Beautiful Blogger!

An award comes with a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

Well several ages ago, Lazy Pineapple demonstrated her kindness of heart by giving me …*gasps*, …the

and weighed by her kindness, I thought I’d wait till I was able to do justice to the award – and finally, I’m able to do this NOW.

LP, I’m touched. Thank you very much! 🙂

Now, the best thing about this award is that it comes with a tag. And as you know, tags are just my favorite things :), so here goes. Rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

Okay, so I’ve done 1, 2, 3. Now, for 4:

  • Rain. Fresh, brilliant, pure drops of ecstasy. The rain experience is particularly exquisite in the balmy monsoons of Kerala (*sigh*..let me try not to remind myself that I’m missing that just now!).  Standing in the rain, absorbing the sensation on every pore of your body, letting it consume you…

  • Nostalgia. For the last one month, I’ve added scores of 80s and 90s songs in my iPod. Searched high and low, and thought back to all those days when I studied with the radio or the walkman on and listened to songs playing in my dad’s car. Gone back to every composer I could think of, and searched wikipedia extensively for the songs that I couldn’t remember anymore. And then, once I had them all on the pod, every day, as I travel to and from office, I listen to them. Can anything beat nostalgia? 😉

  • Paris. What’s more beautiful than rain? Champs Elysees in the rain, that’s what! Paris, is the one city that I would want to go to again and again and again. There’s just something about the place… romantic, sensuous and mysterious. Three years ago, I had my experience of Paris in the rain and it is something I cannot forget. It drizzled lightly as I walked on Champs Elysees in the evening, and the breathtaking beauty was something I wish I could have captured in my camera, as well as the picture below. I remember, as I stood admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral from the outside, heavy sheets of rain came down abruptly, and I ran and took refuge next to a shop, only to realize I was standing next to a guy making french crepes. A little conversation in broken English later, I had him happily hand over warm, flaky, deliciously sweet crepes to me – and eat them, even as the warmth from his stove gave me comfort in the cold — talk about paradise!

  • Reunions. A few days ago, I met friends from college. After 10 years! It was a spot reunion, blessed by the hand of the Facebook God, which has ensured that people like me who’re generally terrible at keeping in touch, can still get to see picture, hear and connect with the people who mattered in life. My friends and I – we’d last met as 20 year olds, confused about our future career choices, carping about exams, and remembering 3 years of graduation that zipped past us even as we, a gang of 6, had stayed by each other’s sides throughout. Over the years, most of us have married, a few have had kids, and we’re in the thick of our (high profile ;)) careers, careening past 30. But you know what? When we met, we just zoomed back in time to being the same 20 year olds. Nothing had changed. Not even the jokes, or the bitching about teachers :D. It was an hour of catching up and watching the way our faces had grown older but our hearts had stayed the same – and we all remembered how we’d fantasized 10 years ago about such a meeting. Hopefully, we don’t wait for 10 more years to meet :D. And meanwhile, this is something I’ll highly recommend to everyone!

  • Companionship. Having someone in life, to share your silences with. To march alongside you, holding your hands, and just letting you feel one with the world. To sit beside you, watching a movie, and munching on biscuits late in the night. To wake up beside you and give you a cuddle. To offer a shoulder where you can wipe your face and the tears running on it. Companionship is one of the wonderful gifts of life and needn’t come with having that special person in your life. If you know that you can spend hours being yourself with someone (or something ;)) – then, well, let out a whoop of joy! You’ve got yourself a companion :).

(P.S. The credit and copyright for the work of art above goes to the brilliantly talented Abhilash Menon. Find him and his work on India’s first portal that brings together Indian artists and showcases their incredible potential to the world – Dhonuk)

  • Dance. The way two feet can break into a rhythm, and the hands then follow, moving about the body, getting it to sway in tune with the music. Waves created in the air, sparkling about the dancer’s body. Re-telling stories, transcending languages and cultures, dance has the power to bring time to a standstill and transport viewers into sheer bliss. And to tell you how, here’s a picture of one of my favorite dancers and one of the most beautiful women in India – Shobhana:

  • Mothers. Today is my Mother’s birthday  – and she’s the first most beautiful thing I ever set my sights on. I love you mummy and Happy Birthday :).

Alright, now for the last bit. It should have been 7 but I decided on 5  – tagging 5 beaaaautiful women 🙂 – Judy, Andy, Dhanya, Sawani, and Anjali – I bestow this award to you!

Yay! I’m done!

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40 Questions!

I love doing tags, and so I voluntarily pick this one up from Preeti (and very “pretty” too :)) Shenoy’s blog. Voluntarily picking up a tag that has 40 questions in it, (esp. when I’ve done a 30 questions tag sometime ago) should tell you how much I like doing tags! Without further ado…here I go…

1. What is your current obsession?

Getting my blog back into what it was a couple of years ago. I’ve been quite pathetic over the last couple of years and am nursing immense guilt over not paying enough attention to my own need to write. So I’m back with a vengeance!

2. What are you wearing today?

A pink kurta from FabIndia, and a white chudi bottom. Hair tied up into a ponytail. (Hmmm, if I was wearing spectacles, I could have also said that I had the (pseudo) superior-intellectual look)

3. What’s for dinner?

We had a sizeable lunch at Dhaba today – so skipping dinner!

4. What’s the last thing you bought?

A Hidesign handbag for my mum … after enormous amount of coaxing and listening to her sigh, and say that her current handbag was serving its purpose well, and that she didn’t need one more, and that it may look too “hep” and therefore inappropriate on her … till I almost completely got mad. I finally gave her the option of dumping it on me in case she ever felt it was not good for her. And what happened? She left Bangalore with the handbag on her arm, and with a big grin on her face, even as I reminded her how much she’d driven me crazy. *Affectionate smile*…mums will be mums.

5. What are you listening to right now?

The mum again – she’s carping about some really *annoying* relatives, over the phone. Trust me, it’s HUGELY entertaining :D.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?

As I said earlier, wasn’t tagged personally – I picked it up from PS. As for what I think of her – she’s one of those creative, exhuberant personalities who we need more of in this world. She’s an adorable pixie :).

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Now, you’re talking! Ummm.. would that be Mauritius, or the Bahamas, or Califormia… or …

Oh! I know, Paris! I adore Paris. And I even know that I want a house with a view of the Seine. *Sigh*. It’s just the most romantic city I’ve ever seen.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?

Shades. Some drink close to my reach. Loads and loads of tissue paper. Really airy flats for my feet – I have an amazingly comfy Timberland actually. Non-sticky sunscreen.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Must you ask me to mention Paris so many times? Okay, I’ll change that. I will want to spend it on an island in Maldives. Spent my honeymoon there, and that would be one of my other picks for a phenomenal place to visit.

10. Which language do you want to learn?

Ahem. I just spent the last TWO quarters in my MBA program learning languages. The first one, I learnt Japanese. The second, Spanish. Someone was asking me to pick Chinese for the next, but if I do that, IIMB will probably end up giving me a certification for “Diploma in International Languages” instead of the MBA itself. So for now, No, I’ll pass.

11. What’s your favourite quote?

All my favorite quotes are in Malayalam. Simply because most of them are sarcastic and extremely appropriate for many moments *wink*. One such would be “Patti-de vaalu panthiraandu kollam kozhalil ittalum valanje irikku”. Don’t ask me the meaning! Or who I’m using it on! (For the mallu ppl reading this blog….Shush!)

12. Who do you want to meet right now?

Even if it is farfetched, and probably not gonna happen ever? Deepak Chopra.

13. What is your favourite colour?

Peacock Blue. And Silver.

Okay, I know I am not supposed to pick two colors, but seriously, I love a lot of colors. So don’t ask me to pick just one. I can rattle off many shades like the ones Asian Paints have – Baked Biscuit, Mocha, Truffle Pink etc… I love really deep *feeling* kind of colors… something that you would use to express joy, and vivaciousness,… and passion.

(Oh, if only I had a carton of paints with me that I could throw onto a canvas. *Wishful thinking*)

14. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.

=> Smokey eyes, for that touch of mystery.

=> Lip gloss for that well-turned out look.

=> Nicely brushed hair that bobs around , and strands of which caress your face in the wind. (Okay, that may not really be a styling tip – but yes, nice hair is important).

15. What is your dream job?

Getting paid to explore various channels of creativity (write, read, dance, sing, organize events, interact with people, paint…) –  while being able to work my mind and heart. Infact, that’s almost close to what I do now!!!

16. What’s your favorite magazine?

Nothing really. I don’t have too much of patience to read the kind of crap that most magazines churn out. If you have come across something worthwhile, please suggest.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?

Buying lots of fiction books. Not for me though. I and hubby are doing our bit in spreading education by volunteering to teach (economically-backward) kids on the weekend – as part of an initiative run by an NGO called Prerana.

There’s a lot to talk about the experience itself, but I’ll reserve that for a future post. Meanwhile, my latest resolve is to supplement our spoken-english-language support for the kids – by giving them something extra – books to read and enjoy! (Hopefully I’m able to recreate atleast partially for them, the magical experience that I had a youngster waltzing through the pages of many of treasured troves… and at the same time, break their language barrier, because I believe that unless you read enough, you’ll not get around to appreciating and understanding the language constructs). I’ve already started buying books for the kids to read and circulate, but there’s no such thing as more than enough, so any extra money of mine will go into adding to this :). $100 will come in handy ;-).

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

A short western top and a stoal. Somehow it doesn’t go down well with me.

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?

I think almost every 2nd bollywood star is over-rated but I’ll not pick them because they get picked often enough. Therefore – Shobhaa De.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?

On me? Layered, and short – somewhere around my shoulders. I’ve been wanting to do something dramatically different too, but still haven’t found what it would be. Waiting for the perfect haircut therefore.

21. What are you going to do after this?

Work. Sleep. Dream :).

22. What are your favorite movies?

Many malayalam classics. Many hindi movies. Many english movies. I mean, asking a movie buff like me to name movies is not exactly easy. I think I’ve written a post about it already, so pass.

23. What inspires you?

A lot of things – humans, and their resilience, inner strength. Compassion when it was least expected. God’s Love.

24. What do your friends call you most commonly?

These days, my MBA classmates have christened me with a few new names – Shiks, Muppet. One of my close friends used to call me by my initials GP. Nothing more interesting though. Sadly, my persona probably lends itself well to Shikha. And besides, a 2 syllable name is easy to say, right?

25. Would you prefer coffee or tea?

Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea… x infinity. I could have as many glasses of tea as there existed on the planet and I still wouldn’t get tired of it. Try it. Ask me if I want a cup of tea sometime. Chances are you’ll get a beaming, resounding “YES” in response.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?

Talk to God.

27. What makes you go wild?

If wild as in “really irritated” – Incompetent people trying to lord over others. It makes me want to clobber the hell out of them.

If wild as in “letting hair loose down” types – being at the beach.

28. Which other blogs do you love visiting?

Many. Pls. see my recommended readings section, and the friends section on the right.

29. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?

Cheesecake. (after a divine experience recently :)).

Raspberry and Yoghurt Gelato. Yum.

30. How many tabs are turned on in ur browser right now?

Seven.

31. Favorite Season?

Spring.

32. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?

Pancakes. Nice, warm, sweet, pancakes and slurpy jam to go with it.

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?

Truthfully – I am not one to carry grudges around and judge a person just because something they did hurt me, and I do believe that people have reasons for whatever they do. So I wouldn’t purposefully avoid them if they cross my path. The only kind of people I actually avoid are those who try too much to be nice and yet your intuition tells you, that they are not as much. Better to stay away :).

34. What are you afraid of the most?

I have a lot of paranoias. Spiders. Worms. Fungus. Drowning. Things that move and go boo in the dark…. hehe, okay, the last one was just added for an effect.

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

“Gosh. Open your eyes completely, woman. You’re going to knock something down, walking around, half-awake, looking like a female version of frankenstein!”

36. What brings a smile on your face instantly?

Friends. Cute kids. My hubby when he’s in one of his cute moments :). My mother when she’s sleeping, curled up like a ball on the couch, because she’s too lazy to get up and go and sleep on the bed. My dad, when he wears a pair of absolutely non-matching pants with one of his good shirts and appears completely unaware of the ridiculousness of it 🙂

37. A word that you say a lot?

“Terrible”. I don’t know, I use that to describe even extra doses of nice things…although why I do that, I have no clue. Have been trying to rid myself of it for sometime now.

38. When was the last time you did something nice?

Today afternoon. Went to see a friend who I hadn’t visited in over a year. Being with her and her one and half yr old kid, was amazing :). *Soup for the heart*

39. What would you do if you were made President of India for one day?

Being the President of India for a day is no big shakes. You can’t do anything constructive, that someone else cannot undo. However, I think there is a Right To Education issue that’s currently in the pipeline. I’ll see if I can add some presidential weight to that, and recommend the bill.

40. Do you Know who Master SHIFU is?

Yeah.  *Hiiiiiyyyyeeeeeeaaaaah*.

————————————————–

Yes, I’ve finally done it.

*Solemn breath*. And I now tag…YOU (if you’re not mentioned after this) and @nikhilnarayanan, @shruti_007, Vinoshini, Lazy Pineapple, Emmanuel, Sonali 🙂 – hopefully none of you’ve done the tag yet, and because I would love to know what your answers are, yes!!

Update:

Follow up posts from the victims above 😉

Shruti’s version @ Lost In Translation

Lazy Pineapple

Emmanuel writes @ Reticent Expressions

Sonali’s take