Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Month Filled with Surprises

The month of November was special. My sister's and niece's birthdays both fell on this very month and I took it upon myself to surprise them with gifts. The most difficult step in the whole process was finding a reliable online shopping site which offered their services in Dubai. I am familiar with a number of shopping sites in India, but finding one in the UAE was no mean feat. Eventually I did find one and I was pretty thrilled that it worked out the way it was meant to be. Sis and niece both loved their gifts -- so mission was a full, roaring success!

Gift to sis -

Gift for my niece (gift basket with an assortment of chocolates and games) -

Even though we are extremely lazy when it comes to sending over gifts -- it is totally worth the effort because a) your family or friends would be least expecting them from you since you're overseas b) for the happiness it brings you once they receive the surprise!

These gift surprises apart, I've got a lil surprise of myself to share too! I would say it's a surprise because I was least expecting to pass the exam :P But pass I did with an 88% in the fundamental exam and a 94% in the advanced level exam. I'm now a Google-certified professional folks! This exam is apparently the same type of exam that Google employees have to take for AdWords each year. So it feels quite awesome to know that I have passed something that the Googlers had to go through themselves. So yay me! :)

Hope all of you are doing great. Will touch base again soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The End.. For a New Beginning

Almost everyone must be knowing right now -- well, people who keep a close tag of me anyway.

If you have noticed, I haven't talked about my married life of late. Reason being, I am on that 'singledom' path again. I avoided talking about it till now because I was hoping (till 2 months back) that things would get sorted out. But apparently it didn't, and I am thankful because I don't believe a woman has to sacrifice her self-respect, her identity or go begging to someone to save her marriage. My parents, my close friends, my near and dear ones are in fact quite relieved that I'm getting away from something that is not worth the intense pain that tagged along with it.

This might be too personal a topic to be included in a blog. But if I had taken the effort to include a "How I Met the Nair Boy", I should also include that life need not always be hunky dory for everyone. Many girls wrote to me saying that they started believing in the concept of arranged marriage from that very post. I dreaded to write this entry because of that very reason -- because I don't want these girls to lose trust in marriage. Another reason for writing this post might be to pave a clear path for my own future without feeling the need to hide anything. Probably if I get into another relationship, I want the guy to get the respect and love he deserves without me being vague about it.

I do not blame anyone for this, and I am not going to type down the reasons that lead to the termination of so sacred a relationship within a span of only one year. I and my family hardly talk about it nowadays because obviously we have more better and happier topics to discuss.

Thanksgiving day is already over, but I can't help but feel thankful to a couple of people who have been my life support. My family, my best friends, family friends, "A" (we are not on talking terms now, but I SO appreciate whatever you did for me during my initial separation phase), my close friends, people who extended their support unconditionally even if they didn't know me in person, and so many more people. Because of them I realize, even if I lost one, I gained much more over the past few months :) So a big THANK YOU and a warm hug to all of you...

P.S - Comments are disabled on this one. Don't message/chat with me asking for details either. Would be much appreciated :)

P.P.S - Ending on a positive note, I made a donation to WFP (United Nations World Food Programme) last month. It felt sooooo good! :) I urge you guys to make a small contribution in whatever way you can to help those less-fortunate people out there. A friend recommended two Indian organizations where you can help kids out (sponsor them) - and As Carl Karcher would put it - "If the money we donate helps one child or can ease the pain of one parent, those funds are well spent."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Happy Lady

I haven't blogged in quite some time, so here are few updates from my part -

  • I "sponsored" a stay for my parents at one of the coolest hotels at Kochi last week. It feels SO good to pamper them, and pay for them after all the lavish spending they have done for me over the years. It means a lot to me, and by their happy looks I can assume it meant a lot to them too!

  • Pranced around Oberon mall doing absolutely nothing but window shopping and *ahem* some sightseeing too ;)

  • Caught up with a Malayalam movie "Indian Rupee" at Cinemax Kochi after a long time. A different movie. Me likey!

  • Had steak with mushroom sauce for the first time. I've always wanted to try it (quite experimental with food), and last week I got the opportunity. Delish I tell you. Yummm!

  • Spent a lot on new books -- marketing & business books *coughs*

  • Savored the beauty of M.G. Road with gelatos, rolled parathas and other goodies in hand. How I love the rush, the crowd and the atmosphere in its entirety at Kochi even at 9 in the evening. Did I mention I love the food? ;)

  • A nice bonding time with colleagues and friends. The time spent sharing corny jokes and laughing out loud all carefree -- priceless!

  • A new phone -- I'm now a BlackBerry girl ;) And yeah, a LOT of messaging through the BlackBerry messenger nowadays.

  • Some surprise gifts - giving & receiving has never been this much worthwhile!

  • A new all-time high in my online marketing payout. Yeyy! Whereas my day job is getting more interesting by the day. *touch wood*

And yesterday, I got a wee bit emotional and shed a few happy tears because I was so grateful to God for showing me this phase in life where I feel SO SO happy and back-to-life all thanks to the absolutely beautiful people in my life. Everything seems to be going perfectly. He brings the right kind of people at the right time at the right place to show you the way if you're lost. When you're down and out and if you're sincere, He WILL put that smile back on your face. And guess what? I'm smillllllinnnnggggggg... out wide ! :)

Happy Diwali all of you. Stay safe and stay happy :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All Set for Adopting

If you read through my previous post, you might already be knowing that my grandmom passed away almost a month back. My mom now and then likes to relive all her childhood memories she has of her mother - something people tend to do when someone near and dear passes away. During one such talk, she got emotional and told something that touched my heart, rather pierced it -

"Now I am an orphan"

"What are you talking about?" - I asked concerned.

Mom - "I don't have a mom or a dad now. That makes me an orphan right?"

Me - "Hmmm. But why sad? I will adopt you! And dad too! Both of you!"

Mom (looking very pleased now) - "So that will make you my Dhanyamma!"

Me (smiling) - "Yes totally!"

Somehow that one line pleased my mom so much that she makes it a point to inform people as often as possible - "You know Dhanya told me that she'll adopt me". It's so cute to see how parents react sometimes to what their kids say - no matter what age they are in and no matter how simple a dialogue may seem. Small precious moments in life! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not All Birthdays Need To Be Happy or Worth Celebrating

I didn't celebrate my birthday this time around. Reason being my grandmother (mom's mom) passed away two days ago. Reality is yet to sink in and somehow I find it hard to believe that I won't be able to ever see her again when I visit my ancestral house. We cousins are forever teasing her (in a fun way, of course) of how she "never feels hungry" and then goes on to eat around 5-6 idlis for supper with ease. She had a peaceful death -- and we are thankful to God that she was taken away without feeling any pain.

I didn't even realize it was my birthday today till I got those 12 o' clock messages and calls. Funny how life changes. Before, I used to literally remind everyone that my birthday is coming up and here I'm at a phase where others have to remind me about my birthday!

I was able to see all of my cousins at the funeral. When we touched her feet, we realized we won't be able to do this anymore -- and all the emotions just came out like a flood. She has been a wonderful grandmother. I haven't heard her raise her voice at anyone, including her children. She was a very bold woman who took everything in her stride when grandfather passed away. During most of the day, she was alone in the house, only with an old aunt (who happens to be very timid) for company. But never once did she ever complain that she's scared of living at such a desolate place. I admire her for this very courage. She used to sing like a nightingale (a quality which has not unfortunately transcended across generations :)), and I remember how I and Pri (my cousin) used to sing along with her whenever she started singing. A favorite being - "Vara Veena". It's a beautiful memory with a dream-like quality to it. One of my favorite memories of her is the way she used to call me "Ponma"(deer) whenever I called her "Grandma". She apparently found the word "grandma" very funny.

We all are taking comfort in the fact that now she is at a place where her true love is - her husband. They were meant for each other even if they were poles apart. My grandfather was a well-learnt man as far as I know and can talk about anything under the Sun. My grandmother, on the other hand, loved talking about people and not about current events as such. He was a strict disciplinarian whereas she was disorganized, sluggish in a way. We all were dead scared of grandpa, but showed no hesitancy in teasing our dear old grandma. Our grandfather used to give us little gifts like gems and poppins which used to make us smile with glee, whereas grandma didn't believe in giving gifts as such. There were so many differences, and yet they lived peacefully together.

We did cry our hearts out, but then realized she might just not like the fact that we are so sad here without her. She would be happy considering the fact that all her grandchildren got together again after such a long time -- each one of us being busy with marriage, work, school, college etc. All of us got together for a round-table conference of sorts and chatted our heart out about everything. We had a look at all our old pics together, talked about how color blindness exists only in the male folk of our family (weird but true!), and just about anything that connects us together. I'm sure our grandparents are looking at us from up there and realizing now THIS is a type of happy joint family that is very hard to find nowadays. I'm glad I'm part of one such rare joint family.

Getting back to my birthday, I wasn't really bothered about it and thanked everyone cordially for all their wishes. But yes, a number of posts/messages did make me feel a bit better. Unexpected wishes came in form of a popular RJ, VJ and hot-shot photographer respectively. I was expecting these people to shy away from wishing others in public, but I was wrong.

Sandeep Balan again managed to surprise me. And why wouldn't he? He is into marketing and very well knows what appeals to the public! :) He made MTV VJ Jose Covaco wish me, yet again!

To everyone who is reading this post - instead of wishing me, please say a silent prayer for my grandmother tonight. It would be the best birthday gift you could ever give me! Peace.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Am Dhanna

I usually stay away from topics which are politically inclined, but the furore is such for this particular one that I just couldn't ignore it any longer. Yes, I'm talking about Anna Hazare. You need not do a facepalm just yet! My blog is corruption-free and I intend on doing just that for years to come. Because I Am Dhanna. And I'm just like Anna. Or Am I?

...Damn, that should be my slogan when I hit the streets!

Anyhoo, I'm all for India's stand against corruption and I am all for the Jan Lok Pal bill proposed by our civil society. But the skeptic in me can't help wondering if this new system will help in eradicating even half of the corruption in our country. In case you didn't know, there is already an act (The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988) which does more or less of the same thing - combat corruption. It is a very stringent law which (but obviously) has failed to totally curb corruption - something which the Lokpal bill promises on doing. Will the Jan Lok Pal bill once passed be as ineffective as our current laws as time moves on? Corruption in India exists at so many levels that I somehow find it almost impossible to believe that the Lokpal and each state-based Lokyukta will be completely corruption-free. In the bill's draft it's mentioned - "The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months." - now what if the officer claims that he's innocent? What if these "investigators" are corrupt and claim the person is innocent too?

Even if the bill is able to fight corruption in the field of politics, what about our aam janta? Just saw this status message on Facebook - "You Know Whats Ironic? An Auto driver wearing a Gandhi Topi and I am Anna T-shirt charging you Rs.50 instead of the usual Rs. 20!" Reforming corrupted people in a country as huge as India will be no mean feat. There are many such Indians out there who show support but knowingly or unknowingly indulge in petty crimes themselves ala the rikshaw wallah.

Anna Hazare has some strong supporters - like Kiran Bedi for example. And if you've an intellectual like Kiran Bedi on your side -- what more can you ask for? Just look how motivational this woman is -

She has single-handedly reformed Tihar Jail and because of this very effort, Tihar jail (or Ashram, whichever way you choose to call it) was able to yield an inmate who passed the Indian administrative civil service examinations! Impressive? I think so!

On the other hand, there exists a minority group who is totally against Anna like Arundhati Roy, for example. In her article "I'd Rather Not Be Anna" today on The Hindu, she mentions "He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)". Now anyone who supports such shady politicians usually gets my thumbs-down. But here too I would like to give Anna the benefit of the doubt, because as said by many people out there -- it's not who he supports that we should look into, but rather what he's doing for our country to end corruption.

Of course, the answer to all these questions and doubts only time will be able to resolve, provided the proposed bill gets passed by the government. Till then we can just hope, pray, protest and starve for a corruption-free India.

Before I end -- did you know that Manmohan Singh's and Kishan Baburao's (that's Anna Hazare) first names mean the same? Yes same-to-same only! Their names are synonymous with Lord Krishna. And it happens to be Janmashtami today. As Facebook would put it, would like to ask dear Krishna - "What's on your mind", seeing our current state of affairs.

Happy Janmashtami folks! :-) Leaving all the corruption aside, you've just GOT to read this post on Krishna & Radha. Brought a tear to my eyes. An absolutely beautiful piece based on innocent, true love.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?

This post will only be understood by people like me who spend time in front of the idiot box after work, watching Star Plus serials. I am a Star Plus sitcoms junkie, right from 'Saath Nibhaana Saathiya' to 'Maryaada.. Lekin Kab Tak?' -- I tend to watch them all. Since I'm so in-touch with what's happening in my reel friends' lives on screen, I have even signed up as a Star Plus panelist to give suggestions for their shows.

There are two specific characters - Arnav and Khushi - appearing in a new sitcom called 'Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?' who are irritating the hell out of me nowadays. The storyline is interesting, but it is only when they get into a good 5 minute 'staring at each other mode' that I feel like hurling my remote control at them. This post is specially dedicated to these two characters. You might find some pictures repeated, but this is only because Arnav and Khushi have the same expressions - even if they are happy, sad, angry or irritated. Please adjust!


... And the saga continues....


Monday, August 08, 2011

Creativity and Being A Joru Ka Ghulam

I already had a couple of peacock feather photographs which were taken from home. My mom is a huge peacock feather fan. So am I! :D She keeps purchasing them from Guruvayoor whenever she makes a visit. I never really knew what to do with these pictures. Was lazing around this weekend, and as a result, a pair of peacock shoes were born. I already had the layout for the shoes and then I did some work on Photoshop with the pictures to create a one-of-a-kind design. I would wear them, but then my choice has always been atrocious in some cases! :)

Yes, whenever I get some spare time this is what I like to do. Somehow cooking still fails to allure me, and this is what I end up doing instead of learning new recipes and stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to try out new recipes if all the ingredients are available. But truth be told, I'm just not passionate about cooking. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the one alone in all this. I know of a couple where the lady hates to cook and she just cooks a single meal in the morning which suffices for lunch and dinner. What does she do the rest of the time? She creates the most amazing paintings, learns violin with her husband, and does almost everything which satisfies her creative self. I'm dead sure she wouldn't have found time for all this if it wasn't for her husband's support. Imagine what would have happened if she landed up with a husband who would blast her whenever she started to paint, or demean her by saying such things weren't important. This lady's husband not only understands her passion but even shares some of her interests. They take classes together and do things together which I feel is a MUST in any relationship. Which brings me to a question. What would you call such a husband who supports his wife in her likes? A 'Jhoru Ka Ghulam' (wife's slave) or a 'True Life Partner'?

Talking about Jhoru Ka Ghulam, the following videos are interesting -

In this video, the guy talks about how he's considered as the good son when he takes care of his parent's wishes. He's considered as a good brother, if he takes care of his sister's or brother's needs. But why is he considered as a Jhoru Ka Ghulam when he takes care of his wife's needs?

'Diya aur bati hum' has released two more interesting promos -

What's your take on being a Jhoru Ka Ghulam and do you think it is given more importance than necessary?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Are You A Carrot, An Egg Or A Coffee Bean?

Had to share this!

"A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? " Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean?

The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Count your blessings...not your problems. The problem is not the problem. The problem exists in your attitude about the problem."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

I'm absolutely loving my work! I mean, I am doing something which is my passion and I'm also gaining exposure to new fantabulous technology. This is the first time I ever had a go-to meeting online with people in Kolkata who taught me about our software products and I could see every single thing they were doing on their PC sitting at my work desk in Kerala. What's the need for traveling half across the globe for a meeting, when you can do just this -- have a group meeting online where you can talk, see and put your point across via presentations?

I'm also absolutely loving my colleagues! Most of us are always a bit wary when we interact with our managers or seniors. My first job had me reporting to one of the friendliest bosses ever. He was the one who gifted me - "Tuesdays with Morrie" - a book which still remains a favorite. At my second work place, managers were a lil bit serious and uninspiring (if I may use the word). My current job has me reporting to people in the U.S who have such amazing, inspiring personalities and such funky American accents (:D). Now I hope some of that accent would rub off on me soon with all the constant interaction. My colleagues are young, enthusiastic, and I can talk to them about books (I got Rashmi Bansal's latest book "I Have A Dream" after my manager's recommendation. It's about young entrepreneurs who have made a difference by doing business not entirely meant for personal profit alone.), food and everything under the Sun. I say "young" because now this is one aspect which is very difficult to find in gulf work places. If you are 26 years old (a la yours truly), you might as well be the youngest person who has joined the office! Yes, that's how rare it is to find a young working Indian professional in the gulf.

Most of you might already be knowing I'm into online marketing. This is something which I'm still doing btw, but not as much as before. 9-6 is dedicated to my day job, and then onwards I start doing my little projects and assignments for my online clients. Nice little passive income, and the best part is I have already done so much of work for the past 2 years that it isn't even necessary for me anymore to spend a lot of time on it. I can concentrate on my day job and at the same time this sweet side-business does its work on its own. That's the beauty of affiliate marketing -- you can choose to take a break from it whenever you want and still keep earning from it without lifting a finger.

The Bad

I was recently working on one of my sites, and this is the captcha that came on screen - "Megapoop" - and that too when I was enjoying my bar of Bournville (with raisins and nuts FYI:P).

The Ugly

Recently this junior from school came online on Facebook chat and this is how the conversation went -

Him - Is that your kid on your profile picture?

Me - No! That's my nephew.

Him - Sorry, thought it was your kid :)

Me - No problem :)

Him - When are you going to have your own?

Me - Dunno. When the time's right I guess...

Him - Oh! I see! So you want to practise with me before having one? *wink*

Me - *Silence*

Him - Hello? Waiting for an answer...

...And he kept pinging me for the next 5 minutes or so. Now since I'm not exceptionally good at mouthing bad words to strangers, I logged off. This guy is like 4 years younger than me and he knows I'm married. WTF was he thinking? I know at this day and age, it is very common to see married people in an "open relationship", but for heaven's sake I'm not one of those desperate people. This incident gave me a 'blerrgghh' kind of feeling. Dunno how to define it. But yeah, if you are on my friends list and you are a reader of my blog too, now you know what irritates me to the core -- flirting with me knowing that I'm married!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweet Moments

I always wanted to know how to make those cool slideshow picture videos which I keep seeing on YouTube. This time around I took it upon myself to learn this stuff and the result is my very first video! Creating it was far from easy coz I wanted certain pictures to come exactly at specific parts of the song. I doubt if anyone would notice except maybe those who pay attention to lyrics. For example, I wanted the pic of my cousin's son to be shown when the lyrics go "You've got the most unbelievable Blue eyes I've ever seen", coz yup you guessed it -- he has unbelievably cool Gray-Blue eyes! The video has been made with the Windows Movie Maker.

Talking about the song, it's Donna Lewis' 'I Love You Always Forever' remixed version. I have always been in love with this song but I'm now completely smitten by the remix. The electric guitar strumming is to die for!

Presenting the video -

That's all for now. Signing Off :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Vision, The Passion and The Butterflies Are Back

All of a sudden, Lady Luck decides to knock on my door and smile its pearly white smile at me. When it came to job opportunities, Lady Luck chose to ignore me especially in the UAE. The number of jobs I had applied to at that place is countless. And what happens when I apply to a few jobs in India -- I get accepted to most of them! Maybe my Lady Luck chose to reside at God's own country for the time being.

Anyway, the passion is back because I am employed in something which I believe I will be darn good at. The vision is back because I can feel that long-lost competitive spirit igniting within me again. I have plans in mind. I'm dreaming dreams once more. It is said that to achieve the most in life, you need to have a goal in mind. What do you want in life? What are you aiming for? For me that one goal is - a house. Yes, it is quite materialistic, but that's exactly what I am saving my money for. My ultimate dream is to get a house in the heart of Kochi. It is funny how whenever I think of my savings, my mind goes in that very direction. A house which isn't too big like a mansion, but isn't too small either -- just perfect. I mean even an apartment would do, but like I said it simply has to look perfect for me. Isn't that every girl's dream? To have a house of their own in their homeland? Hopefully soon...

It is great to be back in the corporate world again doing something I am entirely passionate about. Is it weird to feel that this is the very opportunity that I have been waiting for? And how it came to me out of the blue is something which surprises me even at this moment when I think of it. Like I said, good things happen to you when they are meant to happen. No matter how much you try to make things happen or try to pave your own path out - destiny might have its own plan for you and ultimately you have to change your course to where it takes you. If it's really meant to happen, the things you covet will happen to you eventually but maybe you will have to take a few unnecessary turns in between before you reach your final destination. Makes you appreciate the things you get in your life a tad more. My getting this dream job feels like such a situation. Because I tried my level best in the UAE to get my dream job, but I couldn't. When I changed my location, I ended up getting it -- and I wasn't really expecting it considering my previous success rate.

The butterflies are back because there's an anxiety that comes with starting all new things. This 'butterflies' bit is just temporary though and I'm thinking I will be able to get them out of me really soon! :D

Signing off for now. And remember, don't be afraid to dream. If it is meant to happen, it WILL happen :)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Best Indian Short Films For People Who Are Bored Of All The Masala!

I have to thank Sandeep for this. If I had not seen the "Mittai Veedu" video posted on his Facebook profile, I would have never ever come across these set of interesting short films by Balaji and some other talented directors whose videos deserve a larger audience than the one available on YouTube. These films are truly worth your time. If you are someone like me who has had enough of meaningless masala, commercial films with little depth and variety, you MUST check out the following videos. Most of them are in Tamil but these videos have English subtitles to help you out. If you are not able to see the translation, click on 'cc' at the bottom right of the video. The subtitles are a savior for me because my understanding of Tamil is somewhat limited. Which brings me to a question which is totally out of context -- am I the only Mallu who sucks at Tamil? As contrary to popular notion, all mallus do not walk, talk or speak Tamil. Some of us (yours truly included) know next to nothing about Tamil. And FYI, Mallus and Tamilians are totally different and are NOT the same. I have lost count of the number of people dismissing mallus off with a wave of their hand saying "Tamilian or Mallu. Whatever. Same only no?". NO! Not same only. Fools. Dammit. Ok. Must-Stay-Calm. Let's get down to business, shall we? :D

1. The Dream Symphony

With a little bit of kindness and a lot of love you can change a person to whichever way you want him/her to be. In this short film, you will see how an old man dreams of hearing his grand-daughter sing his favorite symphony. But when she comes back from abroad, things are not like how he had expected them to be. My personal favorite.

2. Mittai Veedu (Sweet Home)

The next video is the sweetest ever. It talks about a prospective daughter-in-law and mother-in-law meeting for the first time and the various apprehensions they face before and during their first meeting. The girlfriend is dead-scared that the guy's mom will consider her as a threat and the guy's mom is scared whether the future daughter-in-law will snatch away her son from her. However, all's well that ends well. Cute, funny and true to life. I can't share "Mittaai Veedu" with English subtitles here because there's no embedding code available for this particular video. You can watch the video here.

3. How To Mess Up In Love

This is what college love is all about...

4. Arranged Marriage

Most of you might be familiar with the next video. This one went viral on all popular social networking sites. I wouldn't even dream of asking some of the questions that this female asked to the guy (she seems SO snooty, I'm actually surprised the guy agreed to marry her) but I believe that such a time isn't far when almost everyone would ask such queries instead of the typical questions two strangers generally ask each other in their supposed first "arranged" meeting. In my aunt's own words - "Soon prospects will start asking each other their sexual preferences in their very first meeting itself!"

P.S - If you have the time, don't forget to check out my article on the Viewspaper here. I'm thrilled by the response it got. 74 people have shared it so far! :) :) The Viewspaper is a leading online magazine recognised as India's youth voice by channels like NDTV, ET Now, IMF and Mint.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Continental Breakfast Gone Wrong

When you visit a star hotel and you see "continental breakfast" on the menu card, most often than not you expect something like this -

Agreed that continental breakfasts are not so heavy, but in a typical one you will see at least one non-veg item -- eggs, salami, bacon or sausage. But instead you just get this -

When I saw this plate, I was wondering where the rest of my breakfast is. I waited for full five minutes thinking that soon enough they will bring the rest of the items, but alas the food never came! My relatives had already started digging into their appams and veg stew. They looked at my plate and gave me a sympathetic look. "Always order South Indian food at South Indian restaurants" is their motto. Alas, the last thing I want to eat from outside are food items which I keep eating regularly at home. At least eat something different when you go outside, no?

Mom (grinning after seeing my plate) - "You mean, this is continental food? From which continent exactly -- one that is deprived of food? :D"

Needless to say I was highly unsatisfied with the end product so ordered a plate of scrambled eggs to go along with my "continental breakfast". The Indianized version of scrambled eggs involves the use of turmeric powder, onions, tomatoes, green chillies and what not. The scrambled eggs that I ordered came plain, and needless to say my relatives weren't impressed with them either.

"Such a dull color. They haven't even put turmeric!"

"No onions? So plain looking. No chillies and tomotoes either. Not colorful like how we make."

Now I wouldn't want them complaining about my scrambled eggs either so I mouthed a spoonful and said, "But I prefer them this way!". My mom nowadays doesn't think twice before smirking at me - "Today I have made special continental breakfast for you".

Moral of story? Where there's a continental breakfast, there might not always be taste-bud tickling items. Next time, I will just order appam and stew. Hmmph.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Spiritual Journey

I'm a Hindu but I have to admit if you were to ask me to explain Hinduism in detail, I would get stuck after a few sentences. My knowledge in the subject is limited, and I believe this is the same with almost all Indian youth. Then again, I am not generalizing. There will be many out there who might be knowing the Ramayana or the Mahabharata inside out. Whereas yours truly only learned very recently that the Hanuman Chalisa is named as such because it has 40 verses ('chalis' verses).

Last week had me visiting temples. I'm not someone who visits sacred places regularly, but on an impulse I decided to visit a number of them... and even attended few classes by a spiritual teacher. I wasn't there for demanding anything, but I got what I was looking for -- a peace of mind and a feeling that someone is out there to protect me, someone who really cares. I had stopped interacting with God a few years back when I didn't get what I truly wanted. I see the same happening with others around - some stop praying when they lose a loved one, some stop praying when they fall sick, others stop praying when they feel they are being made to suffer too much in life. These are the times when you have to pray the most, because the strength it gives you cannot be described in words. You have to try it to believe it. I have resumed praying again of course but now I wonder why on earth did I stop it in the first place.

During this journey last week, I served food for my spiritual teachers at an ashram, I cleaned up after their meals (using cow dung and water -- in Hinduism, that's how a place is "cleansed", you can get more info regarding this on Google), I learned some prayers, got their blessings -- and finally, felt happy. An amusing thing was that the teacher asked me "Will you be able to clean this place up using cow dung?". I had told him I was brought up in the Middle East and I won't blame him for thinking that I might be just another stuck-up NRI who was a non-believer. It surprised him no end when I took a handful of it and just spread it all over the floor without batting an eyelid. Some might say all this is just superstition, but given a chance I would do this service all over again for that feeling of content it brings to me. Nowadays my days feel incomplete without chanting the Hanuman Chalisa, the Shiv Sandhya Namam, or Hari Bhajanam. I spend half an hour meditating everyday and it's the best thing to do if you feel stressed out quite often!

I haven't yet told anyone about this journey because at this modern day and age, I'm not sure if anyone would understand. Anything people haven't encountered first-hand or don't have any knowledge about is termed as a "superstition". The non-religious people will guffaw at all this, but I seriously don't care. These prayers and services to God give me what I'm looking for - a peace of mind and a feeling of protection. And if you take that step towards God, you will feel the same way too.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Dark Side Of The Critical Virgo

Virgo is the only astrological sign represented by a woman. This woman is considered as someone creative, delicate and intelligent but also possessing spinsterish qualities like being a strict disciplinarian with a squeamish need to be prim and proper all the time. I'm a Virgo and at times it makes me think if a Virgo can get well with anyone else other than a Virgo. We can be really harsh (see I am ready to acknowledge even the negative traits of my astrological sign) but practical and straightforward. We are also meticulous and expect everyone around us to give attention to the minute details in life like how we do. If they don't, we feel annoyed!

At times Virgos feel that no one can work as hard as they do when it comes to anything. The one thing I learnt over the past month is that I cannot delegate my task to anyone! Take for example, my work online. I had a truckload of stuff to do last month and there came a point when I felt I needed to get some help. I asked for some assistance, I got it, but I wasn't satisfied. I'm a sort of person who makes it a point to do more than what she promises. Action speaks louder than words for me. I cannot rest in peace until I get my tasks done. Tasks with a deadline of two weeks will be completed in a week. Tasks with a deadline of one week will be completed in a day. It's a very strenuous way of working but I cannot function in any other way. After a trial period of "helpers", I decided it would be best if I continued doing the work myself. This is not exactly a good quality. In order to achieve perfect results in any business, (and to achieve a peace of mind) you need to delegate your tasks! But I'm a Virgo. You can't blame me. I seriously wonder if there's any Virgo businessman out there who gladly delegates his works to others, relaxing in peace whilst his employees churned out "average" stuff. If I knew any better, they all might be chewing their nails off wondering if their workers are keeping their strict instructions in mind. If you see a frustrated, angry Virgo now you know why. Virgos do not make good leaders because they tend to worry a lot and hate things which are uncertain (which is what business is all about).

Another annoying habit of a Virgo is his/her need to be perfect all the time. Rest assured, by the end of this post - I must have checked and re-checked the whole post for spelling mistakes or unwanted white space. If you have noticed, all my posts are aligned to "justify full" -- because I don't like the "disorderliness" of other alignments. Because of this need to be perfect, we tend to waste a LOT of time. Everyday chores like cooking, cleaning, washing leave us dead tired by the end of the day because when we cook we try to make it as perfect as possible, when we clean we try to scrub and scrub till that tiny little (almost invisible) speck of dirt gets out, when we wash we get annoyed when a shirt does not get sparkly clean -- and then we end up repeating the whole thing until we are satisfied. Not good? I'm a typical Virgo after all. This is the time when someone should calm us down and say "You are not perfect but it's OKAY! You are human!"

Virgos are known for their critical and harsh behavior. But not many people know that they are very harsh to themselves too! I remember the number of times I have told myself - "Damn! You could have done better!" or "Maybe there's something wrong with me!". But rest assured, the only person who can get me down is ME. Since Virgos are so hard on themselves, we don't take kindly to crictism. I mean, hellloooo we are so harsh on ourselves already, now all we need is other people to be mean to us?

It takes a lot of courage to write down all your negative traits. Did you know that writing down and scrutinizing your own mistakes can make you understand yourself in a better way? I mean, it's so very easy to ignore our own shortcomings and focus on someone else's mistake -- anyone can do that! But I guess true courage is when you are aware of your own weaknesses and you are able to blurt them out understanding that no person is perfect and that you, like everyone else, have your own traits you are not proud of.

I'm a Virgo to the core and I'm aware of my weaknesses and shortcomings.

It's your turn now! Are you true to your astrological sign? And.. are you brave enough to confront your own shortcomings?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gandi Or Gundi?

My NRI cousin resides in Australia. Her 17 year old son was mostly brought up there and it comes as no surprise when he gets all aghast when we mention that arranged marriages are still very much common in India. "But what about love?" - he asks. "That will all come slowly slowly. First find a nice, decent Indian girl/boy then rest all follows" - the aunties advise. In fact, whenever he lands in Kerala all the elderly people gang up against him and try their level best to make him understand our culture.

"Don't fall in love with someone out of our religion and caste. What will society think?"

"Don't marry firangis and all! They won't look after you."

"Arranged marriage is best because a parent knows what is best for their child!"

....etc. etc. You get the drift!

From what I know about this 17 year old boy, I don't think he will be able to adjust to the stereoptype that these aunties think are right for any Keralite boy. He has grown up outside, has modern views, has totally different interests (I don't understand a word of what he puts up as his Facebook SM), openly drinks in front of adults, doesn't know Malayalam or Hindi all that well and speaks mostly English at home. How well do you think such a person will be able to adjust to a girl who has been brought up in a village? But but but... Keralite aunties think otherwise!

Anyway, my 17 year old relative (let's call him N), is apparently the only Indian in his group of besties. He takes it upon himself to educate his Australian friends about India and to correct them whenever they make a mistake about any matter related to the place. I was as usual browsing through my Facebook news feed when I came across this -

Australian Friend (AF) - I'm bored of playing XBox !
N - Then get a PS3!
AF - Haha.. you are so smart dude... just like gundi!
N - Hahaha Gundi?
AF - Yeah, Gundi is smart no?
N - Dude! It's Gandi not Gundi!

It took me a while to realise that they were talking about Gandhi. I preferred not to butt in -- wanted N to enjoy his moment of pride when he corrected his friend's mistake. :)

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Best Prayer

Elizabeth Gilbert would advise you with an "Eat, Pray, Love". But when we pray, what do we pray for? Do we ask God to give us everything (chappar phad ke!) or do we ask Him to give us what we badly require? Do we just irritate Him all the time with our never-ending problems, or we just wait, watch and see what He has in store for us? At times I interrogate myself in between prayers. "Should I ask Him to solve this and this problem for me?" "Maybe I shouldn't ask too much. I sound too demanding!". Some might say that you have to ask everything openly -- demand your rights; get your word out there and stuff. That if you don't voice what you want, how will He know?

I remember as a kid, I used to ask God to assist me first-hand whenever I was at a crossroad. Before flipping a coin I used to ask Him - "Ok now... Heads is what I want, so tell me if I will get what I want okay?". Secretly I try to bribe Him - "If you make the coin show Heads up first, I will pray Gayatri Mantra 100 times today!". He didn't somehow like the bribing and I always happened to see the opposite side of the coin. Then I go - "Damn. God is too busy processing other coin flipping matches now. Maybe I should try later' (Aap khatar mein hai... kripaya thode der ke baad try kijiye!). Then I keep flipping the coin till I get "what I want" after which yours truly is a very happy lady. I used to do the same thing while playing minesweeper too. If I get a mine, it means "God threw a bomb at me". If I completed the entire thing it meant - "God is giving a hint that I will get what I want :D". This is how I used to pray back then - with bribes and by using tools to get indirect answers from the almighty. I mean He can't really scream out from heaven in response to my questions (that's so ungodly-like no?), so I might as help Him out by giving some medium through which He can answer. Solitaire, coin flipping, minesweeper, paper chits, dice -- all of these were used to "get an answer". Sometimes I get tempted to try all that again. But considering my success rate with the same, I rather not. I think God has already given His answer when it comes to using such techniques. See, even He doesn't like dirty politics !

Some preach that no matter how much you pray you will only end up with what He thinks is right for you. And I'm a believer of this. Because of this belief, I have always restricted myself from placing too many demands while praying or getting too upset when something doesn't go the way I want it to.

I just came across this prayer by Rabindranath Tagore and I feel it befits a person who thinks the same way I do -- a person who never demands anything in particular, but just strength to deal with everyday problems.

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
but to my own strength.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant that I may not be a coward,
feeling Your mercy in my success alone;

But let me find the grasp of Your hand in my failure.”

Eat, Pray, Love, people... and stay happy ! :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Things Not To Say When A Person Is Sick

What not to say to a person with a cyst (malign OR benign) -

A : Wassup?

Me : I'm so cranky... I feel drugged ! Stupid antibiotics !

A : Why antibiotics?

Me : Cyst na...

A : CYST !!! :O You're dying ? :O :D


Me - .... So you see it's like I wake up with my shirt wet with blood and pus (yes, cysts can be gross) and it's so disgusting and annoying you know...

G - Yeah totally man! I understand your situation! It's like you wake up n you go - "Wow so much ketchup n mayo man !" Yeah totally I understand your situation !


Now look at Y instead. Whenever he sees a slight change in my expression he tilts his head and looks at me with compassionate eyes. Now why can't all guys be so caring? But of course, my little Y is only 1 year old. The other two are grown ups.

Moral of the story - Kids at times are more understanding and mature than adults. Period.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Almost Back!

Well.. I read a couple of my favorite blogs recently which forced me to come out of hibernation. That need to blog again -- if you are an ardent blogger, you would know the feeling! But I felt if I were to blog now, I wouldn't have anything interesting to say other than how irritating my Cyst has become or how cranky the antibiotics make me feel nowadays. Yup, I have bored the death out of few people already talking about the lump and the drug -- but that's just how "happening" my life is at the moment. So instead of indulging in self-pity, I decided to spice up my blog a lil. It has been bland for a long time now, hence I decided to go Red! Like it? No? Go away! :(

I removed some widgets too, and ummm... "awards" which were taking too much space on my blog. If you are someone who had gifted me one of those awards -- I will definitely return them back to you once I figured out just where they are now ! *Looks at you guilt-ily*

Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Turning Point

Have you ever…

… Felt stifled by what’s going around you?

… Ever had the feeling that everything is going wrong from day one?

Somehow you always tend to get hints but you never acknowledge them. You just turn a blind eye towards it and then all of a sudden it’s just there – magnified – for you to see and you just can’t seem to ignore it anymore. What do you do then? You try to rectify it of course. You tell openly that “Ok! Something is wrong here! And I need to do something about it.” Sometimes by addressing the problem openly, it tends to get solved. But other times, the problem just refuses to die its death. You fight hard to face it, make the problem go away, maybe even plead a little for it not to show its ugly head again. What if the problem is too stubborn and strong-headed that it just refuses to budge? That’s when reality hits you on the face. And you just stare back at life - not surprised, not shocked, but with a little compassion somewhere for the things that had gone far beyond your control. You weep a little thinking how things could have been - how things SHOULD have been. But if the problem is too adamant, what can you do other than let your destiny take its own course.

Turning points happen when they are meant to happen and most often than not -- they happen for the good...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a Woman...

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again....

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul!

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman.

- Helen Reddy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It Feels Like Home Sweet Home Again....

I have been in Dubai for a while now, but somehow my mind and heart is still at that remote place in Kerala wherein lies my home. The place I used to visit only during vacation time when I was schooling in Bahrain. The place I stayed when I started attending a nearby college and after dad's retirement. A place where I can be me -- and no one has any complaints about it. The place where I am carefree and where I am subjected to some pure, unconditional love. The place I know that will welcome me with open arms even if the entire world rejects me...

My sister was sick with Pneumonia and was put up in ICU one week back or so. I had to handle her kids, and even if I was just learning, I loved every single moment of taking care of my 1 year old nephew. Just his smile was enough to make me forget all my worries. It's a wonder how we smile at the silliest of things when we are small, but then later on forget to smile even at the funniest of situations. Sometimes with a kid, you end up feeling like a kid yourself and there have been moments when I wished I could pack up little Yadhu and take him back to my place. Apart from that, I guess I was not able to carry out all what a mother can do for her child -- and I wasn't surprised when my sister started craving for our parent's TLC. Our mom and dad rushed to her side the moment they heard she wanted them. Nothing like unconditional love right? I felt sad my sister was sick but my happiness knew no bounds when I heard my parents were coming. A mixed bag of emotions, you can say.

It has been a rollercoaster ride this month around in terms of emotions. But the silver lining in the tunnel is that my parents are around to look at my sister and I, smile and say "Everything will be okay soon!" whenever we are stressed out. Having my parents around makes me feel carefree again in a way. Having them around makes me feel protected, wanted and loved. With them around, it somehow feels like home sweet home again...

P.S - On a good note, my blog post - How I Met The Nair Boy - got published in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. Get your hands on "Chicken Soup for the Indian Bride's Soul" today! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Ultimate Truth About Marriage That Every Girl Should Know!

I had Nidhi asking me a question the other day - "Does life really change after marriage?". I remember having this very doubt the day I got engaged. Does life really change? Will I get time to do the things I like after tying the knot? I'm not an experienced person, but if you are looking for true facts from a newly-wed then this is the post for you! I and R celebrated our first E-Day (engagement day) anniversary on Feb 7th and this alone makes me feel that I have 'matured' enough to give you some marriage gyaan. So get ready for some hard-core truths! You may or may not like them - but that's what MOST marriages are all about.

1. Yes, Life does Change! - Whether you like it or not, life changes big time after marriage. You don't really get time to do things you like -- or maybe you can if you squeeze out enough time in between all the chores. But then again, you feel too exhausted by the end of the day to enjoy these things that you feel so passionate about! I'm working from home and at the same time I have to do my everyday chores which doesn't leave me with much time for my hobbies like reading. I have yet to finish 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari' which I had brought along with me to Dubai from India. 3 months and yet to finish a book? That's new for me! Nidhi told me that there are maids in the house to help her mom out with work. This hasn't stopped the lady from supervising everything and anything that happens in the house. The bottomline is that even with help around the house, married women hardly get time to do the things that they once upon a time used to love. Didn't exactly like this fact? Truth hurts afterall!

2. Men are Tuned to Rest After Work - Most men love to return from work and relax in front of the big tube. Once upon a time, I used to daydream that I and my husband would be cooking together and doing all chores together (every women has that dream I guess and I can see the men reading this guffaw out there :) but then you have to get used to the fact that such men hardly exist!

3. Start Learning! - Girls who know next to nothing about cooking or cleaning up or washing or just about any household work -- should start learning! More so because you have to be prepared for questions like - "So what did you cook today" from almost everyone. And you don't want to give a bad impression by replying - "Umm. Noodles!". Btw, noodles are so easy to make no? I would have made noodles everyday -- but my husband hates it! Which brings me to the next point....

4. Most Husbands Hate Easy Recipes - I have lost count of the number of men who have said "Yuck! I hate bread" or "I hate noodles"! So if you think you can escape by making such easy things, you cannot be more wrong! I had a number of such "easy meals" planned out before marriage, but now you will find that list shredded away into teeny weeny pieces somewhere in the garbage bin.

5. Sometimes It's Better to Agree with Your Husband Even if You're Right - We women are always right no? I can see all the girls nodding :D But sometimes our partner refuses to acknowledge that. So what do you do then? You just nod along and agree to everything he says and let him learn from his own mistakes.

6. Your Husband Most Probably Will Get Really Emotional When Sick - I have yet to see a guy who doesn't whine when sick. My dad gets very irritated and sad when he's ill. My husband does too. At times, you wonder if they are actually going to die from a cold or fever. No, really! The point is that you girls shouldn't feel too overwhelmed when you end up seeing your "macho man" putting his guard down when sick. It's normal! As long as you give enough care and attention, this phase too shall pass smoothly.

7. The First Thing in the Morning You Might Hear from Him Will Be 'Chai Please' - Men usually are a hungry and thirsty lot. You can't blame them if that's the first thing that comes to their mind when they wake up. :D

These are only some of the points that you girls should keep in mind. I will come up with more once I complete my first year of marriage (.. just to be safe :D).

On a serious note, I come to know every other day about how couples are getting divorced without even completing a year together. The first year of marriage can be VERY difficult maybe coz both of you have certain expectations in mind for each other. We are all looking for THE perfect partner who does everything according to your wish. There's nothing like a perfect partner at first but with time by compromising and making little adjustments you can make your marriage just perfect!

Why do YOU think so many marriages are breaking down nowadays? The older generation won't even hear of such a thing! Usually back then, the women folk used to remain quiet while the husbands made all the important decisions. Nowadays the girls are outspoken and openly pinpoint what they feel about things -- and not all guys (with the notable "male ego") can take it. Is THAT a reason? Can education be blamed for making girls so independent and less tolerant nowadays? Is it wrong for girls to be considered "equal" to men when our Indian society is not yet ready to believe that times have changed? Or is our society or culture to be blamed for bringing up guys with so much of importance -- which is maybe why they feel irritated when a woman dominates them? Share your thoughts. Would love to know :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jab We Met!

Yeah I know it's coming a wee bit late -- but still -- A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my blog readers !!! :) I can't believe this is my sixth year into blogging and though not as frequent as before, I itch to blog after every few other weeks. So no matter how busy I am, I always look forward to adding another page into my personal online diary. Why? Just so that I can run through the pages several years from now and fondly reminisce about everything wonderful and not-so-wonderful that happened to me over the years. Something priceless -- you've to agree.

2011 didn't start on a great note for R and I -- coz we both got sick and bedridden for a week or so. And then there were some things which we expected, but didn't quite work out the way we wanted. On a good note, my e-marketing payment is at a whole-time high this month. Last month around, I sold off $1000 worth of Amazon products. Coolness no? I'm sure it has something to do with the holiday season -- but the bout of success is something I'm enjoying thoroughly at the moment. Apart from that, I felt for the first time in my life - a minor earthquake. It was so minor, I'm sure hardly anyone would have noticed it. But it was an 'earthquake' after all. I mistook the tremor for a 'strong wind' when the windows trembled for a few seconds. Some others were complaining about how 2011 has been crappy so far for them. How's it going for you?

Anyway , this month has me celebrating one year of something very special (and thankfully, something not-crappy :D). I and R met on this very month last year. Haven't you read 'How I Met The Nair Boy' yet? How time flies! The difference being now I am more comfortable with him than I ever used to be. I mean, I can just walk around in my pyjamas wearing my spectacles, without combing my hair looking like crap -- and there he is, always ready to give me a quick hug and a kiss. Last year, he never got to see me looking like a witch. Nowadays he does. Aaah! The freedom of being married :D

I do not mean that the 1 year of us knowing each other has been all mushy mushy. Far from it actually! There had been loads of incidents when we literally wanted to shoot each other down if possible. The problem is we both are kids at heart who whine and cry if we don't get what we are seeking. But hopefully we'll both mature out of that one day! :)

Oh btw, the heart-shaped dosa is what I prepared few days back for him. Not bad for a first attempt no? :D