On turning 30


So 30..yeah.

I have never thought 30 is a big deal and I won’t let marketing and media get to me. I never had a 30 by 30 list (but then I found myself nodding my head vigorously at this list) and I am not going to the store to buy my first anti wrinkle cream.

The last five years have been pretty exciting. This is my 5th birthday after marriage and out of these 5 I have spent 4 outside India (1 in Singapore and 3 here in Edinburgh).

So 30…yeah!

I know I am supposed to feel older and mature and wise (!) But in my head I still feel about 15. Who doesn’t?

Kiddo has made the largest impact on my maturity levels, if any. After you have a child your priorities are forced to change. Quite ironically, he has brought out the child like qualities inside me yet has managed to turn me into a responsible adult. Life has literally changed after him. The fact that I can cook a decent meal says a lot about my change and those who know me well will agree. I have also in fact, developed quite a liking for eating food and trying out new dishes. The credit for this goes to the Saint and it is going to be his fault if I turn fat. Now can you see how I tend to digress to the topic of food?? ūüôā

Anyway, so yeah…30!

The Saint and kiddo have baked me a cake! No help from me. They even searched for this recipe on the net and didn’t use any of mine.

 

No big surprises and no extraordinary celebration to mark this supposedly important landmark. I believe that is good. ūüôā

The Birthday Week


One day is not enough to celebrate your birthday, seriously.

There is too much excitement, you receive assorted gifts in the coming days from friends and relatives and mostly there is too much food to be hogged and you just cannot do it in one day!

When we are small, we have birthday parties, one single get together with friends and family to celebrate your birthday, grab the gifts, eat cakes and other delicious food. And then you are done. The excitement is over. Just like that. But as you grow older, the birthday parties are rare and not organised every year, the number of gifts dwindle and in general it’s not a big deal.¬†

To recreate the fun,¬†we (mostly me and my uncle-aunt) decided that birthdays should be celebrated for the entire week – a few days before and a few days after the big day. It should be a more elaborate event. Like Diwali – each day¬†you have something to celebrate, more fun, more sweets, more food – in all a¬†darn good time¬†over a few days. We started¬†having impromptu dinner parties at home and restaurants, ordered takeaways, indulged in roadside¬†chats, paani puri, ice creams¬†– the¬†reason always being, someone’s birthday was¬†due in a¬†couple of days. That way you could enjoy for more than one day and eat all your favourite foods and specially feel special and important.

Why am I suddenly being nostalgic and ranting about this. My birthday falls in this first week of August. Fortunately this week also marks the beginning of Shraavan. Although we are not following Shraavan, no non-veg food can be consumed during this entire week as festivals are marked throughout. Be still my heavy heart, we can still have fun with the veg food. Afterall, ghaas-phus can be made interesting.

 

So am officially announcing the commencement of celebrations for my birthday, besides, the world is a better place because of me. I have already started my celebration with mutton chops, Pomfret curry and strawberry wine. Go ahead, stop fretting, stop worrying, indulge yourselves, eat out, have fun, go on a holiday you have been longing to, meet your loved ones, have that tempting plate of food (to hell with the calories) and have a great week. In case anyone asks or you have guilty pangs, blame it on my birthday.

Things I wish/want for my birthday:

  • Mental peace, an anchor, something to hold onto – to rest my mind from the tangle of thoughts that obstruct my clarity of vision and judgement.
  • Get a hold on as many books as I can since I have the feeling that this is the only leisurely time I will ever get to read and relax.
  • A job: Something that will make me productive again – something to which I¬†can apply my mind to and feel satisfied with the results. I miss¬†those deadlines, pressure and anxiety, yes I miss feeling miserable.
  • Self actualisation: My grandma will agree with me that age has not brought me what it is supposed to bring in people¬† – wisdom, astuteness and some personality. I can’t at times find any changes in myself from when I was¬†a teenager.¬†Anger has always been my downfall and letting it get the better of me has often led me into trouble. People will not bother with who is right and who is wrong – they will only pinpoint at the person who is angry and shouting – and mostly that is me. Still need to change that.
  • Physical exercise: Have never done it, nor likely to do in near future unless advised by the doctor. But I always feel good after a coming back from a walk or running after the brat.¬† Need to do that more often. Need some fresh air and here it is plenty.
  • Music: There was once a time when I lived and thrived on music. I used to carry my Walkman¬†to college and¬†listen to songs during my commute. I used to go to sleep at night listening to songs. Nowadays I hardly¬†ever turn on the music. Nursery rhymes, Thomas, Chuggington, Tom and Jerry are the order of the day. I want to make an attempt to listen to more of my favourite songs. Find that iPod!
  • Take a break: from my routine – from cooking, cleaning, other household chores, being a mother and care taker. I need a break. I mean a real break from all that I am doing 24/7. I need a carefree life for sometime for at least a few days. I know it will come soon but till then need to hang in there.
  • Chocolate: It helps, really it does. One bar of dairy milk can work wonders and I have been indulging since quite some time now. I want to dig up more recipes for all sorts of chocolate milkshakes, cakes, etc for this summer. A girl needs her chocolate, that’s¬†the bottom line.

That should do for now. ūüôā

Happy Birthday sonny! You are 2 today :)


You are 2 today! That was what the poster on our hall read when I turned two years old. That was almost 3 decades ago. How time flies. I remember standing stiffly pointing appropriately at posters and cakes and gifts with a plastered smile on my face. Most of the times I never liked the taste of my birthday cakes.¬†Hmmm..maybe it was because of the fact that all other kids standing around me were more eager than me to have a bite as soon as I cut it or it was probably the icing that did it. And I didn’t know how to give a nice pose for photographs.

Anyway. My son is a natural though. He already poses in front of cameras and even knows when we are video shooting him. I guess it’s due to the fact that we tried to capture every moment of his since he was little and now he is used to it. ūüôā I decided not to be late like last year and post my thoughts about your birthday on time.

So how do I feel? Or more importantly, how do you feel son, turning two and showing me in not so subtle¬†ways that you are growing up and that you not the little baby I held not a long time back. How come only two years changed all that? Isn’t it a short time for you to be up and walking, no, running without holding my hand; being confident about it? How about selecting shoes of your choice and refusing to wear the old ones until daddy made the payment and put on the new shoes? Thomas engine, Chuggington¬†really! How did you learn to sing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ days before your birthday? How did you realise that you didn’t want to sleep on the separate bed and insisted on sleeping right between me and daddy. And now you wake up at night when you realise I am trying to make some space for myself, and you throw yourself on me. You really have odd ways of showing possessiveness! How come you are contented and calm without being too complacent? Sometimes when I see you so serene and into your own world, I can almost peep into the small window that gives me a glance into your future but before I comprehend the thoughts, it’s gone but¬†it¬†gives me¬†an inkling that it’s good and healthy..for lack of better words.

There are times when I think about my career and when shall I resume it again. But then I once had a conversation with an elderly aunt of mine who raised her son single-handedly. She said that children who have their mothers with them in their formative years and who grow up with them singularly, turn out to be more content, self-reliant and happy than those who don’t have their mothers 24×7. This conversation has been a soothing balm for me.

What more can I ask? To burden you with my ambitions and hopes is not something that I want to do and I really hope that it doesn’t come to that. I don’t want to be that kind of mother. Yes, but I do want to instill in you liking for books, music, travel and food. I am sure if you deeply attach yourself to these (in that order), other goals of practical life will come to you naturally. Of this am sure. Advice in words is of no use right now but I hope in my actions and behaviour towards you, am bestowing the right values. You really are a good kid to bring up. I haven’t had any difficulties with you that I can name. Really. None. Touch wood. But I still have something more to say..

Two years ago, on this very day
I was on the hospital bed, all stressed out and gray

When they put you in my arms you looked so calm
I would be the best mother I had no qualms

Little did I know that my world had completely changed
That it would never be the same, no never again

Now I can’t imagine the nights when you weren’t at my side
And the day doesn’t begin until you have smiled

Do you know the little flutter that I feel inside
When you call me ‘Aai’ with your smile so wide

Surely there are days when I feel so bad
When you don’t eat, when you don’t sleep and you make me so mad

But the real fun is in experiencing all these things with you
Your achievements, your tricks, your moods and the essence that is you

It’s a delight to watch you grow and it never ceases me to amaze
All that you have accomplished at such a small age

Obviously am a mother and I have a bias they will say
It’s a mother’s heart after all, what else am I to say?

Two years now and look at how time flies
Wasn’t it only yesterday when you were bundled up all nice?

If I give you any advice I know you will scream
But always remember it’s chocolate and not vanilla ice cream

When life throws problems at you that seem big and you can’t handle
Look at the stars at night and your issues with appear small and dwindle

But all this is too far off so let’s not bother now
It’s your only 2nd birthday so go take a bow

Terrible twos? No way it’s definitely terrific twos
Here am wishing a very happy birthday to you!

Too long, eh?

Happy Birthday


She shut her eyes against the strong winds. There was a chill in the air. The snow all around had almost blinded her. The freezing air had made it difficult for her to breathe. The blizzard cut through her skin which now started bleeding. She wondered whether she could survive this.

She took one deep breath and opened her eyes…

…lush dark green blankets of grass and beds of flowers filled her vision…tender sunshine caressed her skin and warmth filled her heart…she breathed in the scented roses and the wildflowers…and smiled..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Shantanu’s Birthday Poem


Here’s the birthday poem that I made on behalf of Shantanu:

Back from Edinburgh my dad is here,
to celebrate my birthday with pomp and gear,

Thank you friends and thank you family,
for coming to this ceremony,

In this world, today I turn one,
apart from you all, I know not one,

Teach me, guide me, show me the way,
in your care I will not stray,

Choicest of blessings and your love I need,
to grow into a man of wonderful deed,

Every day I pray to god,
prod me towards a righful trod.

I think I will need another post to describe the birthday and the birthday celebrations.

Happy Birthday Hubby


Dear Hubby — I know you feel that I haven’t mentioned you much in this blog. It is not that I don’t have anything to write about you. It is just that I feel our relationship is too personal to be mentioned here. But today I have decided to write down all the qualities about you that I like. So here goes:

  1. Loving
  2. Patient when I rant
  3. Listening
  4. Caring
  5. Humorous
  6. Peaceful
  7. Honest
  8. Humble
  9. Joyful
  10. Faith in something that you truly believe
  11. Trustworthy
  12. Hard worker
  13. Loyal
  14. Accepting me as I am
  15. Believing in me
  16. Not giving up on me
  17. Forgiving my mistakes
  18. Giving unconditionally
  19. Helping me
  20. Keeping me close at heart
  21. Saying nice things about me
  22. Loving me for who I am
  23. Making a difference in my life
  24. Not Judging me
  25. Supporting me in everything
  26. Quieting my fears
  27. Raising my spirits
  28. Telling me the truth when I need hear it
  29. Understanding me
  30. Valuing you
  31. And zapping me back to reality

And you know why I listed 31 qualities right?

Happy Birthday!

A whole lot of things to do before…


Am in the middle of creating some media here, and this bugger software just keeps shutting down in between. Frustrated. Big time. And am working on a deadline here. Coz if I don’t meet it, am gonna be late on other stuff. It’s not related but you know what I mean. Am really not at liberty to disclose anything right now. Well, it’s a self-imposed diktat.

Shopped to my heart’s fill last week. And with my favourite person, my aunt. Though I got nauseous in this murderous afternoon heat, I have no complains. The health, it succumbs, but not the spirit. I wouldn’t mind having another round of it all over again.

Coming up with lists right now. Though got to add a whole new one for Shantanu this time.

Any guesses what am talking about? ūüôā

Happy Birthday Chings – Ching Ming Chao!


You are One year old already! I can still remember your mom and dad and all of us desperately waiting for your arrival into this world last year. Both sets of your grandparents we thrilled as you were a sight for sore eyes. Since then you have been a constant source of fun, frolic and pure relaxation for our entire family.

As for me, you were my first close interaction with a baby as small and tiny as yourself. I do not consider myself great with babies and kids, but you brought about that tender quality in me and helped me build my confidence in taking care of a baby.

The neighbours hardly ever thought that there was a baby in the house since you never gave out shrills or cried at length. You were content and happy in your own world. I haven’t seen a baby so self satisfied. You didn’t even cry when you soiled your nappies and were happy playing in that mess.

From your toothless smiles-kicks-rolling over-sitting and now trying to walk, we have seen it all and enjoyed every moment of it. Specially now your Simpsons’s style laughter – that is the best.

May you grow to be the best,
Be it in the east or the west,

Your dad will teach you to be Angrez,
Your mum will be the one amazed,

Your grandma will cook to no end,
And your grandpa will not be able to bend,

Then dear Ishu, you come to mama,
who will teach you dance and drama,

Your mami will give you sweets and creme,
And show you how to laze and dream,

And not to forget our little Shantanu,
Whose idol you will be thru and thru!

On this special day,
It’s easy to feel nostalgic about the little baby you used to be,
But it’s easier to feel proud of the one you’ve become.

You outgrew our lap, but never our heart!
On your first birthday, our wish for you –
A very happy birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to me!


Birthday Cake

A year gone..
A year gained..
A bit more wise..
Or so ought I to be..!

I got a year older! Life has come a full circle since am celebrating with my son. It is amazing how time flies. Life is so different and yet the same…bah! No time this to get philosophical, am not that old anyway!

So I had a blast on my birthday.

Apart from the many gifts that I received and shamelessly accepted, the best one was hubby staying over at my place on the eve of my birthday. He usually drops by on Sundays, to see the baby and I always challenged him that he would never stay over. I was obviously not expecting him to stay the night, since I thought that he thought that he gets a bit uncomfortable here at my parent’s….aahhh what a complicated thought and..sentence. Anyway, so he proved me wrong and I was so glad.

The first one to wish me was my MIL (mother-in-law) right at the stroke of 12 and that too she sang “Happy Birthday to you” what with the tune and all. Now what other daughter-in-law is so lucky to have such a MIL? And that too when is keeping a bit unwell…such enthusiasm and unadulterated love! Am blessed. Though she is an angel, my biggest complaint against her is that I don’t have any complaints against her! But that’s a topic for another post. I digress.

Then it was my FIL (father-in-law), who is not used to staying awake past midnight! Then my very dear hubby wished me and gave me this whole lot of assorted sweet little gifts. Mum and dad were excited and happy too that they got to celebrate with me here and also the baby!

Now here are the gifts…

Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul

Life is too short for bad coffee!

Knowing what the coffee lover I am, my husband gifted me this Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s soul. I just cannot wait to read these inspiring stories that take place over a cup of coffee!

As soon as coffee is in your stomach,
there is a general commotion.
Ideas begin to move…smiles arise, the paper is covered.
Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.
–Honore de Balzac

Roman Holiday

I have been meaning to watch this movie for ages. Ever since my dad told me that my heartthrob Dev Anand (yea that’s right Dev Anand! I live in yesteryears!) acts like Gregory Peck. And I had already fallen in love with Audrey Hepburn after watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady!

Now here is another one:

Gold Coin

Yea right, that’s a gold coin..since am like gold! ūüėÄ

This one was the best of them all..

Certificate

This is to certify that am the best and perfect wife! As per my knowledge, he hasn’t got anybody else to compare with me! Nevertheless, I am instructed to keep up to these standards if I wish to renev this certificate next year!

Being a true blue Gemini, my hubby never gave a hint as to what he had planned for my birthday and the birthday cake at the top of the post is what he got me in the evening. I am now getting accustomed to receiving such “sweet-nothings” type of gifts ever since hubby came into my life and loving every bit of it.

It is never about how much the gift cost but rather the love and thoughtfulness behind it.

Birthday Cake

This is the cake that my parents got me and I don’t mind putting on all these calories! ūüėÄ

I cannot fail to mention my sweetest boy. His gift to me was being born this year and that he slept blissfully through the night, giving me the best sleep ever! ūüėÄ

I terribly missed a few people, who mean the world to me, with whom I loved to celebrate my birthday. Though, distance and places don’t fade away relationships, they are a hindrance in creating good memories on special occasions!