Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nothingness...leads to a lot of BS

I had this window open for a while. Each topic I think of writing feels combative. This is not the only reason for the existence of the blog - to complain about people or their habits. I want it to be more of a place where my daughter can come back and read about her mom, her life, things I have not had a chance to share with her yet. But some days I feel like this is more of a rant space. A space where I can bitch about people with a veil. A vent space that all of us sometimes need. I am glad I have this venue, a place where I can secretly complain and hope that the person I am complaining about reads and gets the hint. It some how misses the mark almost all of the time though 😋

The weather outside is pretty cold and rainy, has been raining for two days straight, feels like I live in Seattle. The thing about rainy weather is that it is cozy, it should be enjoyed from within the sheets of your bedroom, with a hot cuppa chai and some hot pakoda that was cooked by someone other than you. A snuggle, some TV, a sippa chai would be perfect. But if you look at it from the window of your office, it is lonely, gloomy, and very depressing. If you have not seen the sun three days in a row, it can get boring too. And this is Texas weather we are talking about, a lot of rain almost always equals with hail, tornadoes, or just high speed winds, so we are on the constant look out.

S and us have started to do fun stuff on the weekends. Things that she enjoys with us. One weekend the two of us played badminton for almost an hour and had the best time doing so. One weekend G brought her biking to visit me at the gym while I was trying to fake work out. It was such a pleasant surprise to see them both all happy and smiles. She biked 4 miles that day. She also ran with me, or rather ahead of me 3 miles once. We are trying to do random physical activity with her to keep her fit while she is going through so many down days at tennis due to the weather outside. She loves her tennis, she loves it enough to want to play it for fun. She is not much into competition, she tells me that she just does not feel it in her to compete in sports. She enjoys hitting with us and her coach but that is it. I am happy that she has a good knack at raquet sports. She picked up badminton in 3 minutes of trying to figure out what to hit and where.

Oh well! I had nothing to write and then a lot of something to say. There is a lot more stuff where this came from and hopefully I will be able to pull them out one at a time!

Pensive ART

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Truth!

We never hear the truth from people. Period!

Not unless they trust you completely and you are the one person in the world to whom they will confess. So true in the world of Facebook and other social media. Everyone is having a gala time, at least that is what you think. Successful work life, great marriages, amazing family and the Best of all the Best things in the world. This is also so true in real life. You meet people, old friends and new alike, everyone presents their best self to you. You never know what the truth is, real happiness, faking a great work-life balance? Who knows.

I once had a chat with a mom and the discussion traversed into the sensitive talk about "working." I am always wary because I often times find myself defending the fact that I work post maternity. I find mother's who do not work defensive about their choice too. I feel that there is no need to defend. It is what it is, we choose what works best for us. To each his own. Yet this mom told me, "I have always wanted to go back to work but with two kids I barely have time. And my husband, he is so nice, he tells me not to go back to work, there is no need for it. I also do not know if I will get the right job as I have not worked in 8 years."

A week or so later I meet the husband sans wife. We start talking about work and exchange qualifications before he says, "I wish my wife worked. I have been asking her to go back now that both kids are in school and she refuses to give it a try. I am a strong believer that everyone should put their qualification to good use."

My jaw dropped. Oh well! I think it might help family to share notes before they step out 😋

A Grinning ART

Friday, December 29, 2017

Round Up!

Of course it is a wrap! 2017 is closing down and 2018 is gearing up for a start.

I stopped believing that things really change in the new year. I do not believe that an entire year sucked or rocked because of one incident. What is a year but a marker to keep life feeling immeasurable...and yet, I do these posts every year.

2017 seems to be the year I blogged the least. I guess I was busy at home and at work to spend a few minutes on my blog. I will try to fix that in 2018. I am getting older and wiser.

Things we did this year:
  •   S ran her first 5K with me. We joined a running group and she ran-walked the whole thing. It was super fun.
  • Enjoyed Holi with friends at the temple with friends! It was crazy!

  • We threw a fun Harry Potter Themed Baby Shower for our dear friend A.

  • We camped in OK by one of the most windiest lakes ever. Our tent almost flew with us in it. It was an adventure and we loved it!

  • S had her second Bharatanatyam recital. She did amazing and so did her entire class. Parents visited and spent two months with us. It was amazing!
  • Summer was filled with pool fun. Friends and family alike...S enjoyed.

  • Z visited us alone! She is a big girl now and we had a great week with her.
  • G's family visited us in summer! We went to Destin with them!
  • The Solar Eclipse of 2017! Where we rocked the solar glasses! 
  • And then, off we went to Niagara!
  • S got her bangs hairstyle that she wanted for the longest time. She was super excited!
  • Dandiya with friends - twice! It was super fun! I am looking forward to it again this year!
  • S and G had multiple birthday celebrations! Lots of cake, lots of friends, I wish we could do this all over again ever year! Love the friend-family.

  • Started biking this year with G. We have had some fun and adventurous rides exploring our neighborhood! See the turtle we hung out with at Interlaken in Plano.

  • S turned double digit! so we had a fun birthday planned! A slime party and sleepover with a handful of girls! 

  • S did her first Bollywood dance with a new friend that she enjoyed hanging out with!

  • And then we left for our world tour! 
    • Germany
      • Visited Schloss Alsbach
      • Dinner at Heidelberg - double date sans kids
      • Drive to Neushwanstein - met with M & B there!
      • Eat - the yummiest veggie paella in the world!
    • India
      • Taj Mahal
      • Wedding fun @ Kurukshetra
      • Eating @ Delhi
      • Pune - Enjoying with J and family - Karla Caves
      • Mumbai - Spending time with M, A and R. It was a treat! 
        • Visited the India office of my company.
      • Mangalore - Reception fun.
        • Beach trip
        • Village visit
      • Bangalore - 
        • Bino, Thameem
        • SP's family
        • Hareesh, Seenu
        • Eating and dancing - S's first dance floor experience.
      • Spending time getting pampered with friends and family and Lakme alike!

    • France:
      • Paris
      • St. Gervais Les Bains
      • S and G's first ski experience. They loved it! 
      • We had to trek down from our chalet to buy oil, wine and bread! The trek was in 4' of freshly fallen slow. We had no roads or trails that we could see. I fell a few times before we reached St. Gervais! It was an experience. Spectacular views...Alps!

  • Started the trip in Alps and ended it there! How fun!
  • Came back feeling empty and luckily had friends to cheer us during the X-Mas break!

Now we look ahead to the next year and hopefully it is not rocky and is smooth sailing!

Happy New Year to everyone! Cheers and have a great one! From ours to yours...

A New Year ART

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Glu with the Umlaut!

We were going from 70 degrees into 20 degrees F. It was a big difference, especially if you are suddenly transported from whatever weather to winter wonderland. We were dressed very warm and yet, it was not good enough. After seeing the Hohenshwangau Castle we had a small break. We went to the nearest restaurant and gorged on the yummiest squash soup ever and bread. We ate to kill the cold, runny noses and almost frost bitten digits.

We were almost thawed when we had to rush to take the horse carriage ride up the mountains to Neuschwanstein castle. One friend said the golden words in front of the waitress who spoke very little English and another friend translated it, "I wish we had some hot wine for the trip."

Tada! We had five coffee cups with lids filled with hot wine...or Glu (with the umlaut) wine in our hands. Our hands felt warmer as we climbed up the trail smelling horse poop while watching the most breathtaking views from up the Alps. We drank the hot drink that went down our throats warming us up inside out.

I craved to have more but the trip was short and we were out of Germany. I have traveled a bit in the last few years and I always come back with something I really love and a need to recreate it at home. We tried out Glu Wine at home on Xmas Eve and it was fantabulous. One thing to remember is that it is sweet with spices and sugar so it can be super heady. Also, one glass should carry you through the night.

Glu-ing ART
Looking forward to the New Year 2018!
With the Glu in our hands in the Horse Carriage!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Oye Teri!

I have seen it in my niece and nephew. I have seen it with my friend's children. I am seeing it in adults, in people of all ages and sizes. We are obsessed with our mobile phones, making memories while letting memories slip away.

I was at my daughter's school's holiday party where kids were performing. More parents' were keen on recording the video and taking pics than actually watching the show. It was annoying for those few who were actually there to enjoy the show. We had to see a bunch of raised hands and bright screens.

On the same note, when we now meet, as a family or group of friends, kids are sitting down with their cellphones and hardly paying attention to their family. My daughter likes to spend 10 minutes with kids around and then politely asks for wifi password before disappearing into the room watching her show. I have tried to get her out but she always claims some inadequacy and escapes.

My niece comes all the way to Dallas and guess what she does? I fly all the way to meet family in India and guess what they do? I invited a few friends over for S's birthday and guess what the older kids did? It is a frustrating series. I had to get rude and have the phones confiscated so they would spend time together.

On our trip to India this time, we realized that internet was a luxury. Everyone we knew had switched over to GIO which is like a wifi stick that barely has any strong signals to play netflix. This made S get out and socialize. She tried hard to watch and gave up. She sat between us, she got to know her cousins better, her family better and she actually enjoyed the trip for what it was and not for a memory of watching netflix in different countries and cities. It was such a welcome change. At the end of the trip she came up to me and said mom, "this has been the longest I have gone without TV," and I happily agreed. S finally understood that there is a life beyond Netflix when we travel.

India is always teaching lessons...this time it was for S, a valuable lesson.

I really wish we would put down our phones, meet people vis-a-vis and read emotional cues, feel the pulse of being together rather than exist in whatsapp groups wishing only for birthdays! It is good to be in touch on the web but it matters more to be present with the people you are with. Photos of feet and fish faces can wait but I might not...

Hope y'all had a very merry X-Mas.

Fishy-Facey ARTY from the French Alps!