Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A nice day for me friends. Our system at work was down this morning. So some of us decided to go to an Indian Buffet for lunch.  They had a mouth watering spread. Full stomachs made for a lethargic afternoon. Went to a nearby temple with a friend to read hanuman chalisa. A well attended event. Happens every Tuesdays I am told. Got a ladoo as prasad. Not bad for a Tuesday night. Just relaxing now.

Remember that Jerry Seinfeld episode about Nothing? If not, watch the clip above. It was THE most hilarious episode of the series. With nothing they come up with something. Since, I can't think of anything to write about today, I am going to write about Nothing. Yes! Nothing! I always think to myself, what if there was nothing in this world. How would that be? Nothing as in, no air, no water, no humans, no animals, nothing! Well, there should be something for there to be nothing right? So here's the question: if originally, gazillions of years ago there was absolutely nothing, wouldn't there be absolutely nothing now?
Yes. For something no matter how small cannot come from absolutely nothing. We would still have absolutely nothing.What does that tell us? That absolutely nothing never existed. Why? Because, if absolutely nothing ever existed, there would still be absolutely nothing! But yet we exist, air exists etc etc. This proves that there must have been something at some point in time for the world to exist today. Million dollar question is what was that something? Confused? Join the club!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mind over matter

A wet and adventurous weekend folks! The hurricane Irene came and went. We did not feel it. It mostly hit the coastal areas. Caught up with some movies that I had missed. When I thought I had had enough of movies, I decided to go to the salon to  get some highlights in my hair. What a disaster! Picked an orangish brown color, which I thought would create wonders. Looked exactly like what I had thought when I was at the salon. Sunday morning when I looked in the mirror, I screamed. I could not recognise myself. I was in tears. It was so light. I looked old. My kids started teasing me. So I went back to the salon hoping they could fix it. They tried. The results are not satisfactory. Not much change from my original color. The only consolation is, the funny orange color is gone. Hey, experimenting is allowed correct?

I have noticed that every time I start a diet and an exercise program, the only thing on my mind is food. Specially, I start craving for all the junk food. It's all about will power. Mind over matter. I know diet does not mean starving. It means eating healthy and in smaller portions. However, my mind automatically thinks diet means depriving myself of good food. The thought is so depressing. One thing I have learnt is calorie counting. So, if I can burn more, I can eat more. I finally joined a gym today. Makes me so happy. My first step towards success. Yes, my goal is to lose weight and tone up. However, my ultimate goal is more than that. It is about discipline. I want to see if I have the will power to achieve what I want. When I know that I am overeating, I have to be able to say "no" to my favorite food, if it is in front of me. That day I will feel like indeed my mind is over matter. I know, some of you might be thinking, why go through this exercise. It's like punishing myself. If Anna Hazare can fast for 12 days straight, why can't I? It's a small test for my will power.  Not sure if I will succeed. I won't be sad if I fail, but at least I will know that I tried.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Skin color matters

Good afternoon friends. Choosing the afternoon to write today. Apple company will no longer be the same. No jobs to do his job. No difference to me personally. I don't own any Apple products. Feeling very tired and feverish today. Hubby is out of town. Having a rough time managing  the household.  Just when we thought we were done with natural disasters in this area, we are now having a hurricane alert for the weekend. Otherwise just going about my routine.

Oh yes! Skin color matters! A lot! Is black indeed beautiful?  Not for most Indians. The Indian obsession with fairness is very apparent. Otherwise why would there be a steady growth in business of fairness cream makers? I am in that pool too. To me fair skin is very attractive.This fixation about lighter colored skin might be because I was born and brought up in a konkani family. Most konkanis have fair skin. Our entertainment Industry is also a big promoter of fair skin. Models and actors are have mostly fair skinned. Skin color discrimination is a big social problem in India. A darker complexion is a disadvantage in the matrimonial market. The matrimonial columns are flooded with advertisements asking for a fair spouse. I think it is natural. Fair complexion attracts.Fairness covers ugliness to some extent.Though fair complexion and beauty are different things people are generally attracted by fair complexion. I think people who say that color does not matter are lying. Why is Katrina Kaif #1 actress today?  Not for her acting skills. All credit to her "malaai" like complexion folks!  I am sure you have noticed how people stare at white and black couple. White people attract more attention.  So then, is there hope for a dark skinned person to get a lighter skin. The answer is -  No! I  have tried most of these so called fairness creams. They are ineffective. Some good hard earned money down the drain. All of us know that skin color is determined by the substance called melanin. There are some things we should learn to accept in our lives. Skin color is one of them. It's god given.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Suicide- Is it really a solution?

What a day folks! Experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake here in Virginia. It was the scariest minute. I work on the third floor of our building. the whole floor shook. It felt like the building was falling. But amazingly nothing fell on the floor. Everything was in tact. We have some electrical work that people are doing on the second floor. At first I thought that it could be them using some kind of innovative machine to drill a big hole or something. But then, I felt like the building was rotating. Had to be an earthquake! We survived...

I know. Not a "fun" topic to discuss. The earthquake today got me thinking. We face so many near to death experiences in life. We take so many things for granted. We never realise  that death can occur anytime, anywhere and anyhow. For the most part it is not under our control. My ex boss used to say "when the BIG guy wants you, he takes you". Really, there is no use worrying about it now and spoiling the present. I understand that. Suicide is one form of death that I fail to understand. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem most of the times. Yet, so many people commit suicide. Almost everyday, there is one news article related to suicide in any given newspaper. These days I am noticing that youngsters as early as in their teens are committing suicide. What makes people take the drastic step of suicide? What is their mindset? Is that the only solution they see at that point? The answer must be "yes". But the more I read about suicide, I feel if the person waits for sometime when the feeling of ending their life comes to their mind and does not act hastily, the feeling will go away. Most suicides are committed momentarily. Like they say jokingly- people who keep talking about how they will commit suicide never really do. It has some truth to it. It it not always lack of money or basic necessities that drive people to commit suicide. How else would you explain so many celebrities committing suicide. The beautiful Parveen Babi for example. What was she lacking? She was successful, pretty, in love with Kabir Bedi, even Amitab they say.. any woman's dream life. Went on to be so depressed  that she finally ended her life and nobody even came to claim her body for sometime. This is scary. It can happen to anyone. I think suicide is just the easy way out and not the solution. Let's hope we don't get to hear about these things so often.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What is happiness?

Weekend ho to aisa doston! It was a fun filled weekend spent with great friends doing  uhhh, umm well..., what friends do best. Hangout!  Friday evening I checked out a platinum rated gym in the area. It had everything under the sun to offer. I am still not sure if that's the gym for me. Saturday morning enjoyed Rohit's football game. His team won. Later in the evening met with the immediate circle of friends and celebrated a close friend's 40th surprise birthday party. It was nice to see the look on her face. She was surprised alright! Sunday was another beautiful day.  Attended an exclusive summer picnic. Exclusive because it was picnic only for the local konkanis. You bet! we talked, talked, talked and ate and played. And of course found relatives!!!  he he..

So, everyone has a routine and they are busy with that. But for me this is not satisfactory. So, the minute I have 10-15 minutes with a person, I tend to ask them about their routine and find out how they keep themselves happy and content. I hope that I find an answer in the process. I found that happiness means different for different people. Some people can be content by just having a routine. I found that there are more people in this category. All these years, I think, I was confused between happiness and pleasure. I thought that they were one and the same. Every time I got something that I did not have, I would be happy. Every time I crossed a milestone, I would be happy. Now that I have been there and done it, and I am in my mid life period, I realised that this was all momentary and I was confusing happiness with pleasure. Everyone wants to be happy. So then what is happiness? Aah! a tough question. Happiness is to be born form the inside.  From the working of our own minds. Training our mind to always be in a state of happiness, is really hard to achieve but not impossible. A good friend once told me to accept everything that happens as God's wish and see how life becomes so simple. Yeah right! At that moment I thought, this is easier said than done. Someone else said,  actually, happiness and unhappiness are 2 sides of the same coin.  It is not really happiness that we should seek. We should try to avoid unhappiness. If one can stop desiring, if one can take life as it comes, then only one can be free of unhappiness. Complex theories. Nevertheless, worth a shot. What say? 

Happiness is like a RADIO Station,
Broadcasting all the time..
YOU just have to learn
how to tune it &
receive your favourite channel…

Friday, August 19, 2011

Brand new yard is here!

Hi friends, allz well here. I was busy with the yard last couple of days. Other than that nothing exciting to write about. Looks like Burger King has beheaded it's Mascot. Never cared for their food anyway. McDonald's will always be my choice. It's a family thing you know. Busy weekend ahead folks. I am loving it.

Finally, finally! The wait is over. All the drooling has stopped. Thank god! I am so..ooo excited. Yep, that's our front yard now! All MY planning folks. Hope all of you appreciate it as much as I do. Turned out to be slightly more expensive than I thought. The gorgeous stones were the culprits. But the end result is totally satisfactory and so..ooo worth it. As you can see, I have not planted many annuals. Did not want to waste money on them as the season is almost over. 90% of the plants are perennials. I have hibiscus, forsythia, hydrangea, gardenia, hostas, begonia, lilies, geraniums, dianthus and some other bushes that I do not know the names off. The circle in the middle is my all time favorite. I have planted roses there. Under the tree I have planted red clematis.  Under the lamp post I have the pink variety.  I can't wait to see all the flowers in full bloom. The golden yellow forsythia will stand bright against the green leafy background. The red and pink roses will be contrast to the yellow forsythia and the bluish purple hydrangea will add the perfect touch to offset the bright yellow and red.. For the past couple of days I have spent more than an hour in my yard. I enjoy pouring water to these lovely plants. I am so happy to have this paradise on earth. That is what I call my little customized yard. The smell of top soil and mulch, the beautiful butterflies, the different colors and sounds. Oh my! so intoxicating. Can't get enough of it. Gardening is so therapeutic folks. Everyone should have one. Oh, I can't brag enough! All that is lacking is a beautiful fountain. I have my eye on a gorgeous one in the store. I will wait for it to go on sale at the end of summer. Hopefully it will still be available. Pray for it to be folks. I have already planned for some marigolds and bulbs for next year. I also plan to buy a bird feed and wind chimes. I will  have to wait till next summer to see the yard in it's full glory. They say "inthezaar ka phal mitha hota hai". So till next year.... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cherries for pain relief

Hellllllo doston! Anna Hazare in jail in spite of strong support. When will this end? Had an alright day. Got a call from a friend reminding me that it's garba season soon. That was the highlight of today. Already deciding on what I should wear. Met with a landscape person. Discussed some ideas. He is starting work tomorrow. Picked up some plants for the garden. Cooked Palak Baingan for dinner. Yummy!

The reddish black fruits taste and look so different when fresh. I had only tasted the syruped version of this fruit back in India. Yes, these are cherries. Someone told me that these fruits can help ease pain. Since my ankle is not improving, I thought I might try it. I made a special trip to the grocery store to buy these beauties. Cherries are on sale these days. They are both juicy and fleshy. They taste somewhat like plums but are firmer. Makes for a good healthy snack. As a child I used to hope that the cherry topping on the cake would always be mine. In India, bakeries were very "kanjoose" with cherries. One per cake. Luckily no one in my family like cherries. So, I made up for all of my craving here in the US. I don't feel deprived anymore. I don't like anything else made with cherries. Cherry pies, Cherry cobbler, Cherry cheesecake, Cherry tarts etc. All these have the 'katta" taste. Spoils the dessert. Did you know, they even have cherry coke these days? Would love to go cherry picking sometime. I am sure someone in the world is planning to name a product after this fruit. Cherry phone anybody?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Paint Ball - a new experience

Happy Independence day blog dosts! No more Yahooooo! Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor got independence from life a day before the actual Independence day of India. I was sad to hear that... Sunday again. Had a good weekend. Woke up Friday morning with pain in ankle. Couldn't even walk. So stayed home and went to the Doc. Turned out it was only a sprain. Ate some pain killers and felt a lot better by evening. Went to couple of my friends houses for Varamahalaxmi pooja. Had a lot of fun. Sat. I woke up very late. Good rest. Watched Dhobi Ghat. Loved the movie! I am really falling in love with Aamir-Kiran couple. They are made for each other in my opinion. Ate some good Chinese food for dinner. Sunday, we decided to go for a family outing. The boys always wanted to go paint balling. It was a boyz day out. I tagged along.
If you want to keep your active kids (mostly boys) busy, paintball is the game for your family. This is epic! whoever came up with this, has gone inside a teenage boys mind to understand how it has been wired. Genius! Anyway, we set out at around 9 AM. It was a place called Pev's paintball in Aldie, VA.  About 30 mints. from our house. Got ourselves registered. Even tough I was only a spectator, I had to register and sign a waiver. The boyz  put on the gear that they provided. Pic. (1). Cool right? The boys were very excited.

 Pic. (1)

                                                                          Pic (2)

Pic (3)
Pic. (4)
We then went to the grounds were the boys took position. They had many barriers of different shapes behind which the players could hide. Innovative to say the least. Logs, rocks, houses, sheds etc. Pic. (2). & Pic (3). They split into two parties. The set up was that which resembled a war zone. The gun has bullets which is actually a small ball filled with paint. Pic. (4). The opponents aim and shoot. The kids said that they felt a slight sting when they were hit by the ball. It kept them busy for 4 hours straight. Hubby played too. Of course, I was bored out of my wits after round one. But I decided to stay put and pretend to enjoy the game to keep the spirits high. Sigh! It's at times like this that I feel I wish I had a daughter. We picked up subway sandwiches on the way home. A nice family day out. I called the next family outing. Shopping! Silence prevailed.... :(

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forgotten sports

Hello! what's new guys? Badminton is new. I played it today with a friend. I am afraid I might have sprained my ankle. I was so full of "josh" when I started. In my hurry to take the shot that was close to the net, I tripped. But that did not stop me from enjoying the game for a hour and half or so. Was dripping with sweat. So many desi's come there to play. Good place for making some like minded friends. We plan to do it at least once a week. I am loving it.

Kids playing outside was a common scene that we got to see during our times.The present day race for academic excellence has reduced the importance of a basic ingredient of the human life. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Isn't it? The games we played as kids were so different than the one kids play these days.

 As a teenager, I played Hide and seek, Throw Ball, Lagori, Kho Kho, Gilli Danda, Dog and the bone and French cricket . French cricket was my favorite. I was not good at it. But it was a popular sport in those days. I don't see kids playing these games anymore. I think it's forgotten. "Cricket ka bhooth jo chada hai". All these games did not need any training as such. Anybody could play as they were not expensive games. It could be played on open grounds. All that is needed are players. They were all team games. I think this helps in the personal development of an individual. I had never played Badminton. Today was my first attempt. I thought for my first time, I was not bad. I had a total body workout when having fun. Great combination. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kids can be friends too!

Proud day for me. My blog reads 2011! Yet again it was my best friend Sharda who clicked on my blog to take the number to 2000. Thanks folks for all your encouragement. Seems like a black cloud is following me these days. I got my first speeding ticket. I was going 44 on a 30. Got to go to court now. Oh! it's a new experience. Thinking positive here. Had a long chat with Sharda. It lasted 3 hours long. So much fun going down memory lane. Laughed a lot after so many days.

Today I went for my evening walk with my older son Sanil. It was so nice. This kid can actually carry on a conversation like an adult. I was so surprised. He was discussing his future plans with me. Told me about his dreams in life. It was amazing how he opened up. I think just being outside the house in a stress free environment helped him. I was not judging him for once. Neither was I in a hurry. I had the time for him and only him. I was attentively listening and encouraging his questions. He seemed to be enjoying it too. We talked about my childhood and what I used to do when I was his age. He was really surprised how it was so different then. I told him about my friends and the outdoor games we would play together. He did not think it was cool at all. His eyes popped out of his head when I told him about the luxurious life I led back in India. He could not believe it that we had 2 servants. (Not something to be proud of, I know). I was enjoying the conversation too. I asked him if he will ride the bike with me. He agreed. I was thrilled but did not show it. I decided to take him to the park. So there we were, on swings, swinging, chatting and giggling. Just being silly. Letting go of all rules.  He felt like an adult and I felt young. Perfect!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A day at the beach - Sweet poem!?

Hello friends!!! Just when I was giving up on friends, I got a call from an old friend this morning. We talked for an hour about nothing. Cheered me up so much. Since then it has been a nice day. Very tired tough. It's amazing how much a little TLC from friends can do your mood. My long time dream of writing and publishing a poem is coming true!! Wow! So far, I have written one poem in my life on my first crush. I still have it. I have never published it. This is my first attempt after that. So please excuse me, if it's at a very elementary level. Sharing....
A day at the Beach

On a breezy evening along the beach
Hand in hand with my little peach
In his childish way he has a lot to teach
Oh, so caught up with his innocent speech
A beautiful moment that ought to come to a screech

The setting sun so orange and bright
Feel so tempted to take a mighty bite
The round shape making such a beautiful sight
The rays so friendly sadly going down with the night
Please come back in the morning and save us from this plight

Mountain like waves comes rolling down
Making the sea look like a king wearing a crown
Splashing salty water making one frown
People hoping that they won’t drown
Thankful that they are away from town

The sand such a perfect mixture to build a castle
My son plowing at it with his hands so little
Hoping that no one ever comes close to hustle
Was looking like a young and ambitious Aristotle
Embracing every moment away from the hustle and bustle

Balloon and Ice-cream vendors ringing the bell
Making it impossible to resist as hell
Flying and eating together we gel
When can we do this again we dwell
Very soon we scream and yell

My very first published poem I spell
Oh well, Oh well, Oh well, Oh well!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

My biggest fear

Oh no folks! I have that sinking feeling again.It's Sunday evening. I am convinced that there are fewer hours in a day on weekends.:)  I had a good weekend. I would rate it 7/10. Didn't do much on Fri. Sat. we went for the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I was entertained. Freida Pinto had a role that was forgetful. Just came back from a friendship day celebration with some friends. Talked about fun stuff. But now having Monday blues.

Realisations! They are coming at full speed to me these days. Today I realised what my biggest fear is. It is the fear of being alone. Although, I love to have my solitude at times, being alone for a long period of time is scary. It is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected, and/or alienated from other people. It affects the mood tremendously. So what does a person do in such situations? I wish there was a magic pill that would wipe off loneliness. Since there isn't one, I think, one should get occupied with hobbies, friends, work etc. I think at any point in time there should be a goal in life. Pursuing that goal can be very fulfilling. Man is a social animal. So, getting involved with people is a big help. Gaining their love and support is a great way of healing. We all need to feel like we have a place in this world, that we matter to another living soul. Another way, I think (which I am planning to start soon) is to volunteer time. Get involved and contribute to someone else's life. It will bring some sort of a satisfaction to your frozen life. One song by Michael Jackson comes to mind "we are the world, we are the people, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving...

Friday, August 05, 2011

My most embarrassing moment

It's my favorite time of the day again when I can be with the world by myself! It's Friday and I am at home with family. All the 4 of us are doing different things that interest us. Just being ourselves. We call it "quiet time". It's very important for each and every one to have this space in any given day. A 11 year friendship was destroyed today. The other person decided she had had enough of me. -:( She said it was stressful to be around me. I really wish her a stress free life. Bad days for me I guess. Hey, if Slaman Khan and Shahrukh Khan can  move on even after being in the limelight constantly written and talked about - tho phir hum kya cheez hai? Correct? Can't do anything about it. Got to move on... *********************************************************************
Sure, I have been embarrassed more than once in my life. But my most embarrassing moment was when I was trying to impress a friend that I wanted to meet so badly and we were meeting after a span of almost 15 years. So here I was trying to look my best. After thinking about what to wear for almost 3 months (yes!) I finally settled to wear a blue denim skirt and a beautiful ink blue colored blouse. I painted my nails blue (I know, what was I thinking?). Wore steel grey heels. Finished putting on what I thought was perfect makeup and then the final touch - sprayed my favorite Clinique happy perfume. One last look in the mirror. Perfect! 10/10 in my opinion. Walked out the door. So happy that we were finally meeting. To make the first meeting as casual as possible, I thought I will buy some Starbucks coffee on the way. We were meeting in a lobby. So Starbucks in hand I nervously walk towards the lobby. I see my friend through the revolving glass doors. Excitement knew no bounds. My friend was now staring at me. In my hurry to meet, I just walked into the revolving doors. My forehead hit the glass so hard. I was in pain. The hot coffee spilt all over me. I was a mess! My friend came running up to me, to help. I now smelt like coffee (so much for Clinique happy) and had a bump on my forehead. My face was red with embarrassment. It made for a good laugh and helped break the ice.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Poof! Innocence gone!

Hi Guys, how was your Wednesday? I had a good one. I tried making amends with a friend. Wanted to share something exciting with her, but she did not want to talk to me. One can only try. Beyond that it's left to the person and God. My younger son has started playing football. So, today it was my turn to take him for practice. The practice was 2 hours. I decided to wait on the grounds for him. Now, I had forgotten to wear walking shoes, so I decided to walk bear foot. It was painful. I think I am doing this after 18 years. Reminded me of my Manipal days. They say it's good for the feet. Acupuncture therapy.
As I was taking rounds of the football grounds, something caught my attention and of course, I began thinking :) I saw some kids rolling on the ground in grass and wet puddles (it was raining slightly) and laughing their ass off! You could clearly tell, they were having too much fun.  One song came to my mind.

ye daulat bhii le lo, ye shoharat bhii le lo
bhale chhiin lo mujhase merii javaanii
magar mujhako lautaa do bachapan kaa saavan
vo kaagaz kii kashtii, vo baarish kaa paanii

Nothing bothered these kids. They were not conscious that so many people were watching them. They did not care that they were covered with mud. All they cared was about the good time they were having playing with their friends!!! They were clearly living in the present. I remember being just like them once. So, when did this transition from innocence to processed behavior occur? We can learn something from these kids. As adults, we tend to teach children what we have misslearnt. I am not saying that we should not be preparing these kids to face the world but sometimes that is not always the best thing to do. I think the children should learn in their own innocent way. We don't realize that we are passing on incorrect information. As adults, we come to realize that we are messed up machines. We feel one thing, do another, hide our true feelings, and lie almost constantly to ourselves and those around us. This is normal, normal for a sick society, which is just what we have. We need to erase our hard drives and start fresh again.  Don't you think?