Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweet Challenges

I always had a fascination for gowns, lehenga, sharara. When I used to read Jane Austen novels, I would imagine all the female characters in the flowing gowns and would drool at my own imagination. I have seen sharara in very few old Hindi movies like Mere Mehaboob.

Apart from lehenga, I don't think the other two are in fashion any more. The trends might have changed but some of these costumes have been priceless and very feminine. For whatever reasons, I did not get an opportunity to wear lehenga at my brother's or my own wedding. When I figured out that most of my friends and cousins except one have got married, I realised that my opportunities to wear the pretty outfit are dwindling.

I had only one cousin at that time to get married and I knew that I would be attending his wedding, whenever it was decided and wherever it was held. So, I thought I should have my lehenga ready just in case, he announces unexpectedly.

In my last visit to India, my major agenda was to get a lehenga. My mom who was aware of my fascination had already done homework and found out the shop which sold nice (non-wedding) lehengas. I bought 2 beautiful dresses - one in baby pink and other in purple with matching jewelley.

So, I was all set for my cousin to announce his wedding plans. And I was hoping it would be soon so that I could get the chance to flaunt my dress. As luck would have it, we did not have to wait for long and within six months, my cousin got engaged and his wedding was to be held in few months time in Houston, Texas.

We booked our tickets and I started packing our bags. During all these excitement, we realised that I was expecting. My wise cousin asked me to check up with the doctor whether I could travel. Well, travel I would, my bags had been packed even before the bride and the groom started their shopping and I knew exactly what to wear on each occassion. I still checked up with my doc and assured her that I would be fine. So, all was well. We had to leave the following day. I opened up the box to keep cosmetics and brushes and last minute stuff. I saw the pretty lehenga and was beaming at the thought that I would be wearing it soon. I took out the dress to try it out, only to realise that I had outgrown my outfit. And the phase of life I was in, I could not even reduce my weight. Ahh. Life's sweet challenges.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun, Please shine down on me.

Weather definitely affects our moods. A bright Sun peps us up and rain clouds can tingle our heart.

I had always admired Sun. One reason is he really makes my day. If he is out, I don't mind who accompanies him - wind, rain or snow, I know I would enjoy my day. Other is, I attribute the life of entire earth to him. But for him, we would have been molecules floating around in space. I believe for the same reason, I find him powerful, yet humble - a quality that I admire a lot. He is the natural disinfector. He can make a room look bright and inviting. He makes the natural wonders of the earth so beautiful. Whether he is setting or rising up, be it Grand Canyon, Himalayas, Alaska or any beach shore in any part of the world, we would be awed by the beauty. One of my favourite days is the one after it had snowed and the sun is out bright. It is a treat to eyes.

Few years back, on our drive back home from college, me and my friend, Arc witnessed a beautiful sunset, an image which has been ingrained in my mind. I remember few other sun sets I have seen from the terrace of my home. They always give the same feeling - a sense of hope. No matter how down I can be, I can always emerge up strong - the way Sun rises up every morning. He is one of the reasons I named my daughter. Her meaning translates to dawn - a new hope, a new beginning.

By now, you must have guessed the reason of my high spirits. Yes, the sun is out shining bright and also we are off to Chicago for a nice, warm vacation. (It is biting cold in Chicago, but meeting friends and family always gives a warm feeling).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

You Betcha!

I have this crazy habit of betting. No, not in the horse races and casinos but with friends, just for fun. When I was in class 12, I had a bet with a dear friend of mine that I would dine with her on the night of Dec 31 1999 at her home in Delhi. She can cook anything she likes, as in ANYTHING she likes. If I fail to turn up, I had to treat her else she had to treat me. And the treat was a "BarOne" . We had chosen the chocolate "bar one", since it was the only chocolate which I detested. I think they have even stopped manufacturing it. Good. Someone out their definitely has a refined taste.

Those days, turn of the century seemed to be a big deal. Since there were couple of years to go and we were off pursuing our career paths in different colleges in different cities, I had no idea what to expect of that day. Initially we were in touch with each other, then it came down to her visits to my house if she had enough time during the vacation. During our sporadic meetings, we never spoke about the bet and let life take its turns.

Finally, the day arrived. Whatever changes happened in my life, I was still home, the same old sweet home and she was in Pondicherry. The day was a normal one except for all the hype created by the media about entering the new century. I knew I had won the bet since she was not there to treat me but I wondered if she remembered. Well, she did call me at 12:00am sharp on Jan 1 2000 to wish me and to accept that the BarOne was on her. I remember jumping with joy, not for winning the BarOne but what a friendship can hold.

During those years of wait, I managed to have another bet with my dear friend Arc. The bet was that I needed to stop eating chocolates and ice creams for a year. Imagine the atrocity but I was brave enough to take up the Herculean task and yes, I did win. I was treated in a very fine expensive restaurant all at Arc's expenses, which added to the fun.

Well, I still have 2 bets to go and am keeping my fingers crossed. But I know I win it or not, if we just remember the bet and call, our friendship has won, which I sincerely hope that it does.

The chocolate keyboard


Who would not love this?


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Utterly, butterly, Oops

Everyone loves well groomed hands. This is one of many aspects of life where the Onida advertisement seems so true "Neighbour's envy, Owner's pride". Years ago, I used to associate long, thin hands to those of an intellect mind. Maybe because the fictitious character, Sherlock Holmes, whom I used to admire in my younger days is supposed to have one. In the Sherlock Holmes series where the lead character was played by Jeremy Brett, the first thing to catch my eye when Holmes would snap the fingers saying "Exactly Dr Watson" were the long fingers.

As a kid, I remember having very slippery hands. I had so many disasters at the dining table, spilling the water all over that my dad nick-named me "Butter Fingers". For a few years, my mom refused to serve me water with dinner. I used to have a friend in my high school, whose hands used to tremble even in summer. The doctor could not detect anything wrong and she has been doing perfectly fine. What used to amuse me was the precision with which she would dissect a rat in our Biology practicals, while my hands, otherwise looking so firm would be trembling within. Though I feared the worst in my pregnancy, my hands were so stable that even a butter did not slip through them.

I had forgotten about this aspect of my hands till today. I had come to office after a long weekend, ready to start work with an enthusiasm that only New Year spirit can beget. I got myself a nice cup of hot chocolate and logged on to my computer, only to spill the hot drink on the keyboard. I guess this is what is starting the New Year with a splash.