Friday, 27 April 2018

A precious gift

AUG 25, 2017

We were in Mangalore for Ganesh Chaturthi. This was the first time I was at my in-laws for this festival.For the 2 years of marriage, I had celebrated the festival exactly like how I used to celebrate in Mumbai (Read post here).

The festival was celebrated quite differently in S's family. Their's is a huge family which once lived together. During festivals, there are more than 40 people in the house and other relatives included, the crowd could go upto 100. Yes, real numbers. So the entire family got together. The women cooked, the men set about to decorate the tulsi (holy basil) plant. I, as usual, watched. What they cook and how they cook for festivities is very different and I am scared that I might ruin something. So apart from lending a hand for very basic stuff, I stay away. 

I was talking to younger relatives of S when one of them showed me his new phone. One plus 5. I totally loved the camera quality. He went about clicking photos of all of us. S and some of his cousins were busy working with sugarcane sticks. One of his cousins remarked to S, "You might have to buy her a new phone!"
All of them laughed.
"Will give" S said calmly, smiling.
Although I knew he did not mean it back then, I was happy. 
It was mutual understanding that I would never get a 33 K worth phone because I was not worthy of one. I have a history of breaking my phones (accidentally dropping) and I feel guilty and tensed if the phone is anything above 15 K. 

So I forgot all about the phone.

SEP-2017

My Redmi phone wouldn't charge. No matter what I tried, it didn't. S gave it for repair but the phone was still charging very slowly. He told me look online for another one. I asked him, "How about One plus 5?"
He replied that there was no chance I would get that.

While my phone continued having issues, I was using an older phone of mine. I had almost uninstalled all the apps from that phone and was having a tough time dealing with that phone. I started looking for new phones.

I worked that Saturday for business reasons and was very irritated. I just wanted to go somewhere out. 
Saturday night I asked S if we could go out the next day. He said, "No, someone might come".
I was so pissed off I might have bit him if I could.
"I am so exhausted this week and who have you invited!" I yelled angrily and went to bed.

He came beside  me and said, "I did not want to tell you this, but if we go out tomorrow, your phone might not be delivered."
"Which phone" I asked.
He showed me the message. It was OnePlus 5!!!!! Yeaaaaay!!  The unimaginable! I hugged him tight. I beamed happily.

S had purchased the phone in Amazon's exchange offer. He had put up his old phone for exchange and opted for an installment plan. Back then, we had a few financial commitments so this offer was great!

Sunday evening, the much awaited delivery boy came. When S gave his old phone for return, it turned out he had by mistake written the model name wrong. It was just an alphabet that was wrong but the entire model changed based on that! Even though the offer remained the same, he couldn't do the delivery unless the correct name was placed on the order. He couldn't cancel the order and place a new one and receive this order instead. A new order would be processed separately. So the delivery guy went without delivering the phone. 

I was disappointed. But, S was heartbroken.

He went to our room and lied face down. I swear, I hadn't felt so much love for him till that point. Not even for a minute did I think of that phone, the greatest gift I could have was right in front of me. I tried to console him but he was still feeling bad about me not getting the phone that day because I had been happy and smiling all day thinking of it. How stupid of him! I was happy and smiling all day thinking of him, surprising me with the phone!

Finally when he had sulked enough, we placed the order again and this time exchanged my old phone. We got better price and better offer! 

Even though September was birthday month of S, I ended up getting very precious gift. No, it was not just the phone.

Friday, 20 April 2018

3 years and some months later

19-APR-2018

There is a reason to add the date for this post (I will come to that later).

It was just another day of our routine lives. Except for the fact that we were having a hard week.

The previous day, I woke up with pain in my left arm. It was a dull ache that started somewhere at the base of my neck, then shifted to my collar bones and I could feel the pain in bursts all over my arm. THIS WAS THE LEFT ARM. For the uninitiated, it signifies a heart problem. So I did the most expected thing to do, I went to the kitchen and got my meals ready (yea I am into the small meals thing) for the day and put on the geyser. The show must go on.

I told S while I was getting ready that I might end up in a heart attack. Knowing my tendency to over exaggerate my condition, he did not reply to it. I was expecting a comeback when I saw that he was really not well. He was having slight fever and what looked like beginning of a bad cold. I was all set to take the day off but the workaholic S was going to go to office! There was no way I can convince him not to (3 years experience). He asked me to rest if the pain was bad but I thought I rather go to work and he dropped me to my cab pick-up point (because I was again running late).

I managed the day with unease when I could  have simply called in sick. That evening I got home later than usual due to traffic. I messaged S to get something on the way for dinner. We had an early dinner and went to sleep without much talk.

At 2.30 am I woke up with a cry. I had lifted my hand in sleep and had a sharp pain originating from the shoulder blades. I woke up S and he calmed me down, applying moov to the area (ad films for moov have real life examples). He again asked me to not go, but the next day I had important meetings where I had quite a few points to discuss.

On 20th morning, S dropped me to my cab point worriedly. Through the day the pain was still there. S kept messaging me asking me the situation. After completing the meetings and getting some of my regular job done, I finally left for home.

In the cab, I got a video call from S. Very unusual. I thought he dialled by mistake and disconnected it. He then made a voice call. 
"What happened?" I asked.
"Nothing, I was listening to something and it reminded me of you" he said.
"What?"
"Listen no"

In the background there was some music. Then it got louder
"Ban ja tu meri rani
Tenu mahal dawa dunga
Ban meri mehbooba
Main tenu Taj pawa dunga"

I was blushing uncontrollably. The same kind of blush that I always got when he called me during our long distance relationship.

3 years and some months after marriage, this man still makes me blush like an idiot while others in the cab wonder what's up with me.

When I got down from the cab that evening, he was at my drop point to pick me. Miraculously, the pain was no more there.

Coming back to why I started the post with the date. I believe that moments like yesterday are a gift that must be cherished. But, we do not always remember those beautiful moments and end up being bitter about what we are dealing with in the present. This is my way of keeping those moments alive, long after they have ceased to be. I want to go back and relive this feeling. Like I always do with the old posts on this blog or on Instagram. It reminded me of why I had created this blog in the first place. 

In the past I have made promises of coming back to writing here. But, this time I have a purpose. As long as life blesses me with memories, I shall keep them alive here.

P.S: I had a few comments on the last post. I am quite amazed that this blog is still being read by you all. Thank you for the love. I am truly blessed.

P.P.S: Even though the pain is gone, I had a terrible headache and fever today morning. I really needed to take it slow and took a sick leave today. Much better now!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

2 years later

              Its been a long, long time. More than 2 years after the last post!

Before I start my new journey on this blog, just a gist of what happened in last 2 years.

1. I got a job in March, 2015.

2. I worked hard and long hours to prove myself in my new company.

3. Me and S did some amazing road trips to places nearby.

4. I became dependent on Ola and Uber to travel in this city!

5. Functions, functions and more family functions happened.

6. I flew to Mumbai more frequently in the first year. I haven't been to Mumbai in 8 months now! Terribly missing!

7. Good news in my life meant only one thing. No, that hasn't happened yet.

8. We completed our first anniversary!

9. We travelled some more.

10. We shifted to another rented place.

11. We bought our own house!

12. We completed 2 years. Now the suspense is building for the good news.

13. We moved into our new house this year.

14. I completely ruined my 25 birthday. Yea, the grand one which didn't happen.

15. I looked for a job change and immediately landed one.

So here I am. Sitting with a laptop on my recliner sofa (more on this one in another post) and wondering how far I have come. I missed writing here and shamefully even forgot the password to this account. Finally managed to unlock this account!

In another news, my post "How to punish your boyfriend" seems to have more than normal following. I received mails from people asking me to custom design their punishment :D :D Thankfully, I was away and I hope their other halves did not have to endure any torture in absence of my advice!

Right now, it seems like the perfect moment to restart the blog. To put down all the beautiful things that I experienced in the last two years, of bittersweet realizations and some breath-taking photos! 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happily Married

                   Yes, we are now Mr and Mrs! It's quite unbelievable to think that we started this year with doubts and apprehensions about our relation and we are about to end it as husband and wife. It has been a remarkable year!

                   How does it feel to be Mrs? I keep getting asked. I cannot explain it in words. Suddenly, I am doing chores I had no idea about. I am cooking stuff I had never paid attention to. I am making lists of household stuff to buy. The list is never ending.

                   I felt overwhelmed the first few days. I do not speak the local language, I am at loss for directions and I do not know to handle a house. It has been exhausting been a Mrs.

                  I stand near the kitchen stove, warming myself before the flame, my feet all cold in the winter, the chilled wind making me shiver. S stands behind me, hovering all the time, pouring the tea or getting the plates ready. On days when we finish the breakfast early and he is ready for work but has some minutes to spare, he cuddles with me until its the right time to go.

                 I surf through the net for the best recipe to use for lunch. I get going to get everything done. All by myself, I try to experiment all that I have seen mom do through the years. One afternoon, I managed to burn my hand while using the pressure cooker. I ran to get the tube of toothpaste before my skin got blistered. I rubbed it in and stretched my hand in the freezer. Messaging S with the one hand, I cleared the mess with the other. Lunch time S rushed in with a tube of burnol, worried about the injury, gently applying it on my burn. In moments like those, I feel its all worth the pain.

                On most evenings, we drive by to get the grocery. On days I am too tired with all the work, he helps me clean the dishes. On Saturday nights, we drink to get me high and S marvels at my capacity to just drink and sleep. I do not get high. I just sleep.

                Some days I roll out an extra special meal and wait for him to taste. I am delighted when he tells me that it turned out good. At home, Dad and bro almost liked anything I cooked. But with S, I always wait for the response.

               S is been working hard. We haven't had time to go exploring the city. Nor have we taken a holiday post wedding. Nothing out of the ordinary yet!   After an ordinary day, on a cold winter night, I am all warm beside S, snuggling close and feeling blessed. Yes, happily married indeed!

                                             

2014 you have been generous. Looking forward to a brighter 2015! 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Pre-wedding :D

                   I had been waiting for November to come.  This is our last month as singles. As the days are passing by, the feeling is unsettling. The initial excitement is giving way to nervousness. Go with the flow, I often have myself thinking. Yet, at times I feel over whelmed with the changes that are to come. I have no idea what waits ahead. I am without a plan and the control freak in me getting paranoid. Ofcourse I have a plan. Only it is not sketched to the last details.

                    Months in advance, I had booked for our prewedding shoot. I wanted it all decided before hand. The first time I saw a fellow blogger do it, I wanted one! Oh, I love captured moments and more so the candid ones. Dressing up and being the perfect couple in love just like in the movies was exciting. S did not have the same opinion. He proposed the idea of a post wedding shoot. Although post wedding shoots do have that charm, it is more about arranged marriages and the post nuptial glow. I wanted our dating days captured. After a lot of deliberations, we chose the photographers for our pre-wedding shoot.

                     The location had to the place where we went every single time. National Park. Those who have been reading my posts know about our Kanheri trek. We chose Kanheri caves as the location. I have been counting days ever since.

                     S flew down a day before the shoot. We spent the day shopping for him and going around. Next day, early morning we left for the shoot. The slight chill in the air added to the feel. When we reached the gate along with the photographers, it was closed. No entry to vehicles till 7.30! We had no idea about this and had about an hour to kill.

                     We shot pictures on the road, walking about, sitting in the auto. It was actually fun. It gave us time to understand what was needed. Once we were inside the park, it was a field day. We covered quite a lot of places.  All in all, it was an experience worth the effort and money. Maybe I should write about tips to do the prewedding :P

                     Anyway, here's a shot from the day.

                     

                    Less than a month left to go!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Of wedding and shopping!

             Since the last post about our wedding announcement, life has changed by leaps and bounds. S and I were amused and unprepared for the ease with which our relation was accepted and the speed with which our marriage preparations were set in motion. It seemed like we were dreaming, for a long time. With our wedding being 3 months away, the reality is finally sinking. We are going to be man and wife on 7th of December, 2014 at 11.23 am!

             When it was decided that our parents would meet on 31st March, little did I know what that day had in store. I met his family in a temple. Later, they asked everyone to talk about it at length at their home. I wasn't allowed to be present as girl isn't supposed to go to the guy's house before marriage. It pissed me off big time. I was sent off to an engagement where some of my relatives were present. I waited in anticipation and anxiety. When my parents came to pick me up, Dad told me that the wedding is fixed for 7th of December. I was speechless! I was annoyed at S for not being with me and overwhelmed by the proximity of the wedding. I was taken over by mixed feelings. Scared, happy, annoyed, tensed. The next whole week wasn't easy on S and me. We had our arguments, endless chats and his constant assurance that everything would be fine.

            I was a little taken aback by the kind of approach his family had. Joint families, unbending traditions, lack of independent decisions. I have grown up in a nuclear family and have been used to making my own choice and standing by it. Moreover, a lot of emphasis on individual preference was given in my house. I wondered if I would fit in with a family that made collective choices. Would they like me? Would they find me arrogant and selfish? Would I feel myself if I tried to please them? It was a battle of individuality for me. I place my individuality on a high pedestal. I am immensely guarded about my planning and hate it if I lose control. It took a lot of convincing from S that he wouldn't make me do anything I don't want to. That family expectations won't weigh on me once we are in Bangalore. It would be just S and me.

          S came to meet me in July. It was a secret date. I wasn't still comfortable with the idea of telling at home that I am going with S. He surprised me with a fashion jewellery set. Just the day before our date, Mom and I had gone shopping. There she set eyes on a similar kind of jewellery and bought it for me. When I saw the gift that S got me, I couldn't help thinking about the similarity in their selection!
         If there is someone I trust blindly when it comes to shopping, it is my Mom. I need her with me to tell me if it would be good for me. I make foolish choices when I shop alone or with others. The only exception is S. If I have no choice but to shop without Mom, I constantly click pictures and ask S for his opinion even if I have friends waiting outside the dressing room! He is always ready to help me with shopping and that is one thing that I absolutely adore about him. He doesn't just accompany me to the shop and wait outside but actively participates in what I am buying. For a person who is as confused as I m while shopping, it has to be a big plus in the man I am going to marry.
        For past one month, weekends are dedicated to shopping. There is a never ending list of things to buy. I wonder how I am going to take it all!

       September end I will be going to Mangalore again. My cousin sister is getting married. S and I are going to shop for the bridal saree and jewellery along with our families. I am excited and can't wait for September 24 to come.

       Today I packed my first bag. Yes, it was tough. The freshly dry cleaned festive clothes were lying around for a long time. Mom had told me to pack them in the bag and arrange all the stuff that I shop every week. I have been delaying it. As the 4 anarkali suits and one sari was neatly placed in the bag, I felt a heaviness that I haven't experienced before. 3 months are all I have in this house, this city.. At evening, when I went to the Ganesh pandal, I had goosebumps on seeing the large idol. There is a long association of 22 years. When I was barely a year old, the Ganesh idol would be placed right behind our house. In the coming years, it shifted to the large ground. Today as I had  eyeful of the elephant God, I was teary. Why are good byes so difficult? Would I ever get to see my beloved idol again? It is a stupid question to ask because God is where faith is. But do the bonds of memories untangle so easily?

     
       

Saturday, 5 July 2014

To Grandma, with love

              It is no news that I m a foodie. The sight of food makes me happy. Hot fried chicken, the layered and spicy dum biryani, mouth-watering chicken tandoori, the gooey dark chocolate cake, the list of my cravings is endless. But if I had to name my favorite, it would  be my grandma's cooking. Nothing in the world compares to her cooking.

              Nani has only one goal in life- To feed everyone. You can never go empty-stomach from her house. Eating is my passion and serving is hers. Having spent my childhood with her, I have relished her cooking. If there is food I dream of, it is her delicacies!

             I miss dal made by her. It was an everyday treat. The hot simmering of mustard, the aroma of curry leaves, the sound of her pouring the dal to the masala would make my stomach grumble. The tomatoes, the chillies, the salt, everything in the dal make a delightful flavor that arouses the taste buds. Hot dal garnished with coriander and white rice were what I lived on.
             When I was a kid, my parents had taken me to Mangalore for holidays. The boiled rice and curry were unknown to me. I despised them. I longed to go back to Nani. I starved myself and ate only bananas. The moment I came back, I rushed to Nani and told her I want dal rice made by her. After days I had eaten a proper meal!

            I miss the Sundays when she would make soft, fluffy idlis and crisp dosas and spicy green coconut chutney. Sunday mornings, she would send it through grandpa and I would wake up the treat of idlis and dosas.
           
           Rainy evenings, she would set to make onion and potato pakoras. She would sometimes make sweet potato pakoras too. The fried, warmth of the pakoras which ginger tea would be a perfect combo with the chill in the air.

          The savory mutton curry that she made on rare occasions makes me drool every time I think of it. The rich red colour of the curry  would have me salivating. The small cut, fresh tender meat would be cooked to perfection and the zesty curry would be heaven for my gastric pleasures. She would call me everytime she made mutton curry and I would dunk fresh bread in the curry and enjoy my meal.

         I miss the fresh lime juice that she would make for me. The salty and sweet fluid would tingle my senses and  make me want more of it. She always made it in excess for me. Some evenings she would make beetroot halwa. The sweet dish was a rarity because she had a belief that sweet caused stomach ache. Her halwa was to die for! Lavish gajar halwa would be made only in winter. Lot of ghee, khoya would make it deliciously fattening and filling. The orange colored halwa with dry fruits in it would be enticing!

        Ever since grandma moved to Mangalore, my indulgences have been limited to the visits there. Age has also made grandma slower and less active to cook like before. I miss her food. I miss her.

        Grandma always paid attention to how she served the food. No broken idli or torn dosa would make it to the plate. She gave importance to the crockery used and made food look even more appetizing. Perhaps only the best of the crockery can give her cooking an even more beautiful look. A look at BOROSIL variety was all I needed to be reminded of Grandma's cooking. How she would love to serve in those beautiful dishes and bowls!
       Next time I visit, I m taking some of those crockery to her. To Grandma, with love.

This post is written for My beautiful food contest held by Indiblogger and Borosil

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