Category Archives: Yaaron Dosti et all

Forever etched in my heart – Day 1/30

When I started blogging, I did it because I wanted to record my life. For sometime I did it pretty religiously too. But somewhere down the line I realised that while I can crib about my life, make fun of myself and the ones I love, write a couple of senti letters – I find it difficult to write about the little moments that fill my heart.

The first time I stopped blogging was when the elf was born – I never found the words rather I didn’t want to find the words to express what I feel for him. It was a private moment to be savoured by me and that was recorded in my heart forever.

When Swathi forced, I mean suggested that we do a blogathon, my first thought was to write about the amazing Diwali I had – the warmth of friends and family, the pang of missing some family, the traditions I was passing on to my son, the joy of cooking favourite foods of family and friends, the fun of dressing up and all the gratefulness I feel for everything. 

But like always I don’t find the words to do it justice.

Just a heart which feels all warm and loved. For everything I dislike about organised religion, I love how it still binds us irrespective of our beliefs. So I am grateful for that and glad we persist in some traditions.h

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Y is for yesterday

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I climbed a wall and cried at the top of it because I was too scared to jump off.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I cried because I was to leave a girls school and join a co-ed Coz I didn’t like boys.

Didn’t I just realise yesterday that boys make amazing friends too. 

And has it really been almost 20 years since I passed out of school and since I saw Port Blair !

Wasn’t I Just the nervous island return girl joining a college in Mumbai.

Has it really been 14 years since I first went to B school and met the Tall one and a lot of friends I have made for a lifetime?

Good lord , I started working 12 years ago.

Hello, wasn’t it just yesterday that the Tall one and I lived the dink life – back to back movies, late nights and not a care in the world

And the elf he was definitely born yesterday. Why does he keep claiming to be 4!
AAaah I guess this is being middle aged? I feel so old and yet I feel young. I don’t think I am old enough to be called middle aged. I am a bit apprehensive too. What’s next ? Will I have as many great memories of the rest of my life or will I bemoan yesterday. Will there be no excitement? Will I become a better version of me or will I just stagnate and remain who I am now. 

But like I said in the Q is for post – que Sara Sara – what will be, will be. But I owe it to me to live it up, don’t I?

This is my entry for Y as part of the April atoz challenge 

P is for Postcards from Port Blair

I am totally going to cheat on this post. For most of you Port Blair is a travel destination, for me and for a lot of us who grew up there – Port Blair is a feeling. Last evening as i sat down to write about this place, the words felt inadequate. How do i put to words the place I was happiest in – an innocent carefree life. How do I describe the place I don’t want to go back to because I fear the memory is more beautiful than the reality. It’s the place i most want to take the Tall One and the Elf to but i dont want to because i feel they wont see it with my biased eyes

I posed this question to my “chaddi buddies” who grew up with me in this idyllic islands and got them to write about living in Port Blair. What amazed me is that each of our memories and thoughts are so similar. Some of us grew up there, some of us (like me) were there for a couple of years, some still called it home (where their parents still are) but we all felt the magic. The magic was in its simplicity, in its beauty and its purity. Bear with the post as 66% of my chaddi buddies recount our wonder years.

This is what Gi my friend of the lemonade fame had to say:

Growing up in Port Blair was fun. Everydat was a picnic -the kind you read in Enid Blyton books. We could see the sea from everywhere. We could go on boat rides whenever we wanted to, have a mid night picnic in the middle of the sea on a full moon night, go swimming and snorkeling. I still miss the smell of the sea and the feel of the sand under my feet, even though its been half a decade since I went back there. I would like to say that apart from all the good things, I personally saw pretty rough times too and Port Blair was my refuge from the world.

A few of us had been living in Port Blair since we were very little and left it when we grew up and a few us came and went with Parents postings. There was a magic bond that was created and I think it was because of the place, the sheer simplicity of it. I can say this for all of us that we would all like to go back there together and experience that again.

And this is what my other friend P had to say:

They called her a junglee – a quiet shy girl, full of dreams and ambitions. She geew from being a little girl, to a a teenager and a young adult on these beautiful.From the shores of the sea to the middle of forests a life which seems like something right out of the jungle book.

Carefree and happy full of memories- Running to catch a seat in the bus to get to the ferry, watching the sun rise and set each day along the horizon,the shimmers of the waves still catch her eyes and remind her of many picnics and outings movies and birthdays with her favorite bunch of the buddies -people she has known for most of her life…

PortBlair will always remain part of her no matter were she is or were she goes…

There is Reshmi from mum in the curry fame – she looks back nostalgically to the place which she still calls home (this was by far the toughest post to edit, i do hope she features the whole post on her blog someday

Living in a country  (US) where I did  not grow up but moved for education and job, I have often been asked ‘Where are you originally from?” Since my answer is not the simplest and the place not the easiest to know or locate, I i usually pull up a map to show. The reaction I get from people when I show them the speckles in a vast ocean on a map, never ceases to amuse me, followed by the ‘What’s the place called again?”

As much as I love telling people about my home, it’s the next question from them (which almost always follows the first) that trumps me. “Why in the world would you leave such a beautiful place to come HERE?”
However pragmatic my answer  sounds about a better life and job and all that jazz, truth is I ask myself that question more often that I have been asked by someone else.
How can you not love a place so beautiful! The only image that conjures in my mind when someone says HOME is that of a small town, views of the sea from every where, hills, clear skies (of course when its not pouring!), fresh air…I can go on. This is the place I spent 18 years of my life. Place that taught me the charm of small communities and simple living; the value of finding small joys in mundane things (getting drenched in the rain while walking back from school in spite of that umbrella in the bag!); where I made friendships that have lasted for so long that I don’t remember how long. Where I met the love of my life. Where my parents still are, where some of the people I value the most still live. The place that shaped my profession. The place that I would go back in a heartbeat (but then life’s reality blah blah blah).
Port Blair is also the place that I also miss the most. My husband thinks it’s only a matter of years that this love will give away to a mere memorable affection, and I fight him for that unwanted opinion. It is true that I may have chose to ignore the fact that the place and times have changed. Things may not be the same. But my Port Blair will always be what I remember from when I left. Port Blair may have moved on without me, but I will remain in denial that it has. And that is the reason why every time the sky becomes over cast, I remember home.Any time I hear the rain lashing out in the night and pounding my windows, I close my eyes and pretend I am home, lying on my bed, and falling asleep to the sound of the rain.
This is what my friend – “Ginny” had to say
It is and always has been about the people. Port Blair to me was my friends, family,and neighbors. These people shaped my experiences of the town, and my childhood.With my family I explored most of what the island had to offer- hikes, boat trips, snorkeling and swimming on some of the most remote islands. My neighbors were the playmates during the scheduled power cuts in the evenings, and companions on various picnics that our mums organized. But, it was my friends who made Port Blair come alive for me.

It was with and through them that I appreciated what it had to offer. Not, just the beauty, but a sense of community and self. Even though we were thousands of miles away from everything, I belonged. We were behind the times, but it didn’t feel like that because my friends (the chaddi buddies you’ve heard about before) were way ahead of the times. With our fabulous sense of fashion and selves, we had a blast in what could often be a sleepy town. Countless hours were spent on the phone (we used them to talk to each other, I know…how ancient!), and then countless more at school and tuitions.

As with most things, our collective time on the island came to an end. We dispersed off to corners of the mainland, and some left the country. It was then that I realized,going back to Port Blair was nice, because it had been home, but it was only fun and real when my friends were around.

So, to me Port Blair is a state of mind, and thanks to my friends and our whatsapp group, I’m there each and everyday soaking in the sunshine, feeling the spray of salt on my skin and swimming with the dolphins.
This is part of the blogathon for April and this is my blog spot for P

N is for Namma Bengaluru

Childhood memories of playing with this great group of kids, running into the church compound, playing endless games of hide and seeks and innumerable board games. The grannies pampering me, lots of visits to relatives and the one hundred thousand times I have walked on commercial street tugging at my mom’s elbow for fountain Pepsi – a novelty in those days.

I didn’t know if the weather was good – I came from the islands of andamans I should have felt it, I know but it didn’t matter. Bengaluru was always home. Where I went every summer holiday!

Then came 2005 – when I moved to Bangalore to work. Crazy work routine, horrible and rude auto drivers (yes it’s up there in the complaints department), demanding bosses, childhood friends moving away left me with not much company other than the mater and the boyfriend (now husband) I had no friends of my own – nothing.

And truth be told, as much as leaving my family behind sucked, I was happy to move to Mumbai – my land of freedom and friends. My land of beautiful rains, my land of college and B school memories. The place my heart would always belong. Even now writing about Mumbai makes me nostalgically think of my favourite marine drive.

But Mumbai with a kid made my heart hurt a little. My kid had no place to run around, we were always in traffic, the schools sucked with their tiny buildings and lack of playgrounds, moving between schools and daycare seemed like a logistical nightmare. I had such a heavy heart while searching for schools there.

And then the Tall one got a job which could bring him here back to Namma Bengaluru. We jumped at the opportunity. I was sure it was a great move for the Elf.

It was not as exciting as moving to an absolutely new city but we were moving to a part of Bengaluru I didn’t know at all. And had no childhood associations with. Mostly I was worried about feeling like I did in 2005.

But Bengaluru has amazed me. Yes, the elf has everything I wanted for him growing up. But what I am amazed at is how much Bangalore has given me. I get to see my grannies more for sure and when the rest of the family is here, I get more time with them. The weather (not counting the last 2 months of absolute torture) makes me feel so energetic and great which is truly an achievement for an intrinsically lazy person like me. The Tall one is less worn out, we have more space, I have a bunch of stay at home Mummy friends who are intelligent and fun. I know I can do so much more with my life here than I ever could in Mumbai.

But mostly I am at peace. Something we don’t value enough.

Thank you Bengaluru for everything.

Maybe this is what coming home is all about!

This is my entry for N for the April AtoZ challenge and yay I finally introduce a category called namma Bengaluru to my list

J Is for Jaipur and Jabbering

Now before you think that this is about me because of the word jabber involved in the post you are wrong.

I do not talk much.

It’s about 4 ladies ….

It took an instant for 4 ladies to decide that they needed to take a trip together.

It took them an instant to a create a foolproof way of ensuring that planning for the trip can commence -Of course there was a “Girls just wanna have fun” WhatsApp group made – I mean is it even possible to plan a trip or dinner without a WhatsApp group anymore.

It took them a lot of deliberations and intense scrutiny of their social and work calendars to work out an ideal “DAY” for this trip.

A lot more discussion and after let’s do Goa being constantly recommended by some crazy individual – the city of Jaipur was deemed suitable.

And if you thought that was a lot of discussion for a one day trip – well you should have seen these ladies on the trip. Some of them started talking at 6 am and finished talking at 4 am, the next day. No exaggeration.

The ladies throats thanked the God above that this was a one day trip. And as proof that God always helps the needy, the ladies went in for a spa in individual rooms, that allowed the poor throats a one hour respite

But wait have I been saying ladies – ha! Not really ladies, they haven’t truly evolved into ladies of today. Much like the chimpanzee who almost looks human but doesn’t have a thumb.

Just imagine they lack basic survival skills required to be a lady in today’s day and age.

They have zero selfie taking skills.

Uselessness in this skill should be reason enough to kick them back to 1995. You know the time when your phone was a stationary phone that didn’t click photos!

All they did was laugh at themselves and others In their selfies.

Oh look you don’t have a neck. You look like a floating head

Wait you both look like you share a body. Like the 2 headed creature from Harry Potter.

My hair is looking electrocuted.

Your head is occupying three fourths of the photo.

My double chin has given birth to triplets.

Someone needs to press the click button. Oh wait that makes your arm cover us all up .
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U get the drift right. I mean think about it an absolute inability to pose or click selfies. And worse still there was no check in post about a fun trip with the girlies and no immediate upload of the 3 selfies that didn’t make them look like Martians on earth.

One of them might have been slightly higher on the evolution chain and reluctantly suggested that maybe we should upload a couple of snaps onto Facebook. Imagine 9 hours after the trip ended.

Selfies apart. The trip was a detox – away from the daily grind, we discussed it all. Opinions advice, laughs, husbands, kids, careers – we talked and talked and talked. We had planned to visit a couple of places instead we talked.

And it didn’t seem enough.

Oh wait since this is about jabbering and I am not really not that talkative – this post is not about me . It’s about 4 half evolved ladies

Any recommendations for this throat pain I have?

since I *may* or may not have been part of these jabbering Jaipur day trip ladies. ( pause for pink panther suspense music) I didn’t really have time to post last night.

This is part of the April AtoZ challenge and this is my entry for J

G is for girlfriends and G is for Gi !

I have been secretly very pleased that today was the G day because i was meeting my bachpan ka dost “Gi” today. Gi is a silent reader of my blog so everyone wave to her now.

For the record Gi is inspiring – life gave her lemons, and at the moment she is making lemonade, sure she complains about the occasional lemon but on the whole, she is a very cheerful lemonade maker and I know for a fact (and I know she doesn’t believe it) that her lemonade is eventually going to be Michelin star worthy.

Gi I am documenting this here so that I can tell you told you so someday.

But the story of her lemons and lemonade is hers to tell, let me tell you about us.

Us would totally be incomplete without the addition of 5 other lead characters from school – we call ourselves Chaddi buddies which when very very loosely translated into English is “Girlfriends” which again is what G is for.

During our school days, we were never a mob of 7 friends who walked around together like you see in the movies. Though now that I think about it that would have been totally cool. We would have looked the part in our cringeworthy clothes of the 1990’s. The ones we will never ever put up on Facebook!

I have to admit though that even in bunches of 2-3 we were quite scary. Against the quiet conservative landscape of Port Blair, we were the girls laughing away while we troubled others.

But no we were not a mob, we each had individual relationships with each other, at various points of time – the degree of “closeness varied’ but when we came together in 2012 to create Chaddi buddies on whatsapp – we all just fit. We were just right!

We started off exactly where we left off some 15 odd years ago. Recounting old jokes and incidents, discussing old crushes, gossiping about our classmates – but we started building on our friendship – husbands and kids were introduced, recipes and ambitions were discussed, advice and threats were pelted out.

I know for a fact one of the main reason I didn’t suffer from Post partum depression was these ladies – there was always someone to talk to, or laugh with, always demanding a baby pic (thanks to which I have pics of almost every day of the elfs first year – at that time I have to admit I was pained but now i am grateful for the memories)

Our relationship with each other is easy – there are no demands and no expectations. These ladies are my backbone; their babies are mine, their lives are part of my story, we have each others back, we might chat a little less now but we still chat everyday. Everyday since 1st Jun 2012.

We know we are friends for a lifetime .

Mini reunions have happened and all we now wait for is that big bad big reunion.

Someday we will be a mob of 7 women walking around – you and you and you be scared!

The blog is part of the April A toZ challenge

C is for Cinderella and chatter boxes

Ever imagine what it is like to be Cinderella – you know just when the prince comes to kiss you, the clock strikes 12.

Well every evening I feel like Cinderella except there is no prince or kiss, and there is no clock either. Just the complaining voice of a 4 year old.

So I have these bunch of friends whose kids are 3-4 years elder than mine, so their kids play independently and They get to hang around and play. I also have friends who my kid plays with and with either set of friends just when the conversation gets interesting my kid wants to go to the loo or change his place of playing or go home and so on .

And much like Cinderella I sadly have to leave. No kiss nothing.

But then again I am a genius and a chatterbox. And I have been dying to have a nice heart to heart conversation with someone whose age is not in single digits . So 2 of us took our kids to funky monkey – where the kids played for 1.5 hours without interruptions. After that we gave them lunch but we weren’t done yet and the kids seemed to have evolved some game outside the play area . So we let them be – ignored them, ignored the looks we may or may not have got from other folks around and talked for another 1.5 hours .

With the travel time; we had actually managed close to 4.5 hours of talk time with barely any interruptions from our kids!!!

Talk about bliss!

This is part of the April Atozchallenge