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Happy to You, DM

She’s made several appearances here and you know by now: she’s a force to reckon with! We call her by many names but she remains energetic, loving, kind, generous-to-a-fault, brilliant, and much more. She’s impossible to surprise but is full of wonders; she’s someone we love, cherish and hope to impress. 

When she cooks, she nourishes your soul and delights your tastebuds, her sangria makes your spirit soar, her questions reach into your soul and her touch drives away pain. Your kids are the light of my life, travels with you are adventures, your home is my safe place, I look best in your clothes but most importantly, in your dedication I find inspiration. 

My darling DM, happy birthday. I’m proud and privileged to be your core family! 

Hang in There

Statistically most people will remain mediocre and only a few achieve greatness or become the curator of a big department at the Met. Of course, those that do get to the top have put in blood, sweat and tears, tons of time, immense focus to get to the top spot. Some, when struggling with an impending Farsi exam will wonder if it’s all too much, and be tempted to give up and shut shop. Over the last few years, I’ve realised to start off on a journey is easy, but to stay on the path, tough. To sustain an interest isn’t hard but to keep constant engagement and continuous process takes effort. Verbs get stickier, novelty wears off, and you have to plod through the unglamorous to get the point where you can read Rumi in the original, and the Shahnameh too! 

To lose weight in the beginning is far easier than keeping the weight off, and surviving the maintenance period. 

Some challenges aren’t exciting but one learns to be patient, to bid time, to work even when everything looks a little bleak and the promise of tomorrow is not the glorious sunrise you imagined but consistent afternoon sun. 

We have to hang in there, the madness of Kurla will give way at some point, and sooner or later you’ll reach Vashi. If you give up too soon, you’ll be stranded at Govandi and that doesn’t help anyone.

Surprise Parties

She knows how to make anyone feel special. Some gestures are thoughtful as coffee and tiffin (to go) made ready before a ridiculously early class, and others overwhelming as a surprise birthday party thrown for my thirtieth!

Not only did she manage to rope in my parents and bestie, she tracked down dear friends and had them over at her place for a feast– made up of all things I love, the watermelon and feta salad, to sangria, to the hung-curd dip, Mediterranean finger food, biryani, Mum’s special kheer and delectable chocolate cake, which partner-in-crime S brought!

Showered with gifts and flowers, stuffed to the brim with great food, conversation and love, only DM could have planned and pulled off a surprise birthday party like this one! If it weren’t enough to have my dearest friends around, may I say what a proud moment it was to watch my nieces take care of guests, and play perfect hosts?

Missed cues, not even suspecting a party, to a memorable one, I begin my 30s feeling grateful– for doting aunts and nieces, generous brothers and sporting friends! A new decade to be a better person, be more thoughtful, more giving, and to learn to throw a party as neat as this one. My only regret? Not listening to the songs the K-Sisters had planned. but that may be for later!:)

30 on 30: It is Here!

I spent today doing many things I love- teach, lunch with mom, speaking to my favourite girls, a short conversation with SSA, a talk, a bookstore, an opening, bonding with Bono and dinner with the Bubbs, who took me out and ate at super speed to make sure I get home in time… Absolutely contented, I can’t think of a better close to my twenties.

I’ll be 30 in 30 minutes. The last 30 days have been a bittersweet experience, memories revived and learnings reflected. I thought about things that shaped me, some that I wrote about and many that remained in my drafts folder. It was a chance to audit life and choices, it was an opportunity to be grateful, even to forgive. It was, like my mom puts it, simha-avalokan, that moment when a lion turns back to look at home, on last time, before moving into the jungle.

When I made a list I was racing against time and skipped a few important details. Since it is my blog, and my lists, here is another list of 30 favourite things: 

  1. DM’s sangria (and Pinacolada)
  2. Comic
  3. R and J’s Culture Club
  4. Banofee Pie
  5. Salted Caramel Sauce
  6. Taking a rapid on the hardline 
  7. Afternoon naps 
  8. Crisp hotel beds
  9. Bubble baths
  10. Liz Enfieldkar 
  11. Worldspace Radio (RIP)
  12. The birthday cakes mom made and the parties she threw
  13. The lemon tree at 39 PA
  14. SPM’s studio
  15. IAK’s house 
  16. Empty beaches 
  17. Prabha Aaji’s kindness
  18. The books Abajibaba gave me
  19. Ink pens
  20. When K says something profound in perfect nonchalance
  21. Faiz Ahmed Faiz
  22. DNA’s organised and clean nature (I am definitely adopted)
  23.  Driving KDA to DM’s
  24. The smell of freshly brewed coffee 
  25. SY at Abode
  26. Finishing P’s Maggi 
  27. Window seat on the train 
  28. Skipping KURLAAAAAAA
  29. Haircut
  30. Bookstores 

30 on 30: A list

  1. Coffee with Mom
  2. Word-puns with Dad
  3. AD’s analysis on anything under the sun
  4. Swimming with P
  5. Listening to K sing Gulmohar 
  6. Essel World with PSM
  7. Driving
  8. Donuts
  9. Impromptu lunches with SS
  10. Deep talk with SSA
  11. Working with IAK
  12. Feta Cheese
  13. High heels
  14. Books
  15. Writers on writing
  16. Pesto
  17. the Internet
  18. Paris
  19. Spring time
  20. Monuments
  21. Museums
  22. Mumbai Rains
  23. TZM’s spirit
  24. Mora
  25. Chhoutu’s company
  26. Asha and Rafi
  27. Town
  28. Ferry boats
  29. McDreamy
  30. Chitle’s Aamrakhand

These are a few of my favourite things!!!

30 on 30: On the Cards

Perhaps it was destiny that took me to K Aunty’s that strange afternoon, between jobs and with little to do. In three days she taught me to read tarot cards and continues to guide me with reading roadblocks! Tarot cards were exciting, I thought of them as a window to the future (or the past, if one wishes to look backward), and into the workings of the human mind. The cards address wishes, fears and insecurities, just as they show hope and prayer.

The cards brought me closer to dear friends like SS, Yogini ben and breakfast partner, SSA. We had new things to discover, new spreads to learn and spirituality to explore, through our own experiences. With SP, however, the readings were an exchange of dark omens, and after a point, it was too depressing to read for one-another. (I hope things have worked out, and SP is happy!)

In the beginning, I read cards everywhere– at home, in hostel rooms, over the phone, on Skype, in restaurants and under parachutes. I read for everyone, it was a good way to earn pocket money at camp and a great conversation starter! You must read for me, everyone says, and I smile, willing to read but knowing many want to read just to prove a point (and the cards wrong, but that rarely happens). I also read cards for myself, eager to find out what was in store. At thirty, I’m not reading cards to decode the future– it is a strange, misty space that’s waiting to be shaped, and I don’t want to enter with a prejudice or expectation of things to turn a certain way. Tomorrow, as Master Oogway says, is a mystery and I think it should remain that, for if we knew what was on the cards, would we fight for it at all?

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