Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tip-toeing back...

It's been crazy few months. I lost all sense of time and place with the routine everyday life - work, the economy, the family, etc etc.. so many things have happened in these few months that I've been away from blogger, and yet nothing seems to have changed.

For starters, I still have my job, which is a miracle in these days! I am still in New York, still single, still happy, still loving it! The winter's over (yayay!), and spring has surprisingly done nothing for me this year... hardly like the romantic waves of sunshine which enthralled me earlier.. maybe because I was on vacation in India for most part of spring. Or maybe I am getting older and used to this (No, its definitely the former).

Anyways, it was great to meet friends and close family this time during my brief trip to India... (its always nice to be told how much weight you've lost, for example!).. and it was good to come back and find that I was missed.. Good to be moving into a better apartment soon, and good to keep up with your yearly - what do they call those - promises? (Ah! I am rusty with words now!).. Anyways, my mission for this summer is - whitewater rafting, skydiving and visiting a new city/state/country.. and one of them has already been fulfilled! Yesterday I went for my first whitewater rafting trip, and apart from witnessing massive ego clashes and much spinning around due to multiple instructions being shouted by the 3 men aboard (whilst me and the other girl with me were paddling frantically to keep the raft going straight ahead!), it went very well! There shall be more to come on that for sure!

Anyways, thought I'd keep this post short.. just trying to tip-toe my way back into blogger world... lets see how it goes...

P.S I've started to lurk (ahem, I meant catch up) on a few of my fav blogs.. will tip-toe my way into commenting as well soon...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Junk alert!!

Yes, its been a long time. For those who thought I was dead.. here's my answer - :P

But my apologies, this time I really left blogger for too long, unfortunately am not even up-to-date on some of my favourite blogs! Am sure you all missed my comments! ;)

Anyways, its been a very very hectic couple of months - I've moved into a new apartment which I've leased for one year, which means doing up the place in my own way and that means lots of shopping (yes, I'm spoilt. I live on my own.) I've also been doing a lot of volunteer work for an organization, which meant every evening after-office hours and weekends were spent in that... I've also met a whole new bunch of people who have shown me a different side of New York, which is great! And I've been doing some soul searching and deep thinking as well while my life has been a roller coaster ride! I finally bought a tv after 4 months of living on my own, but the tv is still not installed, so I continue to watch movies online on my 15 inch faithful laptop. And I continue to be oblivious to the latest and greatest news around the world, my only source of news being the news headlines in my office elevator! (I do not spend office time surfing news websites, errr.. I really dont' get the time, don't get me wrong!).

Anyways, today was another round of shopping for the house, and I'm almost done... I only have some major items to furnish like sofa and chest of drawers, but apart from that, I'm good to go! I love this process of setting up my own place, because it brings out the years of desire I had to have to decorate my own house.. Ah, before you think it's a big house, my apartment is a small studio, but somehow, I can manage to find many things that I'd like to put in it.

Hence my post title. I've come to a point now when I've shopped so much but still dont seem to have everything. But today, I caught myself. I think every girl should have a device strapped to her fingers that beeps every time we start to buy junk things that we think we will need some day. I think it should read our thoughts too. Every time we try to rationalize an unnecessary purchase as "I'll use it some day", it should set an alarm off that will be so loud that we'll die of embarassment and will retreat from the item and go hide ourselves in the corner of the shop. Hmmm.

Because today I bought so many things that I dont need and wont be able to use right away, but could not stop myself inspite of knowing I am collecting junk! Sigh. So I thought, maybe if I had a small machine that would either send an electric pulse to my brain or simply electrocute me, then maybe I wont spend so many dollars buying unnecessary frills and save some money and have a fat bank balance.


On a separate note, Wednesday I am planning to join Kathak classes in the city, am so excited! Ok, now you may wonder why I learnt Salsa in Delhi and am learning Kathak in NYC. Hmmm. Tough. I think the answer is that the grass is always greener on the other side :)

On that note, I shall sign off, and this time without any promises of being regular, because whenever I do that, I find that I'm most irregular with my blogging! Btw, hope that everyone else who has disapeared on blogger also comes back now!! Haha, yes I can be very selfish :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mid year check?

Ok, I can see how my disappearance from blogger has become quite routine nowadays, but this time it was for a good cause... but before I launch into a description of what I've been upto, I thought I would do some mid-year stock-taking... remember my post from New year? Ok, here it is...

Since June is fast approaching, I thought I'd take stock of how many new year resolutions I've achieved, and how many I need to remind myself to complete! Since this is almost the first time I've made a list of things to do in the new year, I'm quite excited about seeing where I stand... so here goes:

I "pledged" to - learn a new language
I learnt 3 words in Spanish - usted, despacio and bien.. so now I can string together an entire "sentence" in Spanish - "Senor, usted drive despacio por favor, my sister pregnant, bumpy road no bien"

I "pledged" to - Get back to singing
I sang my heart out on my recent vacation... everyone avoided looking me straight in the eye after that! Hmmm.... not repeating this mistake again :)

I "pledged" to - Graduate from the bunny slope
Ummm.... I love bunnies?

I "pledged" to - Stop wearing shades of grey, black, brown and white
So now I'm wearing shades of green and blue most of the time... when I was packing recently, I realized all my office clothes were still black/brown/white, and all my "party" clothes were blue and green... hmmm.. I need some colour!!

I "pledged" to - Give more time to myself instead of my job, laptop and sleep
So now I'm spending more time on the phone!! Add reading to it. I have no tv, so nothing to substitute the laptop with! :(

I "pledged" to - Learn how to say no
Nope, definitely no progress in this area

I "pledged" to - Travel to a new country
And THIS I did!!!! I just came back from Peru yesterday! Was an awesome vacation, one which deserves a whole separate post, especially the jam... errr.. never mind,more later about that.. anyways this is my biggest accomplishment for the year! And the one thing on my list of to dos that I least expected to achieve! Clap clap!

I "pledged" to - Convey my love to my family
Still working on it

I "pledged" to - Stop crying in every emotional scene
I have now degenerated to crying while reading books as well! Sigh.

Btw, at the risk of sounding like an incurable romantic, here's the last song I sang and tortured everyone with:

Aankhen band kar loon, dekhoon bas tumhe
Khyabon mein hee keh sakta hoon apna tumhe
Rehne de mera yeh veham pe hee yakeen
Na jaa abhi
Pyar ke yeh raat hai, ab na jaa
Chhoti si ek baat hai, ab na jaa
Pal do pal ka saath hai, ab na jaa
Jaadu si yeh raat hai, ab na jaa...

This is one of the most romantic songs I know, thanks to Euphoria!! It's true, sometimes all you need is for someone to tell you "don't go"...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dream a little dream for me...

She stood by the huge window overlooking the river... 12 floors below, men and women hurriedly stepped out of the ferry and weaved their way through the morning rush... in the distance, the symbol of freedom and liberty stood in the middle of the water, holding up her torch.. ferries and boats whizzing past, splashing a jet of water behind them, cut across the gently chopping surface of the river... on the streets below, yellow cabs honked impatiently at pedestrians who walked across the roads seemingly oblivious of the oncoming traffic... at the corner of the street, a long line of customers stood patiently waiting for their morning cup of coffee at Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, waiting to get started with their day, make some money, cut some deals... high heels and high power mingled comfortably with each other... the station exit spewed a continuous stream of people who all seemed to have an aim, a mission for the day... the fast pace of the office goers cut through the crisp morning air, the sunshine making its way through the skyscrapers and reaching the walkers... the newspaper stands cleared and the trash bins filled up; heels met potholes and stayed afoot without falling; everyone walked close yet no one touched the other, this was skill of staying alert and focussed... hotdog stands and coffee vendors had been up since 5 and doing great business in the rush hour... a few men and women stood on the sides and puffed and blew smoke unconcernedly into the faces of people walking past, but no one cared... people stepped over manholes with lids "Made from India", walked over construction sites and got to their 50 storey office buildings, charged up and ready to go.

This was vibrancy, this was pace, this was New York City and this was where she wanted to be. This was her dream. She had been blessed because this is what she had achieved. She stood there, 12 floors above the hustle bustle, drew a deep breath of contentment, turned around and sat at her desk, charged up and ready to go.

Been away from blogger for too long, infact for the first time, I missed a whole month!! For those of you who thought I was dead, pls don't party. Have just moved jobs and cities, it's been a rollercoaster ride settling in... I have a lot of catching up to do, but I will definitely write regularly now... been itching to write for so long! I have many desi stories to tell!

P.S My previous post was very pertinent because I started my new job 2 days after that, and wanted to know if what motivated me also motivated others.. glad to know I'm not the only one out there!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What makes you tick?

This question has been revolving in my head for some time now... What motivates us to achieve something? What drives us to push ourselves forward and get something we wanted? Do we all have that drive, or are just some of us unnecessarily chasing dreams and pushing ourselves too hard? Because when one dream is fulfilled, the human mind turns to fulfill another, almost never happy with the current state of things..

What is the reason why we want to change our present and look to another future? It's not necessarily unhappiness or dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs... people can be motivated and determined to 'do something' simply (or not so simply) as an ego boost, or if they felt that they had to prove something to others.. or it could be because of money... yes, I believe for many people money is a big motivation, although I personally know of only one person who desires money enough to have no life at all and work almost 20 hours a day! He does earn more than $500,000 and he's just 32, so I guess I don't blame him! But I don't know if I could ever do that...

Me, I'm a true Scorpio... power and position motivates me... I find it sexy. On a man and a woman. And I don't mean it in the way politicians and bureaucrats have it or use it, but as being the person in charge. That gives me a high. To be in control, that makes me want to do things. And credit. Aaah! Am such a sucker for being given the credit for the work I do. I feel instantly charged when someone gives me credit for the work I have accomplished, and feel highly deflated when I don't get recognized. This I believe is normal, atleast it should be!

But someone told me something yesterday, that jarred in my brain. It was their opinion of why I am so determined to achieve certain things in life, of why I push myself harder than I need to - and unfortunately - it was true. And it's been on my mind since that moment. And surprisingly, I don't feel guilty about it. I think I may have accepted some things about myself.

So what motivates you, if at all? Is it money? Is it a need to provide for your loved ones? Is it a need to fulfill what others expect of you, or atleast what you think they expect of you? Is it the desire to be looked up to or envied by others around you? Would you even feel happy if someone envied you?!

What makes you strive for something, whether it be for better or worse?

Monday, March 17, 2008

You're my favourite... mistake...

Of late, I've been singing this song aloud in my head (I know that 'singing aloud in the head' doesn't make sense, but its' just like when people say they have voices in their head... ummm... oops... maybe I've started off on a looney note.. let's restart)...

Of late, this particular song has been running through my head - Sheryl Crow's "You're my favourite mistake"... it pops into my head at the oddest of times, like its sending me a message.. like everytime I enter Macy's! It's like - I know it's all wrong to do any more shopping, but I still just got to do it... and it's not just during Sales.. sometimes I go during a one-day sale and buy stuff that's not on sale! (Mental note to self: duh!). Although I have over-shopped and saturated myself (sigh, never thought this day would come) and to my credit, I haven't bought anything - for myself - since New Year's (except 3 formal suits which burnt a big hole in my pocket - hey, I needed those! Dont say "Yeah right!"), I do still get that irresistible urge to just buy something, anything, every time I walk into the mall.. so I've had to physically restrict my movements nowadays! :) (Actually, that may be true of a lot of things... when you get an irresistible urge to do something, the only way to stop yourself is to physically restrict yourself from doing it, because your mind won't stop you all by itself!!)

So, the song pops into my head all the time - when I am eating a nice sinful chocolate brownie sundae, when I am in a shoe shop, when I'm eating nice hot garam pakodas on a rainy/snowy day, when I'm at an electronics shop checking out a Blackberry for my next buy.. sigh!

Anyways, talking about favourites, IR tagged me (back) and the questions ask my favourite movie, song, food etc... and since I've been lagging behind in the tagging business, here goes:

Favourite movie (one you can watch again and again) and why: This has got to be a tie between DCH and Sholay... DCH for being funny yet deeply emotional and moving at the same time, and Sholay for.... the same reason! I guess it shows the kind of person I am! Lol!

Favourite song and why: This I'd have to think about, because there are many, but I think I'll have to go with 'Nothing Else Matters'... why?? Because!!!

Any quirks: Many. But the biggest quirk is probably that I can't even read, let alone write, a badly formatted document or write up or post!! It bugs the hell out of me if someone asks me to review something for them, and I find it badly formatted, and with Times New Roman font!! Hate that one!! Pls forgive my strangeness!

Favourite food: I'm not a foodie (nobody laugh), and I believe chocolates and chocolate cakes don't count as "food", they're more in the "sin" category. So, I'm going to go with what I really want to eat right now, which is fettucini alfredo pasta :)

Any strange/funny childhood belief that you have carried with you? When I was 6 years old, I watched Sholay for the first time. When Amitabh Bachhan died, I howled and cried buckets of tears because I thought that he really died! To this date, I cry whenever AB dies or cries because I feel his pain!! Lol!

Your first lesson in life: will probably be my last one as well, because I never seem to learn... and that is to never have expectations from anyone, even people very close to you, because you will always be let down, and that's life. And sometimes strangers and least known acquitances will do something for you that will change your life. That's life too.

I don't want to tag anyone in particular, but whoever wants to do this one, please go ahead!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Who can cook??

So, everyone says women should know how to cook... It's assumed that you know your pink dal from your green one, and your garam masala from, I don't know, maybe hing! And, you're supposed to know all this much much before you go to live alone in another country, especially because you're vegeterian by choice in a country where fish is considered veg food!

And ofcourse, I didn't know any of this. The closest I ever ventured into the kitchen was to make tea (and it was really good, if I may add!) for my Mom sometimes, when I was in 8th grade. Some time later, my Gran'dad decided to take matters in his own hand (because I could very easily refuse Mom when she asked me to come and make something with her and the cook) and he tried to teach me to make rotis. I made the chapati in the shape of Orissa. He gave up.

Years later, when I had started working in Delhi, the bai didn't turn up and my Mom was away, so I had to make meals through the whole weekend.. I remember I tried to make Kadi Chawal but I got the proportions all wrong for both the kadi and the chawal... so what we had was like solid kadi and watery chawal... However, I was forgiven... sigh, such an understanding family I have (except for my brother who laughed at me, nodded his head and said "Didi, who is going to marry you at this rate?!".. thankfully, he was kidding)..

But the panic button was pressed when I was about to leave for Paris. They gave me one week's notice to make arrangements, and this was obviously not enough time for me to learn to properly identify and cook pink, green, half green (damn, I still dont know the names!) dal, rice, chapati, AND sabzi! It was like information overload! So, my Mom very sweetly made a recipe book for me, which painstakingly explained how to make simple everyday food. And she knew me well enough to actually label the masala packets too, because she knew I wouldn't know the difference between chaat masala and amchur (are they the same thing?? they're not, right?!).. yes, I love my Mom and yes I also know she's pampered me!

Anyways, just because I had a recipe book and labelled food items in hand didn't mean I could start cooking right away! I had to identify the actual food in the grocery store too... and there lay the challenge - one, because I didn't recognize some of the more interesting vegetables, like louki, or ghiya (and thankfully, I didn't eat these either), and second, because the names were in French... anyways, help was sought from colleagues, not without being a laughing stock first... that done, the first day I made something, I burnt it. So I actually called my boss, who was staying at the same hotel and asked him the words I think he'll never forget "Boss, how to cook dal?!"... I think he had a fit - laughing.... he said "Maine socha team mein ladki aayegi aur humare liye khana pakayegi, lekin yahan to ulti ganga beh rahee hai!" - like I don't have anything better to do in life than cook for an entire team of hungry men (even if I knew how to)! So my boss, who is a very good cook, taught me how to make dal, curry, samosas, paranthas, pooris, chhole, rajma, kadi, round chapatis, and bhindi ki sabzi, among many others!! The poori story is funny because I didn't know how to make pooris, but decided to be nice and offer to help my (same) boss's wife in the kitchen... when I started to put dry aata on the poori to flatten it out, she sighed, looked at me squarely, and told me to go watch the movie with the guys and get out of her way in the kitchen!

From someone who knew zilch about cooking anything 3 years back, I've come a long long way - Wednesdays are usually "my day to cook" here at my aunt's place... and this Wednesday, I made shahi paneer, pulao and methi aloo ki sabzi for dinner, ALL by myself! (Ok, so I had a little help from - so?!) And I knew it was really good because my cousin, who is very very finicky about the taste of food (especially when it comes to paneer) had four helpings of the shahi paneer!!