Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 588: "South Indian Meal"!

29 June, 2011

I had a craving for the one and only "South India Meal". And no, I shall not call it a "South India Thaali" because that destroys the innate "south-indianness" of the whole thing. Back in India, there is nothing like ordering one of these to the waiter, who usually shouts it as "oru meals" all the way down to the kitchen, and then within a few minutes, finding one banana leaf or a huge steel plate with lotsa rice and several different varieties of curries and vegetables to go along. Yum, Yum, Yum. 

So yes, I had a craving. But I also had to do a lot of work, pack for Hong Kong (am going there tomorrow), try and hit the gym etc. before I could really get myself to Little India and satisfy my craving. 

But I managed to do all of it! I did all that work, I went to the gym, I packed my bag, ran some errands etc. etc. and after everything was done, I caught a bus to Little India, joined the hubby there and had the much awaited South Indian Meal. 

And then life felt just perfect! 

412 more to go. 

Day 587: Nine to Nine!

28 June, 2011

One of those long working days, that was so busy throughout and without much of a break in between. But for a change, I felt pretty good about the whole thing. 

In the beginning, at about 9am, things were all falling apart. So many things were going wrong! Everyone had a different opinion about everything. No decisions were being made. Time was running out. Etc. Etc. It was one bloody mess, to put it plainly. 

I began to despair and for the umpteenth time began to wonder whether all this is really worth it. Then I got tired of myself despairing and decided to take matters in in my hand.

The next few hours were a race to fix things. I worked and I talked and I e-mailed and I worked some more and nett, by the time it was 9pm, I think I made some progress in fixing up some of the mess. 

Which made me feel pretty good at the end of a 9 to 9 day. 

413 more to go. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 586: Support, Again!

27 June, 2011

During the last few days before the Mausams screening, and just after it happened as well, I had felt an overwhelming sense of support from everyone around. It is a very, very good feeling... something I can't really describe well enough but something I already feel very thankful for!

Today I had the same sense all over again. This time, because of the film festival news which led to a flurry of messages and calls from a lot of wonderful people!

Once again it felt really, really good!

414 more to go.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 585: Robbery to Film Festival!

26 June, 2011


What an eventful day!


It all started with me getting an invite to a friends place for lunch. She is an awesome cook and had decided to cook up a wide variety of Kerala dishes and I was one of the lucky guests who get to eat all that up! I decided that I will first go to her place for all that yummy food and then make my way to yoga, thereby making it a productive Sunday. So, I picked up my yoga bag (a backpack) and made my way to her place.  


On my way, I stopped at a shop to buy her some mangoes. I walked just a bit after my successful purchase of mangoes, when I felt something was odd. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but I turned around and noticed that my backpack was open and the plastic bag (which I use to put my yoga clothes in), was pull out of it. It took me a few seconds to figure what was going on. I rummaged inside the bag and noticed that my wallet was gone!


I was robbed in broad daylight, in a residential area, in Singapore. Appalling!


After some fruitless searching around, I made my way to my friend’s place. The awesome food that she had cooked up made me feel really good and made up much for the loss of the wallet (even though I was still wishing that the thief would rot in hell).


When I did voice out this “thief should rot in hell” wish of mine, my cinematographer from Mausams, who was also present at this lunch, commented with his usual genius look about what I could possibly write in this blog for the day, under the given circumstances. He definitely had a point there because getting mugged is not exactly beautiful, but I gave him my customary snort and told him that maybe I will write about how amused I am by the new moustache he is sporting.


While such pointless conversation was proceeding, I decided to check my email on the phone and noticed an email from one of the film festivals I had entered Mausams in. “Probably a rejection or a cancellation”, I thought. You see, I have had terrible luck with film festivals so far. Firstly we can’t apply to most of the major ones, because Mausams do not have the production values (i.e. no 35mm, no HD etc.). That alone reduces the number of festivals we can apply to. Amongst the rest, I chose only those which allow submission of online screeners instead of DVDs because each festival entry costs a lot and I didn’t want to spend extra on couriers for screeners. Again, a chunk of them disappears from the list. Out of those that remain, I picked a few and applied to and one turned to be a scam, one got postponed indefinitely and we got rejected from one because the film was 120 minutes when they accept only 75 minutes (this critical piece of information was conveniently omitted in their application form).


So when I saw this email, I was pretty certain that the day is about to go from bad to worse. But I was completely wrong!


The emailed started with a huge CONGRATULATIONS and told me that Mausams is an official selection at the Silent River International Film Festival to be held in Los Angeles from September 9 – 16!


With that the day just jumped from a rut to a completely terrific, super duper lovable, happy-happy day!!!


415 more to go.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 584: Yet Another Script Done!

25 June, 2011

I had written here about how I totally cracked the storyline of a very complicated film concept I had in mind for a while.

And today I finished writing its first draft script! Yay yay yay!!! I feel SO productive!

416 more to go.

Day 583: GSS!

24 June, 2011

GSS stands for Great Singapore Sale. It is said to be the best time for shopping in Singapore every year. It is supposed to be ongoing through the month of June but it was only today that I realized that GSS is on. I am not too sure how I missed this piece of information for about a month but when I was finally made aware, I decided to make maximum use of it.

And by "maximum use" I meant that I planned to use all the vouchers that I had collected over the last couple of years and which had been happily sitting in my drawers till now. You see my company gives a few vouchers every year during Christmas as a small gift. And interestingly enough, I didn't get around to spending any of it for the past couple of years.

So I did just that. I made my way to Takashimaya and used up all my vouchers and bought bed spreads and a handbag. There is really something about this concept called "Retail Therapy". I did feel pretty good strutting around the mall and asking intelligent questions to the sales girls and picking and choosing the bags, bed spreads etc.

But the highlight was the dinner at the end of it. I was so tired from the shopping (yeah, I actually was!) that I decided to get a table in the first non-crowded restaurant I come across. This happened to be Coffee Club in Ngee Ann City and it turned out be a great choice! I absolutely loved their Herb Crumbed Fish Fillet! Yummmmm!

So yes, I feel like made good use of GSS, had some great food and overall had a nice evening!

417 more to go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 582: Mynahs and the Lady!

23 June, 2011

It was one of those goddamn awful days at work, which resulted in a very frustrated me. To get over the frustration, I decided to take a walk. A long, long, long walk.

After a couple of kilometers of furious walking, I started to feel better. I could feel my brain cooling down and I slowed my pace, and started to observe what was going on around me.

That's when I noticed this old lady a bit ahead of me. She was flapping her hands and almost seemed to be dancing or hopping around. Initially, I thought she was crazy but then I noticed that she was kinda playing with a bunch of mynahs around her! The mynahs didn't fly away at her antics, so am guessing they are pretty used to her. When I got a bit closer to her, I realized that she even had a song on her lips. And most importably, a look of pure delight on her face!

Somehow that scene struck a chord.

There are so many mynahs in Singapore and I must admit that I haven't given a second's thought to these birds, other than when they try to pick my food at hawker centres. But watching this lady having such a nice time with them made me realize that surely, there are so many things around to be happy about, why on earth am I so frustrated!

After that the walk was nothing but pleasant. From being completely frustrated, I could hear myself say that things at work will sort out. They always do. Somehow.

418 more to go.

Day 581: Cracked It!

22 June, 2011

My head has been buzzing with ideas these past few days! After completing the script just two days ago, today I cracked a super complicated storyline that I had in mind for the past several months! It was meant to have a few different, interconnected threads but things simply were not falling in place in my head for a really long time. Until today, within a short span, all the different threads crystallized in my mind and they were connecting with each other pretty seamlessly too!

I am SO FREAKING excited about it!! Of course, next step is to write everything out but this is such a huge progress already!

Super duper happy!!

419 more to go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 580: Monitor!

21 June, 2011

Given that Singapore is such a developed and overpopulated city, it is quite fascinating when one gets a rare sighting of some wild animal here! More than a year ago, I remember seeing a few monkeys hanging around near Yio Chu Kang, which I thought was super cool!

Today, as I was on the bus on my way to work, I was completely taken aback when I spotted a HUGE monitor lizard chilling out on the pavement near a bus stop! The bus stop was not even surrounded by thick vegetation or anything, but was next to the expressway for God's sake. It was almost as surprising as finding a tiger inside my living room in Kerala I guess - "How on earth did it get here?!" You see what I mean?

Somehow it really perked me up. I wouldn't have thought that am a monitor lizard fan but looks like I really like spotting them in the least expected places!

420 more to go.

Day 579: "Let's Talk"!

20 June, 2011

I was in office happily working away when, out of the blue, an idea for a short film struck me. Well.. honestly ideas strike all the time but this time, I actually did something about it!

As soon as I got back home, I sat down and immediately wrote out the script.

An hour later, I had the complete script for "Let's Talk" - my first script post Mausams.

421 more to go.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 578: Poster!

18 June, 2011

The hubby wanted a painting. A "colourful, inspiring" one to adorn one of his walls or cubicles at work. And he wanted me to do the painting.

I wasn't very sure why he suddenly wanted a painting, that too made by me when there are so many available in the shops at pretty decent rates, but I think it has got something to do with him reading about how Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend gifted him with a painting. Sure. How that is relevant here is completely beyond me, but I decided to give it a go.

Now, a painting is a lot of work and to be honest, I couldn't really think of what would be an "inspiring" painting. Colourful is easy, but inspiring? When asked the hubby for clarification, he said "You know, Inssssssspiring!" together with an action of gazing up and fluttering his fingers all over.

That didn't quite clarify.

So I suggested, "How about a poster, instead? I could make a collage with inspiring personalities and quotes and make it colourful?". After some discussion, he agreed that it was a good idea.

When I told him that I need a ton of magazines and other pretty pieces of paper and craft materials to put the collage together, he, in his usual efficient self, asked me to just make it on the computer instead.

Great idea, just that I had no clue how to go about it. My skill with GIMP on Mac was pretty poor.

But after a few hours of sitting on it, I came up with a "colourful poster of inspiring quotes".

Exclusively for the hubby and his inspiration.

422 more to go.

Day 577: An Awesome Story...

17 June, 2011

Here is an awesome story. A story that is evolving as I am writing this and which I am thrilled to watch as it evolves. A story about how people walk into each others lives and what beautiful results it can produce.

Some time in 2009, I made a short film called "It's Magic" and put it up on vimeo. A few months later, when I had almost forgotten about it and was busy with my daily life, I received a note from a complete stranger who happened to watch the film, liked it and wanted to know more about the production behind it. Over several subsequent conversations about film-making, films, scripts, dream projects etc., the stranger became a friend. He, like me, had a full time job but was an aspiring film maker and we exchanged ideas, scripts, tips. etc. For the ease of addressing him from here on, I will call him the Film-Guy.

When I started on Mausams towards the end of 2009, I again kept him in the loop with pretty much all the details of its making. He gave me several valuable inputs to the script, shot breakdowns etc. He wanted to be involved in Mausams more in depth but given the fact that he was in UAE and me in Singapore, that wasn't really possible.

During this time, an old friend of mine from school messaged me on Facebook and introduced me to his colleague. This colleague of his is a super talented musician. He plays a million instruments, sings like a dream and composes some out of this world music. My friend suggested that I could consider this guy (whom I will call "Music-Guy" from now on) for Mausams soundtrack. I already had a music composer for Mausams by then, so that wasn't possible but given the great quality of the Music-Guy's works, I told him that I would definitely love to work with him in the future. And we kept in touch from then on.

Then one day, the Film-Guy told me about his short film project for which he was looking for a composer. I immediately introduced Film-Guy and Music-Guy and together, they made a very nice musically intensive short film. I wish I could share it here but unfortunately it is still not available for the public online. But it was to be the beginning of a great long term futuristic collaboration, something which I could not have predicted then.

A few months passed. I was completing my shoot for Mausams when two things happened pretty much at the same time. Firstly, I was editing simutaneously with the shoot till then but got an eye infection due to which I knew I could not keep up with the editing work on top of the shooting, office work etc. That was also the time when the Film-Guy decided to take a break from his work and explore film making full time. Given his interest in involving with Mausams, given that he is taking to film-making seriously and given my eyes were breaking down, I asked him whether he wanted to be the editor of Mausams. Thus the Film-Guy ended up as the editor of Mausams which in turned out to be one of the best things to happen to the film

Several things again fell in place. I completed shoot on August 9, 2010, Film-Guy's brother happened to visit Singapore on August 13, I could send the raw footage via him back to the Film-Guy, Film-Guy and I happened to be in Mumbai at the same time on October 1 (me - on a business trip, he - on his shifting to Mumbai as part of his break for film) which enabled me to watch the first cut edit of Mausams together with him etc. etc. This was also followed by Film Guy making two extended visits to Singapore to work on Mausams after which it was premiered on April 1, 2011.

Quite a journey, that.

But what also happened after the journey was that the Film-Guy started working on his first feature film, which is currently in scripting and pre-production stages. And, it has also the Music-Guy composing for it.

A lot of the above story has been written on this blog as and when it had happened. The reason why I have gone back to the beginning and decided to write all this here now, is because today, I downloaded the first few tracks from their collaboration on to my iPod to listen on my way to work.

And I was blown away.

The Film-Guy had explained the scenarios of how they are to be used in the film and when I heard the songs, I could visualize exactly how they are going to look. It was amazing! It was like I could get a glimpse of what lies in the future if this effort gets going until the very end.

It made me think of the story of how each of us ended up in each other's lives in several different ways. How we seem to find each other but without realizing what it means in the beginning. Why certain things happen the way they do. How things fall in place when you want something done. How some beautiful things are created by both the will of man and God.

To me, that's an awesome story.

I am looking forward to the end product, the feature film by the Guys, but more than anything else, I am loving this experience of watching how the different parts of a big jigsaw puzzle seems to be falling into place very nicely.

423 more to go.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 576: Yantra!

16 June, 2011

I got a pay hike at work today. I was very happy with it, so to celebrate, the hubby and I went to this Indian place called Yantra.

We had been there once before but couldn't really enjoy the meal then because both of us were bickering about something and ended up packing the food vs. eating it there! We tried going there another day to make up for the wasted meal, but this time we were told that we couldn't get a table because they were booked out for the evening! So Yantra had remained out of our reach for while.

Today, given that there is a reason to celebrate and it is a weekday, hubby tried our luck again and called to reserve. And this time we got a table!

And Yantra was totally worth the wait! Their menu itself was SO different from the other Indian restaurants! We ordered Aloo tikki chaat, Chicken bharta, Prawns with different types of breads, topping it with Mango Rasmalai and drinks. It was Awesome!

Both work and food has made the day super cool!

424 more to go.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 575: Gym, Fruits, Mountains & People!

15 June, 2011

Yet another really good day, for a variety of small reasons!

a) I woke up early in the morning and made it to the gym for an hour's workout! That in itself left me so happy and so proud of myself for the rest of the day!

b) Some more progress was made on the Mountains trip planning! This is getting super exciting!

c) I am on to my 10th consecutive day of fruit-box-lunch at work! The background is that I really hate fruits and always avoid them. But recently I decided that I should definitely add them to my diet... after all, I have a decently healthy lifestyle otherwise. And lunch seemed a perfect time for fruits since I was getting bored of all the eating options near my office anyway. And as of today, I have actually completed 10 consecutive days of fruit lunches at work. Pretty awesome stuff, especially because I think I no longer hate fruits!

d) I gave some "expert filmmaking" inputs to a friend who is making his first documentary! It was quite thrilling, to feel that I actually know a thing or two about making a film now. That is such a BIG leap from same time last year, when I was as baffled as I could possibly be!

d) One of the Mausams cast members came home for a while and we reminisced about the long gone Mausams days and how we miss all the fun!

e) Last but not the least, I had a nice heart to heart talk with a friend. This friend and I had not been in touch for a long time, but suddenly she was pouring her heart out to me. I was touched that she trusted me enough to share her personal issues with me and we had a good and long chat. Am not sure how much it helped to solve her problems, but I can say that both of us ended the conversation with a smile.

Pretty simple list there but pretty satisfactory!

425 more to go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 574: Mountains...

14 June, 2011

For some strange reason, I was missing my Singalila trekking days. It was like the mountains were calling out to me and I felt super restless through the evening!

Since, very obviously I couldn't get there immediately, I spent a considerable amount of time going through the trek pictures and reliving the experience.

And then when that alone was not satisfactory enough, I made a plan for a trip back next year. I know planning a year in advance sounds crazy, but hey... that's what I do! Some details are still to be fixed but looks like there is a chance that I will be going back to the mountains!

There is nothing more exciting than a good trip in sight! Which makes me super, duper excited now! If all goes well and if our dear God is onboard, next year I will back in the Himalayas!

426 more to go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 573: Blink Now.

13 June, 2011

It was an exceptionally chirpy day. For no good reason. Just like you have unreasonably blue days, I guess you also tend to have unreasonably rosy days. Which is, of course, great!

So yes, I was in a really good mood the whole day. I might even go as far as to say that I had a song on my lips throughout!

Work was the usual. In the evening, I had a really good yoga class, I had very good dinner with the hubby and then got back home and sat at my computer for the routine Facebook-ing and other pursuits of wasting of time.

And then, within a few minutes, I got off that unreasonable cloud nine and came back to earth.

"In the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference". Blink Now.

That was the motto of a wonderful initiative taken up by a 23 American girl, Maggie Doyne. from New Jersey. At 23, she is the guardian for 40 orphaned Nepalese children and the founder of a school for 230 underprivileged children. I am not going to write out her story here, because it has been beautifully covered at Do watch the video as well to hear Maggie narrate the story herself.

What a girl, my God.

Other than the fact that the story is hugely inspiring, it once again puts things in perspective by showcasing the stark reality of life around us as well as remind us of how much one single person can achieve if he/she puts the mind to it.

Suddenly, the day became special not because I was cheerful throughout but because I was reminded that there is still a lot more to do in life than what's happening now.

427 more to go.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 572: Inidhu Inidhu!

12 June, 2011

Today was a good day too. I had great food, had an awesome yoga class which I thoroughly enjoyed etc.

But the highlight was this film I happened to catch on TV!

Called Inidhu Inidhu, it is a Tamil remake of the Telugu film "Happy Days". The movie, with the backdrop of a college and students, is a regular campus, romantic, cute flick.

But what completely blew me away was the music - both the songs and the background score! It was so, so, so good! You know the kind that is so uplifting and makes you smile so much?! Ah.... I loved it! Totally made my day!

Kudos to Mickey J. Meyer, the composer! May the power of music be with him!

528 more to go.

Day 571: Toothy Grin!

11 June, 2011

One of those Saturdays when nothing major happened but several small, nice things did.

a) I needed someone going to Mumbai from Singapore to carry a DVD for me urgently, so I put up a call for help on Facebook. And I got a LOT of response from so many wonderful people who had friends, colleagues, relatives etc. travelling to Mumbai soon. I was overwhelmed by such a response! It was way more than I had expected and it makes me feel so supported! God bless them all!

b) I got a lovely note from a stranger who reads this blog! Well, he didn't want me to write anything about it here, so that's all that I would say. I could have opted not to talk about it at all, but then that would be a bit unfair because it had a lot to do with making it a wonderful Saturday for me!

c) One of my distant relatives, whom I have not met or spoken to for the last 12 years... i.e. ever since I came to Singapore, found me on Facebook. It was really lovely to catch up with him after so long! Plus, he told me that I look exactly like I did 12 years ago... ah... nothing beats a vanity boost!

d) Caught up with the Mausams cinematographer, who had been away for holidays for past one month. His quirky sense of humour is always fun!

e) Started on a new book by Jeffrey Archer, which am enjoying thoroughly!

f) Had a lovely meal at the Manhattan Fish Market with the hubby. The hubby, by the way, doesn't feature extensively on the blog these days because he is incredibly busy at work even on weekends. So there are not too many opportunities for any anecdotes featuring him. Because of his busy schedule, we make it a point to have at least one meal together over some good conversation (rather, I talk and he listens) over the weekend, which I always enjoy. On a separate note, the Mediterranean Baked Fish at Manhattan Fish Market is Awesome, and so is their Fiery Snapper!

So as you can see, not many life-changing/out-of-the-world events took place. But all of the above made me smile, and all of the smiles together is one big toothy grin!

529 more to go.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 570: Mausams Again!

10 June, 2011

Today is a very special day.

Because today is the day, when a leading production and distribution company in India, expressed a desire for screening Mausams in their office!!!

I was beginning to slowly forget this whole Mausams business but out of the blue, this news came and of course, I shot up to cloud nine!

It is thanks to this person (I had written about him a while ago here too), who had taken it up as his own responsibility to get Mausams a distributor. He had placed several cold calls to many production houses, but as expected for such an independent and low budget film, he met with negative responses from every single one of them. However, post the Mausams launch on Dingora, he tried another round of calls to get them watch the film and this time one of the big shots responded. Much to his delight and very much to my surprise! I can't thank him enough for his faith, passion and perseverance and for bringing it this far! Something I definitely couldn't have done on my own! God bless him!

I am not sure where things are heading, it is highly possible that nothing is going to come off it. But what the heck! The fact that someone from the real Bollywood wants to watch Mausams, is good enough for me to keep a smile forever!


430 more to go.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 569: Muddled!

I believe I actually like being muddled up in my head at times. You know, when there are a thousand thoughts whirring inside that tiny little brain, going from confusion to clarity to utter confusion all within a matter of seconds, thinking intensely about the past, the future and very little about the present, thinking about obviously unanswerable questions such as "Where is all this going to?!", "What on earth am I doing?!" and best of all, "What do I really want?".

So yes, I had been muddled up for the past few days. By choice, I tend to believe. Because I could very well have used up that time for doing some work, but instead I chose to just sit and think. After some quality thinking, I came up with this - OK so I like to write and make plays and films and paint and dance and travel and look at small beautiful things about life everyday for 1000 days and all that. Great. But what is the culminating desire of my life. That single biggest thing that I want or that I would like to be defined by?

Since my brain couldn't produce any reasonable answer, I did what anybody in such a situation would do. I asked other people. Do they have a culminating desire and if yes, what would that be?

Frankly, I was expecting everyone to be as muddled up as I am and to not have a clear answer. I was SO wrong. People actually know what they want! So I got answers such as "I want to leave a mark as a successful businessman", "I want to put my small town as a cultural hub on the world map", "I want to leave the legacy of an established production house", "I want to be a recognized writer", etc. etc. etc.

While this is super awesome for the people who came up with these, it left me feeling more muddled than ever. "How come they have a vision and I don't?!", my brain screamed.

More muddling could only mean one thing - more conversation! Either take the matter up fresh with more people, or have more of it with the same people I have spoken with, to understand better. And I did both.

So it was just that. Talk. Talk. Talk.

AND with the help of all those wonderful friends of mine who agreed to humour me and spend a considerable amount of time talking to me, I must tell you that I am very much less muddled. In fact, I think I am much wiser.

There are different ways in which people prefer to lead their lives - which are perfectly suitable to them in their own ways. But of course, we all know that. But what I observed was that they largely fall into three categories:

a) Having a clear cut long term vision - I think this would be quite good to have because you don't have to question yourself every now and then about what on earth are you trying to do. But obviously, not everyone has this. The good news? - That is perfectly OK! There are other options as below.

b) Having short term high energy challenges but no long term vision - I would fall into this category. What this basically means is that some people like to have a string of short term adventures that keep them on the edge and they like to hop from one to another, making the most of each. They prefer to do several small things that excite them but these may not necessarily end up in anything significant in totality. Good news? - This too is completely OK! As my friend beautifully put it "Your life is like a kaleidoscope and you're filling it with every shape and color of experience that you can possibly find."

c) Having a set of principles as the end in itself vs. short/long term goal/vision - This was very fascinating for me! We all have principles that we live by but this was the first time I realized that for some people, having these principles is an end in itself. So as one of my friends said, her life is successful if she keeps at two of her principles - "I will do what makes me genuinely happy" and "I will be good to others". So if she is having an awful time at work, she will think "Is worrying about this good for me?". Since it is a clear "no", she will stop worrying and do something that makes her feel better - which could be anything from having ice cream to throwing a party. She feels that this way, she has started to worry less about things like promotion timings, pay rise etc. To her, that in itself makes her life worthwhile! How nice!

Oh, and I must also mention that there was one very clear theme throughout - "Live life on your own terms". Something which I feel is easier said than done. How many times have we caught ourselves saying "But what will people think?!" (people here could be anyone from parents to spouse to friends to colleagues to neighbours to the general public on Facebook and elsewhere).

So after all those conversations which I immensely enjoyed, I have been left with a smile. Am not sure what the end result would be but like I said before, I think I do like getting muddled up once in a while - because the conversations and revelations post that are totally worth it!

431 more to go.

Days 566, 567 & 568: Farewell!

6, 7, 9 June, 2011

I had written here about a very close friend all the way from our NUS days, who is leaving Singapore and is going back to India to pursue his MBA and probably his career thereafter as well. He is leaving tomorrow and over the past three days, we were able to spend quite some time together - it was almost like catching up on everything as much as possible because you are not sure when the next chance to do so would come by.

On Monday, we had dinner together and he came over to collect some of his stuff that were in our storeroom. On Tuesday, he came again... this time to drop some other stuff in our store room. This time too he stayed on for a while and we had a nice long chat all the way until 1:30 am. Then today, we had a farewell dinner and a round of drinks with the entire NUS 'gang'.

It is not like he and I used to hang out all the time or that we are evidently the best of buddies. In fact he is much closer to my hubby and they spent hell a lot more of time together with each other, and am hardly around usually. But there is a comfort knowing that certain people are around, even if you don't meet up or talk with each other that often. He is one of those for me. So it was quite special to spend as much time as he could spare over the last few of his days in the country. Needless to say, it was the highlight of the past three days.

Here's wishing him all the very best!

432 more to go.

Day 565: New Exercise Regime!

5 June, 2011

Before the European trip, I had taken a "fuel efficiency test" at my office. It was one of those health and well-being tests organized by the company and it basically tells you how healthy or unhealthy you are. I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing at first but my results were quite positive, so that was good. What the test also tells you is the heart rate at which you need to exercise for an extended period of time, so that you burn the fat in your body most efficiently - which obviously is a great piece of information to have.

Post taking the test, I left for Europe and of course exercise was a lost cause thereafter, until today.

The day was turning out to be one of those super boring Sundays - I woke up at noon, watched TV the whole day, did some office work and that was it. Absolutely nothing exciting. So at about 8pm I decided that if I don't do anything useful at least now, I won't even have a blog entry for God's sake!

Exercise always comes in handy under such situations. I dragged myself to the gym and did 30 minutes of brisk walking and 30 minutes of cycling, keeping my heart rate within the recommended range. Honestly, this routine doesn't give you the same high as running or Bikram yoga (I plan to get back to it soon as well), but it is definitely a new exercise regime and a supposedly very effective one at that! And am quite happy to have started on it and to not have wasted an entire Sunday!

435 more to go.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 564: NUS Memories!

4 June, 2011

A close friend from my university days is going back to India to do his MBA. He is probably saying goodbye to Singapore for good, since he wants to work in India, close to his family, as well.

So a bunch of us, the 'gang' from NUS, decided to do his farewell at the most appropriate spot for the occasion - NUS.

We had dinner at our daily-dinner-hangout venue in NUS - Nikki's cheese prata shop or more popularly known as "Abaang". Over the usual orders of pratas, biriyanis, milo dinosaurs and teh halia, we had a really good time.

Then we took the campus shuttle bus and went to PGP residences - which had been home to most of us for about 3 - 4 years on campus. We had another round of drinks and dessert at the cafe there and for the umpteenth time commented on how goddamn cheap the food on campus is!

Well, the highlight really was when, even within that short span of time, we made enough noise to be shooed away by a resident! We were chilling out (apparently rather noisily) below a block of apartments and a girl, from a floor way above, screamed and asked us to take our precious selves to some other location far, far away. Fair enough.

With that, it truly felt like we were back where we were six years ago. Happy, noisy, without a care in the world.

A beautiful evening!

436 more to go.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 563: Kung Fu Panda 2!

3 July, 2011

There's not been a more adorable character on screen ever! I was a fan of the first part and I love the sequel too!

Absolutely, completely enjoyed myself!

437 more to g.

Day 562: Water Colours!

2 June, 2011

Several years ago, I used to paint a lot. I used to make at least one painting a week, if not more. This was mostly during my time in India and this habit dropped significantly when I got to Singapore. In fact, I have probably made about 10 paintings in the last 12 years. That's all.

But today, I had a sudden desire to paint. Something. Anything.

It all started because I couldn't fall asleep - there was the jetlag but also, it was one of those days when you feel your day had nothing incredible about it and that you have so stupidly wasted it completely. It was midnight and I was wide awake.

So I decided to rummage through the boxes in the store room to see whether there are any paints and brushes that are still surviving after all these years. And to my surprise, I found that there indeed were quite a few! I chose a box of water colours and few brushes, made a palette out of a plastic plate, managed to find a reasonable sized plain piece of paper, got a bowl of water and a rag, and settled down to paint.

And then I realized I had no clue what to paint!

Usually I would have a good idea what I want to achieve. Then I will start with a sketch before dabbling with the colours. But today, I didn't have the patience for a sketch. All I wanted was to splash the colours all over the paper.

So I did just that. I chose two of my most favourite colours - prussian blue and crimson red - and splashed them left, right and centre, over the paper. The result was very satisfactory, at least in my eyes. Prussian blue and Crimson red can never go wrong!

Then I added a few layers of colours here and there and soon realized that the "painting" is turning out to be nothing. I am not a fan of "modern" art where random splashes of colours are viewed in awe. I like some kinda structure and recognizable form in my paintings. So this splashing of colours soon lost their charm and I wanted to make it look like something.

After turning the paper this way and that, I figured that this combination of colours could still be made to look like something. And that something was to be the face of a girl.

So yes, in the middle of the night, from an inexplicable sudden urge to see some colours, I painted the picture of a girl.

And here it is...

It's not the best work of art in the world, but it made me feel like life had some meaning and that the day wasn't completely wasted.

After that, it was easy to fall asleep.

438 more to go.

Day 561: Yet Another Surprise!

1 June, 2011

I have written a few posts here about various occasions when people I don't really know have written to me about how much they like this blog and these gestures in turn, used to make me feel super nice! A few such people have also gone to be my friends and we have kept in touch since.

After I got back from my vacation, I was going through my Facebook newsfeed to update myself on all that I missed, and I was quite surprised when my eyes caught a link which happened to have my name in it! It was put up by this friend of mine, who actually became a friend via this blog.

And this what it was:

It was absolutely delightful to see that she too had started on a chronicling journey and I had a tiny part to play in it. And I was very touched (ok fine, not just touched but it felt SUPER DUPER RUPER GOOD, I admit.. there!) by her very sweet words for me.

This made my day and I wish her all the very best!

439 more to go.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 560: A Good Welcome Back!

31 May, 2011

It is always hard to get back to work after a great vacation and I was not at all looking forward to it this time, since this vacation was an exceptionally great one!

But luckily, things are always not as bad as you expect them to be. In fact today was a pretty exciting day!

I was greeted by a number of good news at work. Results for three different materials that we had put in for qualifications tests came over the course of the day. And all three qualified with exceptionally great results! These were for a very high priority project and getting good results was very critical... but the fact that the results were not just good but great, made me super happy!

On top of that, I got two emails with very positive feedback on Mausams. They had just watched the film on and seemed to have enjoyed it a lot! Made me feel very good! Mausams had taken a back seat in my mind thanks to all the other excitement around, so receiving these unexpected emails was quite nice!

So it was a pretty nice welcome back home indeed! Back to normal life doesnt seem to be that bad, this time around!

440 more to go.

Day 559: Pictures & Memories!

30 May, 2011

Got back to Singapore after that super long series of flights (Milan -> Doha -> Mumbai -> Singapore) and immediately got down to uploading the pictures and reliving the memories of that wonderful trip once again! Surely, the excitement is gonna last for a while!

441 more to go.

P.S: I must also mention that my good friend and editor of Mausams, who is currently based in Mumbai, paid us a visit at the airport during our short transit. That was incredibly nice of him because it was at 3:20am in the morning! He hung around until all of us (the hubby and I, my parents and in-laws) boarded our respective flights... how sweet is that?!

Day 558: Bye-Bye Time!

29 May, 2011

The day started early with a 3 hour long bus ride to the Milan airport... the Big Fat Family trip to Europe was thus coming to an end! There were elaborate goodbyes and phototaking amongst the tour group and everyone seemed to be pretty happy with the trip. We did some last minute devouring of Italian food (pizza, to be precise) and shopping at the airport and then boarded the flight for the super long journey. Our route was Milan -> Qatar -> Mumbai -> Singapore... which was to take a total of 24 hours. But I love long flights, especially one with good food and good entertainment on board! So I settled down for just that.

As I settled down in my seat onboard, I felt super contented. A dream has successfully come true and is now complete. It was a very special trip!

So it was Bye-Bye to Europe, with a big smile!

442 more to go.