Thursday, November 30, 2006

The one where it all ends

  1. Yipee .. I posted every single day this month!
  2. One month went by pretty fast. And this doesn't seem so long back.
  3. Posting everyday has been tough - sometimes because there were too many people around and it was difficult to log on without anyone noticing.
  4. Also, at times I didn't have anything to say. Well .. I surprised my talkative self. Seems I don't have that much to say after all.
  5. This month had the usual ups and downs .. . but with greater amplitude.
  6. I discovered grey hair, a rat in the kitchen and that I can run 1km if I try really hard
  7. I took some nice photographs and used them to fill posts when I had nothing to say.
  8. I met more strange people. . which was not nice
  9. And some old friends.. which was nice.
  10. In school we were told never to use 'nice', its too generic. We did exercises where we had to replace entire paragraphs full of nice, with more appropriate adjectives.
  11. I am not in school any more.. so I get to be lazy and use 'nice'.
  12. I made two important resolutions for turning 30 - I'll run 10k and get to my ideal weight. Both are very very difficult. At the moment they seem impossible.
  13. Also, turning 30 is not as big a deal as I am making it out to be.
  14. However, by making it a big deal am hoping to get friends to come over. So will be nice anyway .
  15. Some random facts now since I need to fill 29 bullet points
  16. There's no real reason why I need to fill 29 points.. just that I started on that note and would like to end the month with it.
  17. Random Fact - I had short hair all through school because I was very finicky about how it should be tied and my mother didn't have the patience to deal with my tantrums each morning.
  18. After a point I just liked the short hair and so it stayed that way.
  19. That was all through my teenage years when I also refused to wear anything but jeans.
  20. That streak still remains (about wearing only jeans). Except that I cave in on formal occasions
  21. I had once promised myself that I'd do a course on make-up. I did nothing but continue to be fascinated by how make up can transform people.
  22. I just found out that B is getting me an anniversary present, Christmas present and a New Year present. Now that's a lot of pressure .. since I can only think of one present.
  23. Why can't I think of more presents? There was a time I had gone to meet B on a vacation and carried one present for each day !!
  24. I think I am becoming dumber over the years - actually, I'm sure about it.
  25. I am in awe of people who are good at Math, Music and Art.
  26. Needless to add .. I am not good at any of the above.
  27. I am still trying to figure out what it is that I am good at.
  28. I'm taking a breather for the next few days. Have absolutely maxed out on things to say.
  29. Now I can sleep in peace - I filled 29 bullet points. And unless I am addicted.. I'll be back after a break.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I gotta get my life some writers

Everything is so messed up. Why can't life be like a nice sitcom .. where you can go from being waitress to two top fashion houses fighting for you. And solutions appear to all problems at the end of the designated 30 minutes.

I so want to fast forward my life to a time when my problems have all been solved and things are smooth sailing. .or better still .. just rewind to happier times.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wish there was an exchange offer

. . between my weight and money. I could do with a LOT less weight.. and that would mean a lot more money. Perfect. Sadly, there's no where I can cash in .. and instead to lose the weight I need to lose more even more money.

My mother had the perfect trick to ensure that we were not overweight kids - one, we had an awful cook and two, she didn't believe in the concept of snacking. So if you were hungry the only choices were carrots and tomatoes.. so no one really ate unless they were very hungry. This routine worked perfectly .. and we never even took our weight. Its a different issue and that even then I thought I was fat and now when I look at my school uniform I wonder how anything more than my finger went through.

As the total opposite of my good food deprived childhood I took to eating nonsense the day I started working. Added to that I lived alone and had Maggi every night for dinner .. which I now realize was the worst thing I could have done to myself. 10 years of junk eating has added up very badly and now I suffer. Gym, soups. salads .. but there's barely any difference. So for my 30th birthday I have a resolution. To get close to my ideal weight. Its going to be very very tough given what foodies B and I are. . and its a long long long road.. but it must be done. This year has been such a loser year .. have to make up for it in 2007. B is helping with an ever romantic anniversary present - a personal trainer for a year. I initially had a long list of plans for when I turn 30 .. now its narrowing down to a few focussed ideas. . but this one is going to be by far the most difficult one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thorny Issues

Yesterday, B and I had a silly fight over money. Well .. it started with me proposing to go for a play this week. We had initially budgeted for one play (similar expense) a month and this month, have already gone for something. So B felt we should exercise restraint. Then it degenerated into pointing each others extravagances (which collectively adds up to quite a bit). Once silly fight was done with every stupid expense pointed out and ripped to shreds, we started seriously discussing finances (something we rarely do).

At the end of our respective 5 years each of working we have shockingly low savings. Well .. its not shockingly low.. its just zero. Its not like we've wasted money .. but there's always a good reason - the wedding, studying, holidays .. it all adds up. And moving to London has not helped. We just figured that our estimated expense for next year is marginally more than the earning. We have a brilliant game plan for saving though.. once I start working (whenever that f-i-n-a-l-l-y happens) we will save my salary.. so we atleast have some savings when we retire. However, I see a lot of discipline and arguments in the future, if we are to implement this plan. And for now, we have the unpleasant task of prioritizing expenses .. since doesn't look like these happy-go-lucky times can be continued for much longer.

All this looks worse in perspective of the financial planning of some friends. I have friends who are well into house mortgages and stuff. .and unless my degree can sell for an equivalent amount.. at the moment the returns are not looking too great. So tough times ahead and thorny issues to be dealt with - not much fun.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Present Ma'am

This feels like coming into class five minutes before the bell just to give attendance. The last few days have been a lot of fun and terribly busy.

The gist - sleeping at 2am every night and thereby being terribly short on sleep, making a 100 cups of tea and then washing the 100 cups, hosting a dinner and a lunch for a big group - more cooking and dish-washing, taking everyone on long walks around the city - I now have fixed routes! ... and a lot more.

Very sleepy and tired now.. and feeling happy about everyone visiting .. but sad that the holiday is over.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Just do it!

Yipee .. and the little victory dance! I ran the 1km.

It wasn’t so bad after all. My feet were aching after 500m .. I kept staring at the monitor to will it to magically become a kilometre .. sadly magic did not happen.. but hard work did. I shall now work at keeping it up and increasing it. Eventually one day I’d really like to run a marathon .. but that’s quite far .. for now .. my next milestone is 2.5km and then 5km. And next year .. part of my many ‘Things to do by thirty’ .. is running a 10K run. Well’s unlikely to happen before I’m 30 .. but certainly should before I cross into 31. Well, all these are still tall plans far it’s just been 1km … there’s still ‘miles to go before I sleep’.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bad genes, Bad feet, Bad shoes

I have really bad feet.

How I admire dainty feet in strappy sandals. If I even try something dainty or strappy my feet look like blobs (or as my mum says – they look like pieces of dressed mutton). And it’s not just the blobby muttony feet which are a problem. To make it worse I have totally flat feet and a bunion – all of which results in my feet aching whenever I walk a lot or try to run and I have to beg B ( or anyone I can convince ) to press my feet. Infact, if someone would invent a feet presser (not those silly massagers), I think I’d be ready to trade diamonds for it.

The other fall out of bad feet is that I absolutely hate shoe shopping. Nothing ever looks good anyway. And with an exception to sneakers, all shoes make my feet hurt. It’s only in my dirty old sneakers that I can walk and walk and walk and how I wish I could wear them all the time. But they, look so out of place most of the time .. and so not in fashion .. most often it’s comfort over looks, for me.

The other problem - I can’t run. At all. However, I shall try not to be daunted and really want to be able to go jogging and the likes. B is trying hard to bribe me.. and he says I can get custom made running shoes if I run a kilometre .. even if its on the treadmill. I’ve tried a bit.. and give up very soon.. either my feet give up or I am too breathless. But have decided that I will try at the gym today .. and continue no matter what (unless I collapse or something .. which is unlikely, given it’s just a kilometre!). So bad feet or not - 1 km .. here I come!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Back to square one

The whole pain of waking up was magically solved when the clock turned back. I was so happy to be once again waking up in daylight (though the early evening was a little disconcerting). And now, once again, it’s back to square one. Struggling to get up in the dark. Now the evenings are even earlier and I suppose till 22nd Dec it just keeps getting worse. And though sleep cycles and all are supposed to be by the clock ..I am totally disoriented and start feeling sleepy after a few hours of darkness .. which no longer makes sense. Must be my ‘Pea’ brain. Very irritating.

But then, as a friend says, ‘If you don’t go through the winter, how will you appreciate summer’.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Good times

Posting everyday is getting tougher and tougher. First the weekends to tackle and now a house full of guests. This time, full is literally full .. I have six college friends over and given the size of London houses it’s bursting at the seams. Inspite of the chaos, I am totally loving it. After ages I’ve had so many close friends together at the same time. The coffee and gossip is endless. At times I become silent and look around the room and soak in the chatting and laughter.

We know a lot of people in London., have a regular set of friends but no one I am particularly close to. I miss that. We never have a dull weekend, but it’s rare now to have a lot of people with who I am totally comfortable and not watching what I say. Okay, I seem to be back to crib, crib crib. So this is where I go back ..join everyone and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I spent the day with a school friend who has a two year old child and I am pleasantly surprised. My previous experience of meeting friends with kids has not been too great. They'd often be super child involved .. who would also be the sole topic of conversation (often because of their cute antics .. but still .. there is that much of the child's dancing and clapping that I am interested in). I then generalized to imagine all parents to be the same and had given up on hope for much 'non kiddie' conversation when I met a parent.

I stand corrected. The friends who had come over on Sunday did not make the kid sing and dance for our entertainment (or boredom). The child found his joy in stationery and he was left to play with it and their involvement was more in terms of keeping an eye out for him not walking into a shelf full of glasses. Today, I was even more impressed. I went out with a friend and her two year old daughter. We visited an exhibition .. where the ultra silent halls were sometimes broken by the childish excitement of the girl pointing out an elephant .. but that apart she was fairly quiet. Her mother patiently kept her involved by pointing out some paintings and when she got bored she just played with her doll. Except for when she was being fed (when she was a total brat and her mother was the picture of patience) I was most impressed with both kid and mommy. We chatted for a long time over coffee about life and such.. the girl played with her stroller, doll and all else that could be played with. She'd touch the floor and then stuff her hand into her mouth, sniffle a bit because of the cold one point I looked worried and her mother just said that there's nothing to worry ..she's just being a normal two year old. Which is so true, except the last time I was around a 2 year old ..her mom wanted to put her into some sterile bubble and shield her from the world of germs ..which made me wonder at what her immune system would be like after she grew up!

For both friends, I can see how much their lives have changed with the child (for one, they have to worry about school catchment areas and not just areas with good pubs!) .. but its not like they have moved into a different world. Not that we've even come to a decision about whether we want to have kids. But its good to see that perhaps if we do .. we might just be able to continue with our lives.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Through my Lens - Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus

Now that I have a fair bit of time at hand, I've gone out some days with my camera clicking pictures around town. I initially wanted to make a series in black and white around London. Have done some areas. Also, some pictures just look much better in colour. Here are a few photographs from a recent picture taking outing to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Leicester Square tube station

I hadn't seen so many of these hand-held board ads till I came to London.

One of the many many shops selling tickets in the area.

And one of the many many souvenir stores

Leicester Square. I sat there reading for a while. It was nice with all the buzz around. The lunch goers rushing about on the break from work and the more leisurely tourists. This is also my favourite photograph from the day.

Piccadilly Circus. Crowded as usual. There are more pictures here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekend once more

I have a serious lack of time and ideas.

Just finished clearing up the house from the storm of hosting some friends for lunch. The pile of dishes to be washed looks too tormenting.. so am taking a break to keep up the daily posting promise ..and recharge my batteries.

Once again, its a weekend with a huge dearth of sleep. Whenever I invite someone for lunch, the previous night gets stretched to sleeping at dawn and my cooking for lunch memories are a feeling of being hungover .. due to tremendous lack of sleep ..and a fair bit of alcohol. This happens .. always! So how could yesterday be an exception. There was an impromptu get together at a friends place at midnight. Obviously, when you meet at midnight go home not before 4am. . and after that we had to be up by 9am to cook ..since Ms Super Planner Me had not cooked in advance.

Well, lunch turned out ok. Also realized that our house is not a very baby friendly place. These friends who had come have a 1.5 year old son. After he arrives and starts his Magellanic expeditions it strikes me that not only is most of our living room done up in cream ..we also have an inordinate amount of knick knacks all over the floor and other low lying levels. (Can't stop laughing when I think of them going to a common friends place whose whole house is spotless white. Evil chuckles!) Thankfully, this was one of the best behaved boys I've met.. he didn't have destructive tendencies. We didn't need to shift a thing becuase when his parents told him not to pull at something.. he actually listened. Though there were moments when his hand was poised an inch above the cream sofa with a black permanent marker and I would give an involuntary shriek. All is well and they left with no destruction.. though he left all the stationary from my table, all over the house. I have no energy left now to put things back in the right place. Given that another 2 year old is coming tomorrow, the lazy side of me (that's most of me) is thinking that I'll just clear up after she leaves so everything is set at one go.

Well turns out even when I have nothing to say I can ramble. . and however much I'd like to continue rambling.. must go and clean those dishes and start cooking once again .. for tomorrow is another day and another dinner.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Country roads, take me home

Wish you could see the dance I am doing while typing this. I can barely sit still .. because..... in a few weeks ... I going.. home. Yipee!

To me, going home.. always.. always.. means going to my parents place. Maybe its because I've been away since college and that's where the whole 'going home' excitement started. Ofcourse, I love our home here and all that .. but its a whole different thing being pampered by grandmothers .. and lazing in your old room. Added to that, my sister is coming .. which is a much rarer thing than me landing up every 6 - 8 months.

I have already started stocking up on loads of presents. Till now we'd been uncertain about whether we would go .. but now it seems much more likely.. so present shopping can get ramped up. People also send strange lists - cheese, chocolates (I hate it .. since you get Toblerone and Lindt in India and its so heavy to carry .. the only things that beat it are soaps and shampoos) ..tinned fish!.. dish washing sponges .. you get the drift.
This time we are even carrying a duvet for someone! But when I know I am going home.. I am indulgent of all such demands .. because I know .. that soon .... I'll be sleeping in my old old bed again.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Making of the houswife

The many months of not working is taking its toll in small ways. I just realised I'm becoming either a housewife or a retired person. Well ..since retirement is still some time away ..housewife it is. So here's how I realise it.

A few days back Tesco's sent some coupons out with the club card statement. To begin with, I a-l-w-a-y-s carry the club card to get those teeny tiny points which are a miniscule percentage of what your spend in exchange of valuable insights into your shopping habits. Anyway, so the statement arrives and first I inspect it to ensure that all my points have been dutifully recorded and not even one-tenth of a decimal point has been lost. Then I carefully read the accompanying literature gain more 'information' on what items are on sale. After this,
with immense glee , I discover the coupons .. immediately making notes of when I'll use what to get 'double' points. And finally I keep the coupons safely on the refrigerator so that I do not forget them the next time I go shopping.

This is the point marketing class starts flashing in front of my eyes. Coupons being a common tool for price discrimination ..and blah blah blah .. and ... the target audience often being housewives and retired people who might be typically more price conscious ..and also have the time to compare prices across stores.

That sounds familiar .. I have found out that if you have a res card you can get discounts on films from the council library ..and that anyway you can borrow the latest films from the council library at half the price compared to the big commercial chains. And now I must go ..because there is the shiny 50 page pdf file that beckons with all the discounts I can get with my new res card.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

There are few stories that have moved me more. Its a little long, but do read it.

To me, this is the ultimate story of the love of a parent .. and sheer will power. I wanted to write something more.. but I feel anything I say ..would appear too trivial.

This video brought tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Today am feeling worse. I tried calling the NHS medical centre with which I am registered. In true govt style, I did not get through. So dragged myself over hoping that my picture of pain would induce some pity and get me an appointment. The person at the desk looked at me as if I am the biggest hypochondriac ever, so much for hoping to induce sympathy! I was given an emergency appointment for an hour later. In saying emergency she gave me a sterner look. Well I thought it was emergency enough since I can't get hold of my antibiotics till they give me a prescription. Ofcourse, she added that unless I look like I am wheezing to death they would not give me antibiotics (no idea how she read my mind!). With that I retired into the corner she pointed me to.

The only other patients were the really old people coming in for their free flu shots. . and some screaming babies who could express their agony more freely than me. Reception lady continued her mean, meaner, meanest treatment on most people except those who were old. Wonder if she would be more sympathetic if I had pointed out my grey hair(s).

I had not anticipated such a long wait so had not been smart enough to carry a book. Instead, I read leaflets on Depression, Problems of Overweight, Diabetes, Flu, Booklet of free vouchers from Mothercare (I was really bored, and the magazines looked even more boring than reading about symptoms of Diabetes) .. and a book on common ailments which specifically mentioned that when you have a cold and sore throat you should go to the pharmacist and not to the doctor. By now I had visions of he doctor scolding me for coming in and wasting his time and was thinking of an escape route. Thankfully my cold induced head was too numb, so I just stayed.

Finally 2 hours later I was called. The doctor looked me up and down. Then peered down my throat and my ears (I have a ear ache too) .. and that's it. He said it was an infection and then typed out a prescription. I felt so cheated .. after two hours.. all it took was two minutes. At any rate, I got what I had gone for, a one week course of Amoxycillin. I know it'll work .. I have this kind of thing once - twice a year and my family doctor no longer even asks me to go over but just gives the prescription over the phone.

Hope I recover soon. But till then may as well cash-in on some pampering. Yesterday I had some amazing tomato soup from M&S - something called Vine tomato with pesto. I also made some stir fry noodles. Tonight, B has promised me ultimate comfort food - khichdi. Now that you know everything about my runny nose, sore throat and ear ache, I can retire under my comforter and read 'The Piano Tuner', my latest acquisition from the council library.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


That's how I am feeling right now. Finally the season change has caught up with me. Sore throat, runny nose and general sleepiness. Want to go under the duvet - forever!

This week I had got lilies for my room. They took forever to bloom. But finally one of the buds opened today .. it's looking nice and bright. Adding some cheer to the otherwise sick feeling.

Even now, when I'm sick, I miss my mother. Am very '5 year old' about it. Partly because she has a cure for everything. . and because she makes yummy soup when I have a sore throat.. which I invariably do a few times every year. No mommy here at the moment .. just hope M&S has some good soup.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Through my lens - Putney to Richmond

Saturday, after lunch B and I set out to walk from Putney to Richmond. It was a stretch on the Thames Path and given it was along the river, obviously one could not get lost. I also had a clear destination in mind - White Cross, the pub by the river in Richmond. Brilliant as we are, we forgot to take into account that it gets dark by 4:30 and not really such a smart idea to start the walk at 3:00. Neither had we looked up whether the path is likely to be flooded, as it does so during high tide. Thankfully, we were lucky on that count. The route was very scenic. Though by mid way point it became totally dark. So we only saw shadowy outlines of Kew Gardens and the Old Deer Park. We also wondered whether the place was safe or would we become a crime statistic. We even worked out a strategy incase of an attack - we give everything and ask to keep our Oyster Card since we didn't really want to have to walk home from Richmond. Thankfully we didn't have to put any such ideas to test and got to White Cross, had a drink and then got back safely .. after walking the entire 15.7 km ..and feeling quite kicked at having being able to complete it!

Here are some pictures -

Starting out. A church near Putney Bridge station.

Thames, near Putney

A park along the way. Loved the colours.

The Thames Path. Most of route is like this. It was very peaceful and pretty. It seemed to be in the flightpath since Heathrow is pretty close. The peace and quiet would be broken ever so often by a plane going overhead.

Pretty boats in the river. There were also lots of people rowing.

One of the last few pictures. It got dark pretty soon, so the camera had to be put away.

There were many pubs along the way. Looked most tempting. This one looked particularly pretty.

Warning signs. Seemed funny, but don't think I'd be the one laughing if it was my car that was submerged.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Am so tired.

The walk happened. We went from Putney to Richmond. More on this later. I like walking and have found a nice website called Walk It. It gives you the walking route between places and to add a feel good factor even gives the calories burnt and amount of CO2 avoided. I've used it once, it's useful since it gives a map and written directions. One slightly scary thing, the website requests feedback about a wrong route. That doesn't sound too good. After walking two hours I don't want to find out that I walked to some wrong place.

Picture session happened. We finally decided on taking sunrise pictures. Will post pictures soon, from both the walk and the sunrise.

Concert was fabulous. I l-o-v-e-d the Royal Albert Hall!

And now, I go to sleep .. very very tired. Would not have written today if it hadn't been for NaBloPoMO, but didn't want to break the chain. Hope to make up for such a lame post with some nice pictures later. Good night!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Wicked Witch of the Gym

I swear that Abs class woman is the devil in disguise!

Recently B and I decided that we must go for some of the classes to add variety to our gym sessions .. and also to do a little more than wish away the flab. Thanks to the set of brilliant genes passes on by my parents, even when I was t-h-i-n I never had one of those enviable washboard tummys. Till now, I had done little else other than curse the genes, so Abs class and the visions of flat tummy called out to me. Armed with enthusiasm and a towel I arrived in the class after my usual cardio work out. I should have anticipated that the super thin enthu-cutlet model types would arrive way before the class starts and set up shop right in front. The first day was more a neck exercise, twisting and turning to see what the instructor was doing. Not that I could keep up anyway. She was just pure evil. Half an hour of non stop torture . . set to super fast music. And incase you wanted to slack ..she would not just point you out.. but do that into her microphone, just incase someone at some far corner of the gym had missed out that you were trying to slack between crunches. Needless to say, the day after our first session it hurt even to laugh.

The proportion of satisfaction is directly correlated to the pain .. and we are in self indulgent belief that if it hurts so much, it must be good. And that has taken us back .. for the last two weeks .. no results to show so far.. but hope.. and the wicked witch ensure that twice a week I think before I laugh. So off we go now for another half hour of self inflicted torture.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yapitty Yap

I feel like talking to someone .. but can't think of anyone to call .. so I write. Does that take my life to a new height of uncoolness?

Finally its Friday. I am amazed at how I still have the Friday excitement thing going. Well it does have it's high points for me. Its day off from gym. So there's a full evening ahead to be exploited. Also, this week in some crazy enthusiasm we cooked each night. And Indian food at that. This is massive progress .. since normally our dinner consists of salads, soups, pasta or take aways. . anything that can be cooked in 15 minutes. Add to that 10 minutes to clean the kitchen . . to anitseptic clean . . given its just 3 dishes and that's it. Good healthy dinners, minimal time, and a life even after getting home at 9 after the gym.

However, couple of weeks back we discovered the evil Tesco Online. It offers huge variety and drops stuff home (we really behaved like someone was giving stuff away for free, but then after seeing bhindi available some place it was too much temptation. Our local store has only zucchinis, avacados and and loads of stuff I have no idea what to do with and could care even less to find out). So in a moment of giddy enthusiasm we ordered kilos of ingredients (vegetables, meat etc including atta to make fresh chappatis - no idea what we were thinking). Who were we kidding? After a week of avoiding it, things had to be cooked or thrown. Ofcourse it's heartless to throw, so all week we've been making nice fresh home cooked Indian food. Result - No life, since it takes an hour to cook and then another half hour to eat and then clean the mountain of dishes and its nearly time to go to sleep. And the cruellest blow of all - we've both gained weight with all the over-eating. So as of next week .. back to good ol salad, soup routine. Works best for us lazy people.

I was so looking forward to going out tonight and getting drunk .. (trashed would a more appropriate description of what I am aiming for) to the world and worries. However, in true style of our Friday evening conflict, B wants to crash at home over a film since he's had a very bad week. But I stay home a lot really want to see the outside world! I really have got to get a life!

So I suppose it's going to soup for dinner and some random film. Maybe we can figure out how to turn on the heating.. or pay off the bills for the month. Sigh feeling old and grown up. Fun weekend coming up though.. a long walk along the river, photo session being planned with a friend (not of ourselves ofcourse .. but buildings and such) and a concert on Sunday .. so it's not all bad.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday T

Through many years and ups and downs .. I've always counted on TR. T and I met when both of us happened to be at a common friend's place one weekend many years ago. He was the shy guy who watched sat in a corner drinking beer, glued to the sports channel and answered in monosyllables.

Initially we'd meet up every weekend.. only because we had this common friend whose house we'd be hanging out in all the time. The monosyllables grew into phrases and then slightly longer conversations. At some point this common friend was no longer around but T and I kept in touch. It was also when I was going through a terrible phase with things and needed someone to talk sense into me and a shoulder to cry on. I never realized that T and I started hanging out every weekend because he was being there for me (self glorification, I thought I was charming company!). Over time he became one of my closest friends. He's also one of the most sensible people I know .. and helped me think of my career change, work on my apps etc. T has this philosophy that friendship is very transient based on people around us and once we move away it'll fade away (something I have spent many hours arguing against). Well .. hope I have also proven it wrong. We've been in different cities for a while now .. but still very much in touch. Today is T's birthday. I called at midnight his time and as with our old birthday tradition .. everyone was at a bar/club bringing it in. I soo wished I could have been there too. Next year all of us turn 30. I know it's not a big deal .. but feels landmark, this is the last of the twenties.

T is also very pro arranged marriage (again another major point of disagreement between us) and by his next birthday in all likelihood he'll be married. I really hope the person marries him for who he is and not his 'degrees'. Nor that she rolls her eyes at people drinking and the likes. Another friend had gotten married and promptly became a 'oh-my-wife-doesn't-like-drinking-lets-go-to-watch-latest- bollywood- flick-instead' guy. Fingers crossed at T getting cool wife.. and hope he doesn't become this stranger who no longer keeps in touch. Buts that's for time to tell. Whatever happens .. I wish the best for him.

Happy Birthday .. to a great guy .. a good friend.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bad Mood

It's been one of those super irritating days when I have had enough. All the greyness is not helping either. I feel like watching some cheesy film and drowning in chocolate. Well, am going to do neither .. except maybe scream a bit and bore you with details, to vent the frustration.

The day started with meeting a couple of opinionated bozos about a job. They behaved like they did rocket science or something, given the amount of suspicion they had in my ability to do the work. Especially when the work is fairly similar to what I did earlier and give me three months and I would surely be able to master it. So much for my confidence, because they dinged (rejected) me across the table. Not that I felt too bad because I would have hated the job anyway, but my ego is hurt, since, they got to reject me and not the other way round.

Oh ..and later I met the most frustrating person .. again job related. Totally futile meeting.. and was asked every personal question in the book .. short of B's salary because by then I had kinda reached the end of my patience and gently (or maybe not so gently) brought back focus to the topic at hand. An extract ..

NP (Nosey Parker): Nice meeting you etc etc
Me: Blah blah .. (discussion on my move to the UK, visa status etc)
NP: Oh you're married (from discussion around visa and move etc). What was your name before you got married?
Me: Irrelevant to job .. but ok will humour you. My name was the same Pea C (which is the same as my cv since I have not changed it.)
NP: Completely blank look
Me: Indulgently explaining. I use my maiden name. Not changed it. In my mind - Got it?, dim wit
NP: No .. but what would your name be after marriage
Me: Frustration rising very fast. It would be the same - Pea C.
The last two lines get repeated three times. Till I spell out that Bee K is husbands name, Pea C is mine (adding the look 'don't even try calling me Pea K because then I'll just whack you right here') - wondering how on earth any of this is relevant.This was followed by where B works..whether he's in the IT division and blah blah. I seriously started doubting if NP was considering me for the job or B.

Anyone want to guess NP's nationality?

If everything is supposed to happen for a reason ..and there's something better ahead for me.. it better include a million dollar jackpot .. because otherwise.. this seems soo not worth it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In a land far far away

I was near Piccadilly Circus today when I suddenly spotted a Chinese grocery store. Childlike excitement gripped me at the sight of dried mushrooms and black beans. Who would have guessed that a a store full of chives and soya sauce would one day be my Disneyland. I went to the basement and loaded up as much as could be carried in one basket. I hadn't realised till we came here how much we had gotten used to some of the local products we had started using. . nor, that someday my day would be made at the sight of chilli oil and wasabi peas.

Groceries packed, I went to the billing counter. An old Chinese couple put everything into bags which I thought wouldn't hold up even till the tube station. In all my bubbling excitement I hesitantly said thank you in Mandarin (one of the the three word vocabulary I have of the language - the others are 'hello' and 'goodbye'). I should have anticipated the shock (Indian woman all the way in London spouting one word knowledge of Mandarin). Followed by animated chatting. I told them I used to live in South East Asia and they told me where they were from (all of this ofcourse in English). I left with a smile inside me .. and a plan to go back for all the goodies that I couldn't stuff into the basket today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sometimes . . .

It is not such a smart idea to start reading old mails. Just realized that instead of focussing on the work at hand, I spent the last two hours reading mails from a close group of friends. They were lying forgotten in my mailbox and I came across one when I was searching for something . . and that started the thread ..and then it was one more and then one more and then a little bit longer ..and soon two hours had passed!

I am torn between laughing at my stupidity and feeling bad for some stuff which I went through. I had gone through a very bad phase about five years back ..and at that time was miserable. A close friend used to tell me to relax and that I would laugh about it five years hence. So true, I am totally cracking up. Can't believe some of the mails I had written - damn 'reply with history'.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Through my lens - Guy Fawkes Day

Guy Fawkes Day is one of my many Enid Blyton associations. I imagined it was like Dussehra except that they burnt the effigy of Guy Fawkes. I was quite excited about going to one of the parks for the bonfire and fireworks. We finally decided on Battersea Park because it would be convenient. Ofcourse we totally forgot to take into account the magnitude of the crowd. It was quite a nightmare getting there and back. We had planned to take a bus from the tube station but it was packed like a Bombay local so we just walked and got really really late meeting some friends there. All the crowd and logistics aside, it was fantastic. It was not as I imagined it ... but I loved every moment. Oh, and I tried some mulled wine .. perfect for the cold evening.. am going to try making it at home now! Anyway, here's some pictures .. they describe the evening better than I could.

Albert Bridge as we approach the park from Chelsea Bridge

The bonfire from a distance. It was HUGE!

It's like a tower of fire. I just like the picture, so sharing it.

Towards the end, as it was dying out


Finally the fireworks.

It lasted a long time and was spectacular.

I took over a hundred pictures to get my perfect fireworks snap. Did not get something perfect, but I think this was close.

A fitting finale!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ideas please

Soon it's going to be our second wedding anniversary. Well it feels like much more because B and I had known each other for ages before got married. It was none of the mushy love at first sight .. but after many sights .. and years. But that's a story for another day.

Last year during our anniversary I was really busy at school. It was a week day and after a long day for both of us we didn't have the enthu to even go out. Everyone called very excited about our first anniversary ..and it was such an anticlimax that we were home watching a horror movie and had ordered pizza because neither of us felt like cooking.

After what an absolutely sucky year this has been (well good in a way ..because if we got through THIS ..we can get by most else), I really want to plan a nice weekend away, where we can just be 'normal'. We've also not gone on a break in ages and whatever vacations we have gone for this year have been in big groups (which have been fantastic by the way).

I started thinking this morning and am pretty blank. It needs to be a place we can get to easily since we have just two days and there's no possibility of taking taking leave at that time to make it a long weekend. I was thinking of Swansea, Chester or my eternal favourite Paris, but am not sure what the weather would be like at the end of November. Definitely don't want to go to some place and be stuck indoors. So, ideas please. Oh..and while you're thinking .. any ideas for a nice present for B?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Older and wiser

It's a regular Friday. Making plans to catch up with some friends over drinks in the evening and I look down vacantly trying to think of a good place. Then I see it, glistening in the sunlight a little more than the others. I bring it closer and inspect it more closely.

Oh-my-god. It's a second grey hair!! I've had one grey hair for a long time. Have passed it off my mother's love and such ... matter closed. But two, now that's age catching up .. no more of this hiding behind love business. Shrieks followed by closer inspection. More of these emerge.

Frantic call to B follows. Snubbed because he is busy making money for someone else and has no time for such frivolities .. I think its out of jealousy since all he has is balding grey hair. Curses into the phone and frantic email sent to close friend. Reply with no sympathy since she has been colouring her hair for the past two years to cover the grey. Also long time grudge since I had joked about her turning 30 and sent her 'On your 60th birthday' card, with some silly message about .. 'now you're just half my granny's age'. Ofcourse my grandmother is way over 60, but that didn't matter, she did not see the humour in it.

Oh well .. so now it's just me moping and you reading about it. I resign to fate. Thirties - here I come.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

From Inside the Fortress

The rodent is back. B saw it last night in the kitchen!

While it is comforting to know that I am not seeing vermins in my imagination, it is very unnerving to know that there's one in the house. I don't know if it's a rat or a mouse.. I don't even care what the differences between the two are.. but am totally creeped out (not a real word. . but should be one, since at the moment it very aptly represents my feelings!).

Since last night, my room is my fortress. I step out only when absolutely necessary. Breakfast and coffee was delivered by B inside my fortress. I had to go out to meet someone, so made sure I came home after lunch since there's no way I am stepping close to that kitchen. And even when I need to get out of the fortress .. I gingerly peep out from behind my door .. stomp my foot and when am absolutely sure that the coast is clear I venture out .. actually dash to the next point is more like it. This can't be continued long term.. we have to find a solution. I called some online pest control people and they say it would cost close to 200 pounds! I tried checking for online rat traps but all the bl**dy pages have pictures of rats popping up .. eeeks .. I quickly shut it all.

Reminds of of when I was in college and our hostel was infested with rats .. and my shrieks. My room-mate .. a strong brave girl from the North (North India) would laugh while I jumped on the bed. She never understood why someone 5.5 feet would be scared of something that wasn't even 5.5 inches! Good for her, since I promptly handed her the responsibility of making sure the house was vermin free.. and I must admit she was pretty effective in her methods.

So here I am, stuck in my room .. with music and the computer for company. I refuse to step out even to get water! The musicals phase is still going strong .. and my favourite CD is CATS - the irony of it all!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The one where it all begins

  1. In an impulsive moment I joined the NaBloPoMo bandwagon when I read about it. And now am blank. So here's an idea from a tag I read.
  2. I am from India. Have lived, studied and worked all over.
  3. I have been wearing glasses since I was 3.
  4. I was teased by other children in Nursery for being dark & wearing glasses and hated going to school.
  5. Once we moved cities it was better. I had a great group of friends. We had secret clubs, had sleep over parties and read a lot. Suddenly it was cool to be geeky.
  6. We moved cities again when I was getting into senior school. I loved this school. I think it had the greatest impact on 'who I am'. Many of my closest friends are also from here.
  7. We believed there was nothing in the world we couldn't get. And made plans of the companies we'd like to run when we were older.
  8. It's where we dreamt of being on a magazine cover on the Top 20 business women in India.
  9. That dream seems too far at this point
  10. I am not a very optimistic person and I give up too easily.
  11. I love magic and fairy tales and want to visit Disneyland. My flatmate thought I have strange childhood hankerings!
  12. Maybe its because I visualise so much in my imagination.
  13. I think of everything in pictures. Even numbers. I thought that was how everyone thought of things, but I gather it's not. Wonder how I developed the habit.
  14. I love reading (and visualize every detail of what I read)
  15. I hate TV. Not the device, but cable television. I like watching films I have chosen to watch.
  16. I love music. At the moment I am going through a 'musicals' phase, so listening to a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber and others. I also tend to listen to my 'phase' music so much that after the phase is over I can't bear to listen to it for a long time.
  17. I also like rock, classical, country and some music I can't categorise.
  18. I hate trance, 'boy bands' and some extreme metal.
  19. I use 'love', 'hate' very easily and think too much in 'black' and 'white'. Am often told to consider the 'grey'.
  20. I love dancing. I learnt classical dance for four years. I really feel bad I couldn't continue it.
  21. It's ironical that Bee is like 'wobbly jelly' when it comes to dancing. The one thing I really wish I could change about him. Though to give credit, he's been trying.. but really.. it's still just wobbly jelly.
  22. My friends are very important to me. I do a lot for them. . and am in touch with friends from very long back.
  23. I miss not having my close friends in London.
  24. I make a terrible first impression. Most people think I am too reserved or snooty. It's amazing how the same behaviour can be interpreted in two such different ways.
  25. But once I get to know a person I talk too much and can't stop.
  26. I am a Gemini.
  27. I get bored easily.
  28. I have terrible feet.
  29. I love coffee. I wish I could make good filter coffee. Ooops.. I have so much more to say but have reached my age limit. More for another time.