Little things..

..that make a world of difference to me these days..

– over hearing daughter’s friend saying,’ your mom’s really nice’ and daughter agreeing,’ Yes, she is, she’s the loveliest mum!’. That just made my day.

– help pouring in when I need it the most. In the form of play dates for daughter, getting people who might be interested in buying my furniture. Even forwarding an email, makes so much of a difference. Meena, you are one of those angels:)

– friends travelling from the other side of town, just to meet us, some with their tiny babies.. Makes me feel so blessed.

– getting free books at Landmark:) We got so many three for two deals, that we hauled back far more books than we had thought possible. Of course it threw all my planning out of the door, but books are certainly worth the trouble, no?

– seeing furniture go. The first time it happened, it broke my heart. The next time onwards, my heart shouted out in glee. One more gone! One less to worry about.

– losing and finding things. If I had a penny for all the things I lost and found in the last few days… Finding them again is so delightful!

– Rain! Never thought I’d say this, and will probably nor say it again until we get back to India again, but right now, rain makes me want to go dance in it:)

– family, friends, neighbors checking on you. Especially friends and neighbors, people who I have known for less than a year, but yet have grown close to. The one big advantage of frequent moves, has to be, getting to meet so many new people.

As I type this, I realize that I am indeed blessed. Most difficult things in life, do come with a silver lining.

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Some days..

…take the cake in being completely unproductive.

It being husband’s last few days of holiday, we have been trying to pack in as much as we can. While we do try to do fun stuff, some non-fun stuff like official work need tackling too. Especially those in which husband’s signature is required.
There was this insurance policy that had matured some time back, but we never got around to surrendering it. This time, we had it on our agenda. We had checked it out and found that we had misplaced the original documents, and needed to make an application which needed an e-stamp paper. The insurance company directed us to the bank which would issue us the stamp paper. That day, when we reached the bank, it was past 12, and we were told that the bank issued this only until 12. The next slot was after 4.

We had other things lined up for that day so decided to come back after 4. That never happened, and we left for Goa. Yesterday, we decided to tackle it and get done with it.

So off we went to the bank we had been earlier, making sure to reach on time.

We went and asked a lady about the e-stamp paper. She looked around and a man sauntered over, disinterested, and nodded at us. We assumed that the nod meant that he would help us. We sat down at his desk, and waited, and waited while he did something on his computer. Finally, I asked again, and he then got up and got us a form. We filled it and then he went back to his computer. After a bit, another man came and asked us to verify the details, and asked us to pay the fees for the stamp paper. That got done very quickly, and we were back to waiting. All this while we could see people(employees) loitering about, in a way which to us looked aimless, but who knows, may be that was part of their job description..

We had already spent close to an hour there, waiting, wondering about what exactly was going on when one of the men, walked over to us and said that they couldn’t do it. They would refund the money, and we could go elsewhere. We couldn’t believe our ears! And why was it not possible? The user is was not working. We were incredulous. User is not working could be fixed, couldnt it? But no, it just wasn’t possible today, and that was it.

So we asked them where else we could get this done. They gave us the name of another bank near a shopping mall. Off we went. Only to find out that there was no bank of any sort there. We checked on the phone, only to realize that they had given us very general directions we now needed to go to another location. The man at the bank had told us that nationalized banks would do it for us, so on the way we stopped at an SBI, just to check, in case we got lucky. But… getting lucky was certainly not the order of the day..

Next stop, was the bank that the man at the other bank told us. As I said, lucky we weren’t. They told us that they don’t do it either, but the sub-registrar at the BDA complex would do it. Sigh. This was just getting weirder, and we cursed ourselves for not having checked it out online before we set off on this never-seeming-to-end treasure hunt.

Off we went. Again. Hoping against hope. The sub registrar office was crowded. I had no clue who was an officer there and who was there on work. I managed to find someone who seemed like an official.

What are the chances that we would get lucky? None at all, it seems. They didn’t do it either. But they knew of a place that did. Well, we had heard that before, hadn’t we? This time, we googled, found a number, and called up the place to check before we left for our destination. Some one picked up the phone, which in itself was a good sign, and confirmed that they did, indeed sell e-stamp papers. We could have danced with joy.

By then we had been starving, it was past lunch time, and we had not had a chance to grab a bite. So we decided to grab a quick lunch before we set off to the next place. Now that we got in confirmed, we felt more optimistic.

Lunch sorted, we set off to this place and found the place easily, thanks to Google maps.

Some one handed us a form to fill, and asked us to have a seat. After 15 mins of nobody taking any action on our form( we had to get back home in time to pick up daughter when she came back from school), we were asked them how long it would take. Apparently the woman who does this work was away at lunch! And it certainly looked like we would be late if we waited.

All we could do was return. Both of us were knackered after hours of travelling in autos, waiting in the hot sun for some auto driver to agree to take us to all our destinations, and walking around I search of places… We decided to give up and start again tomorrow.

Some days are jinxed, and yesterday seemed more jinxed than usual!

Grateful

As I mentioned earlier, we are soaking in the atmosphere in Bangalore. We are trying to make the most if it. What if we do have to go back? We would hate to go back feeling as if we left something incomplete…

There is a lake visible from our flat. We used to gaze out at the lake, its pristine, shimmering waters beckoning to us. From the first time we saw it, it always held a strange attraction for us. Ever since we moved here, I have been dying to walk by the lake, but somehow, it never happened, until today.

We set off at 6 in the evening. Walking the short distance to the lake. All I can say is that it was well worth it. The incredible feeling, as we get close to nature. Flocks of birds, the gentle, pleasant breeze, dedicated joggers and walkers, and the sound of crickets as night time fell. And we walked back home, promising ourselves more lakeside walks, and feeling immensely grateful that we have such a wonderful piece of nature right in the middle of what is fast becoming a concrete jungle.

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To Celebrate a Gorgeous, Sunny Sunday Morning…

I take pictures of my favourite plants….

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And just to add, sunny still translates to gorgeous for me 🙂 I guess, summer will change all that, until then, I bask in lovely sunshine, enjoy the clear blue skies, and my flowering plants… and remember the days when December was cold, and frigid.

Bookless in Bangalore..

..and other related/unrelated nonsense.

I’ve run out of books, and am trapped indoors because of the work that’s happening in the kitchen. Not nice, is it? Have to find a way of getting hold of a book, until then, I’ll have to keep myself happy, re-reading stuff. To add to it, even the newspaper did not turn up! Talk about everything happening at once. I should seriously not complain, at least the workmen turned up- that has to be my silver lining, don’t you think?

So in other updates, my kitchen is getting done. Hopefully it will make the house a wee bit more liveable, not to mention – organizable, if there is a word of that sort. It does mean that the next 1.5 weeks is not going to be very pleasant, but then it would all be fine if the end result is worth it. Fingers crossed. I’ve also come to the conclusion that getting work done while staying in the house is a complete no-no. Initially, we had planned to move into a rental place, get our flat done up, and then move in. Unfortunately, we did not get a flat of our liking, so I decided to just move in here. Well, its not been too bad, but its not been the easiest either. Especially when there’s work going on, and dust everywhere. I came down with flu-like symptoms which I think was dust-allergy related, so I’m taking extra precautions today to ensure that no dust comes into the living areas of the house.

I’m going to stop my interiors work once the kitchen gets done. Everything can wait until husband gets here, and then we can move into a service apartment or something while the interiors get done.

House doing up woes aside, Bangalore is such a wonderful place. It makes me feel at home. Of course, having my aunt and cousins nearby helps loads, and even some wonderful new friends who have asked me give them a shout anytime I need something – makes you feel very, very comfortable. Blessings which I am truly grateful for. Talking of blessings, daughter can ab absolute darling, when she wants to be. Yesterday, I was ill, couldn’t get up, and she was just a star. Entertained herself, kept herself busy, did her work and today asked me to go and get some rest while she is at school.

The only thing I could wish for is to be able to carve out some time to meet friends and family. Hopefully soon. And go shopping – for myself 🙂

Going back to the subject of house decor and stuff. I haven’t managed to do much elsewhere, but we do have plants in every balcony 🙂 Daughter and I are both plant crazy. And we’ve also planted some seeds. Such fun it is to check how tall the saplings have grown – every morning! I know, I must be crazy, but seeing some green soothes me.

Enough of my ramblings, how have you been? I plan to blog hop today – if everything goes as per plan, and I don’t need to spend my day supervising people 🙂

A Month

Sometimes a month just flies by, while other times, you wonder, has it just been a month? I’ve had one of those months, when I feel – has it just been a month? Last month this time, was I really in Leeds, just getting ready to fly to India(No return ticket – as my friends joked:)).

It has just been a month, but it has been a wonderful month, but for the fact that Husband is far far away. It would have been so much better with him around. But then, we’ve got to take what we get, yeah?

Normally Julys are months when school gets over and we head over for our summer hols, right in the middle of the monsoon. This year, it was for a whole new start, a new life, in a home that we had dreamt of for years. We had been apprehensive, with some of my friends being quite optimistic that we would be back in the UK soon – which I sincerely hope doesn’t happen. I don’t think I can handle one more relocation, nor can my bank account – we’ve spent way too much money and effort on the apartment here 🙂

Hopefully, that will not happen, given the fact that we are quite happy to be here. Daughter loves her school – that was my biggest worry, and it is such a relief to see the same enthusiasm in her to go to school everyday. The bus ride seems to be fun for her, and not too long. Over all, things seem to be in place.

I still have a lot to do in my apartment, the whole day passes off in a flash, and I am completely and totally exhausted at the end of the day, but it all feels worth it. Hopefully, I will have something to show for all the hard work I have been putting in, at the end of the day year.

As I put together our home, in a completely random way, I have to say, I just hope it turns out decent. Time to time, I wish I had the luxury of time and space to plan the flat better, to tour around Bangalore before deciding on stuff, knowing what to look out for… Times when I wish I had two of me to be in two places. Times when I wish I could just forget all that I need to get done, and just go and relax in a spa 🙂 There are times that I feel so lonely that all I have energy is to just sit down and cry. The only thing that stops me is daughter – that would be way too scary for her. But those moments pass, only for me to wonder what made me feel so desolate and lonely, when there had been so many things going for me.

Missing old friends, making new ones, finding help from unexpected quarters, getting a domestic help who is extremely sweet, a pleasant surprise after all that I had heard from friends, seeing daughter happy… I can only be thankful at the end of this month in Bangalore.

While there have been challenges, there have been far more blessings, and that is that matters in the end, isn’t it?

Randomness..

You know those weekends where you whiz through stuff and Monday leaves you gasping for breath? Well, we had one of those.

Monday is a holiday for daughter as it is a training day, and both of us just wanted to laze around, doing nothing. We did that and some more. We went to the City Centre and shopped(not as much as I wanted to), and ate (pigged out – way more than I wanted to). We had planned to go to the City museum. It used to be our regular haunt a couple of years ago. We hadn’t been there in a while, and thought it would be fun to revisit the places we loved once before we bid adieu to the city that has become home for us, for the last 4 years. Unfortunately, for us, it was closed. I hadn’t bothered checking the opening timings before we started.

Now we that we wasted the day effectively, I spent the rest of the time on FB and daughter did Mental Maths for ‘fun’! We had picked up a book today and daughter enjoyed the first ‘test’ so much that she sat and did 12 tests in a sitting. No, I am not complaining at all 🙂 Am just happy I don’t have to fight with her to do work. Although how long this phase will last is something I am not too optimistic about. Did I mention that we’ve been having marathon sessions of Monopoly in which she has been beating me hollow 😦 Yes, I don’t play like a mercenary, the way I play with husband 🙂 We’ve had so much fun with Monopoly that I’ve decided to take it in my luggage back to India, rather than shipping it. I’m sure I’ll need it to keep her occupied. And after today, I’m stocking up on mental maths workbooks as well 🙂

I had plans to pack and plan my packing, but nothing concrete seems to be happening. Although I have to say, I have done considerable research on all the makes of refrigerators and dishwashers in India. And scoured pictures of Model homes that we had hoarded up, all those years ago when we dreamt of moving into our own house. All those had been kept aside when we realized that we weren’t going back anytime soon. Now of course, it is back to those days, when I spent hours staring at my floor plan trying to figure out where I could do what. Daughter and I have been pouring over colour schemes and room decor. She, of course, has already planned out her room 🙂 After years of living in rental homes, I can’t wait, and neither can she. Husband, unfortunately has to wait a bit more before he can join us, and he is already feeling bad. Fingers crossed, it shouldn’t be too long.

As I said, I just can’t wait to be back in Bangalore! Every passing day brings more excitement now 🙂 Wish me luck, and do drop me all the info you can – tips for getting the furniture, appliances and the like. I’m going to be setting up home from scratch and totally excited about it 🙂