Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 678: Unexpected Comment!

28 September, 2011

It would have been a pretty normal day (except for the continued joy from having regular meals and a super clean house thanks to Jumillah, and some satisfying progress at work etc.), had it not been for a very unexpected comment that popped up on my Facebook!

It was from my cousin's cousin, who had just very recently found me on Facebook. She had dropped in a message saying how she had just discovered this tiny little blog of mine and how much she really likes it!! It was completely unexpected because somehow, it never crossed my mind that she would actually get to this blog, would actually bother to read it and even better, bother to comment about it! It was so super sweet of her!

Ah such wonders these tiny bits of encouragement do! I grinned from ear to ear for several minutes after reading that message and it totally took the day to a completely awesome one!

322 more to go.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 677: First Interview!

27 September, 2011

Today I, for the first time, interviewed a potential candidate for my company (under the supervision of an experienced interviewer of course)! For the past few days I had undergone trainings and observation sessions but today I got to lead the process myself.

And it was a very interesting experience!

Asking the right lead questions, further probing anything that might give you a better grasp of the candidate's competency, gauging whether what he/she says is indeed above average contribution in the right context, etc. was more challenging that I thought, especially within the allotted one hour.

At the end of it, my final scores matched closely with that of the experienced interviewer under whose supervision I was leading the process, which made me feel awesome!

A whole new experience, and super fascinating one at that!

323 more to go.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 676: Mom's Yatra!

26 September, 2011

I probably should have written about this earlier, but over the past two weeks a good deal of entertainment in my life has come from my Mom and her long pilgrimage to the famous temples in the Himalayas.

A couple of months ago, my mom got in to her head that she doesn't want anything more than to go on a pilgrimage to the north of India, particularly to those remote ones on the Himalayan belt such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri etc. This desire of hers came as a surprise to me and my dad because my mom usually doesn't like to take such risky trips (many of these places have treacherous terrains) and more importantly, she can't stand cold and most of these places easily go down to less than 10 degree celsius. But she had made up her mind and that was that. She booked herself with a group consisting mainly of senior citizens, which made her feel really cool from what I gather, because she was to be the youngest one!

So yes, two weeks ago she packed her bags up and very excitedly took the train to Delhi to kickstart her pilgrimage. Since then, on a daily basis, I have been receiving very fascinating stories from her - stories of all the temples she visited, of how she had to ride a pony to get to one of the temples and how it was the most terrifying experience ever, of how narrow the roads were that it was super scary to sit at the window on the bus because all you can see is a bottomless drop right below, how they witnessed a road completely cave in due to landslides and a distant earthquake thereby blocking the access to one of the temples, how they had to walk steep inclines for several kms to get to some spots, the ridiculously cold water that makes even brushing teeth a painful process etc. etc.

But more than all the content of the stories, she has such a wide-eyed wonder-struck way of narrating them. Like, I can totally feel the excitement completely, even over the phone! And I find that incredibly engaging and nice!

Today when she called, she was not only excited about her experiences but I could also sense a lot of well deserved sense of accomplishment! She is coming to the end of her pilgrimage, which basically means that she is on safe ground now instead of all those dangerous places, and she has moved on from saying how horrifying everything was to a I-can't-believe-I-did-it space! She went on and on and on about all her experiences again and gushed over how she did it all by herself! She sounded more surprised herself about it, than anyone else would be!

And I found it all incredibly cute! Somewhere in the back of my mind I had felt bad that she was not part of the trek that my dad and I took last year (details are here) even though that was due to the fact that she probably couldn't have walked for 90 kms over mountainous terrain, but this trip of hers more than made up for it! Now it's my dad's and my turn to listen, not without a tinge of jealousy, the tales of mom's successful yatra!

324 more to go.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 675: The Hostess!

25 September, 2011

It was a pretty quiet day since the in-laws had returned back to India and I had no shoot or anything that major to do other than getting some office work done.

But I got an opportunity to play hostess! You know, the kind that gets guests over and feed them good food and drinks? Yeah, that one (yes, am indeed getting seriously domesticated these days)!

It all started with the hubby wanting to play tennis with his friends. This is a rare but not a never-before event. However what was pretty much a never-before event was that a proper breakfast was served to the tennis boys post their game, at our house! This is all thanks to my dear Jumillah! She made some excellent scrambled eggs and tea and I made a few egg-cheese-sandwiches and did the whole act of serving breakfast to the boys. I think I played the part pretty well by frequently asking whether they had enough, whether I can top up with other things like juices, milk, other flavours of tea, cornflakes etc.

Post this, another friend who had come over to pick up some camera equipment, was also treated to a similar hearty breakfast and exceptional hosting.

Then Jumillah left for her "off-day" but not before she made sure there was enough food to treat a king for lunch.

When it was time for lunch, two friends dropped by and the four of us, including the hubby, had an elaborate meal of rice, potato curry, rajma, cabbage, dahi vada, pickle and juice - Once again, under my excellent hosting skills which was even more intensive now since Jumillah was not around.

At the end of it all, I was super pleased with myself. I didn't realize feeding people was SO much fun!

Am not sure how long this would last but as of today, I really enjoyed playing the hostess!

326 more to go.

Day 674: Double Workouts!

24 September, 2011

Since I started writing this blog, I had done this just once before - and that is to do two rounds of work out within the same day! The last time I did this was in July 2010 and had very happily blogged about it here!

While what made it special that time was the fact that I managed to do a 40-minute walk in the gym twice during the day in spite of the fact that I was travelling, what makes it special this time around is that both work outs were rather intensive. It started with some pretty intensive dancing in the morning, followed by a decent run in the evening - both of which made me get my heart rate up considerably and sweat profusely, and hence are considered successful workouts.

So am feeling super pleased about that!

326 more to go.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 673: Very Happily...

23 September, 2011

I think I am getting into a very interesting routine here, thanks to the presence of Jumillah darling. There is always food and drinks in the house, the house is always clean, every single thing is SO organized and that includes my otherwise nightmarish wardrobe, my clothes are all nice and warmly ironed all the time, etc. etc. All these in turn, is making me want to wake up early and have a good breakfast; making me want to get back early and exercise because after that there is drinks and food all waiting for me; even, making me want to look better than I usually do because it takes a little bit less effort. Given that my in laws are in town, the quality of the food is also top notch, which adds to some of the abovementioned wants.

So today I very happily woke up early, very happily had a good breakfast, very happily went to work, very happily worked, very happily had my packed lunch (I am pretty certain I would have missed lunch completely if it were not packed, due to my super crazy meeting marathons until 4pm), very happily got back from work, very happily worked out, very happily had dinner, very happily chilled out with the inlaws!

In short, I felt very happy.

327 more to go.

Day 672: Inspiring Training!

22 September, 2011

My company makes us go through a lot of trainings and on an average they are all pretty inspiring and useful. But sometimes you come across an ultra good training that not only gets you all kicked to do better and think of bigger ideas, but also leaves you smiling through the day and maybe even more! Today I was at one such training. It was a whole day affair and I absolutely loved all that I saw and heard. I wont divulge all the details here and would leave it at that.

Post the training there were back to back meetings which lasted until 10pm. But I was still smiling broadly! So yes, that was a pretty good day!

328 more to go.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 671: Dance, Again!

21 September, 2011

I get to dance again! Yay! OK... it ain't any major concert or anything but I am to give a solo performance (as well as a few group ones) at the hubby's cousin's upcoming wedding in November. One can't help but love these North Indian weddings with all this dancing! Any opportunity to dance is super cool, so am really looking forward to this one!

I had already chosen the song I want to do my solo performance to and today, I started the choreography and rehearsal. After that long hiatus (the last time I performed was at my bro-in-law's wedding in April 2010, which I had written about here), I was indeed very stiff to begin with but after an hour or so, the muscles began to ease and I was more at ease. I completed 50% of the choregraphy and felt super pleased with the progress!

Totally something to look forward to for the next coupla months! Love it!

329 more to go.

Day 670: Interview Training & The Run!

20 September, 2011

Two cool things happened today:

1) I took part in the training that trains us managers on how to hold interviews for the new hires at P&G. It was a fascinating training, firstly for the obvious reasons of understanding the company's process of how they recruit but also because it kinda gives an idea of what supposedly got me myself into this company all those years ago! One of those different kinda trainings and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

2) I finally got back to exercising! With all the busy time at work, the Kerala holiday, the flu & throat infection etc. I had lost about 1-1.5 months without any exercise! It's amazing how quickly time seem to pass when you stop exercising! Sigh. Anyway, so I decided to get back to it this evening. Given such a long gap, I was pretty certain that I would be in horrid condition. But the great news is that I ran 4.5kms which is slightly above my average (about 3km), so I felt really good about it! Now all I need to do is get back to a routine and also get back to yoga! But this is indeed a much a better restart than I could hope for!

330 more to go.

Day 669: Super Cool Monday!

19 September, 2011

Interestingly, these days I am feeling rather upbeat about my work. A number of factors have led to this - successful completion of certain projects, the excitement of starting on new ones, a few good inspiring talks with some of my bosses, and last but not the least, my own attitude towards work and the role it plays in my life.

You see, there are times when I feel that my regular job is simply a means to earn a living, after all how much more can selling shampoos mean? But on the other hand, there are times when I feel like I really enjoy what I am doing - the high of solving complex issues, pleasing tough managers, understanding the consumer psyche, seeing that sharepoint inch forward, designing a new campaign and seeing it come to life, etc. - all these make the job more than just about making money but something that's simply fun to do!

And I have been pretty much in the second camp most of the time recently. Today, even though it's a Monday, I was super chirpy and happy and consequently, pretty productive at work. I feel in control and I feel good!

And that makes this Monday a Super Cool Monday!

331 more to go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 668: Official Videographer!

18 September, 2011

Today, for the first time ever, I was (or at least I pretended to be) a real videographer! You know, like the ones that carry around all these equipment at concerts and weddings etc. and pretend to be oh-so-cool, asking people to move out of their way as they shoot that perfect shot? Yeah, like one of those!

This came by because the play by my in-laws was to be staged today as well and they asked me whether I could help with the video shoot and I immediately jumped at the opportunity! So there I was with my Sony handycam (which I had not used for 3 years) and a tripod, all ready to be the official videographer for the day!

And I do think I did a decent job. Well, it's not really hard to follow a play on stage with a camera - just a bit of panning here, a bit of zooming there, etc. It's pretty easy job but standing wedged between the tripod and the wall behind me, for 1.5 hours was no joke.

In any case, I managed some pretty decent footage and most importantly, I had a lot of fun! It was my first experience as the official videographer for an event! SO cool!

332 more to go.

Day 667: Play!

17 September, 2011

Today was the play staged by my brother & sister in law that I had mentioned here. It's been a really long time since I had watched any play and given that this is by the family members, it was even more fun since I got to hang around at the backstage etc.! A few of my friends had tagged along too, and we had a great time watching it together! Everyone involved in the play, except my sis-in-law who is quite experienced, were making their debut on the stage with this play and every single person managed to pull this off even with full time jobs, which made the whole show even more commendable! Had a pretty fun day!

333 more to go.

Day 666: 48.5!

16 September, 2011

48.5 - yeah, that's my weight today...48.5 kgs! The lowest I have hit in a really long time! Am not sure whether it is really healthy (my ideal weight is 52 and I usually average about 50 - 51), but this drop is rather unexpected given that I had not done any exercise in a while and had binged to the hilt during the Kerala holidays! So this discovery was totally welcome! Yay!

334 more to go.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 665: In-Laws, Birthdays, Fun!

15 September, 2011

Today my parents in-law came down from India. My brother & sister in law are staging a play over the weekend and they have come down for it. It is always fun to have the parents visit but this time, given that the hubby is not around (he is still on his business trip in India and would be coming down only on Saturday), he had left me with a thousand instructions that would ensure the parents' comfort (yeah, as if am utterly incapable of figuring it out myself)! So yesterday Jumillah and I had worked on setting their room up etc. and today I left Jumillah with a few instructions so that they can be welcomed in style (i.e. with good tea, some light snacks and such, once they arrive) since I had to go to work.

They arrived and I understand that was welcomed in some good quality style (Yay!). I also brought over a cake for my dad-in-law's birthday celebration and we had a small but nice blowing-candle-cutting-cake ceremony!

Later in the evening, we met up with the bro & sis-in-law over dinner and had another round of celebration for dad's birthday, which was again fun!

Parents in town, nice celebration, fun day!

335 more to go.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 664: Jumillah, Capsicum, Turmeric & TEA!

14 September, 2011

Given that over the past year I had been extremely overworked and that recently even the hubby seems to be having the most hectic schedule, we decided that it was time we allowed ourselves a little bit of luxury. And thus we took the call to get a live-in maid. Someone who would take care of our house and us and make us feel pampered with some good home-cooked food every other day!

So today I brought home Jumilah, my new super cool maid! Jumillah is an Indonesian but has been working in Singapore for different families for several years now. Most importantly, she has worked for other Indian families before and hence knows how to cook Indian food! Which was all that we asked for!

So Jumilah came to my house and I showed her to her room. And that's pretty much all the work I did. Before I knew it, she was changing bedspreads, washing them, cleaning out the kitchen, and generally tidying up my house as if her life depended on it. At one point in time, she looked appalled by the fact that my bedspreads are not ironed (just imagine!) and even more appalled when I told her that ironed bedspreads is a novel concept to me.

Later I took her out for some grocery shopping. Given that I never cook, we had to buy a lot of the basics. Initially Jumillah was asking my opinion every now and then.

So she would say, "What do you like to buy, ma'm?" (yeah, she calls me "ma'm" which I find super amusing!). And I would say, "Oh the usual... you know.. potatoes, tomatoes, onions...". But after these three, I kinda got stuck. So I SMSed the hubby, currently in India, and asked him what he would like us to buy. "Capsicum", came the reply. OK then.

Just as we picked up the much required capsicum, Jumillah reminded me that we need to buy ginger. So I went to the aisle where ginger was kept and picked up ginger. Jumillah glanced at the ginger in my hand and looked up at me.

Jumillah: Do you have turmeric powder at home, ma'am?

Me: Erm... yeah?

Jumillah: Then you don't need this.

Me: Erm...But I need ginger. This is ginger. What has that got to do with turmeric?

Jumillah: No ma'am, this is turmeric.

Me: But it says "ginger" on the pack. (I point triumphantly at the pack and show her).

Jumillah (picking out something else from the aisle): This... is ginger, ma'am.

Me: ... Hmm.... well... Sure, that too looks like ginger but are you sure this isn't? (I waved my pack of ginger at her).

Jumillah: Yes ma'am. It is yellow ginger. Same same.

Me: Yellow ginger? Oh. (Upon taking a better look at the pack, I realized it did say "yellow ginger"). Hmm.

Jumillah: Yellow ginger. Turmeric. Same same.

Me: OK then. (Slightly miffed, I placed back the "yellow ginger". She was probably not as smart as I thought. Surely I can recognize ginger! But it's her first day, so I decided to humour her and let it go).

When she went away to get some eggs and milk, I quickly googled up "yellow ginger" on my iPhone. It is indeed turmeric. Blah. These stupid English and their nomenclature skills. Snort.

Anyway, after this incident, she stopped taking my valuable opinion and did the rest of the shopping completely on her own.

Back at home, she quickly took over the kitchen and went about cleaning and reorganizing everything in there. Then I thought it was time to test her tea-making skills. Tea-making had the highest priority on the hubby's things-that-our-maid-must-do list. I asked her to make me a cup of Darjeeling tea.

Now if you remember, last year around November, my dad and I went on a trekking trip near Darjeeling. Before the trek, my dad and I went around Darjeeling during which we came across this small tea stall near some tea plantations. The lady there made us the best cup of tea EVER. I was so smitten by it that I had even written about it on my blog, which was very innovatively titled as "Darjeeling". Anyway, after having that cup of tea, I had immediately bought a few packs of tea from that shop.

However back in Singapore, when I tried to make tea with it, it came out pretty bad. I immediately figured what happened. That lady at the tea stall used high quality tea to lure us while selling us this horrid low quality stuff. What a cheater!

Anyway back to the point, I asked Jumillah to make me a cup of that Darjeeling tea - it was meant to be a torture test. If she can make a decent cup of tea with those crap stuff, then she should be OK in other cooking. You see the logic?

A few minutes later came a steaming cup of tea - nicely placed on a saucer (havent had that at home, ever!).

And Lo Behold!

It tasted pretty much like the tea in the lady's stall n Darjeeling! I was flabbergasted! I have the world's (or at least my world's) B.E.S.T chai made right in my house! Buhahahahahha! Needless to say I couldn't stop grinning like an idiot after that! This Jumillah lady not only knows her gingers well but she is the ultimate tea maker! (And yes, my apologies to the Darjeeling lady for mistaking her for a crook).

Then she asked me what I wanted for dinner. I said "Chappathi and Aloo Gobi". Within a short while, there was chappathi and aloo gobi waiting for me on a very well set table. And they were quite decent too! I felt so satisfied!

So there. As is evident, I am extremely happy with this "luxury". God bless Jumillah and hope she is happy in our little home for a long time to come!

336 more to go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 663: One Book. One Day.

I haven't done this in years... but today I actually read one entire book from first to last, within the day! I started to read it on the bus journey to work, then picked it up again over dinner, and then until now, close to midnight.

The book is Sidin Vadukut's "The adventures of Robin Einstein Varghese". Given that it was a super simple, fast paced, hilarious book, it wasn't too hard to finish it off quickly.

I haven't done something like this since school or maybe junior college days, and the process of bending over and digesting an entire book within 24 hours truly gives a high after such a long, long time!

337 more to go.

Day 662: The Planner!

12 September, 2011

I am a sucker for making plans. Making to-do lists and ticking them off. Planning for weeks, months or years ahead. But then that must be obvious by now on this blog.

So yes, I am a planner by birth. But even planners-by-birth have their planner's block. When faced with certain complex questions under very restricting circumstances, even the best of planners stumble.

And one such question that has come up in the past and that seems to come up very frequently these days is "How can I manage both my work and my film making (or other such creative pursuits such as theatre, drama, dance, painting etc.), both of which I do enjoy and need for my existence, without killing myself in the process (as what happened with Mausams)?"

One can easily see why this question is not one with a very straightforward answer. But hey, I think I just found a super cool, well calculated solution today!

I basically looked at the number of days of leave I have in a span of 2 years and divided them up for home visits (i.e. visit my/hubby's homes), travels (short getaways and longer holidays) and creative pursuits that would require me to be physically away from work for a few days (vs. managing them over weekday nights or weekends).

After a few revisions I think I cracked the number of days I will spend on each of the above in a way that would allow me to continue with my job productively, take some time off for movie making or any such extra curricular activities every two years AND also take enough holidays!

I can't tell you HOW good that feels! To have figured out how to manage everything without letting go of one or the other. It is relieving, exciting and makes me feel super duper happy!

That's probably one of the best planning exercises I have done. Now for the execution!

338 more to go.

Day 661: 660 Repeated!

11 September, 2011

Today, the 4th day of Onam, was almost like an exact repeat of yesterday. Only difference being fewer hours of shoot. But I pretty much did the same stuff - lotsa IOK shoot, lotsa chatting with the fellow Mallus at shoot, lotsa Mallu moving watching (my top pick being a film called Payyans which was an unexpectedly breezy watch with only the climax being a bit disappointing)!

And with that, yet another Onam comes to a close. Probably not very eventful, but definitely quite satisfying!

339 more to go.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 660: Onam with IOK!

10 September, 2011

Today is the third of Onam (it is celebrated over 4 days) and I spent it with a good, long 10-hours shoot for Inganeyum Oru Katha. Considering that the project has all Malayalis in it, it is probably the best way to spend Onam! We had a nice time shooting, chatting, cracking the most random jokes, whiling away time, eating the lovely homecooked food at the actress's place where we were shooting and in general, having a ball!

Later in the evening I also watched a Malayalam movie, which is the best possible way to round off such a Mallu day! As is routine every year, I had recorded all the holiday movies playing on the Malayalam channel Asianet and chose to watch the comedy Karyasthan from the list. It was a pretty decent entertainer, so that was a good end to the day.

Thus the third day of Onam too passed pretty nicely!

340 more to go.

Day 659: Unexpectedly Good Onam!

9 September, 2011

As the title suggests, it was just that - an unexpectedly good Onam!

What I had planned for the day was.... well, pretty much nothing. Because it was a working day, and I had a flu and also since, I have a shooting early morning tomorrow, I had not planned to do anything for the day but just go back home after work and chill out.

Instead what actually happened was a good Onasadya (Onam feast) with friends - I ended up treating them for the Dhaka film festival joy which made it even nicer I would say! It was a cultural experience for these friends as it was their first time with a traditional sadya, so I loved playing that all-knowing Mallu guide as well.

So yes, with that as well as with the thousands of Onam wishes that were flying all around through the day, it a very good Onam!

341 more to go.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 658: Dhaka International Film Festival!

8 September, 2011

The most amazing thing happened!!

I was stuck at home today and feeling overall a bit blue - about having a flu and a very annoying sore throat, about missing Onam by just a few days given that I was in Kerala last week (for the unaware - Onam is the biggest festival of my state which just began), and the fact that my poor little film, Mausams, which got accepted into the Silent River Film Festival will be pretty much an orphan there with no representation by its makers - the festival starts tomorrow and Mausams is scheduled to be screened on Monday but due to schedule and budget constraints, none of the Mausams team members would be present for it! It's rather disappointing.

As I was mopping around for the above mentioned reasons, an unexpected message popped up on my Facebook. It was a request for my phone number from the festival director of the Dhaka International Film Festival, on the Mausams Facebook page. I had applied to this just a couple of weeks ago and I thought that he probably wanted to tell there is something wrong with the DVD because it was too soon for anything else. I messaged him my number and we spoke very soon after that.

And to my utter astonishment and delight, he told me that Mausams is an official selection at the Dhaka International Film Festival! I found it rather unbelievable because this is a super duper prestigious festival and Mausams to be selected was like a feeling beyond this world!

And to top this, he insisted that I attend the festival and I heard myself repeat, "Yes, I will be there... I will be there... "!! There is NO way I am gonna miss another chance like this, if I can help it!

Now you see why this is the most amazing thing?! It's like just when you thought something is beyond hope, God flings another little hope your way. That is just a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!!

This super awesome news was soon communicated with my Mausams team members, family, friends etc... and the rest of the day was spent with a huge grin on my face!

342 more to go.

Day 657: Fragile Things!

7 September, 2011

While chilling out in an airport during a recent business trip, I had picked up a collection of short stories called Fragile Things, by an unfamiliar author till then Neil Gaiman. The synopsis told me that the collection is full of fantasy stuff, which made me doubtful because I am not quite a fantasy lover. Three books of Harry Potter was max I could get through and I pretty much struggled through Lord of the Rings. However, there were several quotes crowding the first few pages of this book, full of praises for Gaiman which made me curious and when I noticed that the collection has also won an award, I decided to pick it up and test my luck.

And how lucky I got!

My God!!!!!!!!

I love, love, love, love, loveeeeeeeeeeeee his work!!! His stories are just SO fascinating! They are very simply written with none of the English intricacies which my poor brain would've struggled to comprehend and the variety is just fantabulous - the stories range from those that make you wonder-eyed, dreamy, happy, touched, thoughtful, sad or even disgusted! I am SUPER impressed.

On top of all this, what makes the collection a very interesting one is that he has written a preface to each and every story in the collection, outlining his reasons to why and how he wrote each one of them. It was like "behind-the-scenes" footage for each of their creation which was super cool! That made the stories a lot more nicer than they would have been otherwise.

I simply couldn't put the book down and I have a feeling that I am going to read every one of his works pretty soon!


343 more to go.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 656: Poetry or Not.

6 September, 2011

A warning well in advance, this calls for,

What you are about to read is beyond the regular.

Call it poetry, call it prose, call it utter crap,

But for reasons not quite explicable

An endless voice boomed in my head, "A poem, I must write!".

Could be the holiday that had ended too soon,

Or the sniffles that was bound to follow.

Could be that for days now, I would be alone

As the hubby hobnobbs across the north of India

Leaving me to handle the laundry on my own.

What's driving something this unusual, it doesn't matter,

There's surely no point harping on the cause.

Truth is, out of the blue, mesmerizing and magical,

Struck an avalanche of thoughts, ideas, dreams,

Threatening to bust the seams of my tiny little brain.

Leading to an urge to tell the world a million things

That in my head, whizzed, hopped and somersaulted.

Flashes of lands and faces seen and to be seen,

Crowding behind eyes shut, waiting to be set free,

"And what better way than through poetry!", cooed I.

So I sat down to paint a poetic picture,

Of the images in my head in all their glorious colours.

And just like that it halted, the whirlwind of my thoughts,

No kaleidoscope in words formed, as I had hoped for

The dull white of the blank sheet of paper, the only colour to be.

Poetry ain't my cup of tea, it dawned on me.

Oh Well.

Then again, the day is meant to be beautiful

The flashes and images were for my head alone, maybe.

Beyond my reach, a kaleidoscope surely is,

But a fleeting wish for poetry, a poem in itself?, I wondered

And hence this feeble attempt, poetry or not.

344 more to go.

Day 655: Pictures, Again!

5 September, 2011

After every holiday, the highlight of the first day upon retuning back to Singapore would be that of going through all the pictures.

Today was no different.

Viewing the photos, sorting them, uploading them, commenting on them and most importantly reliving the fun times once again, via them! That indeed was the highlight!

345 more to go.

Day 654: Rocking Final Day!

4 September, 2011

Sadly the last day of a wonderfully fulfilling holiday!

But it continued to be a super fun day - last or not!

In the morning, my parents, uncle and I went to drop the hubby to the airport for his flight to Delhi. The point to note here is that the whole family accompanied him to the airport, which is more than 50 kms away, in spite of the fact that we would have to make yet another trip all the way there later at night for my own flight to Singapore. And all this in spite of the fact that we had a wedding to attend and my dad had a concert which he was part of (he is a percussionist)! And not just that - my dad's friend at the airport accompanied the hubby all the way up to plane to ensure that he is comfortable! Like seriously, TOO much pampering for the son-in-law, I say! Anyway, it was a very fun trip as we yapped away all the way up and down!

Later in the afternoon, I attended the wedding reception of my mom's very close friend's son. It was lovely to be part of it because even though I had been quite out of touch with them the last few years, we used to spend a lot of time together when I used to be in India more than a decade ago. So it was lovely to catch up and spend some quality time together. In spite of the fact that they were the prime hosts of the wedding, they were still spending max time with my mom and I, which was incredibly sweet!

Then came the goodbyes with all the uncles and aunts and my granny. I didn't feel like leaving at all, but well... we promised to gather again next year all together, for Onam. So, looking forward to that!

I might be repeating myself but this was indeed one of the best trips ever! Have not enjoyed this much in the recent past and I guess it had to do a lot with the wonderful people around - haven't had this complete a family gathering in a really long time! Even the hubby agrees - when asked what was his most favourite thing about Kerala, pat came the reply "The people!"

It truly makes a difference! God bless them all!

346 more to go.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 653: Farewell Party!

3 September, 2011

Given that today was to be the last day the entire family from my mom's side, who all have gathered for the wedding, would be together... we had a kinda farewell party. Parties here basically mean lotsa food, drinks, music & dance!

And yes there was indeed a LOT of food, all prepared by my uncle and aunt. I was stunned by the very elaborate spread! From what I can remember there were tapioca with chilli chutney, chicken curry, chicken fry, prawns curry, channa masala, fish fry, beef fry, peas & egg, quill egg masala, dry potatoes, paratha, chappathi, rice. All made by just the two of them. Amazing!

The highlight amongst the drinks available was definitely good old Kerala toddy! Fresh from the coconuts!

And then came the music and dance. For the last couple of days I had been hunting for fast paced songs to dance to! My collection was put on a loop and we danced away till the night!

It was an awesomely fun evening and now, like all other good things, this too is coming to an end! Sigh! But I shall be leaving a very happy and satisfied person!

347 more to go.

Day 652: Pookalam After 13 Years!

2 September, 2011

Onam celebrations have kickstarted in Kerala and what this means is that everyone puts the pookalam (flower patterns) in front of their houses every morning for 9 -10 days. For the past couple of days my mom was the one who put the pookalam in our house, mainly because I was sleeping in until late.

But today, I decided that I will be the one to put the pookalam.

So early in the morning, I sat down right outside the front door of my house and made an elaborate pookalam!

It's been 13 years since I last made a pookalam, so it was very nice to be working on one! Thoroughly enjoyed it!

348 more to go.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 651: Ganesh Chathurthi, Panchavaadyam & Elephants!

1 September, 2011

Highlight of the day was a visit to the Lord Ganesh temple at Naduvilal in Thrissur, to celebrate Ganesh Chathurhti. What is special about this temple is that it was established by my great grandfather, several decades ago. It had started off as a very small thing but today, there was a big celebration there - in fact, the biggest Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations in Thrissur, complete with Panchavaadyam (percussion performance) and decorated elephants, happened right here!

We spent some time there - praying, enjoying the panchavaadyam, watching the elephants and generally having some good fun together with the rest of the crowd. It was also quite the cultural experience for the hubby!

A good evening!

349 more to go.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 650: Wedding Day Fun!

31 August, 2011

Finally it's the day of the cousin's wedding! Pretty much everything that happens at a wedding happened - getting dressed most elaborately, running around and helping out in whatever little ways you can and feeling rather important in the process, meeting and catching up with relatives whom you haven't seen for ages, gorging on awesome feast etc. - all of which can be summarized as pure, unadulterated fun!

Oh I must also mention that part of the fun was contributed by the process of "Mallu-fying" the hubby. It was quite an experience getting him, a North Indian, to wear the Kerala dhothi (called "mundu") and walk around the whole day. He was the center of attention since the simple Kerala folks seemed highly amused by the presence of a Hindi-speaking non-Mallu amidst them, that too wearing a mundu. This amusement gets further heightened occasionally when he splutters a few Malayalam words that he has picked up over the past few days! I must also point out that the hubby, on his part, seemed to rather enjoy all that attention!
The hubby and I at the wedding

After the wedding, we spent the evening at the cousin's place, going through the pictures taken on my camera, commenting on everyone and everything that our eyes caught. In other words, reliving the wedding.

Another cousin gets married. Another round of wedding festivities end. But a ton of fun it was!

350 more to go.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 649: Venues & Kitchens

30 August, 2011

Day - 1 for the wedding... so spent the entire day at the bride's place. Needless to say it was a fun day with a lot of chatter, food and festivities!

One specific highlight I would call out is the experience at the wedding venue where we went for our dinner - especially the tour inside the kitchen there! My cousin's family had opted to go the traditional way of arranging the feast, which means food is not catered from outside, but is made by chefs inhouse at the venue, overnight!

The venue too, is part of a temple, and the building is several decades old. This gives it a very nice charm and walking through it feels like time has stood still and everything has been preserved just as it was all those years ago! It's rather fascinating!

Payasam preparation

The hubby amused by the rice vessel

Even though I had seen all this before, it was several years ago and I was as fascinated by the set up as the hubby for whom the "tour" was mainly meant for!

351 more to go.