marathon -2

Post 1

Revenge Time: Ok. This is my second blog Marathon. The first one was hopeless. I hardly wrote 15-17 posts which was a little over half the number that should have been put up.

In my defence, that was just the start of work, plus I was doing a lot of writing myself at that time, so it was I guess a bad decision. Hopefully I will be able to redeem myself this time.

What I will do ?

So, I will write one new post each day.

What you will do ?

And you, you who visit my blog so often and never even let me know, have the task of leaving a comment for me. You can tell me my post was rubbish, you can tell me it was good. But you should say something! That will be what will keep me going and I desparately want to finish at least one marathon properly.

Let the marathon begin :)


Sunday, September 26, 2010


The sun. So hated for most part of the year when temperatures soar and hot winds do all they can to sap away every bit of energy. So loved in the winters. Such is life. And people who live it. Fickle.

Doe aunty, wrapped in a shawl I had bought for her with my first salary, sat in the garden of our house, on my favorite cane chair, soaking in the Sun. Shanti squatted next to her feet. I had settled in my chair with a PG Wodehouse, my back to them, happily surrounded by people I missed so terribly in Delhi where I was doing MD. I could hear the conversation between Doe Aunty and Shanti. The teacher and the student. Familiar voices. Voices I have been hearing since I don’t know when. The familiar babble made me feel happy as I turned pages of the book in my hand.

Happy…. till I heard the last bit of conversation between the two. My head turned around sharply as my brain registered what my ears were hearing.

Her knitting and Shanti’s English book lay in Doe Aunty’s lap, forgotten. Shanti’s head hung low. Tears were beginning to stream down their faces in a sad unison.

My mum who had just walked in with a plate of hot pakodas and had heard the last bit of conversation too stood rooted to the earth below us. I looked at Mum, she looked heart broken. Angry. Shocked. Furious. Sad. Heart broken.

Doe aunty and Mum are best friends.

Doe Aunty was fingering burn marks on Shanti’s left wrist. Right next to the kalawa, a bit of yellow thread Hindu priests tie around the wrist of worshippers; it protects from the evil. My eyes travelled from Shanti’s wrist marks to Doe Aunty’s swollen eye, my mouth remained open and my throat felt dry. It just made so much sense now. Why had I not seen it?

I felt angry. At myself.

“Oh! That’s nothing, beta! I fell. When you finish your MD you can take care of all my cuts and bruises!”, she had laughed when Mum and I had expressed immediate concern at
her swollen eye earlier in the day.

“Doe Aunty, you fall so often !! You just have to be more careful”, I had exclaimed, pained at the sight of her eye.

“Its not for nothing my husband calls me butter feet”, Doe Aunty had chirped.

The two women in front of me could not have been more different. One educated. One illiterate. One rich. One poor. One an upper caste Brahmin. One an untouchable. Yet .

Shanti was our domestic help with an insatiable desire to study. Doe Aunty was Mum’s best friend, a professor at the most prestigious university in the city with an insatiable desire to teach. Doe Aunty would come home often and each time she came she would spend some time with Shanti. Over the years an inexplicable friendship had developed between the two.

That day’s lesson was to be a typical one. Shanti read out passages from an English book Doe Aunty had brought with herself. As Shanti turned pages, Doe Aunty eyes fell on the scars on Shanti’s wrist

“So you have been cooking carelessly again?”, asked Doe Aunty. Shanti often had these marks and when asked she always said that she had burnt herself cooking.

“Just as you have been falling again”, replied Shanti quietly.

Shanti’s tone first made me sit upright and turn my head. It made my heart skip a beat.
In a bad way. In a way that someone had finally said what my heart knew to be right all along. I turned to face the two.

The two women looked at each other and continued to do so for sometime. I don’t know what passed between the two, but I know that a lot did in the next few seconds. Their eyes watered. Mine did with theirs.

“I don’t know which is worse. When Munna gets his friends along or when he comes drunk” said Shanti quietly. I stood aghast. Munna was shanti’s step dad. Step dad 2 years older to her.

I have known Shanti since she was a 5 year old girl who would come to our house with her mother. Shanti’s dad, a petty thief and a drunkard, left his family some ten years ago. Shanti’s Mum married a man 20 years younger to herself, also a drunkard and a petty thief some 3 years ago.

I could not recall seeing the cut marks on her wrist before that time, my brain sadly registered.

“We don’t have a door. There is just a flimsy curtain. His friends sit outside puff at their bidis and make crude jokes. I cry the whole time”, Shanti said, shaking her head sadly, “ Munna gets cigaretts. He burns my hands with them”.

My eyes wandered to her wrist. Some marks were new. Some old. I cringed at the sight.
“ He hurts me so much that I cry for hours after he leaves. ”
Shanti now stopped speaking. She was looking at Doe Aunty. It was Doe Aunty’s turn to speak. I sensed my Mum stiffen. Doe Aunty did not speak. Her head hung low. Tears chased one another down her fair cheeks.

All was quiet. I could hear Mum’s heavy breathing.

“Vijay Saheb?” asked shanti, referring to Doe Aunty’s husband.

Doe Aunty kept her head low. Mum gasped.

“I don’t know if I can survive it any longer. He hit me here because his tea was too hot”, Doe Aunty broke down pointing to her eyes.

Doe Aunty’s story then came tumbling out. It started with a push during an argument that happened when their last attempt at IVF failed. The next argument ended with Vijay uncle slapping Doe Aunty and the apologizing profusely for his misbehavior. Things just went down hill after that. He would hit her if he felt she had been overfriendly with some male colleague , if she came home late, if she overcooked food, if the house was untidy when he came from office- all the time maintaining the façade of being a happy albeit childless couple infront of family and friends.
Even her best friend.

As the façade that was Doe Aunty’s marriage broke into a million sad little pieces in front my eyes, my Mum took a decision. She went up to Doe Aunty. Placed a hand on her shoulders.

“I am calling the police”, she said simply, “and registering a complaint against Vijay.”

“…and Munna”, my Mum added as an after thought.

With that my Mum turned around and walked to the phone. I followed her into another room. Shanti and Doe Aunty stood where they were, stunned. We did not even switch on the light.

“Mom! What are you doing!”, I screamed at my Mum.

“I am doing what is right. I am doing what should have been done many many months ago!”

“Okay, Mom! Relax, we need to think it through! Please”, I pleaded.
Mom turned to face me.

“Whats your problem!!! You haven’t seen Doe regularly since you left for your MBBS! For Gossake! She was even at the hospital 4 months back. She said she had met with an accident!! Who gets those kind of injuries in an accident! That bastard!”, my mum screamed at me.

“Ok Mum, I am not contesting that. Doe Aunty has herself spoken about Vijay Uncle. What do you intend to tell the police, that’s all that I want to discuss”, I tried to reason with her.

“I am going to tell them about Vijay. Tell them how Doe has just said that she has been physically abused by that man! Get her a divorce! Doe earns enough to keep a family of ten! She has her own house, is financially secure, her parents are very open minded….”, my Mum said simply.

“And what about Shanti?”, I asked.

“Well….I don’t know about her. To turn her step father in would be unthinkable for her. In the society she lives in women are much lower than men. Accepting the fact that she has been raped repeatedly is not a great idea….she will never get married if she does that. People around her wont speak to her. And she knows this, beta. Her mother will throw her out. She will be branded a slut if this gets out! She will not get any work. She will destroy everything for herself”, said Mum exasperated.

“You will not even tell the police about Munna???”, I asked.

“No, I don’t think so”, replied Mum, “ there is no point, it will get her into more trouble”

“Her mother needs to know, Mum!!”, I screamed.

“What makes you think she does not already?!”, said my mum calmly.

“Mum! So we just let her be raped by that man!” I screamed.

“ You tell the police and trust me that girl wont even open her mouth infront of the police! I know these people!!! Do what you want!”, my Mum screamed.
We were both hysterical. We were both screaming. I had not realized this but I had angry tears in my eyes. So did Mum.

With each passing second I was getting more and more hysterical. I was about to turn around and go to Shanti to speak to her again. In my head she deserved a chance. After all she was the one who spoke about Munna first. It takes guts to speak out!

By this time, Mum was already speaking to the police officer.

“Thank you officer”, she was saying, “that’s all.” I had not heard Shanti’s name mentioned.

I had to do something. Time was slipping. I had to make up my mind.

“Give her a chance!!”, a voice in my heart screamed.

“Don’t be a fool! Mum is right!”, a voice in my brain screamed.

I snatched the phone from Mum’s hand.

“Hello, officer, this is Dr. Ruhi Chawla, MD”, I don’t know why I added a degree to my name I had not yet received.

“My maid, shanti, would like to make an official complaint against her step father who has been raping her for many months now”, I said. It felt weird to use the word ‘rape’ in front of a man I did not know.

“Yes, Ma’am. Name of the accused?”, the officer asked.


“Your maid’s name , Ma’am”


“I believe there has been another complaint against a Mr. Vijay Khandelwal from this number?”


“Are both Mrs. Divyani Khandelwal and Ms Shanti at your place right now?”

“Yes, they are”

“In that case my officers will be there in the next few minutes Ma’am. We need to file an F.I.R as soon as we can”


“I have your address Ma’am, I will see you in a few minutes”.

I put the phone down. I looked up at Mom. I had not dared look at her while I was speaking, lest my courage gave way.

“You will make a fool of yourself with the shanti thing”, she said and walked off. At the back of my head I knew that to be true. She had too much to loose, poor thing. But to sleep peacefully at night I needed to atleast try. It suddenly seemed like a selfish thing to do. My head started aching.

By the end of fifteen minutes there were 4-5 police officers in our house. In one room sat Doe Aunty. Her face like stone. Mum was sitting next to her. Comforting her.

“Doe, darling, don’t worry. You are absolutely strong and independent. You have a great career! You will be fine. You need to get away from that man! Now!”, said Mum passionately.

Doe aunty did not say a word as the police officer stepped in.

In the other room sat shanti. Squatting on the floor, like she always did, hugging her knees. Twiddling with her plait. Nervous. Her big black eyes darting here and there.
She looked like a captive animal. I felt nervous. Mum had not been speaking to me since I had spoken with the officer.

I was in the lobby. In rooms on either side interrogation were going on. I could not believe this was actually happening.

"Mrs. Divyani Khandelwal, do you accuse your husband, Mr Vijay Khandelwal of physical abuse?”, asked the police officer, already looking at the next question he was about to ask about the form of abuse.

“Ms Shanti do you accuse your step father, Munna, of raping you?, asked the officer, smirking. He had seen too many such girls. He knew what the answer would be.

“No”, said Doe Aunty. Shamefully. Head hung low. Mum gasped.

“Yes”, said Shanti. Shamefully. Head hung low. I gasped.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Red Light District, Amsterdam

Yes. That’s what I visited on my trip to Amsterdam this weekend.

Apparently, it is one of the top tourist attractions of Amsterdam and while I was reluctant and quite disgusted at the idea of going there, I finally did find myself there.

Situated pretty much in the heart of the city, there are huge buildings with big windows. Each window has a red light next to it. The women dress in skimpy clothes (= absolute bare minimum) and they stand in the window striking up seductive poses, passing commnents to men going by asking them to come in. They do this from behind the glass door of the window and are quite safe.

The lanes are absolutely clean but quite narrow. While there were a couple of places where I was the only woman outside of the window, I saw a lot of tour guides, couples, tourists and even families with children there.

However, one of the most disturbing sights was when I peeped inside one of these windows. Each window leads to a small room which was well equipped with a bed (that more often than not had a tiger print bed cover thrown on it) and sink, and loads of other very suspicious looking things lined near the sink. That was the one sight that I found most disturbing.

It was interesting to see the red light near each window. Once the negotiation between the men and the prostitutes is done, the men are asked to come in. After that the curtain in pulled and the red light switched on. Almost like the operation theatre. Red light On! And also, that is also how the Red light districts get their name.

At the expense of objectifying women , I saw women there of each shape and size and color! Some women would dance in their little windows, some would smile invitingly (?) while others would talk on the phone ( and look absolutely like they were gossiping).

Interestingly, a lot of them looked thoroughly bored.

Prostitution, like a lot of other things, is legal in Amsterdam ( the prostitutes, I hear pay tax on this as well). The women were treating it just like another profession. I even saw a man come drop off a woman, who then hurried inside.
I was wondering about one thing, though. Unlike in India and in most other parts of the world, prostitution is a profession that women do not like to be associated with. In many cases, husbands, boy friends are not aware.
Here, however, unfortunately, Prostituion is a tourist attraction. How would a woman’s life be if her family knows what she is upto.

We were discussing how some of these women would have gotten into the profession by force. And while I can understand how that would be the case in many parts of the world, seeing those women, in the windows, playing on their expensive phones, I did not really think that that was the case here in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has coffee houses where people go for space cakes and joints, prostitution is a tourist attraction, tees are sold that say things like , ‘Good girls to heaven, Bad girls come to Amsterdam’.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


I wonder, and for once I desperately need answers from you, if it is bad to be good.

With it being all cool and in to be into drinking, sleeping around, having good guy friends with whom you share rooms……is it normal to not do any of this?

Do you need to give yourself a shake? Why do I just totally completely dislike it and why do I increasingly find myself around people who are steeped into all this?

Why do I find it so difficult to smile when people brag about their love bites? Why do I find it difficult to nod my head when people make plans to check out the I know I am different. I know I do not do this and do not like it but then why…I don’t even know what I want to say.

I am not an angel form the heavens above but I have lived by the book and I know every one has the right to live their lives the way they want to but so many people who are like us have been up to no good so very often (as I have found out recently) that I really have absolutely no faith….in what I do not know…… I just wish…I don’t even know how to put that into words…….

Just that I wish I could go back to time when I was 10, with my parents and the most scandalous thing I could have done was to pick up a Sidney Sheldon.

I probably need to distance myself from a lot of things. I just want to be on a break Just go home, to my Mum, Dad and Bhai or be just with Sid. Be with the people who accept me the way I am…without any dopes/ joints/ alcohol/ sleeping around/ ex boyfriends…..

Such is life.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


So we went on a trip to an excruciatingly beautiful place called Interlaken, Switzerland.
We travelled across the length and breath of the country in the Swiss rail and this little incident that I am now talking about happened while we were in the train.

So Sid stood near the loo waiting for the lady inside to come out. There was an empty near by and he sat down there and from what I gather started talking to the Sri Lankan guy sitting next to him.

After some time, when he came out of the loo, I had also found my way there. Once Sid came out, we started talking and in the mean time, another lady went in.

Sid left and I too after standing for some time sat on the same seat Sid had found sometime back.

And like him I also struck up a conversation with the Sri Lankan.

After talking about this and that, the Sri Lankan guy said, “ So which country are you from”
“India, that’s your neighbour!”
“Yes, my family is still in Sri Lanka”
“That’s very nice. Most of my family is with me in this train”, I said smiling.
“Oh..yes yes talking about your family, I must say that your brother is a very very friendly man”, he said talking about my husband of 10 months.
Hmm… I thought.
“Does he look like my elder brother or younger?”, I asked with my fingers crossed.
“Elder”, he thankfully replied.

I breathed easy again. Unknown to himself, the Sri Lankan had just redeemed himself.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


My folks have gone back now and my tiny one bed apartment seems too big for two people.

While it was very difficult to see them go last evening, the worst bit was when I came back to a quiet house, with no extra suitcases lying around.

There was still a lot of food in the kitchen which mum had made for me. That made me cry harder.

I was actually surprised at how bad I felt coming back home from the airport last night.

However, my consolation was the fact that folks had a nice trip which hopefully they will think of smiling for a long time.

We went for a lovely 4 day trip to Switzerland which my folks enjoyed to the hilt. We went atop breathtakingly beautiful snow covered mountains, inside mountains with fountains, saw a number of beautiful swiss villages, travelled across the length and breath of Switzerland covering Lucerne, Interlaken and Zurich.

Another thing I am very glad about was the fact that this was the first trip I took my husband and parents for. And I am glad it could be Switzerland. I always knew I wanted my parents to visit me soon after I came to London. While job hunting I used to so desparately wish that I earn when they come and take them on a holiday myself.

Also, a lot of gifts to Sid were pending. I hope this trip makes up for atleast some of them!

And yes, London seems positively ugly after Switzerland.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Picture Talkies!

Talking about pictures in my last post brings me to another office story.

I deal with a huge amount of numbers and when I was really new to the whole system I would get very frustrated at times. It was one such day when, hot in the head and totally frustrated with the numbers that would not match, I walked out of office to get a breather. Wile waiting for the lift, I met a guy from office who casually asked me how I was doing.
Frustrated, I told him I was not good at all!
He wanted to know why I was so frustrated to which I told him how frustrating numbers can be when they do not match and how I just getting very very bugged with the whole system.

We spoke for a few minutes casually about this and that when I reached my foor. I went got myself something to eat for lunch and came back into office some 30 minutes later.

I had just settled into my chair when the same office guy came to my desk with a paper in hand.

He handed it to me.

I turned it face upwards to see a picture of a door. The walls were a nice shade of blue. I remembered the picture from somewhere, however.

“ Where have I seen it before?”, I asked him a little stupidly

He pointed his finger to his desk. It was there, pinned right next to his lap top.

I remembered how I had spent a couple of minutes looking at the picture the first day I had come into office. I ahd wondered why it was there?

“And what is this?”, I asked him.

“ When ever you feel stressed, just look at this picture. Try imagining all the good things that could be inside the door!”, he said.

I had never spoken to this guy before, I was very new to office and he had taken all the pains of getting a coloured print out for me to hopefully de-stress me!

I thanked him profusely for the kind gesture. I am attaching the pic for your reference. I sadly get no comfort from the pic and I cannot even try to imagin what good might be inside the door. It looks quite dingy and dark to me as if nothing good could be inside. However it still stays where I sit, because it was a very kind gesture.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

House Warming

We went to a place called Lake distrcit last week end. While the trip was very nice and the place very very beautiful, this is one pic that i absolutely love.

I feel all warm inside when i look at this pic- as if all is good with me and the world.

Do you look at this and feel a sense of calm or is it just me ??

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

British Ways

So I have now been in the land of the Queen for almost 8 long months and consider myself something of an authority on all things British.

Ok I do not.

But there are certain things that I have noticed here that are unmistakably different from us back home.

A reader of my blog who very interestingly calls herself/ himself SJ asked me once by way of a comment about the manners of the Brits. Hence the post!

1. You make a big show of keeping the door ajar for the person walking behind you. – Be it office or a tiny gate outside your building apartment when you open a door and before you shut it , you look back and in case you see anyone within some 100 miles who might walk through that gate you hold it open, or keep a restaining palm on the door signifying how much you want to keep the door open. It is polite. Everyone does it here and no matter how useless the whole practice might be, very soon you will find yourself doing the same.
2. Pehle Aap!- This happens in the tube when two people move towards the lone empty seat. Both will use their hands and expressions to say, “ Ma’am/ Sir please go ahead and take the seat. Kind Regards XYZ”. This will go one for some seconds when someone will finally take the seat. If it’s a man and a woman, the woman will ultimately take the seat, if they are people of the same gender, the older one will take the seat. I fins this in contrast to the way we rush to take seats and giving it up is something we cannot even consider.

3. In the defense of my des waalas, the Brits here are not travelling in a rickety bus with the outside temp at a mere 50 degrees C and no AC in the bus! If that were the case, British politeness might have been different. However, to be fair, it might have still been the same, in which case, due respect!

4. Love/ Darling: the older lot, the grannies and the grand dads will often refer to you as ‘Love’. For example you are standing in the middle of a narrow aisle and are lost in thoughts, chewing gum and vaguely thinking that the gum has a very revolting taste. Suddenly you hear a soft , “Excuse me, love”. You turn around wondering why your husband has a funny voice now and come face to face with a white haired lady in a skirt and cardigans. You smile and give her way.

5. The way they greet you on the phone- the way someone here will greet you will be more affectioinate than how your mum will greet you when you go back to apna des after 10 years. The receptionist at the Parlour will sound more excited about talking to you at 9 in the morning than you will ever be to talk to the love of your life!

So much for the time being. More later!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good News

When I got a job here in London in June, I was told that I would be on a temporary offer for the first six months. They were to take a call at the end of that time period. They said it would be enough time for both of us, the company and myself to decide whether or not I wanted to stay here.

Today, less than 2 months into my role, my boss asked me if I would be happy to accept a permanent offer from the company.

I was taken aback- we had been discussing her marriage and her question came out of the blue! I, ofcourse said a yes and as she explained some intricate thing to me on Webex, I was busy messaging Sid the good news.

That is one worry off my head. I had never expected that this would happen so quick! My bosses seem really happy with what I am doing. I honestly think I am do a miserable job here at times. So I do not know what is working, but am glad that it is!:)

I just wanted to share this bit of good news with you guys!

Sleep Tight:)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I was travelling by the DLR- it’s a kind of overground tube that runs in my part of London when I saw her

Of African origin, with a sparkling skin. Very tall, with the longest legs possible. Very well turned out- with perfect nails, dress, shoes , hair. She was wearing huge fashionable shades. Hair pulled back in a very in hairstyle that suited her well. Black 6 inch heels. Black glittering bag.

She seemed so confident, well to do and successful. A little arrogant perhaps. A little intimidating, maybe. The perfect work woman.

I looked at her with envy as I chatted with Ma catching up on her day. I wondered why I can never look like that. I can look sweet at best- never this kind of Oh My God.

Mummy said something and I laughed. As I laughed I stole a glance at her again- just curious to check out her watch. That’s when I saw them.

Big Fat tears. Rolling down her cheeks from under her shades.

She hurriedly wiped them off with a tissue she clutched tightly in her hands. With the tears removed, she went back to looking like she belonged to a near perfect life.

A few seconds later some more escaped from beneath her shades.

That made me think how often we think how perfect the life of XYZ person is and have no idea what actually is going on.

And brought back to my head a hymn I learnt way back in school:

Count your blessings
And name them one by one
And you will be surprised to see
What the Lord has done.

How true!!

Sleep Tight.

Monday, July 19, 2010

30th day from now!

Ok. So what is so special about the 30th day from now?

On the 30th day from now , by this time, my folks would have landed at Heathrow!

Yes! Yes!!!!Yessss!!YESSSSSS!!

They are coming to London!!!!!!

*jubilant victory dance*

For 2 whole weeks!!

*another jubilant dance!*

Their visa is done and tickets have been booked! I have applied for leave from work which has been accepted(yeaay!) , I know when I am going to fall ill- so sick leave has been decided as well!!

We have applied for schenegan visa so lets see if that can happen!

I am so so excited about Mum and Dad coming to London. My Dad is well travelled across Europe but Mum has not been abroad before. I am just so excited. I have so many plans for them. Musicals, walks, shopping, Buckingham palace, Trafalgar square, hyde park, picadilly circus and may be just maybe , if we are not too late already, then Switzerland as well!
Sid has been such a sweetheart getting all the paper work done for my folks. It just warms
my heart to the core when he does all this.

I just hope all works fine and they have a lovely trip here!

Btw, did I say “Yeaaaayyyyyyyy!!!”


Monday, July 12, 2010



I always start finding my life meaningless if I do not have atleast one major goal. Also, that goal cannot be any goal- it has to be a particular type of goal.
Till I was studying, it was simple- all my goals were academic. In engg college I wanted to be rank one and in B school I wanted to get just one medal. When I started working, goal was to get more than 730 in GMAT, then it was to get about 110 in Toefl and so on…..The common thing about these goals is that just thinking about them would give me the goose bumps. It would be something I could think about for hours. It would be the motivation that would make me put in that extra hour, it would be the madness that would make me mug up even though it was an open book exam. It was what made saying NO to that movie very easy.

My biggest problem with work is that I have not been able to find such a goal. Day to day tasks are not what I call proper goals. Every one does them. I make sure I do them well enough- I ensure that my bosses ( I have two and both are Australians! ) are happy with me ( which there are TW) but what lacks is a big goal.

Of late I think I have managed to find a couple for myself.

One is very big and very ambitious. I have never attempted such a thing before and I have no clue if I will be able to achieve it- I have started working towards it and am very keen to see if I have the capability to accomplish such a thing. It requires a lot of patience and hard work. I am more than ready to put that in- only thing is I hope that some good comes out of the hours I am putting into it even after working and managing the household without any help here.

The other one is related to work. Again ambitious, but not very. Its just something I am keen to see if I will be able to do. There is little in my hands here apart from doing my best and that is exactly what I am going to do.

The third is related to academics. I have been thinking about these great colleges you have in the UK. It would be an absolute shame to live for sometime in the UK and not have some experience with them. No, I am not going to target any big course- I am don’t with PhD attempts and with 7 months of work ex stand no chance of getting through another management programme. However there is something else that I have my eye on. I wanted to do it this year but since I had to start work, I knew it was not technically possible. So that is something I am looking at doing next year around this time.

Let see how many of these I achieve. May be I will achieve none….I don’t know….no harm in trying anyways, right?:)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ma and Mummy

You know how it is after you get married. Things change. You leave behind some people , you starting valuing some much more than you ever did before, you meet some others.

Which brings me to a set of people I have never mentioned on my blog.

The inlaws.

I have been married for almost 8 months now and on the basis on my experience so far can thankfully say that I have been very very lucky.

My Mom in law is a house wife and a very nice lady. I speak to her almost each day but never in these 8 months has she ever said even one word that has hurt me any which way. And trust me that is really a very big thing. She is exceptionally beautiful, slim and very fair with lovely delicate features. Most interestingly, she is very broad minded.
One of the first things she told me when I came into the house as a brand new bride was this:

“People tell us Indian women to treat our husbands like Gods. Treat yours like one if he first begins to behave like one!”

I remember laughing like mad at this.

I have spent a couple of days with her when my husband was not at home. If I would get up anytime before 8 she would be horrified. She would insist that I sleep till atleast 9.

One of her neighbours warned her to not behave like this with me. Mom in law got really angry.

Very indignantly she told her friend that when my sis in law comes over, she sleeps for as long as she wants so why should not I do the same.

She is very different from my own mother. I mean both are nice women- genuinely kind and loving but of course they are different.

So suddenly, the day after I got married- I was the proud owner of two mothers- Ma, my mother and Mummy- Sid’s mom.

They get along well. Touch wood.

Yesterday they spent a whole day together and were planning to go watch ‘I have love storys’ together. That got me thinking. How different it would have been if my parents had some issues with my in laws. Had my laws been the mean kinds who taunt the daughter in law about the watch that the bride’s family did not give as part of gifts at the wedding.

And no, do no think all this does not happen now a days. It very much does. I know first hand that it does. I don’t know how I would deal with that.

So here is pic of Ma and Mummy. This pic was taken during my sangeet.

As usual I am missing Ma a lot but a regular reader of my blog will know that there is nothing new about that.

Love RP

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Heights!

At five feet 2 I am quite tiny. My boss, a ten feet tall Australian is a strapping old man.

Today, he took long to offer me a chair even though I was standing because he thought that I was sitting.


Sunday, July 04, 2010


I have tried my level best to protect my anonymity on this blog for the last 5 years.

But now I wonder.

I wonder whether I should continue to be anonymous or should I be the person I am in real life.

Do my readers need to know who I am?

Would it matter in any which way?

Has Ram Pyaari lived long enough? Should the real me take her place?

What would be the pluses of being myself?

And more importantly what would be the minuses?

It does not seem fair. I am NOT RP. That is not me. We are the same person but I am not RP.

As you can see I am thinking about not remaing anonymous on this blog. My Mother thinks I should disclose my real identity on the blog but I am divided. The comfort of anonymity is wonderful. Part of me does not want to let it go. I cannot decide but it is something I have been thinking about for sometime now!

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Paintings :)

Two step process for this one. Am not happy with it but posting it nevertheless.

Step 1

Simple sketch:

Step 2:

This painting is actually inspired from the paintings of my grandfather-who is ofcourse atleast a million times better than I am.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 years

This was exactly 5 years ago.

I was then in 2nd year engg.So much has happened since then. I finished Engg, got 2 job offers, got thru a decent b school, left home, did MBA, finished MBA, got a job, started working for the first time, got married, moved to another country, started work again.

Almost everything has changed in the last 5 years.

Some things have not.

One of them is you. So thank you and a very very happy 5th birthday.

As my readers, a know a lot of visit regularly who do not leave a comment- as a gift to my blog, leave a comment- I want to know who you are. Just say hi.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Post 17


I have been lucky enough to receive unadulterated, unquestioned love from my mother. She is the centre of my world.

Today I was lying down when I suddenly recalled the few days at home when I was working in India. I had fallen very sick and sid was due in a few days to come pick me up. I was kind of happy to fall ill- be pampered one last time before I left her. All about how she took care of me, how concerned she was and how just being around her felt so nice- all of this came back to me.

Sometimes, now, when I think about how she used to be worried about every little thing about me , it brings me close to tears. I survived the whole of today on two breads. Maybe when you are hungry the whole world seems more mean than it actually is. But I kept thinking about her.

How she made life so easy for me in India, how both my Mom and dad would ensure that I was picked and dropped each day to work. How she would be concerned if I seemed even a little upset and how far away she is from me now.

The sheer physical distance.

How tough it is to be away from people you love. From the one person you love the most.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Post 16
Best Holiday ever!

So its been almost 4 long weeks since I started working. So it is high time that I start dreaming of holidays.

Because of work and the fact that I am now quite busy, I often find myself thinking of the best holiday I have ever had.

We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon. It was by far the best holiday I have ever had. We stayed one the Taj hotels and chose one that was far far away from the main city of Mahe. The place for very beautiful- breath takingly so. I was newly married. After that holiday I was to go back to my folks for atleast a month which ensured that I did not feel senti about leaving my folks and all that.

We took a water villa. The steps would lead out into the sea the water of which was so very clear that you could see everything on the sea bed and the fishes deep down (not that the water was very deep)

It was here that we spent hours in the water- snorkeling with the fish, checking out the corals- it was just fantastic.

Here is a pic of the sea and the water villa stairs.

Another one :

I loved the blue and the green. The staff was very nice, they spoke kindly to us, helped us whenever they could and tried their best to ensure that we have a good holiday.
The food was excellent and one of the reasons why we chose Taj was because Taj is a company of Indian origin we would have some vegetarian options as well. I still remember the tiramisu- you had to eat it to believe it!

I made friends with some other honeymooning couples as well. Sat in an underwater submarine, tried out my hand at water sports, swam with the fishes, had a beach candle lit dinner, ate pizza baked in front of my eyes, ran in the sand, played with the water- was treated like a princes!

What’s your favourite holiday?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Post 15


For all that it is worth I got a second job offer today. You remember the internship I was doing before I got this job offer ( ) , well the Europe president mailed me today.

He has asked me to come back to them, this time for a permanent role with a proper salary. Point to be noted is that when I was working with him and asked him if there were any chances of getting a permanent role ( I was desparate for a job) he had told me that the two of us will discuss it after I would have worked with them for 6 months. I had agreed to it.

It has been a month since I left the internship.

I will refuse. For a variety of reasons.

1st My current work place is like 20 minutes from where I live. The internship work place is about 2 hours of travelling in 3 trains and a bus and some walking. That for me is a deal breaker actually!

2nd the role that I am doing right now might not have tremendous growth potential but is a decent one for the time being. Though on paper the role is bigger at the internship- I am still not very convinced

3rd added to point 2 my current job is with a MUCH bigger company!

4th I have spent almost 4 weeks of intense self motivated learning. Now is when I am getting the hang of things! I honestly do not want to let go of this profile right now

5th I had a sales and marketing managerial role in India. With due respect to all the sales managers in the world( I am married to one as well), I never really felt that that role used my brain. Here I am doing complex analysis and if I can find enough enthusiasm, people are very willing to let me take up even more challenging roles

6th My husband works in the same company. Though this seemed like a problem in the very beginning, I don’t mind it now – infact even like it. Its good to get a glimpse of the other one. I don’t really feel alone ever. I know he is there to take of things even though I also know that my stuff is my stuff and his is his.

7th I do not believe my internship people will give me as big a salary as I am getting here. And for all it is worth- money does matter.

So that is it. I am not joining. I am going to say no to a job offer. Do you know whats the coolest thing about this. I spent 5 months believing that this day will never come ( ). And that is exactly why they tell you to never say never!


Post 14

Tickets booked!

So, we have booked tickets to go to the A R Rahman music concert in London on the 24th of July 2010. I am not a big music fan but I really love it when Rahman’s music falls on my ears!

I am very very excited about the show! This is going to be my first proper concert!! Yeaaaayyyyy!

Other AR Rahman fans can feel as jealous as they deem fit!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Post 13


I went home for the first time after coming to London in May. I had been in London for 4 months by then and I had just found a job. The first thing I did when I got my job was to book tickets to India. However, even though I went to India just one month back, I am already very homesick.

Anyways, that is besides the point. I am now going to talk of just one aspect about the India trip- the time I was leaving my home to go and spend a day with my in laws before taking the flight back to London.

I have never left my parents and not cried. That’s not me. Each time I left for B school I cried like crazy in the train. This time was no different.

No, it was. I cannot put in words the amount of grief I felt as the train moved out of the platform. It was such immense grief, such unadulterated grief that it hit me like a rock. I did not even realize it but there I was standing next to my berth and crying so bitterly without a care of who was looking.Crying with sobs and with big fat tears streaming down my face. I don’t know for how long I stood there crying. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. A kind looking aunty asked me if all was ok.

I hurriedly wiped my tears, nodded a weak smile at her and climbed into m y berth and drew the curtains. And burst into tears again.

The grief was a physical pain. I just could not bear the thought of going away from them. I started finding it difficult to breathe and found myself totally unable to stop my tears. I had Twilight in my hands, and some pages are still soiled because of my big fat tears that fell on the pages of the open book.

I have never felt such immense grief. I am an emotional girl but I am reasonably sensible. I have not forgotten how it felt to leave my folks once again to go live in a foreign country. Leave the comforts of familiarity for the discomfort of things new and still alien.

If you are a girl who is not married, I have this to say to you : I love my husband. My in laws treat me like their daughter and my MIL will not stop gushing about how perfect her Daughter in law is. Yet. There is nothing like home. Nothing like your own Ma and your own dad. No matter how modern your thinking is, a part of you does get divided once you get married. You are part of two families. So all you unmarried girls- you belong 100% to your mum and dad. Please love them. Please cherish each moment you have with them. Please.
Day 12

Of a Very Special Day

I did MBA from one of the top 10 Bschools in India. That was the first time I moved out of my city. I went there very scared – I had heard enough stories of how cut throat the competition was, how you got to sleep for only 4-3 hours in one day and how tough it was to give all the exams and presentations etc etc.

I finished MBA in the March of 2009. I did so with tremendous lessons in life. And three gold medals. With 3 out of the 4 medals awarded that day. With all three academic ones open for the grab that day.

That day- the convocation - was undoubtedly the proudest moment in my life and I doubt if there will be one that will out do this one. I was rank one in engg also but I was never awarded a gold medal in front of sooo many people. So this was bigger and more special.

My brother had promised me that he will take leave from his med school (where leaves were very scarce) and attend my convocation if I were getting one medal. So, on that fine day, my brother came from his med school, my parents from my home city and Sid came from London to be with me on my very special day. Every one who mattered was there and that really mattered the most.

I knew I was the gold medallist for the batch that year because the results had been declared a couple of days back. Early that day I went to the section where the medal winners were supposed to line up for their cloaks and gowns. There was a list of medal winners there. I picked it up just to check if I was indeed getting the gold medal.

Gold Medal- My name.
I turned the next page and was about to keep the sheet down when my name caught my attention .

I read carefully.

The XYZ Special Prize for Best Student in Economics: My name.

I remember how I stopped breathing for a second. I had not even known that such an award existed.

And that was when I saw my name in another place.

The ABC award for Best Outgoing Student for the Batch of 2009 : My name.

I fail short of words here. I honestly do. You know I think there is such an amzing ring to the sound of the words- Best outgoing student of the year. It sounds so BIG. So final. So very absolutely unbeatable.

As I was jostled around by batchmates trying to get their robes , I recall being transported into a different world.

I had just realised- some one hour before the award ceremony , that I was going to get ALL academic gold medals open for my entire batch of 178 students..

I wore a green and pink saree that day along with a Gold watch and a string of pearls.

The saree was an ancient one belonging to my mother. I had often seen her in it and I felt that she looked fabulous each time she wore it. It did not look half as great on me (infact it looked quite horrible) but I wanted to wear something so very hers on my special day. It was my way of saying, I am yours and each achievement of mine is as yours as it is mine.

The string of pearls- My Mum and Dad gifted those to me on my 18th birthday. And as I opened my gift that day so many years ago I saw a piece of paper fall off. They had left a note inside the jewellery box. It said, in my fathers beautiful hand writing that I should have a focus in my life and give my all to achieve it.

The gold watch was a gift from my Grandfather. He takes immense pride in any academic achievement I have ever had and had gifted this watch to me when I had scored 92% in class ten. The Box reads—Merit award from my grand daughter. May you achieve many more, bigger, grander things.

I have often felt that that one day was my day. Absolutely , totally my day. I remember the collective gasp of the audience as my name was announced for the 3 rd consecutive gold medal and I knew each and every eye was on me as I made my third quick trip to the stage.

I remember the multitude of back slaps, the way a reporter came and asked me , before he interviewed me, if I were single. I remember how some random woman came and congratulated me and said, ‘ you seem to be the brightest around! And I am so proud you are girl’

I felt so blessed and so lucky. It was like all the hard work had paid off. I knew my parents would be the proudest set of parents sitting in that auditorium. I knew I had achieved something I had till now only dreamt of.

Why do I speak of that day today? I don’t know. This is one big experience that I had never shared with my blog readers and I wanted to let you guys be a part of my biggest day- that happened a long time back. The following is the link to the post that has me announce my Rank one but not the other things

I am putting up a pic as well. It is a hideous pic but it shows you the saree and if you look closely the watch and the string of pearls as well:)