Wednesday, August 31, 2011

too much

... is a feeling. a feeling akin to claustrophobia, yet not quite. for some time now, it feels as though i'm staring at that rainbow-circle-thingie moving on the computer screen... nothing uploaded, none downloaded either.

things are not getting done, i'm doing them. feelings are not resolved, the mind is not free. and, when there is three 'nots' in two sentences, it is time to shut down. let the CPU cool down. delete unwanted and obsolete files. clear the mind. lighten the heart.

the festival season in India has begun. though i won't be actively participating, revelling in the sounds, sights and celebrations of friends should not take much effort. yes, the preparations are done. the city is abuzz. the lights only wait to be lit.

lights are up


brownie baking - trh
su and i baked brownies this afternoon. said brownies are now cooling.

i'll be back.

Monday, August 29, 2011


the birthday party scheduled for Sunday in my very eventful life. it was on one side of the city and we lived beyond the suburbs, on the other side. it had been raining since Thursday morning. we had to take a detour, due to water-logging, only once. some pictures i shot during the 53 km drive.


the 'rain-protected' Sunday market


carry yourself tall.


we went the extra mile. it was my neice's birthday :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


trh - aberration

trh - aberration

trh - aberration

abrade /uh-brayd/ (v) - scrape or wear away
origin Latin abradere

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

laugh it off

yesterday morning, i was called hi-fi by a lady on the bus-stop. because, i take two minutes the night before to pick up a dress to wear the next day and 50 extra seconds to put lipstick and kajal after i have brushed my teeth and washed my face in the morning.

no, why should we homemakers always look like unwashed laundry? why should i rotate three pairs of easily-washable-no-need-to-iron salwar sets for months together just because i only go to the bus stop and the high point of my social calendar is the parent-teacher meeting every month?


came back home and gave breakfast of cereal to the husband. meanwhile, i simmered last night's chicken curry till the gravy was a little charred and really thick. then, with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, i polished it off with bread.

give in
i am wicked that way

i have a nine-year-old's birthday party to attend this weekend. my social diary is so full. haan ji!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


no one tells this to people who are beginners, i wish someone told me. all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. but, there is this gap. for the first couple years you make stuff, its just not that good. its trying to be good, it has potential, but its not. but, your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. and your taste is why your work disappoints you. a lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. most people i know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. we know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. we all go through this. and if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. it is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. and i took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone i've ever met. its gonna take awhile. its normal to take a while. you've just gotta fight your way through. - Ira Glass


rain is pretty.

its awesome. time seems to stand still while watching the rains. it washes the dust and makes everything feel new, leaves, grass, flowers. i hate getting wet, though, i can bear to look at the rains for hours. a thing of beauty is a joy forever. but...

at 33, dad decided to return to his hometown. at 13, i was put in a school a few hours away, the best. i had to stay in the upper floor of a tiny convent with dingy toilets, dark bathrooms and bunks too close for comfort.

the academic session starts in June, when the monsoons start. i could take the teasing of my accent, my clothes, my point of view that was different on everything, but i was finding it hard to stomach the food with coconut and coconut oil. add to that, the rains that never stopped.

i was craving rajma and pakodas and mom's cooking that was a lovely blend of all the places dad had been posted to. once in high school here, the girls stopped playing and talking. all they did was mug and study. marks mattered way too much. tenth standard boards were epic.

the rains continued. we washed our own clothes here. i had no idea of how to get them dried. i wasn't smart enough to figure things out from what and how others were doing. i was losing weight, missing periods and crying too much.

by the time the monsoons ended, i was living with my grandparents and went to a new school, an average, not very good one. the uniform had changed. the girls and i did not get along. but, i did not have to spend every hour with them. so...

it took me more than ten years to understand why i don't romanticise the rain, why i always look for, carry or find my own sunshine... and, another five or six years to fall in love with the burst of flavour that coconut oil is.

carry your sunshine

i jumped from one blog to the other till i found a post on another blogger's death. and, from the pictures there, i found, she loved flowers, windows, the full moon... and, her life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
"everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. a child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. or a garden planted. something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. it doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. the difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. the lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime."

my roomies and i
my roommates and i

Saturday, August 13, 2011


are a new-found love, though i have been surrounded by plants always. it was the seasonal flowers, planned and planted by mom in our days in different parts of North India. on our return to the tropical south, mom started her love affair with bonsai, cacti, orchids and the local flowers peculiar to Kerala.


never the one to take effort at anything, i stuck to ferns, money plants, succulents, till the daughter decided she needed her dose of pink in the balcony, too. pink button roses, periwinkles, morning glories - most of which, sadly, rest in peace now - started our tryst with blooms. i am slowly finding my way among flowering plants and their care.

point and shoot

like the ambitious woman unwilling to let go of her freedom, who forgets it all after she has held her baby and can't wait for it to smile and gurgle, i find myself looking out for the blooms to raise their head. i so love to see a bud and can't wait for it to flower and colour the space. let there never be a flowerless day among my pots, dear Lord.

trh - the flower post

at 31. just wanted to remember when.

Friday, August 12, 2011

the rain post

sombre skies
sombre skies

we ventured
lashing rain

slow traffic

the son

the daughter

whizzing by
whizzing by lush greenery


long way
and, the long road ahead.

taken on my phone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the son

is crabby, cranky and wonky. wants to sleep on the top bunk. i tuck in the daughter on her bunk and heave myself to sleep with the boy. the blackster is jobless. his master away on a flight.

sometime later, i feel the cold. i almost keel over to check on the precious, precocious daughter and her blanket. the blackster is pretending to be mother hen and sleeping beside her huddled form.

should tell the dog off then and there, my husband has told me. otherwise, it will be difficult to control and there will be discipline issues. hmff. i didn't ask for the dog. its your problem. my baby is warm.

this morning the son wakes up with measles. i believe in karma.


so, its not measles. but, food poisoning. from either the sausages he had or the kaju katli. on medication and anti-biotics. but now, swollen ears and feet and lips. another trip to doctor. now, blood and urine tests.

at the nearby government hospital where they collected his blood sample

the son screams and writhes. the daughter closes her eyes and ears. i just don't want anything wrong with kidney or liver, i think. waiting for results. swelling does not bring good tidings. but, i have seen this scene above. i believe in signs.


day six. his skin is peeling - inside and out. cannot stomach anything but idli-sugar and milk. the lining in his mouth and intestines and gut has to grow back just like the one on his face and all-over. why God, you couldn't stand the two nights of undisturbed sleep i had, so you thought you'd like some action?

might send him to school tomorrow. worried that the irritation on his skin will lead him to more fights. maybe the other kids will poke fun of the skin of his face. i am losing trust. in everything, in children, too. any action can bring on more than an equal and negative reaction. this will not do. i need to believe more. i need to. i believe...


Sunday, August 7, 2011


sure you must have seen the video on '29 ways to be creative.' its been on facebook since forever. saw it once and the points i can remember just now are...
1) carry a notebook everywhere.
2) read a page of the dictionary daily.
3) sing in the shower.
4) finish something... this looks comfortable enough to act upon :)

*some nights ago*
my kids can sleep comfortably on a single bunk. i look at them, so snug, so little... i want to scream (at myself), you mad woman, why do you expect them to understand... stuff, the ways of the world? why do you expect them to keep up with you, with those little feet, those little hands, little mouths and broken words and big, innocent, wonder-filled eyes?

playschool is over. i need time, energy and patience to sit with my boisterous four year old, hold his hand and, form letters and numbers. the daughter, has always, needed time and talking. despite things being easier wth her, she has yet to learn the concept of study time and that it is sacrosanct.

i am craving organisation and schedule and simplification. where i could sit anywhere, i find myself pushing clothes in the washing machine, sorting papers and getting them out of sight, giving away clothes and toys because the emotional memories are taking precedence over a saner today.

i log into twitter once (or twice) a day, facebook once in two days... am active on flickr and here because this makes me happy. see, i am beginning to like stuff on the basis of the happiness and comfort factor, rather than on their snob value.

gave away my entire junk jewellry collection to lakshmi, the maid's daughter. i now have some pieces of silver, terracotta and stones that fit in a little box. those hanging on the jar were expressly booked by suhana, for herself!

after the kurti, fashion trends have gone beyond my understanding. i have stopped caring and am beginning to cringe at some of those mannequins. i have started veering away from the clothes section and buying stuff like pretty tea towels, trays, candles etc. i have one shopping bag, one small handbag for local trips and one large one for travels.

you know what? i am over the hill. or, i am turning into my mom.

lunch plans
beetroot bhaji, lahsooni dal palak, fish fry and rice on the lunch menu

Friday, August 5, 2011

dear four-year-old avikutta

at the ptm this morning, teacher said you don't write, you speak only when you want to and get into fights, recite poems sometimes with everybody, apply the jam on your puris on your uniform...

but, yesterday you coloured the Indian flag so well (she kept her hand on her heart) that she had to give you a 'well done' card. the tiny flame of pride about to be doused, bursts to light. yes, my son, you become a huge artist, temperamental and intense. don't follow the rules. be yourself. make your rules.

i love you. it hurts.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


is not me. Filling the silence with senseless chatter, that is me. Despite the husband sending signals of replying in 'hmms' and less than audible 'hmms' and not looking up from his Mac book, I will still continue to tell him about what the maid told me about someone in the building that day.

A voice in the head tells me to shut up. I mean, really, what interest will it hold for him. But, I continue. Not to fill the void. We are quite comfortable with each other and savour these patches of quiet, especially delicious after kids and pets vying for attention.

Sadly, I talk incessantly to shut the train of thoughts in my head. Thoughts telling me to finish the hateful chores, thoughts screaming at me not to put off that phone call, thoughts telling me to accept that today I'll have to cook and clean, so I might as well get up from the stupor and get some food on the table.

Sometimes, these thoughts tell me to be disciplined and be done with the tasks so as to better enjoy the cup of tea. But, I suffer from a severe case of eating-the-icing-before-the-cake syndrome. And, it only gets worse if you don't have a boss to meet deadline for or someone to whom you are answerable.

*five minutes after*

... and, i ran out of rant.

trh aug4'11

tea with myself is distressing

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

to some

it might seem like pottering. but, i am nesting. putting some forgotten bric-a brac in the limelight and making them useful. otherwise, they were just waste fellows.


for almost three years, this leather box, a gift from sister-in-law in muscat, has been biding its time in the cupboard.


but, now it sits filled with a box of tissues, keys and sometimes money on the chest of drawers, which is very near the dining table.


re-arranged stuff in the china cabinet. displayed the bone china dinner set, a gift from mother-in-law on first wedding anniversary and rid the house of all cardboard packing cases.


the partially seen wooden jewellry box was a birthday gift from roomies in the second year of law college. treasured for so many years, i didn't want to give it away. but, neither did i want it to lie hidden, almost forgotten.


and, then this glass jar/pitcher/jar. the easiest to gift somebody moving houses. since, i already had crystal version of the same, i thought i'd transfer it with a new job designation from the kitchen cupboard to my colourful and flamboyant wardrobe.


she does carry her new job profile with elan :)


the gold and black souvenir from Greece, on top of the stacked plates, was given by a friend in Chennai. the frame broke, but i'm glad it found a place for itself.