Love at first sight!

love at first sight4

It wasn’t even 6.00 AM yet, Shrey was awake and lying in bed, just waiting for the alarm to go off so that he could get ready for his school trip to the Gir forest. He had his brand new camera by his side and one singular aim of capturing a real life lion on the camera. To distract himself from the staring contest with his clock, he turned around and looked outside the window, he saw a peacock perched outside. He immediately brought up his camera and snapped away few pictures. It was love at first sight! Love with the world and the colors his camera showed him.

It was 5.00AM, half a mintue before the alarm rang Rhea switched it off. Her small town at the edge of Gujarat was still asleep. She quickly got out of bed, tidied it and went to freshen up. After half an hour, she was at her study desk, with her head in her books. Rhea was an honest and hardworking girl, studying day and night to get good grades in school. She had only one goal in mind, to become a successful business woman and for that she didn’t just need good grades but a good stock of street smarts. And so she was studying hard to get out of her small town and get into a good college in Mumbai, the best place to know the crowds and push to its forefront. Six months later, with the added feather of school topper to her plume, she got onto the train. Her train was pulling into Mumbai and right from Vasai creek, she was at the train door soaking in the sights of her dream city. Half an hour later when the train pulled into the station and she stepped down clutching her prized possession, her admission papers to her dream college, it was love at first sight! Love with her dream city, love that comes with knowing that she’d embarked on her dream journey and her goal, though far, was very much within reach.

It was past midnight, she was sleepy but was fighting sleep with everything she had. Roshni was a bubbly 6 year old, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new baby. She was sitting on the dingy hospital sofa, waiting for the miracle to happen. Right from the beginning she had explained to everyone in the family that even if its in the middle of the night and she was fast asleep, she wanted to be woken up when the baby came. So sometime at 2.00 AM her father woke her up from the corner of the sofa where she was huddled into oblivion. With groggy eyes she climbed down from the sofa and went to her mother’s bed. Her father lifted her onto the bed next to her mother where her mother was holding a tiny, chubby, girl in her arms. All of Roshni’s sleep vanished, she carefully and reverently took her baby sister onto her lap and planted a huge sloppy kiss on her cheeks, declaring to everyone who cared to hear her: I LOVE HER! I’LL NEVER LEAVE HER!

She was running with 3 heavy bags on her arms but she couldn’t think about the weight because she was late. She was supposed to be at the client’s place half an hour ago, delivering her first batch of outfits. Rutva was an aspiring fashion designer, trying to run a boutique from her home (ofcourse with the dream of having a chain of haute couture boutiques across the country). After struggling for about a year, she’d managed to gather her first big order: wedding trousseau for a school friend. She had just collected all the clothes from her tailor and was running to deliver them to her friend’s apartment. Tired of waiting for the lift, she turned around to take the stairs and at the first landing only bumped into a handsome stranger. It was sparks at first sight as they both bent down to pick up the scattered packets. The handsome stranger turned out to be her friend’s cousin and from there on, the sparks went on to become dates and love and finally a blissful marriage.

Sameer was sitting by the window gazing outside while reflecting on the inside. He’d led a very happy life of 70 years with a big happy family to show for it. He’d married Sneha, his college sweetheart and built a small world for themselves. While he worked on providing for the family, Sneha endeavored to keep  their lives running smoothly. After marriage, Sameer’s world revolved around her. With little road bumps and lots of cloud sevens, their life progressed from one milestone to another. Four years after marriage, Sneha gave birth to twins and before they realized, the twins had grown up and each had two children of their own. Just last year, a heart attack in her sleep had claimed Sneha’s life. Today as he was reliving his life and its highlights, he had a premonition that today was the time to embrace death. He slowly walked to his bed, took out the small framed picture of his wedding day from his bedside. Sneha had her arm around his neck and had an ear-to-ear smile. It was the best day of his life and he wanted that image as he closed his eyes. It was the love of last sight. A sight and love that he wished to carry with him to his death bed and beyond.

Diwali: time to feel home sick again

diwali

Its past midnight but noone’s moved an inch, the game is on full swing, right from the eldest aunty in the family to the youngest kid, everyone is absorbed in cards. After the game, ice cream is served and plans for the next day are made. We retire to our rooms tired but wake up fresh up for yet another round of picnic, yummy food, catching up with family, and ofcourse cards. This is how I remember Diwali at my parent’s place.

But I’m in the Gulf and home sick. Its Diwali time, all friends and family are posting pictures of Diwali celebrations and get-togethers and all I am doing is sitting at home, looking at all those updates and fighting home sickness.

Till last year I was in Hyderabad and there wasn’t any family there also but never felt so home sick there, probably because its very festive all around, the city lights up and in office also we have Diwali celebrations but out here its just like a boring, working day.

I am missing everything even more this year because last year, the first time in 4 years, I was home for Diwali so reliving last year’s festivities and looking at this year’s pictures is making me all the more sad.

Amongst all this sadness is also the realization that where there is family there are complications, expectations and fights, but it is also true that without family there isn’t really much to live for and enjoy. I remember my Diwali holidays during school: botching up sister’s Rangoli in the name of helping her, fighting with her over dresses (we are the same size, so who wears what was always a big fight :)), also fighting with her for the front seat in the car, eating all those amazing sweets, helping mom with Diwali cleaning, staying up till late in the night with everyone playing cards and making plans for the next day. And also our yearly family vacation would be during the Diwali school break. All in all the most fun 20 days of the year for us.

In contrast to that, now Diwali is about getting home from work on time, lighting up a few diyas around the house and then going out for dinner. This is one holiday when I want to be as traditional as my mom, clean the house (which I rarely do), cook nice dishes (am halfway through this endeavor, stuffing up a lot of it but atleast going into the kitchen and trying my hand at cooking), and ofcourse dress up. 🙂

While I continue in search of my traditional side, Happy Diwali to you folks. If you’re around family, make the most of it, and if you aren’t around family then don’t mope too much, just dress up and go out. That’s what I am doing this year :).

Ek aur cooking disaster ki dastaan!!!

Today I took one more step closer to realizing that me and cooking (atleast good cooking, sick-people food I can make easily :)) are always going to be poles apart.

If anyone’s interested in my cooking endeavors (more like disasters) then here’s a list of my mistakes in the order in which they happened and ofcourse, progressively worsened.

Mistake 1: The idea to invite two families in my neighborhood for dinner. Newly married couple is OK because I can hope that the wife isn’t a veteran and just a waft of my disastrous cooking, won’t reveal to her how terrible a cook I am. But inviting two families, where the ladies are superb mothers and cooks, means I have no chance (even if I blindfold and gag them) of escaping unscathed.

Mistake 2: I planned and plotted a week in advance. I got everything on paper, including the cutlery I am going to use but I didn’t plan enough time to make it all :(. Or rather, as usual, I overestimated my cooking abilities. double sad face: 😦 😦

Mistake 3: I contacted my mother for easy to make Gujarati dishes, since the families I invited are Gujjus. Please don’t get me wrong, my mom’s a fantabulous cook but I am so terrible that recipes over the phone don’t work with me. I need proper measurements accompanied by videos, so but natural I stuffed up.

Mistake 4: My biggest mistake, I started the day today fully confident that I will be able to single-handedly manage cooking for 9 people. And that too not just 2 chindi items, but an entire spread of welcome drink, starter, salads, curry, dal, and rice. (I am glad I atleast decided to buy the dessert from outside).

After the overconfidence boost, I started with Dal, the easiest item I thought but it turned out to be OK, not the fabulous recipe I had wanted it to be. Next, I moved to rice, this time after the dal fiasco, I carefully laid out all the ingredients on a plate and then proceeded to make it. But after I opened the cooker and tasted the rice, I realized I forgot to put salt.

I said to myself, dust off old mistakes and start fresh with the curry, but starting fresh just meant making twice the number of mistakes and stuffing up the curry so bad that Aloo Sabzi Masala tasted like a half-cooked pav bhaji ka bhaji. I had totally lost it by this time, but I was way behind my planned time and I needed to move on to the starter and the salads.

To play safe with the starter, I decided to make a simple dip and serve with chips. The dip ofcourse had too much curd instead of cheese and was tasting like raita. Triple sad face 😦 😦 😦
The salads thankfully most of it I had cut the previous night and no matter how bad a cook one is, you cant mess up with mixing ingredients and adding salt and lemon to it.
So with that done, I moved on to making paranthas. By this time I think God took pity on me and sent my neighbor. That angel barged into my house and helped me fixed my curry and dal and also helped me make the paranthas. So at the end of the day, thanks to her and my husband (who helped me cook, cleaned up the house and the kitchen) we had decent place to sit and a decent meal to eat.

Come over to my place any time if you wanna feel good about your cooking. 🙂

Searching a guide book for feelings

Since childhood we’re taught how to behave. We are taught the difference between good actions and bad actions and the consequences that follow these actions. We are also taught how to act in all kinds  of situations – like be humble when someone praises you, or lend a helping to someone in need, or, in my case, someone’s once even nudged me once and told me to laugh when someone says a joke. Basically,  what I’m trying to say is that, whether you’re trying to find one or not, you’ll find a sort of a guide book or in many case a guide-type person to tell you how to behave and how to act and also how to perceive other’s actions and behavior.

But I am one of those kind of people who needs spoon feeding every step of the way – I need a guide book elaborating on how to feel, how to handle feelings, how to change feelings, and in certain instances, how not to feel something.

Feelings are very complicated and way beyond my control. Let  me give you a simple instance: It always (absolutely always) happens with me that when I’m watching a movie, or sometimes even with a book, I cry even though I know its just fiction and in the end everything’s going to be rosier than even the reddest of roses, I still cant help but well-up or sometimes even sob shamelessly (that too in the theater and that too at a level that people stop watching the movie and turn around and  look at me (^-^”)’\ ). I need a guide to help me how not to feel this.

I want to learn how to feel and how not to feel.  I want to learn how to not be too overjoyed or how not to be too sad. I want to learn to brush away the feeling of hopelessness and I also want to learn to brush away the fear that comes with being too happy. I want to learn to enjoy my happiness knowing that I deserve it and not looking over my shoulder, waiting for something bad to happen and take it all away. I want to learn how not to let my hope turn into desperation.

In short, I want a life hack for feelings.