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What I’ve Learnt in 31 Years – Part 1

Yup, the title says it all. These are the lessons I want to make sure I share with my daughter and all the other children in my family.

  • While using ketchup packets, always check the direction of the tear and aim away from you while squeezing. I’m invariable wearing white or a pastel shade when I get a substantial dollop of red on me. Once the dollop’s there, don’t rub, just gently dab and you may save your outfit. I have recently discovered a bleach white stick, but seriously who carries these around
  • Most Indian elders are willing to listen to your point of view, if you precede it with something on the lines of “please forgive my ignorance on account of my age……….” in a respectful tone
  • Most dressing room mirrors at clothing stores are like the fancy ones in the house of mirrors, they elongate and narrow your frame. Don’t believe them, trust your instinct
  • Children get dirty, very dirty. A proper hot bath is the only way to get them clean. Make it a bubble bath if you don’t whining of “I’m tired/sleepy/hungry”
  • How do you know you enjoy what you do? Monday mornings are not blue, unless that’s your favourite colour

 

It’s funny but only the really small things have stuck with me. I can’t for the life of me remember anything that’s ground breaking or life changing. Hmmm………… food for though?! Maybe in the next part.

What are the life lessons you want to pass on?

 

Photo Credit: Image 1

 

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A Listers – Ideas That Wake You Up

Happy New Year to all of you. Let this be the year that we fulfill our dreams and create the life we want. Or if you are like me, get started on the path to fulfilling all your aspirations. Either way, most of us live in the hope that every new year will be better than the ones gone by and however silly that may be, hope does keep us going.

New Year’s resolutions seem to be passe, instead a lot of people I know make lists at the beginning of the year (‘me’ being one of those people I know). To do lists, to achieve lists, to complete lists, call it what-you-may, show me that we have realised that the way to be where you want to be is to plan the route and follow it.

That being said, how often do you get up at some go forsaken time at night because you remembered some ‘to-do’ item not included on your current list or had a brilliant idea (which may seem not so brilliant in the harsh light of the next day)? Your too tired to physically get-up and grab a piece of paper and a pen to note things down, but you can’t really sleep till you are sure you won’t have forgotten all about it the next day. Well obviously the simple solution is to spend a minute in getting some writing material, noting the thought down and then getting back to some serious shut-eye. Even easier if it’s a regular thing is to keep a small notepad and pencil by your beside.

Well this is where my personal problem comes in. If I get up to get a notepad and paper, the though turns into a grocery lost of to-do things or the idea turns into a whole story. The second solution then? Well, anyone who has a 0-6 year old knows that no easily available piece of paper is safe. By the time you get to bed (forget needing it in the middle of the night), it will be decorated with snakes, butterflies and other miscellaneous animals; completely unflattering mommy and daddy portraits or, my personal favourite, completely undecipherable secret language love notes that mommy or daddy are expected to perfectly understand (beware the ‘you don’t love me, only mommy/daddy’ tears that ensue if you fail).

Well, considering the fact that I love my sleep (though the number of hours is nothing to rave about), over the last five years I have figured out a fairly good system. Its, wait for it, ‘numbering’. Kind of works like bullet points. It’s a bit tough when it’s an idea that woke you up and not a list but I’ve managed to adapt using a keywords system. Yes, I usually forget 9 out of ten things, however I do know that I have forgotten only one thing and just wait for it to come back. Again 4 out of 5 (these are not precise numbers people, I’m sleepy remember) it never does come back, but hey you take what you get.

Am I perfectly happy with the system? No. Isn’t it better to get up and note things down? Yes. Then why don’t I do it? Because, I don’t want to getup. Yes, after my daughter goes to sleep and I finish playing my boss role at work, I like to act like an unreasonable teenager. The best part, no one knows. Well, except you.

P.S. – Ironically, the name of this post came to me at 1 am in the morning.

Photo Credit: Image 1

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Defining Me, Randomness

 

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Expectations and Perceptions

In our professional lives, when some one doesn’t react, respond, cooperate the way we expect, what do we do? We may talk to them, have an argument, come back onto the same page, rework whatever needs to be reworked or move on. Either way the end result is we revise our expectations of them rather than take it emotionally or personally. Many a time we agree to disagree (that term is a cliche for a reason people) and move on to continue working together or apart. We accept them as they are and they accept us as we are, short-comings and all. The consequences for either party may be may be negative or positive professionally, but we rarely do we (if ever), go home and cry about it and spend days analysing why so and so did such and such thing.

The techie has taught me this in our personal lives too. Except for a handful of people (I mean very very close like a parent, sibling or spouse who spends or has spent years living in close quarters with you) we cannot dump the burden of our expectations on anyone be it friends or extended family. We all perceive each other in a certain way, given our experiences, and assume that others perceive us in a certain way. It often happens that we may be wrong on either or both counts. When this happens it’s okay to feel hurt initially but before we go and bawl out the other person, it’s a great idea to sit down and think through the perceptions in the relationship. Maybe the easier way is reset our expectations and then express our views to the other person. This way no one gets hurt (hopefully. I’m not an expert on relationships), while both parties get a chance to express their views and decide how to take the relationship forward. No finger pointing and no bad memories to dredge up every time there’s a disagreement.

Initially, I was against the idea and told the techie that relationships are strong and passionate and there’s no way I can take it impersonally. However, over time I have come to realise that this is not being impersonal. This is a way to ensure that we take responsibility for our happiness and include others in it, rather than making them responsible for it.

I don’t know if any of that made sense, but it’s something I have learnt over the past decade (yes, it’s taken me ten years) and a idea I wanted to share for the New Year.

Obviously, this does not apply to the people you can fight with today and then go out for a drink with tomorrow. It’s just for the rest of the world.

Seasons Greetings and see you in the New Year.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Defining Me, The Real Me

 

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Everyday’s a Party

My mind has been overloaded and cluttered these past few months. There have been energizing brain storming sessions,  tedious but necessary mid-year number crunching analysis, constant conference calling with girlfriends for a project we are working hard on (this is our new venture on the side), failed attempts to re-write a storyline and continuous planning in order to make every week memorable for V (the techie and I have wowed not to sail through her childhood like zombies).

I have valued, if not enjoyed, every moment because each situation has come from my own choosing, however, the brain does tend to get over-simulated and then what?! Headaches due to lack of sleep and over thinking, constant pre-occupation and an host of other stuff that just creeps up on you. So what’s a girl to do when things get too much but you don’t want to actually slow-down because you can’t miss a moment (I mean the festive season’s here and things are just going to get more fun and hectic)? Well, I don’t know about most girls but here’s what I do, have a closet spring clean. Yes, the techie dreads this method of relaxation but he participates in good spirit because of the benefits of a happy me post the exercise.

V woke us up at 6 am this Sunday. We had freshened-up, had our morning poison (regular milk for V, coffee for the techie and fresh juice for me) and got onto the task by 6.30 am. The techie setup a superb song list of olden goldies, V donned her winter gloves to help with the wiping and I started tossing stuff out of the cupboard.

The next three hours flew by, with old clothes fights (almost like a pillow fight but much messier), colour coordination, slow dancing (our two songs were on the list and we could not not dance) and V wearing all my jewellery and asking us to call her ‘Your Royal Highness’ while jumping on her trampoline. By 9.30 am we were done. We quickly showered and headed down for a huge breakfast, with a bag of stuff for the local old people home, and a day packed with events.

The outcome? All I need to do is open the doors to my organized, colourful and blingy (I love shiny stuff) wardrobe and I get a high. The techie has got a lot of extra points for being the good husband and is making the most of it, while V thinks closet cleaning is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Plus we had breakfast with royalty and a mini prom dance.

What do you do to reset an overcrowded mind?

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2, Image 3

 
 

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Finding My Way Back

This year, I really may have bitten off more than I can chew and the area that has been affected first is my writing. While my posting here was sporadic over the last six months, over the last month it has come to a complete halt. Problem is I have so many posts in my head, however, the longer I stay away, the easier it is to forget that this blog exists.

My plan for the new year is to use time management in all aspects of my life, not just the professional part, and to prioritize stuff.

Will 2013 be the re-start of my blogging days? I’m really going to try, so please don’t go away.

Photo Credit: Image 1

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Blogs and blogging, Randomness

 

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Is it always this way with the first one?

The first born, the first novel, the first job. There are doubts and believing others when they tell you it’ll work out on it’s own (till you realise unless you take a decision and act on it, nothing moves) or that you are doing something wrong and their way is the best way. At least it has been that way for me.

I wrote my first (complete) novel way back in November 2011. I got a publishing offer, which was not what I was looking for, as it was in an e-book format and I really wanted to feel my first literary baby in my hands. About six months back I actually  found an agent willing to take me on and I was unbelievably excited. When she finally got round to asking for the completed manuscript I was confident and happily committed on a date of delivery. One week later I started a new sub-plot because I felt the pace was too slow. Soon planning the sub-plot took precedence and I started struggling to rework the time lines within my novel. The delivery date came and went and now it’s more than a month later, however, I have not yet written the changed version of my novel.

If that’s not enough, I have already started charting out the plot for our second novel, with the techie. I have committed to doing a group writing exercise every November and come what may I’ll have to drop all other writing activity and  start on novel number two on the 1st of next month. This is the only way I’ll commit to finishing a novel without wasting time or re-writing and editing.

So what’s the bottom-line here? I basically can’t club creativity and organization. At work I’m an accountant and everything is charted out way in advance by me, with schedules, sub-schedules and reviews, and I’m comfortable handling pretty large teams on tight deadlines. On the other hand let me loose with a passion of mine and I lose track of time and place and the very real world of patient agents, inflexible deadlines and actually submitting your work so that it can be edited and published. Fingers crossed that she agrees to continue as my agent, once I submit the updated version of my novel.

What do you do when you have a creative deadline? Can you work with both sides of your brain at once?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Novel, Passions and Dreams, The Real Me

 

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When Did I Become A Girlie Girl?

I admit it, I love pink and purple and glitter. I’m a girlie girl through and through, though I also love sport and books. So that makes me a sporty, girlie, bookworm. Okay, the discussion is not really about defining who I am, but rather how did I get to the person I am today. What’s stumped me suddenly is, when did the girlie part get into my psyche?

Growing-up I had my share of Barbie dolls, but I never really played dress-up with them. I was always a bookworm and once I started reading at the age of three, there was no looking back. In fact, my mom (who introduced me to reading, in order to make sure I never fell into the television watching vortex), made sure that my brother and I played all sorts of sports to stay healthy and fit, since the two of us spent so many hours cuddled up with our books. So there you have me from the age of three to twenty-one. Either I would be in mud/sweat-splattered shorts and t-shirt, trying to beat the heck out of my brother at table tennis, squash or basketball. Or the two of us would be bug-eyed behind our spectacles reading like there was no tomorrow. During the summers, we would roam the city, during the hottest hours of the day, picking dates of the palm trees and getting ourselves all sticky.

When it came to clothes, I always preferred trousers or jeans to skirts and frocks. My mom didn’t believe in children wearing heels or make-up, so there was no question of either. During Indian festivals, I was literally shoe-horned into feminine Indian outfits, that majorly restricted my ability to move, so i just sat in a corner with my book and refused to socialize (actually I wasn’t sulking, I just put on that demeanor so that no one interrupted my reading with their pointless adult “Oh! you’ve grow so tall”.).

I remember the first time my mom made me wear a saree, I was fourteen and I cried and cried, because everyone said I looked so pretty and lady like. I was secretly terrified that people would think me suitable marriage material (don’t ask where that came from). Matter of fact I had only two real girl friends out of school, the rest were all boys and in high-school my brother and I had a common group of friends who practically lived at the local sports club. I was also extremely clumsy and accident prone. (Okay, I’m still accident prone to a scary extent, according to the techie. That’s a separate story though.)

When I got to the eleventh grade, I did start wearing skirts and frock for parties and I quite enjoyed them. The only difference from my friends was that, I refused to wear sandals or heels. I wore only black leather boots with my dresses. The first time I actually remember wearing heels voluntarily was for my twelfth grade prom, where I wobbled around like a drunk, thought there was no alcohol present. I also did my make-up on my own, which left me looking like a ghost, or rather like I’d seen a ghost, in most of the pictures (imagine that teamed with a silver sheath dress). After that disaster, which I can laugh about now, the next time I put on make-up and heels was at my engagement, a good four years later!

Real story, I didn’t spend a minute on my wedding shopping because I deemed it was boring and unnecessary! My mom, poor thing, did all of it with the help of assorted family members and I just presented myself on the big day. How do we think we know it all at that age and how are we so selfish? (Again fodder for another post.) Sorry mommy.

So you see, while I always loved the colour pink, because it was such a happy colour, I was never a real girlie. Today, I love fashion blogs, love having an opportunity to get dressed-up (though I still hate shopping), adore cocktails rings, high heels and glittery nail polish. Chick lit and fashion magazines have been added to my bookshelves, which were already filled with Wilbur Smith and Williard Price adventures. After having a daughter who loves playing football in her tutu, the me that was ten years back seems to have gotten lost.

How did the wannabe Georgina (from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series) morph into this wannabe yummy mommy?

Where I wonder could that messy, spectacled tomboy possibly have gone?

Have you substantially changed over the years, to an extent that you can’t reconcile your old and new self? Do share and help me figure out if this is normal.

Photo Credit: Image 1

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8 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Defining Me, Dubai, Growing-Up, The Real Me

 

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