Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 893: Cooking, The Next Step

As you would have noticed, I have been trying to make slow and steady progress towards getting my normal life back. This includes a bit of scripting, exercising and getting out of my house. Today I added one more thing to the list - Cooking!

Yep, I made my favorite dish, Naadan Mutta Roast or Kerala Traditional Egg Roast. The hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed it and that felt awesome about getting a bit more of my life back.

107 more to go.  

Days 891 - 892: Days Out & Vicky Donor

28th - 29th April 2012

This weekend has been quite successful in getting out of the house. I felt considerably better versus last several weekends and spent a lot of time outside.

On Saturday, I had a nice lunch with a bunch of friends to celebrate one of my friends' 30th birthday. We spent a few hours at the Singapore Cricket Club over some great food and conversation.

On Sunday, I watched one of the best movies I had watched in recent times - Vicky Donor. It was a very well executed film and I was very impressed with the script and the performances.

Usually a movie is pretty much all I can take in a single day, but today it was coupled with lunch outside. And after a little break at home, the hubby and I set out to a nearby mall, and did a bit of shopping, and got our dinner outside as well. That is like almost an entire day outside. I felt really really good about it.

108 more to go.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 890: Movements, Heartbeats and Baby

Today we had the visit to the gynae and that was exciting. Mainly because these are the times I feel like all that throwing up, nausea and other discomforts are all happening for a really good reason.

This time the baby looked like a baby versus the rice grain or the small pea that it used to look like before. Once again we could listen to the heartbeats, and as the doctor did the scan we watched the baby move this way and that. The maternal instincts kicked in and I immediately declared that I have an active baby!

At the end of the visit, the doctor confirmed that it should be the end of the first trimester, which I understand is a significant milestone. Now I am hoping for a quick recovery from the rest of the discomforts. And we should happily be on our way.

110 to go.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 889: The Lovely Yoga Ladies!

I just love Bikram Yoga City Hall! Not just because of the quality of the yoga practice, which is of course great, but its owner (a truly iron lady) and every one who works there (mostly ladies too) are so super sweet and more importantly, so super principled and I love that about them!

In Singapore, most of the fitness centers are majorly into their sales. They keep calling up random people asking them to join; if you try a sample class, they stalk you until you sign up with them; everything is not black and white when it comes to rates and there is always negotiation involved. etc. etc. All of which I absolutely dislike.

But BYCH center was never like that and I always loved that about them!

For example, let's say you bring a friend for a trial class and the friend decided not to join, there are no questions asked or no sales talk to try and convince. The decision is immediately respected and they get back to their work. I have always appreciated that attitude about them.

Anyway, the reason why I have come to all this is I dropped an email to them telling them about my pregnancy situation and asked them whether I would be able to get a few months extension on my membership because hot yoga is not something I can do for a few months now. The reply came immediately. They congratulated me and told me that my account has been frozen and will be reactivated whenever I choose to go next and that they look forward to seeing the baby pictures! That's it! Not even questioning how many months I will be away nor telling me that plenty of women do continue with their hot yoga practice post their first trimester (which is true) nor telling me that there is a maximum number of months I can get an extension for, post which they will be forfeited etc. etc. I was truly amazed!

Their lovely gesture didn't end there. When the hubby went for his yoga class this evening, they passed him a pregnancy yoga DVD so that I can keep practicing at home, even if I don't make it to the studio. It was their studio copy and they let me borrow it for a while. It goes to show how much they really care for the true well being of their clients and how this is not a money minting establishment alone! Again, they did this on their own and not something the hubby or I asked for! Now I can't wait to start on it!

I just love this bunch of yoga ladies! God bless them!

111 more to go. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 888: Venturing Out, On My Own!

What an evening! It was like I finally managed to get out of jail!

Given that I was always sick and weak for several weeks, whenever I ventured outside for a walk or for a bit of shopping or for grabbing a quick meal outside, I was always being accompanied by someone - either my mom or the hubby. The only exception was my office but everywhere else I used to have someone with me, for very good reasons too. Many at times I had felt weak and just have sat down on the ground and refused to move for a while and it is always good to have someone with you during these situations, even if it is only for moral support.

Anyway, I have been feeling better the past few days, so today I decided to go out on a walk all on my own. Armed with a salted amla to fight any potential nausea and some cash in case I need to get a cab back, I set out. I took my usual jogging route but instead of jogging, I walked of course. For the good part of an hour, with a couple of breaks in between, I was outside in the big, bad world all on my own and I survived! Nausea, fatigue etc. were under control and I loved the I-me-myself time out in the open!

I felt like such a brave, strong girl! All grown up!

112 more to go. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 887: Pool Therapy!

Am not really sure why I didnt try this in the last few years I have been living in this condominium, but today I realized that it is highly therapeutic to sit by the swimming pool, close my eyes and listen to the lovely sounds that the pool, the fountains and water features make!

Today I didn't feel like swimming or walking, but I made my way down and just sat by the pool just to get some fresh air. It was quite dark except for the pool beautifully lit from under the water, giving a gorgeous blue tint to the water and throwing lovely dancing shadows all around.

In the beginning, I sat for a while on one of the cane sofas there, listening to some music on my phone and when that felt boring, I switched it off and just decided to stare ahead at the pool. In a short while, I felt that I was getting very calmed down by the gurgling sounds of the water streams. With the calm, lighted blue waters ahead and the sounds of the gentle water flow all around me, it was almost hypnotic!

I sat there for much longer than I had initially planned to, and it felt really, really peaceful! To think this was something available all this while, right at my doorstep and I took this long to truly appreciate it!

Definitely doing this more often!

113 more to go!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 886: Not Succumbing!

Its old news that I am pregnant and hence suffering from very irritating symptoms like nausea and throwing up. It's still continuing but today I kinda felt like I have had enough. Even though I had a morning of extreme nausea, I decided that I will hit the gym no matter what.

At about 7 PM, just when I was about to leave for the gym, I had a fantastic session of throwing up. Usually when this happens I feel super uncomfortable followed by weakness and I try and get some rest. Today was no different, but I was determined to go the gym, and I did!

After 15 mins of cycling and 20 mins of walking, I was satisfied. I felt like I did something at least, and felt pretty proud that I did not succumb to that horrendous throwing up symptom once again. The best thing to have happened in a while.

114 more to go.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 885: The Good and The Bad

It was not a completely good day because after her 1 month visit, my mom, went back to Kerala this evening. But we did make the most out of the day so it wasn't completely bad either. I kinda spent the whole morning chatting with my mom and then dropped her off at the airport together with the hubby. Thanks to my mom's impatience, we were way too early at the airport. So once the check-in was over we had a nice long early dinner at the Anand Bhavan there.

Then my mom left, but the hubby and I stayed back at the airport for quite a while as I tried to control a strong bout of nausea that struck. Over a ginger drink, that marginally helped, the hubby and I had a nice long conversation before we made our way back.

As you can see not a completely happening day, but the conversations and the food made it a little bit more beautiful than it would have been otherwise.

115 more to go.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 884: Getting Some Scripting Done

Maybe it was the inspiration from yesterday, but I felt like I could not waste this Saturday without being a bit productive. So I forced myself to sit down and get back to my feature film script that I had pretty much abandoned for a while now. 

I couldn't write a lot, but I did manage to write about 4 pages and felt really good about it. 

Finally I feel like I am doing something! 

116 more to go. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 883: Feedback

One thing that has been bothering me post this pregnancy and the associated sickness is whether my work has been suffering. The number of hours I can put in productively has definitely taken a hit. I maximize the "work from home" flexibility that my company allows and I try and complete my work whenever I feel better which necessarily doesn't have to be office hours. One thing I would hate is under performing at work.

So today I gathered my guts and decided to ask for a honest feedback from my manager about the work over the last couple of months. My guess was that at best he would ask me not to worry about it because after all this is a difficult time. But instead, he gave me extremely positive feedback, and even told me that I have improved a lot over the last few months. Much to my surprise, happiness and utter relief. It completely takes away a lot of the burden I was feeling from being so ill.

Now I am all the more determined to do even better at work. This is probably one of the best things thats happened over the last few weeks. Feeling like I have been productive is of utter importance to me, and with his genuine feedback, I felt really good.

Here's to do even better.

117 more to go. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 882: Script Discussion!

One of my regular crew members happened to read one of my half-written feature film scripts and we had a short, fun discussion regarding it. Who are the kinda actors who can play this, what aspects of the script can work well, what are the logistics requirements etc.

Even though executing this seems like a far off dream now, just the discussion made me feel really good. It's like instant magical relief from working on anything that uses some imagination, creativity or just out-of-the-regular day-to-day boring stuff that I am being subjected to.

It was definitely the highlight of an otherwise super crappy day healthwise.

118 more to go. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Days 879 - 881: Getting Back to Exercise!

16 April - 18 April, 2012

For a lot of different reasons, I have been keeping away from exercise, even if it is walking, for the last couple of weeks. Firstly the enhanced nausea and threat of throwing up any time, made me scared to step far away from my house for an extended period of time.Secondly, the gym in the apartment was under renovation so that option was out. Thirdly, I was too scared to swim because the last time I went swimming (about two months ago), I struggled through it probably because it was the onset of pregnancy. Anyway, the point being, there was no exercise for a while.

So now coming to the good news - I got three consecutive days of exercising and I feel pretty good about that! 

On Monday, I went to the gym (which has now reopened post the renovation) and did 20 minutes of cycling. It's very little exercise under normal circumstances but in my current circumstances, it was a lot. It made me feel a lot better and was definitely the highlight of the day. 

On Tuesday, the hubby accompanied for a swim and it was one of the best swims I've ever had! I realized that whenever I am in the process of swimming I can breathe a lot more easily and I don't feel nauseous at all, which was such a welcome change! Sure, the feeling doesn't last when I surface from the water, but even then it was awesome. I enjoyed it thoroughly and most importantly I was over my fear of hitting the water again! 

On Wednesday, I went back to the gym and this time I did 20 minutes of cycling and 15 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill which, as you can see, is already a significant improvement from Monday. So that made me feel a lot better too! 

So I guess it is steady progress, albeit being very slow. The nausea and throwing up continues in spite of the exercise but I feel slightly more useful and productive than before. 

119 more to go. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Days 877 - 878: Celebrating New Years!

I had a really good weekend, one of the best in a while, I must say!

This weekend was the time when most parts of India celebrated their new year, including my state Kerala whose New Year was on Saturday. The Malayalis, the Bengalis, the Tamils, the Punjabis, etc. etc. had their New Years over 13 - 15 April and I got to celebrate quite a bit of it myself.

I woke up early in the morning of 14th April, the day of Vishu or the Kerala New Year and made my way to the prayer room with my eyes closed and opened them just as I got in front of the deities. This is a custom called Vishukani followed by everyone in our state on Vishu day and the idea is to start the new year with a good sight. Then I got to the hubby to do the same which was fun. Then both of us received our Vishukaineettams from my mom who is in town. Vishukaineetam is another custom where the elders in the family give a token amount in cash to the younger folks, pretty similar to the Chinese custom of the hungbao. It was the first time I was getting Vishukaineettam in a very long time because usually there are no elders around in Singapore during this time to give away money! So this was pretty cool!

14 April - 15 April, 2012

Then I spent a considerable amount of time listening to Vishu songs and devotional songs that go all the way back to my childhood, which was super nostalgic and super feel good! Then I made all the "Happy Vishu" calls to all my relatives back in Kerala and it was nice catching up with all of them!

Then it was time for a temple visit. The hubby, mom and I made our way to Little India to go the temple, post which we had the delicious customary feast at Swaadhisht. Consisting of about 25 different dishes, it was a grand highlight of our simple, minimal Vishu celebrations!

Then I spent the rest of the day watching movies, movies and more movies. Given that it was Tamil and Malayalam New Year there were plenty of films in Tamil and Malayalam running on TV and I caught quite a few them, which was a good culmination of the Vishu celebrations!

On Sunday too, there were some celebrations, this time because of the Bengali new year. A Bengali friend suggested that we go for a Bengali lunch to celebrate and so, together with the hubby, mom and our usual gang of friends, we made our way to Mustard, which I believe is the only Bengali restaurant in Singapore, and had a sumptuous meal! Consisting of chops, chicken khaatti roll, paneer khaati roll, coriander chicken curry, mutton curry, breaded fish, Bengali version of the pooris called Luchi, tandoori chicken, rosagulla, kulfi, and another milk based dessert (the name of which I can't recollect anymore), it was more than filling and very satisfying! That together with the random chatting and fun with the friends made it the perfect New Year celebrations!

So yes, I had two good days. I ventured out two days in a row which is a first after a long time, and had food outside two days in a row, which makes it an even bigger deal! Both events marking some excellent progress!

Am happy!

122 more to go.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Days 873 - 876: What Can I Say?!

10 April - 13 April, 2012

Yup, exactly....what can I possibly say?!

Been having the crappiest of all times. I am at my wits end sitting at home, hardly stepping out, struggling through the few hours that I am in the office, feeling nauseous forever, throwing up stuff with so much intensity that things sometimes go out through the nose as if the mouth wasn't effective enough (gross, I know.....but that's the truth), getting absolutely unwanted and useless advice, repeating how I feel to everyone who asks....when there is absolutely nothing they can do about that piece of information, being unable to do anything productive other than some office work - no scripting, not even blogging, not getting any exercise, not being able to sleep even 6 hours straight at night without waking up at least 3 times in between, having hormones flying all over...etc. etc. etc.

In other words, I have not felt this hopeless and useless in a really long time. This is a far cry from the super productive, always active, energized me.

Now, before anyone gives wisdom about how all this simply transient and how I need to be calm and happy at this crucial time of my life and other such obvious statements, let me assure you that I am very well aware of what the ideal situation is and how I should be handling everything in that ideal situation. But there is difference between what you feel and what you know and crappy is what I feel now. So.

A good friend, one of the few people who seem to always make me feel better, recently told me when we caught up after quite a long time, that she didn't realize things were this bad because it is not very evident from the blog that I am so miserable. She is right....I have not been too transparent about the ugly bits here and probably that's what's been bugging me as well. I don't know what I must be writing because I struggle to focus only on the glossy stuff. So I decided to come clean today.

Now that I have gotten that burden off my chest, let us look at the glossy stuff. There were a few, even in these messy days. Very tiny things, but they help.

1) Sisterhood - there are all those totally annoying people who tell you exactly what you do not want to hear. For e.g, here is a recurring gem "Oh, you are having nausea and vomiting.... I never had anything like that during my pregnancy!" Seriously?! How does that help even in the remotest possible way?! Surely, one needs to have high levels of self control to stop oneself from slapping such morons. But that's just one group. Then there are the others who are such awesome ladies that you feel like hugging and crying on their shoulder because they feel like the sisters you never had! These are the angels who say,"Oh you poor thing...I know exactly how you feel. I had the same situation during my pregnancy and it was the most awful thing!" See? Creates instant sisterhood! Whenever someone says that, I love them immediately and I feel better because I am not in this alone. That's all the support you need!

2) Food - good thing is that inspite of the nausea etc., I still appreciate food. I eat in small amounts but I still eat and enjoy my food, which is a something I am very thankful for right now. So I am thoroughly enjoying my mom's cooking and also the small treats I give myself like my favorite Black Forest cake and my newly found favorite Cookies & Cream ice cream!

3) Movies - I have watched a ton of movies over the last few days. And I seriously mean a ton! I am unable to do any other activity , so watching TV and especially films is my most common source of entertainment. I guess as a small time film maker, that's always a good thing.

4) Presentations - in spite of the crap health, I had two good presentations at work which were well appreciated. Small silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud.

That's about it. That's all that I can think of.

But tomorrow is Vishu. The Kerala new year. So maybe it will be of new beginnings. I have decided to be adventurous and go to the temple in the morning. Let's see how that goes. There's no harm in hoping for a better tomorrow and days following that! Fingers crossed.

124 more to go.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Days 870 - 872: Sharkkara Ada, Idiyappam, Ishtu, Next Project, Midnight Walk, Health & More!

7 April - 9 April, 2012

I am going to do a combination post again. This time, not because what happened over the last few days were the same thing, but because it is just easier this way. There is just way too much fatigue to be writing separate posts for each day. So I'm going to do a list.

1) the first good news is that while there is fatigue, I haven't thrown up in three days! Yay! So happy! With this whole extravaganza in my life, I am really appreciating the importance of good health!

2) Mom made delicious Ilayile Sharkkara Ada which is a coconut-jaggery mix in a rice flour wrap, which in turn is wrapped and steamed in banana leaves, followed by awesome Idiyappam and Ishtu!Yum!!

3) I have started to think of the next film project, which is very ambitious of course in the current situation, but who is to stop me from thinking! It at least gives me something to think about!

4) IOK feedback is still pouring in, and it makes me feel so awesome!

5) The hubby is single handedly making all the plans for our next vacation which is a first of its kind gesture from him....usually it's me who plans everything from first to last. So this is incredibly sweet of him and I feel awesomely pampered!

6) I had my first meal outside in several weeks, when the hubby took me out on a midnight walk to the nearby food court where we had Onion Paratha, Egg Paratha and Teh Halia!

7) I have started to meditate! I keep thinking that I will do it but never do, or even if I start, it hardly lasts, but now am enjoying it and it keeps me level headed and not lose my cool (by the way, I lose my cool because I get frustrated from the sickness, tiredness, etc) But now it very slowly seems to be settling down and that makes me a lot happier and at peace!

128 more to go.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Days 865 - 869: IOK and more!

2 April - 6 April, 2012

I have decided to combine the past five days posts because (a) I am too sick to be writing on a daily basis and (b) whatever that made me happy over the past five days is pretty consistent. So might as well combine the posts.

So here we go, what made me happy over the past 5 days - The fabulous response to my short film Inganeyum Oru Katha!!! I've been bombarded by tons of emails and messages from friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers , every single day! Just when I feel too sick and thoroughly miserable, a message pops up and I break into a smile. These days would have been far worse had it not been for these lovely gestures from everyone around! So am very happy about that!

There were a few other highlights over the last few days as well that I must mention here.
(a) A gathering with my friends to celebrate the short visit by one of our very close friend who had shifted to India as of last year.
(b) The beautiful rainy days that Singapore has been witnessing for a few days now.
(c) The visit to Mata Amritanandamayi and the 4 hours that I spent there with complete freedom from nausea and sickness. I enjoyed the meditation and Bhajan sessions and her particular message on how every small effort in our past builds up to reap a fruit someday, made me link it back to my IOK situation currently.
(d) The lovely 3 kilometer walk under a full moon lit sky with my hubby and my mom after days of confinement in the house.
(e) Last, but not the least, the fantastic entertainment I am getting as I watch my wonderful hubby typing out this blog as I dictate it out to him!

131 more to go.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 864: Inganeyum Oru Katha Release (& Visitors)!!!

What a day!

It's April 1st and time for IOK's online release!

Sure there was not much drama in it like the Mausams Premiere last year, but man, the response to the film was as overwhelming! I was getting calls and messages and emails the whole day and several of my wonderful friends and friends' friends shared, liked, commented on the film! The response was very much skewed towards being positive and encouraging and by the end ofthe day we crossed 1000 views, which was a lot more than what i had expected for a 25 min long Mallu film! Needless to say, I felt super duper happy!

But the day was awesome not just because of IOK!

I also had two visitors and I had a great time chatting and spending time with them!

One was my long time dear friend and IOK co-actor. He had been out of town for the longest time and even missed the IOK premiere at Singapore Malayalaee Association last month. So now that he is in town for just a couple of days, we decided to catch up. He came over with a pack of Ferrero Rocher, and over Mallu lunch by mom, Mallu snacks and Ferrero Rocher, we chatted away for about 5 hours straight!

Second visitor was a junior of mine from school. He is doing his phD in US and is in Singpore for a few months as part of a project. We didn't really know each other in school, but given that we were in touch via Facebook recently, he was kind enough to drop by! And he actually got me an orchid bouquet and also a miniature film camera shaped keychain! How sweet was that! I spent a couple of hours chatting with him too, together with the first friend and it was really nice meeting him and chatting with him!

So yes, it was an incredibly lovely Sunday - IOK release and reactions and a whole day of good conversation!

136 more to go.