Wednesday, February 22

As time goes by...

Sometimes jobs , responsibilities, marriages, babies and ennui  take a toll on some of the relationships in our life, and we slowly start drifting towards silos of preoccupation and self-absorption. Only after a few years do we realize that we have drifted apart so much that there are many oceans to conquer in between - oceans of experiences not shared and of things not spoken...

And sometimes you deliberately move away from someone because you can't forgive them for what they have done to you : a stab on the back, a mean word here and a bitchy comment there. You decide that it doesn't make sense to be friends with someone who has so little respect of you. You fume and fret.Years roll by, and one fine day you realise that the hurt that made you move away from that person is not there anymore. What once irritated you , doesn't bother you or matter to you anymore. You only remember all the good times you had with that person.When someone is being mean to you, these things don't strike you- you want to retaliate,be meaner and swear that as long as you live you'll never forgive that person for what he/she did to you.

In the grander scheme of the universe holding on to these grudges, however justified they might seem is just pointless,no? Life is too fragile to be frittering away on such meaningless pursuits. And this good sense prevails only in hindsight, which is such a shame! ;-) 

What say?


This post is a result of some soul-searching done after I got back in touch with an old friend with who I hadn't spoken to for almost 7 years. We were young and stupid and impulsive. I have an issue with people who talk behind my back and would  rather prefer someone calling me a bitch to my face.I also have trouble forgiving, forgetting and letting go of hurt.I decided to withdraw from this friend's life when I got to know that she had been bad-mouthing me to another close friend. We drifted apart and moved on with our lives. 

"Ha, one less person to stay in touch with," I told myself. 

 Maybe that was just my ego talking and not what I really thought, but in the last 7 years I would have thought about her a sum total of 10 times, most of which were perpetuated by a conversation with some common friend.Growing older makes you do strange things.Something made me want to wish her on her birthday this year (with much trepidation). And none of those mean words she had said mattered anymore. All I could think of was the good times we had shared, the gazillion bottles of beer we had guzzled, the tears we had mopped up and pukes we had cleaned out.

I've realized that if you have to say " Hey,I've missed you!" to someone you haven't been in touch with for a long time, NOW is the right time to do it ! You never know how thinks will pan out. Chances are that you've changed , chances are that they have changed.The permutations and combinations are endless!

Time is definitely a healer.This must mean I am growing soft in my head. 

Or that I am finally growing up.

Let me leave you with one of my favorite songs - As Time goes by from Casablanca 

Saturday, February 18

Lindy's beautiful necklace and a whole bunch of rambling..

A few weeks back , one of the art blogs I follow, Serpent Mandalas had hosted a giveaway. Lindy, the artist who owns the blog creates beautiful mandalas and paintings , all striking and beautiful. I was surprised when I got to know that despite not winning the giveaway, Lindy was sending me a beautiful necklace with her art.. just because I took part in the giveaway! How sweet and generous is that ? Let me show you the goodies Lindy sent  my way... 

No, thanks, Lindy !
 Now for a close-up of the necklace..

How cute is this pendant? !

That's the print on the necklace...

Lindy very sweetly let us choose the print we wanted, and I chose the one above(yeah , it has a baby and all.I am sentimental and mushy like that ;-)).

Gorgeous ,no? To drool over her wonderful prints, necklaces and paintings, do visit her Etsy shop.

Umm...I finally received my author copies of Seven Across..I had a few intense moments holding the copies. I didn't leap around or jump in joy, like I thought I would, but just stared at the copies! Sometimes, when you've been waiting for something for a really long time, you just don't feel anything but a burst of strong inexplicable emotion.. and nothing else.Its always been that way for me ! Yeah, the first baby is here :-)

Edited to add: The book is now available on Flipkart and Indiaplaza. Indiaplaza is offering the book at a 35% discount off MRP! You can find the links on the sidebar..

Hot off the press..:-)

On another note, I am technically "at term" , meaning the baby can come anytime now (I haven't  completed 40 weeks yet, which is full-term). Strange uncomfortable things have been happening to the body for the last 1 week, and needless to say I am on tenterhooks.The last month of pregnancy definitely kicks one's ass, what with all the assorted pains and aches that it heralds. But hey,I am not complaining! I am more excited about the lil' one's arrival than worried about labour pains and other child-birth related things...The lady at the prenatal class I go to gave me this cute little ball (to use for stress-relief during labour) and a sweet card. 

What's on the ball?..

Yeah.. it says BREATHE!

"Breathing right" is the key to managing labour well, according to a lot of people. Hopefully, I'll use the techniques I learnt in the class, and not SCCCCRRREEEAMMMMM at  people around me when in pain. My biggest fear  is that I'll make an undignified mess of myself by moaning and groaning way too much ;-)

Anyway , have a super week ahead and if I disappear without a trace for a few weeks, you know the reason for that..

Bu-bye ! 

Friday, February 17

Dating,Marriage and all that Jazz..

He reads..

      He says: Awsome ! 
   She says : YAWWWWN! 

She reads..

She says : Awesome ! 

They read..

He says: Ummmm.. Good one,right?
She says: Ummm..yeah!

What's the point of all this His-hers thingie, you ask?  Patience, dearies.. I 'm getting to it in a bit ;-)

A single friend was telling me how besotted she is with her new boyfriend. They've been seeing each other for a few weeks now, and she has started wondering if he is the "one". Now this is a girl who goes through 3-4 books a week and the new guy in her life supposedly groans if someone asks him what books he reads. She is chuffed that they are mad about each other , despite not having anything in common.When I insisted that there had to be something common between them, she said, "Nothing!Not a single thing.That's why I'm wondering if this is for real or just some crush." While I am super thrilled for this girl finding love and all, I am a little baffled at  her statement that they have nothing in common. Is this possible ?

Well , I know love is strange , and cupid strikes at the most unexpected times, but I have been married long enough to have cynical thoughts about this one. A marriage does need some common ground to keep the couple grounded.For the first few years, passion and fights will get you through ... after that what do you talk about if you have "zero" common interests? How long can you talk about "other people" and babies and EMIs and bastard bosses?

I know some people will say,"What did our parents have in common? Aren't they happy together after gazillion years of being married?". Good point.. My parents have been married for 33 years and don't have much in common really. Yet, they are happily married and find enough topics to talk about outside their individual interests( which incidentally will have a very small intersection area if plotted on a Venn diagram). However, they belong to a  generation that really saw marriage differently - it is almost like they were programmed genetically to be more accommodative and tolerant of each other. I am not too sure if our generation is wired that way. Divorce obviously is not that big a deal anymore, and as a corollary the institution of marriage not sacrosanct . 

So I doubt if " Opposites attract " can really work in the long run...

What say guys? Do you think for any relationship to work there has to be common grounds or can people be as different as chalk and cheese and still manage to have crazy  fun conversations together till eternity ? Or are conversations an overrated thing in marriages these days? Especially when you can head over to the nearest pub, get drunk with your couple friends and feel like you and your spouse are soul mates. My guess is even for that kind bliss to be felt, the spouse should like getting drunk. If he/she doesn't , you obviously don't have a common ground anymore ! 

Thank God for Steig Larsons of the world , the chap and I have "a few things" in common ! ;-) 

Friday, February 10

The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral’s debut novel, The Reluctant Detective is a true –blue chick-lit. It is the story of Kanan Mehra aka Kay, a thirty-something suburban housewife who, in between her ladies lunches and pedicures pokes her nose into two grisly murders that happen in her locality. Kay is intrigued ( scared of blood and squeamish also), but wants to get to the bottom of the murders.She therefore decides to investigate the murders with her detective friend Runa. If you have read Manral’s blogs before, you’ll be no stranger to her brand of self-deprecating sophisticated humor. The book has copious amounts of that to keep you in splits, most of the time. Kay’s antics are funny and her obsession for lipsticks and stilettos and weight is rather amusing. What is also adorable is Kay’s son’s( the brat aka Kabir’s) brat-speak and the responses of her retro-sexual husband. All this works for the book and makes it a fun-filled ride. The humor is definitely not in-your-face- ha- ha- I’m-rolling-on-the-floor-laughing kinds, but subtle and polished. Manral is great with words and her writing, ergo, rather clever. So all this works for the book.

What doesn’t is the fact that there is very little “actual” investigation happening. And whatever little “reluctant” investigation happens is lost between Kay’s rambling, that one often wonders when she would move on and “do something”, rather than just say something witty about some really unrelated thing. While I get the point that Kay’s personality is such that she takes the way she looks seriously and rambles aimlessly (all this makes Kay immensely likeable, mind you!), after a point it just got a little too much for me. Very Becky Bloomwood-ish characterization (and that’s not such a bad thing ,because Bloomwood happens to be one of the most adored chick-lit heroines).

Now don’t get me wrong, I love chick-lits (they happen to be one of my favorite genres), and Manral is one of the few authors who have managed to give her protagonist a strong voice, but because the plot itself is rather slow , it got too tedious for me. Actually, the plot is wafer thin- no twists, no red herrings, no complicated chases. Just tongue-in-cheek humour courtesy Kay’s monologues. It takes almost 120-odd pages (the book is only 180 pages) for Kay to even start getting involved into the investigation, and even when she does get involved, the cases just get “almost” solved on their own.

The writing is supremely funny, though and the wry wit definitely makes the book immensely readable. Kay’s take on the random things like buffets and the behavior of maids was rather refreshing to read.Wish the book had not been marketed at a murder mystery, because if you are going to be reading it in that light , you are going to be disappointed. If you read the book only for the laughs and for Manral’s funny observations, you’ll find yourself enjoying it.

Recommended to all lovers of Chick-lits. This is definitely a book to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon.

My rating : 3 stars out of 5.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Monday, February 6

The mystery cross-dressing gene

There is not a single shred of doubt in my mind. My family has some mystery kinky gene that causes cross- dressing. 

Shocked? Its actually not that bad .Let me clarify.

Our old family albums are full of cringe-worthy pictures of me dressed as Lord Krishna (in Dhothi and all) and of my brother dressed as a girl. And one would have to squint to recognise the boy hiding behind the lipstick, frock, bhindi, bangles and fountain pony tail. 
My parents wanted a daughter and a son and got one of each 'variety' .So why dress up their daughter like a boy and the son like a girl ?

Really beats me.. 

And its just not us, all my cousins have similar gender-confusion pictures in their respective family albums.

The second favorite pass-time in the family is, of course, photographing kids in their..erm.. birthday suits. How horribly embarrassing! As if they need to document the presence of the family jewels and tell the future brides that come into the family "See, all's well !";-) 

I hope fervently that the gene decided to miss me and I don't toture other kids this way. Time will only tell..Sigh!

You have such embarrassing pics of yourself  in your family albums? Do share your horror stories...and make me feel better :-)

Thursday, February 2

Coorg's magic..

It is not often that one picks up a book that wreaks havoc with ones senses and leaves one nostalgic beyond words.These are the same books that evoke such a strong visual imagery, paint such beautiful pictures in your mind's eye that you start digging into the recesses of your memory of your visit to that place. Sarita Mandana's Tiger hills ,set in the stunning Coorg , took me back in time (a little over a year ago) when I discovered and fell in love with the place. Mandana's words weaves magic that one can almost smell the heady aroma of wet febrile earth; feel the nippy, chill mountain air that raises goosebumps on one's arm and literally feast upon the green canopy that covers the region. A few hundred pages into the book, I had to go look at the pictures we took from our trip to Coorg. Honestly, very few books have evoked such strong feelings in me for the places they are set in.

The book is just awesome (a five star after a long time :-) !) Anyway , the purpose of this post is not to rave about Mandana's book, but to share with you some  snapshots of  Coorg that we took during our visit.This place is truly mother nature at her ravishing best..Our only regrets were that we couldn't trek much , nor spend  time at the Nagharhole sanctuary. But then , I am sure we'll go back there in a few years..:-)

Beautiful,eh? The water was so refreshing!

The famed Coorg Coffee beans
The paddy fields right opposite to our homestay.Lush, Lush ,Lush..

Beautiful flowers in bloom,right outside the house
The place was teeming with all kinds of insects and fauna.. 
 Mercara town(capital of  Coorg. Now called Madikeri)
The homestay is in the middle of a coffee estate.This house is more than 150  years old
Our geyser! This was how we got out hot water...
So have you been to Coorg? Ever felt connected to a place after visiting it just once ? Or have you read a book and started pining for the place it is set in?