From N’s mouth

In the train on the way to Bathinda where my sister stays currently, N looks at me and says”Are you excited about seeing your sister?” I say “Yes”. N gives me a raised eyebrow look and says “Okay, but when you see her don’t go all hyper and run to her saying yayyyyyyyyyy”.

When did I ever do that???

*****************************************

At my in-law’s place, I was helping my mother-in-law in the kitchen. N wanted me to play with him. I told him to wait till I was done helping daadi (grandmother). He crosses his arms and says “Hmmm now that you have got a mother you have forgotten your son. That is very nice (said with a sarcastic twinge)”.

Huh, too many Bollywood movies I say!

*****************************************

N was having a candy bar. My mother asked him if he would share some of it. N paused, looked at the half eaten candy bar and said “Here you can have the wrapper. I can share that with you!”

I swear this is not what I have been teaching him about sharing!!

*****************************************

While watching a show on Discovery Kids about how salt is made,

N: I know where salt comes from. It comes from water!

Me: How do you know that?

N: When we were in Thailand and I was playing with my friends in the water on the beach and the water came on my face, I licked it and it was salty. So I membered (for remember) from there.

Me: 🙂

**********************************************

Walking back from the library nearby in Bathinda, N while walking in some sand: I am in Egypt mamma, want to join me?

Me: Why are you in Egypt? Where is Egypt here?

N: See there is sand below my feet. Egypt has sand dunes and camels. So this is Egypt. I read in Diego’s adventure in Egypt book.

Me (to myself): Fine! I will not hold a prejudice against Diego and Dora!

Advertisements

The simple pleasures of life!

I got up today while the husband and the kid were still sleeping. Looked around the apartment and saw suitcases, big black trash bags holding stuff other than trash and a few heaps of laundry piled up. We are packing for a move, across countries, yet again.
It was quiet in the house. My tummy was rumbling. I walked out to grab a coffee and muffin from the tiny yet fully functional hole-in-the-wall coffee place just as I walk out of our building. I wonder if I will do that again some time soon. The coffee was heavenly and the day started on a good note. I had started one more round of laundry, folded the previous set, was done with my day’s social media catching up and had my breakfast. Ah the simple pleasures of life!

Last night I swore not to move again, no across cities, across countries moving. I want to settle down in one place and have a base. Packing for trips and holidays is just fine 😉

But like I say and believe “Never say never”. I think I will be ok if I have to move again. This particular move has imparted its share of learnings though.

1. Prioritization – The move to and from New Zealand has resulted in a whole lot of prioritizing. It ranged from things like which clothes to carry, how many shoes, what accessories, which books to what to leave behind in storage, what to donate, what to discard, what needs to be sold, what needs to be done first and last! It has forced me to see what actually figures on the top of my list compared to what I thought would.

2. Emotional detachment – The above process also resulted in breaking those bonds of emotional attachment to that dress that you love but haven’t worn in a year or more! It also taught me that everybody has varying degrees of emotional attachment. I was cool and emotionally unperturbed about giving away or selling furniture from my Bangalore apartment but my mother and my mother-in-law were a little concerned and asked me if it really did not bother me parting with all that stuff! 🙂

3. Sorting – My sorting abilities have definitely improved. When one does the exercise of keep, throw, donate for every material thing that they own, twice in 8 months it is bound to do some good in the related part of the brain. I guess! I wish I could do that for my emotional clutter too. Keep the happy memories and throw the sad ones.

4. De clutter and donate – S and I were discussing that we have cleaned out closets and donated stuff more than ever in our life time. If not for this move we would still have a lot of random junk that we did not use, wear or like! A lot of cleansing up and feel-good has happened. Of course the cleaner, less crowded closet shelves have prompted a few shopping sprees also. But I am also doing what I learnt from my mil, “When you buy 1 of something new, give away 2 of something old.” Try that, eh?

Life is nice. It is not all smooth, perfect and happy always but it is nice. I could ask for a li’l bit of this and that. But while I sip my mocha, looking out at some lovely downtown landscape through ceiling to floor glass windows it seems just fine in the big picture!

Day 13 – State of limbo

S and I have been living in this constant state of limbo. This particular overseas assignment has been on unstable grounds since Day 1. I mean it was supposed to be a long-term thingy, say for a year or 2. That’s what we had in mind when we said yes to this offer. But things changed faster than we had imagined and by the time we landed here it was already clear that this was not going to be a smooth ride. Lots of reasons for that – new market, client not too sure about what they want, budget cuts in their orgs etc. So every few weeks we go through this phase where we don’t know how much longer we will stay here – few months, few weeks, few days? And this is not something new for the IT sector. Most of us who have worked in this area are familiar with this scenario. But when it actually happens the practicalities can be very confusing, irritating and can create chaos in your orderly world!

I was fed up with the constant confusion and I joked about it on a couple of occasions saying, I do not know whether to buy 6 onions or 10 at the farmer’s market this Sunday. The same holds true for toilet paper and dishwasher detergent shopping!

Cut to a meeting where S, his boss, his boss’ boss and a couple of other people were discussing different options. At the end of the meeting it was decided that S will stay here no matter what, coz they need his expertise for blah blah blah. Everyone said their byes and have-a-good-days and then some senior boss guy says “S now you can go and buy 2 dozen onions!!”

I am sure the laughter that followed could be heard 2 floors down. And they say men don’t gossip!! *Roll my eyes*

We are back in that state again and do not know what’s going to happen next. Things are in discussion stage. I am okay. I think. Not too happy not too sad, just hanging in there. This has been a lovely experience in many many ways. A lot of my to-do’s from my list of things to do before I die (yes I have one of those and will share it some day) were checked off here.

My brain has already started processing the moving-scenario. If we have to go then I will need to pack 2 different ways – one for the 2 week holiday coming up and another for the move across countries after that. I will have to sort stuff into donate, throw, take along. I will have to clean up the apartment. Aaarrghh!! Just what I did not need before a HOLIDAY 😦

All this when the girls at my regular coffee haunt knew exactly how I have my coffee without me spelling it out 🙂 That, I believe takes true dedication (from both sides) and excellent customer service. Sigh!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Bangalore – Places I want to visit!

If you are a regular at this blog you would have seen this previous post about Places we have been to in Bangalore and loved!  As part 2 of that post, I wanted to list some places I want to go to, but haven’t been able to yet!

So here is a list of places in Bangalore (not in any order), that I want to explore and try out, based on word of mouth recommendations (not internet based searches). I can do that only once I get back to India, but no harm making a list 😉 –

Indiranagar – I feel there is lots explore, to do, to eat and to shop in Indiranagar and I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. Or maybe its just an illusion but we’ll figure out.

Umerkot restaurant – in Koramangala. It is a primarily Mughlai restaurant. And from what I have heard their lunch buffet (all days of the week) is something to look out for. No website but some details here.

Yellow Button – They say it’s for women looking for a splash of sunshine!! Well aren’t we all? *smiles* . They sell fun clothes, jewellery, footwear and accessories including home decor stuff. In Indiranagar. Details on their FB page here. Just for your info the 3 stores – The Orange Bicycle, Chilli Billi and Yellow Button are located very close to each other so you can try to cover ’em all in one trip to Indiranagar.

Cane Boutique – I have always passed this place but never stepped in. I know a few friends who have ordered furniture from here and loved it. They mostly have rattan and cane furniture but do stock other kinds of furniture also. I don’t need anything but am curious to peek inside the store ‘coz it looks very inviting from outside 🙂 Details on their website.

Thoppia – A home furnishings store that, again, I have not visited. But have seen a huge antique clock that a friend picked up from this place and that piqued my interest. They have 2 locations in Bangalore as mentioned here on their website here. Might be worth a look!

Blossom Book House – I haven’t been here yet but would love to. It is a book store on church street with new and 2nd hand books. It has 3 floors of books including some rare copies. Here is their website.

Claytopia – Have heard about them from a lot of friends and acquaintances. Couldn’t find a website for them but here is some info. It is a paint-your-own-pottery-studio where you can choose your own piece of pottery product then paint it. The Claytopia folks will then dry it, fire it in their kiln and you can then pick your piece up. The process takes about 10 days. They also cater for birthday parties with painting pottery as the main activity. For food you can choose from the adjoining Bistro Claytopia which offers some great yummy treats. A definite must visit once I get back.

Hippocampus – This is another one on the must-do list. Have heard a lot of recommendations about it! From there website they sound like a whole lot of fun 🙂 They have a library and regular events for kids of all ages. They also have an Adventure Club, a Cooking club and a whole lot of other fun stuff. They have 2 centres in Bangalore and 1 in Chennai.

Janapada Loka – This was recommended by a fellow blogger. It is a folk cultural center. They have a community hall for workshops, weddings etc at a nominal rent. A canteen serving ethnic food throughout the day. Folk cultural shows are arranged on last Sunday of every month in the open-air theatre. There is an artificial lake with paddle boats. They do have a nominal entry fee. Details on their website.

NGMANational Gallery of Modern Art. Okay I am not a big time museum, gallery person. But when I checked the website for this place I decided to give it a chance. This was recommended again by a fellow blogger and I trust her choice 🙂 Thanks Chox!! It is a museum gallery set in a historic heritage mansion. It has a refurbished auditorium, an open air theatre, a reference library, offices and art storage, a cafeteria, and a museum shop cum facilitations block. To add to our knowledge database the place offers some activities and programmes catering to schools, families and groups. They even have regular walks giving an Introduction to the language of art and Introduction to Modern Indian Art. There is a nominal entry fee. For kids they have summer workshops and other activities for ages as small as 3 years old. Check it out if you haven’t and let me know how it was!

Chaipatty Teafe – This one has been on my to-do, to-go list for a long time. Had heard about it from a blogger friend and kept seeing/reading mentions of it in the local newspapers/supplements. It sounds like a fun, chilled out place where one can indulge all their senses. The food on the menu seems very tempting and falls in the yummy-homey-essential-comfort-food category!! Mouthwatering, I say! They have book launches, pottery classes, salsa workshops and much much more. They have 3 locations in Bangalore with Indiranagar being the first followed by Koramangala and Whitefield. Check out their website for more details 🙂

United Arts Society – This one was a self discovery while surfing or blog hopping I guess. Can’t remember. This one sounds very promising to introduce your children to the world of arts – all kinds – Performing arts (Theatre, Dance and Music), Visual arts, Fine arts, Contemporary and Applied arts and Supporting arts. They have summer camps for kids with age ranges from 4 to 6, 9 to 12, and other year around programmes for mostly 8 yrs +. The programmes are meant to help kids with their first step in experiencing art and then cultivate and encourage their interests further. Some of their programmes are also meant for individuals, parents and professionals. Check their website for details on the center locations and multitude of things they teach and offer.

Phew! That is it for now. If I come across or get to know any more, will add to this list 🙂

Here is one that was in the list above, but I did cover it before leaving Bangalore!

Black Board Cafe restaurant – in Koramangala. I had heard from friends that there is a huge blackboard where kids can scribble and the food is great too. But I couldn’t find any website for the cafe, just this info here. It says the place is kid friendly and it is. The menu has a good spread. The place is adequate enough. Blackboards all over the place where kids and grown ups can scribble. So expect some chalky stuff over the kids’ clothes, dress them appropriately. The only sore points were the mosquitos – they were all over the place whichever table we chose – outside in the garden or on the terrace. And their upholstery needs to be freshened and spruced up – faded, torn sofa and cushion covers just don’t work guys! Other than that service was fast and efficient, food decent!

Have a great week. Happy Monday!!!

I plan to…

– learn one new thing every day for the next 7 days! Lets see how creative I can be and how enriched I am at the end 😉 Why am I doing this? Just to add some fun into every day life!!

– visit other blogs (I have been very lazy in doing that) and read, catch up and comment!

– work on finding a weekend getaway with something to see and do in winter in New Zealand, preferably not too much of a drive from Wellington.

– work on my resume and send it out – that would be step one in looking for a job.

– have a family chat at the dinner table, about some basic rules and guidelines that the 3 of us need to follow in home and outside.

– go to the library and pick books for N. We are done with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also want to see the movie based on the book, with N.

– catch up on my reading! I am still on my Douglas Adams and I want to read all of these books next (not necessarily in this order) –

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Open by Andre Agassi

 Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

Phew! So much to do and so little time!

Kiwiland!

Change is permanent they say!! And is inevitable too, so if you are hanging onto something thinking it/he/she is not going to change, chuck that thought 😉

We went through a big change recently, moved from India to New Zealand coz S got an assignment with his current employer. We moved bag and baggage to Wellington, NZ. We packed up whatever we were allowed to carry with us and shipped off the rest to Delhi to S’s parents’ house.

We had to take 3 flights spanning 38 hrs (was supposed to be 32) including a 10 hr stop over at Hong Kong Intl airport. N slept through all the flights without fail. And was a li’l hyper at the stop overs. But the journey, like the other aspects of this trip did not miss out on the adventure quota!

The last flight from Auckland to Wellington took off, it is a 50 minute flying-time journey, then mid way the plane suddenly lurched, I was napping so got up and the pilot announced “Ladies and Gentlemen, there is some disruption due to lightning around Wellington so we will have to take you back to Auckland, will land there in 20 minutes. Thank you for your patience!”  Wow! We got back, had to check out all our 4+ bags out of check in, re-tag them, check them in , do security all over again and board another flight abt 2 hrs later…And the real story, which we found out later, was the plane that we were on, itself was struck by lightning and because of that some fault occurred, but thankfully nothing serious, and Auckland was closer by a hair than Wellington so the pilot was told to return!! What crap!!

Other than that it was all ok 🙂 So I saw 3 or 4 movies back to back in the HK to Auckland 10 hr flight, didn’t feel sleepy. Saw The Dirty Picture, Limitless, We need to talk about Kevin (*ing Tilda Swinton) – offstream pic, well made and a bit of The Woman in Black (*ing Daniel Radcliffe, couldn’t finish this).

It was raining in when we landed in Auckland and cold!! Reached Wellington around 7:30 pm NZT (reminds me of the drug NZT in Limitless) and the serviced apt around 8 pm and the street was deserted. People say that these guys shut down work also early around 4 or 4:30 ish and chill out and tuck in early!

As a first impression, most of the people we saw at Auckland or Wellington airport, were in the 40s to 60s age group, dressed formally in business suits or work attire, power shots types, all in mostly blacks or grey or dark blues. There were very very few kids, teenagers or 30s crowd. I guess it could be because it was a weekday and people were travelling to and fro between Auckland and Wellington after a work day. But it was kinda disheartening at first, lol.

Wellington and its suburbs are settled around a harbor so it makes for a great view. The whole of NZ I have heard is very pretty! The place is a little hilly and looked beautiful at night with all the lights. And it is cold! So say abt 12 to 14 degrees C in the day and lower at night. After Minneapolis doesn’t feel all that much, yet, but peak winters is yet to come. And IT IS windy, very windy. The streets are SFO-ish, up and down, the buses are hooked up to wire cables so reminds me of SFO (Though I haven’t been there but this is based on  whatever I know from people and pics).

On further observation after 2 days, the people seem ok, not too warm, not too cold. They dress in Black and grey and dark blue ONLY! Once in a while you might see a smattering of red or neon green/yellow (the bikers’ jackets), but that is it. I wonder if it’s because of winters. Hopefully it will get better with time. More about Wellington and things/people related to it later!!

N and I are enjoying our new schedule while S slogs it off at work! Hope we get to enjoy and have fun together, soon.

Goodnight. Tada from Down Under!!

Want to run, want to fly!

Want to touch the sky, sing out loud, dance in the rain!

And there has to be appropriate background music a-la-bollywood-style while doing all of this! LOL

I was never too much into listen-to-music-every-breathing-moment earlier but now I seemed to have transformed into a I-need-music-always-person. Wonder what has changed in the last few weeks, months 😐 Maybe its just a hormonal change 😉

But seriously life is beautiful, busy and bustling with things that I need to do before doomsday 😉

As fate/destiny/kismet/whatever-you-call-it would have it we are moving to New Zealand by the end of this month. S accepted a new position/role with his current company and so we are moving! So its relocating time all over again (the pain err work associated with that is material for another post at another time). I am excited, have always liked to travel and live at new places.

But there are a few things I HAVE to do before I leave Bangalore –

– Watch an IPL Match live in Chinnaswamy stadium !

– Eat breakfast at the Egg Factory

– Take a ride in the Bangalore Metro

– Go shopping in Garuda Mall – have always loved that mall

– Meet my gang of college girl friends whom I haven’t met for a long time

– Go to Skye Bar, UB City

– Go to Chancery for their midnight buffet

As Paulo Coelho says “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”  Here’s to many more “experiences”!!