Friday, November 07, 2014


Written in a train in India:

I am in a train that will whisk me to Delhi. In a couple of hours I will be on a plane heading back to London.
Back to grey, bleak London.

The noise and the chaos and the love and the affection- all left behind.

I came to India looking forward to two things and dreading a third.

The two things I came for were Diwali and the launch of my second book.

What fate held in store for Nani (my maternal grandmother)- that I was dreading.

Diwali happened. The book was launched not once but twice.

And we lost Nani.                                                                                  

All in a matter of a few days.
The thorn lies next to the rose. The rose lies next to the thorn. And such is life...

To go up on stage and laugh and joke and talk about my book when all I could think about was Nani’s death was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do. But I did it, not only because it was the professional thing to do, but also, as cliché as it may sound, I felt that was what she would have wanted.

Nani is gone now, never to return. The finality of it all is difficult to come to terms with but we have the satisfaction of knowing that she lived a long and happy life (she was 92 when she passed away).  She died in the same room she had been brought into as a brand new bride a gazillion years back. A red bindi, a symbol of a married Hindu woman adorned her forehead when she breathed her last.

Her demise has made me think a lot about death. At some level I feel convinced that it does not all end when we die; that there is a great, fun adventure awaiting us on the other side of life; that Nani is thoroughly enjoying hers and chuckling to herself as I type this.

I also feel that I now have someone up there, next to God who will listen to me when He is too busy sorting out the rest of the world. That image gives me a lot of courage.

I know Nani spoke often about my books. She was very proud that I write and very touched that I had thanked her in my first book.  But what Nani liked most was to have a full house. A house that burst at the seems with her 7 kids, 14 grand children and 7 great grandchildren.

At her memorial service as I stared at the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects, I realised that Nani had done it once more. All of us (most of us, atleast) were there, under the same roof, together. My uncles, aunts, cousins and parents bid her her final goodbye with a lot of dignity and respect and as a mother, I know she must have been very proud.

My cousin made a montage of sorts for Nani that day. We switched off the lights and huddled into a darkened room to watch it. Image after image of Nani appreared on the screen. Nani looking stronger than I remembered,  younger than i could have imagined, more serious than she was in her last few months. 
Images that contained bits of a life now gone forever, preserved in those (now priceless) pictures. When we switched on the lights, there was not a dry eye in the room.

Today in the train, as it chugs to Delhi Railway Station, sitting next to me is a thin, wrinkled , yet oddly robust looking retired Army officer. He says he is 94. I have been helping him with whatever it is that I can- simple things really- opening the food packets, helping him walk, simply talking to him etc.

A few minutes back completely out of the blue, he turned around, folded his hands and with a warm, kind smile blessed me and told me that he is very grateful for my help.

‘No, No’ I said hastily ‘ its my pleasure. And really, to be honest, I am helping you for very selfish reasons. I have four grandparents , all of them your age. If I help you, maybe someone will help them when they need help’

And then I stopped short, as another unexpected wave of grief hit me.

‘Not four anymore’ a soft voice inside my head said to me reminding me yet again of the void that Nani has left behind in many lives.

In Nani's honour, putting up a pic of us together a few months back. This is the first time in almost a decade that I have shared a picture of myself on the blog.

Rest in peace, Nani, and come back to us as you promised me multiple times the last time we met. I wait patiently to meet you again in a few decades.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why everyday HAS to be awesome!

What was awesome today?
For me it was my swimming class.
The long walk in the drizzle with red autumn leaves lining the pavements
The unexpected help from many people for the second book
The conversations with Ma, Chacha, Bhai and Neha.
The  husband cooked.

Everyday has to have something awesome. It does not need to be great. It just needs to be awesome.

What was awesome today? :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Chotu

This other day I woke up and looked around, very relaxed (a rarity for the hyper anxious me). I knew what I was looking for. I was looking for the prettiest face in the world. Dark hair pulled back in a low bun, a big red Bindi on her forehead, kajal in her eyes, smile on her face.

The first face you want to see when you wake up.

Mum would be around somewhere, doing something. The room would be spotlessly clean. I will call out and she will come.

I am vaguely aware that I am 6-7 years old and in Lucknow.

Only I am not.

I am in London and a lot older than 7. It takes me a few moments to orient myself and then I feel gobsmacked. Where did that come from? Almost as if something had taken me back into time for a few precious moments. Mum has short hair now. She rarely wears a saree and the big red bindi has given way to a smaller one.
I have not thought about our life from back then in years.

As the moment passes, I lay back and try to recall how relaxed I had been feeling a few minutes back. I had not felt that way in months. Maybe years.

Mum, my Mum. Even a flashback makes everything okay.

For most girls their mothers are the best.

Mine really is.

No, really, she is.

I have, over the last few years, mostly through conversation across continents, come to know her better than I did when I lived with her growing up in Lucknow. It is one of the benefits of growing up, you know, you get to know your parents as people. Not just as your bank or your cook or your chauffer or as the invisible hand that helps you out when you need some picking up. But as people with hopes and aspirations and fears and their own battles.

And what I have figured about my Mum is nothing short of extra ordinary.

She is an odd combination of contradictions.

She wont be able to say no to the help at home, yet she will find in herself, again and again, the strength to go against everyone in the room to stand for what is right and with those who need help. I have seen her take tough decisions that can only cause her trouble but might help people she loves. And honestly, i have rarely seen anyone else behave in as selfless a manner as she can.

If someone is upset, even though it is the other person's fault, she will try her best to make things okay. I tell her she needs to be strong. And then my father has an emergency brain surgery and she is the only one who has her wits about herself. And I wonder if I can ever be as strong as her.

She is not a manager in a fancy office, but she project manages complex situations at home better than most people I know would ever be able to. Daily wage workers who come to work at our house love her. One of them, many years ago, liked Mum so much that he decided (and we let him) to work for us. He was with us for a couple of years, went back to hi village and then came back. And then there was this one guy who took to calling her Mummy. I still cant help but smile at the memory.

She choses to not react when the easiest thing would be to kill the person in front of you. Yet when she loses her temper, God alone can help you.

I have seen, not once, not twice but hundreds of times, people come to her just to get good sensible advice. And now when someone asks me for advice there is only one question I ask myself ' What would Ma say?'

She is the strongest person I know. She is the gentlest person I know. She can be the clown that entertains and the wise sage that enlightens.

And boy, can she forgive. She forgives people for being petty, selfish and rude. For having made her life hell. For having denied her things she had a right to. ' They are just being ignorant' she says sagely to me on the phone while I grind my teeth and fanatsize about how I would have given that person a taste of his/her own medicine had I been there.

Sometimes when she is saying all those wise things, things that are so wise that for some moments everything makes sense, I wish I can record them. Record them and keep them safe in a locker under the sea where no one can touch them. Just so that they will always stay with me. People often tell me that I say wise things. I am mostly just quoting my Mum.

I know my Mum is my mum, I also think, she is now her mother's Mum as well. And is mother-like for a few others too.

That I am sane is because of her. That I can be strong (Sometimes atleast) is because of her. That I am, is because of her.

Life has many challenges, but I move through it stronger and steadier simply because my Mum is my Mum.

You matter, Ma, matter so much. For some of us, you are, even now, the one person around whom the world revolves.

Happy birthday.

Your Luchita.


In other news, my second book is about to be released. Pre-order your copy here.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog marathon #2 : 'After all, meri shadi hone wali hai'

While IDDI (if you have not pre-ordered IDDI yet, here is the link) is about a lot of things like love, family, trust, friendship (and we will talk about all these things), it is primarily the diary of  the bride to be. A bumbling, fumbling bride to be.

This book becomes relevant to you if
1) you got married within the last decade
2) might get married within the next decade
3) are a guy and 1 or 2
4) either girl or guy but have decided never to marry
5) either girl or guy and very confused about marriage

If you do not belong to the above four categories please don't waste your money on the book- that is my humble advice.

Extract from emails I collected from people I know personally (reproduced here with permission, names changed and all that jazz needed to protect identity)

' I loved my fiancé but the moment I got married, I started looking at every other guy, wondering if I should marry him instead of my fiancé! And I felt so pathetic about this that I did not say a word to anyone.
-Anita, 29, (she did get) married'

'Chandini (by the way, what a romantic name, I must name my next female protagonist, Chandini) and I never used to fight. Till we got engaged. Then the proverbial hell broke loose. I still wonder why that happened because we stopped fighting very soon after we got married!
Jatin ( will never name a character Jatin), 31, married for 1 year)'

'I love the idea of getting married. I hate the idea of getting married. Both at the same time
Anjali , 25, student, who wants to get married and does not want to get married'

'After we got engaged, I used to feel bad when my fiancé would put the phone down after less than 45 minutes. My expectations did not make sense.
Bhumi, 30, whose expectation still do not make sense'

'I was marrying her because I loved her. why the hell did I need to tell her that every two seconds!!
Pushkar (he has insisted, I write again that it is not his real name. I am doing as he bids)

'And she became all senti about her Mum and Dad. Unbelievably senti. Before we got engaged, she would tell me that her folks got on her nerves every once in a while- which really is very normal. But when we got engaged, Uncle and Aunty became sacred. Don't even ask.
Gaurav, married and a very tameezdar damad'

When I was getting married, everyone told me enjoy this period because it was the most beautiful time in a person's life. So much so that I even felt pressurised into enjoying that time.

Like really. Its nice and good and you look forward to new things but it does not come without its own pitfalls. Even the thought now seems ridiculous. I was soon to leave my country and family and job and frineds and settle in a place I knew no one in ( no one remotely trustworthy, anyway, as I would find out after some interesting escapades later with so called 'friends').

The point is, as the book will also tell you, it is okay to be confused.
Its okay to worry and wonder.
Its okay to be ridiculously silly.

And if you have found someone who puts up with all your nonsense, reason enough to don the red lehenga / magnolia sherwani and be there in the mandap.


Question for the post:
I get many emails. (What a pompous way to start a section. Bleh)
Most of them ask me questions about getting published. As far as possible, I will take one question from those emails and answer them here. If you have any, feel free to let me know and I will try my best to answer.

Question of the day:
My publisher is asking me for money. Should I sign with him?

Yes and No.
Yes, if all you want is to be a published author and do not really care about much else.
No, if you want to get a real publisher.

To share my story, when my first book came out one publisher reached out to me with an offer. I would put in x amount and he would put in 2x amount and voila! we would have a book. I am very glad better sense prevailed ( and also that Rupa agreed to publish me!)
My suggestion is to go for a reputed publisher. These will never ask you to put in money. You will get royalty and if things work out well, a decent advance too.

If you are getting refusals at the moment, keep trying. Tweak your story, improve the wirting, invest more time in the manuscript. Getting a book out is hard work- but so, so,so worth it in the end ( before the bad reviews start, that is ;) )


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Blog Marathon #1: As a writer

My books are a bit of myself as I was when I was writing them. Things that made me happy or sad or simply caught my attention- all find their way into the book in some way or the other.
When I re-read my books, oddly enough, I am acquainted with parts of me that I have forgotten.  There is this little joke in the book that actually comes from that little incident that took place which ofcourse I had completely forgotten about till I re-read the book.

Anyway, coming back to IDDI (in case you have not pre-ordered it, please do it here: Even if I say so myself, it is an engaging, fun read. A big throbbing heart- that is how a friend described it sometime back, bless her!), while I cannot say how it will fare in the markets, though I hope you will all buy it and make it a success, what I can say with conviction is that I am proud of it.

Proud in a quiet, sensible way. Proud because I know this story comes from my heart and that is what I wanted. Proud because I know I spent hours working on this book when I could have been out partying. Proud because it has some sentences that mean a lot to me. Proud because of the decisions Kasturi, Purva, Pitajee and Anu take (agreed some decisions are sheer madness, but who am I to complain, afterall it is their life!)

The book touches on many aspects of life and I hope to talk about them as we move through this marathon, in the process discussing matters that affect all of us.

While I would I have liked to do  post each day, I will, due to pressures of work, limit it to Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the meanwhile don't forget to pre-order the book, you wont regret it :)



Sunday, August 10, 2014

5 things i was grateful for today

  1. Rakhi- even though I could not be with my brother today, thanks to Skype, I was atleast able to see other sisters tie the rakhee to him (including mine)
  2. The monsoon-ish rains in the morning today- reminded me so much of India. I conveniently found reason to go out (to buy the not so needed tomatoes) and came back pretty much drenched ;)
  3. A nap in the afternoon- exhausted from the cooking spree today, I was able to nap (although just for a few minutes) today in the afternoon. It was quite relaxing, I must say
  4. Doing nothing all evening- sofa-bed-bed-sofa. The simple pleasures of life, so very welcome after a very busy few weeks- seemed liked the first time I had done this in a LONG time.
  5. A long conversation with Ma. The voice of sanity in my life.
  6. A nice book- have been looking for a good book for some time ( I read Bite when I was in Malta and quite liked it!) and was delighted when I finally decided what my next book is going to be.
  7. Episode 6 of 'The Honourable Woman'- during to sofa-bed-bed-sofa thing that I was doing, I finally caught up with the episodes of this absolutely fantastic thriller. Must see for anyone interested in Israel Palestine politics

I wanted to write 5 things I was grateful for, I paused at 2, told myself that there are no more and then finally stopped at 7. Goes to show that often we don't even realise what we have.

Have a nice week.


Saturday, August 09, 2014


So the last few months have been crazy busy.
We finalised our first house and shifted.
And I was working on both my second and third books.

Which is why we have not been on a holiday in a long time, which is a very rare thing for us. So, inevitably, there soon came a point when both Sid and I felt that we had to, just had to take a break.

And with that noble thought in mind, we booked our tickets to Malta.

Some highlights of Malta:

It was the first time I actually swam in the sea. Okay, in my defense I did not venture towards the deeper mysteries of the sea and stayed as close to the shore as possible, but I swam in the sea! *somersaults*

Here is a picture of where I swam. Crystal clear waters, striking blue of the sea, the bright son and cliffs jutting out here and there. (And no, that is not me in the bright yellow bikini)

I sat on a ship as it cruised the waters, legs dangling out of the ship into the sea, squealing with delight each time a wave crashed against the ship and spurted saly sea water all over me! And here is a picture I took of other travellers sitting where we sat on the return journey:

And that's me lost in the sights of the sea (in the background you can see the city of Valetta):

I trekked pointy cliffs to the stunning azure window. I could have spent hours there, just staring, but time, you constantly moving element that refuses to stand still even for a minute forced me to move on much quicker than I would have like to

I also explored little nooks and cranies around the island:

We walked till we tired. And then came back and hit the gorgeous swimming pool in our hotel.  We spent so much time in the hot sun that we came back all tanned.

It was a wonderful break and one of the rare places I did not want to come back from.....


If you are thinking of going to Malta, don't think. Just go.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

What's in a name?

If it is a book, a LOT!

I really like the title of my second book.

It's a little bit filmy,
And quite cheeky,

Three brave soldiers tumble around,
Trying to make sense of the word and the sound

Its a lot of fun,
Let's see if you can guess it, hun.

:) :)

Let me know if you guess it. Should not take you more than a few seconds!

Have fun,


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Book 2


And it is that time again.

Has to be my Christmas, only it seems to happen not once each year, but once in 3 years!

The manuscript of Book 2 has been read and re read and re re re read for misplaced commas, spellings and grammar.  Even the tiniest of elements of the plot have been dissected. The acknowledgments and dedications done. The cover finalised. The author bio written. The author pic decided.


Needless to add, a LOT of work has gone into the book and I will share details of it all in the next few weeks. Add that to a full time job that has me travelling across the Nordics at the drop of a hat, buying a house  and shifting in, and generally just keeping my self alive , fed and watered and you have one completely mad woman.

When I was flying in from Malta this Tuesday, for the first time in what seemed like forever, I did NOT have a manuscript to either write or edit. Instead I read. Just relaxed and read to my heart's content as clouds flew by beneath me. Seemed so alien, really :)
[ I also tried to forget all about the last two nights in Malta when I was up till 2 and 3 respectively eyes boring into manuscript proofs, but that is another story for another day]

For the time being, even if just for a little bit, I am just kicking off my shoes and resting my head on the wall. A moment to breathe deep.

Before all the madness begins. Again.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

So long, so long…

Tonight is our last night in the apartment I have called home for the last 4 years. Not a big thing, you would say.
Only for me, it is.

While Sid’s Dad was in the Air force and hence the entire family shifted based every couple of years, my father is a doctor and once we moved into our house 20 years back, we stayed put. A change in house is a bigger deal for me than it is for the rest., particularly Sid who has done this every 2 years for the first 20 years of his life.
You see, this is only the 3rd house I have ever lived in.

I came her fresh off the boat ;). A 25 year old newly married girl (really, did I marry that young??), unsure and possibly a little intimidated by everything around. Everything was new. Sometimes I now wondered how I did it all! I had left my job, family and friends- heck- my entire life behind me to start a new.

Exciting? Yes.

A tad scary? YES!

The house saw me get to know Sid. It saw us fight, it saw us make up. It saw me not comprehending why anyone would want to put mirchi powder in food, it saw me begin to put atleast some every once in while…

It saw me change. It saw Sid change. It saw us both adapt to each other’s ways in ways neither had expected.

It saw me wonder if I could possibly even consider considering a book. It saw me sign the contract of the second one.

It saw me confused because of health issues. It saw me finally able to go to the doctors on my own.

It saw me take some tough decisions…it saw me grow.

It was the home I came back to from work.

We are moving to our own place. Our first house together. More on that later because tonight it is all about the house that has been my home for the last 4 years.

So long, Flat 31, you shall be missed….

Flat 1, here we come J

Monday, June 23, 2014

Men, Indian and errr...not so Indian :)

So there are workers in our new house. We have a 2 week overlap between leaving this place and moving to the new place and in that we intend to get all the work done (read transform it from the 1840s , no kidding, flat that it is into a trendy, modern house). Any way, last week, I was there and the workers were..err...working. Two of them. Both South Asian.
After the usual pleasantries, they began to open up to me. One of the called me 'didi' and the other called me 'Baji'. Something oddly heartwarming, by the way, about being called didi/baji by people in a foreign land.
As it turned out, one of them was from India and the other was from Pakistan. And they are best friends.
'You know, baji' said the man painting the ceiling of my living room ' when I heard bhai jaan speak I was sure he is from Karachi'
In all fairness, Sid has begun to use 'aap' and 'hum' quite a lot since he married me.
I laughed.
'Did you?'
'I am from Rawalpindi...and I had no doubt bhai jaan is from Karachi. I told Patel bhai also' he said pointing to the other worker 'that this couple is from Pakistan'
I smiled.
'Then' chipped in Patel Bhai 'when we were painting the cupboard, I saw Lakshmi ganpati and I knew you are from India'

We are so similar that even we are not sure which side of the border the other one comes from.
And as Ma remarked, sometimes religion, which intends to unite, ends up dividing.


I was in the IKEA store, tired after a very long day at work, waiting for Sid to join me. I decided to head to their cafeteria and have something to eat.
After looking at the food , I decided the safest option was chips. You can never really go wrong with that.
'Can I have some chips, please' I said without looking up.
'You sure can' came a bright voice. I was too tired to look.
'Thanks' I said when the chips appeared.
'Not a problem. Have a nice evening, Madam'
'You too' I said politely and was about to head off.
'You first' he said.
I looked up startled. A handsome young man stood infront of me smiling a warm smile.
Exhausted, tired and cranky yet I laughed.
'See' he said pointing a finger at me ' I made you smile'

Even now, a few days later, I still smile each time I think of the little incident.


I was in the lift. My Nokia Lumia in one hand and iphone in the other. The lift stopped and an elderly man enetered it. I cast one look at him and went back to my phones.
Just as I was about to leave the lift, he spoke up./
'If you hand another hand, you would have another phone, would not you?'
I paused and reflected.
'Most probably, yes' I said grinning.
He shook his head and gave me a 'you-younger-lot' look.


I do not want to generalise, but Indian men...*sigh* are...*sigh*
So these two young men,  late twenties I would imagine, investment banker types, Indian, were in the train with me. And you know how it is in the tube, everyone looks at everyone but pretends they are not. I soon busied myself in my book and regained consciousness (;) ) only when the train had reached my stop and it was time to change trains.
The men left the train with me. It is a busy station and in the crowds that thronged around us, I found myself just a few feet away from the indian men. And I realised with a start that they were talking about me! In Hindi and loud enough for me to hear every word.
They concluded that I looked intelligent. One man rated me higher in the looks department than a white girl who had been standing next to me in the train but the other man disagreed.The checked my hand for a ring and found none. One of them commented on how seedhi saadhi I looked. They wondered if I have just finished studying and am probably an intern in a bank or something (smug look- meri twacha se meri umra ka pata hi nahi chalta). Then the first man, the one who had rated me higher than the other girl, decided he wanted to ask me out. His friend egged him on and told him to seize the moment and the girl (Which had me very worried for a moment!). They concluded that i was probably Italian but he could convince his mother that I was indian because I did look a little bit indian. (Really?) By that time we had walked to a part of the underground where I had to take a left and the men, I could guess from their body language, had to take a right.
The men hesitated waiting to see if I took the same lane as them.
With a swift turn, I faced the men. Cleared my throat and spoke in clear hindi to a stunned audience of two indian men.
'Sudhar jao, mere dost. Aese koh ladaki nahi milne wali'
The men stared open mouthed. I tossed my hair, and walked off into the sunset, my high heels clanking against the floor. In my imagination fireworks filled the sky and I found it difficult to wipe the smirk off my face the whole day that day.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I am now part of their story!

Today was sunny and on sunny days London blossoms into a stunning, gorgeous beauty, much like a woman  under the admiring gaze of the man she loves. On such days, I often find myself in our little balcony, staring not only at the river that glistens in the sun, but also at the families that troop by laughing, talking and enjoying the day.

Sid had gone out for a run and i was about to start my 40 minute yoga session when my eyes fell on a couple by the river.

I often see couples by the river but the moment I set eyes on them, I knew something soecial was going on. It took me but a few seconds to figure out that the man had just proposed. The girl, taken aback but visibly over the moon with joy, obviously had said yes and was laughing and crying as they stared at the new ring on her finger. I tried hard to not stare. The couple kissed about 200 times in a matter of ten minutes. The  man wiped tears off the girl's face and then a little later i saw the girl wipe tears off the man's face. He kissed her on her lips and when that did not seem enough, he planted tender kisses on her forehead. He held her and hugged her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled and cried. Together they stared at her hand admiring the ring that i have no doubt shone in the Sun. Even from a distance I could make out her expression, i could imagine her tears and i could sense her happiness.

Like, i said, i tried hard to not stare yet i stared for the moment was so beautiful and the couple was so much in love that i found it impossible to peel my eyes away. It was a private and a very special moment and I felt like an outsider (which I obviously was, but who cares!!)

And , in this day and age what do you do when something special happens around you?

You whisk out your iphone and click pictures and that is what i did. I clicked a few pictures and tried to forget about the couple. Afterall, it was their moment!

Only i could not, they were still there , staring intermittently at the ring on the girls finger and the river, still mumbling sweet nothings to one another. I flicked through the pictures and knew in that moment that were i that girl, i would love to have those pictures.

Of course going over to the couple to give them the pictures seemed weird. No one does that in London. We all pretend that we do not have eyes.

I decided to wait for 5 minutes. If the couple were still there, i would go them.

As i readied for yoga, i kept an eye out on the couple. They stood there, talking and laughing. They tried taking selfies which the girl seemed dissatisfied with. Then they asked another man with a baby in a pram to click a picture of them. Then they took pictures of each other. And i stared at what i felt was a beautiful picture of them on my phone and felt my heart bleed.

In london you do not interfere with what others are doing, a voice in my head said warningly.

'WHat the heck, I am Indian!' said the other part of my brain.

I threw on a coat, put on slippers and dashed out of the house. I ran to the startled couple and said ' Excuse me, I live in the house there' pointing to my house ' and was in the balcony taking pictures of the sunny day when i witnessed something special. I have some pictures of the two of you, would you like to have them?'

'Oh my God' the girl squealed, her eyes already wet as she stared at the pics on my phone.
'This is so special, this is so special' she kept mumbling.

I was so excited for the couple that i seemed to be taking ages to send a simple email to the man's ID with the pictures as attachment. I finally handed my phone to the guy who, as men generally are, seemed to be the only with his wits about him (I certainly did not :) )  They both thanked me profusely and I congratulated the couple.

I leave you with two of those pictures. I think they are beautiful mainly because that the two of them were madly in love was obvious even from a distance. And love can make life extra ordinary. Let alone a picture.

My heart felt very full, still does even though the incident happened a couple of hours ago. The Sun shone in all its glory; the Thames sparkled as if jewels were strew all across it; and the two of them stood there wrapped in love...

It was a special day for them and a special day for me too! I wish them all the happiness in their life together :)


Sunday, March 02, 2014


The fun bit about no longer being 16 is that you can pretend to be all wise and talk about how life has taught you stuff. Here are some things I try and NOT do. I am sharing some of them here, for your benefit and mine

Read on to see if you find takeaways ( I hope you do!)

  1. Don't judge people. They all have stories and some of them are more horrific that yours ever will be.
  2. Don't ignore your soul. Ever since I was small, I have been aware of how my body is different from my soul. We all do so much for our body- the medical check ups, the vitamin tablets, the exercise. We forget that we have a soul that needs attention and nourishment. When I stop outside of the tube station and stare at the flowers, I am feeding my soul. When I open my hair on a windy day and let the winds play with it, I do it for my soul. When I sit back and embroider a flower, I do it for my soul...When I write, I do it for my soul. When I act with grace and not scream at the random man on the tube who is being rude, I do it for my soul.
  3. Don't forget that there are other people around you. Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself, I get up and do something for someone else that makes them feel special. Nothing big, but  maybe bake someone a cake, give someone a well deserved compliment or even something as small as calling someone up and asking them about their new house or new baby or new job. Everyone is looking for affirmation of their existence and in validating others you uplift your own mood and soul.
  4. I try hard to not say mean, discouraging things. To anyone. I firmly believe that words have a lot of power and they should be used only to uplift yourself and those around you.
  5. Do not be jealous. When something nice happens to you, don't you wish people would congratulate you and mean it? Be that person.
  6. Don't try too hard to be friends. If it is not working out or if you finish each conversation with a bad taste in your mouth, just let them be. You guys are not meant to be friends; accept that.
  7. Don't be negative. By being negative you are telling the universe to send all its negative energies towards you. Also, no one will want to be around you because we all naturally gravitate towards happy, life affirming energies.
  8. Don't betray yourself. My biggest responsibility , and I think that it is true for everyone, is to bring out the best in me. No one else has that responsibility and I owe it to myself to become the best person I can be. 
  9. Don't ignore your mental health. It is as , if not more, important than physical health. Surround yourself with well meaning people who encourage you and see you in a positive light.
  10. Don't fear. Fear cripples. Fear weakens. Fear gnaws at your soul. Fear stops you from becoming the person are meant to be. So don't fear anything. Whatever is meant to happen will and if it is something bad you will face it, battle it and come out of it shinning.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Every once in a while it is okay to...

To not make every moment count. To not live every moment. To not be alive every moment. To just let time be.
To not hurry. to not catch up. To not run. To not chase. To just walk. 
To not shout. To not holler. To not be heard. To just listen.
To not shine. To not outshine. To just applaud.
To not measure. To not want. To not want more. To just breathe.
To not create. To not critique. To not improvise. To just appreciate.
To not get. To not receive. To not ask. To just not bother.
To not do better. to not improve. To just be bad.
To not achieve. To not do. To not do more. To observe.
To not wonder. To not think. To not overthink. To be at peace.

Every once in a while, it is okay to just be.
Every once in a while, it is okay to just be.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Times Table

Recently, while in India, I had to live through (could not find a better word) about 10 minutes of extreme anxiety.

How I dealt with that time surprised me.

From somewhere deep within, as my  mind grew more and more anxious, the brain devised a solution for itself.

I spent the better part of the ten minutes doing mental maths.

I calculated the times table from 16 to 23. I am quite good with maths and as my brain voluntarily occupied itself with the complexities of multiplying 17 by 8 (136, by the way, comes instantly to mind and I am not showing off here), my body relaxed as if someone had done some magic.

Before I resorted to mental maths I had tried deep breathing, visualising etc etc. All had failed in seconds. Mental maths took me through till the end :)

It is funny, is not it, the things that your mind can find comforting.

I was wondering if others have had similar experiences and if so what finally worked?