Me, books and makeup


It was almost four years ago that my husband¬†skilfully¬†managed to make me watch another of Meryl Streep‘s movie to convince me of her great acting talents and this time he tricked me into it saying that there’s a character in it that’s just like me.

I was hooked.

The film was Devil Wears Prada and the character he was referring to was Andrea Sachs played by Anne Hathaway! I was very excited to watch this cute and¬†hard-working¬†girl until I found out that she was the target of much ridicule for her dressing sense and style. So that’s how my husband saw me – a girl with no sense of style.

I found a sad little corner of the house and secretly licked my wounds. Instead of frantically getting a makeover and taking a crash course in make-up, I adamantly stuck to my style – whatever that was.

Then we travelled to Edinburgh with a one year old in tow. Dressing and makeup were replaced with diapers and baby food. Having my hair in one place and no drool on my face was the best makeup. Living in perhaps the most beautiful city in UK and being surrounded by beautiful women did no good to my ego. Even the old ladies wore pearl necklaces for a walk in the gardens!!

Wait, I have a point and I will come to it. Perhaps!

Summer’s here or it is supposed to be here and am eagerly waiting for the Edinburgh International Book festival to start next month. I am attending a couple of events and I don’t want to be Andrea Sachs with the blue sweater.

Beauty tips anyone?

5 things for Valentine’s Day


I have always been a closet romantic. I have secretly wondered and fantasized about all the typical girly things you read in books or see in movies. However on actually encountering a romantic situation, I cringe and squirm and don’t know how to deal with it. Come to think about it, I would be downright clumsy. No wonder I dread Valentine’s day!

Source: http://www.cute-wallpaper.com

On top of that, advertising and media has commercialised this day to the extent that there is no charm left in it anymore.

I am not a sucker for flowers and gifts but then I am currently living in the West with nothing to do and as you know an empty mind is the devil’s workshop, in my case the Cupid’s workshop. So here are 5 things that I would like hubby to do for me on Valentine’s day!

1. Go cycling

Source: http://visitbritainnordic.wordpress.com

I have always admired nature and it would do me very well if I can get my lazy bum out of this couch and on to a cycle. Pedaling our way through this beautiful city would be a unique experience and we could explore the spectacular scenery this city offers. In fact, Scotland has one of the UK’s best cycling routes. We can get to explore the small details we otherwise miss.

2. Go on a balloon ride/ helicopter ride

Source: http://www.wallpaper1080hd.com

I have had this attraction of viewing a city from above ever since I saw Darr and then again Dil Chahta Hai. This is definitely a way to get a new perspective on sight-seeing. Hot air balloon would definitely be more romantic with the wind blowing on our faces. How exciting is that??

3. Book us on a spa for the day

Source: http://blog.getaway.co.za

This is perhaps the most romantic of my wishes. Nothing like a relaxing spa to pamper ourselves. Unwinding with a glass of Champagne. Wine will do too. Am not that fussy.

4. Book a cottage/villa/mansion for the weekend

Source: http://www.centuryfarmcottages.com/

You get the idea?

You can extend your celebrations of Valentine’s day for a couple of days. Who’s stopping you? So a cottage, villa, mansion, hell, I wouldn’t mind a small castle for as long as am fantasizing. Scotland has so many amazing villas, cottages, castles at the most stunning locations. A weekend getaway in a cottage by the woods thrills me to no end. To beautify my dream further I would also like it if it had a small swimming pool. It should also be supplemented with a full-time cook who would dish out all of our favourite meals. We would go on walks. Maybe we would reach this cottage on our cycling route!

Source: http://www.cool-wallpapers.us

5. Go sailing

Source: http://thegazettescotland.co.uk/sailing-around-scotland/

This again has been on my wish list for quite some years now. I have been on a boat before, cruise in fact, twice so far. But sailing is different. It is personal, private and at your pace. Another different perspective to view the scenery, cliffs and wildlife.

These small wishes need not be restricted to Valentine’s day only. There are other special days. Or then why wait for special days. Just get on with it.

Hubby, are you reading???

Where had I been?


I have been regularly missing this space. But I would try to here more often now.

So an update about family first. My son is now comfortable in playgroup. His dad goes to drop him and I pick him up. He is excited to go every day and wakes up early without complaint.

As for me, I thought I would get some time for myself and I can do activities like going to the library, maybe catch an early morning show, perhaps even go shopping. Who was I kidding? I have been more busy now than ever. The time that kiddo spends in playgroup, I spend in frantic household chores. Cooking, cleaning, laundry! One hour from my morning is spent in picking him up from playgroup and coming back home. Yeah, I got busy and I still don’t have me time. ūüė¶

In other sad new, my grandma took another fall and got her other thigh bone broken early Sunday morning. She was operated and is still in hospital.

In further sad news, our visa expires in April. We have no idea yet whether hubby will find more projects and our visa would get extended. I so so want to continue our stay here. This place is the longest we have stayed together after marriage, the place where kiddo took his first step, said his first words, even started school. And no doubt this place is absolutely positively beautiful. I think we haven’t explored half of Edinburgh, let alone Scotland. We both are collectively anxious and nervous. Please do pray for us.

On a small positive note, my FIL has started a blog. Here’s the link. Do visit and comment. Thanks ūüôā

Christmas in Edinburgh


A week after we arrived in Edinburgh, I ventured outside for the first time yesterday, apart from the trips we made to the grocery store. The winter this year is much more tolerable with temperatures ranging within 5 to 12 degrees. There has been no snowfall this year at least not in our region and that makes travelling easier.

Edinburgh is I think one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. You can feel the excitement all around you. Everyone you meet is smiling and there is definitely some magic in the air. I half expected to see Santa flying over the Ice Rink above the dormant trees in the Princess Street Gardens yesterday.

The¬†German Christmas Market¬†stalls are very popular and sell a variety of classic and contemporary gifts as well as a range of German food and drink including sausages, fried potato cakes, German Beer and the famous¬†Gl√ľhwein¬†commonly knows as Mulled Wine.

The kiddo had a lot of fun on the rides. We were surprised that he wasn’t afraid to sit in the Giant Wheel. Some pictures from yesterday…

Chocolate Waffles - Yummy!!
Mulled Wine - served warm!
German Markets
Crowd around the market stalls
View of the Ice Rink from top of the Giant Wheel
The kiddo on the car ride - all smiles
Boat + Water = Smug Kiddo!
Children's rides
A glassful of Mulled Wine

These buses were warm and cozy on the inside. You could grab a large slice of Pizza and mulled wine and make yourselves comfortable on the chairs and tables inside the bus!

 

So how did you spend your Christmas???

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Getting back to normal


It’s only been three days and am getting used to the quiet life here. Winter is tolerable this year thanks to the lack of ice.

For dramatic purposes let’s say that in a drunken stupor I knocked off my wine glass on the laptop yesterday. Since then the keyboard is acting crazy. I have to resort to on-screen keyboard and it’s a big pain.

Weekend with Yashraj films


We got a new Blue Ray player sometime last week. For the lack of good movies on TV, we decided to watch some Yash Chopra ones that my parents had left us from their Europe trip last year. We watched Bachna Aye Haseeno, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Chandni.

Here are some afterthoughts:

  • Then: Rishi is so handsom and charming.¬†Now: Rishi Kapoor is far more charming and handsome even with his shirt¬†sweater on. Compared to Ranbeer obviously.
  • Then: When I saw it in theatre 16 years ago, I only noticed Shah Rukh’s dimples.¬†Now:¬†In the song, Ho gaya hai tujhko toh pyaar sajana, Shah Rukh is not driving through London. There are no alps in London. Snow-clad or otherwise.
  • Watching Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor dance together is like listening to any Lata-Rafi song. Both, Lata and Rafi sing so well that it¬†is difficult to concentrate on either and you cannot enjoy the song for the overwhelming beauty of it. It is so much better to listen to Lata and Mukesh sing, where Lata rules as usual in complexity and Mukesh is as simple and plain as a line. Similarly, Rishi and Sridevi dance so well that it is difficult to concentrate on both of them. At a time. Together.
  • Then: Every time I watched Chandni or for that matter Lamhe, when I was a kid, I always lusted after Sridevi’s dresses, tresses, sarees, practised her dance moves to perfection and wanted to be like her in every sense. I even mimicked her squeaky voice.¬†Now: I noticed Rishi’s sweaters. After 40, I gave up counting.
  • Sridevi looks far too better in the white dress in Tandav dance than Juhi. I guess everyone agrees with that.
  • I decided that I would always want to watch Kajol in DDLJ than Deepika in Bachna Aye Haseeno or Deepika in whatever movie. My hubby disagrees.

You find any changes in your perception after watching movies after a decade? Do tell.

Will miss you Edinburgh..


…the Autumn colours

…the short days and long nights

…the variety of wines

…the five-minute walk to Sainsbury’s supermarket

…the lovely Princess Street

…the majestic view of the mighty Edinburgh castle

…the smiles and ‘cheers’ from random people¬†

…the interaction between son and random people from buses, roads etc

…the beautiful gardens and kid’s parks

… the quiet and peaceful days

…rainbows

…cobblestone roads

…frequently changing weather, experiencing three seasons in a single day!

…the hills of Holyrood park

…last but not the least, my hubby, who will join us in Mumbai a couple of months later

Will miss you Edinburgh, the most beautiful city I have visited so far but I will be back. Now back to enjoying the last week here!

Dear Mumbai, I love you too, but am most charmed with this city here!

Musings from the past week


I can now officially crib since next year I will be on the wrong side of 30! Dear god! I can still remember details about my school and college life but after that it is all in fast forward mode. I already feel like an old maid. ūüė¶

Before I begin my sulking, never imagined I would be celebrating 2 consecutive birthdays outside India – in a beautiful city like Edinburgh. When in school, I always hated it that my birthday fell during the monsoon season and it most definitely rained on that day. Here however, I am really enjoying this summer and sunshine.

This year I have also been able to get a lot of reading done. Thanks to the libraries here which have a huge collection. Back in India I was never able to continue with any library due to the frenzied lifestyle and lack of me-time. The books that I had purchased are still lying in a bag in some cupboard. Here I am enjoying the old world charm of going to a library, browsing through the books and reading them at leisure. Life is so spaced out here. I can take my kiddo with me. He plays with the toys in the kids corner section while I browse and issue books. It has such a laid back feeling to it which I enjoy. I have really come to savor these moments as I know I cannot do this back home.

August month here has a lot to offer with the school vacations and summer and it is truly the Festival month of Edinburgh. It’s filled with a diverse range of¬†activities, shows, performances, arts, etc for all kinds of audiences. The Edinburgh International Book Festival starts this weekend and I am determined to take the kiddo for book reading sessions and other activities. The website is not operating but I shall note down the details about our visits.

The kiddo meanwhile is at his naughtiest best – more demanding, more stubborn and troublesome with a mischievous smile to cover it all. The foods that he dislikes are promptly pushed on the floor from the dining table – (the carpet in our case¬†ūüė¶ ). Most of the time, after a meal or snack, hubby or I are on the floor cleaning up after his royal highness is done with the food. The juice is spilled over a wider area in the kitchen after which he will solemnly ask for the cleaning sponge cloths – he is amazed at the speed with which these cloths absorb the liquid and hence wants to watch it over and over again.

He has also learnt the art of communicating with his toys – the doggy¬†is placed facing the window and is compulsorily made to watch the fountain in the garden and whether the water is on. The open-mouthed dinosaurs¬†are now given lunches and dinners and are fed with rice daily – they are not turning chubby. The kiddo’s¬†blanket is placed on the Teddy¬†Bear – he is told to go to sleep so that Daddy will take them both to the garden in the evening. Every meal is to be had while watching ‘Wheels on the bus go round and round’ – I can sing this now even when am unconscious. If the song is over before the food, then the various other versions are to be played repeatedly. I haven’t given up though. As soon as he is old enough to listen and understand film songs, I am going to bombard him with Lata¬†Mangeshkar¬†oldies and Mehdi¬†Hassan ghazals. Let’s see if I can turn him over to my generation about songs.

Books are still a favourite though. Every time, he sees me reading, he will pick up one of his books and sit next to me, pretending to read. TV watching is mostly restricted to his lunch time and he has started picking up english words. There’s this one show where the host reads out greeting cards and letters to kids whose parents and relatives have wished them on their birthday. The kiddo promptly starts singing Happy Birthday to you!

Speaking of TV, I have been seeing this ad starring a weather-beaten Jean-Claude Van Damme:

What in the hell is this all about?

He is walking like a penguin and his pants are frozen rock solid??

This is such a perplexing ad, no idea what lager he’s¬†advertising and would it be any good if it freezes his assets?

The Cinema Experience


The Yogi Bear Show
Image via Wikipedia

We took Shantanu, who by the way is turning more into a brat by the day, to watch a movie last weekend. The multiplexes here air kiddie movies every Saturday morning. We decided it was time to introduce the little punk to the theatre. Movie listings were checked, the brat was shown a¬†couple of¬†movie trailers just to check his liking. ¬†We finally decides on Yogi Bear¬†after Cars and Kung Fu Panda. He seemed excited enough although it was me and hubby who were more eager to go and watch a movie, any movie in a theatre after more than a year. The excitement of going for a movie doesn’t end na? I have always felt eager and excited to watch a movie in theatre – the tickets, popcorn, pepsi-coke¬† – it is so reviving.

All set, the next day saw us at the theatre half an hour before the movie time. He watched the ads before the movie with deep concentration and I was starting to feel relaxed that he might sit still during the movie ahead.

But…

He was all attention when the Bear was on the screen and started crying as soon as it was out of scene. After a lot of cajoling and coaxing, hubby took him out and got a big cone of popcorn ūüôā

Alas the movie was one smooth ride after that. We even waited till the closing credits rolled out!! Pizzas and chocolate drinks followed and he was one happy kid by afternoon.

Shantanu and I also had our very first Bowling experience. With all our travelling, he is turning out to be a very outgoing person.

No wonder hubby wants to send him in to Travel and Living! ūüôā