Silliness and me…

..goes hand in hand. It’s got to be said, even if it shows how silly I can be. Some might say, ‘what’s new?’. Well, this is extremely silly, even by my standards.

Until some time back, I used to think a lot before I drove the car. Think,as in, silly stuff like what shoes am I wearing. I would try not to wear new shoes and drive. More often than not, I would wear my tried and tested shoes every day. And since my driving was mainly restricted to ferrying Daughter around for activities, shopping, or at the very most, meeting friends, it was all doable. I remember once I took the car around for a test drive in a new pair of shoes because I so desperately wanted to wear them.

The other day, I realised that I’ve stopped thinking about what I’m wearing completely. No time, you see, these days for worrying about silly stuff. I consider myself lucky if I manage to jump into the car, completely dressed and reach work on time! These days, I just wear whatever I want, and only recently realised that I’ve not even realised what I was doing! All those wasted hours agonising over shoes to drive in! See, one more side effect if going back to work, no time to worry about silly, unimportant stuff.

Talking about clothes, did I tell you about the day when my clothes almost gave me a heart attack? Most mornings are crazy. I usually wear dresses with tights. Various shades of black, white and grey and black tights. Half the time I would be in too much hurry to check myself out properly before leaving for work. Just checking that my tights don’t have ladders and that I’m looking presentable over all is all I bother to check.

So this day, I drove to school, dropped daughter off, drove to work, parked, swung my legs out only to recoil in shock. I was wearing dark purple tights instead of black! And I hadn’t realised all this while. I have one pair of dark purple tights which under dim lights looks close to black. But my office is brightly lit, and my dress had no hint of purple in it. It would look just weird!

Now I would have to go back. To change my tights, of all possible things! There is a shopping centre near by but nothing would open before 9. I whipped off my sunglasses in frustration( it was a sunny day, for a change), only to see that my tights had miraculously changed colour to black!! It was those purple tinted glasses that almost made me drive back home!

Wasn’t it lucky that I took them off just in time! Or I would have been writing about driving back home only to realise that I had worn the right tights after all! How silly would that have been. But lesson learnt. Now I double check the colour of tights as well as scanning it for any sign of ladders:)

Creature of Habit

Turns out that I am a creature of habit.

For some reason, I had never thought of myself as a someone who followed patterns of behaviour. I would have most definitely classified myself as a completely random person. And that was how it was. Until recently when I realized that there was method to my madness.

I manage to park my car every single day in the same bay of cars. There might be other spaces, in fact there always is, better placed spaces too, but I just end up parking in the same general area. I don’t park on the same space though. A little bit of randomness still exists. And of course, some thought too. For instance, on the days when we had heavy winds forecast, I made sure to park the car away from any trees or poles that could possibly land on my car, didn’t want to come back to a wrecked car, you see. But still in the same darn bay!

And I’m not the only one. I meet others who park in the same way as I do. We’ve been meeting every morning, so regularly that we exchange our views on the weather, which certainly gives us plenty to talk about, I have to say.

Every single day, I plan to grab two glasses of water, as soon as I get in to work. Every single day, it stays a plan. I sit at my desk, completely forget about the water until I’m so thirsty that I’m gagging. Why?? Today, I did try to break that pattern. We have a huge carton of water bottles that we picked up from Costco sitting in the boot of the car. We always end up forgetting to take along water when we step out and end up buying water. This works out much cheaper, and if it sits in the boot, it is there when we need it. I grabbed a bottle, and have been sipping at it through the day.

Ever day, I rush back into the house, on my way out, to check if I’ve switched off everything, like irons, hair straighteners. I have never left them on, so far, but I can never remember if I have switched off everything, when I am about to get into the car and drive off. So just to put my mind at rest, I come back, open two doors, take off my shoes, go upstairs to check(of course, they are all switched off!), wear them shoes, lock the doors again, and drive off. Why, oh why do I do that!

I’ve been planning to get out of work at lunch time early enough to get hold of some tasty soup. The shop has limited quantities of soup and the popular ones get over rather quickly. So if I go late, it is more than likely that I will not get it. I know this, and yet end up late and missing the soup:( Asking for punishment, isn’t it?

And the crowning bit is, every single time I enter my password to unlock my laptop screen, I get it wrong the first time. And the second attempt is always successful. Every. Single. Time. How is that for consistency!

Daughter Tales

Daughter came home from school one day, all excited about some school work. They have been learning about Ancient Greece, and Daughter has been loving it. She loves History and Science, apparently, which is why she wants to be a dinosaur scientist. Don’t ask me how that’s related, but apparently it is.

So. Coming back to the original story, they had a professor who came and held a session on Ancient Greece. He told them lots of interesting things, but appaarently the most interesting thing was the fact that Ancient Greeks was that they had ‘tablets’ too. But, she clarified to us, ‘Their tablets weren’t like the iPads we have’, just in case we were in any doubt about it.

She has been reading all sorts of books. Last weekend we went to the library and she picked up a Percy Jackson book. It caught her interest has it had something to do with Ancient Greece. As you can see, everything is about Ancient Greece these days. But I’m not sure about this book. Any of you have any idea if it’s age appropriate for her?

Daughter, completely loves Harry Potter, as I’ve mentioned before. The other day she says, ‘You and Daddy are definitely Muggles, but I might still have magic’. Apparently she might still get a letter from Hogwarts, as she still isn’t 11!

Finally

This close. I was this close to successfully completing the marathon! I had even managed to do an extra post for the one that I missed. This close, three days to go and I managed to give up.

Well, more than actively give up, I just ran out of time to sit down and complete pending posts.. I still have half written posts which will never get posted. Or at least definitely not in this marathon.. I guess some things just have to be accepted. Like the fact that I am rubbish at marathons. I just shouldn’t attempt one. The only time I should attempt one is if I manage to consistently reply to comments on mine, and read all the unread, uncommented posts in my reader. Next time, one of you please do remind me that, instead of encouraging to take part, ok?

I’ve been busy. Sounds so routine, doesn’t it? When the laundry is overflowing from all directions, kitchen a mess, floors need vaccuming, posting on the blog doesn’t really strike one as urgent, I guess. What’s even worse, I still have all that work pending.. I barely manage to do a tiny bit of it, before more lands on my plate.

I’m reading a book called The P45 Diaries. Had read a few good reviews on twitter. So when I found it discounted on Kindle, I bought it. Have to say, I’m struggling with it. Still hopeful that it will turn interesting suddenly, but losing hope with every page I read. I was so fed up that I went and picked up a few books from the library at lunch time today. Can I say again, that I love it that I can go to the library at lunch time. Lugging books back to the car park at the end of the day, is another story though. Cold rain, and lugging books don’t go well together, but that is something I easily forget when I am picking up books.

It’s Friday today! Fridays are long, very long days for me, but I still love them :) Don’t we all? So what plans for the weekend? I’m just looking forward to relaxing, although I can tell you now that I’m quite sure my hopes will be dashed.

Have a lovely weekend, you guys, and I’ll see you when I see you!

Day 28: A meaningless post deserves no title.

Or in otherwords, I haven’t been able to think up a title. Mainly because it’s just a load of nonsense.

You know when you have loads of ideas for potential posts, all popping into your head, when you are at your busiest? And then when you do get the time to sit down to write them down, the mind is completely blank.

What was that brilliant idea that I had? Not a clue. Completely blank. I can’t even remember the vaguest of details, just the fact that I had some ideas and was jubilant that they would translate into posts. If only my memory worked.

I guess, there is nothing I can do about it. So now I have the job of racking my brains to think of something. I was thinking of quitting, and then realized that we had just 4 more days to go. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Doable? I guess(and hope, with fingers crossed).

Have I told you how much I’m enjoying my new job? Well, a lot, just in case you are in any doubt. The only time I wish I didn’t work is when I come home to see twitter full of excitement! Rahul G interviewed! By Arnab too! How annoying that not only did I miss it all, I don’t even get Arnab here. So I went around searching for the you tube link, but before that, read through all the tweets! Those sure sounded more funny and relevant that the interview. Maya, DreamyMommy, I’ve had such fun reading your tweets!

I did manage to get hold of the link to watch the interview, but it’s too late now to watch it. It’s time for bed. My eyes are refusing to stay open. But I do have my entertainment for tomorrow evening all sorted. It’s a date with RahulG and ArnabG ;)

Day Trip: Black Country Living Museum

Smitha:

Today’s post at the long forgotten travel blog :)

Originally posted on Any Excuse to Travel:

Last Saturday, we woke up, lazed around and then realized that we didn’t have an agenda for the day.

You see, most weekends have been busy. We end up having something or the other to do. This last Saturday, we had nothing planned. We didn’t even need to go grocery shopping! How jobless is that!

So after a heavy breakfast, we started discussing what to do, and zeroed in on driving down to Oxford. By the time we got ready and got into the car, we realized that it was too late to go to Oxford. It was past 12. Back to the phone, desperately searching for places to go to. We live a central location, so it turns that we are equidistant from most interesting places and equally far from every place!

Anyway, finally after doing a bit of research, we found the ‘The Black Country Living Museum’, which looked…

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I had forgotten how it feels.

I had completely forgotten…

That pride that fills your heart when you hear the national anthem, or the patriotic songs that you’ve been hearing for years. The lifting of hearts and spirits as we stand tall and sing the national anthem from the heart.

Days like the Independence Day and the Republic Day, which had been so part of us, until we moved abroad, was ao much fun to relive and also share with Daughter, for she had never experienced it before. So much that we took for granted, so much to be proud of.

I have a lot to be thankful for the last year we spent in India. It wasn’t the easiest of times, but it has given me memories that I will cherish and the hope that maybe one day, I would be back in India.

Happy Republic Day, everybody!

Day 26: Popping Paniyarams.

The house we live in, at the moment, is nice, but unfortunately is one that doesn’t tick a lot of boxes for us.

It was the best we could get at that time, given the fact that I was in India and husband was in Glasgow. House hunting wasn’t the easiest thing. Also this place is very sought after, so houses that come on rent go off within seconds. We were lucky to find something decent in a decent locality.

One of the things that always annoys me is that I have an induction hob. It is better than an electric hob, but very annoying when half the pans I own can’t be used on it. I’m just thanking my stars that both my pressure cookers are induction safe. I had a tough time finding a pan that can double as a dosa pan as the one I got from India was a non induction one. The one pan which I longed to use but couldn’t was the paniyaram pan. We love paniyarams here but my pan doesn’t work on that hob of mine. So it’s been a non paniyaram season for us.

Until I spotted some cake pop makers. They have been around for a while but I never saw the point of buying one until i figured that I might be able to make paniyarams with them.

We bought one of these last Sunday. Didn’t have a chance to do much apart from cleaning it. Today, I decided that I should give it a try.

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All set, waiting for the batter to be spooned in.

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Paniyarams ready to be gobbled up:) They took five minutes to get cooked, and tasted delicious as usual!

I can’t tell you how delighted I am. This also has mini doughnut moulds. I can’t wait to make baked doughnuts. Although husband refuses to eat them unless they taste as nice as Krispy Kreme ones. I guess that leaves me and daughter to polish them off. When they get made, if they get made :)

Day 25: I’ll be your friend, only if..

One of the things you get used to living in Western countries, I shouldn’t probably generalize, but this has been my experience so far, is smiling at people you see around you.

When we first relocated to Bangalore, I found that I was becoming an embarrassment to myself. I would smile at people in lifts in the apartment, and then find myself being completely ignored. People would just look through you. However, some were very curious. Now, they might not smile at you, but they would ask you if you were renting. If you said you were an owner, the next question would be when you bought the property. In due course I came to understand that all that was part of the hierarchy of the apartment ecosystem. Sigh. The different types of categorization which would then dictate how they would be with you. You might get a few friendly nods if you were owners, may be not if you were tenants. I’ve heard that even maids are more likely to come to you for work if you were owners rather than tenants..

Although not everybody was like this, but I met plenty to realize that it might not be the norm, but there was more than a few to be called an exception.

In the UK, one of the places, I meet new people is at Daughter’s school. When she started Year 3, she moved from infant school to Junior school. Some schools are divided into sections like that. And all infant schools feed into certain junior schools. In case of daughter’s school, two feeder schools fed into this junior school. Before school started, we had certain sessions and were given information packs. This included the list of children in each class. We glanced through it to figure out which of Daughter’s classmates would be in her new class, and that was it.

On the first day of school, we were walking back to the bus stop(this was in the days before I got my manual driving license), and I smiled at another mother with her child, who was walking near us. She didn’t smile back or anything. Daughter waved bye to the little girl and I asked her if they were in the same class, and daughter confirmed that they were.
Suddenly, the lady turns to me and asks, ‘What is your daughter’s name?’.

When I replied, she says, ‘Oh you are ‘x’ caste, aren’t you?’

Well, you see, my daughter has my husband’s surname, which is also the same as his caste.

‘We are also the same caste’, she went on to say,excitedly, and smiling for the first time, ‘ I saw in that information pack!’.

I was flabbergasted to hear that! People still look for their ‘castes’ before deciding to be friendly. This lady did not even smile, before she figured out the caste equation!

Needless to say, I don’t have much to say to this lady. I still smile and give her a friendly nod, when I do run across her, but that is about it.

This whole caste thingy annoys me. I have been brought up in an environment where my parents always stressed on how things like caste are of no importance. My grandfathers, both of them, had different ideas for not naming their children with the caste names. My paternal grandfather was a Gandhian and felt strongly about equality of all sections of society. My maternal grandfather was a communist, who again believed in equality of all castes. The combined effect has been for us to grow up literally blissfully ignorant of the caste equation around us. It helped that we lived in a wonderfully cosmopolitan place where I’ve never heard of caste based divisions while growing up.

So I find this diffucult to come to terms with this slotting of people into ‘castes’ for various reasons. I have heard people assume that because some people of a particular caste is successful, ‘it must be because of reservation’. Or people trying to find out my caste because my surname doesn’t give a clue. But this was the first time, a person completely ignored me, showed no signs of being friendly, suddenly was bursting with friendliness as soon as she realized that we might be of the same caste!

Is it any wonder that caste based politics works so well in India? I could have understood this reaction had it been from a person in some village with no access to a different value system, but when you see this sort of attitude in someone who ought to know better, someone, who I assume is educated( or may be not), I feel sad. Just sad.

Book Review: Yesterday’s Sun by Amanda Brooke

Smitha:

Today’s post on the book blog.

Originally posted on Any Excuse To Read:

This was a book that I found on the ‘Just Returned’ shelf of the library during one of my lunch time sojourns to the library.

The blurb caught my interest – ‘How could you ever choose between your own life and the life of your child?’. I assumed it would be Jodi Picoult-ish, as TGND might call it. But then I had never heard of the author or the book, so decided to give it a try.

After bringing it home, though, I started to have, well, not negative, but some sort of reluctance to pick it up. It looked like a general book, why waste time on it? It sat on my book shelf until I had finished all my unread Alexander McCall books. Finally, I had just one book – this one unread. I had the option of picking this one or the Kindle. Of course, a real…

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