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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!”
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Keep your MOJO flyin’ 

There are enough people in the world who want to kick you in the b*tt. They exist to bring you down, call you names and show you what a loser you are, which you so are not.

And then there are some ‘friends’ who will tell you how average you are and how being average sucks. They will cover it up with a very nice sounding ‘Be the Best or the Worst, no place for Average’. You will tell them excitedly about these simple things, and they will bring you down. No matter what you are, you will just be a ditzy little child.

You know what? Don’t let anyone steal your MOJO. You need to tell them this :
 
“I am f*ing average, and smart, and yes, I enjoy silliness. You of course can see only BS because your head is so up your own……….”

PS: I cant quite say that because of the inherent need to be liked by everyone. Siiiiggghhhhhhh. But the least I can do is shut my ears to their trap.

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Tedha hai, par mera hai

During lunch yesterday, I was sitting in the break room with colleagues and friends. 1 Indian and 3 Vietnamese. Our talks were about very random things, and then veered towards girls getting paid to text Mr. Old Moneybags. I have heard that it is just texting and no adult conversation involved. Apparently, they just want to talk and have a mentally stimulating conversation with educated girls. Weird.

As background, let me tell you that one of the Vietnamese girls is married to an Indian, a Bombay Gujarati boy. Her Mother in Law is here visiting right now. She started telling us about how her MIL is a vegetarian and doesn’t work and women in India arent allowed to work. I jumped in right there with a big Nooooooooo! I said that was or is in only the super traditional families. Or some women genuinely don’t want to work, they prefer being homemakers, eg. my cousin bhabhi. Then somehow the talk took a turn towards the movie ‘Water’ where they have shown the plight of young widows, new widows, old widows. The movie is a very true portrayel of womanhood, in my opinion. Yet I chimed in and said how pathetic the situation was, but there are people trying to improve it and there are improvements. Then she told about similar situations in Vietnam where young girls were sold off with a moneyback guarantee by the poor families. Human trafficking is rampant in the developing/under-developed countries and it is very hard to put a check on it. The need for food, clean water, and a roof on the head makes people do things way beneath human dignity.

I agreed to everything, but I realised one thing. I am extremely protective towards India’s image. It is like, I will say anything about my country. But you say something, and I will break your face. I don’t hide behind unicorns and rainbows when it comes to facing the grim realities, but I hate the generalization that happens when non Indians talk about my country. They don’t know about India. They don’t understand that there are many little countries within this giant country. I do not disagree that the general status of women is more like a commodity and something to lech at, but I still hate that when I talk about my life in my city, some of my friends here tell that it must be so scary and dangerous. :-/

I do not pooh-pooh away the fact that most families cannot afford a decent square meal a day. But it makes me angry when people wonder in front of me about why anyone would want to move back leaving USA and the cushy job. I am perfectly aware of the inflation and the sluggish industrial pace my country is facing, but heck, if you don’t know that India has very good job prospects, you are living under a rock.

If you ask me, I can list down 10 bad things about India. And about the USA. Also, I can list down 20 great things about India, and the USA. Comparing India and the USA is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are so vastly different with so many goods and bads. Specially, India is an absolutely different culture than any other country. It can be very overwhelming, even for Indians when they are moving to another location within the country itself. Let us cut it some slack. We are positive about things. There will be marked improvements in the coming years.

So, do not speak about how bad India is. Only I am allowed to say that.