December 30, 2009

Thank You, Welcome

A little more than 24 hours marks the end of year 2009. The fireworks and lights at midnight of Dec 31 marks the start of 2010. How in the fun of welcoming the NEW YEAR, we often forget the year bygone. The 12 months, 365 days, which gave us reasons to smile, to celebrate, to succeed, to rejoice, to cry, to cherish. Days to be grateful for, friends to be thankful for. And with good wine, great food and colorful fireworks we leave those days behind. We are in the spirit of ushering in the New Year. A year we don't yet know, a year of more uncertainty, a year of surprises maybe, or shocks even! But we still come together to welcome 2010, with not a word or thought for the months gone by. Since Christmas, I have been looking forward to joining the celebration of New Year. I did a quick stock-taking of this year and I was left with more tears than smiles. For some reason I decided to brand it the 'unlucky' year. Of course there were moments of non-stop laughter, reasons to celebrate, days of absolute bliss....but somehow it seems like every smile was topped with a layer of grim. But I am glad I lived it, I experienced it, 'coz it taught me new lessons, new realities. It taught me to be my own strength, to have faith in one's self, taught me the importance of loving selflessly. I don't know if I have learnt these lessons well enough to make it part of my routine. I hope so. Today, I wish I had lived the days to its best...wish I had enjoyed the moments in its every sense, wish I had lived a FULLER year. This is exactly what I hope to do in the coming year and the years ahead. Live The Moment To Its Fullest. I am not making plans or resolutions. I'll go with the flow, and accept every surprise, every hurdle, every high, every low that comes my way. Today, I am WISER. I know my faults, I accept it. I know others have faults, I accept it too. That makes life much easier and happier. There are things I want to. Things I had put away out of sheer laziness. Am not making a To-do list 'coz I already have piles of pending ones. When I finally do it, I'll write a 'thank you note' to myself and my inner self. Today, I am HOPEFUL. Hopeful for myself and people around me. Hopeful that I play my role of mother, wife, daughter, friend, professional and the many other relations, with full honesty and happiness. It's the little things that pave way for bigger joys. A smile, a hug, a thank you, a sorry, or just being there makes a DIFFERENCE. Cheers to a New Beginning, a Happier Start, a More Meaningful Life.

December 28, 2009

Toc-H days relived!

What an evening it was! I confess: I was reluctant to go. First because my son and husband were home and secondly 'coz not many from my batch were going to be there. Where? Homecoming 2009, alumni meet of the Toc-H School, a place where I learnt the ABCs of life, a place where I made friends for life, a place where I was encouraged to pursue my talents, a place which taught me confidence, ambition, and lessons of life. Toc-H...a place that gifted me some of the best memories and best friends ever. We were a batch of great friends who enjoyed each other's company. That was almost 15 years ago. Today, each one is busy in his/her own life, have made new companions, visited many new institutions, and have moved on from the Ice-sticks and sip-ups of school days. It's been more than a decade since we bid farewell to our institution, and many of us have not visited the place since then. But even today, after all these years and after having seen and experienced bigger, better and more luxurious places and events, Toc-H still brings back the same spirit and smile on our faces. A walk through the corridors of the school, a stroll through its ground evokes many a memories. At every corner we see the big black board that displays the 'The Thought for the Week'....a board that taught us that 'Time and Tide waits for No Man', 'An idle mind is a devil's workshop' or 'Success is 99 perspiration and 1% inspiration'. Lessons that stood us good in our journey of life...lessons that still remain etched in the back of our minds and which often influence our every day actions. The long corridors where we spent moments enjoying laughs with our friends, picking up silly fights and stealing glances at our 'special someones'. The place where we punished to kneel down when our mischief got too much for the teachers to handle. The corridors...where we cheered our houses during Sports Day. 'Soda, lemon, ginger pop, we have White Sapphire on the Top' and so went the cheering squad. The little corners and the back benches, which were the haunts of the 'love birds', some of whom are today man and wife. Many love stories that ended in wedded bliss, many that changed with changing classes and some that met a sad end. Our auditorium: the stage that nurtured our talents. Dance, music, instruments, skits...the stage that's see the best, the funniest and the most talented. We cheered and clapped, and sometimes booed and hooted. Every moment was fun, and every moment we miss today. The assembly, the PT class, the SUPW period... so much comes trickling back into my memory. It's amazing how Toc-H has left such a deep impression in our minds and hearts. We may never realise it until we revisit those days, like some of us did last evening (Dec 27, 2009). The auditorium was packed with children (we all become children when we return to school). Sadly, from our batch only a few could make it...but the few of us had a great time. As we caught up on old times, our voices were oozing with excitement. It was an evening of fun, music, dance, memories of the good times. We salute the OSAT team for putting up such a wonderful show and rekindling the child in us. For making us realise the worth of what we experienced, for allowing us to relive our best days, for bringing us closer to our memories, for taking us on this journey back in time...treading the path we left behind years ago...meeting those teachers who made us what we are. We thank you for allowing us to be in the company of some of our best friends, for giving us this evening to laugh like never before. Thank you for making us realise life is not just about degrees, pay packages and long hours at the work desk. Life is also about friendship, laughter, tears, moments of togetherness and moments of being YOU. As we bid farewell last night, we promised to find time to keep in touch, to keep these days alive, and to meet as often as we can. Toc-H, we miss you.

December 24, 2009

Welcoming Uncle Santa

Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.... Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open sleigh... And oh, what fun it is. It's Christmas eve. I am not in one of those countries where the spirit of Christmas can be seen in every home, every street, every shop and every person. It's winter time, and it's often a White Christmas dotted with decors that come in reds, greens, blues and golds. I am in a tiny state (by area) in a small country (only by area again), where Christmas is more a holiday than a celebration. I am not born into a Christian-faith family. I have never attended a Christmas mass. So what. I enjoy Christmas in its true sense, and I celebrate the spirit of Christmas the way I can. Now with a toddler son... I try to imbibe the values and spirit of the season to my son. He's too young to understand the concept pf Santa Claus but he sure is enjoying the cakes and the decorations :). Say Merry Christmas or Feliz Nevidad...the spirit of X'mas is the same across countries, across faiths.

December 21, 2009

And you call them little....

Had a fun weekend. It started on a not-so-fun note..with me single-handedly trying to pacify a cranky child, who pretended like he hadn't seen the human species since his birth. A good night's sleep, however, had him wake up fresher, happier. Lovely room, great ambience, a nice pool, and the company of ol' friends were the highs. Jokes from the past, newer ones, arguments, chit-chats...more holiday plans, guys v/s girls..and lot more. The lows were many too: exorbitantly priced room and food, tasteless menu with no signs of variety, hot, humid weather, a bunch of mischievous kids, and too little time. Amidst the lows, we managed to make the most of the highs. Exhausted by the end of it, we mothers swore not to do another trip until these little ones are big enough to take care of themselves and behave like more civilised lot rather than a bunch who just landed from the Moon and is finding thrill in exploring every bit of the new world. Pulling at the table lamps, accessories, tugging at the bath towels, showers, etc, doing their bit at landscaping the room and pool, enjoying a meal by themselves (which means spreading the items onto the table and floor, making sure more goes onto the floor than into their mouth, screaming and howling at any attempt to make things easier for them, etc). Whew!! Just mentioning it tires me...but these kids are still up and active and ready for more. As much as I hate to see my child competing for the Mr.Cranky crown and doing a great job of taking out his 'worst behaviour', I am still game for more holidays...more time with friends...more conversation..more wining and dining.

December 17, 2009

Enjoying my company

Being lonely is scary. Being alone is fun (at times). I am definitely a people's person. Need to have people, conversation, screams, giggles...around me. But at time one needs to be with one's self too..listen to my voice, laugh at myself, argue with myself. It's interesting, as I discovered. Since early morn until now I have not seen many faces, except for a little time with my neighbour, who is almost an extension of my personality and routine now! It was a nice day. I still laughed a lot, heard good music, ate interesting breakfast, (for lunch I gate-crashed into my extended home a floor down), and most importantly completed a chunk of work. Not bad at all. I didn't miss my husband, who's out of town on work, and (without trying to sound insensitive) I must admit I did not miss having my lil mischief-maker around. Yes I did call up my mom (with whom he's been since last night) and enquired about him. It's been a full 24 hours since I saw him, in spite of being less than 2 km away from him. Should I feel guilty about it? Well, am not. I don't know why I'm trying to sound defensive and why am trying to justify my act and feeling. It could be b'coz some people refer to this as "Oh, you've dumped your son at your mother's place?" Well for one I didn't dump him there; I left him with them not to shirk away from the responsibility of a mother. I know that he enjoys being there, loves chasing cats there, enjoys running through the park, likes to go for a walk with my dad, and most importantly just adores the lizards he spots outside on the verandah. Why shouldn't I allow him to have a carefree day, spend time in the outdoors (we live on the 9th floor of a building with no green space or play area) and enjoy the pampering of his grandparents. I am not guilty of insensitivity. My day with myself has come to an end....and am going to join my son.

December 15, 2009

Making a mockery of miseries

How many of us mechanically and promptly click 'Delete' the minute we see a new email that begins with FWD:. Very often we don't even bother to read the subject line. Many of us, however, find joy (and surprisingly) the time to go through each of these fwds. Be it chain mails that threaten to cause you misfortune if you dare to trash it, or clearly morphed images of people of buildings that is said to be a wonder or miraculous creation, or the more entertaining sardar jokes or blunders, etc. We too quickly add half the names in our address list and spread the Fwd around. At times it hurts to see people being hailed or abused in the name of 'online humour'. Some dismiss it saying: "Hey, it's just a fwd". But is it? I received this fwd yesterday about an actor who had failed marriage. any of us, it's their personal matter and for them to sort out. The fwd was a disgustingly derogatory one, almost amounting to virtual rape. Some may think I am over reacting (so did the person who sent the fwd to me), but I think we could do our bit my at least trashing it from our inbox and not being a carrier of such junk. Humour works when timed rightly and in the right measure. Mocking at a disabled person isn't humour, finding fun in someone's misery isn't harmless entertainment. Recently there was another Fwd doing the rounds: An image of a palatial house that was said to be owned by a prominent political figure of the state. It turns out the house belongs to some other lesser known person, and a magazine has even carried an article on the house owner and the grandeur of the house. The politician made light of it saying "Oh yes, I will visit the house some day, after it's now my home too!" I am all praise for people who use their time and creativity to come out with immensely entertaining laughs, jokes, stories... but equally disgusted with perverts who make mockery of people and their miseries/lives. Of course, such things cannot be regulated. The filtering should happen in the minds of each individual. But once a pervert....always a pervert.

December 13, 2009

The home decor bug

I am bitten by the 'Home Improvement' and'Better Homes' and 'Good HouseKeeping' bug. I just can't seem to keep my hands and mind off magazines and pictures and thoughts focusing on home decor, pretty DIY tips (though some don't seem so doable yourself) and peeks into homes of the rich and famous, and the smart and thoughtful. It all started almost a year ago with a couple of my friends moving into/designing their new homes. Each one was a stunner in its own way and the ideas had been "Wowing" and "Awwing". I would tell them all...that one day when I have a place I would hire their services. Of course that day is still far away...though I am hoping to move under a new (but far from my ideal) roof sometime next year. Every session in front of the computer is incomplete without at least one google for furniture, kitchen designs, paints, etc. Even right now I have a search window on wicker furniture! Curtains...paints...tiles...all excite me to the point of turning me on. Now comes the time for another dear friend-cum-neighbour to plan the look of her new home. She'll be neighbour no more after another 2-3 months (hopefully they'll get their keys sooner, it's been a long wait). It's sad to think I'll miss someone whose door I could knock or actually just barge into for green chillies or coffee powder or milk or even dinner/lunch. A door that draws my son like a magnet...for he loves the company the lil princess there and loves the pampers of my friend. Not to mention the many accessories, curios, toys and books he loves to mess with. The exciting part, though, is that she's getting a warm, pretty abode of her own. Just watching them scour through shops/magazines/brochures/exhibitions,etc gives me a high. Am always nagging her with queries or suggestions on furniture, fabric, design, decor.... I'm eager to see another house of walls and floors be converted into a home of colour, warmth and love.

December 10, 2009

The November Miss

November came...and November went by. It's a month of memories for me.. My wedding anniversary, which is also the birthday of two of my closest friends. Some happy, some sad...but a lot did happen in November. But I guess I was too busy with other more mundane things in life that I forgot to enjoy the special days. Why else would I not pen a word in November.'re here so fast. Did we actually travel through 11 months so soon..!!!