Sunday, August 26, 2012


Hellios... above is in queue on my reading list. I am on the 2nd part of Game of Thrones and there are many, many more to go. In between are Delhi OMG and Just Married Please Excuse. JMPE is written by a blogger whose blog I read. I have not yet added it to my blogroll. I don't do that until I have read all of the previous posts. I am still doing that... slowly and steadily. You can just google her name and should come across her blog.
Anyway, just short reviews of few movies I have watched:

  • Farhad Shirin ki toh nikal padi: I don't know why I brought up this movie over lunch today. I had no intention of watching it. KC showed some interest and we headed for it. We left before the end. I hate  going for a 1.5 hours movie and then it starts half an hour late... then there is a long entire waste of day. I have such a bad headache that I can't sleep or read. The movie could have been unique and good but for the numerous songs- 1 intro song, 4 love songs, 1 parting songs... and more. And the songs are not even good. Farhan Khan has acted naturally... in the sense that her reactions in the movie are like a normal person's in real life... no over the top overacting. Boman is always good... he can be over the top and full of drama without hamming. Avoid at all costs. Never again will I watch another movie without reading the reviews
  • Gangs of Wasseypur 2: I liked this movie... for some the whole revenge, murder, killing can become predictable but isn't it always like that. How unpredictable can a revenge tale be? For some, even Godfather would have been predictable. Only treatment of such movies can be different. I wish there was a 3rd part. Even though the villain is subtle, he is the only one who kills Manoj Bajpai's father, him and his sons (as he rightly boasts). He is a mean villain without seeming so. Editing could have been better... some scenes were too long and drawn out, specially the end. The addition of new characters- Definite and Perpendicular was good. And now, I see Biharis/Jharkhand wasis in a new light. Thank god, I was born in Gujarat
  • The Best Exotic  Marigold Hotel: I downloaded and watched it when KC was not around. I didn't think he would like the movie. It is a good flick about a guy who runs a hotel for senior citizens in Jaipur called -The Marigold Hotel which has been restored from a palace. British retirees travel to stay there. They have different experiences and help each other. It is a good movie. Worth a watch.
On my movies list:
  • Hollywood Wives- The new generation: Bought this CD more than a year back.. have yet to open it
  • The Vagina Monologues
  • What's eating Gilbert Grape?
  • The Iron Lady
  • Whistleblower
  • Carnage
  • Blue Valentine

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kitaabi Keeda

I buy books online but nothing beats the experience of visiting a bookstore. The feel of the book... being able to scan it... read a few pages and then decide on the purchase. I picked up the habit of browsing in the school library. I never really bought books till I had access to be library. I recently cancelled my library subscription because I didn't like the collection of books. Ideally, the library should have the latest books in stock but this one never did... atleast not of Indian authors. I was paying Rs 300 per month and had to pick out 3 books at one go. Tedious. I ended up reading only 1 book. I'd rather spend that money and buy a book.
Anyway, I wanted to write about the different bookshops I have access to:

  • Om Book Shop: Cluttered... with hardly any space between the shelves... the entrance generally has crappy books on discount... magazines are in the most inaccessible location... the staff has no clue about books.... and they don't stock the popular books. I remember looking for True Blood series here... the salesguy started looking for it in the kids section. I was horrified... thankfully, the books were not there. I hardly ever buy anything from here
  • Crossword: This was my frequent hangout in Mumbai since it was next door. I like the layout... there is something very pleasing about it... I manage to find books... the recommendations are good and frequently updated... the shelves are not too high so it is easy to glance around the entire room. The only drawback is since the store size is small or medium only, rare books may not be available. In Delhi, the store size is too small and the collection is bad. I never visit the stores here.
  • Landmark: A popular store in Delhi NCR... the stores are huge and stock chocolates, bags and a lot of other stuff too... most books are available... salespeople are aware about the books. Last time I visited, a salesguy was recommending books to a customer. I have never seen THAT in other stores
  • Reliance: Another popular bookstore in Delhi NCR... the biggest problem is the layout. The shelves are too high and it is difficult to figure out whats on the other side. Searching a book is too difficult... I have never been able to find a book and always have to ask for help... on the positive side, the salesguy are generally aware about the books. Only once it happened that a guy told me a book is not available even though it was.
I think Landmark wins over the rest. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snippets from daily life

  • So, the cooking cylinder became empty...(when will I ever remember to book a 2nd cylinder?). The cook was in the middle of cooking dinner... Sindhi kadhi, rice and rotis. I cooked the kadhi and rice in the microwave. While going through the recipe book, I came across the one for making parathas in microwave. I didn't want to eat rice for a week or order in. This sounded good.

          Me (to cook): Tomorrow morning, we will try to cook parathas in the microwave
          Cook: Ok... Thats how they do it in foreign also
          Me (stifling a smile) and thinking: Yeah... 'coz in foreign they eat rotis

  • I was booking train tickets for Jaipur. After booking for the onward journey and while booking for the return journey, I realized I had written KC's sex as "F" instead of "M". I wondered if I should let it be... can always tell the TC it was a mistake while typing. But then I put KC in my shoes and thought about what my reaction would be to such a mistake. This is how it would have gone
          KC: Hey... By mistake, I typed you as M instead of F on the ticket
          Me: WTF... why would you do that? Like... are you such a MCP that you forget I am a female... do          you males even acknowledge females?
          KC: (almost laughing) It was a mistake
          Me: You will have to cancel them and re-book correctly. I don't want to be "M"... I am F and proud   of it
          KC: Fine... whatever

I didn't want to be in his shoes and decided to re-book correctly. 

  • Me: I think I lost 0.5 kg. Can you see it?
          KC: Not really... how can 0.5 kg loss be noticed?
          Me: It should be... its not fair... whats the point of losing weight if you can't see it?
          KC: Then I guess you lost 0.25 kg on side of the butt and 0.25 kg on the other
          Me: How amusing

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

15th August'12

15th August'12 seems like a festival in Delhi. Maybe its in my mind. KC and I had planned to meet a friend in Lodi Gardens and then head to Khan Market for lunch. I wanted to go a little earlier- before it got hot and sunny so that we could play badminton or something. At 10 am, I gave KC an ultimatum- wake up else I am leaving without you. We reached Lodi Gardens by 12 noon. I was surprised to see few families there. I had expected the same kind of crowds I had seen on 26th Jan'12. It was hot as well but KC and I played badminton for sometime. We waited for the friend- D to turn up but he was taking his own sweet time. Until then, KC and I walked around... watched the swan and ducks in the little pond and just enjoy nature. It was good. I envy D for staying at walking distance from there. What bliss. There were guys painting on canvas... people taking naps... kids and men flying kites... families arriving with packed lunches... so perfect. What better way to celebrate Independance Day.
At 2 pm we realized the friend was not going to turn up and met him at Khan Market itself. Surprisingly, Mamagoto was closed since it was a dry day (????) and we headed to Amici Cafe. The food was ok kinds... I guess we didn't order the correct items. D and KC both refused to share dessert and I had to do without.
We returned by 4 pm, napped, went for a walk (Day 4... skipped Day 3) and came home. Perfect.

My cook had joined a job from 9 to 9. Instead of 8 pm she started coming at 9 pm which was a drag. 9 was out dinner time.. now, we had to have it at 10. I didn't want to change the cook 'coz she has been with us for a year... until she started to negotiate and asked us to pay her 3k... a 30% hike. I had given her a 15% hike earlier in less than a year. Now, I was truly pissed off. The last thing I want to do it negotiate when I come home. I did not try to retain her and asked her to leave. The new cook didn't turn up and I had to cook for a few days. It was actually fun. I didn't find it stressful or exhausting at all. Now, there is a new cook and I have to train her, watch every move, ensure she is doing as told and help out with the cooking.
When my sis was learning to cook (and hating it) she would argue with my mom. Her point was that cooking is not required... she can always hire a cook. My mom would retort- Sure, but you have to show the cook what to do else you will end up eating inedible food. That is so correct. I am glad I know to cook and can show the cook exactly what I want. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 2 of walk

I managed to go for a 60 mins walk today- not in the morning, at night. I tried waking up in the morning but could not. I reached home at 7.15 pm and then had to cook dinner (cook has quit). Finally, at 8.45 pm I went for a walk. It took all my will power to walk for 60 mins... so, kudos to that.

I am documenting it to pat my back. Also, if I don't continue I will have to give an explanation on the blog which will shame me and make me feel guilty.

If I go for a walk everyday till Saturday, I will treat myself to a pastry at the French bakery- La Opera.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ramblings on a Sunday afternoon

Hiya... there is so much to talk about and so little time. Instead of being asleep, I am relaxing with a book and now the blog... Here goes:

  • I gained some weight in Goa (obviously)... too much food and rest and little exercise. So I went for a walk yesterday morning. The plan was to walk for 60 mins but I got 15 mins late. Now, how hard can 45 mins of walk be? Quite hard, actually. After 15 mins I got bored even though the weather was good and I had my ipod along. Thankfully, each round around my complex takes 15 mins so it was a matter of 3 rounds which I pushed myself to complete. I wanted to sleep on my return. Weird... I was supposed to feel refreshed but I was just tired and sleepy. There was no hope for that since it was time for work. All day my legs were aching and I had the Jazz classes today. Now, I am in bed trying to sleep off the pain. But, I plan to go for a walk everyday. I don't have enough time to work out in the gym... I have been trying but cannot fit it into my schedule. Lets see how the walking works out. 
  • Last night KC and I went for dinner to Big Chill in Saket. As I was leaving the Zara store after checking out the new collection (more on that later), the sales guy at Seacret caught me. I tried to avoid him since the products are expensive and I will never be able to afford them... ever. A year back I had been willingly led into the kiosk by a sales girl who showed me this amazing buffer. It was the best thing I have ever soon and I reached into my wallet to buy it. Price ??? Rs 3500... for a buffer!!! I smiled and fled. Yesterday, the guy showed me an amazing eye cream. Price??? Rs 7000... I laughed and told him I was not going to spend so much money on a cream. He persisted... showed me a scrub, night cream etc. And then offered 1 product free with the eye cream. Avoiding these guys is so difficult. I wish they would approach the people who purchase bagful of clothes from Zara instead of poor me- who only window shops there.
  • The new collection at Zara is... nothing new. Same old trousers (which were discounted earlier)... a top I bought  is available at the regular price (in a different color)... the blazer I have been lusting after is available at regular price again... it was discounted during the sale... same old styles... They really need to up the ante or will lose the charm.
  • I will reveal a secret- after watching serials like True Blood, I head over to to read about the episode. Crazy, right? Not in USA... where people read about the episode and post their views on it. Their involvement level is higher than Indians. The difference is- in India, we (saas and bahus) identify with the characters in the event (not matter how over the top), in USA, they comment on plots, characters, point out things they liked or didn't. I am sure producers/writers of the show are reading these comments. After all, it affects TRPs. Also, some actors are popular - they may have minor roles but 'coz they were liked in some other serial. I guess, the writers/producers would want to increase their roles to increase TRPs. I read the recaps incase I missed out some part of the episode or could not connect what happened previously. Also, some of the comments are hilarious. Like, there are 2 black characters in True Blood... 1 is very popular but the 2nd one was a whiny character everyone was bored with (she has been turned to a vamp now). Some negatives comments against the character (not actor) started a racial war of comments. It was quite dumb actually. But, thats not the point. A lot of people were commenting how the serial 'Game of Thrones' is better than True Blood etc etc. I was intrigued. I downloaded and watched the 2 seasons (20 hours) in a week. Yep... thats a lot of TV/laptop. Game of Thrones is about kingdoms and war and maybe supernatural characters. It is based on a book by the same name by George R R Martin. I am waiting for the next season to begin in 2013. Worth a watch. Now I have downloaded Six Feet Under but its taking me some time to warm up to it. 6 episodes down and I am wondering about the tag "Best Serial created"... 
  • I had purchased 'Kitne Aadmi Thay' by Diptakriti. I follow his blog and ordered the book from flipkart. It is a book about Bollywood trivia... only his blog made me spend that money. Disappointing. I don't think I am going to finish it. Then I read the next part of True Blood... there is one more but its priced quite high. I will wait for a cheaper version before purchasing it. For the last 2 weeks, I have been hooked to the book 'Game of Thrones'... problem is that the serial follows the book completely so there are no surprises. Its like I am watching the serial all over again. Hopefully, the 2nd part will be full of surprises.
  • I baked a cake on Rakshabandhan. I had the day off, was craving for something sweet but with fruits and wanted to carry something for my bro in Mumbai. I took the recipe for carrot, pineapple and walnut cake from Anita's blog- Its the best cake I have made at home... yum. My bro also loved it. Here is a pic:

  • Recently some school acquaintances have formed a group on whatsapp and chat all day. Its kinda fun... except most of them have kids... and all of them (except me) like kids. Which makes it very awkward and irritating. Now, I do understand that mothers love their kids and love to talk about them. We all pass through stages in our life which change us- school, graduation, losing virginity (not in that order), post graduation, first job, affair, marriage, kids. Full stop. Each stage is monumental but kids are the most of all. Also, it is the also the last stage. I can't think of anything more significant... not for me atleast. Yes, I also believe life ends as we know it once we had kids - for better or for worse. What I am trying to say is (and maybe failing) that mother/fatherhood is very significant. I do not deny it and mothers talking about their kids is natural. There are 2 blogs I follow which talk about kids regularly. My problem is when these mothers expect me to follow their footsteps- have kids and love them. Now, to each his own. The mothers cannot understand how someone does not "want" kids and does not believe that they are the best things in life. I don't believe in universal truths. What is right for someone else is not necessarily right for me. And then these mothers start advising me to have kids. And even male colleagues/friends cross all limits by asking me when I am having kids. Its like everyone is worried about my ticking biological clock (except me). A best friend used to advise me to have kids in every phone conversation. I have stopped answering her calls. I may or may not have kids... its not of relevance to my life right now... but I refuse to follow the stages of life set by society. I will not have kids because now is the time or because I am expected to have them. I am such a stubborn mule that I may end up not having kids just to show "society" that its possible and its normal... and not having kids does make me a half person. I do not need to have kids to feel "complete" or "fulfilled". Unfortunately, none of the women/men making my life miserable read this blog. I hope they did. 
Ta da.. I am off to the Game of Thrones while KC snores away next to me. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just a few minutes of typing...

.. So I have a few minutes before the work begins and I thought I should blog.

KC and I returned from a well deserved holiday in Goa. 1 or 2 colleagues were surprised that I was going to Goa in the monsoons... after all, it is a non peak period. I think the whole peak and non peak period is the travel industry concept... any place, any beautiful place has its charm in every season. I remember while studying in Mt Abu I hated the foggy, incessant rains. My parents had visited during the monsoons and told me how lucky I am that I get to stay in such a beautiful place. I did not understand the charm of fog with the sticky, wet feeling. Goa is green and beautiful during this time of the year. It is also not very crowded which makes it a perfect place to relax. There are 2 kind of holidays you can enjoy in Goa- book a resort with a private beach and lots of activities to keep you engaged or visit during the peak season and go beach hopping, drinking at various shacks, gambling and water sports. We chose the former. We stayed at Dona Sylvia Resort near Madgaon. This is the 3rd time we have stayed here and like it. The private beach is... private, clean, beautiful. The buffet is fairly decent, the pool is always open, rooms are good. We spent 4 days and ventured out just once. We got a good deal with add ins like free drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) from 6-8 pm, 50% off on spa/massage (yep, we got a massage), free use of jacuzzi etc. On the last evening, KC and I had planned to drive down to Madgaon but my very (un)predictable hubby was too tired (lazy) to drive. Instead of being the ablaa nari, I rented the 2 wheeler, seated him behind me and drove. It was fun...

All in all, a good vacation and I am glad there is a day off on 15th August'12 'coz working for a week just makes me want to go for another vacation.

I leave you with some pics:

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Am off to Mumbai tomorrow to meet my brother for Rakhi (Yes, I know its today...) and then to Goa for a 4 days break with KC...

See ya all next week. 

Meri nayi gaadi

I remember my first car with fondness. I also remember the first time I touched a steering wheel. After MBA,  I had some time to kill and enrolled for driving classes. My parents believe that there is no point in learning to drive if you are not going to drive regularly and there was no way dad was going to let his kids touch the car. I was a fast learner (nope, am not boasting... the instructor told me that) and got my license before joining work. When I moved to Gurgaon my colleagues advised me to buy a car to make life easier but for me the move was temporary. I knew I would move out soon enough. It was only when I moved to Gujarat and had to use local transport on a daily basis that I decided to buy a car. Summer was approaching and travelling would be torturous. The options were- buy a new cheap car or buy a good second hand car. I decided to go for the latter since I had not driven in years and it wouldn't matter if I damaged it a little here and there. I purchased an old Zen- the best car for beginners. I also joined driving classes again to gain confidence. My first scratch on the car was when I drove my friend R and his wife N for dinner in Rajkot. R was quite encouraging. I was able to drive the Zen 'coz he would come every evening with me.
And then another job happened. I moved to Mumbai. I didn't need the car since driving there is a pain... but travelling on trains is a bigger pain. I decided to drive instead. The car has been with me through the worst jams, some minor accidents and moved to 3 states with me (Gujarat to Maharashtra to Haryana).
KC and I had been thinking about buying a new car for almost a year. No, nothing was wrong with the car but the whole Delhi mentality got to me and I wanted a new car. The Zen started looking shabby.
We even checked out Alto but I decided to stick to my Zen. And then petrol prices zoomed so we decided to manage with what we have. Finally, we started looking for a car when his company came up with a lease policy for employees.
My priority was a car which is not very common (I10 and Swift were sooo out), looks good, is a comfy drive and mileage is decent. We looked at below options:

  • Skoda Fabia: An excellent drive. We were looking for diesel cars initially but when we worked out the difference in prices of diesel and petrol... we were going to end up spending more on a diesel car despite the rising prices of petrol. It would take us 2-3 years to break even. Also, the dealers do not give discounts on diesel cars to push the petrol variants in the market. Skoda overall is ok but it is expensive. We would not be able to afford the highest variant and variants in our budget would not include Anti brake system, air bags and have cheaper interiors. What is the point of spending 5 lakh if the car will not even have safety features?
  • Chevrolet Beat: It is supposed to have the highest mileage and works out to be cheapest in the category. But when I drove it, it was worse than my current Zen. 
  • Honda Brio: I loved the looks... it was a comfy drive... the only problem was that the dealer was not giving as huge discounts as Skoda but we could still afford the highest variant. 
Now, I know how people love to drive. Until now, I drove 'coz of convenience now I drive 'coz I enjoy it.

The best part is KC has also started driving now. He enrolled in the class last year but since then has been pretending that he cannot drive confidently so that I would chauffeur him around. 

Btw, the car is blue in color.