14

How to conquer your (tiny)fears…

Do you ever feel totally freaked out by completely normal things that have no reason to be afraid of? Yes? YES? I feel you guys! I go through some situations day in, and day out where I come across seemingly normal things, panic, cry and then calm down and tackle that. Nope, I am not talking about love, relationships, life. Those are unconquerable monsters and we shall leave them there. These are some of the things I have developed a level of comfort with. I have developed small ways to tackle my fears and let me nudge you in the right direction..

Phones : Do you ever feel that your heart jumps when your phone rings? Are you the kind of a person who will actually let it ring rather than answer, and then call back? Does your heart flutter when you are making a call? (Do I sound like one of the those TV Skymall people?) Ani very well knows how scary phone calls are for me and how nervous calling anyone would make me. It is simple to deal with it. Don’t answer. If it’s an unknown number and important, it will go to voicemail. If it’s known, it’s your judgement if you want to take 3-5 business days to call back or text (so much easier!) Meanwhile, turn off the blue ticks on your Whatsapp.

Alcohol: It still remains one of the most unpredictable things I deal with. One is a teaspoon, two can be the Pacific Ocean. Yes, that has happened. If you do want to drink, take it easy. There is no need to glug anything down. A happy high is always better than being sloppy drunk, for you as well as your company. I am also beyond that age where any drinking had to be hardcore. Find out what you like, if you really do want to be a social drinker, and stick to that while exploring in moderation. And keep your phone away, trust me.

Packing for trips: I was a roll and throw kinda gal till I had two amazing packers(not Green Bay, sad joke) around me. But when I could no longer use the services of both of them(my dad and the xBF), I had to take things into my own hands, quite literally. Packing overwhelms me to the point of tears. So I make lists, gather everything on my bed, and start going at it one by one. I still am a massive over-packer (“Oooh, what if I do want to wear this top but I don’t have it!”) but atleast I am efficient now.

Makeup: I started out with concealer when my face had more red blotches than craters on the moon and I realized how intimidating it all is! But then I started reading blogs, and I was very fascinated by beauty gurus on youtube. I like the artistic side of it, and I don’t find it scary anymore. Unless we are talking about 800 layers like the Kardashians. Nope. So, if you want to dabble with makeup, just watch the videos, and practice on yourself. Nothing is better than being in PJs and watching Netflix with a perfect winged eyeliner, well, except being out and about with that winged eyeliner.

Selfies and pictures: Before I begin, I need to put this out, again. If you take my picture and do not show me a preview, you are dead to me. Anyhoo, if you feel uncomfortable at the thought of getting pictures taken, don’t even look at the camera. Just look at the person taking the pictures and smile as if they are nougat candy dripping in chocolate. Most importantly, remember to stay still because it’s a picture and not a video. I have way too many fidgety friends and I just want to ‘Petrificus Totalus’ them.

Babies: Babies are probably the most intimidating things around that scream ‘adulthood’. How ironic is that! I used to be freaked out by babies and was convinced that I don’t know how to actually handle them. But I realized it isn’t that bad. You can talk to them like they are normal people. They most likely can’t tell the difference anyways. If you are scared of holding them, it will be good for you to know that they are actually quite resilient. Like, don’t throw them around WWE style, but you can hold them quite normally too. They are squishy, but not too delicate. Nature has intended them to be squeezed out, swung around and to survive most bumps and bruises.

It’s okay to be scared and confused. You don’t even have to overcome those fears. Just learn to live through them. Now excuse me while I call my mom. That’s scary for a whole another reason, though.

16

The 5th!

It is my blog baby’s 5th birthday, and I cant believe that it has been so long! So thankful to all of you for the motivation, inspiration and appreciation! While I go and sniffle out of emotions and to clear out a cold, I am leaving here 5 principles that I try to live by. I am going to call them ‘5 elements of PB.’

1. Worship your body: The old adage the health is wealth still holds extremely true. Walk, run, swim, bike, do whatever makes you happy and makes you sweat. I have convinced myself not to give up at the first sign of weakness. I do this at least 3 times a week coupled with free weights for an hour minimum and I hope I will have less problems to deal with as I get older. Although, I cant deny the fact that vanity is a huge motivating factor. Keep moving!

2. Eat food: What is life without food? I start thinking of dinners as soon as I get to work at 7.30 am. And, I keep moving, so I can keep eating. I stick to one healthy meal a day of salad or a smoothie, and a nice hot and light dinner. This lets me hog whatever I want over weekends when I go out or make elaborate meals at home.

3. Pet every dog possible: It is my mission in life to tell every dog that he is a good boy and she is a good girl. They need that closure to the life long question “Now who’s a good boy?!”

4. Be nice: This comes from a very negative aspect of my personality where I have anger management issues. I struggle with anger, resentment, and inability to forget. So, I try to be nice to make up for that. I try my best to be kind to animals and work for them. I try to be nice to people irrespective of how they have treated me, and I try to do bits for people in need who will never meet me. I am trying to be less hurtful and channel my anger properly. But I do say sorry very quickly!

5. Don’t worry about people who wont worry for you: I am quite close to attainment of moksha because finally I have brought this into practice. I am not going to bother myself by thinking about people who don’t make me happy. Life is too short to get bogged down by someone who makes you feel inferior and to force relationships on people who clearly make you feel unwanted. Move on, move out.

See you all next year!
(Just kidding, see you whenever I write the next post.)

17

Travelogue : Tips to achieve inflight zen

Have you seen the movie Non-Stop? It has Liam Neeson in it doing what he does best, that is to look all serious and broody and conflicted. Trust me guys, I would never get into a flight with that guy, he is simply bad luck, with that serious face. The other reason why the movie bothered me so much is because of a scene where he fights with one of the accused villains in the ECONOMY CLASS and during the fight, the villain falls down between the seat in the next rows. and guess what? HE DISAPPEARS! How did a guy manage to disappear in the cattle class where it is difficult to even cross and uncross your legs. Try dropping something between the seats and trying to pick that up. I would rather dip my hand in that hot(lukewarm) cup of coffee that they serve in-flight.
The point is, flights are uncomfortable, messy and leave you with the sensation of having been digested in a whale’s stomach. I have taken a lot of long distance flights, with my longest flight ever being 18 hours from New York City to Mumbai, India, as well as domestic flights from East Coast to West Coast. I have learned to deal with the in-flight discomfort with some of my travel tricks. Many of these tricks are common to roadtrips too that I take many times. It becomes equally irritating in cars, specially when you are with company in the back seats and cannot lie down and promptly doze off. Sharing with you some tidbits that may help you stay calm and not kill the person next to you hogging your armrest.

  • Neck pillow: I had been putting off buying this for the longest time because I always thought of better things to do with $20. But on my last flight to India, I had to take a redeye to NYC, endure a 5 hour layover and then to Abu Dhabi before I could step foot at homeland. I got so uncomfortable on my first flight that as soon as I got to JFK, I bought one, and promptly went off to sleep on a small couch that I found near my gate. It is a savior, you guys!
  • Moisturizer, lip balm, small hairbrush: I am obsessed with lip balms thanks to sometimes single digit humidity in Southern California. My lips and palms are somehow always parched and it simply gets worse in flights with the controlled air. I always keep a small tube of moisturizer and lipbalm to hydrate my skin. A flight is far more comfortable if your lips don’t feel like Sahara dessert. The only reason I carry a hairbrush is to not scare the poor immigration officer and the person who volunteers to pick me up at airports. Long hair don’t take much time to look like a bird’s nest. This is also where those samples from Sephora, Ulta and magazines come in handy.
  • A book/Kindle: Time flies(literally) when you have a trusty book with you. My Kindle is one thing I never ever forget on a journey. I have more affection for a nice paperback or hardcover, but an eReader makes life easier when space and weight is a constraint. The seemingly immortal battery life is a definite plus when your phone fails to make the cute(looking at you iPhone!)
  • Sugar candy and baby food pouches: Now this is one strange tip that I picked up after having a couple of flights where I got really hangry. I buy a few of those fruit puree baby food pouches because they take minimal space and make a tasty vegetarian/vegan snack in a crunch. The hard-boiled sugar candies are good to suck on during takeoff and landings because they stimulate the salivary gland and prevent your ears from that painful popping. They are also useful if you are around a crying kid. Win-win for both. Do ask the parents first.
  • Socks: It would be rather nice to just wear flipflops for a flight, but I get very cold easily and for some reason angry when I am cold. I have to wear a pair of cozy socks and Toms so that I am comfy and warm. Many international flights do give socks in their flight kits though.
  • Oversized hoodie: Like I mentioned earlier, I get cold easily and the flight blanket covers either my neck or my toes. So to avoid losing my temper at the poor blanket, I just like to wear a hoodie that will cover my ears and neck snugly while the blanket keeps my legs and toes toasty.
  • Phone charger, headphones: It is always nice to carry your own headphones in case they work with the in-flight entertainment system. You can even listen to your own music and watch videos on the phone. I always have the phone charging cable, and a portable charging bank because I don’t trust my phone to last the whole time. It also helps to carry a long 10 ft charger cable if you have long layovers. Throw in a multiple USB charger if you are looking for blessings from people trying to find empty sockets.
  • A small bag: If you have a carryon and a personal item, I try to carry just a small drawstring bag or a sling bag. my bag usually fits all the items mentioned above snugly and it takes up minimum space under the seat. With the baby sized legspace that airlines give you, the last thing you want is a backpack taking up that area. Sometimes I carry this drawstring bag inside a backpack(that has even more stuff) that I put in the luggage bin, so that I have my essentials on me and rest of the stuff overhead. 

This list should help you travel more comfortably I hope and will keep you calm and stress-free. Let me know if you have anything to add here. Anything to make me not feel like Hulk in my next flight, is greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, go on tripping.com to check out some great deals on vacation rentals and start planning your next trip. I am already thinking about Florida this year and I see they have amazing beach rentals. Go ahead, get hold of a cute bungalow, book that flight and start packing your bags!

Happy travels!

15

I don’t need enemies…

…When I have myself!

I am not exaggerating, you guys. I am right on track to destroy my social life, alienate friends and to kill any chance of finding a life partner or even starting a relationship.

I met up with friends over the last weekend and I was telling her how I am so lazy that I just don’t want to step out of my home anymore. I had a date lined up since a few weeks but I have been postponing it for one or the other reason. Although the first week I had stomach cramps and had to cancel another dinner plan. But after that, I have had no reason. I left the town to go to San Diego on Saturday morning and my Friday was wide open and plan-less! But rather than going and meeting this guy, I decided that being on the couch and watching TV is a better option. I may have just lost the love of my life(Rrriiggghhtt!) I had a date planned a few months back too. But the phone call to plan it kind of cooled it for me. He made atleast 10 mentions of some club that used to be in the vicinity of the brewery I was suggesting and sounded concerned that in all my years of living here versus his 2, I hadn’t preferred to spend my every waking moment there. So, when he texted 3 hours before the date that his friend ‘had a fracture suddenly’, I was more than happy at his sad excuse. I went to tell my girl Adriane that I don’t have the date anymore and she commented that I was positively glowing at the prospect of not having anything to do that Friday. 

These aren’t really one off incidences. I already am famous for refusing to do absolutely anything on weekdays, save for Wednesday softballs. I spend my day at work, work out in the evening, and I want to go back home and do nothing but watch ‘Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi’(obsessed with the show!). My plum sized brain refuses to understand that I will have zero Rang Pyar Ke if I don’t step out, meet people, and invest energy to get something started. Even when I start talking to people online through Anuroop, I only want to text. I cant help feel exhausted already when they suggest a phonecall. My weekends are spent in pre-decided plans with friends, or trying to not get out my bed to even see sunlight. Where does that leave me any time to devote to guys? 

This is not good for me. Since I first started dating at around 17-18, this is the longest that I have been single. I have become used to being alone, although I don’t like being lonely. I have become accustomed to doing things my way and spending my time the way I want to. My last relationship also happened to be the longest relationship I have had and so I have lost touch with my dating mindsight. I have not had to try and be nice, and impress anyone for years now(6 years today actually.) Things just flowed when the xBF and I decided to take our friendship to the next level. All this business of talking and connecting with people, has totally left my comfort zone. I can talk without worry with anyone where there is no prospect or suggestion of anything else. Anything other than that makes me clam up. It also doesn’t help that I am feeling quite under-confident about myself, with respect to looks, and even more, personality. I just don’t feel that I have that ‘stuff’ in me anymore that can be liked by someone, so, why even try! I know, I know, that is the wrong way to go about, specially when I am so keen on ending this lonliness. But old habits die hard, eh?

I guess I just have to keep telling myself to get out of the house right? Although, all this hardwork, effort and the subsequent ranting in this space can be saved if one simply falls in love with me at first sight. Is that too much to ask for?

—————

PS : Usually on social media and blogs, people color their lives to make them look more exciting and better than reality. I have succeeded in doing the opposite. To all the concerned people, my life isn’t as sad as it looks from the post. Take it with a pinch of salt, and some lime and tequila.

14

Such A Nasty Woman

She was born to a set of happy parents and mildly unhappy relatives. She did not have any siblings. The extended family hugged her, blessed her everytime that they met her, and then tut-tut-ed wondering how the family name would continue. She failed to understand why was that even important. She went to college, got her degree and earned herself a job. She got married off to a reasonably decent guy, and embraced motherhood obediently after a year. The husband and the baby needed a full time care-giver, and that was the end of her career. When she put her foot down and demanded support from her husband after 2 years of feeling shut-down from the world, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was born to doting parents and had a happy childhood. She got through school with a flair for the languages. She was a smart student and took to writing in college. She had a lot of friends, and gender was insignificant to her. She met someone amazing and after a 3 year relationship, she had a diamond on her finger. One fine day, there was an objection to her going out for dinner with her best friend, a boy. And then, there were more. When she refused to ‘cut it out’, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was a headturner and a sassy, confident girl. She was an honors student at college and was a master cocktail-mixer. She smiled too much, laughed too much, and had too many boys as friends. The whispers had it that she was ‘easy’. She enjoyed living her life at her own terms. She threw amazing parties, and was a natural event organizer. She just made one mistake, that of trusting her friend. When she took herself and her bruises to demand justice, they said she was asking for it. She was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was one of the best at her firm. She believed in efficiency, over donkey work.  She received the best reviews possible from her clients. She would get to work on time, put in her 200%, and leave on time. Yet, she was looked over for promotion to be a team leader because the bachelor boys stayed until 10 pm(nothing better to do at home, plus free dinner at cafeteria!) She escalated the issue to the HR. The word was that she was too pretty and young to be a lead. When she objected, proving herself to be the most deserving, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

They tried to break the glass ceiling, to build a better world, to provide themselves a better life, to get educated, to love beyond s*xuality standards, to follow the God they believe in, to have a right to their own body, to decide for their future, to save Mother Earth. But that tag never left them. ‘Such a nasty woman’.

All the #NastyWomen unite!

 

6

Castles in the air

It’s a semi-rainy Thursday in here at work and I can see some sunlight poking out of impossibly fluffy clouds. My boss has left for the weekend and I am somewhat done with what I had to do but not completely done with the project. I want to finish it soon, but as of now, my brain refuses to deal with it. I can imagine a hundred other things that I could be doing right now if I had the liberty to flake at work.

  • Food taster : This is the life you guys. Getting paid to go out, eat and review food has to be one of the best professions around. I refuse to pay heed to Debbie Downers who talk about health, fats, monotony and such bland stuff. I would love to do this if I get a chance. Order a bunch of food, taste a bit of everything, and down what you like best. You generally get to try a few courses and get served in the best possible way. After your meal, you get to skip the depressing part where you have to whip out your wallet. Eat, repeat, and bolt. And workout.
  • Hair and makeup model : I am an odd person. I absolutely love it when someone is doing something to my hair. Even if they are barely braiding or even just touching my hair, it makes me all happy and tingly. Same goes for someone working on my skin. Aah, bliss. I understand that a lot of beauty and hair bloggers/vloggers need faces and heads to work on. Do think of your homegirl, will ya?
  • Dog walker : Dogs. DOGS! Do I even need to explain how much I love the little, or big, furry, or hairy, buns of pure affection? As mommy has strictly asked me not to get one for the next few years, I have to be content with doggie-sitting my friends’ dogs which doesn’t happen often enough. I have looked into a walking service, but my visa won’t quite allow me to get another job even if it’s just paperwork and unpaid. I have looked at volunteering also, and so far things haven’t worked with respect to timings. Hopefully, soon. I look forward to walking puppers, requesting them to poop and then ensuring that they do know ‘Who’s a good boy!’
  • Sand castle architect : The one place I look forward to most for the coming summer, is the beach. The warm sand, the blue water, golden sun-rays, useless sunscreen, I look forward to all of that! I think I would be really good at drawing up blueprints of castles and instructing my minions, err, groups of kids, to build them according to the plan. I can make really pretty castles and my mechanical engineering background gives me a good idea about material strength and malleability of sand. So, why not?
  • Cocktail artist : I can mix up some basic alcohol and have a general idea of what goes together with what. I have been reading up a bit on mixology and I have a teensy crush on female bartenders. There is a certain badass attitude involved and it gives that extra flair to the profession. I think I can do it. Except the juggling skills, where I will be a disaster, thanks to my total lack of hand-eye coordination.
  • Chocolate quality analyist : If there is heaven on earth, it’s not Kashmir, but the Ghirardelli or Lindt factory. Even if all that chocolate kills me, I will be at peace knowing that I passed on with a kick of endorphins. I will gladly accept half of my current paycheck, if it means trying out every piece of new chocolate to come out of those stores. I don’t even want to write anymore about it, because it makes me so misty-eyed and drooly.

I have good alternate career plans to look forward to. But as of now, back to calculating the correct blade exit angle and the velocity profile.

4

Raw reality

I am a fan of realities being shown exactly as they are. Sugar-coating is nice, but over the time, saccharine sweetness is boring. It is nice to make something sound beautiful to make it attractive and lucrative and probably comforting, but hiding the grim reality behind a situation does more harm in the long run. Give it to me straight without coloring it pretty. I am an adult and I can take it, and I expect the same from the other person.

I saw an article that I forwarded to my friend last night on WhatsApp and I was amused and amazed by it. It showed motherhood in its raw, open form. It has a selfie of the dad with his baby in his arms, where the new mum is also seen in adult mom diapers from the back. She decided to post it anyways because she wanted to show that motherhood is all about the cuteness and the rawness at the same time. Labor is about a human body going through unbelievable transformation and there is no point to shy away from it when almost half the world’s population goes through it. Similarly, there is nothing good that comes out of hiding issues behind the curtain, like post-partum depression, medical issues, stitches, br*ast-feeding. The more women are aware, the more their ability increases to take informed decisions about their health and the little one and the whole process. Having a child means coming to know the extent your body can break and re-mould. It makes sense to know all aspects of it.

Same thing goes for having periods. About half of the world bleeds. And the onset can be annoying, painful and inconvenient. But it happens, and it is a part of the shoddy deal. Men, it is about time you stop acting immature about PMS and periods, and women, please stop being embarrassed, and being uncomfortably sneaky. It will help both genders to snap away from the awkwardness of menses and be more adaptive and accommodating. Shout-out to my friend for carrying my emergency pad and Ibuprofen in his jacket-pocket so that I don’t have to carry any bag to the club.

From all the movies, and books(Mills and Boons, I am looking at you!) and all the seemingly perfect couples around us and on YouTube these days, it becomes slightly disconcerting that our idea of relationship is that of a honeymoon period that lasts forever. Every friendship ends in a relationship, every relationship has a happy marriage, and everything is perfectly rosy all the time is fiction we have been led to believe. Only recently has Bollywood decided to explore unreciprocated feelings, one-sided attraction, heartbreak and awkwardness of breakups. I actually know people who don’t believe that marriage can be quite a bit of work to maintain even if there is good compatibility. It is a relationship that needs constant nurturing with TLC to make sure that you don’t actually murder the other person in their sleep. You may have been in love with someone for a month or 5 years. But living under the same roof comes with its own host of issues. The better this reality sinks in, the easier the process becomes. A whole another chapter can be written about the awkwardness of intimacy. What is shown to be so beautiful and romantic every single time, can be anywhere from cringe-inducing, to rolling-on-the-floor kind of laughter, before settling on that right point.

Coming down to vanity, when I go around shopping, I see these gorgeous outfits in stores, with beautiful back detailing, etc. These days in the world of style blogs and red-carpet fashion statements, it feels amazing to look at the clothes and it is not even that difficult to find an affordable version of it thanks to fast fashion retailers. But what always stumps me is the question of appropriate innerwear for the clothes. The actual story is that celebrities and their outfits have a relationship cemented by backless br*s, silicon pasties, double-sided tapes, gel shoe soles and a gazillion safety pins. Of course, there are girls who are willing to go to that length and they do look every bit stunning. But I just want to dance freely and have the ability to sit down anywhere. I was watching the Golden Globes and when Viola Davies was giving her winner’s speech, I noticed stretch marks on her arms. It made me feel so happy that a celebrity like her on a global awards show had no qualms in hiding her scars. She was showing off her muscular, bad-ass arms and they were the highlight. The marks were an ode to the amount of effort she has put in to get that fit body. It is a reality of life and just goes on to show that you did actually grow up, irrespective of being a man who built up his body or a woman who filled into hers. It is a testament to growth. Behind the beauty in the stunning bodycon dress and high heels, lies a reality that the woman accepts and chooses to subdue or enhance as she deems fit.

It feels empowering to read articles and posts that show what actually life and being human being is. I like untouched pictures that show the way you are, and not what you are supposed to be. I love hearing and reading stories about life and love that are put across with straightforwardness. Uncomfortable they could be, but shouldn’t be shunned. 

So, here’s to growing up, and accepting things as they are, and not as I dreamt they would be. *Cheers*

17

2017 it is!

So how was my 2016? Pretty much like any other year, partly eventful, mostly fun, and with enough rained out moods and gloomy days. 

The best thing to happen was my folks staying with me for 5 months. It was their first trip to the US. There was a lot of happiness, but also enough drama and tears for you to cancel your subscription to Hindi prime-time soaps. The fights between me and my mom are melodramatic to say the least. They also mostly seem ridiculous in hindsight. I am trying extra hard to be nice specially because they are going to come here again in summer. I don’t want a repeat of the ridiculousness as last time. I think this time would be more chilled out too. We have less long distance travel since they finished most of the touristy stuff last time. We will cover more local areas and activities. We still feel incomplete without Moony, who is in doggie heaven, and he is always missed.

The middle of the year and September also brought back an important entity in my life. I started talking to the xBF again. We always were friends and it is nice to see that spark being back. There are momentary relapses, but mostly we are on track to nothingness. Yay for that?

This year was also the year that ‘yours truly’ got set up for phone and text dates with prospects. Hello, online dating and arranged marriage scenarios! Someone from Michigan came to meet and hangout to see if there was any possibility. I have ended up being very good friends with his friends and hanging out with them for happy hours, even though that dude is out of picture. There was nothing wrong with him, just that Cali is way too far from MI, among other things. Then there was another awesome sauce dude who seemed like the master of hypothetical questions. His questions and talks were so whimsical that I found myself depressed for the next two days. I pulled myself out of it and prayed for the girl who may end up with him. Then there were others, who are already married, judging by their whatsapp display pics. See, I told you I am a good luck charm!

Babies entered my life in 2016, left, right and center and they are very loved by Auntie PB. They made me realize that I am not hated by their fraternity, and also, that I still prefer puppies. 😀 My plans of adopting a pupper are being steamrolled by the Mothership, and her reasons are valid and annoying at the same time. But that doesn’t stop me from browsing adoption websites. Meanwhile I am doggie-sitting other’s pets and spoiling them to the core.

I had quite an active social life with a lot of exciting events and trips planted in my memory. I got yelled at by a few buddies for meeting them after years(since graduation). I had a lot of very memorable fun weekends. I flew cross country to meet my bestie Hazra who’s wedding I will be missing out in January. It was his first trip to the US through work, and we made it quite fun. I was glad I could drive him around and show him some glimpses of America. I had a mini re-union with old friends and our fun little trio got together and had a blast. I celebrated all American holidays with Shawn n Alicia as their adopted family member and even had a set of gifts from Santa under the Christmas Tree! There was a lot of new thrown in as well, when I met some of my blogger buddies. January through December, I met some of my favorite writers and I am looking forward to our next hangout session and meeting more new people already!

I took chances this year, and made quite a fool of myself. I got rejected as well when I told someone that I was crushing on ‘em. Atleast I was braver than him, because every friggin’ sign from him pointed to a two-way traffic between us. Ah well. In this situation, trust me when I say this, his loss. 😉

I have been going through trying times, and phases of depression. Sometimes I am simply sad, and sometimes ‘need to rip off my skin’ upset. I went through some frustration(still going on) at work. In my personal life, I am trying not to feel abandoned and lonely. But I try to keep these thoughts away. I don’t want to feel clouded and lose sight of my life and it’s potential. To anyone feeling low, make sure you knew that you are capable of much more than what this darkness offers. Just a tiny turn may help you put your life back on track. Nothing, and absolutely nothing will help, unless you help yourself.

So, I bid adieu to 2016, dancing for 4 hours straight, right under the Empire State in New York. This was the first time I have clubbed out on New Year’s Eve as a drinking-age adult(but I barely drank!) and it was a blast!

After the kid-sized roller coaster that 2016 was, let’s see how 2017 shapes up. The bet’s on it being ditto, but I will give you excellent odds on PB’s major life events(0.5% chance!).

Happy new year, y’all!!

2

Look how far we’ve come…

I met up with my friends from my Lonavala days over the weekend in San Jose. We used to be a trio when we started college. All three of us from different backgrounds, found some common ground amidst the chaos of 20 girls sharing a large hall in the first 6 months. We were roommates as well for almost 2 years after that. It will be a mighty understatement if I say that ‘yep, we have had our ups and downs.’ What we had was a family drama that will last longer than your bag of popcorn. But, we grew up(almost!)

It was a very fun weekend with a lot of happiness sprinkled around generously. Looking back, I realized one thing. We all have come such a far way from what we were. It is quite astounding because if you stand from the outside and look at us three, you will be hard-pressed to find a common trait that binds us. Our similarities are indiscernible. We are 3 girls with a very strong sense of individuality, with 3 absolutely different personality traits and 3 ways of thought processes. We think on completely different levels from each other, yet mostly, the end is similar. It’s almost like we are trying to reach the same point, but we take different routes. 

Back in college, when we first met, we did realize that our backgrounds were so different from what we were used to. Yet, we had a common plane. Specially in the first year, having common subjects and living in the common hall and eating in the cafeteria bound us somewhat. Going forward, two of us were in Mechanical Eng department and one was in Computer Eng, but things were still similar to a level. Yet we had our very strong differences. Only commenting about myself, boy, was I rigid! A lot of changes came into my personality and behavior over the years as I got influenced by situations and people. S and A have had a more lasting and a very deep relationship with each other over the years and they both are much easier to understand than all three of us together. I did drift apart, but it was mostly okay for all of us.

Not that I have lost my sleep over it, but last weekend found me questioning the existence of common plane and if it indeed is important. Moo, Ani and I bond over a myriad range of topics. We love similar things and hate similar things. Our families have very similar traits. Well mostly the way we bond is Ani yelling at Moo and I. We do have our differences but that also just blends with the way we are. Maybe that is a result of us molding together as friends over the last decade. But with S and A, I am finding it very hard to point at what is making us tick now.  One has a Roomba and wears flipflops on carpets, one had no idea about Legos till a week back and doesn’t like mushrooms, and one obsessively drinks smoothies for lunch and hates Beiber and loves T. Swift. Interestingly, I have noticed that with almost every topic, among the three of us, two will have the same view about it and one will have an opposite outlook.

But I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. As long as we continue to laugh over the ridiculousness of PG certified but actually X-rated Bollywood, we should be good.

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‘Tis the season…

…to be dark, broody, annoyed….. and a bit jolly.. FALALALALALALA!

I kid, I kid! It is almost Christmas, you guys! This year has passed by like the falling stars that I keep trying to take pictures of. It started with a daze and the crazy excitement of traveling back to US with my parents. Their long visit flew by swiftly, I stepped into my last year of Twenties, and Diwali came and went. Everything has been such a blub of memories with somehow, my memory registering almost every food that I ate. I think it is partly because that food still lives on parts of my body as adipose layer. Damn you, pesky inches!

But I love the buzz in the air that started with Thanksgiving last weekend. I strolled into the mall for some Black Friday shopping and was defeated by long lines and mobs of people. After more than 7 years of living here and claiming that I will ALWAYS shop on Black Friday, I have bummed out of it. At some point in Sephora, I just stood in a corner for 10 minutes staring at people going nuts over makeup that wasn’t even on discount! I dropped the idea of buying my sunscreen that day and took off. Target was much better and I bought a few things that were on my list. Oh, I also got a set of Pyrex bake and store set in my bid to do away with plastic Tupperware and that made me feel very grownup and ladylike.

Since the past couple of weeks, I have caught myself singing ‘Rudolph-the red nosed reindeer’ and ‘’Tis the season to be jolly, FALALALALALA’ so many times now! I distinctly remember leaving this bar previous weekend, with my buddies in San Diego, singing Rudolph. I had a backup chorus too thankfully! That friendsgiving rocked!

Can you all smell this sweet, pine-y, cinnamon-ey scent in the air? No? Oh wait, because I do have a cinnamon roll on the desk. 🙂 I can’t help it! All the cookies, brownies and candies are screaming out my name! The air everywhere is so thick with the fragrance of Christmas. Most parking lots around homegoods stores have been turned into makeshift Christmas tree stores. I can breathe in and out that woody, sharp scent day all day long. I would have gotten a tree home, but they are expensive! And I know I won’t find a gift under my tree on Christmas morning. My Santa is miles away in the Indian sub-continent.  Maybe I will get a small wreath one of these days from Trader Joe’s.

You have to be living under a rock if you have not seen or heard about the Starbucks holiday cups. After the useless debate about the plainness and political correctness of their cup design last year (plain red, that’s it), Starbucks went all out and brought a lot of happy into their design this season. They are bright and cheery and scream holidays!

Everybody has their fairy lights on to herald the holiday season. Yours truly is not behind and I got a brand new string of lights and hung them up. The only problem is that the new multicolored lights are sort of clashing with my older cool-white and blue icicle lights. For a normal person, it’s not a grave issue, but hey, we are talking about me here.

In spite of all this happiness, I hate to admit that I am going through a rather low dip right now. There have been ups and downs, with a long, low, stressful dip going on right now. Hopefully my little buggy will be able to crawl out of this pit unscathed and much happier. I have been feeling this emotion where I just want to give my loved ones a long bear hug and cuddle up with them. I am taking anything that comes my way for a bit of that warmth. I have caught myself becoming teary eyed when some of my best friends have been giving me tight hugs. So, if anyone needs a big hug for any reason and needs a pick me up, here, have a huge, giant, all-consuming, warm as Butter hug! XOXOXOXOXO

hug

PS : Let’s ignore the mini breakdown I had at the gym today with Shawn patiently patting my head with a healthy dose of ‘There, there…’
“No sirs, I am not crying because he is forcing me to workout!”