Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Empty Nest

So the house"guests" have left. Barring a pair of trousers that were left in the cupboard because "Those are Anando's, but they look just like Baba's. Oh wait, they are Baba's trousers. Will they fit in the hand baggage now?" So anyway, I think all that they've left behind is lots of home-cooked food and blessings - after all, we need food for the body and the soul, right?

A crucial to-do on the agenda with my parents this time was a matter of tech-literacy. From gifting my parents a digital camera to teaching them how to use it to teaching Ma how to download pictures on to the computer to teaching her how to mail them to was an exercise which, fortunately, was successful. Appearing below is one of her best photos, taken when we went on the desert safari to the dunes of Lahbab outside Dubai.

The other big achievement: launching my father's blog. The man who motivated me to start writing, from whom I learnt how to compose letters to relatives, how to write to famous people seeking autographed pictures, who encouraged me to send my writings to newspapers, who promotes my writing as only a proud parent can do, who dreams that someday (soon) I will write a book, and who sent me a lovely ink pen when I declared that I wanted to write more and type less - he finally has a blog up. The intensely personal nature of the first post doesn't prevent me from telling the world about it. I don't think he will mind.

So now that the nest is empty and the fridge is full, I shall think of the next project at hand. Getting Ma to start a blog. Maybe a photo blog :) As you can see, I am always thinking of work for other people. Meanwhile, a deadline is perishing. Tata.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


It's a bit strange to have your parents come to your house to stay. I mean, these are the people from whom you have learnt your definition of home. You have watched them run a house, a kitchen, and you have seen what works (and what doesn't). Then of course you apply it elsewhere with your own 2 cents thrown in and create your ideal home.

Then they arrive, and they're like any other guests you may have at your place. You need to point out the dustbin's location. They ask you which way the bathroom is. You tell them which switch is for the bathroom light and ask whether they need anything else. You explain which cupboard door is a bit loose. Which window doesn't close properly. Where the salt is in the kitchen.

And then of course comes the excitement of showing them a new place which you have discovered independently of them. Where once you saw everything through their eyes, and they kept you safe and cushioned you as you learnt your way around, it's now the other way around. If they go out alone in the neighborhood you give them precise directions for coming back.

And of course if they are coming to Dubai tonight to stay for 9 days, you sit at work and suppress your excitement, blogging to tell the world you are too excited to work while you hide it from your colleagues.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tag Taggle Toggle

This one comes from Eve's Lungs. It's the perfect tag for someone like me because I tend to live in the past. Mulling over the state of the world takes a backseat as I delve into memories and recall instances and conversations and people with clarity. So, here goes.

My oldest memory: Is boring. My mother can't believe I remember this - I toddled over to the lowest shelf of the kitchen and knocked over an entire bowl of dal, creating a mess. So I must have been less than 2 years old. Sigh...butterfingers even back then.

Ten years ago: I was finishing college and agonizing over staying on at Stephen's versus going to JNU. Ah, that tiny sphere of concern.

My first thought this morning: Not already!

If you built a time capsule, what would it contain: Not sure of the principle of a time capsule, but it's like preserving things for eternity, right? In that case, it would hold everything and everyone from my present world, except, oh...cockroaches, terrorists, alarm clocks (ironic, in a time capsule..hah) and other irritants.

This year: I turned 30 but it was the least significant part of the year. I think that's what being an adult is all about. Much has happened - I have gone back to fulltime work, my brother has learnt to live on his own, I have said goodbyes, and hellos, and generally become more of what I want to be.

14 years from now: Is impossible to predict. I live in the past, remember?

Tagging: MM (as if she didn't have enough to blog about already), A Muser, Suku, and Audacious, just to get her to blog!!! And a dear cousin who has just started blogging and is thinking of topics - Chandra didi.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've blogged about my gymming experiences before. But that was before I turned 30. And about x kilos ago. So, ladies and gentlemen, the gym is back in my life. Every morning, I realise how old I'm getting when I can't drag myself out of bed to get in an hour, no scratch that, 45 minutes, of gymming before I head to work. Funny, I thought people slept less with old age. What is this? Some sort of weird sleep-while-you-can gift before insomnia and dementia set in?

Each morning, make that every other morning, make that most mornings, make that...oh well, I went anyway, each morning that I go to the gym, I dress in my faded t-shirt, slightly too-long track pants (I want to buy cool new Adidas ones with the stripes down the side but somehow can't justify them to myself until I make the gym a regular habit), and sneakers that will soon - if I exercise enough - allow my toes to peep out (previous parentheses apply).

Anyway, so the other morning Anando and I were walking towards the gym, which is near our offices, when I noticed a bunch of women walking ahead of us. Backpacks, sports shoes, frumpy clothes (branded though). And I looked down at Anando and me - backpacks and assorted bags containing change of clothes, office shoes, lunch, laptop. We were all dressed the same. Happily, Holmes-like, I conjectured - "Oh look, they're going to the gym too."

Anando sighed. His delusional wife, he must be thinking. "No, they're just students."

When you start thinking students dress like they're going to the gym, you really are old.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


He checked his hair in the mirror and groaned - this Keo Karpin oil was no good, he would switch to coconut. He'd been losing hair and it had changed the way his face looked, now that he had an extra 2 inches of forehead! His gaze moved lower and, oh no, were those wrinkles? Couldn't be, he decided. It was too early for him to be getting wrinkles. He was just getting paranoid about his skin.

His kurta was crisply ironed and the gold buttons he'd inherited from his grandfather gleamed back at him, winking at his vanity as he ran his hands over them, feeling the familiar texture of the chipped design.

As he walked down to the nearby shop, he knew she would be sitting on her porch, her hair loose as she sat and daydreamed, working on some embroidery for her family. Would she even look up at him, he wondered. He would have to find something to talk to her about as he walked past. Something casual, but that would interest her. But he must remember to act nonchalant. Yes, he'd ask about her sister, hadn't she been ill lately? He couldn't remember. He really should have paid more attention when she talked, rather than thinking of a smart retort that would impress her.

His eagerness made him smile. In a corner of his heart he felt a pang for the other woman he had once impressed, successfully. But she was gone, and life carries on, he rationalised, overlooking the way he had mourned her.

He was ready, a few dashes of Old Spice, and he was all set to storm the neighborhood. He went down the stairs. They seemed higher than they had been when he was a child. Strange, he thought.

At the door, he paused, breathing in the fresh air. Ah, how wonderful to be alive! He was about to march out purposefully when the little boy stopped him. "Won't you take your walking stick with you, Dadu?"