Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Irony of it All...

This past weekend was Holi celebrations in one of our local temples. I love Holi. Loved it for the past few years I have actually celebrated it. I actually did not like it much as a kid. I remember the day in my 11th grade when I was walking home with my friends in all white uniform when some unruly idiots decided to shower us with pink. My friend got some color in her eye and me, much worse, got some on my uniform. I had to face the wrath of my mother. The uniform was soiled for life and it had another year and half to finish off my school with. I hated it. Holi did not belong in Chennai. I was not ready to celebrate it. It looked awesome in Hindi movies but not in real life.

I came to the US, met and fell in love with a person who had lived north of Chennai all his life and had celebrated one too many Holi's. We celebrated with friends, with family, with everyone and I enjoyed it. I was more prepared, old clothes on me, towels in the car, garbage bags to pack the crap, we were ready to taken on the color! We celebrated it in our front yard, in public parks and a few times at the temple. My most memorable Holi was at my in-law's house in Mumbai. We played with colors, got totally messed up for 3 hours. Then we went up, showered, changed and came back down for the most yummiest food ever. Sat down chatting with everyone around.

This year, we were at the temple with friends. My friend motivated me to get off my butt and get colored. It was good fun. There was music, food and crowd. The weather was perfect, hot enough but not scalding yet. We danced, colored, hugged it out and came back home. As I get older, I notice I am not into loud fun as much as I was a year ago.

Today, as my brain monkey was going through my memories from the weekend it remembered that I had told S not to wear shorts as we were going to temple. At the temple though, not literally inside but at the temple grounds they were blaring out Hindi item songs! Ha! My brain monkey laughed at the irony that exists in the Hindu Temple.

Pondering Colorful Art

Thursday, February 02, 2017

2016 Recap...A Little Too Late...

I normally would have written my summary for the year gone by before now but this year I am blame the slacking me. 2016 was tiring. That is the best way to describe it for me. Too many things done, too many weekends spent away from home but in general I still have the feeling that much was accomplished or maybe not...

January - Most of the family cleared and went back, the house felt silent and quite. The in-laws were still there so it was still a little busy but we missed the hustle and bustle of 14 people under one roof. I filled my evenings with long walks with my father-in-law and we spoke about everything. It was relaxing and we bonded.

February - My first time to South of the Border. It was one of the most fun vacations ever. Cannot wait to do it all over again.

March - Mixed bag! Got another year wiser! Went to NC to visit my parents. My brothers were throwing a big party to celebrate my dad's 80th. So we went there and had a blast. The party was great but the cousin bonding was amazing, the kids had a better time than the adults. S got to sit in the cockpit of the aircraft we flew in - a first! Father-in-Law's mother passed away. Our house got damaged severely in a hail storm. Good things and sad things...

April - S did her first Color Run at school. S got her first tennis trophy - a runner's up but still something. A very light month. We had booked our tickets to India so the countdown had started...

May - S finished another year at school. She was also very close to getting her Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do. S did her first Bharatanatyam performance. S's cousin R visited us with her mom from india and spent a couple of days with us. It was super fun to show them around town.

June - R was still here and we had more fun time together. Summer was spent with great friends, good wine and good food. The pool was warm and our house was welcoming. We spent many evenings and night sitting in the pool.

July - Saw Kabali in the theater with my BFF. It was just fun to be there together with her. S won her first ever tennis tournament. The date to the India trip was getting closer and G and I were on a weight loss mission...

August - Trip to India! Major milestone. After almost 4.5 years. The trip was definitely much awaited and super fun. We visited family in Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore in the first part of the trip. We had to attend the death anniversary pooja for my grandfather in law who passed on at the age of 107. It was attend by many people from all over the country. The event was grand just like Ajjo. We miss him and his toothless smile. Even when he was 103, he communicated with me in Tamil and he always inquired about us.

September - From Mangalore we went to Goa, and finished up in Mumbai. The night we left was very sad. For the first time in my life I slept almost 16-19 hours on the flight and even in the airport while awaiting transit. I had zero jet lag when I came back.

October -  S turned a year older. Sleepover party. S was Pink Power Ranger for Halloween. We went camping for the first time ever with MN and family. It was awesome! We loved every bit of it and cannot wait to do it again. And then we also did Dandiya with Falguni Pathak. It was super fun. Thanks M for passing on tickets. Went to State Fair for the first time ever and got sick eating junk. Took the train to the fair and it was super fun with MN and A, G was out on a trip to celebrate him having a milestone birthday with his BFF's, they trekked and hung out! Diwali Parties!!! October was busy and hectic!

November - S got her Black Belt..hallelujah!!!. Got ready for the season, went to tree light lighting and got the X-Mas decorations out. Rank the chocoholic 5K with M for a third time.

December - Drove to NC to spend the week with my family. It was one of the best times of the year for me. I got to bond with my neices and nephews. The best part was that G indulged in all the babies. He played card games, tennis, video games, took them all out to dinner, ice cream and chilled with everyone. We took my sister's in-law to watch Dangal for a night show and it was awesome! Good memories! Spent New Years by the lake with a few of my closest friends. And now...back to reality!!!

And that was my year in a nutshell...hope everyone had a decent 2016 and hopefully a more decent 2017. I am mature enough and old enough to know that no year will be perfect. There will be ups and downs and we have to ride it to move on to our next goals!

xoxo
A Slacking ART


Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Flower in my Garden!!!

Image result for saavn
I am loving Saavn! I have gone to the past and danced in the present with the awesome collection of music. I love hearing old Tamil songs. The songs that I grew up with. Each song reminds me of a certain time in my life. From Raja to Rahman to Vaali to Vairamuthu are all filled with memories...

En veetu thotathil from Gentleman now playing in my ears reminds me of the song my classmate quoted for me when I was not sure if I really liked this guy who kept pursuing me...she kept singing it to me till I said "yes" to him. A very short lived relationship that nevertheless has left me with memories. Gentleman released at a time in life when I was young, in high school, 11std, had no worries and there were many choices all around me...every song in that movie reminds me of those days past.

Šøllukkum Arthathukkum Thøørangal Kidaiyaathu
Šøllaatha Kaathal Èllaam Šørgathil Šaeraathu


(the second line means - Unsaid love will not reach heaven).

At that age my classmate was my love guru. She had been dating her much older neighbor since 8th grade! The last I checked on FB looks like she did end up marrying him! Some commitment! In my case...did not work out for more than 2 months, or maybe less...don't remember now. All I do remember is that he was a good dancer.

A Reminiscing ART

Friday, December 16, 2016

Compliments! Backhanded Of Course!

I volunteer at S's school sometimes. It is always a unique feeling when I get there. Very rarely have I felt welcome. I am a working mom who volunteers 5 to 6 times a year unlike the other moms who do a lot more for my daughter. I am eternally grateful for them. I am always trying to blend in, to see if there is any common ground and I am yet to find something.

This morning we had Holiday Parties and I was there, standing alone, yet again, wondering how I can bust my way into the clique that has formed with me on the outside. I waited calmly for someone to talk but everyone was busy so I just waited. Eventually the festivities began and two mom's next to me started to chat. I tried to join in and figured out they were talking about makeup, so I randomly nodded my head without really paying any attention to what was going on...

Mom 1: I did my eyes today so that it would take people's attention from all this (she said while pointing to her lower part of the face.)
Mom 2: I know, it is very difficult, I never do make up but now I am having to, to hide all this.
Me: What?
M2: You don't have to worry about anything, you have perfect skin.
Me: What?
M1: You must be like 40 plus with the skin of a 25 year old.
Me, in my head: WTF! I am just bloody standing here, I get told I have good skin (yay!) and then get told that I am 2 plus years older than I actually am (Bloody F).
M1 and M2, check my face while I stand like a dumbass still wondering What?? happened here!

We move rooms and I am now next to another mom, who is wearing a pair of boots that I would love to own! I am lusting about it and I mention to her...

Me: Love your boots.
Her: Thanks.
Thirty second pause while she is thinking what to compliment me with...
Her: I love your eyebrows...
Me: Thanks...
Her: All you Indian people have amazing eyebrows that crown your entire eye.
Me, instead of just saying thanks and letting it go, bring myself down in the classing way only I can do: No, see I have black hair, if I do not shape it on time, I am growing a forest. I have to shape my eyebrows, remove upper lip hair, ugh! I hate this whole hair removing business...

Yup, she lost interest in me very soon. And I am wondering why I do not fit in...hah!

I got complimented for the whole Indian group of eyebrows...I got told I am old with good skin...I walked out amused. There is no way I can get on top of this. I will keep on trying though...maybe just say Thanks and shut up next time might help.

Still rocking the good skin at my age!
Amused ART

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scarf That!

An office friend traveled to South East Asia a few years ago and came back with a scarf for a gift for me and another colleague. I remember looking at the piece of cloth wondering what to do with it. I did not know what it was either. I took it home and placed it my closet with other miscellaneous pieces of oddball cloths. The other colleague also had no idea what to do with it. She used it as a coaster.

It took me almost 7 years to figure out what it was. It was a scarf. I was not fashion forward. I had seen my friend wear it as a scarf but never thought I could pull it off...Not sure if I am still pulling it off but I like it. It keeps me warm on a cold day while looking colorful and cute. I wear it ruffled or pleated. I wear it on blues and reds and other colors. I like how it pops out of my black jacket to add color to my life. I don't need neck jewelery!

Thanks friend for the beautiful gift that has stayed with me for so many years and now is making a mark in my life...

While I am scarfing it up now, I wonder where the other scarf is? In the trash? Dusting tables and windows? It did after all start its life as a coaster, cannot go much higher now can it? I wonder what my friend thought every time she walked past the coaster scarf?

Scarfed up ART