Glimpses of a Delicious Life

The mobile phone camera is proving to be the best way to capture those fleeting moments of your life and store them away for posterity. This post is dedicated to bits from my life as seen through my iPhone’s eyes – and you probably need to just glance through them to realize how lip-smacking delicious a life I lead!! 🙂

My happy 30th! Celebrations courtesy my amazing sweetie-pie of a husband 😉

The photo calendar (done at Printo,Blore) I gifted my parents this year - memories from the best years of our lives. The cover features the two wonderful human beings that made me.

The tastiest things in the world are stuff our mother makes, right? This particular item is a mallu dish called 'sughiyan'.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cake, and Baklava @ Sunnys, Bangalore. Absolute nirvana.

IIMB in the afternoons; Something about this place makes me all sentimental.

The verdant glory that is Kerala. Captured on a train journey. Prakruthi ramaneeyam aaya Keralam.

Some of the prettiest ladies appear in my friends notebook, all of which she sketches within 10 min, while in class!! :O

Recognize this place? *Jahanpanah, tussi great ho, tohfa kabool karo* :D. Took it at 8 p.m. whilst running back home after a study session

The outcome of the study session mentioned above - My brilliant (*smug* ;)) theories of innovation sketched out. I love white boards.

Apple Crumble and Vanilla Icecream at Toscanos. Nothing short of sensory paradise. *Floats in mid-air*

The splendour of autumn. A loner that captured my eye and my heart.

Iced Tea. Dont you just love the colors on this one?

A wonderful cosy corner at The Only Place, Bangalore

Warm, fluffy pancakes from yours truly. Yeah, I know you are dying to have a bite 😉

The elixir of my life - tea. And this is the way I like it done - rich, hot and magnificently comforting

Haven’t you heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”? For me, the above are probably worth a thousand lives on this earth! And so, I raise a toast to unbridled life, beautiful people and finding happiness in the smallest of things :).

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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

Simple Joys of Life

Ever wondered about those simple pleasures of life that you probably didn’t give much importance to, but contributed to making the experience of your life pleasant and wonderful?

Ever realized how sometimes, very trivial and at times, even funny, experiences or probably some routine things you do, turn out to be that which uplifts your mind and soul from the problems and worries of daily life?

Today I thought of listing some of those experiences that were important to me – the simple joys of my life. (And no, this isn’t a forward I received, but I vaguely remember receiving something similar a long time ago :)). Here they are in random order – coming directly out of my memory:

  1. Enjoying the wind blowing in my face while travelling in an auto/bus – I deliberately remove the hairbands that keep my hair in place, because I love the sensation of the wind playing with my hair, and the strands dancing around 🙂
  2. Seeing a child laugh. Infact, anything associated with a child is adorable, except for potty ;). Their laughter is the most uncomplicated thing in this universe.
  3. Rain and all of its associated sensations.
  4. Vanilla Icecream. I love the texture of icecream, and vanilla is my fav flavour.
  5. Switching on the radio/to another radio channel, only to hear one of my favorite songs playing…
  6. Listening to music on the walkman/mobile, and dancing like crazy at home. At times, when I walk into my home in the evening, after the trip in the office bus, the earphones are plugged in, and there’s this amazing dance number playing on radio, I just go shake, prance and groove all around the rooms of my house. Yeaaaah 🙂
  7. Standing in a glass lift and peering through the glass with glee, while the lift moves up or down.
  8. Throwing my head back and laughing heartily after hearing a joke/anything witty.
  9. Hugging my cuddly n cute mum 🙂
  10. Watching TV till late on a Friday night…Its my way of rebellion 🙂 to compensate for the days I reluctantly drag myself into bed cos I have to go early to office.
  11. Going for long walks with a dear friend 🙂
  12. Taking a cool, refreshing bath (with sweet smelling soap) on a hot, sweltering, summer day.
  13. Floating, neck deep in water. As a child, I loved floating in a tub full of warm water, with soap bubbles all around me. In recent times, a place I enjoyed being soaked and floating in water, was Hoganekkal… and with me, was my friend – we just lay neck deep in water for hours, bobbing up and down and feeling the waves of the water course through us. It was amazing.
  14. The feeling of deja vu I get when I sense particular smells… I have always been able to associate many of my experiences, places and even people by smell – so much so that when I get a particular smell, I always have a sense of deja vu, and feel like I’ve been through it before.  It wasn’t till Balaji wrote about Synesthesia,that I realized what it may be :).
  15. Getting in touch with a long lost friend
  16. Cuddling in bed, wrapped in a blanket, on a cold wintry morning.
  17. Shopping for accessories – mainly junk jewellery 😀 – I am a total junkie when it comes to stuff that hangs on my wrists and ears… bells, chains, stars, tinkling things, stones, metal…you name it. I love looking around for quirky looking stuff that matches with my clothes.
  18. Discovering money (that’s been forgotten) in an old purse/jeans pocket. Ah! It makes me feel so rich in a moment :)…and sometimes, I purposely stash away some money somewhere for that experience of finding a treasure 🙂
  19. Coming home to a warm, lovely meal with the family… in my case, its with mum and dad.
  20. Getting a bouquet of red roses 😉
  21. Renting a video cd to watch on a lonely day
  22. Solving a particularly difficult puzzle. To this day, I feel the same thrill when I solve a complex problem at work, or even sudoku in the paper, as I used to feel when I was solving math (mainly algebra) problems in school. Its wonderful.
  23. Giving a compliment. I’m generally prone to blushing when I get a compliment – still don’t know how to deal with it :). However, I love giving compliments where they are needed. I’ve realized that it takes a very small effort to notice something extra special in a person. And contrary to popular thought, giving a compliment actually makes the giver feel much better than the one it is intended for… I think it brings about a connection between the humans: you feel appreciation/respect flowing out of it, and it is wonderful,… spiritually rejuvenating.
  24. Reading the Sunday newspaper,whilst drinking a hot cup of delicious tea. Its my favorite activity on a Sunday morning, and one of the most relaxing ones. In fact, tea features in a couple of my other favorite activities, and I love drinking tea at odd hours… way into the night :).
  25. Hearing an old song and being transported back into time. A lot of songs have that effect on me, and one I distinctly remember in terms of even the first time I heard the song, what I was doing, and what I felt, is Tere Dar Par Sanam from the movie Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. To this day, when I hear the violin piece at the start of the song, I get transported to my room in Dammam, Saudi Arabia – on a cold winter evening in my bedroom, looking outside the balcony adjoining the room, while listening to this song for the first time on my walkman.
  26. The high of performing on stage. Dance is my passion.
  27. Seeing ducks/swans/lotuses in ponds. Often, as I’m travelling on a train to Kerala, once the picturesque locales of the Kerala countryside appear in the train windows, it isn’t uncommon to see ponds filled with pink and white lotus flowers. I also get to see ducks and swans paddling peacefully in the ponds, and I always wonder what lovely looking birds they are… so fluffy and cute… and clumsy, like me :).
  28. Going through old photo albums. Photo albums are the only way of holding time still. Which is why I like photography – because I think it is a way of bringing time to a stop and getting a slice of life in a picture… I have a lot of old family pictures at home, and in my school years, it was often a hobby (a very pleasing one at that :)) of mine to categorise the pictures and put them into different albums chronologically, or distinguished by the families they belonged to, or by events etc,to write labels for all the albums and arrange them neatly in a bag. Today, Flickr is the online equivalent of that for me.
  29. Poring over book titles in a library/book store, anxiously reading their summaries, biting my nails and wondering which one to rent / buy. I love reading books and it gives me great pleasure to curl up on a bed/couch with one and spend an entire evening reading it and musing dazedly on its contents.
  30. Watching my favorite TV shows – right now, its re-runs of Friends, Full House and Bigg Boss, to name a few.

Some list there, eh? I wasn’t planning on such a huge list when I started out, but as I started counting the pleasures of my life… one by one of them popped up on its own accord. Just goes to show that even though we may not know it, we would probably have many such wonderful things that make our lives so special, and make us blessed to be alive and kicking in this world!