Monday, March 30, 2009
The day I announced my plans to my friends and colleagues, I felt rather emotional and sentimental at the very thought of leaving this place. Almost every day in the next two weeks or so, somebody or the other would say something to me to set off a stream of tears.
But now that things have had some time to settle in, I've realized a few things. One, you cannot stay in one city or one job for your entire life. Twenty years ago, that was the way to go, but not in this day and age. There's a certain amount of learning that you can gather at a particular job, but soon enough, you have to move on, or your mind stagnates.
More importantly for me, there are some things that are a lot more important than a job or a geographical location. I know that a beautiful life awaits me where I am going. I know that I have lots of new things to look forward to. I know that this change is for the better.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Went out shopping for a while afterwards. It seems that, after my choora has been bought, every other young woman I see is also wearing one. It also seems that, as a friend told me yesterday and as I also noticed today, a lot of women wear only half the choora after a little while. It must be more comfortable, I guess. But, like my mom says, if you do these little things, either you should do them properly or not at all. I think that kind of makes sense. If you carry out a religious ceremony, do it religiously.
This is a great time for me. I'm almost through with my shopping. Time for me to wind up work and enjoy the romance and visit the beautician and allow myself to be pampered!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
By the way, trying on a mangalsutra to see how it looks on you is quite an experience. It really does something to you.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Well, not everything breaks out in a state of havoc. Doing things differently from your routine, maybe even a little differently from the kind of person that you really are, is interesting and fun. Having so much to look forward to is a terrific feeling. I think that when one has good things to look forward to, it gives one a renewed vigour, an enhanced desire to live life fully. There's nothing quite like it.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
There are some random bits of gyaan I picked up today. There is such a concept of dishes that are inappropriate for a wedding dinner. Apparently my mom thinks that Dum Aloo and Kadhi Pakora fall into that category. I let her eliminate the Aloo, but I kept the Kadhi because a certain good friend of mine is a big fan of Kadhi. There is also a concept of coordinating decor with the bride's outfit. The color scheme needs to match. Wow. And I thought it was a big deal that people these days ensure that the groom's sherwani matches the bride's lehenga!
I feel like quoting Steve Martin from Father Of The Bride here today.
I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That's getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I've just been through one. Not my own, my daughter's. Annie Banks Mackenzie. That's her married name: Mackenzie. You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you and adores you in a way you could never have imagined. I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine. Then comes the day when she wants to get her ears pierced, and wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater. From that moment on you're in a constant panic. You worry about her meeting the wrong kind of guy, the kind of guy who only wants one thing, and you know exactly what that one thing is, because it's the same thing you wanted when you were their age. Then, you stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy, and you worry about her meeting the right guy. That's the greatest fear of all, because, then you lose her. It was just six months ago that that happened here. Just six months ago, that the storm broke.
Outsourced: This is something I wanted to see a while ago when it was up in movie theaters, but I happened to miss it for some reason which I am unable to remember. I managed to catch about two-thirds of it on TV recently, and ended up enjoying every little bit of it. The story revolves around outsourcing work to cheaper geographical locations, which is something we can all relate to at this point of time. The plight of the guy who comes to India from the US to train his own replacement is, at most points of time, quite laughable. The romantic angle that happens to come into the picture is also rather comic. In spite of ending in a separation, it does not come across as tragic in the slightest way.
Notting Hill: One of the most beautifully and simply romantic movies of all time. I've seen this one any number of times, and I can still see it any number of times. The way it explores the ordinary girl looking for love, a girl just like any of us, just hidden inside the skin of a celebrity, is just lovely. Oh, and, Hugh Grant's accent always makes me go weak in the knees!
Father Of The Bride: You know what this movie tells us? Getting married is one thing, hosting a wedding is another story all together. It's one thing to pick who you want to marry, but it's equally important (maybe more, who knows?) to pick what flowers you want at the wedding. Completely hilarious, and manages to touch a chord with all of us. By the way, this is showing on Star Movies tomorrow night.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Fast forward twenty years. Suddenly I find myself measuring the consequences of everything I eat. Consequences for my skin, hair, and weight. There is a big, flashing signboard on top of every brownie and every chocolate chip muffin. I come home and I eat a bunch of grapes, a cucumber, a couple of kakdis (not sure what they're called in English), and a home-cooked dinner. Once in a while, I do give in to my temporary lapses of restraint and indulge in a portion of Chocolate Excess at Barista. But that's just once in a while. It actually helps keep up the restraint the rest of the time. It keeps the feel good factor alive.
Somewhere along the line, as some of my good friends know, I discovered that I can sometimes extract the same feel good factor from watermelons instead of cocoa. From rajma instead of pizza. And of course, from non-edible, non-tangible things. From knowing and believing that life is good.
I was sorting out my clothes today and figuring out what to keep and what to discard. Well, guess what? There are all these clothes that used to fit me nicely until a year and a half back and would now look like a sack hanging on a scarecrow if I put them on. Okay, I know I'm exaggerating a bit, but those who've seen me through the transition know what I mean. I mean, there are a ton of those clothes. They were actually just waiting to be discarded. Good that I found my excuse to do just that.
Have you ever been shopping for saarees or something of that sort and observed just how the sales person's expression varies with the price tag of the item that you show an inclination towards? I mean, if you are inclined towards a lehenga that costs a little less than the others, they will try to point out that there should not be the slightest hint of white or cream in what you wear on your own wedding. Or that you are too tall for this particular lehenga. And the instant you pick something that costs about as much as the Nizam's jewellery, you should see how their faces light up. You should hear their sales pitch at that time. They will leave no stone unturned in trying to convince you that you are looking absolutely breathtaking in this item of clothing that is competing with your wedding venue in terms of cost.
Time seems to be just flying past. I'm still trying to wind up things at work, at home, and keep up with my wedding shopping and my health. It's tough, but it's fun.
Friday, March 20, 2009
On one of my early lehenga-surveying trips, I asked the sales guy to hand me the lehenga so I could see how heavy it was, and if I would be able to walk comfortably in it. He told me that wedding lehengas were so designed that you could walk in them, but you couldn't run. What I got from that was that he was trying to say that I couldn't run away if I changed my mind. I asked him if that was what he meant. He clarified that he'd meant that you couldn't walk too fast, because people want the bride to walk slowly towards the stage. It was rather funny, and a little embarrassing, since it happened in front of another bride-to-be, and two older women, possibly her mom and mom-in-law to be. I can still clearly picture the zapped expression on the other girl's face!
My brother asked if brides arrive in palkis at their wedding. I told him that brothers carry that thing, and I would be more than willing if my brothers were willing to carry it. He immediately withdrew the suggestion.
My mom tells me there's a swimming pool in the farmhouse that we've booked for the big day. She suggested floating a gondola-like boat in it and having the varmaala there.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
PS: It's been about two weeks that I've refrained from cutting my nails. I'm a little surprised at myself. They are beginning to cause a little discomfort on this keyboard, though.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
On a slightly different note, if you haven't yet checked out Ranaji from Gulaal, it's not to be missed either. One of the more amusing pieces of music in recent times. Adorably endearing.
A dear friend of mine told me a while ago, "i hope u find ur much awaited love soon, and i hope he makesthe wait truly worth it!:-) " (I refrained from correcting the grammar and punctuation there, which is something that, for me, takes a lot of will power.)
I never imagined that such wishes from my friends would come true like this, so unexpectedly, and yet, so beautifully. Thanks, people, for all those wishes!
I've attempted to make tea only twice in my life. Once in my own house and once in Manali in a frying pan. Because, in our house, only my dad drinks tea. And my mom is always around to make it for him. So I never really needed to learn to boil tea leaves.
Not that I stay away from caffeine. I was once hopelessly addicted to coffee. I still have my days when I am totally sleep deprived and swallow cup after cup of coffee. But I make sure that such days don't occur too often.
You know what I've discovered in recent times? When I'm at work, or driving, and want to stay awake, putting on some of my favourite music wakes me up. And when I'm at home, in bed, and want to sleep, the same thing puts me to sleep. It's a beautiful alternative to the caffeine!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I'm sure a lot of people will distinctly remember the shade of pink that my blog originally was when I started it. It's approximately the same shade that distinctly dominates my trousseau. In spite of my intermittent conscious efforts to buy stuff in other colours. But you know, even my mom tells me that I look radiant when I wear that colour. So do a lot of friends. So there. Dark pink it is.
Just five weeks to go. The wait has its own magic, you know.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- I would come riding on the horse.
- I would be dressed as Princess Bubblegum.
- The groom would be dressed in a Knight's armour.
- When I entered, they would play Imperial March instead of Din Shagana Da.
- People would basically get to eat lots of pasta and a number of chocolaty desserts.
And who knows what else! Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Monday, March 9, 2009
Obviously there are a number of big things to be happy about when you get married, but here are some of the little pleasures.
- Getting to shop to your heart's content.
- The fragrance of mehendi.
- Getting to pamper yourself.
- Getting to see a lot of friends you haven't seen in a long while.
Will add to the list if I can think of more.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
- International Women's Day reminds me of this Swedish guy whom my dad used to work with, years ago. He said something to the effect that Women's Day is the only day in the year that is for women. All the other days are for the men.
- Today I learnt how to make Dal Makhani. And I also practised my chapati making skills. I am getting better at it, slowly and steadily.
- I am feeling totally awesome today. I called an old friend from school and told her that I am about to get married. It felt great to catch up with her after a long while. I also caught up with my best friends in Melbourne. And there is another reason for feeling great today which I will keep to myself!
Mohit: My dear boss. He's been a great boss, a mentor, a father figure. He's the kind of person who'll always make sure that his subordinates are happy with the kind of work they are getting, with him, and also with each other. He'll do his best to help you out with with any issues you may be facing, on a technical or personal front. He has this protective, fatherly attitude towards us. He'll always call and make sure that we girls reach home safely if we have to work late or after a team outing.
Aman: He's been like my elder brother. (Yes, we actually did the Rakshabandhan and Bhai Dooj rituals.) I'll always have a special corner for him.
Alok: The only person in the office with whom I always felt comfortable enough to share all my worries, anxieties and frustration. And the only person who always, at the very least, listened patiently.
Anuranjan: I have seen his funny side, his bhangi side, I've seen his incredible ability to entertain people, more so when he is drunk. Very recently, I also got to see his sweet and sensitive side. There's one thing I really like about this guy. He'll make any number of remarks and comments and have any amount of fun at my expense. But he always knows his limits and always apologises when he thinks he has gone a little too far.
Gauri: This guy probably has the most interesting sense of humor I've ever come across. It takes a while to catch on - it took me some time to be able to tell when he was joking and when he was serious. But his jokes are always amusing, always entertaining, and he can tell just about anyone in a very forthright manner exactly what he thinks of them. And he can make the funnies of remarks with a perfectly straight face.
- I like songs like Genda Phool, Paayaliya and Jahan Piya more than ever before.
- The cellphone that needed to be charged once in two days now needs charging twice a day.
- I am trying to grow my fingernails. That is a big, huge deal for me. This requires more willpower than resiting a chocolate chip cookie that's right in front of me.
- I go out shopping both days, every weekend, and feel terrific about spending all my money at the speed of light.
Will keep adding to the list as things occur to me.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I think everybody loves Emosanal Attyachaar for its combination of music, lyrics, and singing style. And the Elvis look. An odd combination, if you actually think about it, but it works. It's wonderful.
Then there are the numbers like Nayan Tarse, Duniya and Pardesi which have a bit of a fusion music feel to them. I think the lyrics of Pardesi are an integral part of the USP of this album.
I really like the clothes the heroine (Her name escapes me, and it's not really important to me.) wore when she danced to Dhol Yaara Dhol. I also like the vocals in this song. This girl, Shilpa Rao, has a lovely voice.
And then there's the Punjabi touch that can be felt markedly in Mahi Mennu and Hikknaal. Both beautiful, foot tapping numbers.
And my favourite in this album is Paayaliya. After Mar Jaawan, Shruti Pathak is at it again. She's given me a song I just don't grow tired of. I can play it on repeat all day long in the office, and then again in the car, and then again when I'm back home, and I'll also want to hum it when I don't have ready access to a music playing device.
Okay, I cannot talk about all eighteen tracks. I don't really wish to. But it's a great album. It's refreshingly different from the other stuff one gets to hear these days.
Agar bahar casualty mein koi marta rahega to form bharna zaroori hai kya?
Bhai, bhabhi mil gayi!
Ward boy to Dr Asthana: Sir, Munna bed le ke aayela hai!
Dr Asthana: Main uski waat laga doonga!
Suman: Tum jisko chahoge, khush rakhoge.
Munna: Apun ko sirf tujhe khush rakhne ka hai. Jab tum smile karta hai na, to lagta hai ki kya mast life hai. Apun ko saari zindagi sirf tumhe smile karte dekhne ka hai.
Ye bed tere letne ke liye nahin hai mamu!
Boyfriend bole to?
Bhai teri yaad to bahut solid hai re. Apun ko bhi maa dikh rahi hai.
Jab do logon ke beech mein connection ho, feelings ho, to dil ki baat dil tak pahunch sakti hai.
Bahut kuch life mein first time hota hai re.
Tujhe pata hai ki 206 type ka sirf haddi hota hai? Apun todte time sochte the kya?
What is the procedure to change the room, please?
Friday, March 6, 2009
The D-Day is scheduled for 19th April. My actual wedding is going to be a small ceremony in a mandir. Just like I always wanted. A simple ceremony, without too much stress or hassle. Some people are quite taken aback at the very idea. (Not that it bothers me.) A particular friend of mine was looking at me open-mouthed when I told him. I asked him what the big deal was. Another friend remarked that people in India don't really expect weddings to take place in temples. And she's quite right. Pretty ironic, isn't it? In a country where people are so religious and spend so much time, energy and money in religious affairs, nobody expects anybody to get married in a temple. On the other hand, in the United States, just about everybody gets married in churches. You know what else is ironic about this? A lot of people in this country make regular trips to temples. I've done that about twice in the last twelve years. And I'm getting married in a temple.
There seems to be so much to do, and so little time to do it in. My brother is contemplating whether my room should be converted into a laboratory or a gymnasium. That's all that bothers him. I asked him whether he wanted to wear a sherwani or a suit. He said he'd wear a suit, because a sherwani would be too Indian. He has a slightly weird sense of humour.
I have about six unread books lying about in my closet that I really want to read. I guess I'll get time to read them only after the wedding is over and the visa is taken care of. A friend in office asked me when my vidaai is going to be. Which vidaai, I asked. There will actually be three of them, all equally significant, equally emotional ones. The first one will be when I leave my office. I've spent almost three years over there, in the same office, in the same team now. Some people in the team now feel like family to me. Then there will be the vidaai from my maternal home. I guess I don't need to elaborate on this. And then from the country. Where I've always lived, for twenty six years.
There's a lot to plan, shop, do. There's a fear of the unknown, of what awaits me in that foreign land. There's some amount of anxiety. But the important thing is that I'm really looking forward to getting married. That I'm really happy about it. Because I think I've found a better guy than the kind of guy I always thought I wanted. Touch wood!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Aisa lagta hai ki dil ke andar kuch toot raha hai
Baabul ke aangan mein mera bachpan choot raha hai
Main khush bhi hoon udaas bhi
Nadiyaa mein jaise pyaas bhi
In case you couldn't place it, this is from Jahan Piya from Pardes.
All for now. More when I stop being attacked by fever almost every night.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar
Chand ghadiyan yehi hain jo aazad hain
Inko khokar mere jaan-e-jaan
Umr bhar na taraste raho
There's also this song from Zindaggi Rocks that I really like listening to from time to time, whenever I feel that things have become too stressful or too fast.
Ek din fursat ne thaamein haath hamare
Le gayi uss dagar pe jahaan rehti hai bahaarein
Chal diya ham bhi ghar se ho ke kuchh befikar se
Dil tha apne bharose, hum the dil ke sahaare
Monday, March 2, 2009
Rachita was the prettiest, loveliest bride I ever saw. Her lehenga was my favourite shade of pink! I love that colour. I want to wear it for my wedding too. Which reminds me, I need to get going. I need to find stuff for my trousseau.
Rachita has this notorious history of sprained ankles, scratched knees, and what not. She'd injure at least one of her feet on every trip. She has passed on that karma to a lot of us, including yours truly, who injured her feet thrice on a three day trip to Jaipur and fractured an ankle soon afterwards. Anyway, since it was Rachita's wedding, somebody's foot had to get injured. Chaya sprained hers rather badly just as she stepped out of the car outside the venue. Thankfully it's not quite as bad as it originally seemed.
Anyway, I think this is becoming a tad too random. I'll just wind up by wishing the newlyweds all the very best for their life ahead. May all the dreams you ever dreamt come true, and may they turn out better than you imagined.