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Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Love!

To The-Guy-Who-Rocks-My-World,

This is not the first time that I am writing to you and what you'll read here is definitely not new. You know it all and you know it well. You know what you mean to me and you know how happy I am to be with you.

We started our journey together as strangers, who tried to befriend each other in their own silly ways. This continues till date. No, we are not strangers any more but the inquisitive child within us, constantly tries to know the other one better and that's what makes us inseparable. 


I had heard this always that no two people are alike. Thank God for that. 
It would have been great to have paint brushes in both our hands and to smudge a canvas together but then, who would have selected the dinner-time movie! 
Music flows in our house- courtesy you. The walls are adorned because of me.
The tadka to dal is always perfect because you do it. Rotis are always hot because I ensure that.
We are never late, thanks to you. We are never early, thanks to me ;)
I get time to breath and you get time with your gadgets - courtesy US :)


Having talked about the differences, we cannot ignore the interests we share. Oh yes, we both love each other but there is more than just that! The little things that make life pleasurable. 
Like our love for food- anything, anytime. 
Like both of us sharing our interest for 'nautanki'. 
Like both of us staying up late at night. 
Like both of us valuing money but not over other important things. 
Like both of us discussing even the tiniest affair. 
Like both of us involving each other in every decision. 
Like both of us being honest with suggestions. 
Like both of us being sensible with decision-making.... and A LOT MORE.
You are not LIKE me.. you are a PART OF ME!


Years back, I just wanted to be with you. Back then, I did not know what that would mean. I did not know what sharing and caring was all about. I hardly knew what love was about. Each day that I spend with you, makes me realize how strong our bond is getting. How twined together, we are. Touchwood for that! 


Life has been a teacher and us- we have been it's obedient students. We have more often than once found ourselves at the crossroads of life, with a plethora of options to choose from. Together we have worked hard to pick up the best, not only for ourselves but for everyone associated with us. Cheers to all that we have achieved. Looking forward to all that's on our list to go.


As we celebrate our Fourth Wedding Anniversary, I just want to tell you that I love you till the end of times.
You are and will always be the man I have dreamed of spending my life with.
Though, we are thousands of miles apart on this special day, I need not say how much you are being missed.
Looking forward to be with you soon :)

Love always...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

October Oo-La-Las

What date is it? And which month are we in?

Ohh yeah... I celebrated my b'day last week. It IS November!
Wait.. What? My birthday is gone?? That means we are already into the second week of November, if not more :O :O

Remember how stubborn September was and it felt like October would never come to an end but Slow September finally made way for October. What is surprising is the rapid speed at which October flew by!! Much before I could realize that we had entered my favorite quarter of the year, we were already past one-fourth of it.

Here's a snippet of what kept me engaged through October... (not in that order!)

With October began the festive season. 
Karwachauth followed by Diwali preps kept the traditional spark ignited :) 
Too late to wish y'all a Happy Diwali nevertheless, 
my good thoughts and blessings are always there with all you loved ones.

Workplace all decked up for the biggest Indian festival

I had never felt the power of flowers being sent as gifts until this Karwachauth.
Sanket sent me these precious red roses since he was out of town.
With the bouquet in house, I somehow missed Sanket a little less :)
For the inquisitive, we had an e-Karwachauth. 
Thanks to Facetime :D :D

Karwachauth talks remain incomplete without mehendi (henna).
I showed you here and here, the mehendi designs I had done in 2010 & 2011, respectively.
This year, I decided to give myself a break and try the mehendi-walas.
To my surprise, there were almost 100 people applying mehendi, sitting in every possible place in the market.
What amazed me more than the head count was the sky-rocket prices that these guys were asking for and their tantrums. Anyhow, I had decide what I had decided and this is what I got. Sheer waste of money!!
Though, I loved the color. You know what that means, don't you :)

I now know from where did Santa Claus get inspiration.
From moms!!
My mom visited me this October and with her came a bag full of home-made food items.
Below are my favorites - Gud (Jaggery) ke Ladoo!
P.S.- I had the last ladoo a few hours back :( 
Mom, are you reading this!! 

Don't make faces people. This is our very own instant noodles- Maggi!!
Wondering why it's white? Because I skipped adding the spices ;)
Yes, Masala Maggi without Masala (only salt) 
Have you every tried it?

This selfie was shot while waiting for my SIL to get ready for her engagement. 
The great time we had discussing all the details & shopping overshadowed the wait time. 
The best was to see her just the way we had imagined.
You looked b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Pallavi :)

OMG.. this one!
A sudden burst of rain and the city got flooded.

Slow September had me get a print of the calender.
I wanted to try, if the 'strike out' method shown in movies could soothe the soul.
It worked wonders.
O! I love countdowns :D

Thursday fasting means fruits in the first half and a lot of fatty food in the evening.
Sabudana wada was on the menu on one of those Thursdays.

The pictures brushed off the dust from my memory. I now know that October did not go by in a jiffy but I was actually a part of a lot of things :) There was a lot more that was not captured and is not shared here. 

Anyway... it's November! The month has brought with it a lot of festivities and happiness. I have and will be meeting a lot of people this month. Got a few biggies lined up too **Excited**.
More on this  next month :D 

Have a fantabulous November, my friends!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where Are The Cards?

Whom do you have to trust the most? Aaa-aaa.. do not be impromptu in answering that. I am not looking for answers that read - my mom, my husband, my sister or my best friend. Breath and read the question again. Whom do you have to trust the most? Yeahhh.. you got it! We are not talking about choice here. We are actually talking about- not having a choice!

For me, it has to be all those people in banks & post offices and those involved in online shopping.  These people/officials remain behind a veil. We never really have a face to associate with and tracking (because of the long chain) gets complicated. We can never really be sure that the parcel is not tampered with or our money will be used for the right purpose. We never really have a choice but to place our trust on the unknown system and it's people.

This is exactly what I did last month. I relied on the postal services to get the cards I had made for my parents' birthday, to reach them (not on time, just REACH them!).

Since, I wanted the envelop of cards to land at my parents' doorsteps without my telling them about it in advance, I just kept quiet. Days went by and with each call from them, I expected an elated tone exclaiming that they had received the cards.

When that did not happen for long, I started calling the Indian post office to get an update. (Thank God! I decided to go the registered post way!!) After several unsuccessful attempts of calling the Indian post office, I finally learnt that the mail had reached Kuwait (where my parents live) and I was asked to check with the post office in Kuwait. Now, the only way to get that done was to tell Dad about the cards... and kill the surprise!! Blah!!

Like always, Google was consulted before taking any action. (Hail Google!) But what Google threw back was unexpected and unacceptable. Almost all the reviews said- 'Forget your mail. You'll probably never see it again'. Sigh!!

So now, mom & dad know about the 'surprise' and if that's not it, they'll have to hunt for the 'surprise' as well.

The good part, I clicked a lot of pictures of the cards before mailing them. And here they are....



Just in case you are wondering why do I have two almost similar looking cards, let me tell you that the blue one is for MummyG and the orange is for MummyK. Luckily, I did not have to post MummyG's card, since we were together on her birthday. Thankfully, no misplaces there.

Which color combination for the quilled cards did you like more? And how about that shirt on dad's card?
More importantly, do you think my parents would ever get the cards? **still hopeful**

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Super September

The title for this post could have very well been 'Slow September' but that would have been unjust!! There are no two ways about the fact that I was a happy girl on the morning of October 1, only because September had ended and the doors to the last quarter of the year had opened but I could not get myself to have a boring title for the post. After all, September had it's own goods and that is exactly what we'll talk about here :-)

You saw the August cards here! I made some in September as well.
Here's just a sneak-peek. Will share the pics as soon as all the cards reach their recipients. 

Sanket has been very cautiously attending to professional calls lately.
The goodness can not be over-looked but not having him around is not easy.
But like they say- 'Kuch paane k liye kuch khona padta hai.'
(Translation: No pain, no gain)
However, both of us have been progressing well in our designated roles and that's the joy of it
**Touchwood. Evil, you better stay off our way. We are in no mood to mess around.**

We have finally decided to part ways with this black beauty.
After hitting the roads in  Pune during courtship and 
facing the severe weather conditions of Delhi (together), 
it's time now to call it quits. 
Aaahh... parting never comes easy!! 

Chandni Chowk & me!! 
The visit to India's biggest wholesale market has been planned and re-planned and then cancelled a dozen times now. This picture is from the day that I finally boarded the metro to Chandni Chowk inspite of the heavy rains in Gurgaon but the showers followed me all the way to Chandni Chowk!!
The moment I set foot on the streets that had stores with the prettiest Indian wears, down came the rain. Needless to say, I had to come back without being able to shop. 
No window shopping either :-(

We are family of technology enthusiasts. Each of us owns one or the other Apple products and still waits for the arrivals of new gadgets. When Apple recently launched their two new iphones- 5S & 5C, it left a lot of it's fans disappointed. The ones who already own an iPhone found nothing new in the latest models. But... does Apple need to worry about that? 
No!! According to the market updates, iPhone 5S is being sold in 6-figures and the supposedly 'cheaper' version is not very far behind. The 'C' in 5C is definitely not for 'cheap', friends!!

Between all this, we celebrated a few birthdays in September... Sister-in-Law's, Dad's & Mother-in-Law's. While the first two were in different countries and all that could be done was to wish them on phone, we did celebrate my MIL's b'day!

Talking about birthdays, it's my Mother's birthday today :-)
And as I write this post, I'd like to wish her a wonderful day today, a very happy year ahead and an amazing life to come. Love you, mommy!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celebrating With Cards

Almost September-end and we have had only one post in the month. Blame it on anything but me!! I am super busy these days, more mentally than physically. When at work, I tell myself that I'll give blogging a shot at home and at home, I barely get time. Is there any inhabited place in the Universe with days that have more than 24-hours? And weeks that have more weekends than weekdays?

Between all the hustle-bustle in life was a promise to keep. A promise made to self for dear ones in family! Remember we talked about how I decided to give handmade cards to all family members on their special days? You saw some of the cards here, here, here, here and here.

And now... It's time for the new lot!

August-September saw the birthdays of three family members. Sister-in-law who wears several hats in a day, younger sister working hard to make a mark in all that she does and nephew who is slowly and very steadily learning the ways of life. Three people, three different walks of life. Here's what was presented to them.

For Sister-in-Law

For Sister

For Nephew

Out of all, the one person who loved the card the most was little Aarush, my 3 year old nephew. He lives, dreams and thinks airplanes day-in day-out. To see three planes on his b'day card, he was elated. So much so that he took it to school as well. That's what is true appreciation. **smiles**

I have another bunch of cards ready. Will post the pics soon. Stay tuned!

Mid of the week, it is... too late to ask about the weekend that went by and too early to discuss the plans for the upcoming one. So, I will leave it were we are and sign off by wishing you all a fab week. See you soon!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Amazing August

August was interesting and beautiful, yet challenging. Let's keep the latter aside and focus on the good and precious moments of the month, which was packed with excitement, travel, fun and lots of awesome food. 

First up... the HP Inkjet Printer, which I won for writing this, finally arrived home. 
This new addition to the house just made printing, scanning and copying a lot more easier. 
The tech-guru of the house, Sanket, did not take more than a few minutes to make all the features available over internet. 
An email from anywhere in the world, can get me the print right away. 
Interesting, isn't it!

And I did some shopping.
Brass is all over the market these days.
Remember the colorful wooden bangles, which were followed by the thread woven bangles...
all of those have been replaced by these shiny metal ones.
I prefer mix and match. How about you?

Talking about food... we'll go in the reverse order... 
Starting with desserts- my favorite course of the meal :D

This picture was taken at Theobroma, Powai, Mumbai.

And this one... at Salsa Salsaa, Gurgaon.
The frequency at which we eat out and the awesome food that tickles our taste buds has given birth to the idea of sharing the foodilicious experience at a better platform. 
But for now, my plate is full! May be down the lane.

The garden has been blooming with flowers.
It's good to be greeted by these beauties after long hours at work.

Love how well the phone has captured the colors and shades of this flower.
By the way, anybody knows the name of this species?

I just love these red flowers but I hate that they have such short life.
A day! That's it. A day is all that they adorn my garden.

At my sister's birthday party.. with my favorite people :)
Aaa-aaa... one of them is behind the camera.

How was your August? Had a garden full of fruits and flowers? Spent time with family and friends? Enjoyed rains or got stuck in traffic? Went out hopping around the city? Hope you had a superb August and are geared for an even better September :) 

Smile always.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Conversation with Ms. Nose

On a dull afternoon, I grabbed the corner of my bed which faced the window to the open sky. The gray clouds had comfortably taken their respective seats in the sky and had been contemplating since long about rain. While the clouds were busy in their discussion and the husband was out to get the car serviced, I decided to spend some quiet time, after the early morning weekend chores.

I rested my head against the otherwise ignored pillow and closed my eyes. Just as I was about to doze off, I heard a loud roar. The clouds had made their decision and a heavy shower followed. This reminded me of the thunder and lightening in Michigan that had the power to wake me up from sleep. A few steps back in time and the days in Pune, when I reached office all drenched, flashed before my eyes. It did not stop there. Rainy days in school, which were once the most awaited days of the season were recalled and a broad smile flashed on my face.

I suddenly realized how my ears, brain and eyes had helped me relive all the beautiful days of past. I quickly scratched my nose and said to her- "You lazy fellow! While you sit here doing nothing, all the other senses are working hard to take me back to the pleasant days. You never really think of any such thing, do you?"

This was a jolt good enough for Ms. Nose and what she threw back at me was no less than a walk down to memory lane.

Ms. Nose to me, "Take a deep breath and tell me if you smell something."

Hmmmmmmm! "Yes, the smell of rain! Ah, the sweet smell of rain. Should I say wet soil instead? The smell that brings so much of comfort. A relief from sultry summers. So fresh"


Ms. Nose suddenly became Ms. Proud Nose and slammed a "See, I can refresh memories too!" back at me.

Not happy with the touch of arrogance in Ms. Nose's voice, I rejected the claim. I wanted more and Ms. Nose happily accepted the challenge. The conversation that followed was no less than a walk down the memory lane.

Ms. Nose started with firing a few questions at me. "Tell me of a smell that's choking." I knew the answer. Ms. Nose was being generous. Did she just start with an easy one or it's gonna be same throughout, I thought. "Daal ka tadka", I replied. Something that I need to learn from my husband. My tadka is hardly any tadka. On second thoughts, when he is so good at it, why do I even have to bother learning. Right? **wink**



I turned my face to the stack of laundry that I had just folded and done with. "This smells clean. Absolutely clean!"


Ms. Nose nodded in consent. Next up, "Delicious".

I knew it had to be food. Ice creams. No. Sweets. No. "Dad made Chicken Curry." YES! "Mom's Sambhar. Grandmoms' halwa and barfi. Smell of chinese in one of my favorite restaurants. Cake being baked in the oven. Ma..."

"STOP!", shouted the stomach. "If you really want to continue with your conversation, you better move to the next smell before I hit the 'HUNGER' alarm."

Ms. Nose and I had a hearty laugh. Mr. Stomach blushed and grinned.


Ms. Nose to me, "The burning smell is one that scares you now but do you remember that as a child you were so amused with the burning smell."

The smell of something burning makes you jump off your seat! Every time I forget something on the burner in kitchen and the smell leads me to have a look at what has turned into char, the site is dreaded, indeed. But burning smell gave me pleasure!! When did that happen! I had to turn to Ms. Nose for the answer.

"Remember, as a child, you had this weird affinity for burning paper. In the afternoon, when it was time for your mom's power nap, you used to get newspaper or pull some sheets from notebook and burn it in the kitchen."

"Oh yeah! How could I forget that" and a broad grin, from one ear to another flashed on my face. O! how I prayed for mom not to enter the kitchen unless the burning smell had subdued. Childhood is crazy fun!!


Talking about childhood, the other smells that quickly brought bags full of memories were antiseptic and fevicol. 

Say 'antiseptic' and the bottle with green cap flashes before the eyes. Dettol. Unlike my sister, I hurt myself very rarely but when I did, the sting of Dettol was what I was more scared of than the sight of blood. But I was very fond of adding Dettol to water and see otherwise brown, translucent liquid create beautiful, white waves in water. I sat to watch it unless the white waves disappears completely.

Fevicol, the white glue, was my favorite school supply. I had always had interest in crafts and the high that I got after smelling Fevicol, got the best out of me. Oh and yes, what fun it was to peel of the adhesive from the skin after use. Tried it? I am sure you did.


I was loving this game. Within seconds I had covered the journey from being a little girl running in the park to being the head chef post marriage. **smiles**

"The look on your face tells me that you are already running back in time." Ms. Nose continued, "It's so good to see you happy, my dear. Just as good as it was to see a smile on your pale face after you breathed to smell the fragrant flowers that day."

I knew exactly which day Ms. Nose was referring to. I was away from home. Mom and Dad were in a different country and the nearest relative was 4 hours drive away. I was unwell. My room mates were doing the best they could but nothing seemed to work. I felt weak and pale. While I was battling and hoping to recover soon, I received a bunch of red roses from Sanket (husband now, fiance then). The flowers were beautiful and the fragrance mesmerizing. With a deep breath, I inhaled the sweet smell, which worked like medicine.


I was all smiles again.

My conversation with Ms. Nose lasted long... while the pungent smell of the drain on my way to office reminded me it was Monday tomorrow, the mention of medicinal smell took me to the ICU where my grandmother was admit. The acrid smell from a dear friend during summer reminded me of her and all the fun we had (ignore the smell, please) and in contrast were the strong smell of perfumes on Dubai airport.

Ms. Nose had won it. I was nostalgic. 
She walked me down the memory lane, the farthest and deepest we could go. 
Smells had just taught me how closely they were associated with each chapter of my life. 
Cheers to the most ignored of the five senses!!

While we were celebrating Ms. Nose's victory, she sensed a sweet, amazingly fresh and pleasant aroma around. I opened my eyes to see Sanket with the Ambipur New Zealand Springs spray in his hands. I rushed to hug him, as the Ambipur room freshener had just revived the memories of our honeymoon and had made me fall in love with my husband all over again.

This post is written as a part of 'Smelly to Smiley' contest by Ambipur on IndiBlogger. To read more click on www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia