Rain Rain Beautiful Rain

We had the most beautiful rain last evening.

2663743316_3204f9dec7_bThe constant drop of bullets from the dark sky brought alive the sound of a million memories filed away in deeper corners of my mind. The Sunday evenings of my childhood were spent together at my Grand ma’s house. In spring and summer, we would sit on the porch, listening to the stories told by my Grand ma from the days gone by.

During rainy days, like this, we would sit inside the main room with a small heater placed inside. The room had a tin-roof top. The steady drumming from the cold pelting rain would drown every other sound except those inside the room. And that sound would be of my Gramma’s voice all covered and framed by the pelting rain just the way background music frames a TV drama or a film.

Inside the shadowy room on rainy day, the mood would often call for ghost stories. And we as little kids would sit quietly through its telling, darting eye balls back and forth in awe, wondering as if some ghost might be attending its own tale.

The yesterday rains also reminded me of the youth spent in the bustling city of Mumbai that is also well-known for its monsoon showers. Mumbai had always been a city of dreams for me and I made some of my best friends there.

The images of the countless times I sat with my best friend at our favorite café overlooking the sea, chatting over cups of coffee with hot chocolate brownies, watching the rains and talking about everything from fashion, fun, food to guys, office gossip, discussing , laughing and ruminating.

And now as I lay, tucked inside the warmth of a blanket, listening to the clatter above, I feel as if no other sound I have ever heard resembles that of  pelting rain on a tin-roof top. Yet I acquire a strong urge to get up, go out, and identify it.

True, the landscape has changed – I’m no more a child in my Gramma’s house, way past the young girl in search of her treasure in a city of dreams but these stories and images still stay with me somewhere bottled up in deep recesses of my mind.

And all it took to un-bottle them up was a sound – a sound I learned long long ago!

36 Random Things about Me on Turning 36

In a couple of days, I’m turning 36 – yes, thirty-six, as in closer to 40 than 30!

Yet, I’m looking forward to my birthday with all eagerness and enthusiasm. Funny! Isn’t it? I have had 35 birthdays and I’m still excited about birthdays!

Besides being one of those people, who just love-loves their birthday, here are 36 random things about me that attempt to sum up the person that is me. Continue reading

My Dream Beach Vacation Vs My Real Vacation with Toddler

My Dream Beach Vacation Vs My Real Vacation with Toddler

I am going to the beach. Yayy!

But with a nine month old toddler added to the mix, I wonder if it’s actually going to be a vacation.

Just 5 days to go until the official start of my family vacation in Goa. And it’s not like ‘just 5 days to go before I hit the sand’ but rather more like ‘just 5 days to go until I get three root canals in succession’!

In my perfect dream vacation, my family and I would spend our time together basking under the glory of the sun, savoring scrumptiously chilled watermelons while bonding over teamwork to create perfectly designed sand-castles.

But in the real world with toddler, my vacation would go something like this – “Mom, baby SMASHED my palace!” NO…Don’t throw sand at the baby! What? Did baby SWALLOW that shell? Hell!

My Dream Beach Vacation Vs My Real Vacation with Toddler

In perfect world, I lie languid at the beach with my favorite book. My son is somewhere around the sea playing with my husband as I relax and enjoy endless hours of solitude. My marble skin gradually tans into a shimmery shade of bronze and my hair look perfect.

I know reality would bite, when every afternoon the sole mission of our every activity under the sun would be to protect our toddler from the scorching heat. The summer thunderstorms would chase us. And my hair would turn into an enormous cloud of untamed fringes!

In my perfect dream vacation, after putting our 6 year old son to sleep, dear husband and I go out for long romantic walks at the beach, we have fun at night clubs and linger over drinks.

But with a toddler in tow, most of our typical romantic nights in real world vacation would be crammed into that precious three-hour space between her finally falling asleep and us suddenly passing out! I know it’s going to happen!

My Dream Beach Vacation Vs My Real Vacation with ToddlerMy toddler whose whole life is a vacation is blissfully unaware of my vacation. So relaxation is not really in the cards when I think about my upcoming vacation. But this does not mean that I won’t have fun. I will have fun but it will be a different kind of fun.

I may not get plenty of peaceful time, I may not get enough romantic time, but I would surely get lots and lots of play time. Though ‘play’ can be a strong phrase!

35 Lessons I have Learned in 35 Years of My Life

Happy Happy B’day to Me!

35 things i have learned in 35 years of my life

I turn 35 today. What, 35? When did that happen? Because as far as I feel, I just graduated from college and backpacked to Mumbai to see what the city of dreams has in store for me. And I always thought thirties were the years when you hit your stride! But here I am right in the middle of thirties, still dreaming and excited about the things to come just as I did at 25 or 29.

I still love staying up all night just to watch the stars or surf the mystic internet. I still love buying pink tops and penning my feelings in pink diary with pink ink. I still love receiving flowers and chocolates on my B’day from my lover. And this reminds me, I’m married!

Yes, I’m married for seven long years and have two adorable kids!

So even though I don’t feel my age, I’m now a more confident adult, more sure of myself, and more comfortable in my own skin in my thirties than I was at any time in my 20s.

So for my 35th B’day, here are 35 things I have learned from 35 years of my life:

35 things i have learned in 35 years of my life

  1. How you dress determines how you feel. If you want to feel good, put in that extra effort to look good.
  2. You don’t have to do it alone. In life, only results are rewarded and not the efforts. You are not going to get any medal for doing it all alone. It’s okay to seek help.
  3. Things are not as difficult as we think them to be. We have a tendency to overcomplicate things that can be solved easily.
  4. It’s futile to fret over your flaws. People don’t notice your flaws as much as you think they do.
  5. You can never make everyone happy. Stop wasting time pleasing people. They can never be pleased.
  6. You don’t have to be good at everything. It’s okay to be good at certain things while being bad at others.
  7. Don’t talk when you are angry. It will only make matters worse.
  8. Accept people as they are. They come in packages and God does not turn out faulty products. Accept them in whole.
  9. No one can win an argument. Learn to let it be.
  10. When you forgive someone, you do a favor to yourself, not to him/her.
  11. Stop wearing clothes from your college or early 20s. Even if they fit, they make you look trashy. Dress age-appropriate.
  12. It’s okay to sleep on issues. If patch-up seems too hard to come-by, it’s futile to lose your sleep over it.
  13. Looking good is 90% hair and 10% face and figure! So stop fretting about your weight and figure out a flattering hair-cut or hair style to look your best.
  14. Food tastes best when you are hungry.
  15. Listening to music in the morning is a great way to start the day.
  16. It’s okay to cry at sad stuff. If you should laugh your heart out to life’s funny moments, crying over touching moments in life makes sense equally.
  17. There is no such thing as perfect time. That perfect time will never come. If you have to do something or start something do it now or begin today. Stop waiting for January 1 to make the changes or start something.
  18. Exercise does not just let you lose weight but it also helps to make you feel good.
  19. Don’t ignore the small things. Happiness most often visits you in these small things of life. The smile on my baby’s face, a cup of tea made to my taste, receiving flowers from my husband, hearing the sound of rain drops falling on the ground and so on. Life resides in these small things, we take for granted.
  20. Loving yourself is not being selfish. In fact you cannot love someone else if you don’t love yourself. So take time to pamper yourself, indulge in that monthly spa, buy the dress you feel looks good on you, read that book you always wanted to read, treat yourself to a good movie. Do whatever it takes to feel good and loved. And never be hard on yourself. After all you have only one life.
  21. It’s never too late to follow your dreams. If you’d love to do something but think that you are too old for that, think again. Age is just a number and it’s never too late to do or start anything in life. It’s your mindset that makes all the difference. Even though, writing had always been my passion, it’s only recently that I have started taking it seriously. I’m 35 and have just begun my freelance writing career.
  22. Take care of your body; it’s the only one you’ve got. Yes, it’s taken me 35 years to learn that your health is more important than looks.
  23. Do good, when you feel bad.
  24. There is no such thing as ‘happily ever after’. Hard times are bound to come and while, they are no fun, they make you who you are. And after all, a story without the lows would be too boring, isn’t it?
  25. People are never what they seem to be. Sometimes people do not mean what they say and are manipulative. Accept them as they are but do not let them affect you or take things to heart.
  26. Telling white lies is okay, if it helps to spare yours or someone else’s feelings. I keep telling white lies to my husband on a daily basis to smooth my daily conversations with him.
  27. Have at least one friend who is 10 years older than you and another who is 10 years younger. Both will be good for your soul.
  28. The best key to happiness is to stop expecting and start accepting. Each individual is different and has an entirely different world view from yours. Don’t expect people to understand your world view or do things you want them to do.
  29. It’s okay to leave and let go. If a situation or person makes you feel unhappy or uncomfortable, it’s perfectly okay to leave and move on.
  30. Sometimes, outer order contributes to inner calm. Take time to clear the clutter in your surroundings and follow an order of daily routine to stay calm and focused in life.
  31. It’s okay to make mistakes. We are here to learn and grow.
  32. Kids grow up to be too soon even though it may seem like ages when they are very young. Treasure all the moments spent with them. This time is never going to come again.
  33. Motherhood is the most disgusting yet most rewarding thing in life. It’s disgusting because you wake up in the middle of the night to the smell of vomit. The vomit is in YOUR bed. And it is you who has to clean it. Motherhood is rewarding because at the end of each hard day you are comforted by the most beautiful smile in the world!
  34. It’s important to brush your teeth every night before you go to sleep. I know it’s boring, it’s awful but so are cavities. I am telling this from my own experience. I have lost teeth, so please for the love of your teeth, just brush!
  35. Treasure people who genuinely care for you. True love is elusive. It’s scarce. It’s the stuff novels are made. But it’s real and if you happen to find it in your life never give up on it or lose it at any cost. Be grateful, be thankful to people who love you truly.

 

5 Reasons I Suck at Being Traditional-Style Indian Housewife

why I am bad at being traditional style indian housewife

Back in my early 20s if anyone had suggested that I, an ambitious, freedom loving feminist put my career path on hold to be an Indian style home maker for my husband and family, I would have slayed them. What my younger self didn’t realize at that time was sometimes in life it’s not you who make the choices but circumstances that make the choices for you.

And so with seven years of marriage and two little kids in tow, I had no choice but to stay at home with my kids. More so, since my husband’s job requires a lot of travel, we worked on this old-fashioned arrangement to provide a constant in our kids’ lives. So call it a circumstance or choice, I’m now a housewife!

Yes, I used to have a corporate job. I’m also a writer. But with complete lack of substantial income, the fact remains – I’m a housewife! Whether I call myself housewife with a hobby or a housewife who writes, I cannot deny myself the title ‘Housewife’.

Indian-Bahu-19

But no matter how hard I try to fine-tune myself for the time-honored title, there are certain things about traditional style Indian housewife that just don’t sit well with me. Here are 6 reasons why I suck at being traditional style Indian housewife.

  1. I don’t aspire to housekeeping excellence:

Agreed, it’s my responsibility to keep the surroundings clean and presentable but having a sparkling, perfectly tidy house is not a priority to me. Devoting full hours to shifting furniture, arranging crockery, or perfectly folding never-ending piles of clean washed clothes is not my cup of coffee.

  1. I don’t like going to kitty parties:

If you are in India and a housewife, you know, kitty party tops the list for recreation. Also, you need a group to socialize and have fun. But besides exchanging domestic inanities and playing a few card games, the kitty party members in my locality do not do much. And before one get-together is over they are already planning the next and soon you are sucked into regular dates and forced friendships.

This is not conducive to my personality. I like to socialize sporadically and remain anonymous. So thank you.

  1. I don’t enjoy mom-talk:

Sure, I can talk at length about fixing fussy eating habits or regularizing poop schedules but that does not mean I enjoy it. I would rather love to banter about the business of books than business of food and poop.

  1. I don’t like to cook and discuss recipes:

I do know how to prepare and serve delicious food but I like to do it for myself. When it comes to serving guests or cooking something special for family, I am perfectly happy to serve them pizza or ready-made meals. And please don’t discuss your recipes with me.

  1. I don’t like to gossip:

Well, to be honest, it would be wrong to say that I don’t like gossip. Because, I do – when I am really wasted for time, I do enjoy reading all the juicy gossip on my Facebook account feed about half a million people in the world, all of whom I don’t even know just because it’s fun to know they exist. Also, these stories help me dream and wonder about different people and places in the world.

But if you ask me whether I would like to know why the husband of so and so woman who lives in our neighborhood left her for another woman, then nope, I am not interested. It’s none of my business. I have other things to do.

Anyways, regardless of how I suck at my honorary title, the truth is I am here. And I will make it through – somewhere between order and chaos with random glimmers of success and occasional stints of failing.

7 White Lies I tell My Husband Daily

Once upon a time, I was organized. I used to be on time, never missed deadlines, completed tasks and achieved goals. Then I had kids…

7 White Lies I tell My Husband Daily
And from there it seems to be a never ending journey of broken promises, unmet targets and relentless procrastination. Though I keep telling myself that things will fall in place, I will have more time, more money, more space but I know it’s a lie.

I lie to myself not because I am a die-hard optimist who’s hopeful about any situation or outcome in life. I lie simply to feel better. And to smooth out my daily conversations, I also lie to my husband!

Before you raise your eyebrows, these are not black lies or red lies, like “I stole your credit card for my online shopping and lied about it”. (Now that would be dangerous!). These are just harmless little white lies I tell my husband on a daily basis to make the hot mess of our life more comfortable.

Here are the seven most common white lies I keep telling my husband to survive my days:

  1. Would you be ready on time?

“Oh I just need 5 minutes. I promise I will be on time”.

What it means: Five minutes could mean 20 minutes, 35 minutes or an hour, during which I would try to stuff in as many tasks as your temper will allow. From taking a shower to feeding the baby, all will be done in just five minutes *wink*before we leave!

  1. Why didn’t you answer my call/text?

“My phone was on silent.”

What it means: I have the best of intentions. I swear. But between entertaining a six month old, placating a five year old, I am sorry to say, you just got ignored!

  1. You have not published anything in last two weeks.

“I will write something today”

What it means: I only have two eyeballs and one brain; either I can watch the kids or type the article. I will write only on the day I will get some quality undisturbed time!

  1. You still haven’t replied to that email.

“I will do it the first thing in the morning.”

What it means: First thing, never really means the first thing. The first thing I do is make tea. I might get to it second, but that is probably a lie too.

  1. Do you remember where have you kept ‘that’?

(‘that’ can pretty much be anything. It can be the car keys, some office file, a legal document, TV remote control, his specs, cells of AC remote control….the list is endless!)

“Yes, I remember.”

What it means: I remember means three hours of frantic search in all the four corners of the house.

  1. You were supposed to call me.

“I was just about to call you.”

What it means: In the quantum mechanics of our house my phone is always lying in some remote corner of the room. And I just found it when you called!

  1. My jeans are screaming for a wash.

“I will ask the maid to wash it today.”

What it means: At some point in time it will get washed. It might be today, it might be tomorrow.

These are the white lies I keep telling my husband every day both to escape the current mess and to continue living the dream of ‘happily ever after’.