21

More unexpected compliments…

Who doesn’t love to hear nice things about themselves? Specially if they are totally out of the blue, they are even better. I was standing in RJ’s cubicle, speaking to him about something related to work. Dennis(my boss, the 75 yr old white guy, for the uninitiated) walked in and had this totally unrelated conversation with me.

Dennis : You know what, PB? If only you were 5 inches taller, you would have been a great fashion model.
*Stunned 15 seconds of silence everywhere*

Me : *Smiling ear to ear* Really? What makes you say that??

Dennis : You have the right shape. You have a beautiful smile. And you have a very nice face to look at.

Me : Errrr, thanks Dennis. Well I wanted to be an actress. Haha

Dennis : That would have been possible, but its harder. Anyways, since we cannot be those things, we will satisfy ourselves by being very good engineers. 

My head was floating, filled up like a balloon. It was brought back to earth by my temperamental skin that decided to flare up the next day.

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14

Our world of four people…

It has been a week since Moony has passed on. There have been so many sweet memories that he has given us. Mom and Dad and I have been spending time video chatting since his birthday, recalling everything. When I had called at the night of his birthday, we sat down and spoke about his 15 years. That was the last time I saw Dad still hopeful, but yet, we were starting to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. The next morning on 20th when they woke up, the hope was going dim. He finally passed on at around 10.30 am.

Out of the gazillion sweet and sour and a few exasperating memories that he has given us, I would like to share one and why Dad thinks he is like Ganesh(the Indian god of happiness and prosperity).

My parents and I had gone for a little trip to Sinhgad fort and Kamshet lake near Pune. If I am not wrong, I think I was in high school at that time and Moony must have been 3-4 years old. We did the whole trek to the top of the fort with our doggie in tow, who had a really weird habit of going ahead everywhere as if he is a sniffer dog or something and like it is his duty to protect us from any harm that could come our way. Due to his this habit, he may have been getting really tired. It was also summer time and it was quite hot. We roamed around on the top and then got back down after eating lunch over there.

After that, we stopped at Kamshet lake, and did another very long walk to get to the boating area. While climbing on the rocks to get to the lake side, we noticed that Moony had started slipping a bit and looked like he was holding his one rear foot up. He has had leg troubles since he was about a year old. It is partly due to his heavy labrador weight genes and partly due to a possible vaccine side effect.

So, noticing that, my dad decided to stop on the rocks and he asked my mom and I to go ahead for the boat ride. Moony was a completely Momma’s boy. Even if it was Dad and me and him in the car and Mom got out to go to a store, he would keep crying. And it wasn’t a cry-cry, but like this low, annoying whistle and after every few whistles, he would give out a shrill yelp. Constantly! It would look like we were torturing him or something. You know when someone really wants to cry but all the crying is done yet they are still trying to cry, it used to sound exactly like that.

As Moony saw that me and mom were walking away, he started yelling. A proper full fledged shrieky cry. Mom and me ignored that and got into the boat. He saw that and God knows what happened to him, he started dragging my dad who was holding his leash. Moony was almost choking with his collar against his throat, and my dad was getting dragged on the slippery rocks and freaking out that he was going to fall, but nothing could stop Moony. Finally around a 100 footsteps away from the boating area, my dad left his leash and Moony just bolted, ran onto the docking area, and promptly jumped into the boat. It was a 12 seater and there were around 8 people in it including us who were so shocked to see a dog jump into the boat! My dad reached us and clambered into the boat and that’s it. Moony plopped down happily by his mommy’s feet and everything was right with his world again! Who has seen a dog enjoy boating before? And not just this, he has been in a diesel fueled, really basic fish crawler boat to see dolphins with us in the Konkans, Maharashtra coastline.

Dad remembers this story from Indian mythology about Ganesh and Karthikeya with their parents Shiv and Parvati. When asked to take a round of the world for some competition, Karthikeya sat on his peacock and started his long journey. Whereas, Ganesh made Shiv and Parvati sit on their seats, and just took a round around them. His parents were his world.

We were Moony’s world. And he was our’s.

Our little boy, forever and always...

26

15 years and a day

Thank you all of you for your positivity and good wishes. It helped our lil boy leave. After 8 days of struggle, he breathed his last with his mommy with him. He was loved by everyone and absolutely adored by his family.  

It seems to us that he was waiting to give us the joy of his 15th birthday. His last rites were done and he was cremated with his red ribbon around his neck. He took the last ride in his favorite way, our car, with his head on his daddy’s lap.

Now we just have to re-learn being without him around. 

Moony (19th July 2000 – 20th July 2015) 

  

 

15

3 day quote challenge : Day 3

Phew! I did one challenge finally on my blog after resisting for 3 years. Savio from theextraaamile, thanks man!

My last quote has to come from the show that I absolutely love, inspite of being distracted by Game of Thrones and such…

This goes out to the people who are extremely important to me. Abhi-Nish, Moo, Ani, Shib and Hazra. Hopefully, I have qualified myself to be the same for you. Here’s to our friendship. Cheers for being the family that I chose for myself.

My favorite show!

My favorite show!

The rules of the challenge:

1. Post 3 of your favorite quotes each per day for 3 concurrent days.
2. Nominate 3 or more bloggers with each post to challenge them.
3. Say thanks to the blogger who nominated you.

My nominations for today and the last for the challenge:
– Tatsatji

– GM

– My Era

18

3 day quote challenge : Day 2

So we are on day 2 of this challenge and this is courtesy Mr. Savio from theextraaamile. Thank you very much! 😀

Everybody who knows me even a little bit knows that I absolutely love animals. I am specially a dog person actually. I feel immense joy in doing even a tiny bit for the animals of the world. If I cant do anything, I will sit signing petitions, hoping for a miracle to take place. Usually, I am disappointed by mankind and by the extent of their cruelty to suppress, kill and destroy. But I will not lose hope that one day, we will realize that co-existence is the key. It is their world, as much as it is ours.

Here are two quotes that I firmly believe in about dogs. Dogs were basically put on the earth to remind us what goodness is. They are an inspiration to be good, honest and positive. Yessir, God himself has whispered this in my ears. 🙂

Inspiration

Word!

If you cannot do anything, remember, not hurting someone or something is equally powerful.

Simple truth

The rules of the challenge:

1. Post 3 of your favorite quotes each per day for 3 concurrent days.
2. Nominate 3 or more bloggers with each post to challenge them.
3. Say thanks to the blogger who nominated you.

My nominations for today:
– Mi

– Life of Srish

– Integrated seconds of life

PS: I need all the prayers and positivity I can for Moony.

21

3 day quote challenge : Day 1

Hola Amigos! I have been nominated for the 3 days quotes challenge by Savio from theextraaamile. Thank you, ye kind sir, to nominate me for this extra hard challenge because I am not a quote person. And on top of that, picking out 3 top quotes is enough to send me downward the slippery slope of typical Libran indecisiveness. If I make myself cry, its on you. 😛
Kidding! I will take this challenge.

Quote for Day 1 :

I am so going to sound like a broken record here, but my favorite quote right now is the one I wrote a poem about in my last post.
If you have been reading me regularly, you know that since 1.5 years, I have been in pain. I go on about my life, with a toothy smile in place, enthusiasm reloaded, and with my usual sarcastic and self-deprecating sense of humor 😀 . But I have been hurting almost constantly. I talked about it on my blog because I found it therapeutic. I would discuss with Moo, Ani, the Pune BFFs and with Abhi-Nish. It helped every time I spoke out loud about it, but the pain still lingered. I have been mortally afraid to let everything go. I had decided to live with the hurt.

I have also been very stressed at work. Things are great with my boss, Dennis. But the LNG and Gas market is exceptionally volatile right now. We have been hit by a perfect storm, as our GM says.

Also, my dog Moony, needs all the prayers and positivity right now. He is in trouble and he needs all the blessings he can.

So, basically I have lived with stress on my shoulders. I want to get rid of it. I don’t know what caused this transformation, but these simple words made a big impact on me. I have decided to turn around. I know I can’t let go of the thoughts and memories completely, but I can try to make peace with them. I want to cut loose, to take chances and to live without my shoulders drooping down. Well, I can’t do much about the shoulders. I don’t like my shoulder shape too much, along with the rest of me. Meh. 

So here it is.

“In life there is no ending. It is always a new beginning.”

Go back to this post here to read my teeny, tiny poem about it.

The rules of the challenge:

1. Post 3 of your favorite quotes each per day for 3 concurrent days.
2. Nominate 3 or more bloggers with each post to challenge them.
3. Say thanks to the blogger who nominated you.

My nominations for today:
Khayali Pulao

A dash of pepper

Pop goes the biscuit

26

A new beginning 

Faith is all we have,
Faith is all we need,
A little speck of light,
Is good enough of a lead.
 
The night may seem dark,
Hopeless and bleak,
But it is not long enough,
And dawn we must seek.
 
The storm will pass,
The clouds will clear,
The wind of hope will come,
To move aside the fear.
 
Life has its moments,
But there is no ending,
However hard it seems,
It’s just a new beginning.

Must remember…

21

Travelogue : Zion National Park

I did not shower at all over the weekend, and I survived. Okie, now since that is out of the way, let me tell you about my fabulous camping and hiking trip that I took over the long weekend. The smell of burning wood in my hair has finally been replaced by lavender from my shampoo, but the moments are still fresh.

Abhi and Nish were planning a camp trip to Zion National Park, Utah since a month or two. Initially I was not going to go since they were going to hike up the super-badass Angel’s landing and I was so sure it wasn’t my cup of tea. The other flimsy reasons included that I had already seen Zion 3 years ago and a couple of other things. But when I was in San Diego a couple of weeks back, I heard that there may be a chance that they will move to another city and that tugged at my heartstrings, and I was in!

Angel's landing (Google images)

We were a group of 6 people, Abhi and Nish, DD and Maddie(DD is Abhi and Nish’s friend since years and Maddie is his GF), and Abhi’s friend from work, who wants to be known as Ted on the blog, because he thinks his life story’s like Ted from How I met your mother with all the heartbreaks and that jazz. I told him if I imagine his heart, it’s like a taped up balloon. Sheesh. 😀

We were supposed to start at 3 pm on Thursday from San Diego and they were supposed to pick me, DD and Maddie up at 4 pm from my home in OC. A late car delivery where our reservation was not honored( a la Seinfeld), gruesome city traffic and stupid things like that insured us being late by 3 hours pretty much. We were still too excited to get bothered by that, so it was all forgotten until the prospect of reaching our booked hotel at 5 am to wake up at 9 am again loomed on us. We had decided to stay the night at Cedar City to avoid experimenting with tents in the dark which was an awesome bit of decision making by Abhi and Nish. So after about 4 hours of sleep for the ‘night’ and our last shower for the weekend, we left for our campground in Dixie National Forest. That day was very eventful with trying to figure out the way a tent works, the right side of a rain-flap, the purpose of vestibule and all that fun stuff to get a roof over our heads.

Veggie burgers

Veggie burgers

Paneer tikka and veggie patties on our little grill.

Paneer tikka and veggie patties on our little grill.

Wilderness

Wilderness

We went around the town for a bit after that. We got back at around 6 pm all excited to make our first meal on fire. Boy, did that fire take forever to start! We had some friendly tent neighbors who saw the 6 of us cluelessly huddle over some smoking coals and they gave some lighter fuel because our firestarter bricks were clearly big duds. This help was met with a mixture of amusement and gratefulness. Some male egos were bruised as well because apparently starting a fire is the most basic talent of cave-men. 😀 We tucked into a hearty meal of burgers, Paneer Tikka and some wine. Of course the alcohol was courtesy me. The food was mind-blowing. If you have Nish with you, rest assured, you will never die hungry and unsatisfied! After wrapping up everything else, we turned in for the night, only to get up again at 4 am to get to Zion National Park as early as we could.

The morning arrived and I felt like I had swallowed a bucket of butterflies. I was freaking out and I was so scared about my hike. I was pretty sure I was going to die, or fall and break a limb or something. I had utter lack of confidence, but DD had done the same hike before and he kept assuring me that I will be able to do it. We reached Zion and took the shuttle to the point where the hike begins. I am so grateful to the weather gods that there was a cloud cover. So even with 90 deg F, we weren’t dying of heat. There was a good breeze and it kept our energy up. The hike is actually just 5 miles or so, roundtrip, but since it is a straight up elevation, it becomes tedious. We were taking tiny pauses every few minutes to catch our breath. Now Abhi is a health nut who is into hiking as well, and I think Ted is too, so they were pretty okay. Nisha and I were dying and DD and Maddie were left a li’l behind since they were taking it easy climbing up. But even then, I think I did pretty well compared to the dud I was 3 years back about outdoorsy activities. For sure, it was easier because Ted offered to help carry my backpack full of water bottles. Shawn(my buddy at work) had told me not to sit down because then it makes it hard for me to continue. He is totally taking credit for training me in these last 2 years and building up my stamina. He wants me to buy him lunch now. Ya, right!. So, we went up and stopped at Scout’s lookout which is the final point for someone who doesn’t want to do the killer last half mile. We sat for a few minutes, took some pictures, watered us up and started on the final hike again. I don’t want to write too much about it and will let the pictures do the talking (I will add more eventually). Ted helped me a ton by making sure I don’t fall off or trip. I got totally laughed at while going down because I was sitting down and slithering down the rocks like a snake, as my friends claimed. But hey, between my dignity and my life, I would choose the latter. 😀

At the TOP

At the TOP

IMG_6791

Challenge accomplished!

IMG_6793

Walter’s wiggles, a part of the trail to Scout’s lookout.

I feel totally badass that I did it and I am extremely proud of myself. I had seen plenty of videos on Youtube that had scared the living daylights out of me and I had decided to play it by the ear about doing it or not. But at that moment, I just wanted to do it. Remember my last post? The whole ‘seize the moment’ thing I am daring myself to do? I think the hike was a part of that crazy, mental plan.

We were EXHAUSTED after the hike. We had bhel (sort of an indian street food) for lunch and went to check out the Virgin River and some parts of the Narrows hike. The water was cold and sooooo good. I wanted to go deep into it but we had to leave too. So with a very heavy heart, a bid adieu to Zion. Okay, *drama queen*.

Now I did say we were exhausted and aching all over, and to add to our woes, it started raining. I think it’s a trend with me. California is drought stricken. Last year when I went to Portland, the city welcomed me with a good soak. In this trip also, I had to get caught in the rain at the campground. We had a fab time trying to light our little fire with all the moisture around but we managed, in about a couple of hours and literally gallons of our newly bought lighter fuel. After it was dark, DD went fuel happy on the fire and he(okay, us) found it very entertaining to see the fire roaring up like that. Has anyone done that weird thing where you spray deodorant on your leg, over your jeans actually and light it for a few seconds? Yep, I am that idiot who used to do it.

But I loved that night. It was our last night over there. It was cold, it was rainy, yet, something felt really nice and cozy about the whole environment. It was my first time camping, and I am a convert.

We even stopped at Bryce Canyons where the xBF, Abhi and a couple of our other friends had gone 3 years back. In fact, Abhi’s contact pic on my phone is from our Bryce trip and so is my wordpress display pic. It made me a little nostalgic, getting reminded of the old days, but I did snap out of it easier than earlier. Those were some fun times.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

The drive back was of course horrendous because the entire world is on the road trying to get back to home after a long weekend. But, MY SENSE OF HUMOR, and a bit of madness by others made it all worth it. My back is frozen, my calves are stiff and my b*tt hurts like a b*tch. But I am all smiley and happy inside. Fady, a buddy at work, even commented that I have a smile plastered on my face.

Each time I go to Canyons, I fall in love with them. I think I left a li’l piece of my heart behind in Utah, and I will be back to get it. 🙂