Happy Birthday, S!

Dear S,

Every year since I have had this blog, I have been writing you a birthday letter. I am sure each letter is no different as there isn’t anything I am going to tell you here that I haven’t told you already. And yet, for posterity, here is what I would like to tell you today.

The best thing to happen this year was you coming back to Bangalore – I can’t even begin to explain how amazing and wonderful it has been. I don’t have to worry about anything big or small. The thought that I have you next to me every night and that I see you the first thing as I awake – just one word, Bliss.

Waking you up every morning is still a struggle – man do you love your sleep or what?! I still don’t understand how can a grown man (yes, you are!) fall asleep right after someone wakes you up. You are an expert with that. And your two minutes never end, do they? When you reply all my questions while not opening your eyes at all, still with the hope of catching some more sleep – it is very cute, if not for our rat race every morning.

I love how you lovingly pack all the big rotis for me (don’t think I don’t notice) in my lunch box, making sure I am not around every.single.day.

TV and you. Enough said, the better. Your body can be anywhere but your eyes remain glued onto the TV screen, making it the point of argument any given day. And then you have the nerve to cut me on my screen time.

Those samosas and rasgullas and jilebis you surprise me with, on Friday evenings!

The way you expertly steer away from any conversation involving decision making.. sigh. From a simple question of fried rice or pulav to investment banking – your standard response is, “what do you think?” After all these years, I am finding new ways to get you to decide faster on difficult things.

I love how selfless and helpful you are, to your friends to strangers on the road. Even after knowing someone’s true colors, it takes a lot to move on and help again.

I love it when you appreciate my food for every.single.meal. More than your words, I look out for the expression in your eyes that tells me how much you enjoyed the meal. I love that appreciation comes easily to you. I love that you hardly criticize anything I do for you.

I love it when you pick up all those tasks that I absolutely hate to do around the house. Like loading the washing machine. Like drying the clothes. Like folding and placing them in the cupboards. Like putting fresh groceries in respective dabbas. Like setting up the washed dishes. Like cleaning the bathrooms. You do it with no nudges from me and that’s what makes it special.

I love it when you let me pursue my hobbies and for everything you do to support it. The minutes and hours I make you wait before serving any food at all, in the name of food photography would have everyone’s sympathy. The way I make for run for things the moment I envision them in my head – empty wine bottle, cherry red woolen thread, silver paint, black beads, plastic white bangles and the list is endless.

I absolutely love it when you rest yourself on the kitchen platform while I cook and tell you the stories of the day, letting me blabber endlessly.

I love it when you tell me stories every night to get me to sleep. It is shame that I never get to know the ending of any of these stories but to know that there is Duffu – the Donkey, Rakki – the Monkey, Kuku – the crow and other N number of characters in your stories and they come alive in your voice to make me fall asleep is a happy feeling, just before dozing off.

All the love to you for waiting on me hand and foot, every single day. The number of times I remind you to switch off the light in the kitchen, tell you to increase/decrease fan’s speed, ask you to bring me stuff from fridge literally making you my assistant cook, ask you for water or chocolate late in the night – anyone else would lose patience. Not you!

I love that you have never had your dosas hot out of the stove, any time during our married life but insist on making for both of us so that we could sit together. And everytime you insist me to have hot dosas, offering to make them for me – a small gesture with so much meaning.

There are so many other small and big things I have come to love. And there are other things about you that make me mad too. The thing is when you are in so much love with a person, there is no place for anything else. I love every single thing about you, including all those things that drive me totally crazy. It is what makes you YOU for me and I don’t wish anything to change.

I wish you nothing but more and more happiness this year and all the years to come. As is every year, I can’t thank God enough for bringing me into your life. Happy Birthday, S! J

Lots of Love.

PS – When your wife offers to take you out and indulge in gifts for you on your special day, don’t miss the chance by settling in for a home-cooked meal.


Goodness == Goofiness

You know what the world doesn’t need? Good people. I know, I know. I am being cynical but I have reason to be so.

I don’t know if I shared this before, but S is a really good person who can be very selfless, forgiving and always trying to be helpful. Although I would like to help others, I think before acting. I am not this selfless or easily forgiving person. S is one of the few people I know who doesn’t even talk bad about others, not even unintentionally. I don’t know how can he be in such a Zen state, but he is without even making an effort. And man, does he have patience or what?! He can put up with pretty much anything. In short, he is everything that I am not.

That said, I don’t think this world is a good place for people like him. Time and again through our married life, I have had to point him to the negatives of certain people or situations or the implications of helping others. Most of the times it is about money and sometimes it is about people using him for their benefits. And every single time it ends up with both of us in a lot of heart burn. While he forgives and lets go, I keep these things locked up and end up eventually hating this person. Over the years, we both have learnt a lot from each other. Now he does think a bit about jumping in to help someone else and I have learnt to forgive people, with some effort. But that doesn’t stop us from landing into issues.

So, we were looking for new tenants to our house in Chennai. S had talked to the block watchman and handed him the keys to show the house to potential tenants. As it happens, we get a call from a guy who was very pleased with the house. He was okay with all our terms and was all set to sign the agreement. S wanted to hold off the signing until we met this guy and his family in person. This guy called S every day, discussing on his moving plans etc. Two days before we were supposed to meet this guy, he requested for house keys as he wanted to do some cleanup. S checked with me and my immediate reaction was NO. S being S told me to chill and that it should be ok. Guess what, couple of days later this guy called in to say that he had to travel on an emergency. For the next one month, he would not pick up our calls nor return them. Soon, he blocked S’s number too.

We knew no details about this guy and he had a set of keys to our house. We had no option but to change all the locks. That’s when we got the call from our neighbors – that someone stayed overnight in the house. All this made me super queasy. We had to tackle this situation. Few of our friends suggested going to the police. What is the use? We travelled to Chennai the following weekend.

Before things got really ugly, this guy showed up at the house. Guess what he thought, that he could do a double cross. He pretends to be the actually tenant while playing a broker, trying to find another tenant for higher rent and deposit. As he was trying to show the house to others, he was caught. We later learnt that the watchman played along with him right from the beginning. We didn’t have to change our locks but for a month and half, it was such a stress. Anyone who heard this story asked, how could S give away the keys without signing the agreement. Well, he did. He was just being good. Not ideal in a situation like this, but he trusted this guy and the watchman (who has shameless taken money from S everytime he visits).

S and I were discussing about this very incident and how this world is not a place to be good, we had to stop at a toll booth on the way to Bangalore. The toll was 45 rupees and S handed the guy at the counter a 100 rupee note. I saw it with both my eyes as he had the cash ready in his hand while waiting for our turn. This guy at the toll both hands us the receipt along with a 5 rupee coin and thanks us to leave. S asked him for the remaining change. Immediately, this guy pretended that S handed him a 50 rupee note. S got confused for a minute and checked with me if he was right. I clearly told the toll guy that we handed him a 100 and that he better give us our change back. This toll guy had the nerve to tell us that he had only one 50 rupee note and that we gave him that. So, I asked if he doesn’t have any 100 rupee notes at all. S asked him to show his cash box and prove his point. He coolly tells that he has many 100 rupee notes but we didn’t give him any. Since he has only one 50 rupee note – that is what we gave him it seems. What is this logic? Both S and I were not ready to move an inch until we got our change. Soon the vehicles behind us were honking. So this guy had no option but to give off our change and had to hear some choicest of words from S. I don’t like using/hearing swear words, but that day I didn’t stop S. We are good people not dumb people.

This is not the end. We learn our lessons every single day. Does it make S any more skeptical towards people? No. Does it make him think twice before helping another person? No. Because that is how he is. Everytime I see him/us suffer, does it make me cringe? Yes. Everytime I see/hear someone thank him wholeheartedly, does it make me proud? Yes, immensely happy and proud. I can’t be like S, so it is not fair to expect him to be like me. And life goes on.


The case of pretty shoes

ETA: Apparently, this is my 500th post on this blog. Look what I chose to write😀

As it happens, I have one pair of pretty shoes in my wardrobe now. All through my life so far I have never ever ever owned pretty shoes. My footwear has only two purposes – to help me walk comfortably and to last longer. There might just be another reason for my having only utility footwear. I have clown feet. At least I think so.

Of all the features that makes a girl elegant and pretty, I have taken after my dad. Nothing to be embarrassed about, but I really wish I had my mom’s fingers or her feet or small shoulders. To begin with, I am broad chested – no matter how much weight I lose, I look bulky. As if that is not enough, my feet and hands look like a replica of my dad – stout and rounded. My feet are too broad to fit into any elegant looking shoes. Well, my calf muscles are bigger than S’s and that is enough proof to show how girly girl I am. Sigh.

Coming back to my shoe story, after prodding at a hundreds of pairs of shoes over the last few years – I gave in and bought a pair for myself. Wait, I really wouldn’t have done so myself knowing very well about my broad feet or would I? It was all S’s plan. Over the weekend, S got himself a new pair of shoes and there was an immediate cash back offer. There was no point getting himself another pair of shoes but I pleaded with him to get something else. No. He wanted me to buy a pair of shoes too. What started as just trying on, ended up as selecting between the red or the blue ones. No matter what I kept telling him, he insisted on getting me the shoes. At one point, it was me against three men – S and the other two sales guys. When three men tell you how pretty your feet look in the new shoes, you really have no option but to get those shoes right? Well, I didn’t budge even then. I dragged S to a corner and reminded him of my feet. This guy I have married has a mind of his own when it comes to gifting me something. He went ahead and bought those shoes. Damn! And I am not telling the price of these shoes. My heart is still bleeding is all I can say.

This morning I decided to wear them to office (if not for S’s love, for the hefty price he paid) and to say that every step reminds me of hell is an understatement. I have become Monica (from Friends) where she has to wear those pretty shoes even though they are super painful. That is exactly me at this moment! Since morning, I have been trying to find chances to be alone so that I can get some respite from these shoes. With every step I have been taking, I have this growing urge in my stomach to scream “Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Owww!”

Why are my feet so big and why are these shoes so pretty?!


PS – This post is dedicated to all girls who have taken after their dads’ features! *Pls, pls tell me I am not the only one*


Thomi @0.6

Thomi is half year old today! Like in another 6 months, she would be ONE. How soon time flies. From the tiny pea that she was, today she is a naughty little girl who needs new playing tricks and gimmicks all through the day.

Yesterday, the sister and I dug deep into our picture archives and found Thomi’s pictures from all these previous months. The transformation she has had all through these months is really amazing to look at. For one, she was out 3 weeks earlier and was at a very low birth weight. She was so tiny that we were scared even to touch her for more than a second. A tiny face with sharp nose, big eyes and lots of hair on her head, Thomi looked so different back then🙂

As if looking at her pictures wasn’t nostalgic enough, we both started recollecting every single thing that Thomi did in these last 6 months. Some startled us – like the time an ant had gone into her little eye. Some made us laugh – like all those pictures of Thomi tightly wrapped in her soft purple towel right after her bath – her reactions precious every single time. Soon we both started sending her pictures to each other with funny dialogues aka memes. Through all these days, we have exchanged 1500+ pictures of Thomi and most of them are so funny to look at now. There is a picture for every reaction of Thomi – I kid not. Without even realizing, we have made a treasure for Thomi🙂

The last one month has been a roller coaster ride for both Thomi as well as my sister. Thomi caught up with a stomach viral and had loosies for more than 4 weeks. Although the doctors kept telling us that there would not be an issue as long as the baby is active and happy, we were worried about her weight. As expected, she didn’t gain any weight at all last month which is not so good considering her low birth weight. My sister tried everything in her control to bring this viral down – she completed stopped milk and milk products, wheat, anything fibrous and what not. The viral didn’t budge down at all. Last month included a couple of emergency trips to the paed hospital too! All in all a very scary month but thankfully, she is off the stomach bug now. *touchwood x 100*

Thomi loves getting attention and needless to say, her Ammumma Thathayya give it to her 24/7. Her Thathayya invents silly games every day to keep Thomi entertained and the little princess showers him with the loudest of laughs. Here are a couple of examples. Thathayya swings a hankie above Thomi’s face and quickly pulls it to himself. Thomi brings herself to catch that hankie and breaks into a laugh. The weirdest is this though – Thathayya drops something next to Thomi and that’s enough to make Thomi laugh nonstop. These objects could be anything from her rattle toy to his medicine box. The sister tells that Thomi doesn’t give the same laugh to anyone else for these games. Exclusive for her Thathayya🙂

Thomi took a while to roll over, actually. And it took her a couple more weeks to balance her head. I wrote this post on Milestones few weeks back when Thomi rolled over for the first time. We were told to expect some delay and we were well prepared for the same. But Thomi surprised us all by making attempts to crawl as soon as she could balance her head. Anytime of the day or night, Thomi could be seen doing somersaults in her attempts to crawl forward. The poor one has not fully worked out the logic of lifting her elbows along with her knees to crawl. She looks like a tiny earthworm ploughing her way through loose soil😀 It takes just a couple of minutes for her to reach the edge of the bed these days. All the more reason for the grandparents to keep an eye on her all the time.

Her favorite pastime apart from trying to crawl is to find someone to snuggle into. She would move and turn quickly to get next to someone on the bed and try to roll over them. She laughs out loud at her own antics – like rolling over and quickly rolling back down🙂 By the way, Thomi now sports a single tooth – a tiny speck in her lower jaw! Thomi had her Annaprasanam yesterday and has started her first solids with a tsp of Ragi milk gruel. Although she licked the spoon yesterday, today she declared that it is not as good as the milk😀 The days of her throwing tantrums over carrot puree, apple puree and rice congee are not too far now.

At this half year mark, I wanted to share some stuff that I promised will share here. These are among the many things lovingly made for Thomi by her Amma and Thathayya.

Sister made more than 10 of these black and white image sheets for Thomi, especially during those months she didnt  look/smile at us. Apparently, these black and images help improve baby’s eye coordination.cam_img_1473404440781_1473404497268

Handmade Parikini by my dad cam_img_1473405130727_1473405277496

Sister made this handmade satin flowers and hair band – img_1473404734132_1473404746365

Handmade silk thread bangles for Thomi. She wore them for her Annaprasanam yesterday – p_20160902_184300_1473404038079

Sister made these absolutely cute looking handmade animals on ice cream sticks for Thomi’s story telling time – cam_img_1473404246963_1473404292613



A life that it is not.

I have a loving husband, a nice home with a solid roof on our heads, a good job with a decent monthly salary, loving family and a comfortable life. But then, why do I feel like I am sinking down lower and lower by the passing day?

If you ask me, I cant seem to put a finger on this helplessness I keep feeling in bouts most of the times. Sure I can talk to S, but shouldnt I understand it better first? Time seems not to slow down at all and I dont know why I feel like I am losing a battle against time. There are so many things I want to do during the day. Like blog here more often. Connect with my friends. Enjoy some me time. Feel truly relaxed for once. But no. At the end of the day, I feel like I have accomplished nothing.

I have a love-hate relationship with my pooja room. For exactly 3 months, it was completely untouched. When I started cleaning it up for Krishnashtami, I was feeling so guilty. I know my mom or my dad wouldn’t have liked to see how bad I was at this. Being brought up god fearing, I was also wondering if God would/punish me for my stupid ignorance? At the same time, my logical sense tells me none of this matters. God was surely in my thoughts and why does it even matter if His pictures are cleaned up or not? Yesterday I had prepared for very simple Ganesh Chaturthi celebration and wondered aloud to S, how beautiful the house looks with just a small lamp lightened. I also cribbed to him how I dont find time at all during the work week. His answer was so simple. You will make time if you really want to. It was like a slap on my face. Isn’t it true I make time for my exercise everyday? Isn’t it true I make sure I cook all three meals at home? Isn’t it true I find enough time to click pictures and post recipes on my food blog? Yes, may be I dont feel that lighting a lamp every day is as important as posting my recipes.

And that is the first time I could really tell what’s bothering me. While I am clicking my food pictures, posting recipes, making new friends, I am missing out on this blog. While I am exercising everyday, cooking all three meals, feeling a bit good about myself, I dont get as much time or energy to do anything else. My house is not sparkling clean all the time. I am missing out painting or making artistic stuff. While I feel like I am accomplishing 40%, I feel like I am missing out the other 60%.

On some days, I catch my breath only after I reach office. It is crazy in the mornings and crazier in the evenings. With S in late night calls and working sessions, it doesnt help one bit. Week days go by in a whizz with either of us working on something or other – without getting even an hour to ourselves. I miss our morning walks and the badminton sessions. It all feels like a distant dream.

I would like to think that I am not the only one feeling so in this entire world. Just as an outsider looking at my life being all rosy and beautiful, I think the same of someone else’s. May be I will feel better tomorrow. Or may be not. But the show continues. We are mere actors in this big play called life.