Sunday, November 6, 2011

The gift

I'm on the 21st, staring out at a mildly lit Tokyo. Its my first time in Japan and just like I had expected, I love that I don't know this place at all. Its so alien and after months, or years, barring the few days in Laos, I'm in a place that genuinely has me interested. Because of the wonder. Because the Japanese don't let much out to the world. Through their language, their culture, their pride- they keep it within. And to have the opportunity to spend a few days here, makes me fortunate.

As a generation, we travel. We love to see new places and update our friends with photos. I do too. But I find myself often doing more of the same. So much that Latin America, Australia- none of these interest me as much. I would happy to visit but increasingly feel less excited about what used to be lesser known places. Tokyo still fascinates me. It has, since I graduated 6 years back. The other place that does is Taipei. I have wanted to visit since 2006. Some day. Reykjavik. Seoul. Moscow. Ulan Bator. Havana. Buenos Aries. Alaska. All of these still fascinate me. Then there are some frequently visited ones that do too- first on the list is KL. Then, Jaipur. Cochin. Kota Kinabalu. Amsterdam. Brussels. Paris. You know there's a little bit of me in you too, isn't it?

I set out to write, after so long, because I'm having a private moment. And that;s usually when I write. I meet some old memories tomorrow, which bring back a flood of events in to the present. Its strange how I feel I'm living two lives. In anticipation of tomorrow, the past is happily making love to the present and it feels like an extended ongoing orgasm. That's my merry way of verbally celebrating the past!

Life is a gift. It truly is- as effing cliched as that sounds. Its a box of chocolates. Its love. Its all those cliched things people say. Its a bitch too. Its beautiful. Its a celebration. Its a roller coaster. Yes, all that.

Its never a routine. The excitement is in the head, the heart and a few other places. Its so much more in reading through vast reserves of information and soaking it in. Its no longer in sitting on that plane. Its in enjoying the single malt while watching a sitcom. Its in scrubbing yourself with sugar to remove the dryness of the ongoing winter. Just all that.

My travels have halted barring the odd trip here and there and I'm pleased as hell at least for a bit. I don't even crave vacation any more. Now each day is holiday. What's changed? So much, isn't it, if you've been reading me for a while? Its growth. I'm quieter, wiser, more comfortable and more about me than I ever was. This is the private moment, which I'm loving sharing with the unknown.

Lots of love.

Music- Dildaara from You get the drift?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lite flight!

And this time I’m drinking on my flight from Minneapolis to Boston. What’s not to love about in-flight internet? And 96 calories of Millet Lite

I’m on whirlwind trip to the States. And just a week back, I was wrapped around my husband, kissing under the strong sun in the green waters around Chicken island at Krabi. It feels like the honeymoon ended and I made my short stopover in India while I was sleeping, and I woke up next in Minneapolis. I worked a lot this week. It was the harshest but best way to dive right back in to work. I enjoyed it. Friday should hopefully offer a few light hours before I board the plane back to Delhi.

The other major happening lately has been the fact that I kept my work outs up this trip. Of the 5 days here, I managed to exercise on 3 of them- already. Not too bad eh! I worked 15 hours a day and still managed the workout. And now, with just two more nights in between, I will be back with Peepu.

Its days as busy as this one, when I love life the most. I fondly miss Peepu, furiously type away on my computer, drink to keep it enjoyable and listen to Black Eyed Peas to make sure I can make a memory out of it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Luang Prabang (2/2)

There's little else in the world that can bring the calm like me being wrapped in a crisp white towel following a hot water bath, with a cup of black coffee, a comfortable settee and the Air to write on.

We completed a day of walking around Luang Prabang and honestly, I'm amazed at just how much Peepu and I can walk in a day. We started with the old temples, the most fascinating of which was a Buddhist temple with one wall dedicated to the Ramayana. We walked further along the outer elongated ring and saw the Mekong and the Nam Kham converge- the waters made a beautiful pattern. I'm always thrilled to see water, and when the water is having a little prance of its own like this one, or like when the river in Kovalam met the ocean, it tickles me even more. It was only natural for me to find a restaurant on the other side of the river, which required us to seat ourselves on a light, very thin wooden boat. Peepu was terrified. I loved it. The precarious boat was operated dexterously by two Lao locals, who I might add, had extremely strong and sexy arms. Our restaurant was on an embarkment on the other side, with little kuccha villas where we ate and drank and played Scrabble.

Time just flew by. We went up to Mount Phousi (yes, pronounced as Mount Pussy) to get some stunning views of the city, and stunning views we got. The hike up and then the hike down was tiring but gave us a little bit of the workout we needed.

We're back in the hotel now. I'm wrapped up and on my newly adopted settee. Peepu just went up to the attic to stretch his legs out. I'm loving the coffee. Its funny how I would prefer a cup of coffee over my fave alcohol, almost always before 9 pm. We change with time.

Signing off. Love.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forgotten land

Since my first blog post during this vacation got wiped out, I'm going to make this time an exception and write all over again.

But first, lets talk Luang Prabang. We reached here yesterday- ~11th day of our break. We took a flight from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang, via Pakse. These were the most expensive flights we had throughout this trip at $200 per person one way. And that for two days in the city. It wasn't meant to be two days but there's only one decently priced flight out of here to Bangkok and that's early morning on day 3, which sort of makes this an expensive and very short stop. And that is the only part about this hop that isn't lovely.

Luang Prabang isn't the capital of Laos. It used to be the Royal Capital, but given the location, terrain and size, Vientiane was made the National Capital. Luang Prabang with its sleepiness, monks, temples and French vestiges, acquired the status of a World Heritage Site. Its mountainous on the sides and in the middle, and has two rivers, one on either side. The larger of the two, Mekong characterizes the city with its muddy brown but calmly flowing waters. On the other side, the Nam Kham is much smaller, and has a few old bamboo bridges on it.

We're staying at a colonial hotel, which has extended since before 1925. Its on the embarkment of the Mekong and offers a stunning view of the waters. As we enter, there's a small living room with the bathroom sink in it, and separate enclosures for the shower and the toilet. In the living room, we have a single settee, facing a large glass window from where I stare out at the river as I type this post. There's an internal staircase leading up to the attic where there's a big bed for the husband and me to cozy up. I'll leave a pic here.

This is undoubtedly one of the most incredible places I've visited. It re-affirms my love for South East Asia and more broadly, the 3rd world. These countries are very poor. Even the pockets of wealth and advancement you see in India, re starkly missing here. There's humility in the people and calm on the streets. The visitors here are mostly from Europe, some of Asia and Australia. The place is too far for Americans and not glamourous enough for most Indians.

Last evening, when we reached, we changed and promptly stepped out to see the place. We visited quiet cafes and quaint restaurants. There was a vibrant night market with local crafts and preparations. We dined at a French-Lao restaurant, with the much awaited Beer-Lao. The ease in the air reminds me of how I had imagined easy going to be but never saw a city which really fit the imagined view. This town does. A beautiful French woman lay back on the couch, with the Beer Lao in one hand and half a cigarette in the other, having sober but light conversation with her friend. Two Asian women, in long maxis with their hair loosely tied up in buns enjoying their French fare with a bottle of wine. Peepu and me sharing a Lao Curry and Pork salad over Beer Lao, talking about Monks and our love for the 3rd world. That was the ease.

We got back and had some Single Malt as well. And then we slept. This morning, we ate the hotel's complimentary breakfast, by the river. A simple and small ham and cheese sandwich with papaya.

We have two days here, but we haven't planned those out. Much like the rest of our honeymoon, we will probably walk a lot, trek a bit, taste local food, get wet in the rain (since it rains every goddamn day) and then just be merry!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On fire

Charming, that I’m sitting on a train from New York to Boston, happily drunk amongst a sober lot! Sophisticated, that I’m wearing floral bloomer-esque shorts from Forever 21. Good enough, that I’m listening to Break on through. Trite, that the white guy sitting on the seat across looks at me occasionally, smiles, as he reads his copy of Shantaram.

New York met expectations. It was exactly half awesome and half depressing. Awesome because I met old friends, watched the architectural marvel the city is, got myself a couple of cute outfits and fit both, Guinness and Prosecco in to the weekend. At the same time, half the time I spent was depressing because of a small, dark and disappointing W on Lexington, a severe bout of anxiety this morning and that I’m running out of tampons. The wine makes up for a lot of the woes.

I was in New York the first time, a few years back when I came here to intern at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street. I was 21, impressionable and not ready but still cute enough to get by. I was living at 92nd Lex, at the Y, without a phone or a laptop. That was 2.5 months, spent working hard, eating (and sleeping) alone, reading magazines as entertainment and carefully shopping to make sure I didn't blow up the generous stipend! The last point is important as my love for money only went down since the first time I made some. The wall street giant paid me enough to cover for my education of 17 years, twice over. Yet, that's when I realized how over-rated money was. I was lonely in New York then. More timid here than I typically was. But it's a time gone, and I look back and smile.

This time, after 6 or 7 visits to the city, I finally decided to stay on Lexington Aevnue again. Of course, not the Y. This time it was the W (hotels following the alphabet!). It was disappointing but not enough for me to crib about it the 2nd time in one post.

I met Asha and Anurag for drinks. I barely knew them in school but it was still much fun. There’s so much similarly in all of us now, though not apparent on the face of it. A ton of fun. This morning was not much to write about. I woke up late, strangely anxious and it took half a day to wipe the feeling out. I stepped out finally in the evening a few hours before my train. I worked from Starbucks at 34th West, and it made me feel much better. What followed was a typical show of awesomeness- a cute cut-out back outfit, a mad run to the station to make it in time for the train, a few charming conversations with strangers and now the wine.

I’m alone. I was anxious today. Peepu isn’t here. But I’m writing. I’m tremendously attractive. Cheap Merlot. The Doors doing what they do well. A shit load of work tomorrow. Life is far from perfect but its good enough. And just given the events through the day, good enough is much better than perfect.

After thought- these were the 250 best calories I ever got

Friday, July 15, 2011

For the love of the blog

So this is the last of the posts on America, for at least another 40 days. Because its my last week before I take off for home, and my month off work. I’m on a bud from Boston to New York. I was going to be alone in the city this weekend and felt the urge to venture out. I loathe getting on a plane, especially these short haul uninteresting flights. I wanted a few hours of journey and decided I’ll try the bus on my way there, and the train for the way back. So far the bus is fun, though I fear it will turn out to be much longer than expected and I’ll end up regretting.

I see a young girl at a distance reading Anna Karenina, and it only reminds me of how just a few years back, I wouldn't think of traveling by air. The American countryside is at best pretty. I don't find it as interesting as the European one or better still, the Indian one!! But it is pretty!

I’m tired. I’ve been traveling a lot. Some things haven’t changed. I still travel casually. I still enjoy it. But its been a lot of late. I can still enjoy it but I’m definitely tiring. At the same time, I’l insanely excited about the honeymoon. Its fun travel. Let me tell you a few more plans while I’m at it.

• We’re backpacking. No suitcases! Its huge for me because its been a long time I survived on a few sets of clothes
• Its 22 days, in 4 countries
• Its in South East Asia- where my heart lies. I’ve enjoyed America and Europe, but at heart, I’m a thinly clad water bunny. I keep wanting to go back there. Its definitely more convenient but more than that, its just so real
• I’m not taking my laptop and I’m not leaving a cell phone number behind
• I plan to spend that time reading, writing, loving, running, river dipping, sunning. I don't plan to sleep much. Despite the fatigue, sleep still doesn't seem important.
• One of our stops is exceptionally close to my heart: I visited for 2 days 5 years back. We’re also staying at a place which a few years back, was called the most beautiful resort in the world by a luxury travel magazine. Of course I haven’t spent a bomb on it!
• *tw*

So I also bought the Lonely planet guide to New York. I’m going to be a tourist. In my several trips to the city, I haven’t yet been a tourist. No plans to do lady liberty and Times Square- not that kind of tourist. But I think I’ll spend a day at the MoMA. I’m increasingly interested to understand the inspiration behind the immense art that exists out there.

Its strange who we evolve over the years. A few years back I picked up writing, with this blog. Now I’m gravitating towards Art. A few years back I loved planes, and travel and all that. Today, I travel to make myself happy and not to pin flags in each city I step on. So all those pretentious honeymoon suggestions- Latin America, New Zealand, no, thank you very much! I’d love to visit but not now. These places will draw me themselves, if they are meant to. Why the change? I think it has something to do with being married to a man of substance. I’m embarrassed of being anyone else now….just me….free, dazzling and so eff-ing imperfect.

The music is, really, Witchy Woman!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Jazz in my coffee cup

As I spend more time alone, I blog more frequently. This time, I’m sitting in Starbucks which is literally inside the hotel. I had sushi for lunch and then stopped next door, tempted by a scone with a cup of Black.

I love 4th of July. While I have little affinity for the day as independence day, its just one of the nicer days I’ve spent in Boston this trip around. For starters, I came down to the coffee shop in the morning, and reviewed my team’s work from here. I had a working coffee with Pankaj right here- work is much more cheerful over coffee and good music. Soon after, I headed out to return some unnecessary purchases I had made while intoxicated by the sales and blinded by an aspirational weight loss target. All is well since then- the clothes have been safely returned. Of course, I did end up getting myself something else with the money saved- a scented candle in a beautiful silver stand, and a cut-out back dress- much more my size this time. (Urban Outfitters is my new fave store...its just so free)

Boston was warm today. While I walked back from the store, I could feel the sweat drip down my back. I came back and did one hour of yoga, a variant much more strenuous than what I usually do. As a reward, I prepared a nice hot water bath. Warm water, bubbles all over me and a good read made for a quite a reward. I stepped back down for lunch (though a little late in the day) – tuna tartar, miso soup and seaweed salad. I managed to review more work along side lunch and also send off a work plan. After that, it was coffee, which brings me back to where I am.

And tonight, it’s going to be 4th of July fireworks by the river Charles. Who needs sunshine, right? Well, to put things in perspective, I have had a rotten stint this phase. The 4 weeks I spent here last month and then last week when I came here the 2nd time, have all been nothing to write home about. I don’t like saying this on the blog but work has just not been fun. I can’t put a finger on it- it’s probably just the high expectations the last experience set for me. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have a day when I feel more positive.

What explains the cheer is also the fact that we’re booking our honeymoon, and we’re booking it slowly, piecemeal. We’re mostly done with it save the last few bookings. And it’s such a joy. We consciously didn’t do one earlier, just given family’s expectations, work demands and then April wasn't exactly there best time to go many places. In hindsight, what an awesome decision! In less than a month, Peepu and I will take off on a 3 weeks long journey across South East Asia. We start down south, in Kovalam, and then head over to the lovely KL. There’s a ton after that, but hopefully not too much packed in to 21 days. We’re staying 3-5 days in each place. In fact we’re spending very little time in the cities- just transit time. I look forward so much! To the ocean, the river and yes, the waterfalls!! We will live by the river, stare at the sunrise from our balconies, make love against the sounds of the ocean, travel by boat, drink beer on the chilly evening sand, eat food the taste of which varies between towns, and all the other good things. Touchwood :) Please do :)

The Jazz. Its playing in the cafe. Its in everything I think and do right now

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Comptine d'un autre ete

Another long weekend in the States. Another long weekend with myself in Boston.

Comptine d’un autre ete plays in the background. My faint knowledge of French tells me it means ‘song from another summer’ . I like it more because I feel free to interpret the title a different way each time. This time its about the summer I’m in. This summer that I’m living.

Staring out at Boston down town, wondering how warm the visible sunshine actually makes it outside and whether I’ll need a jacket through the day once I step out. I’ve just brewed some coffee. It didn’t brew well the first time so I had to replace the pod and its much better this time. The whiff spreads through my room and blends with the smell of the mist I’m wearing. I will soon switch hotels. I like the W but its some times too fancy for me. The Westin is relatively boring, but it also has a pool. It's the July 4th weekend and I got some very nice swim wear at an agreeable price. It's a shame not to swim then. Peepu’s mom just called. We caught up with me sheepishly trying to see if she’s even slightly mad at me being complete disconnected. I want to be much better at this but I’m not. Her conversation also reminded me that its time I call my folks too. I wish I were better at staying in touch.

This weekend is all mine. I’m alone and I don’t feel like working. I probably will not for most of it. May be I should loosen up and let things get screwed up, since that’s what my fear is.

I think I’ll step out now. To see what the rest of the weekend is like.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flying to Bangalore

It's a crime to own a Mac and then post from a Dell. But since the Mac is safely tucked in its sleeve and I’m on a plane, I’ll just to what’s easiest.

I’m listening to Desperate Andy, a song I used to listen to during my Malaysia days. As a newbie in the firm, I would head to work wearing a black suit, with short cropped hair. I was living alone in KL. My team was all Asians, and stars. They always found India and Indians funny, but not necessarily in a bad way. We would all be working off a long table at our client’s place in Damansara. I would have this song plugged in my ears, humming and smiling while cranking through an excel model I was determined to demonstrate skill at. That scene would periodically provide amusement to my colleagues. I think it was the combination of the Indian girl, prominent glasses, razor sharp focus on the excel, the perpetual nodding as I agreed to this song in my ears, and a timid but smiling face, thanks to a torrid secret relationship. Those were great times lived.

Its Saturday morning. I’m on way to Bangalore for Christina’s wedding. The sun’s rays sharp on my screen. Peepu’s head on my shoulder and his long arms tucked in to my little white cropped jacket’s sleeves to keep him from being cold. The same song playing in my ears, incidentally. That’s when I think I should write.

I achieved a mile stone at work yesterday. Professional, yes but more personal for me. If you follow this space, you know my relationship with the firm is more emotional than atypical employee’s. This is where I earned my confidence. This is what rescued me from falling unfortunately in to the trap that often follows the IIM life. This was the only place I could work in. There was no choice. It made me back who I was meant to be and who I was through my early years, teens and college years- sharp, free spirited and fair*. This is where I learned to live alone and realize again that being alone was never a bad thing. This is where I met my husband- my companion for over four years - who taught me that it was those small hours, in which are lives are made, that will remain. I met coaches and role models often- people I wanted to emulate at work, sure, but more importantly, people I want to emulate in life. I often saw here that money is indeed incidental to great lives. Without going in to further love, I just want to say I’m happy. I’m excited. Of course I’m nervous!

I’m in Bangalore for the weekend with family. My fave people all together. I met Nidhi and Radhika last evening. My wonderful team was noticeably happy for me. Peepu and I have just booked our tickets to Malaysia, to walk those same streets I walked alone for 6 liberating months. That’s enough joy for me!

Desperate Andy is by the Cranberries and the chorus consists of Dolores singing ‘the world is your oyster, so go out and get high…go and get laid…and do whatever you want to’

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Flying over New York

I'm posting live from a plane. I love Gogo in-flight internet. I'm probably flying somewhere over New York state- from Chicago to Boston.

I'm nearing the end of a long stretch here. In a few days, I head back. Peepu and I fly back together. He will fly to New York from Los Angeles, and I, from Boston. We'll meet after 4 weeks. We'll need a room!

I spent the weekend in Chicago, with Kabir. I love the city. I loved it when I first came here 2 years back, and I loved it even more now. There's a ton more fun in crashing in a friend's studio instead of a fancy hotel. I saw much more of the city. It wasn't just Michigan avenue. We had wine and dinner at a local trattoria. I went running by Lake Michigan. We finished a bottle of wine while watching Mad Men. And then a few cans of Guinness last night. I even visited his parents place this time. I haven't met them before. Of course, I shopped. The hypocrite in me succumbed to a Green Tumi :(

The flight will land soon. To cut things short, it was an amazing weekend! I feel great about life in general. I'm sapppily looking forward to meeting the husband. I'm positively elated about turning 28. Age agrees with me.

Ok, need to shut off now. Love.

P.S. Music is Dirty laundry by Don Henley

Saturday, May 28, 2011

By the window

All right I'm on Saturday. This trip has been filled with jinx and the closer I draw to its end, the better it feels. Its not all bad, I'm sitting by the window on the 15th floor at the W in Boston, starting down at Dunkin Donut's, the red bricked city sprawled ahead and the American flag standing tall in multiple places across the city.

I worked from the Boston office yesterday. I knew a ton of people there, which is always a good feeling! A long association with that address .....

Its pleasing to move out of the suburbs for the weekend. The W is of course a luxury this job some times offers, and I gladly accept. But you know if I ever quit my job, I'll travel in a totally different way. Land, sea, air (not but business or first), rustic (but clean) hotels, youth hostels (heck I'm 27!), no laptop weighing me down (a tablet would be goooood). I'm glad work travel is comfortable, but it offers much less to learn and feel, than the way Peepu and I travel otherwise.

I came in by 10 pm last night, after 3 beers and a generally cheerful feeling. I spent last night reading what I love most. And this morning, I'm doing more of that. I'm writing, working, occasional words with the family, a long and hot shower, sipping coffee sitting by the window, wrapped up in a towel, getting liberated by the music playing. I realize how much more lovely I am without clothes than I am with them. I'm certain most people are. We were made that way for a reason.

I'm going to get dressed, in the beautiful chiffon dress I got last week and step out in to the city now. Of course, the world is a little bit of my oyster right now :)

Listening to Umbrella by Rihanna

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This one is for you. I’ve spent a lot of time here in the last 24 months, and I think this warrants a post- dedicated to you, America, not one of the cities within.

First off, the things I love about you:

• Seasons! I love Delhi over Bombay for its seasons, and this country- has so a ton of seasons to offer. Strangely enough, you look beautiful in each of those seasons
• The time zones difference (within and outside). The difference really helps me savour you, because, outside of my will, it cuts me off from home. While that sometimes hurts, it often gives me a lot of time with you and myself
• The connection. The last 6 years have drawn me to you for a number of reasons, and each of those reasons and visits leaves an imprint in the story of my life
• Acceptance. Everyone in this country has the right to fulfill their basic needs. And while that’s true of many countries, there’s certain unabashedness about how America does it!
• The top 10 cities, of which I’m yet to see all: Boston, New York, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles (meh!), Seattle (I haven’t seen this one, but its great in movies!) and San Francisco (next week, if all goes well), and Orlando (not seen this one either)
• You’re home to a ton of Indians- of all types! The 1970s emigrants who run gas stations and convenience stores, those who rose up to elite status and went to pedigree schools, the engineers living in Indian communities, the wannabes in the big cities who are trying desperately to fit in, those who actually fit in, those who don't try but fit in beautifully and sadly, those who humiliate the country and the continent (Galleon being a recent example)
• The variety- in everything! Asparagus, avocado, artichokes (a few years back , I wouldn't have told them apart); food; makeup; wine; home ware; books; coffee; hotels; oh for heavens sake even self-adhesive silicone nipple covers! There’s a choice for everyone and everything
• The hard work. Americans work hard. They sweat and toil for want of more, and they do it well. The unemployed don't chill- they want to be employed again. The employed deliver their best. You set an example for the rest of us.
• The West Coast. I haven’t seen much it apart from a few forgettable days in LA. Forgettable because it was confined to training in a hotel. There remains something elusive about it. It reminds me of my fave movie- The Graduate. Or Love Aaj Kal. Or growing up in awe of the city called ‘Berkeley’ because I would never be able to study there. And now, the emerging love for all things technology. Yet, I haven’t been there….and may be that's why it stays so beautiful in my mind

There’s many more I like but I’m careful not to step in to the territory covered by multiple websites and travel blogs. Now switching over to what I don't like- brace yourself America!

- The unprocessed food: Cheese, tortilla wraps, pine nuts, ‘fresh’ whole grain, egg whites- there is so much unprocessed food here. I can never trust what I’m putting in my mouth. The Sodium can almost be smelled from a distance. Just this morning, I saw my ‘healthy’ egg white omlette being cooked, with frozen packed egg whites! I’m staying in an up-scale hotel and yet
- Your assumption that my being here for a month on work is perceived by me, as a ‘perk’ of my job. And its my colleagues- from pedigree schools and sophisticated upbringing- who say it more. I enjoy America as much as I enjoy Thailand or Vietnam or the villages of South India. Its more due to who I am! I’m incredibly Indian. I’m here to work and will enjoy myself while I’m here. And that's the size of it
- Your approach towards hospitality. I’m not referring to welcoming a stranger barging in to your house. I’m talking about your hospitality industry. While nothing to cry about, your airlines, hotels, spas are nothing like your Asian counterparts’. I once paid $250 for a spa session where the spa-lady (I won’t call her masseuse) just turned up a jet of water on me. I understand that’s Vichy but that’s all I got. A personally operated shower for $250!
- The excesses. So I’m on the fence about this one. There’s variety, excitement, desire, zest, but at the same time, the wonder has been lost. American teenagers spend their free time in malls- there is little curiosity about the world, happenings, the universe, the forces of nature, literature, history, amongst other things. I see the average Indian child fascinated by a bicycle, a computer, the solar eclipse- I find that missing here. There is little fascination with life….
- Obsession with oneself. This one follows from the previous one. I may be over-doing it but there is an unimaginable obsession with one’s own life- and that’s something I find so conspicuous in this country. There’s little sharing of anything apart from the updates on the awesomeness of one’s life! I have the pleasure of knowing many Americans who aren’t like that- are not self obsessed- and they are wonderful. I only wish to see more of those

As you can tell, I love a lot more than I don't and I’m delighted to be here. You’re definitely a chapter in the story. May be even more, but that remains to be seen…..its a long life~~

Some more time in Boston

I'm in Boston again. Its getting sunnier. When I landed last week, it was freezing cold. I decided to fly Jet to sync my return flight with Peepu's, and what a nightmare the flight was! At first, it seemed tough given the 2 hops between Delhi and Boston, but it seemed doable. In fact, I decided not to sleep much to help the jet lag on landing. All was fine, till I landed in JFK. I was clouded by an awful sinking feeling- not one I've had in a long time. I guess I hadn't really thought what it would be like to be away for a month, and now the feeling was sinking. I was sitting by the boarding gate and just like that, I missed my flight. I didn't hear them announce the flight or my name. The next flight was delayed by 6 hours and after I finally landed in Boston, they told me my bags were lost. I was wearing jeans and a vest and freezing! Of course I didn't go to work on Monday. In fact, I went to mall, to buy work wear. And no, it wasn't fun.

Any way, the week has passed, and I chose to stay back in the burbs this weekend. I've seen the city enough and the burbs give me plenty of time and help me lose that need to accomplish something on the weekend.

So you know the last time I did this case, I didn't travel a single weekend. This time I'm hoping it different. I've made a start by booking myself on a 9 hour long flight to SF next weekend. Its a long weekend, and I haven't seen SF. Of course, people recommended NYC - after all, its the greatest city in the world. Is not! You know, I hesitate to say this to people, but I really find the city over-rated. Its fun for a couple of nights, but its just too loud and noisy. Boston has a charm and a way to relax you. New York is just the opposite. It stresses me out. May be that's because I'm an I, and increasingly becoming even more of an introvert.

So, I'm going to spend this weekend, in the ghost town of Framingham, doing much less. I'll spend some time in the Cafe, with my laptop, walk about a bit, go for a swim, work out a bit, read a nice book. On that, I just got a beautiful copy of Little Women, from Anthropologie- which is now my favourite store in the world. Its not a book store at all. Its just filled with beautiful things! Ceramic, journals, aprons, dresses, linen....and all of them really beautiful!

In other news, I was speaking with someone about the job the other day and realized everyone stresses a lot here. The job has a way of weaving stress in to our conscience. And we are nothing but a bunch of insecure over-achievers. I'm pleased to see I'm a lot less stressed and generally more content than several others around me. I hope it stays this way.

Peeps and I are getting used to the distance again. Its unsettling at first but very much a part of who we are. We speak briefly every couple of days, send each other long emails, smile when we see things that remind us of each other in our respective worlds and then, just look forward to being back, super soon!

That's it for now.....and thanks for reading through.

You know the music: Dooriyan....bhi hai zaroori, zaroori hai ye dooriyan. Its only apt!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'm blue today. I'm even wearing Blue. I have a ton of random thoughts going through my head, unsettling thoughts.

I recently married the man I love (its been 16 days) and I have seen very little of him since then. I don't like going back to an empty house.

I returned work 9 days back. It was my decision to take little time off but my heart burns right now.

I look back 4 years and 11 months, and all I can account for is my job. Yes, I'm lacking perspective. You must be saying "Remember Singapore days, living alone in Malaysia, coming back and healing a broken heart for over a year, getting in to an awesome phase of self love and independence, dating the new boy, the world looking prettier, 8 months in Boston and eventually marrying the boy". Yes, I remember, but let me spin this the other way: I have no new skills!!

I hate my period! Actually I'm sure I would everyone's period but my own causes me a lot of grief.

I want to give up meat but I'm not able to. I think I have a disorder where I see meat and I forget all else.

I have not worked out in AGES. I was a fat bride! But I still looked pretty :) I think...

I can not stop picking on my zits. I'm 27 and still have zits.

I got a set of seemingly kick ass noise cancellation headphones from Bose, but thanks to these I don't enjoy music any more. Well at least not today!

I have a plait - for the first time in my life- and I love it.

You know, its one of those days, but if any of you crosses this space and has 2 cents for me, please drop them off.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Keeping this short

Its a cool spring night, likely the last of the season, and we're excitedly booking our delayed August honeymoon. We just finished writing wedding invites...definitely a lot more fun over fruity white wine. In about three weeks, we'll be married. Its going to be a beautiful wedding. Always wanted a summer wedding- having it. It'll be small. The ceremony is of 20 guests, and 45 minutes, early on Sunday morning. There's a party the night before and then one, the evening after. Love.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


All right, so it’s a month to our wedding and all was well, until I started attending some more weddings. I thought the season finished in mid-Feb, and April was a nice, dry month to get married in, but a couple of friends picked March for their weddings. And after attending these, I’m convinced, Weddings freak me out. I haven’t had a doubt about marriage and am happy to plunging in. In fact, so much that its fair to imagine me as a jungle monkey, swinging by a rope and plunging in to the water (do monkeys swim- I don’t know!).

But then its weddings….

I look forward to my own as I’m excited at the thought of all my friends converging here for a few days, me finally getting some time to take care of myself, looking pretty, and then just the fact that it’s in the summer. I love summer and I don’t know why more people don’t choose this season to get married. Georgette and Chiffon are beautiful fabrics and flatter a woman so much. That’s about my own, but what perplexes me is how insanely bored I get at other peoples weddings. From close friends, to distant cousins- its all the same. I’m made to dress up in beautiful outfits and smile like I’m enjoying myself. But I really don’t. These days its slightly better because Peepu accompanies me to share my annoyance. Earlier, when I was single, I would still go to friends’ weddings, but I used to be alone. Often, I didn’t used to know anyone there, but again, I had to go. I believe if someone invites me to some place, its almost rude to not go. So even its half hour, I need to show my face and stay just about long enough to hug my friend who’s celebrating a big day, have a glass of wine and come back. At one such event (an extremely nouveau-riche event), I knew I wouldn’t know anyone so I even took a magazine with me.

In other, though slightly topical news, I also attended a good friends’ wedding yesterday. With much hesitation, I went. I met some people I used to know, briefly, a few years back. It’s a group (my friend excluded- he’s really nice), that has me tongue tied, and almost nervous. They’re just like me in terms of their back ground and exposure but then there’s this inability to talk in me, when I’m around that lot. I finally figured out what it was and will try to articulate it here- when every statement you make has to be dripping of cool, and needs to be one which, if evaluated, could potentially make it to ‘the great list of coolest statements of all time’ – I stop to fit in. A conversation there feels like a competition in coolness. So any way, Peepu and Dad thought it was quite funny. I spent about an hour there- much of it spent guzzling beer and watching an extremely unfortunate match between India and South Africa

So you know how much I like red lips- bold, red lips? I’ve discovered fuchsia lips this spring. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, in a strappy white and brown dress, with a hot pink mouth. I love how everyone’s looking. Here’s a pic

No post is complete without an update on my job: all goes well, really busy but of late, I’ve developed a sharp interest in technology and the internet. When this stops to interest me, I’m going to get in to Tech. And I’m also going through this feeling of self-scolding. I’m upset I’m a Consultant. It’s a great job but I have no depth of expertise. So when I do decide to something else, I’ll take a 2 years hit, and join a tech firm at a slightly more inexperienced level, so I can re-learn without the fear of being constantly evaluated and in a rush to hit externally set professional milestones. Pretty good plan uh- I’m happy to have figured out a backup. Because in the short – medium term, between the firm and me, I see one of us wanting to take a break from the other.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 2011

12th Jan 2011

Its the 12th day of the new year, Amelie soundtrack plays in the back ground, I'm sitting on a make-shift cushion couch next to the heater, sipping Green tea to sooth my cold. Its my 20th day at home. It started with my case ending, a return flight (the last for a while) from Boston, a year-end break for the whole office, one week of light proposal work and now this week, when there's no case appropriate for me, starting up soon. That's how the job works. From over-worked to grossly under-worked.

Over the December break, I received 2 messages, from different unrelated people, asking me to continue writing in this space. I realize not many people read this, but whoever does, you'll keep seeing my spill life's happenings here occasionally.

This time its Emotional Energy that got me interested, pushed me to make some resolutions and then, spill them out here. I would often use depression as a catch-all, I'd attribute people's (and my own) sense of restlessness and emptiness to degrees of depression. The word also helped me make light of my own occasional sense of blah, as that was surely not depression. But as I make the most of my time off, I came across some interesting perspectives on 'low emotional energy' and a sense of 'Depletion' (as opposed to Depression) emerging out of it. I'm surely visited by the feeling often.

I have everything I could have wanted. I really do: a rewarding profession, a close and happy family, tons of friends, a loving boyfriend (now fiancé) who's also my closest friend, great sex, interests out side of work, a ton of travel, most things materialistic that I desire (including all the clothes in the world) and then the freedom to do exactly what I like with limited responsibilities so far. I could do with a fitter body and a little bit of sunshine in Delhi, but really, life's a little bit of a joy right now (touch wood!!). Yet, there are days I'm exhausted...depleted- that's the new way to explain it. And that's my resolution. To keep the emotional energy consistently up!

There are more, which I've already begun making some headway on.

* The kitchen's busy with me cooking up some or the other new (and healthy) meal every day. The biggest hits have been Pasta with Pesto and shrimp, stir fried shrimp, salad with goat's cheese and pine nuts, and easy though, marinated olives

*I've gone beyond just yoga to running and weights as well. Why? Because I'm bored. lets see how long this lasts.

*Spending more time with Peepu (yes, even more), especially since the second half of last year was spent adjusting time zones. And yes, I'm very much on track on that :)

And finally the update on the wedding: all set for the 9th and 10th of April. I'm conflicted between keeping-it-simple and keeping-it-insane.

21st Jan 2011

Still home, still no work, and for some reason, still not complaining. I was in Bombay last week and got most of my wedding shopping done in 4 hours. Yet another reason to love the city. Its always awesome to spend a weekend with Vani and Nobbie. It also gave Peepu some time alone in Delhi- something he needed to prepare for a two week trip to the States. He's gone :(

30th Jan 2011

Still home, still no work, and mildly concerned but still keeping busy. So now, just given face book is not to be trusted and I have a ton to say, I'll spill it here

* Peepu's been away nearly 2 weeks. He's in Virginia, I'm in Delhi. Being on this side isn't much fun. I liked that side. We spoke about this too. Turns out, he prefers to be the one waiting in Delhi, than to be training (or working) mercilessly, in a state of jet lag. That's awesome! In the future, I'll take back my role as the traveler and he can continue to enjoy his disciplined daily life in Delhi.

*I did 85 surya namaskars (sun salutations) yesterday. And you wonder why I call myself star people?

*I made a fantastic veg burger this morning. I still eat meat but I crave good tasting veggie meals these days. I found whole wheat buns in Khan market yesterday, and they weren't outrageously priced like Bagels and other nonsense. Rs 28 a packet- happy me! The patty consists of potato, beans, cauliflower, soya nuggets and chillies. My soul is doing a twirl of joy now

*I'm SO content with life, and I need to say it. I'm not exhilarated (I dislike people who are constantly in a state of excitement- the yay!! type), but my mind is just so stable right now. I'm in this moment where I'm thanking the universe for the love, re-appreciating my own inherent intelligence, stretching physical limits and overall, just counting what I have as opposed to what I don't.

I'm finally going to post this one.

As Sheldon Cooper says, Peace out