Monday, May 25, 2015

A lemmings story

So, we were on vacation (I had a great time. Thank  you for asking!) in Bintan, Indonesia. It is a short ferry ride away from Singapore. But the fact that it is in a different country makes things more complicated than they should be. Although the ferry ride from point A to B was only 45 minutes long, the actually journey took us more than 3-4 hours, thanks to the immigration formalities and the wait associated. Although Pickles was a darling during the entire trip, the journey was another matter. I had taken tons of things to keep him distracted and busy. It also helps that he is now curious about the things around him and pointing things out to him when we are outdoors is one of the things he enjoys. But, I digress.

On our way back home from Bintan, we were stuck at the immigration for a while with nothing much to do. There were a good number of people sitting around in the lounge, waiting for  the ferry to show up. Pickles was already done reading his books multiple times and running around the ferry  terminal. It was his nap time and so he was beginning to get slightly cranky. I picked him up and went close to the gate and was showing him the sea and birds and whatever I could think of. In a while, the ferry arrived and the people who arrived on it were disembarking. This was of course of considerable interest to my little one. So, he was watching with interest, all the proceedings at the harbour. Slowly, I began rocking him as he started to drift off to la-la land. In about 5 minutes, he was fast asleep in my arms. Relieved, I turned around, looking for R and a place to sit down. I was in for a shock.

There was a long queue of people behind me. Turns out that people had assumed that I was at the gate first and was queueing to board the ferry. So, they had all followed me blindly and there was now a queue to board, even before the boarding announcement was made. I stood there stunned, and as I looked around in confusion, I caught R's eye. He had seen what was happening and was sitting back and enjoying the drama. When he saw the shock on my face, he was almost laughing out loud. But then, he coolly came up to me and joined me in 'my place in the queue'.

Shortly, the boarding announcement was made and needless to say, we were among the first to board the ferry. And all, thanks to Pickles!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reflections: the A to Z challenge

I'm sorry that this comes a bit late. We took a vacation just as the challenge was over. And yes, I had a fabulous time, thank you!

I'm so glad that I did this challenge. It was an eye opener for me, in so many ways.

First of all, it got me out of my inertia to actually do something, have fun doing it and not complain about lack of time. Like I've said before, I have proved it to myself that if I want to really do something, I can! Even at the risk of sounding immodest, I'll say I'm quite proud of myself.

I don't know which part of this was more fun, racking my brains everyday, writing the posts, reading my friends' posts or discovering new blogs. Thanks to the fact that my friends did the challenge with me, it took the fun to another level. And I think it just brought me closer to the friends who took part and then to others who are quietly read and egged me on. And yes, our whatsapp discussions just made sure we kept in touch frequently. And thanks to this whole exercise, I know my friends a little better, they know a little more about me. Even R commented that he didn't know about me, some of the things that I wrote about. I guess along the way it was a path of discovery for myself too.

As some of you may have noticed, in the beginning I only posted at the end of the day but towards the middle of the challenge, I started posting it first thing in the morning. It just helped me instill some discipline into my life again. Also, it made my life a little more exciting. It was something I looked forward to at the end of the day although I'll admit that some days I would loathe having to do anything by the end of the day. But such days were few.

I know all my posts were not the best I could have done and some were better than the others. Still, I am glad I kept going. I started at a slow pace, not sure I liked what I was posting but as I went on, I actually was happy with some of my posts. Most of my posts were random ramblings, mostly about the things going on currently in my life, a lot to do with friends and family. I finally got started with the escapade series and that brought on so much nostalgia. (Yes, I remember. I will finish the series. I promise there is more exciting stuff coming up).

Thanks to all of you for reading and being a part of this journey with me. And more importantly, thanks to all of you who made the effort  to comment. It really kept me going. And it also taught me a lesson, to comment on other people's blogs when I read them. And yes, the traffic at the blog has increased as compared to nothing I had before. It is definitely good to know that someone out there reads and maybe enjoys my posts.

And most of all, I'm glad I'm blogging again. I hope I will continue. I sure as hell will try. I've heard from friends, from my sisters and the five people who read this blog, that they enjoyed it. You know who you are. I want to say thank you for your encouragement. One part of me is happy that it is over and that I don't have to stress about another letter tomorrow. But another part of me is also sad. All that excitement is now gone. I have to find a new project now to look forward to.

I wasn't sure how to deal with the withdrawal symptoms until I realised the simplest solution. To keep blogging!


This is a guest post from my friend, Pizzadude. Being a foodie, he has written about one of the things he loves and knows best, food!

As far as I can remember, food is something which always fascinates me. Especially more if its some sort of “exotic” food. Growing up in a south Indian middle class family in Bangalore in the 80~90’s era meant that the only exotic food that I got to eat was paratha and palak paneer, during one of those rare moments when we went to eat at a North Indian restaurant (Omg, so exciting! I don't know what to order). As time went by it became more common and I think I lost interest in paratha and palak paneer very soon. 

I think it was also around that time that international flavours started appearing on the restaurant menus. I still clearly remember walking in to KFC with my friends and having my first taste of a vegetarian burger. Yum yum! This was soon followed by a slice of pizza and I was definitely hooked onto the latter. However, I hardly got a chance to eat it again almost until a few years later. Pizzas were expensive in the late 90's, especially more so for someone who got Rs. 300 as pocket money to last an entire month. 

I think its only after I started working that I ate pizzas (and other "exotic" food that I could get my hands on) a lot more regularly. Moving to Singapore also helped a lot to increase my exposure to exotic food as such. Over a period of time, some of the foods & flavours that I experienced have left such a lasting impression on me that I consider them as my all my time favourite foods. I thought of naming some of these food items which are very close to my heart. Here's a short list (gosh, I really love to make lists):

1. Pesto
Words don't do justice to my intensity of feelings towards this magic paste. It always manages to uplift my mood. I eat it it slathered on a slice of bread or chappati or by adding a dollop of it on my pasta. If I could marry pesto, I would have. By now, Sayesha is probably singing Pesto deewane, aha!

2. Pad thai
The first time I had it in was at Bangkok and that defined a whole new set of flavours that my tongue had not experienced. Its a must eat for me whenever I visit Thailand. In Singapore, I personally like the vegetarian version Thai express does (Pad thai Mangsawirat, if you are curious). Full of flavour and lots of vegetables!

3. Noodle soup
Oh, this is such a comfort food! Noodles, tasty broth and boiled vegetables. I also add a spoonful of crunchy fried onions. Love the flavour it provides. 

4. Pizza
My blog nickname is Pizzadude. Need I say more? :P

5. Brownies
Each time I eat one, I feel like singing, Yummy yummy yummy, I have got love in tummy :D The best I have eaten was at the small place in Bangalore, named Pizza Port. Shub introduced me to this place. Its a pity they are not open anymore. I really wonder from which bakery they got their brownies from. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Slowing down

So, we are all set to go on our first holiday with Pickles. Although it is a simple one in a lot of ways, R and I are a bit nervous about it. We picked a place that is a short journey from here, it is only a 3-day trip and a place well known for it's management. Hopefully, no surprises there.

Ever since we have planned this vacation, I have been making a mental checklist of sorts. I have been telling myself that I must use my camera after the long hiatus. That I must read some more of the book that I've been reading and try to maybe, finish reading it too. Then of course, I want to spend quality time with Pickles, show him the beach and share this new experience with him. Of course I want to swim a lot too, with Pickles no less. And then I even caught myself hoping that I would get to have some long-awaited conversations with R during this trip. And yes, I want to write a little too. And I have gone on and on. And of course, it started to stress me out. So many expectations!

And then I decided that 'Wait!, this was supposed to be a holiday. Shouldn't I be more relaxed about it?'

So yes, *breathe* we're going in the relaxed mode for now. We'll take things as they come. Lets see how that goes. See you on the other side!