Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Intentions, Me, Uncategorized

January Reflections

I did the monthly reflections post last year for a couple of months and abandoned it after. Let’s see how far this year takes me.

January has been a slow and steady month.This is the time of the year I normally tend to push myself to build new habits. But this year, I am just going with the flow without any grand goals or lofty ambitions. Just making sure to put in small consistent steps every day. This month I focused on infusing some discipline into my eating habits and imbibing 15 to 20 mins workout. It is not a lot but it has helped me get some of my stamina back. I also worked on one of my very annoying habits – I often leave my handbag unzipped (yikes!) and forget where I leave my keys (I never lose them but always misplace them as a result spend a lot of time searching). I can’t say I have conquered the clumsiness (I doubt I ever will) but have certainly been more mindful.

For workout, I wanted to share the youtube video series called Jessica Smith TV. It works well given the weather outside. There are many styles to choose from setting you free from monotony. They are for different chunks of time ranging from 10 mins to 30 mins, so lack of time cannot be used as an excuse. There are different levels to choose from. And the person who does it, keeps reiterating that something is better than nothing, which is kind of a great slogan when it comes to workout because you don’t have to do a lot, just a little something everyday. Some days that pushes you to do more and on other days, atleast you know you did a little something.

How quickly one month has gone by, isn’t it? Where are you with your new year goals?

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Experiences, Humor, Ram Leela

Nail falling story

Around mid-Dec., Ram injured his left thumb while closing the car door. After some icing and TLC, the child went to school with a mildly swollen thumb. A conversation with the triage nurse led us to infer that it was nothing serious (no fracture, infections etc.) Over the course of next couple of months, the nail went through bizzare phases –  turned purple, hardened, cracked and finally fell off. Apparently, that is not uncommon after a trauma like what Ram went through. The nail detaches itself from the nail bed gradually and ultimately falls down. In his case, the new nail has already started growing.  

Raising the band aid that wrapped the damaged nail, Ram asked us with naughtiness glinting in his eyes, “Appa if the falling of nail is like the falling of tooth, then is there a nail fairy like tooth fairy?”

Ayoo, we did not see that one coming! Nice try kiddo, nice try. But ain’t falling for that. 

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Little Moments

Just bantering

It’s way past my bedtime. I ought to be in my bed instead of typing away here. But I have been itching to write. To write something. To write anything.

This has been the first full week of school since start of the year. It sure feels like we have boarded a non-stop express train. The days, like the world outside the train, is zooming by. Hari is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Quizzes, tests, practices, goals, aspirations. Ram is living it up. His latest experiment involves making food. He has designed a rather exotic menu – monster sandwich, junkyard salad, fudge beach, smore house, hidden blueberry. You can say that his imagination has been tickled, there will be no stopping till it has run it’s full course. He intends to lay out a spread on Saturday for us.

Little moments for this week:

  • I had a productive work week. Made good progress on the projects I have been working on. Yay!
  • Ram takes pottery class on Thursdays. Every week he brings home one of his creations. I so look forward to it and get immense joy in lining it up on the kitchen window sill. Today, he brought home a nest with what looked like a red cardinal and some eggs. It gave me such a burst of joy!
  • Hari, Ram and I went to middle school play today. A musical based on the Shrek movie. What fun!
  • Da picked up Ram most of the evenings this week. It makes such a difference to my evening routine. Thanks to him, every night I closed the kitchen by 7:30.
  • That 5 minutes I get with Hari before bed time. That’s when I get a little peek into his mind.
  • Like many people I know, I tend to indulge in self-deprecating humor. Except that sometimes the self gets extended to the husband and the children. At Ram’s bus stop I was making light of a situation that Hari was in with the other moms. Ram overheard the conversation, gave me a stern look, and reprimanded, “Amma, don’t do that. You are laughing at anna. It’s not nice to laugh at someone.” I narrated that incident to Hari that evening and said how much Ram was looking out for him. “Amma, I don’t mind you laughing at me. But don’t do it when I am not around.” And just like that I learnt a thing or two about what is not good humor.

Alright, tudlu for now!

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SYW

SYW

Here are Cee’s questions for the week.

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….  

I was going to say I am looking forward to spring. So Da and I don’t have to co-ordinate car parking in the driveway (we have a small driveway and we are not allowed to park on the street). So we don’t have to budget 10 mins for bundling up instead of just wearing flip flops and stepping out of the door. So I don’t have to jump through hoops for making curd/yogurt at home… But you know what, winter comes with its share of joys too. Yeah, I would happily give up the bitter cold weather any day but winter is also a time when we get more family time, relatively less chauffering around, and generally we are focused on getting through our daily routine without distractions. Every season, every phase, every age comes with its pros and cons. You can’t just have the rose without the thorns. So I am just happy to be in the now, soaking in what the present moment has to offer.

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Tangy spicy Bhelpuri! I simply love love the contrasting and complimenting flavors.  Not just snack, I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All day, every day. Ok, I am exaggerating but you get the drift, right?

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

In the US, I worked as a photocopier in my graduate school. I also worked as a weekend guard for an art classroom. I was so thrilled that I could earn a little something and pay for my train tickets. How much I wish that this was an option back home?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I appreciated how much dance has enriched my life as I practiced yesterday. I know a lot of people think bharatanatyam is age bound, that you stop dancing after a certain age. It is one of the best things that you can do to build your physical strength and to stay mentally agile. It is the most intensive cardio workout and interval training that one could practice. Mentally, it is constantly challenging you. To build muscle memory, to embrace stillness in the midst of action, to keep all your senses alert, to internalize the repetitions and stay in control… truly, it’s a gift that keeps giving, especially when you do it for yourself.

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Books, Uncategorized

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

The title is intriguing, isn’t it? Makes you want to dig deeper, isn’t it?

A small set of Punjabi widows are coaxed into signing up for a creative writing class led by Nikki, the 22 year old protagonist of this novel. The catch is majority of them do not know to write the english alphabets let alone taking a stab at creative writing in english. But who said one needs to know to read and write to be a creative story teller? So what was originally a creative writing class evolves into a creative story telling class. On the surface, these women seem to be timid, conformists, and gossip mongers but the erotic tales that they spin shatter the stereotypes, and  unleash the unfamiliar and unexpected sides of their personality and personal lives. Through these storytelling session , not only the widows but also Nikki find their voices, their place in the society, and break free from the shackles that society imposes on them.

This is a story of immigrant acceptance and assimilation, of identity differences between first and second generation immigrants, of complicated sibling and parent relationships, and of a small neglected and written off subgroup of the Punjabi community in a suburb of London. Most of all, it is a story of women empowerment and finding the courage to be the change you want.

I found the side stories of this novel a little distracting and a tad Bollywoodish but it was a small price to pay for a novel that was at  its core funny and thought provoking. Grab this book, it is worth a read.

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Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

I thought I would restart the weekly Little Moments post starting this week.  Let’s see what extraordinary moments stand out in this ordinary week.

  • Ram has lost his upper two middle teeth. I feel a rush of affection every time I see the gaping hole in this upper row teeth. It adds an extra sparkle to his twinkling eyes.
  • A trip to Hot Breads. Treated myself to a bhel and brought home paneer puffs and chocolate truffle cakes for the boys.
  • Working in the home office next to Hari. He doing his thing and I doing my thing. Love our presence with each other.
  • Trying Calm meditation audio this week with Ram. I do find the background sounds very distracting and mildly annoying but thrilled to explore something new.
  • Hot hot pongal made by my neighbor. Relished every bite of it.
  • Worked on my LinkedIn profile. Needs further clean up but god knows how long I have been procrastinating. Overcoming that inertia was a small win.
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SYW

Share Your World catch up

Just catching up on Cee’s questions for this week and last. Thank you Cee.

Do you prefer a bath or shower? Shower, and I write that writhing in guilt because of all the water that gets wasted. Having grown up in a place with water scarcity and seeing people struggle to get water for basic needs, should have taught me to be less wasteful and more mindful with the use of water. Not really, unfortunately. 

What do you do to make a living or during the day? If you are retired what mostly occupies your day? Or if you are a student what are you studying? I provide escalation support on customer inquiries on existing standard analytical solutions and tend to create collaterals for new analytical solutions.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom? Nope! Why would I want one when the cuddliest little person walks into our bedroom at the strike of midnight every night to cosy up. 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. “Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” by Ann Taylor inspired me last week.

SYW – week of Jan. 01

What one word describes you best?  The word that I would use to describe myself is work-in-progress. Learning, growing and evolving – that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

What is set as the background on your computer? A lady running in the beach. It’s a standard preinstalled background from Lenovo. I don’t personalize my gadgets as much at all because they carry nothing more than functional value to me. And I am lazy!

If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been too? I guess I could say Canada. Otherwise pretty much layover during international flights.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I appreciated the slowing down over the holidays. Staying productive and relaxed at the same time.

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