Occupying 2012

Update: The post below has been in making for several weeks now. I never realized how big it was getting, till today when I’m sick and at home, and decided that I didn’t feel inclined to edit it. Apologies for the self-indulgence. The vacation pictures, I’m happy to report, are finally on my hard disk and while  the travelogue is going to take some time, those on my FB can see the pics at least.

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Well alright, since I’m now done sulking over issues I was sulking over, I thought “Hey, now that all this sulking time has been freed up, what ELSE can I do?” (Wow! I can say so much in every sentence even while using one word thrice in it and my posts are so informative – NOT.) And then the blog came to the mind. You should all be glad you’re the ones I chose over the million possibilities that arose in the aforementioned event (Collective rolling of three sets of eyes being steadfastly ignored now).

Since that blasted travelogue is taking way too long to get written, because of the photographs not getting transferred and me not being able to go “Oh yeah! That was the picture taken on that mountain on that day.. I forgot about writing anything about that day in the travelogue” (I’m forgetting stuff, man, and names of places in Spain were not easy. My brain, it hurts!), I decided to return with something even more self-obsessed than a travelogue of epic micro-detailing. Correcto – my resolutions for the year 2012! Please don’t go all “resolutions? That shit is so 1990s” on me now, because I never made resolutions in the 90s and such statements make me feel like I’ve always been behind the curve, not just now.

One thing I did realize while thinking through my resolutions was this: It’s addictive. You start with one good thing you want to do, one bad habit you want to change and suddenly, you’re hit with this truckload of all the angelic things one can do to become the next incarnation of one’s favourite deity (never mind, none of it is original) and you take on too much. Not that this realization stopped me from promising myself sainthood, but I did try to filter out those that didn’t have very sound logic for me as a person/ me at this stage of my life/ had other practical limitations I could not control. For example: As a person, I cannot go on an Atkins diet. At this stage of my life, I would not want to quit my job and be the vagabond I was a year ago. World domination has practical limitations I can’t control. 😀

Without much ado (too late for that though), here goes:

Cut the guilt: If there’s anybody in the world who could make Feeling Guilty the passion and enterprise of their lives, I dare them to better me at this! But don’t jump to conclusions just yet. All of this guilt is not unfounded or resulting from things beyond my control – some of it is a very complicated mix of regret and procrastination and/or attitude. It’s the latter that sends me spiralling down the rabbit-hole, for all the “if only I had”s I think up. I’ve only recently begun realizing (headway!) that little solves itself after I’m done wallowing in my guilt. But the worst part? I underplay the things that I did do right because I’m so busy beating myself over things I didn’t. The resolution for the year is to remind myself: What is the worst that could happen?, even if it takes asking myself that ten times a day. I also think these things help me balance my guilt:

    1. Praying:  I don’t do this often enough. In fact, I pray only when something bad happens. Or when I am truly scared because of something I see or imagine. In those 15 seconds of prayer, I feel like I’ve placed my fear aside and it won’t come back. Maybe it’s conditioning, but it really doesn’t come back. It’s hard to explain but in times of crisis, I feel like my left brain kicks in only when my right brain is done praying. God knows I could do with some more such magic in my life. If I can ship out my worries in advance and pay my thanks before I’m reminded to, why hoard them right?
    2. Giving:  I have been horrible at this. Which means, I may want to sound or feel like a compassionate person, but I’ve wasted a long time not doing anything concrete for the less fortunate around me. In time, money, material, help – something.  I have tried to fix this earlier, but sadly never made the right effort to do my research and make up my mind. I’ve taken the first small step to correct this, in 2012, and am keeping my ears and eyes open for other opportunities. And can I say it already makes me feel lighter!
    3. Forgiving:  I know I’ve written before how I’ve learnt to get bothered less and less by things that previously annoyed me. Guess what? I may have learnt to stay shut when annoyed, but that doesn’t teach me to either snap at someone totally uninvolved later or nurse a grudge for months. If it’s something hurtful someone has said or done, more often than not, they can kiss my friendship a very permanent goodbye. Here’s a small problem. No matter who you are, and no matter who your friends/ acquaintances/ relatives are, you’re bound to have someone do something that’s hurtful to you but completely normal (EVEN “CARING”) to them. In such cases, my policy falls flat on its face and cries for its mommy. It really doesn’t help that I never forget something that happened between us – not just the words, but how they said it, when, where, how I reacted – everything. While I can’t help with the trying-to-forget part, I think it’s only the adult thing to do to forgive and move on. Not that I don’t move on any which way, but I never genuinely forgive, and when I meet other unforgiving people like me, I notice how rigid and petulant it makes them come across as. Also, there’s the tiny bit of finally understanding how *surprise surprise* despite my treading very carefully with many people, I could also be hurting someone unknowingly and I would hate it if they decided to throw me out of their lives unceremoniously.

Make that call: I’ve read countless cheesy things about how it takes little to stay in touch with friends, and making that one call can give you real happiness and I agree. But this is not about that. This is about the calls I never make to my mother. Here’s the hard truth: I cannot think of any one person besides my mother who waits eagerly to talk to me over the phone. Sure there are many people who will be happy to hear from me, and many whom I can effortlessly chat for hours with, but none of them – I know – tap their fingers impatiently if I don’t call back. And the evil in me skimps with time on only her calls. My most hurried “I’ll just call you back”s are reserved for her. The most phone fights I have had that end with hanging up without warning have been with her. The only phone calls on which I leave the phone ringing and make a half-hearted note to call later are hers, even if I’m just out somewhere doing nothing earth-shattering. Recent events around me, however, have shaken me out of this sense of entitlement or eternity or whatever, and I have been re-acquainted with not just the need to communicate with her (both listen and confess, understand and convince) but also to learn from her and be like her (I never thought I’d say this :D). In fact, let me put it this way: Nobody I know has had a life made up of as many quirks and unimaginable courage as my mother’s, and I’ll just be a fool to not learn from it. Even if she can seldom never word her advice politely. (One day, when I can do better with words, I should try and explain our relationship on this blog.)

 Be fearless: To say this in slightly less a roundabout way, it means that I’d like to say what I want to, once again. I’m sick of being politically correct. I’m sick of trying to protect feelings, more so in cases where the favour is not returned. I’ll be very selfish and say that it only serves my purpose of feeling lesser guilt if I don’t impose on myself the need to be “proper” and “loved by everyone”. Not that anybody thinks I’m very proper anyway :D. Sometimes, because of my choice to remain non-confrontational, I later feel like a tragic hero whose glory is behind him now (how filmy!) and the rage takes over, but I really want to stop feeling that. But please stay with me, because I’m not done yet. In saying this, while I do want to fight with all my might for what I think is right, I really need to choose my battles better.Being fearless will also mean that I am no longer obliged to align with anybody else’s opinion or pop culture. So here goes: When I work out, I don’t listen to any kind of meaningful or soulful or even respectable music. My favourite number to work out to is – brace yourselves – Party Rock Anthem (LMFAO). Judge me all you want, but everyday I’m shufflin’ 😀

Live the beautiful past: I think this blog is the perfect embodiment of what I will be saying now. I neither write enough, nor look at old photographs enough (though many are clicked on every occasion and vacation). I have hardly bothered to hang or frame our pictures around the house. I reckon it’s time to correct all of this.

Give me back some of my 2011: Though the latter part of 2011 saw me feeling like a TV junkie and a zombie, there were a few days in the earlier half of the year when I was completely without a purpose and any commitments (for anyone who’s forgotten/ not read this blog back then, I was unemployed for 10 months of 2011). Going to a deserted coffee shop on a weekday afternoon and reading? I could do it. Hauling my ass to three different stores over the space of a week to collect ingredients for one recipe I decided to try? I had all the time for it. Now? I’m constantly running to keep up with what I just have to do. I’ll probably never get that glorious phase back, but I learnt that how sometimes pretending or committing to live a day or a week without any purpose whatsoever can be profoundly liberating. I want to learn languages or skills I never plan to use or just bum around on a weekend without being the responsible adult who has to “put the house together” for another whirlwind week. In fact, I can’t even put my kind of purposelessness into words right now J

The obligatory resolutions: Now of course, for the customary resolution. Yes, I do want to read more, travel more, watch more movies, and lose weight. I just didn’t want to leave anything out.


Family Matters

I don’t write too many posts about family. Maybe I find it hard to be mushy
here when I know what a pain-in-the-ass I can be to them in real life.. that
would be just wrong. Or maybe it is that I have a small little shadow of a
tragic Meena Kumari hidden in me, that loves to see and remember only the weird
parts of my childhood.. and trust me, they’re not all that blogworthy. Not that
the family knows about this blog anyway.

I like to think that through my childhood and teenage years, I oscillated violently
between being painfully shy with some people and insufferably sarcastic with
others. As a result, I was juggling those two personalities so often that I
hardly ever found time to be.. I don’t know.. normal! And if there was someone
who could disarm me and see me for who I was.. not to mention, completely
blackmail me.. it was my kid brother. Two and a half years apart in age, we
grew up friends.. or maybe, frenemies is the right term? 😀 I don’t know how
that could have happened, since through most of my growing up years, I
considered younger people to be creatures we were either supposed to be polite
to or to be dismissed high-handedly. Yet, right under my nose, someone younger
dared to not just treat me like their equal but sometimes, even bordered on
serious irreverence. Needless to say, there were many healthy arguments, some
unhealthy hair-pulling sessions and a few unthinkably rude things we did to
each other (slap marathons, anyone?).

And still, through the ups and downs of my life, I feel he is the one reason
I’ve stayed out of therapy. No, it’s not a support thing, it’s about seeing
life (and not just life in general, but exactly your life) through someone
else’s eyes and finding that it’s not so bad. For instance, every time my
parents fought when I was little, I was worried that there was going to be a
divorce and then who will I go and live with, and most importantly, WE DIDN’T
KNOW ANY LAWYERS! It really was the stuff of nightmares but I wouldn’t allow
myself to say it aloud to anybody. And then, a day before my parents 13th or
14th anniversary, my brother and I sat in our room wondering what gift/(s) to
buy them with a grand total of some 500 or 600 bucks. While we were still
arguing about getting some random picture blown up and framed or buying them
movie tickets, we heard them fighting about something trivial. I could feel the
knot turning in my stomach, when my brother – all of 10 years – remarked,
“I guess we don’t have to buy them anything anymore.” What might seem
like a sad or preposterous comment by someone that young (and I did act
suitably appalled at the time), made me see the humour in my compulsive fear
for the first time. Over the years, he has been the one person I could trust
with getting the most honest opinion including things like “make-up can
hide ONLY so much” and “you’re not obese. yet. give it time.”

It’s hard to appreciate things he says, but I think he knows he can be so
ill-mannered around only me. And in that one way, I am special (not that anyone
is aspiring to take my post soon). So yes, when parents of a young child worry
about getting a sibling for their little one, I understand their concern.
Because surely, that’s a more viable way of keeping the elder off the shrink’s
couch than any other I know 😀

I know that this is a rather weird post for a festive occasion, but here’s
wishing Mr. Maajra (insipid nickname based on a stupid story, because I refuse
to grow up) a very happy Raksha Bandhan that brings you all the good things.
Hopefully, some grey matter as bonus too.




Hello, I’m..

Amidst all the babas and the slutwalks and the dancing politician ladies, I’m outraged enough to lose some of my narcissism. So I thought I’d reinforce it with a meme that’s been lying in the drafts for far too long. Honestly, this may be over a year old but I wrote the answers only now.

So here’s a bit of me, because I always keep my eye on the ball: Q. Why does this lousy blog exist? A. For my grand-children to know the Greatness that is Me.

Every phrase needs to be completed with three answers about yourself. Easy to figure as you go.

I am

  • Generally at daggers’ ends with the whole world and a bit heartless in arguments
  • A typical Virgo –  as in extremely critical of myself (as of others), aware of my flaws and good at hiding them unless I decide to be self-deprecating 🙂
  • A borderline hypochondriac with several OCDs

I want

  • To ensure that my future turns out at least vaguely like I dream it
  • Many material possessions that WILL buy me a slice of happiness
  • To live only till I have all my loved ones around me

I have

  • A husband who loves me unconditionally
  • A temper I am not proud of, and an acidic tongue
  • A mother compared to whom I’m horribly inadequate (and quite happy with it)

I wish

  • People would say things like they mean them. Mind games make me feel tired
  • To accomplish something that I’d leave behind and would make me “feel” if not “be” successful
  • I’d be able to stick to things I vehemently believe in now, when they matter most

I hate

  • Obsession with religion
  • Women who perpetrate atrocities and social injustices against other women, in the name of tradition
  • A messy house

I fear

  • Dependence – physical or financial or emotional, of my own or that of my family
  • People morphing into worse versions of themselves
  • Uncertainty of all kinds

I hear

  • The helpless cries of less privileged women and children
  • The advice from good friends
  • My guilt, loud and clear

I search

  • The world to throw me a clue
  • For new things to try, whenever the opportunity comes
  • For interesting conversations in the most unusual prospects

I wonder

  • Why society matters so much to so many people? Isn’t a sizeable rebelling populace enough to change the face of society?
  • Why we feel out of control in matters that are in fact only in our own control? Like weightloss, saving money, relationships?
  • When I’d learn to cook a meal of soul-satisying rajma-chawal!

I regret

  • Having made a hasty and hence poor decision when choosing my job post-MBA
  • Having worn my emotions on my sleeve for a really long time
  • Having said things I shouldn’t have and not apologizing. Teenage did NOT suit me well.

I love

  • The security of coming back home to someone I love, respect and with whom I can always speak before I think. Then defend the spoken word with warped logic. Then make frustrating hypothetical comparisons. Still be undivorced 😀
  • Vacations involving beaches or cities with reams of historical facts
  • The whole process of looking up recipes, looking for ingredients and cooking something new
  • (Far too many things for just three points!)

I always

  • Make lists to remember stuff
  • Pray only when I’m in trouble and resolve to pray other times too
  • Worry about something or the other

I ache

  • For Delhi – the city of my childhood
  • For more girl pals who “get” me
  • For the day I’d make peace with who I really am

I usually

  • Make a huge fuss about hygiene
  • Seem aloof and shy OR cold and annoyed, when in new company
  • Am up for a good movie or eating out

I am not

  • Someone who can easily adjust in new places, because one of my OCDs is having things just so
  • Rigid, even in the most out-of-the-question arguments
  • Someone easily likeable

I dance

  • When I’m alone at home
  • To hardcore Bollywood mujak
  • Best when I’m a tad drunk

I sing

  • Completely off-key
  • Along to the ipod music in the car, many times
  • Two songs my brother HATES to annoy him

I never

  • Cough up the courage to be confrontational, when people are being unfair. Takes me an agonizingly long time to bring it up. When I do, I’m more likely to let it rip but the damage is sure to have reached epic proportions by then.
  • Give up a book no matter how much I’m dying to get on with life
  • Confide in anybody completely. It’s a control thing, I think

I rarely

  • Ever leave food on my plate
  • Come back from the mall without having bought something
  • Accept compliments gracefully

I cry

  • Out of frustration
  • When someone I love is in pain and there’s nothing I can do
  • When some old memories come swimming back

I am not always

  • Non-judgmental
  • Fair
  • A loveable daughter

I lose

  • Some battles for the sake of the war 😉
  • Sleep when I’m worried
  • My cool for a WIDE variety of reasons

I’m confused

  • About the direction my professional life is taking
  • About why my definition of God must conform with anyone else’s and cannot be personal
  • About whether I expect too much from myself, others and even situations

I need

  • Financial security
  • My personal space to be clean and uncluttered
  • To be connected through the phone or the internet at all times

I should

  • Learn to be more detached and not take everything personally
  • Cultivate more patience
  • Save my sarcasm for only those who get it

I dream

  • Of having all the time and no obligations in the world to do all the nothing I want
  • Of having kids 🙂
  • Of vacations and celebrations and surprises and successes

I had great fun doing this. So many things to think about my favourite subject – Me!

I’d love for some people to take it up: Pepper, Dipali, Tamanna, ChandniWSW?

A Book Tag

Read this tag at Chandni’s, and found it interesting.

The tag says that the sentences below need to be completed with names of the books I’ve read. Zimble. Here goes:

In school I was: Out of My Comfort Zone

People might be surprised I’m: Dork

I will never be: The God of Small Things

My fantasy job is: Catcher in the Rye

At the end of a long day I need: The Last Song of Dusk

I hate it when: Unaccustomed Earth

Wish I had: Two Lives

My family reunions are: One Amazing Thing

At a party you’d find me: Midnight’s Children

I’ve never been to: A Palace of Illusions

A happy day includes: A Suitable Boy 😉

Motto I live by: An Equal Music

On my bucket list: The Golden Gate 😀

In my next life, I want to be: Emma

.. and I’m done.

Take it up and weave your story. Be sure to leave the link 🙂

Notes from Mohali

Note: Very cricket-fanaticky post. Choose to skip if you’re sick of cricket or *dramatic gasp* hate it!

Born into a cricket-crazed family, I am just one like billions of Indians. However, like everything, my family had to work on making me like them here. You see, I was the one who rolled her eyes when my brother would start narrating the 43rd over of some 1989 Titan cup final bowled by Venkatesh Prasad complete with details of the long-retired batsman’s batting averages. The brother lives, breathes and eats cricket. He is that annoying sibling who would always be doing that bounce-the-ball-off-the-walls-with-a-bat thing till the sound of tuk-tuk became one with your heartbeat and breathing pattern. The father? He is the person who watches ONLY cricket and news.  News about sports, that is. There used to be a huge void in our dinner table conversations when Team India decided to take a break during the year. To better describe, my father is that PSU employee who has travelled long distances in a train with a radio stuck to his ears for the better part of the journey listening to Lala Amarnath drone about the proceedings of a very forgettable test match. The mother, well, once shocked me when I found her sobbing away because Sachin had been bowled by some *insert inappropriate un-parent-like word*. She understands so little about cricket that it is a wonder in itself she still watches it, but she trips on the emotions of the game far more than most people I know. Me? I had ADD. I’d support Steve Waugh and “that kameena” Ricky Ponting  just to spite the brother. I’d insist my mother cook me “something nice” just when the cricket match was on, and go on a repeated loop of “nobody loves me”.. many pizzas were ordered by way of this modus operandi. I’d bug my father no end to change the channel THE SECOND the over finished, when he obviously wanted to catch the replays.. this slowly strengthened my case to bring a second TV in the house. However, the mania rubbed off when I wasn’t looking. In the middle of all this scheming and plotting, I got my own memorable moments of cricket. Sachin’s devastation of Tom Moody. Ajay Jadeja’s knock in that quarter final. Alan Donald’s last ball desperate run. Srinath’s and Kumble’s winning last-wicket partnership. Maybe all Indians remember these. They remember the atmosphere, the people they were with, who said what, how it ended, the celebration afterwards or the deep personal remorse they felt. I do too, with all these details, and the knowledge that they miraculously turned into a cricket-convert when I was gunning for the absolute opposite.

What I didn’t know, however, that I was about to be married into a cricket-crazier family. The boyfriend, now husband, would go into long monologues right before or after a match but naive louuu didn’t read the signs. He nonchalantly mentioned that he had been a participant in the Harsha Bhogle Dream Job commentary contest, but I.. err.. wasn’t paying attention. I felt the blow the first time, when he said he HAD TO be at the Brabourne on a weekend night for some IPL naansense, because Sachin was playing. Since then, it has just been a series of shocks. His family is of course involved too. The father-in-law easily travels 200 days a year, and his entire schedule is built around India’s cricket calendar.. and let’s just say, IPL has added to his “bag of woes” 😀 And FIL’s father? He suffered a major stroke about a year back, and his only demand the day after his surgery was if he could please get access to a TV so he wouldn’t miss Sachin’s innings in some “very important” match.

Obviously, in my case, a family that watches Sachin belting the crap out of the opposition together, stays together. So how could I pass up a chance to watch the World Cup semi-final at Mohali when husband and FIL managed to get passes? There was also the tiny bit that I will NEVER refuse to go to Chandigarh – a place from where I have many stories of childhood and of my parents as a young couple. But I kept dilly-dallying because of silly reasons, till someone mentioned that the semi-final could just be India versus Pak. That moment sealed it. Ofcourse, India hadn’t even convincingly made it to the Quarter Final stage at that moment.

The morning of the Pak-WI QF, I tweeted that if Pak won that day and Ind won the next day, my Mohali tickets would be worth everything. And guess what? They were. I’d never forget the emotion and the excitement that ran through the air on March 30th, 2011 in that stadium. Imagine thousands of people just screaming their lungs out because they can’t believe they’ve made it there. Imagine seeing the Tricolor everywhere with a few flashes of the Green-and-White, but the same passion in every face. Imagine that absolutely unconscious, uninhibited jump-from-your-seats reaction about a 100 times in the game. Imagine many hearts forgetting to keep running and many hands folding in prayer instinctively, every time a review opportunity came up. Imagine an entire stadium going delirious at the very sight of Yuvraj and Harbhajan, because well in Mohali – Singh is King, and the stunned silence when Yuvi walked out in a space of 5 minutes. Imagine the crowd standing and singing Vande Mataram when the 8th wicket fell. If there was ever a religion that could and should bind people together and make them keep the faith, Cricket suits the bill for India. My family is already a convert, and I’d glady subscribe.

Of course there were those moments that one chooses to forget. The anti-Pakistan slogans that had nothing to do with sport, and could easily have been avoided. The embarrassment that comes with war and terrorism references being shoved as posters in the face of Pak supporters. I’m no bleeding heart and of course I wanted India to win (and by that coin, Pak to lose the match), but I wish I could show them that we didn’t mean the insult. It was a bit of getting carried away and losing the plot. I wish I could show them that in the heart of our hearts, we only care about the sport and this is just a case of a misfired sense of humour of a troublesome few. We did our bit in telling some idiots to take it easy, but it was hardly a setting for changing world views and individual philosophies.

 However, there are always people who bring a smile. A rumour that quickly picked up during the first half of the match was that every time one Pakistani lady in our stand got up to get herself some water or food, an Indian wicket would fall! Guess who got VIP treatment for the rest of the match and was served right where she sat, by the cops!! 😀

Lastly, I may be biased here, but I have to say that it was all the more fun for me because it was Mohali. Maybe because my default setting when I’m over-excited is to launch into very violent and very raucous Bhangra, and I didn’t feel alone being like that in Mohali? Or maybe for the first time, I could sing along to all the local music being played and wasn’t bothered how bad I sounded? Or maybe because the post-match celebrations in the streets looked completely Bollywood-ish with cops joining the masses, and forgetting about disciplining traffic!

As the last battle looms large and India prepares to get the cup home, I am preparing for Wankhede. Yes, I’m going to be there. Bleeding blue, like always.

Here’s me @ Mohali, an hour before the match began.

For you, India, a thousand times over

All Sorts of Milestones

Hello! (I can almost hear the echo of that, for there’s nobody here other than me). If someone checked (and massage my ego and say you did), I’m sorry for having disappeared on you without as much as a cryptic warning. I know the feelings of funny betrayal and missing someone and the twinge of why-world-why I feel when one of my favourite blogs goes underground one fine day. So if someone felt that way because of me, and I can almost see their angry faces squinting into their screens right now, please don’t be. Because I’m back. And for good.

So why I went under, first? Well, I became a minor celebrity and I realized not all fans deserve me 😀 No, that’s not it. I was stupid and naive and had always considered this blog as an open platform for interaction, but sometimes the clashing of the real and the virtual worlds comes in a way that does rattle you. Also, I learnt that I’m not that don’t-care-a-damn, in fact nobody I know is. While I did not get into any “trouble”, but it was unsettling to feel that my semi-anonymity clad personal thoughts/rants/goofs will be compared to who I am in other spheres. Am I openly airing that I have two personalities? Maybe, yes. There are so many people in our real worlds (acquaintances, colleagues, relatives) who don’t seem too keen on understanding or even listening to the intricacies of our personal lives, our stand on social issues or our inane fictional stories. In an ideal world, we’ll all have 10 people in our lives who would make up for this lack of understanding. But as far as the world is not ideal, schizophrenic personalities shall rule 🙂

Now, what took me so long to move to a new place and take you out of your misery? (I do take the liberty to assume I have a large-ish audience, don’t I?) Well, first was the decision to move at all. It was rather tempting to NOT have a blog at all. I felt that that very idea is liberating too. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and subscribe to over 70 blogs on Reader, and I thought that if I still yearned for more virtual interaction, I first needed to get some help. Then the fact that I have had so many issues with blogging in the last few months also started to play on  my mind. Encouraging triviality, time consuming, mind games, not writing enough, writing enough and more in comments on other blogs – all things that have at some point coaxed me into shutting shop. I got over the interaction issue in a jiffy, because though Twitter is awesome fun, it’s not my medium. I feel under pressure on Twitter. Like I have a character limit in which to say what I want, and a time limit in which to say it before the world moves on to another hashtag. FB was never my medium in the first place, except that it’s the easiest to stay in touch with some people whom I don’t get to speak to on their birthdays any more or whose kids I won’t get to meet as often as I want to. Call me egotistical, but it also bothers me that my well-meant heated rant should be sandwiched between a ‘what colour is your heart’ and ‘X poked Y’ on someone’s wall. Linkedin, well, I don’t think that’s anybody’s medium at all 😀 So while blogging it had to be for me and all the other things that I had a grouse with about blogging, btw, stay. You know, once you’ve chosen a poison, you can’t expect it to be sweet and all that. Next, I realized that my burning desire to blogging notwithstanding, one needed a laptop to do something about it. Well, I had quit my job the same day I had taken the blog private and with it had gone my object of obsession – the laptop. The one spare abandoned laptop at home died a flickering death on me mercilessly. The laziness and the broke-ness ensured that a new purchase was deferred till some serious motivation was infused. But, the good husband came to the rescue and put in some jugaad and has managed to get me a spanking new (albeit, temporary) laptop to give my need for social networking a fresh lease. Actually, he got it for me to “move your ass and get that resume going” but I like to imagine things. Once that was done, my technologically challenged-ness took over. So there was the uh, how do I import these posts? Oh, what do I call the new blog – something not very different and yet just a little bit (hence, the unimaginative “Another Dark Comedy”)? Finally, I have learnt upon much googling that I cannot carry my old blog stats (and thus much ego) to the new blog, and in that sense, it’s got to be a fresh start. The rest of the stuff is sorted and here we are.

Next, what have I been upto? I quit my job. I know I said it already, but it’s worth saying twice when you’ve waited long enough to say it 😀 Oh, and through a series of unplanned events, it ended up being on a Monday! Is it a dream or what? Right now, I feel like the world is my oyster and there are so many possibilities in life. A month down, when the boredom starts to get to me and the lack of monies makes me pinch my pennies and the interviews or the lack of them are making me nervous, I’ll be right here ranting away I’m quite sure. Most importantly right now, I feel relieved like a bad dream is over. And that alone makes this move so worth it.

Secondly, we had our first wedding anniversary. A year of being together. One amazing, fun year of sharing life with someone I adore to bits. One year of growing up in many different ways. It sure feels like I’m into the journey in all ways now, and am up for everything to come. Here’s to us and our own little funny interesting lovely version of marriage 🙂 We celebrated with family in Kolkata, and had a really good time. And about the presents? Let’s just say that Steve Jobs got a bit richer, all thanks to us 😀 I had tall plans of squeezing in meets with a couple of blogger friends in Kolkata (specially Dipali), which never worked out 😐 It never works out with me. I have to make a very laidback plan to visit both Bangalore and Kolkata next time, so I can manage it.

Now that I’m at home, I have been obviously vegetating in front of the idiot box, refreshing my Twitter feeds obsessively and wasting time in new new ways. But if I’ve learnt anything from the past, it is that while I LOVE doing all this through the course of the day and never tire of it, depression sets in in the evenings when I realize what a waste of a day it’s been. And of course, the next day is just the same. So I did resolve to do at least one or two productive things every day since the very beginning this time. One good thing it has resulted into is a LOT of cooking. I love to cook, and I don’t know if I’ve said it before, I’m obsessed with food blogs, shows, recipes, pictures.. everything! Last few days gave me the time to shop for those rare ingredients, and to cook. And I’m happy to say that most of what I’ve cooked has turned out rather well. It’s not just me patting my own back; my (reluctantly) supportive family agrees as well 😀 The gymming has been rather regular too, but if the cooking and eating continues at this rate, I might consider an additional fun workout because well, the current workouts aren’t a suitable counter to how much I can hog!

Oh, and in the near future, since I did “move my butt”, I will be busy carpet-bombing the job market and day-dreaming about the vacation that starts next week. Yes, we’re off to Singapore for a Christmas vacation. I’m so excited. Loads of shopping is on the cards.. in fact, that’s my primary agenda on this vacation. Yayyy!!

And now, though I have a whole list of topics I have parked aside for “when I get the new blog going”, I will come back to say more. Specially on my 2011 resolutions. Yeah, I know resolutions are lame and not meant to be stuck to, but this time, I have an interesting list to put up and if I stick to half of it, a halo shall emerge on my head. So win-win.

Oh, and the reason for the title? Well, a milestone in married life. A milestone in career. And a milestone in blogging – this being the 100th post 🙂 100 posts in justshortof 4 years. I know, not a number to boast of. But something to be happy about, because I wrote exactly 50 posts in the last 3 years. And the last 50 in 10 months. Because I wanted to, and also because I made an effort to reach out to interesting people and they reciprocated. One the interaction began, 50 seemed like an easy target. Yes, I have my own concerns about this weird medium, but the little flutter in my heart on seeing a comment appear in my mailbox never seems to dull. A virtual audience caring enough to read through the monologues of a self-absorbed rambler AND leaving their thoughts in the comment box too? That NEVER happens in real life 🙂

Here’s to the 100th. May the next 100 take lesser than 4 years to come into being!

Happy Birthday to My Over-The-Hill Self

You know how they say stuff about learning to age gracefully and all? That’s for other people.. I’m simply too shocked for grace.

I’m ready to burst into Meena Kumari inspired slow painful songs.

Ready to commit harakiri.

In case you’re interested in how old I’ve turned, here’s a little riddle: The number is a perfect cube. That number.. the left side of which was the pleasant early 20s and singledom and carefreeness and life. And the right of which are, let’s see, : 1. Double the age when I had my first very serious crush 2. Double the age when I got done with Class X boards 3. The big frickin’ three-O. What is beyond that sends shivers down my spine, so we’ll stop here.

*Phew, I should take a long, deep breath and chant Aal Iz Well*

I’m sure people who’re 30 or about to be 30 or even *gasp* 31 and beyond will feel like slapping me right now. I mean, what the hell is the big deal? I’m still in my twenties. Youth may have passed me by, but I am in the early stages of adulthood. Similarly, people who’re 21 or 22 or 23 will be sniggering and thinking of me as some not-so-slim, not-so-cool, not-so-young moron who writes in full words and sentences and doesn’t know that IDK means ‘I don’t know’. But it’s the people who’re 24 or 25 or 26 I’m talking to here. Guys, you should hold on to those years a bit more, and enjoy them a bit more.. because before you know it, life will catch up and you’ll find yourself in 27. The age you think about eating healthy and working out. The age you cannot make random, impromptu road trips if you don’t like to get fired from your job just as randomly. The age you can’t joke about farting or burping. The age Kurt Cobain chose to off himself, for godssake! In fact, check this out >> this.

But you know how they also say that the best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles? I’m gonna go with that (little choice and all that). So, now might be a good time to take stock of the last year or so and raise a toast to the 27th and see what the years beyond can bring, right? So, ladies and gentlemen, here’s my sundry list of accomplishments:

I have fallen in love. And married someone I adore, someone I can fight with with little sense of propriety or political correctness, and come out undivorced. Most importantly, someone who can do the same with me and escape unscathed.

I have given my all to a job that’s thankless and that I dislike. It’s been a life experience that will help me choose sensibly, I believe. You can always learn what not to do, even if you cannot necessarily know what to do.

I have found a way to be less angry with things and people and situations.

I know a thing or two about financial planning and tax planning now. Which means I won’t be on the defaulter list anytime soon, neither will I be emptying store shelves in a feverish urge to buy.

I understand and try my best with my responsibilities. Yet I have shed the pressing need to please everyone.

I can cook edible fare.

I’m house proud and I have OCD. I’ve made my peace with them; in fact, I like it like this.

I have made very few but great friends. I think I could not have done better in quality or in number.

I appreciate the small things – the unmatterables is what I call them – a lot more. I’d hate to be 60 and rue not having stopped to smell the roses. For one, it’ll be preposterous if you lead a laidback life at 30 and still claim to have had no time when you’re 60. For two, it’ll be such a cliched tragedy.

I’m learning a new language. It’s been on the list for so long.

I started working out, and have stuck with it for almost a year. This is one of the most important things in my mind. Which probably says a lot about how boring my life is.

On the wishlist are:

Read more. Travel more. Eat better. Write more. Learn more. Change jobs. God, religion, faith, humanity, universe, karma, destiny – make up my mind. Be more detached. Always remember to ask “What’s the worse that could happen?” Be less feminist, be more human. Spend time doing something worthwhile. Feel less guilt. Keep working out. Learn to move on from bitter situations and bad decisions. Stop trying to put off tough decisions. Have kids one day, and save some experiences to have the first time with them. Judge less. Apologize with a little more heart. Be patient, but not complacent. Take a little more risk. Worry less. Expect lesser, deserve more. Make more money. Save more money. Make the world a better place in some way.

So you see, we’re not nearly done. I’ll need to start on my list right away. Because like Charles Schulz once said

Once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.

Fun fact: I share my birthday with Agatha Christie. I think that’s pretty cool.

Here’s to the 27th *clink*