Stories from 2018…

2018 was a significant year in my life’s journey, I’d say.

The year began by catching up with old friends… two of my school/ college-time friends were visiting from the US and December end/ Jan beginning was when I got an opportunity to meet them. It was lovely exchanging details about the latest happenings in our lives and reminiscing about the good old times. Another close friend also visited during the later part of the year and it was time to catch-up again with families in tow – it was a riot watching all the kids together! So yeah, 2018 was a good year friendship-wise – re-discovering old ones and I formed some new ones too in the neighbourhood!

It was also the year when I finally got the opportunity to step out of my comfort-zone work-wise and boy! did I grab it with both hands or what?! I moved out of the client/ project that I was stuck working in for the past 5 years, ever since I joined my current company! That was an achievement in itself, I’d say. And the new work project gave me the biggest travel opportunity of my life. More about that later…

Before I get there, I must mention here that it was also the year when we visited the beautiful archipelago in the Bay of Bengal for our Summer vacation – the enchanting Andamans! 🙂 It was a lovely vacation where we explored the beauty of the various islands – from the awesome corals of the Jolly Buoy to the historical ruins and military remains at the Ross Island.

Corals at Jolly Buoy island

Boats and more at Jolly Buoy island

The highlight was no doubt the Havelock Island and our stay at the resort there – with an exclusive private access to the extension of the beautiful Radhanagar beach, we couldn’t have enough of the sun, the sea and the sands. The resort itself was so beautiful that it left us yearning for a longer stay. Apart from the gorgeous sunset scenes at the Radhanagar and Govindnagar beaches, we had loads of fun times playing with the waves at the rocky Kalapathar beach.

The beautiful Radhanagar beach

Sunset at Govindnagar beach

But the icing on the cake was of course the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the scuba dive!! With the hubby declining to take the plunge, I was left to face it alone and to be truthful it scared the hell out of me. For the first time I realised how scary it is to just get your ears wet, by getting under-water! And I regretted (not for the first time too) not having learnt swimming at a younger age when I had the opportunity! I did the dive with butterflies in my stomach, fluttering and rising up to my throat, but got to see the most wonderful under-water marine-life. That’s an item off the bucket list I guess. The hubby and sonny-boy had fun too – snorkelling in tandem with some expert divers 😀

The ruins at Ross Island

Back at Port-Blair, we also visited the gorgeously green Chidiya-Tapu and the Munda Pahar sunset point – I really loved the way in which the former place has been developed and maintained with a natural setting for the animals and birds in pristine surroundings. And of course, the view of the sunset and mangroves of Munda Pahar are picturesquely postcard-worthy.

Well, that was one vacation which we and the kiddo thoroughly enjoyed and will savour the memories for very many years to come. And of course, I clicked a zillion pics and have enough stored away to remind us of the beautiful times with just a click 😉

I hope to get back with more travel stories in my next post – of the beautiful scenic locations that my work took me to!


Alone and not lonely

On a whim, I logged in here today. After many many days and months I’ve felt like making a note.

It’s funny, I think. I’ve had one of the most amazing years of my adult life these past months, I’d say – with lots happening within a short span – events, occasions, celebrations, outings and trips – for pleasure and work, changes at work, new situations and challenges…but none of them have prompted me to put down my feelings and thoughts here. Maybe I was too busy uploading my happiness in the form of pictures and sharing them with the world on social media and such!!

It’s when I don’t wanna share my feelings with anybody, and when I think that maybe just nobody is meant to understand, maybe that nobody is capable of empathising with my thoughts…that I turn to this space.

I’ve felt low today – the kind I haven’t felt in a long time, I’d say. As I said, I’ve been too busy celebrating the moments – that’s how it’s meant to be, is it not?! I’ve felt a kind of despair, a hopelessness and helplessness at the situation that faced me. And at that moment in time, I felt alone. Not lonely, but alone. Like, maybe there are some moments one has to face alone – there’s no other being capable of understanding what you feel – no friend or family or lover or partner or whoever.

Funnily enough, that thought is helping me find some peace – and soothe my fluttering heart. I did get through the low moment – I felt better in some time, can’t put my finger on what made me perk up exactly, but it happened. And that gives me renewed hope – that maybe, being alone and facing one’s lows oneself is not so bad after all!

Sports day musings

Well, what do you know? After a long time, I’ve felt like jotting down something here! ‘Twas the sports day celebration at the son’s school last week and that has given me some thoughts that I felt like penning down.

For many reasons I love the simplicity with which the celebrations are held at his school and many a times have been happy and proud that we chose this school for him and not the other fancier ones.
They have the Sports day celebrations spread across a few days in October-November with slots given to each class. The slot for my son’s class this year was in the late evening from 7 to 8.30 PM. It was kinda lucky for working parents like us and we were thankful for not having to take leave from work!

They usually have a celebrity chief guest whose achievements on the sports field is inspiring for the young kids – last year’s guest was Shri. Girish N Gowda, the Paralympic high-jumper from Karnataka who has won the Silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Summer Olympics at London. This year’s guest was the 19-year old Chess prodigy Satvik.M, who is an Ekalavya award winner and a topper in the SSLC, PUC exams and currently pursuing his second year MBBS course. These chief guests take guard for the march past presented by the little ones and light the Sports meet flame and declare the meet officially open by releasing a bunch of colourful balloons into the sky. I find this practice particularly heartening as compared to something mundane like cutting open a ribbon – the whoops from the kids and the joy on their faces when the balloons go soaring into the skies is worth hearing/ watching every single time 🙂 Then there are some dance or drama display acts followed by the class events.

The class teachers of every section plan events for the kids and every kid is made to participate in an event – either a singles one or the doubles pairing kind. This is another idea worth applauding. The events planned are interesting and focus on engaging the child and improving their various skills like concentration, mobility, balancing, hand-eye coordination etc. The tracks are usually divided into 2 or 3 parts and the children have some activity to be done at 1 or 2 stops en route while running to the finish line.
Our kiddo’s activity was to run to the midpoint of the track where they had to unscrew the cap of a bottle of water, wash their hands in a dustbin kept next to the table and then go on to peel a musambi (sweet lime)! They then had to throw the peels in the dustbin, place the musambi and water bottle onto a bowl/ tray and run to the finish line.

Sitting in the audience and watching the various events at close quarters, it was simply fascinating for me to observe the behaviour and thought patterns of the various kids participating in the events. There are kids who play with the sole aim of winning and their concentration and aggression is worth-observing (not sure if the aggression is to be applauded at this age?! I for one don’t advocate it) and then there are others at the other end of the spectrum who just don’t care about the competition and want things to be done in the best possible way! There are kids who cheat – subtly and sometimes blatantly (at that tender age, I wonder how the thought comes into their mind?!) and there are those who cannot simply think of cheating and getting ahead!! The ones I admire are the smart ones – who don’t cheat but play smart enough to get ahead in the race.

The parents are worth observing too!! There are the parents who jump up and down like their wards have won the Olympic medal – fist pumping in the air and what not! And there are the cool ones who hug their kids and laugh-off the losses 🙂

In case you’re wondering, no, our kiddo didn’t win any medals – having dropped the heavy water-bottle at the beginning and proceeding to peel the lime a little too meticulously, while the others just pulled it apart almost squeezing it in the process, he got left behind in the race! Mid-way through he panicked and started checking others’ progress which didn’t help the cause! 😀 He did sulk and feel bad about not doing well, but a couple of back-slaps and it’s-okay-not-to-win-sometimes pep-talk from us, asking him to think-back and focus on what he could’ve done better helped and he cheered up thereafter.

But the antics of the kids gave me so much fodder for thought that I couldn’t help musing on the various ways the human mind works, even in kids so young!! 😀

The many posts that could’ve been…

On dull work-days when I’m done browsing through all my favourite blog links and am in no mood to get back to work is when I click on my own blog-link to read snippets of posts from the past. Today being one such day, I noticed that my last post was way back in June 2016! That was six months ago! I don’t remember if there have been such long-drawn periods of non-blogging before… I’m not checking either.

I also noticed a tiny orange dot in the notifications of WordPress when I logged in to finally write a post – when I clicked on it, it said

Happy Anniversary with!

You registered on 10 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.


Wow! 10 years?! that’s a long time I thought but then realised that I’ve actually been writing a blog for longer than that. Of course, I was on blogspot when I began blogging, before I moved to WordPress! I had difficulty remembering my blogspot address – a couple of tries later I did get it right – Of course it doesn’t exist now and redirects readers to this space.

I found the above in the drafts of my blog posts – written in Jan 2017 which was four months ago! I found another post about the Kannada movies from last year…which too was half-written. 

Today when I opened my page, for lack of reading material on the other blogs that I follow, I was shocked by the date on the last post – it was in June last year, which effectively means I’ve not written any post for almost the whole of last year! 

It’s not that I haven’t felt like writing – I’ve been inspired many times by looking at other posts – especially when I see that people take up the blog-a-month challenge and the A-Z challenge etc. But the inspiration hasn’t transformed into words in this space 😦

I feel like I’ve let myself down – I haven’t been able to note down the memories that I’d like to preserve and get back here to re-live them later… my son’s growing up and fast, I’m not jotting down what he says and does – how can I remember them later? The posts from his baby and toddler days thrill me when I go back and read them.

I tried my hand at making terracotta jewellery by attending a workshop and made a few sets too with gusto – I don’t have any record of the experience and the sense-of-fulfilment I felt to be making something with my hands after a long time!

I tried to revive my reading habit – read quite a few books at a stretch – the famous Shiva trilogy (I know I came late to the party!) and first book of his Ram-Chandra series, revisited the Harry Potter books and movies enthused by fellow fans at office, read some of the many books I’d picked up at the book fair two years ago… I didn’t get around to talking about any of those here.

I’ve tried to pick up knitting and crochet projects – starting with some baby items for friends who’ve had their second ‘uns…

We went on many interesting short and long trips last year – the key ones being the Singapore/ Malaysia trip last summer with the hubby’s friends’ families and the Sharavathi and surroundings trip with my friends’ families in the Christmas hols. The latter one was truly an experience in itself – we did so many unconventional activities – very unlike the typical trips we take – and it was the first one when I practised by photography skills armed with the new DSLR. I’m foolishly proud of some of those moments that I managed to capture with the lens.

The camera is another new experience that I’m loving – found some good use for it at two family weddings last year – of cousins on either sides of the family. I loved capturing the candidness of it all – the gaiety, the incredibly rich colours of the wedding scenes – the sarees, the flowers, the accessories and the paraphernalia. The sister and I also planned  an inspired photo-shoot at Cubbon park – the beautiful green lung-space that is the heart of Bangalore…

There was so much that I could’ve written about but didn’t…

Remembering Daddy…

Three years it has been… how time flies!

Every year after that fateful day, when this part of the month comes around, I start feeling jittery. I go about my daily chores, but when I’m by myself, the memories come flooding back – in the three days starting from my grand-dad’s birthday, the mind starts recounting the events – the conversations and sequences start tumbling out of the mind’s closet. I can’t help but think about the could-have-been’s and what-if’s. It almost makes me tremble and I become jumpy, getting irritated at the slightest of provocation.

Yesterday on the way back, I felt restless, unable to sleep in the cab and unable to sit still. I thought I’ll at-least tune into the radio on my phone, which I hardly ever do while I’m travelling. I was hoping to catch some old melodies – dad’s favourites which would bring back good, happy memories. I tuned into Akashavani and the minute I did so, the RJ announced a Veena recital program of a Thyagaraja krithi by R K Raghavan. I was stunned! As the mellifluous notes from the Veena started playing I felt my nerves ease and the heart relax. It felt like a sign from daddy and I felt at peace for the first time in three days.

Dad was a music-lover – he liked music in its many forms, but his absolute favourite was Carnatic Classical music. He himself had taken Veena lessons from the famous Veena maestro R K Suryanarayan, even going for classes after office-hours in his middle-age years! He imbibed the love for music in us – me and my sis and insisted that we take Vocal music lessons. While I had relented and had taken lessons from a very strict music teacher Shri Lakshmana Shastri near-by our home, my sis had put up huge fights and wouldn’t go to him for classes, no matter what! 😀 He and the old Veena instrument at home were also the inspiration for me to later keep in touch with Carnatic music, by taking Veena classes from another lady teacher.

Dad was also a connoisseur of old Hindi film music and was a fan, especially of Rafi and Mukesh hits. I, being a huge Kishore Kumar fan, would have arguments with him that Mukesh was no good! These days whenever I listen to Mukesh’s songs, it instantly reminds me of dad and our arguments. Me and my sis would break into impromptu songs and antakshari-sessions whenever we felt like and dad couldn’t keep quiet, he would butt in with his song choices and we would shoo him away! 🙂

My memories of school and college days from home are filled with mornings waking up to strains of classical music and Sundays filled with Hindi film songs. Almost the entire day, the radio would be on – if not, it would be the various cassettes he would play. Sundays meant – old Classic hits, late heavy lunch, good afternoon siesta and a tall glass of evening tea. How I miss those days! 😦

Yesterday during the cab-ride back home, I also happened to look out and noticed a big rose bush outside a home. I travel almost the same way each day but haven’t ever noticed this house or the bush. Yesterday I did. It was a wild bush, growing in all directions – with many beautiful blooms of cream-yellow roses. It was the very same kind which used to grow in abundance at our home on the plants, which dad used to tend-to for years.

Another sign, may be? It reminded me of the days when I was young and we used to stay at the quarters – we had so many fruit-bearing and flowering plants and trees – dad seemed to have a way with them. They all grew and gave us fruits and flowers in abundance. If I look at my childhood photos, not one can I find where I don’t have a flower in my hair! Even when I had short hair, a rose adorned my pig-tails or sometimes it was the dahlia too!! Random happy memories.

Memories – that’s all is what is left of him now. As time rolls by, the memories start fading – will I remember all in such clear detail many years from now? I hope I do. I hope my son remembers his thatha always – the one who took on the role of a doting grandfather once he was born. I would see him become a child himself and play with him for hours – inventing new games and coming up with the silliest of jokes. I could any day trust him to take care of my son while keeping him engaged, right from when he was some months old – something which I don’t believe my mother can claim to do, even now! I hope my son inherits his thatha’s love for music and plants and books, and chess and carrom too. And his amazing sense of hospitality, which would be so extreme sometimes, that it would exasperate us ladies at home!

I also hope that my dad is at peace and looking over us with happiness, from wherever he is now. Love you dad, always! 🙂

Happy tenth!

A decade – ten years it has been – of togetherness. Should I be saying – ‘you complete me‘? Nah, I would rather say – ‘I am incomplete without you‘! 🙂

It has not been a easy ride (is anybody’s ever?) – there have been ups and downs, triumphs and trials, laughs and lows, tears and toasts… moments when one’s felt euphoric, that life can never be better and others when one has felt down in the dumps, like it was the worst!

Marriage, they say is a life-changing event. I would agree whole-heartedly, especially it still is, in our society and is an important milestone in each of our lives. It’s important that you have someone to share your thoughts with, to laugh-along or to find solace when you’re upset about something – a friend, a companion, a lover, a guide, a protector, a provider, someone who needs your care and attention like a child. I’d say, we experience a plethora of relationships through our spouse. The demands are different and the roles you need to essay keep changing, it’s a dynamic relationship – ever-changing and that’s what makes it interesting. And no matter how many years pass, each day is different.

The initial years are all about moments that set your heart a-flutter – when you’re discovering each other and what makes him/ her tick. You’re fine-tuning your frequencies, being in generous moods to adjust and accept, all in the name of love/ tenderness that you feel for the other person. Whoever said that one has to be in love to get married, was ill-informed. There can be love after marriage too – as has been proved by the several hundreds of arranged marriages over the generations of our parents and grand-parents. You might argue all you want – that these marriages were not on equal terms, that the women didn’t have much choice and the men had the final word always. But you can’t deny that there was love – that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? that love can have so many manifestations!

Slowly as you settle into the humdrum of married life, a few years down the line, life starts losing it’s rosy sheen and you begin to see the flaws and the idiosyncrasies in the partner – what used to amuse you once, might just irritate you or worse still, might be disgusting in some extreme cases. You begin to make further adjustments and a slow sense of familiarity and sometimes resignation – looking at the bigger picture, sets in. Also around the beginning of these years, a child makes an appearance and priorities shift. The bundle of joy becomes the attention-seeker and all efforts go in trying to appease and take care of your child. The child is the apple of your eyes and every single routine begins to revolve around him/ her. The marriage and the sense of seeking comfort in each others’ arms takes a back-seat.

Further years cause more adipose tissues to be built around the relationship as each settles into their own comfort zones and the keen sense of sensitiveness (which is a given during the early years) starts disappearing and you begin to take your partner for granted. Another child or two doesn’t change the equation much and each gets busier with their own lives, there’s hardly any time or opportunity for heart-to-heart talks. And romance? Well, if you are a keen observer, you can surely see it fly out of the window! 😀

I guess, it’s the latter years which again gives opportunities for rekindling the romance?! After running non-stop being a part of the rat-race, when you finally retire and take a breather, that’s when you look at everything around you afresh, with new eyes. The small gestures and sacrifices which would’ve gone unseen and unappreciated over the years get a second look.Sometimes the enormity of the sacrifices which the partner has had to make – which inevitably in most cases in our society turns out to be the woman, begins to dawn upon you. Or maybe not. You just begin to appreciate your spouse a teeny bit more. It’s also the time when the birds have flew the nest, the children are all grown up and busy running the rat-races of their own lives and don’t have much time and don’t need you any longer (till they have kids of their own, that is! 😀 ). You find solace in each other’s company. Further additions to the family in the name of the grandchildren keep you busy and you rediscover the pure unadulterated joy that children can bring to one’s lives. And so it goes on… The lucky ones get to spend these golden times together, the unlucky ones not so.

I guess I’ve generalized a lot in visualising the life-scenes played out above, but most often this, with a few tweaks and side-plots here and there, is the story of our lives 😀

Parenthood and the companionship for the latter years of one’s life – these are reasons enough for marriage, according to me. Parenthood is an inexplicable joy – there are people who are single/ married-with-no-kids who are happy doing their own thing in life. Ha ha, we too were happy go-lucky, travelling around and enjoying the various perks of not having kids, for quite some time. But then, once you are a parent there’s no looking back. That one tiny bundle makes all the difference, you wouldn’t want to trade that feeling for anything in the world. It becomes the focus of all your thoughts and energies and deeds. All you want is the well-being and happiness of your child. Heck, we tried doing a couples-only trip for the tenth anniversary, but couldn’t get the little imp out of our thoughts! 😀 Sights and sounds and actions and happenings reminded us of him all the time and we missed him badly, while he was having a rocking, rollicking time with cousins at his grandma’s! 😛

Having a friend and partner for old age helps one lead a complete, fulfilling life, I believe. We see so many single elders sad and depressed due to lack of company when their world slows down. From the looks of it, the spouse in this case is irreplaceable. It also helps to keep each other busy, active, chirpy and occupied, without causing unnecessary interferences and upsets with the kids’ lives. After all, what can be more satisfying than having your life-long companion by your side as you watch the years pass by, your children grow up, your efforts bear fruit, and you walk together, hand-in-hand into the most gorgeous, brightest sunset of your life?! 🙂

And that, is what I wish for us, on this occasion! Happy tenth PK, and here’s looking forward to spending many many more, with you by my side! 🙂


A week with work-woes and a movie

Have you ever felt the need to get away from work? That you’ve had enough of it and cannot take the same old boring work-routine for even one more day or hour?! I guess, many of us would’ve been parley to such thoughts several times – especially considering the typically stressful work-styles we follow. Last week was one such for me. The work-days-juggernaut was rolling along nicely and I was working on the usual tasks and going about the boring daily work-routine. There was a planned project change implemented on a Thursday and everything looked fine. That night at 2.35 AM I got a call on the mobile from the night-support team. There seemed to be some issue with the implemented code, due to which some files which had to be generated and sent to the downstream partner systems was empty. Within five minutes I was awake and logged in – trying to decipher what could’ve gone wrong. I figured it out soon enough – I had overlooked some accompanying changes which had to be done and the empty file was a result of this miss. 😦 Amidst the thoughts of all the music I had to face  on the morrow in office, I was trying to check if there was a quick fix solution to generate that night’s file. I did some fix on the QA environment and drew up plans with the support-team-lead that this problem would require an emergency fix to be implemented on the very next day, before the next day’s file would get generated. I promised them that I would get into office early and work on it as priority.

Daylight was already breaking over the horizon and I thought that it was futile to go back to bed then; I might as well get the cooking etc. done and get ready for work. Accordingly I went about the morning chores and was ready for work at 6 AM, an hour before my regular morning start-time. I coordinated with the early shift cab driver and was in office by 7 AM, before most of the other folks started coming in. The rest of the day went by in a blur – the fix wasn’t as easy as it had initially looked, I had totally missed analysing the code earlier and had to figure out the logic, carry out tests and ensure that it would work seamlessly with the other changes. Added to this was the time constraint – everything had to be done within a couple of hours, the change orders raised and all necessary approvals sought to put it out-of-cycle as an emergency fix.

Phew! Luckily everything worked out well and by the end of the day the changes were in, after taking some help from colleagues. I was pretty jittery that night as well and had couple of calls at around midnight with the support team to ensure that the fix indeed worked and the issue was resolved. As they say, all’s well that ends well! But this episode left me drained – mentally and physically. Probably this too was routine a couple of years back, working late hours on deliveries and overseeing last minute fixes by my team were part and parcel of what I did regularly. In fact I remember doing such releases even when I was pregnant! But now, somehow, I found it very very tiring and stressful; I took almost a week to get over the dreadful feeling and get back to my normal working style. For a couple of days after that, I really did not feel like working at all!

What followed was something rather atypical for me – I decided to take off on a work-day, mid-week and for no reason! I just didn’t feel like going into work and facing another routine work-day 😦 I called the hubby and asked told him that he needs to take leave the following day and we would go out – probably catch a movie or just chill doing something else. Poor guy, reacted like a cat caught in the headlights! 😀 But he did some juggling around with his meetings and work-stuff and obliged like a dutiful husband 😛 The next day I was up and about at the usual time – the plan was, we would finish all chores like everyday, drop off our son at school and go catch a movie at the matinee show. The little fella, clever that he is, was surprised to see me at home – normally I am off to work by the time he wakes up in the morning. He seemed confused – what day is it?, he asked. Is it Saturday? Why aren’t you at work? I won’t go to school! 😮 He was even more suspicious when he saw his dad in non-formal clothes! 😀 After side-stepping his tricky questions, we managed to drop him to school and went on our way to watch the movie Neerja.

Neerja is a biographical thriller about Neerja Bhanot, the brave air-hostess who laid down her life in her call of duty. Her efforts thwarted the hijacking attempt of the Pan AM flight in Karachi on 5th Sept 1986 – she prevented the flight from taking off by having the presence of mind to inform the pilots in time for them to flee the plane. Her heroism and calm, cool-headed handling of the dire situation resulted in 360 hostages being saved from the hijackers’ hold. Instead of trying to save herself, she chose to save the lives of hundreds of passengers, showing immense courage and strength of character. The film was motivational and an example of how ‘work is worship‘ for several people – like our brethren from the armed forces and others like Neerja.

I wasn’t too impressed by Sonam’s portrayal as Neerja – she seems more suited and at ease with roles like the one in Khoobsoorat; but the scene-stealer was definitely Shabana Azmi. The feelings of what a child’s loss means for a mother, couldn’t have been brought to life more poignantly by anyone else. She is outstanding, especially in the last scene and one cannot but leave the theatre with misty eyes and a lump in the throat!

After the movie, we grabbed some lunch and walked the shopping streets leisurely – doing more looking-into-windows than actual shopping; but happy to have the road to ourselves sans the crowds, thanks to it being a weekday. And just like that, the little get-away was over! 😦 Soon, it was time to go back – to be faithful to our line of duty, on the home-front and to get ready for the challenges of the work-day on the morrow. I felt much better the next day at office and am now back peering into the laptop screen and trying to tame/ slay the usual work-demons! These little, especially mid-week jaunts, do a world of good, I tell ya! 😀