Still alive


Random thoughts:

My son turns 10 this month. Double digits. A decade old! Where has the time gone? I can almost have an adult conversation with him. At each stage in his life so far, I have thought it was the best one until he grew another year and surprised me. He is his own person and cannot be influenced by the opinions of others.

I suppose that’s an excuse to write something on the blog. Give it a sense of survival.

I have completed a year at my job! That’s a sentence I never thought I would be able to say if you asked me a few years ago.

I am still skeptical about driving. Although I can drive my husband’s car (a gigantic metal tin) I am worried about the geometry of it. With the narrow roads of Edinburgh, one can bump into anything if one is not careful.

Gone are the days of me sitting down for a couple of hours and reading. I can’t remember the last book I read. Here’s something else I noticed. I tend to forget the books and the plots of those books that I read on the Kindle. Is it because they all feel the same? No texture no uniqueness.

Hopefully this won’t be the only post this year!

Spam alert!

I have been getting a lot of spam comments recently. Does it mean my blog is getting popular? 🙂

Well, this is just a nonsense post about some of the spam comments that are filtered by WordPress for my blog. So here goes:

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And this

i think to write in blogs, you have to be very focused on what is the main subject and the rest comes casually.

And to top it off this…

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What spam comments are you getting? 🙂

Passive aggressive anger from fellow passengers

No, I am not talking about the seat acquisition game that is part and parcel of Mumbai locals – where you struggle and strategize to outwit fellow passengers to get seats on trains.

What I want to talk about is perhaps more complex. We went to York this weekend – just a day trip to one of my favourite places. Our return train was late by half an hour and we heaved a sigh of relief when we finally boarded.

After we settled down in our seats with reasonable commotion, hubby went off to visit the loo. Within the seconds the ticket collector came asking the recently boarded passengers for tickets. Now, usually, the passengers who have boarded the train at the last station immediately hand out the tickets and the TC does not ask each and everyone. In our case, hubby had the tickets and he was not there. The rest of us made no attempts to tell the TC that we need to show our tickets and he just passed us by.

Now there was this lady probably in her mid 50s who was sitting opposite me a few seats away. She had a big round face with a straight nose, sharp blue eyes that looked down on everything around, frown lines creasing her forehead, curly auburn hair cut in a nice bob and a scowl on her face which was perhaps permanent. She seemed the kind of person who was completely pissed off with life.

When she scowled at me, I thought that she thought that we don’t have tickets and hence didn’t show them to the TC. She eyed me with this haughty contempt look. There was this another lady sitting next to her who was probably her sister. She murmured something to her and the sister started laughing with little interest in the matter. Now then this lady again swept the compartment with a disdainful look and looked at me as if I was utterly unworthy to be sitting there.

This all happened before hubby returned to our seats and I gave him a quick update. The saint took one look at her and said that she is probably frustrated with her life in general and it is none of her business whether we have our tickets or not. (This is why I think men don’t understand visual cues and body language!)

To add to her frustration, we soon got out our snacks of bread and chutney, cheese, khakra, chiwda and got into a discussion. Now I am the kind of person who gets angry with such behaviour. I hate being made to feel wrong when I am obviously not wrong. In this situation however, I had no opportunity to perpetuate the anger/rudeness/contempt by talking to her as she got down at the next station.

Oh how I would have loved to fan out our tickets like a pack of cards or even better, make everyone rush to the next compartment in the false pretext of not having tickets just to irritate her further when the TC came back later.

I hate not being able to give back!

Gadgets and updates

A short update on the happenings:

My parents arrived last Wednesday and I have been doubly busy. Kiddo is super excited with all the gifts he is getting everyday. Books, puzzles, alphabets and action songs is keeping him busy. He hardly has time for me and I get a customary hug once in a while. 😦

I have had an unexpected gadget windfall…I am now the proud owner of iPad (courtesy my FIL) and Samsung Galaxy smart phone (courtesy my dad). Early birthday gifts for me 🙂

Too many gadgets and not a productive thing to do 😦 I have now decided to use each device at least once a day. Whatsapp on smart phone is addictive. It reminded me of the time I first experienced chat rooms on yahoo.

iMad with iPad. Laptop, kindle, smart phone and iPad. iSnob. iBoast. 🙂

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. 😦

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 🙂

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.

Since am on vacation…

…am indulging myself!

The kiddo is now doing fine. The dysentery nightmare got over within 4-5 days.

I went shopping yesterday, leaving the kiddo back at home. We shopped in the nearby area just in case the kiddo didn’t stay with my parents. I was a bit worried about him whether he would stay without me for a few hours. I shouldn’t have worried, he played, ate and slept without me! Now I am determined to go shopping and on outings at farther locations 🙂

I watched Pride and Prejudice last night. Again. For the Firth time, sorry fifth time. Come on, am on vacation, at least that is the excuse I am using to watch it again.

To further the pleasure, I am reading The Floating Admiral written by the Detection Club which includes Agatha Christie. Readers who have been a regular to this blog would know of my fascination with Christie. None of my vacations, holidays or day offs are complete without a Christie book. In fact, I shall confess that I only need excuses to pick up another book and re-read it.

What’s bliss for you?


Back in Mumbai…

….after more than a year! From 15 degrees to 30 degrees. We started sweating the moment we put our foot outside the airport. Luckily, no rains.

Am I being paranoid or has the traffic still increased in the past one year? Shantanu and I were greeted with heat and dust (nothing new here) but after a year it feels yucky! I may sound like those NRIs who come to India after a short time and start cribbing about things all around. But it is in fact the situation, we do live in filthy conditions. This becomes all the more glaring after staying in a lovely clean city.

I did recognize all the landmarks on my way on the Western express highway but I also came across so many new constructions! Where is the space? The uneven roads, bumper to bumper traffic, honking, dust, almost running over someone at high speed….all so familiar but so sad at the same time.

My hubby asked me to analyse the experience of returning to Mumbai and come to some kind of informed decision about whether we should return to Mumbai permanently or stay abroad. Apart from the emotional bonds with our families and relatives, there is really nothing that makes me want to stay back here. Life abroad is monotonous but so so easy!

About our travel, sonny was an angel! I was somewhat dreading our journey, managing him on my own for such a long flight. He slept through most of the journey and seems to have adopted pretty well with his grand-parents. He is awestruck with the ceiling fans – it’s a new concept for him and fascinated with the autos and open door buses! His curiosity has achieved new levels and he has questions about each and everything in the household.

Well, this is just the first day and am still jet lagged drowsy yet vividly awake.

Very excited about this trip though.

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


…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!