Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pick Up The Phone, Man!

I'm not a phone person.. and I guess I will never be one. Yes, don't get shocked. Girls like me do exist! Over the years, people who have tried to call me have given up totally frustrated, sent me messages (even abusive ones) of how 'cruel' I am because I didn't take their phone calls, have stopped talking to me etc. Makes you think how relationships are so dependent on phone calls nowadays. Before it used to be 'out of sight, out of mind' and nowadays it's more like 'out of telephoning, out of mind'. I love meeting people for real more than through the phone or even online. It has always been like that -- provided the person and I are on the same wavelength.

Most of the times, I never pick up the phone. Reasons being:

  • I'm too busy (I'm not kidding - I'm always working and my family can vouch for that)
  • I'm sleeping (When I'm not working or socializing, I can be found snoring away to glory)
  • I am not in the mood to talk

These rules however do not apply to family members or best friends (coz of obvious reasons :P). 

Now the complaints have risen to such a high (I'm sure even our government won't be able to compare with the number of complaints I get), that I have decided to give away my phone number to only a selected number of people now:

  • People who will get this 'weird' trait of mine -- that hello, there are people in the world who don't like talking on their phones 24x7
  • People who won't be offended if I don't pick up their calls (I wonder if they exist :D) 
  • People who are as weird as me, or who are as busy as me (you know, coz they are too busy to make calls themselves :P)
  • People who make calls only to convey something important (aah, I love this group; their calls last only for 2-3 minutes)

When I usually tell people that I am not such a phone person, they go "heinnnnnn? not a phone person?" (rolling eyes here) and they end up thinking I'm bluffing. So now, I just convey this info and let them think what they want to without me lending them reasons on why I am this way. When you end up thinking you're a lone rider when it comes to things like this, you meet someone like Judy Balan who feels exactly the same about phone calls. And you tend to feel a bit better. Makes you wonder if it's a Virgo trait. Hmm..

Now before I sign off, I want to wish you guys a very VERY happy new year in advance :) It has been a good year for me personally and professionally and I hope it was the same for you all. Keep smiling and have a rocking 2013! Cheers :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On The Road

I had started driving lessons some time ago but as most of you might be knowing (those who are following me on Facebook anyway) it was only recently that I got my driver's license. Reason being I could take my lessons only during weekends because of work. And trust me, taking ANY sort of lessons during the weekend is something I am going to do away with in the future. There were times I wanted to hang around, do some shopping, go for the movies or do something entertaining on my off days but these plans had to be sidelined or canceled out because of... well.. my driving lessons. Those who say driving is a stress-free affair should come meet me. I am improving each day (drove 30 kms the other day, yay me!) but driving is something which has not become "stress-free" for me as yet. I drive with such utmost concentration, I'm fairly sure that if you were to look closely you will be able to see fumes coming out of my head. I even get dreams nowadays of driving my car straight into potholes. 

After years of avoiding driving, I finally made up my mind to go for it and I was all set for my learner's license test. The instructor had told me it would be downright easy and that least preparation would be required. Keeping that in mind, I just breezily went through my manual and landed up at the RTO the next day only to find that the other aspiring drivers were preparing ardently making it appear like a college/school exam. It was like entering college all over again with the hall filled up with students doing their last minute cramming.

A: "Da.. what is the maximum speed allowed for private vehicles in Kerala?"
B: "80!"
A: "Ayye.. no no! 70!"
B: "Shit man!!!"

Getting the learner's license was easy, but now came the tough part. It was a bright sunny (and terribly humid) day when I started my actual driving classes. More than driving, I was concerned about whether or not driving 'saar' will allow me to switch on the a/c in his car. It was blazing hot! The other students in the car didn't seem bothered about the weather at all... and they all looked like they had some sort of internal air cooler switched on. In between all this weather cursing, I didn't realize my turn had come and I quickly headed to the driving seat.

Instructor: "So, do you know where the clutch is?"
Me: "No"
Instructor: "Do you know WHAT a clutch is?"
Me: "Err, no" (this is where I entered a flashback mode thinking whether I had been taught all this at school or college)

...And the instructor just rambled on about the technical aspects of driving -- digging deep into the engines, RPMs, gears, clutches, brakes, their mechanisms and how they work the way they do. Most of it bounced right off my head but he seemed to be enjoying the teaching part so much that I never even bothered to stop him. In my later classes when I found out that he was giving too much theory, I stopped him and said "Please Babu ettan! I'm a girl! I don't want the boring part. I only want to learn how to drive carefully on the road!" He just chuckled away to glory. Maybe I just confirmed his belief that girls are not that into cars as compared to guys.

Coming back to my driving, the only objects that freaked me out on the road during the first few days were heavy sized vehicles. They more or less appeared like monsters to me. My grip on the steering wheel would tighten and I would only breathe out when these "monsters" safely passed me by. But that all changed with practice. Now I'm scared of other "things". They own the road, mind you! They are the kings and they don't care about signals, traffic or any rules or regulations. They come and go as they please. They jump right in front of your car caring two hoots about whether you're an experienced driver or a noob. I'm talking about the cows, elephants, buffaloes, goats, monkeys, dogs, and other animals. There was a moment when I encountered a cow right in the middle of a very narrow road and there I was waiting for it to pass by. It just stood there and stared. I stared back and I waited.. and waited. This is where vehicle horns come to use mind you. In fact, this is what horns are actually meant for! To scare away animals off the street. Who would've thought eh?

P.S: Since I am not a fan of long posts that drag endlessly, I'm putting a stop to this one right now. Next post is all about taking the much dreaded H, the practice that followed and the big test day! Stay tuned..

Monday, June 25, 2012

A New Love

Ever since I bought myself this little beauty, I have been restless and dreaming quite a bit about her. Wait.. Should I change its gender now that I have been dreaming about it? Hmmm..

Jokes apart, here's a pic of my new i10 Sportz! Whenever I look at this blushing red beauty, a smile appears on my face. Maybe because it reflects back my own hard work and maybe because it is THE most expensive thing I have purchased till date. I'm so proud even if it's just another car in the crowd. 

I have started driving around with dad in tow and it is the ultimate feeling of independence. This coming from someone who used to absolutely dread the Indian roads and who used to think driving is not for her. It was  eventually me telling myself "if others can do it, why can't I?" that led me to learn driving. That's the same mantra everyone should follow by the way - tell yourself that you're just as damned good as everyone else out there. You will see many more achievements coming your way THIS way! 

Now Dhanya's driving requires a whole new post altogether so I will keep the comical scenes for another time. Too sleepy and tired at the moment after having a hearty dinner of Pulao and Chicken. Zzzzz-ing already! 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Happy Zone

Dhanya one year back:

1. Weighed a measly 44 kilos. Culprits: depression, loss of appetite and insomnia.
2. Felt more or less like a zombie.
3. Used to stare into open space for hours on end wondering where her life is going to head.
4. No job. Lack of self-confidence.
5. Used to think "why does everything bad only happen to me?".
6. Mentally torn & humiliated after apologizing to people even if I was not at fault.
7. Used to get angry easily.

... Basically I used to think my life is over. Those who have been through that phase in a relationship would be able to understand this more than anyone else. It's so easy to say "get over it" but the breaking of a marriage is tough for people like me -- who always used to believe marriages are forever. But overcome I did!

Dhanya now:

1. I'm not going to reveal how much I weigh now :P But yeah, I am MUCH healthier, wealthier & wiser. Reasons: Happiness (yes, just that).
2. Never felt more livelier and enthusiastic about living life before.
3. I have more of a clue where my life is heading. I know now that there's no dead end :)
4. Two jobs. Both which I love. And which earns me well. What more can I ask for in the professional front?
5. Now I think "everything that happens, happens for the best".
6. I realize you don't have to apologize to anyone for being the person you are. You just have to surround yourself with the right kind of people who will understand you exactly for the way you are.
7. Angry? Whazzat? :D

So all those who are going through a bad phase. Hang in there! There's always ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel. Just remember it's not your fault and that in a relationship it takes two to tango. If you tried your best to make it work, then hats off to you and your commitment. It's very difficult to find people who are willing to communicate and sort things out in a relationship, so be pleased that you are in that clan of mature people who value relationships. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Violin Player

He plays the violin beautifully. I met him for the first time at a family friend’s mehndi function and was totally blown away by how effortlessly he played out the most beautiful of melodies. After each performance, I had to give him a standing ovation, and he would smile back appreciatively. Friends teased and taunted about how he kept looking at me and smiling, but I haughtily dismissed them all off. 

So yeah without really keeping the mystery for last and going for a “I was talking about this guy, who did you think it was?” (a la the new Priyanka Chopra ad), I am talking about the famous musician Balabhaskar here. It felt awesome hearing him play from such a close proximity, and on top of that a small group of girls (including yours truly) made it a point to scream at our loudest of voices and give him all the applause he needed for rendering all compositions so beautifully. He would smile generously at us after each performance (except that one time when he himself realized that he didn’t play up to the mark and requested us not to clap or scream by showing the “stop” signal). So our group of girls stopped clapping midway and pretended that we were swatting away mosquitoes instead. We are classy people. We know exactly when a rendition is not up to the mark and when it is. Yet we kept looking for more “stop” signals. Just to make sure of our own classiness.. 

Friend (to me): “Go get his autograph no? You’re a big fan right?

Me: “Running for autograph and all? Ayye… so not me!

Another friend comes in and announces she’s going to get his autograph.

Me: “Yeah! What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”.

Just to give her company mind you!

So I stand there swooning and telling him “you’re the best!”. And he gives his Chinese eyed smile to me and everyone else. Couldn’t help thinking “Does he ever stop smiling? Don’t his cheeks hurt?” As impulsive as I’m, I wanted to blurt out the question, but I refrained. Thank God for small mercies. He then went on to tell us how our little group was the most energetic of the lot that day and how it felt really nice to see us enjoying his songs so much. That was really sweet of him to say all that considering we thought we acted completely drunk..

Then I noticed something in his hand…

A handbag…

A PINK handbag…

A PINK ladies handbag…

What the… (*insert Arnav Singh Raizada tone from Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon*)

And this pretty petite lassy comes up from behind him, smiles at all of us and we are informed that this Pink-kurti clad (I think the color is going to make me sick from now) is Balabhaskar’s wife. At that moment I could hear his own rendition of "tu hi re" from Bombay ringing in my ears. 

Another one bites the dust.

Oh well…

As you know, the show must go on…

Next please!

P.S: For all those who haven't seen Balabhaskar perform, here's a video (yup, it's tu hi re from Bombay).

P.P.S: The video is not mine. I so wish I had taken a video that day..

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Compatibility vs. Adjustment

How much does one “adjust” in a relationship? Does compatibility not matter at all?

I remember when my marriage proposals were going on, I kept stressing on the importance of compatibility, that electric chemistry between two people. When you meet or interact with that special someone, something should just click within you. Unfortunately, our Indian society (or most of it) does not understand this concept. Girls especially are just required to get along with the other half no matter what. If not, they are considered bold, head-strong – traits which are not exactly considered complimentary for an Indian girl. The perfect Indian girl should bear anything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that comes her way with a smile on her face. The perfect Indian girl should take abuses (mental & physical) from her spouse and not complain about it. The perfect Indian girl should be looking oh-so-awesome even when she’s dead tired from housework. The perfect Indian girl should never ever whine about anything, should never ever get angry or God forbid even show it. You get the drift. 

Before marriage, you end up thinking you will be what you are and no one can stop you. But somehow it doesn’t work that way. Nowadays when I see unmarried girls saying “I don’t need to change anything about me. The guy will accept me the way I am even after marriage”, I can’t help but sympathize with them. No one, I repeat NO ONE remains the same after marriage. You adjust a little and the so does the other person and in between all these adjustments you change a little. For some people the changes and adjustments required are so drastic that you lose your identity in between all of it. That’s when you know your relationship is going downhill. 

I have always stressed on compatibility and after going through personal experience and going through some others as well I feel this is one of the most important spices that contribute to the zest & flavor of a relationship. No compatibility means no similarity in thoughts which means no passion! And how can a relationship survive without even a bit of passion? This goes out to all the people out there – learn to trust your instincts. If you feel that compatibility is the most important factor and you go against your own belief and succumb to what others tell you (in my case I was told “clicking” with someone isn’t important, you just have to see whether he’s a nice guy.. and I fell for that), you will end up where I am today. Don’t fall into pressure, don’t be afraid of going against the norms if it makes you happy. In the end it’s your life you’ve got to live and not theirs. I’ve learnt my lesson and I'm never ever falling for something I don't believe in ever again...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Trip That Was

February had been a brilliant month. March even better! I don't get time to interact on social networking sites or get online on chat as before -- work responsibilities increasing, taking up & learning new things in life etc etc. But I can't still seem to neglect this blog for too long. So here I am!

The Bahrain trip was a crackler. I never had such a great time in recent times -- as in, I always had something or the other to do and I LOVE having something or the other to do especially when I'm on vacation! Being idle and lazing around is not my idea of a vacation somehow.

Usually the youngsters (in my family friends group) tend to get together only at parties with our parents tagged along. But this time around, it was different. A nice kind of different. We got together (minus our parents) and talked, talked, talked. It's amazing how simple conversations can turn your evenings from dull & drab to lively. The right kind of people always make any given atmosphere light-hearted & fun.

A special mention goes to the Menon & Ramachandran family for being such perfect hosts (and for tolerating me so wonderfully ;)). Couldn't have asked for better people to stay with! Feels just like being at home. Special thanks go to these people -

Sundar uncle - For being an absolutely awesome host and a delight to talk to! Chatting with him is entertaining to say the least. Plus he gave me a gift. *Shows off the Rado watch* :D And anyone close to me knows how much I adore gifts! Surprise ones at that.

Pushpa aunty - For being so sweet & considerate. She stuffed me up with her delicacies and also oodles of home-made sausages & burgers coz she knows I absolutely missed hogging them in Kerala! Yeah, you do get the cheap quality sausages and burgers here but they are nothing compared to the taste of Sadia products!

Deeju - Numerous crazy talks, basketball games, gymming (:P), 'flop movie' watching, imitating others. Need I say more on how much I enjoyed her company?

Deepa chech - Right now when I think of her, her chilly chicken comes to mind. It was mindblowing.. and D chech, I have told that to mom too ;)

Raghav - Deepa's cute little boy who was initially extremely shy when it came to interacting with me but after a few days got close to the point of ordering me around "come here!" or "pick that!" or "don't do that!". But I had no problem whatsoever dancing to his tunes..

Ram uncle - For being so sweet and telling San to make sure to drop me at Sundar uncle's place and then only leave. So fatherly!

J aunty - For taking me to City Center, for her morning 'energy drinks' (:P), Farmville lessons and also her numerous witty comments whilst driving!

Rahul - For showing us all such a good time at Trader Vic's and afterwards :) And yes, for paying for all of it :P This chauffeur is one of a kind.

Rajani - She's the sweetest person you will ever meet! Ended up chatting with her till 4 A.M in the morning when I stayed over at her place.

The only bad that happened during this trip was the movie - Woman in Black. I know it's getting rave reviews, but we ended up making fun of almost everything ("look.. the ghost has loose motion", "did you figure out what the story is yet?", "we should try that out with our neighbors - staring through the window with a wide-eyed expression").

I also got to meet up with my beautiful San (who was very much pregnant at the time and is now a proud mommy to the oh-so-cute Nainika!) & we gup-shupped away about things over a cuppa & scrumptious choco cake. She got me a gift from Debenhams and I as usual forgot to get her a gift. Yes, I know I keep preaching about how I love surprise gifts and stuff, but when it comes to giving I practically suck. But then my friends haven't abandoned me for that, so thanks guys ;)

It feels good to have visited Bahrain after two whole years. The days went by wayyy too fast. Have no idea when I will be able to visit the place next but whatever moments I spent there are to be cherished for a long time to come. The nostalgia that I felt when I visited the compound I used to stay in, going to the cold store nearby where I used to get my snacks in bundles, seeing my flat now occupied by some other family.. all bittersweet moments. This is why people like to revisit the places they grew up in - to experience that warm feeling. When you see that the place has developed a little, you puff up with pride even though you are not even remotely responsible for its advancement whatsoever. You feel happy.

Now I am back in India and not regretting it. I love this place even with the mosquitoes, power cuts, corruption and what not. India's liveliness is unmatched. But I guess there's a part of me which is still Bahraini, and that part is only appeased when I visit Bahrain now and then. This very same sob story is shared by many others who have left Bahrain. Bahrain's magic is such. I love you Bahrain. Have and always will.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I am off for a much deserved break to Bahrainnnnnn (the place I was brought up in)! I have so many fond memories there, and it's nearly after 2 years that I am going to visit the place. Can't wait to see if anything has changed.. and also can't wait to meet near & dear ones (sansu, are you listening? ;).

.. And I'm flying premium class! Woohoo! It has been ages since I have flown business class, and this was the perfect opportunity. I'm traveling alone, had saved up more than necessary, and well.. I deserve traveling & living in style (the whole pampering session) after a disastrous 2011! Dad was adamant that I save this money instead of splurging on premium class tickets, but mom & sis were all for it. I mean, I travel far less than normal people, I shop less as compared to other girls (far far less actually), so it's only right that I spend my money somewhere.

Planning to travel more often now. This is a start. I think this is an important aspect that Elizabeth Gilbert missed in the title of her book - the travel part. It should've been "Eat, Pray, Love & Travel" - a perfect concoction to heal any wound :-)

Will be back soon.

Till then, enjoy these cutlets & green chutney I made for you guys :D

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Should I Be Worried?

Shortly after I wrote my first post on how I'm getting divorced soon, a blogger messaged me asking 'I'm going to get into an arranged marriage soon. Should I be worried?'. First of all, my purpose of writing that post wasn't to scare people, but since the question came up here's the answer anyway.

You Should Be Worried If...

1. You're totally incompatible with your partner. Of course, partners need not always be perfect, but there's a saying 'Appreciate the similarities, respect the differences'. If you are not able to do that, and if you force your partner into thinking the same way that you do - then get ready for friction - whether you like it or not.

2. You're an egoistic person. Ego has known to kill relationships - don't let your's bring something so precious as a relationship down in the dumps.

3. You're boring. Do you tend to take things way too seriously? Do you start yelling 'What? Why? Where? How?" at the drop of a hat? Not done.

4. You're an old fashioned person expecting a modern partner. Please stick to people who believe in the very same thoughts as you do. There are some who will like a person based purely on looks and then think "chalo.. let me say yes.. later on I will try to change the person by hook or by crook". Learn to accept the person as they are. Small adjustments are necessary in any relationship, but that doesn't mean you try to totally change your better half.

5. You're a person who believes only in 'take' and no 'give'. It's just not done if a relationship is one-sided where a person has to keep sacrificing for the other's happiness. It's all about 'give & take'. If you are not ready to give at all, don't get into a relationship.

6. You tend to get violent when angry. Are you not able to control your anger? Maybe it's time to hit those anger management classes. Some people tend to get physically abusive too when angry. Sad...

7. You're not emotionally, physically & financially ready to get into a marriage.

You need not be worried...

1. If you love your other half to death. All the adjustments, compromising will then come automatically.

2. If you believe that marriage is a life long commitment (your partner should feel the same way too), and your main goal is to last through the good times as well as the bad; to live many many years together. When both you and your partner have that kind of a mindset, my kind of a situation will not happen to you.

3. You make adjustments according to the situation (goes for both guys & girls).

4. You do not incline to physical abuse when angry (very very important point!).

Well that's it I guess! On a positive note, divorce cases in India are still very much rare. So don't judge things by other people's experiences. It need not happen to you. Things need not get so messy. It's my destiny and I'm embracing it with open arms.. because of this - today, I am a happy & healthy person (touch wood). I rather be single than be stuck in a very VERY wrong relationship.

Friday, January 06, 2012

To My Sun and My Moon

Once upon a time there lived this girl called Dhanya who absolutely used to cringe at the sight of crying (and need I mention pooping?) babies. If a baby puked or soiled their diapers in the sitting room, you would find Dhanya running away to the bedroom. If the baby started crying in the bedroom, Dhanya would slowly tiptoe towards the sitting room -- you get the picture. Now many many years have passed (well, not so much, I'm not that old yet) and the story now seems to have changed. Dhanya is not the same Dhanya, and babies don't make her uneasy or uncomfortable anymore. How did this happen you might ask? (Note - Even if you didn't ask yourself that -- just for the sake of this post, please do). Stay calm folks, for this sensational story is about to be disclosed.

On November 20th 2001 my first jigar da tukda entered this world -- my niece. I didn't cringe as much but the pooping/crying story remained. I remember dad informing me about her arrival in the wee hours of the night. I met her and was absolutely mesmerized by how she looked - so delicate, innocence personified. I remember looking forward to coming back from my classes (I was still in school then) to meet her, pick her up and get enchanted by her gurgles and how soft, smooth she felt. It's a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. But man, was I in love ! She's now going to be 10 years old (big girl now) and I can't help feel how fast time has fled by. Nakshu says such grown-up things now that I do a double-take and go "Wow, when did you get so big?" with plain disbelief. As of recently, she said something like "Don't worry mema, everything will be alright" and I could feel my heart swell up with so much of love and admiration for my little angel who is not-so little anymore.

Then on Feb 16th 2010, my second jigar da tukda made his presence felt - my nephew. He didn't appear delicate as such -- he looked stronger and sturdier as compared to his elder sister. But it was love at first sight for the second time around! With Yadhu, I became accustomed to changing diapers, cleaning him up, giving him food, rocking him to sleep, giving him a bath, getting up in the wee hours of the morning and all that jazz especially when my sister got bedridden with pneumonia. The tiring part was that he too got sick at the same time and I had to carry him around most of the time. It made me look like a zombie somehow and I wondered how my sister was able to handle 2 kids in the house. He's the happiest baby I know and as of currently his interests include food, staring at cute girls, food and more staring at cute girls (strictly in that order!).

I cannot define the joy these two bring me. They ignite my maternal instincts (you've got to be an aunt to believe that) and I'm awfully protective about them. I want only the best for them, and I hope the future only has the bestest of the best plans laid out for them. If not, the so-called 'future' will have to deal with my infamous tantrums! ;)

To Nakshu and Yadhu (my Sun and my Moon).. you will forever remain my sweet little babies! With lots of love - your mema.