Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Door Delivery!

One of the best things about being in India is the access to all the small luxuries in life. Be it going around in car driven by a driver, a cook who makes whatever your palette desires, a maid who cleans your house everyday, ironing lady who comes to collect your clothes and brings it back to your door step, Vegetable vendors selling fresh veggies and fruits on the go, autos that stop in front of you with a small flip of you hand (sometimes they stop even when you don't really need them to!!), watchmen who run to buy milk and other groceries if you need them NOW!, small grocers who deliver to your doorstep. In contrast you also have the food worlds and Reliance fresh's where you can go armed with a trolley and bring back all the 'foreign maal'. Hmmm.. really makes you feel like its some sort of paradise when you look from the other side of the world.. I really miss home..

I wanted to bake a cake today but realized that I don't have all the ingredients. Not really in a mood to zip up my coat, scarf and shoes (thats the other thing, in India you could just walk out with a casual jean, tee and flip flops) to go all the way to a supermarket just to get some flour ( I would rather buy the cake ;) )... How I would love to have a 'Vijaylakshmi stores' (the grocery shop near my house in Chennai) and get it home delivered with just a phone call. Boo Hooo!!!

Friday, 27 March 2009

The one in which we decided to swim!!

I have always heard people say that swimming and cycling are skills that once honed will never be forgotten. Says who??? Or maybe its just me. It was a long time back and me and my roommate (H) were thinking of ways to beat the bulge. We were university students and H was really good at cooking, that pretty much sums up the situation. Apart from a few hours of part time job we didn't have much to do. Kellogg's Special K- the slimmer waist challenge was not for us...I couldn't dream of eating that for 2 times a day... So the box was ignored on to a corner of the kitchen counter till we moved out. Next was the Chinese tea. It was effective for a few days and after that we just didn't want to drink that anymore. After so many things we finally decided tampering with food was not for us!! We needed our pastas ,milkshakes, lasagnas, cookies and desserts.

H decided swimming was the solution since she had tried it before and had seen results in a very short time. I was not very sure. Gym was something that I could relate to....I had not swam for more than a 15 years but nevertheless got coaxed by H to give it a try. At some point I got very excited about swimming, actually started to believe in myself that I would start kicking my hands and legs on instinct once I am in the pool. We both set out to Primark to get me a swimming costume. That was the most exciting part of this whole experience (obviously for me!). I bought a beautiful 2 piece with small sequins sewed all over it and was ready to go.

Finally we went to the council leisure center for a swim. After flashing our student ids to get a discount, we went to the the changing rooms. I was a bag of nerves, a little bit of anticipation and fear. I went into the pool and the water level came up to my shoulders. H asked me to hold onto the side rail and start kicking my legs in the water while she warmed up . That was easy, after a few minutes she asked me to start swimming and I tried but in vain... Dived straight into the water and came back gasping for breath....Oh no!! not working for me... It felt like I had never learned to swim. Exactly at that moment a group of rowdy school students came and lunged into the pool. After too many trials H decided I needed a float initially. When we asked the lifeguard for a float he refused.... But why???Cheeky guy... After a lot of begging he threw me one. I held that and splashed around the pool. The school kids had a gala time laughing their heads out when they spotted me. God, it was really embarrassing and I decided to finish my lesson.I went and stood in a corner and waited for H to finish her laps. She felt bad for me and ended her session quicker than planned. After that incident I have absolutely refused to go anywhere near a swimming pool. H had to change her swimming partner:)... I still have the swimming costume in my cupboard and every time it reminds me of the disaster. Maybe I will pick up my courage and go for a swimming lesson this summer and start afresh.On that note I leave you guys with this hilarious Mr.Bean video. It so reminds me of my day at the swimming pool, the only difference being I was sensible enough to avoid the diving boards;)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Hello Sunshine...

Oh sun! The one shining on us from the skies of London. Please decide what you really want to do. If you are tired of performing then please take rest till tomorrow dawns and let me curl down under the duvet with a hot chocolate and a book. However if you think you can carry on with your job then I wouldn't mind strapping on my shoes and checking out a few high street shops. I really have some pressing things to buy (no snacks at home!!). I don't want you slipping in amidst the clouds and re-emerging every other second. Its really not the time to play hide and seek. Also if you are reading then could you please ask you friend, Wind, to stop blowing so forcefully. Thanks.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Surprise Surprise!!

It was a typical day in my life. Cuppa tea followed by reading news, blogs, searching for jobs and watching online videos.... Everything was normal and suddenly at about 12 in the afternoon the intercom buzzer went off (Its not a thriller story I am narrating..sorry to disappoint you)... It brought me out of the reverie and I ran to answer it ( I usually don't have visitors at this time of the day so was quite curious)...

I half expected it to be the electricity meter reading guy or someone of that sort. Wrong, it was the delivery guy from Parcel force...Well I did know that there was a parcel on its way from Chennai but my parents did tell me that it will take 3 whole weeks to get here(according to my calculation it is only 1 week and 2 days... Kudos to Indian Post).... It was a big bulky parcel and I was ecstatic... After hurriedly signing for the parcel guy I dragged the parcel to my room...I love opening parcels..Well who doesn't???? Anyways I had a lovely 20 mins examining the contents even though I knew most of what was inside it... Thanks to Amma and Appa for turning my boring day into an exciting one... Loved the gifts from Sri Lanka..Especially the elephant print tee (Hoping I will fit in to it!) and the leaf design wind chime (need to find a place to hang it!)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Wolfing down the waffle!

Oxford street is a shoppers paradise.. I love strutting around the street with no real purpose. Walking the whole stretch back and forth never tires me as I get engrossed in the display windows and the offers in stores. Yesterday I dragged S to Oxford street and went into as many stores as I could but somehow never ended up buying anything... The only place which interested S was the Apple retail store, I didn't mind that either. I have always wanted to own a Mac... hopefully we will get one soon. The usually hustling and bustling Oxford street(usually looks like a contemporary Ranganathan street over the weekend) wore a gloom of recession yesterday. It looked a little empty and forlorn, hope it bounces back into normalcy soon.

Apart from the shops, the one thing that I love is the warm and delicious waffle aroma wafting through the crowded streets. Yesterday after a lot of contemplation I decided to treat myself to a warm waffle topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, ummmm... it was heaven. I tried to repeat the age old saying in my head " A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" to restrict my splurge...It never really managed me to stop gobbling the waffle down. Well everyone deserves a treat once in a while right? (somehow I manage to treat myself everyday...hmm...must join the gym asap!!!!!)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Whats Cooking??

Before the wedding, there was no necessity to cook elaborate meals. I always managed with Kelloggs in the morning, a sandwich near the office cafe for the afternoon and 'slim a soup' with garlic bread for dinner. The maximum efforts I would take was to make a sloppy rajma or channa curry. I miss that aspect of my spinsterhood a lot..

Now its always about what I can cook and the pressure to create something new and exotic. I can never thank enough to the numerous food blogs and internet sites for the tried out success recipes. The internet has even made my basic rajma a little more exotic... Now, I can never ever cook in the kitchen without the laptop sitting on the opposite counter for continuous moral support.. I also need my ipod, as it can get really boring otherwise. Tried cooking with the ipod earphones plugged to my ear but found it very disturbing. Always ended but pulling the earphones out while stirring the kadai or washing utensils.... The ipod dock helps me overcome all of that and there is a constant hum on the background when I twiddle and jiggle my pots and pans to dish out yummylicious food...

Friday, 20 March 2009

Bad hair day

Everyone has a bad hair day, its quite common... Well definitely not on their wedding day.. I was very fortunate to have the experience right on the 'D- Day'. Thankfully it wasn't the muhurtam (main ceremony) otherwise I would have fled from the scene then and there.

I have always had a fear to use false hair (sauri) and have never really had to as my hair was long till it was under my moms supervision. Since I have been in UK for the past 2 years my hair has gone through quite a lot(thank god it can't blog!! it will have stories to tell). Anyways I had it cut real short. Little did I know that marriage was round the corner. Once the wedding dates were decided I effectively had about 4 months to grrrrrrow my hair. Wish there was some magic trick or oil that could transform short hair into aaru adi kunthal (6 feet long hair). It was not a lot of time, but i did whatever I could and by January there was a little improvement. The beautician who did my bridal make-up didn't seem to think so. To top it all the texture of my hair is silky, a boon otherwise but not when you need to use a sauri.

My muhurtam (main ceremony) was at 8:30 but there were a few other functions before that so I needed to be ready by 5:30 in the morning... (Was not very happy with that). That particular day the beautician had loads of bridal bookings so she left as soon as she finished with my makeup. I was fine for the first function, then had a quick Saree change and was brought back for another function. I sat down and they started performing the rituals, suddenly amidst all that I felt lighter in the head as if a big load has been has been taken off... Oh noooo!!!!It finally hits my brain that the sauri is happily slipping away from my kutta (short) hair.... I wanted to cry.. That's one of the most embarrassing things that has happened to me... I told my aunt who was nearby and soon all my relatives came to my rescue... There were 2 holding my hair and sauri and someone else trying to tie it back together and while all this was happening I had to smile and go through all the rituals in front of a zillion photo flashes and the video cameras.

Finally the function concluded and I heaved a sigh of relief as there was enough time to go and redo the jadai (plait) before my next appearance. I completely forgot that before the re-appearance I had to bother about my disappearance from the stage. It was quite a sight.. I had to walk backwards without turning around and there were two people holding my hair ..... Thankfully my aunt redid the jadai as soon as we were in the room.....

The other day me and hubby were watching the wedding video and both of us were laughing at the whole episode.. Thank god i don't ever have to use a sauri again.