Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's 3 deg outside and the minimum has dropped to 1 deg.

That's it ... I'm done saving the environment .. I want my heating on ..NOW!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It's just November, but already feels like the end of the year.

We are going through our annual review process, setting targets for next year, updating work-plans with everyone's vacation plans so that work can be planned better (i.e. find the 'bakra' to dump the work on).

I have started thinking about how this year has 'gone' (.. or nearly so), what I want from next year. More importantly, holiday plans, even the generous 6 weeks in the U.K. seems short for my holiday wish-list.

Winter is here. Oxford street is lit-up. All the Christmas parties at work are being planned. Sales have begun. Shops are over-crowded... and even basic shopping is a pain. I have started making long lists for presents to be bought. New Year's eve discussions have started ... festivities in the air.

.... AND it's nearly time for my trip home!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Half of a Yellow Sun

I am helping L work on her CV to look for a job. She is much older than me and has been on the welfare system for years and is now looking to get back to work. Before we started the whole job and CV process we were generally chatting about our past and I mentioned that I had moved here a few years ago and asked her where she was from.

L mentioned that she was from Nigeria and then to fill the silence of a lack of topics I mentioned that I had recently read a book about freedom movement for Biafra. I hadn't quite expected it, when she then told me that she was growing up in Nigeria or rather Biafra then. She soon started talking about what it like to be in Biafra, growing up at the time of the war. From being well off, her family practically became nomads, stood in queues for ration, lived near starvation and saw death and destruction all around. Reading the book was an eye-opener, but hearing it first hand was quite a different experience. She had so many stories, including how after the war she was miraculously reunited with her family.

Reading about wars around the world in the news is so different from thinking of people who are living through it. I am not sure I can articulate it clearly, but the experience of meeting L has touched me in a way I can't quite describe.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Diwali

A very Happy Diwali to everyone.

Somehow it feels more like Diwali here than when I lived in India. Since there it was a more family thing everyone did their own thing. However, with our friends here, I suppose the feeling of being 'away' is strong, so Diwali becomes a big group thing .. though celebrated over the nearest weekend. Last night was a get together and playing cards nearly all night. A Diwali lunch today and a party tonight .. it feels nice and festive!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Run, Fat Girl, Run

In the last ten years (8 years to be precise) during which I have put on tens of kgs, this is the first time I have made a real attempt at losing weight and more importantly becoming healthy. .. and it has not been easy.

For the first six months of the year, I kept kidding myself into thinking I can do this on my own. .but ten years of indiscipline is difficult to overcome. It took me committing to parting with my hard earned income to a personal trainer ..and many comments by relatives (especially the particularly unhealthy ones who said I was like them!!) that I could even get started. Then was the very slow uphill task of making one small change at a time - stop the cookies in office, oats for breakfast, snacking on fruits (ugh! even now it hardly feels like a snack!) and so on. I am still fundamentally a greedy, unhealthy person but overall I think I'm doing pretty well on the healthy food front.

Sadly, just food control can't do away the damage of all the alcohol and fried food over the years. So the exercise is up. B and I have finally made our peace that morning gym is just not going to happen. Leaving at 7:30 is bad enough. .. nothing can make that 6:30 .. absolutely nothing! So gym is after work .. 4 days a week ..and comes with it's share of hilarious gym experiences, the latest being spin class! There's me, huffing and puffing along next to all these super fit bankers .. seems familiar! Then there was me trying to start running. Some random enthusiasm made my sign-up for the Hydroactive run which Sunrayz was doing. . and then of course I had to try to start running.. even if it was going to be for the first km. One week of trying I realized 200m was more like it and 500m would be good. What did come as a big surprise was that I actually enjoyed jogging .. if I can call it that was more like jog 100m then crawl for the next 100. After the run though enthusiasm was overcome by creaking knees which refused to let me torture it with the force of all my million kilos pounding on it running has been suspended for a bit.

Its all not bad. The clothes are becoming lose. My face looks less like a lunar eclipse and the weight is going down 100 grams at a time. Its not as fast as I'd like it to be but then I need to burn many hundred thousand kcal for all that fat to melt.. which running rather than impatience will achieve. Till then .. it just has to be more of those horrible spin classes and maybe even try those crazy body attack classes just to give those people a laugh.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Just got back. For a change, it was not work .. but watching Deathproof that made it a late night. A typical Tarantino film .. totally enjoyed it. ..esp the second half.

And now there's only 11 minutes left to make the midnight deadline and avoiding a second slip. So just a really good ad for today. Good Night.

And in case you want to watch a another good ad .. check this out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

From my daily luxury of reading news during lunchtime ..

The sub-prime story seems to be back with a bang. For anyone who might have any confusion about what its all about .. watch this video. It's funny .. and a fairly apt summary of the issue.

This is the story I found most disturbing .. but more on this later.

Monday, November 05, 2007

First Slip

Just two days and I have already slipped once and missed a day of posting. Not good and also the growing doubts about managing a post every-day.

To give some context about why, let me describe the last one month. Busy does not even begin to describe it. I started working on a new project in October. It is hard enough that it is a huge project involving lots of departments, what makes it tougher is that for everything there are big team meetings which slows the whole process. Also, the person leading it is very involved with every tiny decision more delays since nothing can move without him signing it (all very bureaucratic). Add to the woes - people quitting and everyone too busy to help to take on anything additional. So there's all my regular stuff (much less interesting) and this. All this said, its possibly the most I have learnt in the last year.

Net result: Much less sleep. Weekends and late nights working. Lots of stress, dreaming about work (ugh!!) and so on. I also am not being able to demarcate work time and non-work time - so its all blended and much less efficient. Hopefully by the end of this week things will be more under control (I have been hoping this for a few weekends now) and I can atleast salvage the weekend. I realize that I no longer have the enthusiasm I had at 22 when I could work and party and keep repeating the cycle of that without any problem at all.

That's work out of the way. No more on this topic for the rest of the month.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Guy Fawkes and Diwali

This evening I suddenly heard the sound of fireworks and rushed to the living room to see that our community gardens had organized fireworks for Guy Fawkes night. I abandoned what I was doing and planted myself on the sofa and peered into the window to watch a lovely display of light and colour. I love the visual fireworks over the 'noisy bomb type' ones. I had expected to miss the fireworks this year because I didn't have the enthusiasm to go to one of organized bonfires at Battersea Park and the likes, so it was a nice unexpected surprise.

While sitting there it felt so much like Diwali (with less noise!). As a child, I rarely went out during Diwali because all the smoke from the crackers hung around as smog and invariably I would react badly with a sore throat and the works. It was pretty much the same, except this is pre-Diwali. Next weekend there is Diwali to look forward to .. a small version of the fireworks and a nice party.

Friday, November 02, 2007

NaBloPoMo minus one

While I was waiting for the eternally delayed tube today, I suddenly got thinking about how a year back I was blogging each day in November last year. . and now I barely even get time to log on.

Things have changed a lot in these 12 months and while I had all the time this time last year .. all of last month I have barely had time for anything except work. It's good in a way .. but it has been very stressful. Regular working till midnight, weekends .. it's totally crazy.. even when I go to sleep my every growing ToDo list is spinning through my head.

So I figured that though I've missed the first day .. how about trying to post each day for the rest of this month - NaBloPoMo minus 1. Let's see how long I can make it last.. but it will a nice distraction .. and some fun. Anyone game to join?