Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Wishes!!!

So I'm sitting here right now with a slight backache, but I don't care coz I got it in a great way ...... we've been desperately decking up my in-laws place!!! I'm just thrilled I got to decorate more than one house this year.

And I'm absolutely over-the-moon THRILLED about my hair!!!! My sometimes-curly, sometimes-wavy, always-frizzy mane has been ironed into submission and is now swinging straight and shiny!!!

(I know its only going to last till the next wash, but oh, its such a treat for me!!!!)

That's all the time I have for this post ..... so here's wishing everyone who reads this a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Tricky Picture Tag

I've been tagged by A (thank you!!!) Its another Q & A style tag, but with a photographic twist!!! The rule is that for every answer you have to do a Google image search and pick a picture on the first page with minimal explanation.

I'd seen this on a few blogs and it seemed quite tricky. It is, but its also a lot of fun to see what images turn up and these are what I got:

1. The age you will be on your next birthday: a quarter of a century!

2. A place you’d like to travel to: (so many, where do I begin???) Top destinations though: Italy and Ireland.

3. Your Favorite place: where the heart is!!!

4. Your favorite food/drink: CHOCOLATE all the way!!!

5. Your favorite pet: No pets allowed!!! (Don't mind them in the zoos or in the wild, but definitely no animals at home)

6. Your favorite color combination: Red and gold ...... like a red moonrise :)

7. Your favorite piece of clothing: Hardly wear them, but I love saris.

8. Your all time favorite song: (again, so many, where do I begin???) Everything I do I do it for you - Bryan Adams.

9. Your favorite TV show: Comedy - Friends; Drama - Lost.

10. Full name of your significant other: My beloved recluse would throttle me if I revealed this!

(Oh my God!!! I know the rules said 'minimal explanation', but how freaky is this???? Viggo Mortensen in the classic LOTR avatar was right there on the first page of results!!!! I think maybe it was the word 'recluse' that did it.......his character is mostly a loner initially. Damn, now I'm just dying to watch all three movies again, but the DVDs are with my sister :( )

11. The town in which you live in: Namma Bengaluru.

12. Your screen name/nickname: Shalom :)

13. Your first job: PR executive.

14. Your Dream Job: an artist - clicking photographs, painting and selling fabrics / glass / wood etc and maker of miscellaneous knick-knacks.

15: Bad Habit you have: Procrastination.

16. Your worst fear: Falling down stairs!!!

17. The one thing you’ll like to do before you die: See as much of this beautiful world as possible.

18. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000: A world tour for the family!!!

Ok, so that's me done! I am now going to complicate life for Amrita and Smriti :D

Hope to see this one up soon (well, reasonably soon!!! :P)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle!

What an incredibly busy weekend its been! But in the happiest way possible!!!

I had been looking forward so eagerly to this Christmas, but recent events had considerably crushed that Christmas spirit and try as I might, I just couldn't make myself feel that bubbly joy I usually carry around this time of year.

But once I was past that initial gloom, I realised again how special this Christmas is: its our first together, in our first home. And then I was determined to do my best to make it a good one.

First, we (or rather I!) wrote out our Christmas cards. I have always loved the whole process of buying/making cards, bringing out the glittering ink pens to write out people's names and even sticking stamps on the envelopes! Although if I'd mentioned that last part to hubby, I'm sure he'd have insisted I go to the post office too!

Second, we put up our tree and started decorating it, carols playing in the background (with the occassional rock song in between ...... hubby was the DJ after all :-D). I happily started hanging up ornaments and draping ropes of bells and tinsel all around, and then hubby came in with the lights. Lessons learnt: always, always put the lights in first!

I wanted some of the lights placed inside, closer to the trunk, and those wires got tangled with the tinsel and blocked the ornaments till we had one twisted mess, so ultimately we had to take everything off and start all over again. But even when it was done, I couldn't help going back and adjusting some of the ornaments, redraping the tinsel, and the image in my head, strangely, is that of the mother of a bride - fussing away till the beloved daughter looks just so!!!

Then we moved on to our wreath and some other little bits and bobs. Hubby wanted to get a hook from which to hang our wreath because its a bit heavy, but I felt that just tape would do, and after much, umm, discussing and debating, we went with my solution.

Somehow, over the past few months, we've ended up with a selection of tapes that would rival that of any stationery store: so we have double-sided tape, clear double-sided tape, heavy duty mounting double sided tape, duct tape and the regular old Scotch cellotape. Using a complex combination of these, hubby at last got our wreath fixed firm (I hope!)

We finished up with the rest of the stuff that needed to be stuck, and then, in the middle of the mess that was our living room, we stood arm in arm, grinning ear to ear, surveying our handiwork, finally feeling Christmassy!!!

Now carrying that optimism on to Phase 2. In case you wondered what the title of this post means, well, I'm absolutely determined to make some sweets for Christmas and I plan to start the first one - coconut burfi - today. This time around, I will make sure I have a lot of time, I will measure my ingredients correctly (and then stick to them!), and I will definitely, totally follow the instructions to the letter ....... (deep, calming breaths) ......

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Close to a couple of years ago (can't believe its been that long!!!), I was up on the online matrimonial mart. I alternated between anger and amusement at the proposals that were coming in, and I so desperately needed to vent that I even started up a separate blog for the purpose (taken offline now as its no longer relevant :))

A few days after my first post, I received a comment from a stranger ...... well, not a complete stranger, as I later found out. Preethi arrived at my blog through our mutual friend Thought Warp (who is incidentally the person who persuaded me to start blogging, by the way). Preethi gave me some very sound advice (thanks again!!!), and naturally I then went on to check out her blog and eventually became a regular reader.

While scrolling through her comments form after one fine post, a comment by another blogger caught my eye, and so I went to check out her blog. I instantly felt a connection with Reflections because she's a Potter-maniac like me (the first post I read over there was about the incredibly brilliant JK Rowling). And like most people, after a few of her posts, I couldn't help but become a regular reader there too.

Through Reflections, I found Renu and ISH. Renu's blog is a very comforting place for me ...... something about the way she writes reminds me of my mother and home. And about ISH, man, I wish I could write with as much spunk and punch as she does!!!

I was curious about another blogger whose comments I'd seen on these three ladies' blogs. The name Deeplydip intrigued me, and when I checked out her blogs I again liked what I saw. Styalogue is such a cool platform for sharing thoughts on fashion!!! It feels great to read and share thoughts on style, and it reminds me of all the fun times with my gal pals :D

Another fashionista I really admire is Agnes. This lady is all about effortless style, and so much more. The work she and her husband do is truly worth commending, so all the very best to you guys!!!

You might ask, what brought on this wave of flashbacks?

Well, yesterday a new friend - A - sent me some sunshine with The Proximidade Scroll Award. It meant a lot, considering what the award is for:

This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award

I have always loved writing. Even as a schoolkid, writing never fazed me the way it did a lot of my classmates. Because I loved reading too, writing seemed to me to be a wonderful way of self-expression. So you would think that when the blogging phenomenon took off, I'd have immediately joined in. I didn't.

Because somewhere over the years, I started struggling with the words. I had to do a lot of writing for my studies; project reports and things like that were easy. And so Thought Warp was after me for a long time to start a blog, but somehow I just couldn't find the words, the ideas needed to do so.

Even when I did start this blog, I struggled for a long time to get into the writing zone. Initially there was a lack of time (along with a lack of ability!) So I basically just read a lot of blogs, rather than posting anything in my own.

But somewhere along the line, the more I ventured out into the blogosphere, the more I read each of your blogs, the easier it became to write. Each of you has inspired and motivated me with your words, and now writing has become fun again!!!

Most importantly, I have come to know some terrific people I now consider friends, so in this spirit of friendship, I give all of you this award (I know some of you have already received it, and A, you gave it to me, but so what??? You all deserve it!!!)








Thought Warp

(Whew!!! After all this writing, I just don't have the energy to link up all over again!!!)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Awarded Again!!!

On the blog front, last week was really special, as I got not one, not two, but three awards!!! And what made it more special was that they were from people who are totally rocking bloggers themselves - Reflections, Deeplydip and Agnes :)

Reflections and Deeplydip both gave me this Butterfly Award.

Reflections gave this to me for my photoblog, and I will very proudly display it there as well, but I'm going to pass it forward from here itself. So I now give this award to some of the coolest blogs/bloggers I know:


Agnes gave me this award, but I didn't know what it was for, so I Googled it and its about "acknowledging the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day." Wow!!! Thanks again, Agnes :)

This now goes ahead to:

Goofy Mumma
My Space
Thought Warp

The rules for all these awards are pretty simple: put them up on your blogs (giving yourself a pat on the back!), link back to the person who gave it to you and spread the cheer to deserving blogs!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wishful Thinking

Yesterday, one of the news channels ran a story on the kind of gizmos the 26/11 terrorists were carrying, and also on how intensively and extensively they were trained. As I saw the story, I was once again amazed by the tremendous wealth such organizations possessed, and even more amazed by the brains and the management behind such acts of terror.

And then I wondered, wished ......

What if the people who masterminded these acts of destruction put their considerable talent and resources to constructive use? If they invested all those millions wasted in weaponry, into schools and colleges, into creating jobs - honest, legal jobs - so that their youth could have a chance at a decent life, instead of being filled with hate and going down paths that lead only to death?

When I think about it this way, of all the good that could've been done with that much money, that much ability, the sense of loss is staggering!!!

How can these people be so blind, so stupid??? And then to keep saying that they're doing all this for their God ........ what an insult it is to God!!!

Here's a thought: instead of executing innocent people, how about lending a helping hand in whatever way possible? Instead of dying for God, how about living for God???

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Need of the Hour: Responsible Leadership

There used to be this ad on tv a few months ago, I forget for what product. The political drama in the wake of the Bombay siege brought it to mind:

It had this typical Indian politician relaxing on the lawn of his bungalow, surrounded by sycophantic aides and giving an interview to a bunch of reporters about contesting an upcoming election, when a young man comes up to him and starts shooting questions about his qualifications - his education, previous work experience and so on.

The politician is surprised by this line of questioning, wondering how it matters for someone contesting an election, and asks why the youth wants to know all this.

The youth replies that its only natural to ask these questions of anyone applying for a job.

The politician is taken aback: job? What job???

To which the youth calmly states: the job of running this country.

The politician is left stunned.


Running any country is a job, a monumental job that requires consistent and coordinated efforts at multiple levels. And because it entails the security and welfare of citizens, on which no price can be put, these jobs come with an enormous amount of power and responsibility.

As a management student, one of the earliest lessons we learnt was that authority and responsibility must go hand in hand. If you are entrusted with authority and power over something, you are also responsible to see that the work is carried out.

But in Indian politics, "responsibility" is a dirty word. Our politicians want to win elections, win power, and once that's done, the rest of their term is basically spent in calculating how to hold on to that power for the maximum possible time. But very few accept the responsibility that comes with the power.

Post the attacks, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh tells the media "If any responsibility falls on me, I have offered to resign." IF any responsibility falls on you???? You're "Chief Minister" of a state that has suffered the country's most brutal terrorist attack and you still have to wonder if any responsibility falls on you???

Deshmukh's on his way out, and good riddance!!! The lobbying to be his successor has been going on for a while and a new Chief should be named any moment now.

But it really doesn't matter who the new person is, all that will count is what he does with his power. Will he use it responsibly, promptly and unswervingly to get answers? To crack down harshly on the forces of terror? To put measures into place that ensure we're never this vulnerable again?

We are a nation that abounds with politicians, but is starved of leaders. And that really is the need in these extraordinary times, not destructive politics where people's actions are constantly geared towards maintaining power, but constructive leadership at all levels of government, where people put aside egos and personal ambition to work, actually work, for the betterment of the nation.