27 February 2015

Rule Uno- Bridezilla Diaries

I think a wedding translates on so many levels, a very complicated, ancient coming of age 'thing'... I call it a thing, because when I have the flu, my general sense of eloquence takes a deep dive into the river of nonsense.

From the dates the wedding was decided, it took only a total of 2.5 months for my bestie to call me bridezilla. Cowering in embarassment, it's taken me a month to forgive her (I apologized a week later, but I forgave her a month later). And longer still to analyze the depths of emotion, one's general sense of sanity dives, post the simple decision of marriage is confirmed.

Firstly, it dawns slowly, every day, that YOU.. as in you, are getting married. This essentially means, that YOU will no longer be the late visitor/guest at the wedding, but the person that is getting married. This means that, you CANNOT decide what you're going to where before you take a shower  on the evening of the wedding.

This also means that YOU cannot plan with friends on when to get there, and how to get there. YOU cannot leave early, and YOU cannot get there too late. And mostly, YOU have to pray and pray that your friends love you enough to come to the wedding, and apologize mentally to all the people whose wedding you did not attend.

The second transition is the mistaken belief that since it's your wedding, it's about you. The sooner this transition truly sinks in, the easier and less bridezilla one will feel. Imagine, in your head, you're friends being thrilled and wanting to do everything with you but also at the same time sensing when you need to be left alone, and disappearing. Imagine, and keep doing so, because that will never be reality.

Weddings aren't like Christmas, there aren't any wedding miracles waiting to happen. Nor will the besties, like cotton swabs dabbed in Dettol, strike and kill the germs of pent up frustration and overall panic.

Rule numero uno to remember, to ensure you do not become bridezilla is to understand that nothing has changed for anyone except for yourself, your partner and your respective families. Everyone else's life is and will be the same as it always was, which means that just because you're getting married, it does not mean, that you can expect more from other people... because they will not deliver.

This is no different to the day when one of your friends was getting married, had a mental breakdown and you had absolutely no idea why they were fussing over nothing.

How am I dealing with it? By leaning on my partner when I can't stand, and when I can, by actively involving myself in all the decisions that need to be made. So what if someone else may not like something that you've picked... nothing's changed for them, everything has changed and will continue to change for you... 

06 February 2015


This post is for my one reader! 

Who reminded me that my 11 year old blog,  sat abandoned in the midst of a rapidly growing online universe. 

And shocked that I've clocked just one real post for a whole year,  trying to think through a number of thoughts,  one quick one to pen down,  I've realized I've been through a corporate restructure,  a promotion and a few life changes which has completely left me thoughtless. 

Going back to the posts from a decade ago,  I know that it's because,  unsurprisingly,  I've ended up being a corporate drone.

Version 6.7 of the factory worker featured in Orwell's 1984,  except in 2015.  Which means,  big brother doesn't need to monitor me as much as I monitor myself.  For the sake of productivity. 

Ensuring the minimal 8 hours of sleep,  so that the best of me sells out at a decent but comparably lower than everyone else's,   salary. 

The shame.  But marching on tonight,  I've managed a decent post.  Or so I think.  So yay,  enjoy the nonsense,  one reader :)

13 October 2014

The World as Round as an Indian Murukku!

What is the world when not Indian? In order to truly know and feel the value of spice, you only need to remove spice from the dishes you make. Like Gulab Jamun without the flavour of cardamom, a world without the Indians in them,  would fall flat .. that's what I think anyways.

Because I've noticed that on television, these days beautiful brown populates names like Raj or Neeta more on shows. From New Girl's Cece to The Blacklist's Meera Malik, the fascination with Indian beauty has transcended beauty queens & Bollywood of the 90s to the internet, tv, cinema.

But why? Why would football mini legends like the handsome Alessandro Del Piero come to India to play football. Have the days of the Indian football fan travelling to Italy, gone so far behind. Or are they becoming more at home, at home.

Like friends say Mc Donald's menu features so many more vegetarian items when retailing in our cities, and how about the grand Maharaja burger. I carried one over with me to a foreign client who'd had it and craved it.

And as if food, football and films is not enough, we're there. Where? In space too. And yes, the story's changed. The Mallu did not set up a tea shop on the moon, everyone, the tea shop was set up much much further into space.

We both know a friend or two importing organic cotton to Europe and more than that, lately our wines hitting the provinces of Sicily. How about our beer then? Have you been to Singapore to see our kingfisher bottles over looking the bay?

I could say  more, but you and I both know, as henna and bright shades of orange and gold replace the plain whites on the hands and bodies of the brides world over, that we're slowly inching all over. New York fashion week features a few names, while our cosmetics don the shelves in Paris.

Yes it is becoming more Indian, more so that every before. Travel the world to see the encore with Lufthansa TVC . 

This post is in conjunction with: http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger  

26 January 2014

Love, Religion and other such things

A new year, a new post and a new future. That's what we all hoped when we brought in the New Year, with our loved ones or maybe for some of us, with our not so loved ones. It doesn't take long for the disillusion to sink in and for you to realize that, really it's just another over hyped day.

Why so sour, you say? Maybe because I've been questioned. My religious faith has been questioned, and more importantly by myself. For those of you who know me, and for those who don't, the simple answer I've ever given anyone who's asked me for my beliefs is that I respect all religions and I belong to none. If I had to belong in one (some forms require that you put something in there), I'd be a Buddhist.

And in time I've come to believe that that's the best religion for me. A form of Baha'i mixed with an agnostic atheist. So imagine the surprise, when I get told that I may, for love have to convert into another religion. And suddenly, I found myself in a defensive little corner.

To calm myself, I told myself that it's the institution not the religion that asked me to do this. That the reason I was being told to do this, was a  practical one and had nothing to do with my partner being a religious zealot. That what I had to do or say, was just for one day and it could be done quietly, without the knowledge of anyone.

Inside me, my conscience rebelled and told me that doing so, would mean that I abandon my own personal beliefs. That I would be a traitor to myself. And I know that above and beyond everything I have ever thought, I've believed to truly respect any one religion, you should belong to none. Or belong to one, that didn't care about being the best religion in the world, like Budhism or Baha'i. And I know conversion would mean that I would've found a new religion to hate.

The kind of hate that makes you grate your teeth. The kind of hate that would make you look at your partner, and feel betrayed. The kind of hate that makes you look at yourself, and feel like you let yourself down.

This is new for me, and surprising too. I've always been for religious freedom, but I don't think I've realized how much this freedom meant to me, till I've had to question my faith. This New Year, I've learnt something about myself and the nature of freedom. I've learnt that freedom still means your chained to a belief system, that for me, my beliefs are more precious to me, than love could ever be. 

14 July 2013

A Candy Sweet Mental Roadtrip.

A road trip. A trip taken on a vehicle through roads, with the company of your best friends. Carried through by wonderful conversations, sighting beautiful sceneries, living and breathing the same space and air for an undetermined period of time. Yes, a road trip, the most awesome road trip that one can imagine. Absolutely top notch.

Rivers of sticky sugar syrup, trees of gold, light streaming through the leaves, in solid bars of delightful warm ecstasy. There we drove in our beautiful car, candy pink and purple, to the wild scent of the Thai Dragon. A field of chips, crispy and golden, hard to the touch, delightfully powdery to the push. As it breaks, we brake to stop solid at a candy house.

This was junk food heaven, and we were there together, me, myself and I. The view of a chocolate fountain greeted us, as we prepared to skate on lemon tea ice rink only to be distracted by the sight of giant marsh mellow trampolines. I took out a finger and punched in a hole, only to find that a hole could not be made, in this perfect dream marsh mellow, as it gently knocked my finger back in resistance and then invited me to have a bite.

But no, I resisted. For there were giant Jilabe wind mills, turned by the smell of the sugar stream, churning jars of hung curd, leading to a rashgolla carnival, with M& M smarties dotting the middle of this wild game of rashgollas rolling down hills made of hard sugar candy.

Oh the resistance, the courage and the will to say no, disappeared on the touch of sweet cotton candy, when I took a bite and ended right back where I started with the key in the ignition of my dull blue second hand car. As I lifted my head from the steering, it was right back to now, waiting outside my best mate's house. The scent that let me escape, to a valley of the Thai  Dragon hovered heavily around my head. Time to hit the gym Saro. Time to hit the gym.

Thai Dragon Fruit: New Scent from Ambi Pur. Click here for more.

03 June 2013

Shoes of the Dead- Kota Neelima- Book Review

Shoes of the Dead is many things, but what it is not, is a light read. With words carefully string together, Kota weaves a story of our country. A story I suspect, may be more familiar to some, and for city brats like myself, be eye opening.
The story focuses on a small group of individuals: a journalist, a farmer, a politician, a money lender, a village leader, an industrialist's wife.

Together the story investigates, the relationship between these various individuals, and their roles in shaping the world of compensations for farmers who have killed themselves, due to rising debt. Keyur Kashinath is a politician in whose constituency, there has been a rise in farmer suicides. When exploring the reason behind this rise, he meets Nazar a journalist who's had his good days and his bad days, but someone who lives by old-school journo rules.

The reason for the increase in farmer suicides, is just one man. Gangri, who wants to do the right thing, and not play cover up in the name of politics, one man who fights to provide the families of these suicides relief funds, that which was denied to him. Using clever manipulation he swings the committee members into, putting aside their personal agendas to do the right thing.

The dynamics of these leading men, along with the anti-heros, Lambodar & Durga Das and the small but important wife of a business magnate- Videhi forms the premise of the story.

The story is refreshing, and it's poised objectivel, and is definitely recommended for anyone who wonders why years pass in India, with little changing in terms of issues. It may also work well for those who have an opinion on the way this country has almost remained stagnant in the rural areas and gain a little bit more insight into the reasons this may be.  Yet another aspect to commend is the way the author manages to envelope various themes, from hope to cronyism into this tight little book.

Some of the negatives about the book is that at times it reads a bit on the boring side, and it's a hard genre to classify. George Orwell adopted the satirical writing style to provide political commentary in an amusing, candid manner in Animal Farm and used science fiction in Big Brother. I wish that what was used was some other form of fiction, as the pacing of the story moves unlike a thriller and reads like a cover spread article in a magazine, with no clear end or beginning and more importantly lacking clear clinchers at the end of every chapter to carry you through to the next chapter. Another area where the book could have been better, would have been in thie ending.

***Spoiler Alert***  Gangiri dies, Nazar resigns, Videhi is sympathetic, Keyur resigns and decides to go NGO on his father and actually do something for the sake of doing it, as opposed to doing it because he'll gain more supporters/votes. Lambodar & Durga Das turn over a new leaf, so to speak, by deciding to be fair, to honor Gangiri's memory. I find this hard to believe, the book shed some light on the brutal politics in villages, I think that this type of conclusion, leads the reader away from the reality, that the whole book has driven at from the start.

Conclusion: This book will leave you with much to think about and begging to jump into this world.
Price: Rs. 495
Rating: 3.5 / 5
This review is a part of the biggest <a href="http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/05/04/indian-bloggers-book-reviews" target="_blank"> Book Review Program </a> for <a href="http://www.blogadda.com" target="_blank">Indian Bloggers.</a> Participate now to get free books!

20 May 2013

Modern Health Care- No longer a dream of a few

A few years ago, waiting outside a hospital meant several things. That you would invariably be approached by someone professing a loved one needed immediate help, usually either by donating some amount of money or by obtaining medicine from the closest medical shop.

As Indians we learnt early on to not believe these stories at face value and to treat it as yet another case of people weaving more stories to try and help us part with the money in our pockets, and in addition the notion that doctors and medical care is simply too expensive for the common man was born.

In the 70s liver, heart transplant were experimental, need based surgeries that had a minimal chance of surivival. They were also the purview of the Western nations, where science married the occult, so to speak, to play on Franken characters. Ideas that had hitherto been restricted to the realm of science fiction or in some cases, horror, were now in practice and as the success rates grew, confidence grew.

There was demand for good medicine, need for good medicine and a need for afforable medical care.What were people to do, not everyone could afford a trip to overseas for a transplant!

If anyone remembers the Jeans movie, with Aishwarya Rai & Prashant in... a few years later, the sucess of Munnabhai MBBS- was a symbolic of the complete makeover the industry had undergone. One of the trusted names, is Apollo Hospitals founded in the early 80s that grew in prominence to approximately generate a total revenue of 31.73 Billion rupees in 2012. For most of us, we read that as so much profit. The way I look at it, if the average cost of a surgery is 1 Lakh, think of how many people's lives have been touched.

One of the key reasons behind the success of these hospitals is the relative affordability of medical care. If one had to compare the cost of travel, stay & medical expenses to a foreign country, however close to India, they'd realize that as expensive as it may be seen to be in rupees, the actual cost outside the country is far greater.

Insurance had also made a swift entrance, and allowed the working class families to have access to clean healthcare, where as prior to that many were at the mercy of doctors, who went by their reputation, not necessarily cure rates. Neighbourhood family doctors were not in large replaced, but prioritised for simple ailments, and larger hospitals were thrown into the limelight for acting as service centers for complex and complicated procedures. Doctors with experitse and cutting edge technology.

International Accreditations, also allowed staff to be trained, enhancing their practices and bringing their practice of those medical techniques to new levels by ensuring compliance with Internationally recommended treatment & care. With the gap between local and international care, rapidly closing, a strange phenomenon called Medical Tourism began.

Suddenly, India had hospitals that were of good quality and cheap to boot, and our local hospitals became bigger, and spread their wings to other countries. They marketted the unique Indian brand of Affordable Modern Health Care.

Healthier people walk our streets more than anyother time in our history. Yes, there have been an increase of lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Blood Pressure etc. But think about it, there's a choice now. A choice to get cured. And the buck won't stop here, good is the enemy of better.

Who knows, to borrow from Revolution, a science fictions series, perhaps tomorrow will belong to nanomites and their ability to grow a new heart :)

For more information on what the future holds: http://www.apollohospitals.com/cutting-edge.php

Anirban Bose- Mice In Men- Book Review

I got this book in our last Indiblogger's meet and well, this rainy weekend had to arrive before I had the intent to actually pick out this book from my magazine rack of books that I'd bought, hadn't read and what a surprise!

This must be one of the best collection on Indian short stories I've read, and I'm surprised that I haven't heard of this author until ofcourse I  got the free copy.

Anirban writes with a free flow of language, uncomplicated by words that show more than they mean, the prowess of the authors vocabularly, often messing up the story. And the stories themselves little pearls ranging from comical, to heroic, to thoughtfull to sentimental.. what a good book!

I dare say that the content is not gender or genre specific, just go get a copy of this book the next time you're at the book store or online. Retailing at Rs 199, definitely worth your money.

What I didn't like: the short story format. I think Bose writes like a charm, and would love to read a full fledged novel from him.

Rating: 4/5

24 April 2013

An evening in Agrara

I found myself a piece of hidden land this evening, away from the ring road, where one couldn't hear traffic.

Instead there was the desolate noise of the solitary hammer for a home being built.

And yet this home already belonged to little chirpy birds, hovering eagles with their stark cries.

All reaching a feverish pitch as the night crawlers meet their fellow day breakers, in a rushed fluttery of activity.

Who said this land isn't already a home, to so much more than just you and me. And who ever said peaceful nature only meant that which is already dead.

It is not so, amongst the swaying trees, the movement of open air, from the growth of the smallest blade of grass, to the firmness of sun dried mud, it can be felt all of it. And you know, this too I'd already your home.

And that hammer is the sirens cry, of those that come to destroy.

19 April 2013

Tres Semme- J'taime!

I got my sample, and I have to admit it was a bit of a surprise because I'd forgotten I'd applied! But, I'd seen the bottles in the shops and distant memory told me that I remember it to be a brand that was well known outside our country and well had apparently made its entry into the Indian market.

First things first, the smell of the shampoo is beautiful. It resonates the whole day, and you hair smells light and flowery- the whole day out. Yes, even in this summer heat, with sweat & the air conditioner.

When I tried the shampoo- it already smoothened my hair to the extent that it had turned silky and smooth. With the conditioner, it then turned heavier, in a way that I suppose only this product can- heavy but not by reducing the volume of hair.

I have frizzy hair but also have a lesser volume of hair. Most other products, work the frizz but flatten my hair. To the point where I honestly feel like there's nothing on, but this product somehow manages to add volume..

I suppose this could be because the conditioner feeds your hair, in a such a way as to make it stronger, more relaxed as opposed to other products that might just work on the frizz, with no regard to the health of your strand of hair. 

I'd like to relate to it as being similar to when you apply coconut oil/almond to your hair and then wash it off, properly. Imagine that, but without the fear of not washing all of the oil and a more pleasant fragrance.

It proved itself in application, but now I needed it to prove its worth in duration.

I straighten my hair using a hair iron: and it took barely a minute. Almost one fifth of the time it usually takes.

Then I went to work, walked over to our office to have wind mess it up a bit. Usually, this calls for a trip to the bathroom to re-set my hair, but when I got there, it was mostly in place, despite the fact that it had been rushed about a bit by the wind. I saved the comb a trip, and instead ran my finger through my hair, and it was done.

By the end of a long day, I got home, forgetting to review my product, but I didn't have to.... Given when I got home and looked at myself, it was as it was in the morning. Almost twelve hours later.

That's done then. This product isn't kidding when it says anti- frizz! For more illustrious ramp styles