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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just Wondering...

Recently, someone in our neighborhood did something wrong...for example say, cutting lane while driving. It always frustrates me when people do that to me when I am driving. I sometimes honk, show them the finger, or abuse them, depending on my mood and that is that. I forget about it after a few minutes.

When I drive back home from work, there is this particular red light for a left turn which takes forever. The line is very long, extends all the way back into the highway sometimes. A lot of people try to take the right lane and then merge left closer to the light. This simple act delays the rest of us waiting in line patiently, very frustrating. I have let people cut in several times and in a few occasions have been the annoying person myself. My apologies. The point is, we all make mistakes while driving, some knowingly while most are just bad judgement. We have to give others the benefit of doubt because we have also been in similar situations.

Now imagine bad driving experience happening in your neighborhood, where you might bump into the person on a social occasion, or at school. So you cannot show the finger, or abuse, or honk, you have to politely let it slide, show restraint. With some people that does not happen. They took this person, the line cutter, to task. They posted it on Facebook, our community page, and not just that, there is a photo too, with license plate and all.

I put myself in that driver's position. There could be 1000 reasons why I could have chosen to do the bad deed, putting little school walking kids in danger. None of them could be justifiable. But what the Facebook poster do is single me out. She tried to say that I was the only offender of the sort in the world and she has never done anything close to it while driving. She chose to ridicule me at the cost of my privacy and my children's safety. She assumed that posting it there and having 40 other people abuse me, bash me and call me names are acceptable and did not stop to realize that she was bullying another mother who's kid might also be in the same school.

When I saw the post, I was so angry. I was so angry with the FB poster. I wondered how women in their effort to sound self-righteous can become callous. The poor lady was in tears, angry, embarrassed, and everything else. I am disappointed to see my neighbors behave this way. FB community page is for information sharing not for venting out personal vendetta's.

I am out of FB to keep my sanity, to stop wasting my time on the videos and gif's and meme's. I only checked message if they were from the communities I am a part of or from a few friends but I completely stopped responding to any messages or randomly liking things only to not hurt another person's feelings. Now I feel liberated...well, at least until I read such stupidity and get upset about. What horrible people would bully an adult woman and gang up on her! Ugh! With all technology we still remain stuck to our pettiness.

An Irate ART

Monday, July 11, 2016

Messaging Woes...

Please...


  1. Reply promptly to invites. Wouldn't you like that for you when you invite others?
  2. Respond promptly to messages. A lot of times your response decides what I will do with my time or resources. Your delay in response can cause unnecessary inconveniences that can be avoided.
  3. Understand that no one likes to be another's Plan D. If you cannot make me a priority, I understand, but do not make me feel used.
  4. I can see that you have read my message...don't think you can fly under the radar and reply 3 days after and say that you had not read my message before...tsk tsk tsk.
  5. NO is a totally acceptable response to an invite or a request. If you cannot handle it, you need to do some introspection. I should not be afraid to say to NO to you because you are psychologically bullying me into doing what you want. This is the worst feeling in a relationship and can cause irreparable damage.
  6. Even if you want to say NO to something I am asking, please do so promptly. I will try and keep check on my emotions and deal with it in a mature way. But it always helps for me to hear the rejection now than later.
  7. Try to not make plans and then dump me. I understand unstoppable circumstances. I have done the same...and I get it. Sucks to be on both sides.
  8. Oh! and please do not read emotions in my simple statements or messages. I will express my mood with emoticons. I am known to abuse their usage...so you will know how I am feeling at any given time. 
  9. And yes, this post is totally factual and any resemblance to sarcasm or frustration is purely coincidental. 
  10. And no, this post is not directed at any one person but to all my interaction on Whatsapp with my many friends individually and in groups. So, if you think this is all about you, I am sorry to disappoint you. It is not always all about you but maybe one or two things do apply to you :P (see...Emoticon use :P)
  11. Oh! and I have done a lot of the above as well...I am on the mend now, hopefully you will head that way too...Respect and be Respected.
In the days and age of Whatsapp, I can really see who is doing what...almost...not stalking at all...nope! But really, I can see who got my message and if you read it or not. I want to keep my friendships clean and clear with no hard feelings and looks like Whatsapp might cause a few dents here and there...

A Messaging ART


Friday, July 08, 2016

Bubblistic Words!

Scene:
Wimbledon 2016 J.W. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Murray (GBR) on TV.  S and I are cuddled up on the sofa, G cooking dinner or doing something in the kitchen.

Conversation:
S: Where is Tsonga from?
Me: France, see it says FRA next to him for France.
S: Oh, but Andy is English, right?
Me: Yup, see, it says right there... GBR for Great Britain.
S: So, why is it not GFRA?
Me: What?
S: GFRA, for Great France.
S said it with all innocence that I gave her a tight squeeze, related the story to G and explained to her that even I cannot figure out what the hell Great Britain, UK, England and all them rubbish stands for. And then this video came along to explain it all so nicely...yup, no one still gets it! Bunch of bollocks to confuse the world.

These guys stole the words from Babs head.

A Commonwealth ART


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu

What you have learnt is only a handful and what you have not is the size of the world...I love this saying and everyday I realize that I will never ever know everything but I should be happy with everything I know. Else, my life will follow the path of misery...

I travel a lot, around the world, locally, here, there, everywhere. I am always up for a road trip. I am up for seeing new things. I am ready to jump on a train or a plane. Nature fascinates me, people amaze me, and the journey itself is enthralling. And yet, after all these years of roving, I realize that I have only seen a few places in the world in comparison to what all is out there.

The same realization occurs to me everyday at work. When I pick up on something that has existed for 1000's of years but only made its presence known to me now, I am in awe. There is an excitement in discovering ancient knowledge and the process of learning new things creates new vigor in life. So much more to learn, to do, to see...

And the best part is when you are learning with your little girl her school stuff and you accidentally stumble upon a different way to do simple math that had never occurred to you before. Most of the time I realize new things as I try to explain a concept to my daughter. When I am trying to break things down for her, I almost always bump into something fascinating. So much more to learn...

What Avvaiyar said gazillion years ago holds good forever...I keep adding a new feather to my hat each day but never heavy enough bring down my hat...

A knowledgeable ART

Friday, June 17, 2016

Time!

Typically at this time of the year we are off to our Euro Sojourn. Not this year. We are staying home, doing things around town, sending B to camps all 11 weeks of her summer break. I am not sure that she likes it but that is that.

The storms seem to have left Dallas after a very eventful spring. We saw about 5 or 6 hail storms and a few very damaging. Now our roof is getting fixed among other work around the house. One thing about owning a house, something or the other needs work to be done. When we finished the toilets the light in the closet went out, when we got that fixed the light at the entry blew out, and so on and so forth. You get the point.

Last weekend a friend of mine came home and made us get into the pool after 10 in the night. We were swimming and chatting in water past mid night. We had the music turned on and we relaxed as Saturday slowly turned into Sunday. It was my first time ever staying in our pool past dark. We also hosted G's aunt and niece over two weekends. B had her BFF spend a weekend with us. Yup, our house is rarely empty. G and I tease that if we were a hotel, we could show 80% occupancy.

G's aunt spent two weekends with us. We showed her and her wonderful daughter the fun side of Dallas. We ate out a lot, cooked in, went Downtown and showed off our beautiful Klyde Warren Park. Had late night chatting sessions and shopped. It was all super fun. I wish we had more family visiting us and spending time with us. And this is the best part about living in a house, we always have room for as many people as possible. We have stuffed it up so tight sometimes that we barely have room to breathe but it is still fun because we are all family.

And with so many activities going on summer came upon us very fast. We have more trips planned for the year and cannot wait to see family and friends! On the work front, life is hectic, something or the other keeps happening taking away peaceful nights from us. This is the life we have chosen and we grind our teeth and bear through it all.

A very Texas Hot ART

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Babs Speak

Babs: So there is this girl in our camp...blah, blah, blah...
Me: Oh ok...hmmm...hmmm...
Babs: She is 15 and has a boyfriend.
Me: Is he also at the camp?
B: Nope, she was talking to him on the phone sitting next to me and guess what?
Me: What?
B: She told her boyfriend "I love you" before she hung up.
    Babs was all giggles as she said that while I exchanged a meaningful glace at G who was driving the car. We both had a slight smile on our face. Babs continued...
B: Well, you don't have to worry...
Me: About what?
B: About me saying those things at 15, I have a long way to go till I am 28 and have a boy friend.

G and I could not hold it in any longer...we burst out laughing.

Babs, I will hold you to these words...which is why it is being written here and immortalized...well at least as long as Google Blogger is around :P

Love the innocence and hope it never goes away.

Loving Mom ART

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two Women and I - In a Car!

I was in a car, with two other women heading to lunch. We were not similar in age or appearance. I was closer to 35 than 40 and they were above half a century. I was in a skirt and blouse and open toe heeled shoes, comfy in the Texas summer at the same time looking professional.

Lady 1 (L1): I wonder why people in this company (the one we had just visited) are so badly dressed.
Lady 2 (L2): Yup, looks too casual for a corporate HQ.
L1: If I were the boss, I would make everyone dress formal to work. Some days you are thrown out to meet the VP's and what nots and you always have to be ready to face the person.
L2: Agreed. I am very traditional when it comes to dressing. It has to be proper for work.
L1: Ya, my pet peeve is people coming to work in jeans and tennis shoes.
L2: I hate open toe shoes for work. It just seems too casual...

Arrgghh..umm...Rude...

And I was sitting in the back, not sure if she saw my feet or not. Regardless, I did not care. I was not going to fester sweaty smelly feet, plus our company policy had nothing against open toe shoes..and, the shoes looked good with the skirt.

Somehow I felt that the whole conversation was against the Indian community that worked at our client place. Most of whom chose comfort over fashion. And the last specific comment confirmed my suspicion.

If open toed shoes were the only thing that bothered her, she must be happy with what she wears. If I were her, I would have turned my closet into a bonfire...it was hideous...nope, not holding a grudge here :P

And every time I wear my open toe shoes to work, I remember this conversation.

Open-Toe Shoed ART :P

Friday, February 19, 2016

Viva Mexico!


WOW! I mean seriously WOW! The photo here shows the view to the Pacific from our room. What you cannot see is the bar at the pool, a swim-up bar. It was something I have always wanted to do and as I sat down to grab a bite before heading to our room the bar caught my eye. I was excited to try it out. And the verdict is....it is 100% legit awesome!



When we had planned the trip to Mexico we had other things in our mind but as things go plans changed and a few people dropped out of the trip. Still 19 of us were there together taking in the splendor of nature and resort beauty. I say resort beauty because we ventured outside the safe confines of the resort only once in the whole trip.

7 of us were on our flight to Puerto Vallarta for a 4 day trip, the rest of the gang was joining us a day later. The resort promised us all inclusive drinks and food and we could not be more excited at the prospect of having a drink on our hand when we stretched it out. We were ready, sunglasses, beach sandals, dresses, swim suits and with a smile grin on our faces we got to the resort. The views were breathtaking from the get go, the hot sun meant loosing our jeans and jackets in our hotel rooms and getting into comfy beach wear. We spent every waking minute either by the beach or by the pool. We relaxed to the sound of ocean waves breaking the beaches and the sun gently adding a tan to our already tanned skin. While the white people on the resort property were running away from the umbrellas all the Indians were busy trying to find the shade...

The first night we were there they had a beach party. Buffet and unlimited drinks with live music and a show. We could not find a table for the 7 of us to sit together. My girlfriend and her husband, Babs, and I shared a table together with a few Americans and Canadians while G sat with his parents. We got very friendly with the Canadian sisters next to us who warned us of the potency of the alcohol in Mexico. We smiled thinking in our heads...we are young, we can handle these things...until we got got slightly sick. That night we created memories and a lot of firsts for me and our husbands supported us...well, literally.

When the rest of the crowd came in, the children were uncontrollable. We barely saw them, they were soaking in the sun and the water and started looking like fish. They also started enjoying the benefits of the swim-up bar. The beach was just a few steps away and the kids kept going in from one waterbody to the other. They also added in a bit of the warm tub to get a bit comfy.

The morning breakfast, the drinks by the pool, the drinks in the pool, snacking by the beach, coffee at noon or night were a few things that made it a perfect vacation. I loved the long walks by the beach with friends and mother-in-law. The waves gently wet our feet while the sun and wind controlled our body and hair. The open skies, the boy selling tender coconut, the chatting, the exploring of ocean side Vallarta's all felt so relaxing.

We also spent half a day going into the city and doing the necessary touristy thing of walking by the beach on the boardwalk, shopping souvenirs and taking lots of photos. The board walk reminded me of Besant Nagar Beach and Pondicherry a lot. I was happy to go back the familiar smell of the ocean, the Bay of Bengal that I love so fondly, I remembered the times with my best friend by the beach.  I have blogged about a couple but there were millions. I miss my teen and pre-teen years every time I am by the ocean.

G and I always take vacations where we are up at sun rise and rushing out to go visit places one after the other, ticking off landmarks as we go through them in a hurry and then head back to the hotel close to mid night totally wiped out of any energy. This vacation was different. We parked our rear ends in one place and stuck it there till we absolutely had to move it. And we did move only because something more relaxing or fun was happening. We walked around the beach in darkness, we sat by the ocean and chatted with family, we had long discussions that went into the night...it was nice to be there with friends and family. Alone...might have gotten a bit boring...I think.

This, hopefully is the start of a yearly tradition. A perfect break for us...

Relaxed...
ART

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Psssttt....

Sometimes you feel like a fool, well at least I did. I did something wrong, nothing wrong to feel terrible about, just a tad guilty. I thought I was doing something that I should have told everyone but I I chose not to for reasons only known to me. I thought I was depriving my friend of information and could not muster up my face to see her.

...Few years down the road...I realize that my friend also kept the same secret away from me. She knew and hid it from me and I was wasting my energy feeling guilty while I was being duped...Face Palm moment.

So now that I am guilt free...well, sort of...life feels better and I do not feel bad that I am not friends with that person any more :)

Life is unique and there are so many twists and turns...friends today can become acquaintances tomorrow. I am getting more and more guarded with people around me. I feel that I have been hurt too many times and may have hurt others too in the process. I am starting to tread gently for my sake as well as others...

Guilt Free
ART

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chinese Drama





Everyone who knows me has heard of my love for anything Korean. I get all sorts of gifts from friends visiting Korea while I sit here burning in jealously. The Korean drama pool in Netflix has dried up, I have seen everything that interests me and I need more, in search of something fun I landed up watching "Empresses in the Palace".

Now, it is Chinese. I am so used to the Korean sounds that getting readjusted to hearing Chinese language was very difficult. Throughout the 6 episode series I kept trying to hear and identify familiar words. I understand that Hwang (meaning Emperor) is the same in Korean and Chinese. Both languages call their princess very similar sounding...Konju/Gongzhu, so on and so forth.

What did I think of the drama? Loved it, loved it to obsession that I was lost when it ended after 6 short episodes. The twists and turns, every character having a grey shade in them, life as a King and that of the rest of the people in his palace, everything was eye opening. The details and the make up were amazing, the acting was brilliant and the scenes were all set up like postcards. The body language, the outfits, the facial expressions, I could go on and on. The story is captivating, several twists and turns, revenge, love, betrayal, loyalty, every aspect of a good winning recipe is captured and used in the right dosage.

Does this mean I will be making a shift to Chinese love?? Korea will always be my third love. Till Netflix adds more LeeMinHo, KangJiHwan, or EunYoonHye dramas, I will start looking around other parts of Asia.

Next Up Atelier - A Japanese drama...hopefully I will like to stick around past the second episode. I strongly believe that I need to give it at least 2 episodes before I call the show a dud.

A Chinese Drama Loving ART

Image Source: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44821647

It Happens

It always happens. I am open to accepting it but change always takes time to feel natural and real. Going back will not be difficult but caution will be exercised. Going through the change again won't be pleasant and the bridge might be burnt down forever...

Love
ART

Transition

The transition is small and subtle. There was a time when I used to smile remembering something that my husband did or said, I have even laughed out aloud just remembering snippets of my life. Then it changed to my baby. Things she said or did that brings a smile to my face in my mundane life. My husband still made me smile but my baby took over mind. Today, on my way driving to work I thought of a performance she was trying to do for us at home, it was funny, hilarious and cute but it made her laugh so hard which made it even more funny for the rest of us, she was being funny and silly and artistic at the same time. I started laughing aloud and it made me happy. I had somehow sometime ago transitioned from the love struck wife to a mother in love...

My baby precious!

Monday, January 04, 2016

And the Year is Winding Down!

Wow! Where did the time go? Where did 2015 go? The year brought in a lot of mixed emotions. It was not a great year like 2014 was but not a totally bad year too. If I have to give it marks, this would be a 2.5 out of 5, or a color, this would be light yellow, in food this would be the french fry. Things happened, life moved on but nothing earth shattering in my life. Work life saw one of the craziest four months ever. I still cannot believe that I endured it.

Babs is a year older and smart Alec-er. G and I are tugging along hoping to get health as an important factor in 2016. We gave up on 2015 long ago, G did try but every time he succeeded something pulled him back. I did not even try.

Well, a recap to keep myself sane...

January - Got Licensed in the state of Texas and Maryland. I was afraid of the exams and postponed it as much as I could. I am glad that it is over and that I got my time back. Which of course I did not put to any good use.

February - Celebrated Valentine's with Babs classmates at school, chaperoned Babs to her field trip and spent a couple of days cooped up in the house due to the famous Dallas ice/snow storm. We also had a lot of friends visit us at our house and started an impromptu jam session. Babs made me happy by singing "Main Tenu Samjhavaan..." with her Wawa.

March - I turned a year older. It was one of my best birthday party ever. My girl friends and I went to a restaurant for a slight snack and drink and then went dancing till they closed the club. We have so many great memories from that day. My BFF also visited me and took me out to get our nails done, in all a very relaxing day. We also played holi with friends in the park on a super cold day, spent another day at home due to the weather...and Babs said bye bye to her ice skating classes as her favorite teacher left the city.

April - Girish's cousin and family visited us. We took them around Texas, cooked a lot, ate a lot and got our Cowboy on! I also accompanied Babs on her field trip again and it was awesome hanging out with the girls in the zoo.

May - Babs and her best friend spent a day in Dallas downtown celebrating diversity at Klyde Warren Park and art at the Nasher Sculpture Garden. I spent a couple of days in Atlanta for the AIA convention and we got our travel visas for the big trip next month.

June - We left for our yearly international trip. This time it was France (Paris, Mont St. Michel, Balleroy, Normandy, etc), Greece (Athens and Santorini), Germany (Koln and Alsbach). Hanging out with family, eating and drinking, and being together with friends made the trip really memorable.

July - Started working on a back breaking project that put all activity in life to a zero. I did manage to squeeze in a trip with friends to stay in a ranch in West Texas. It was three days of lazing around, cooking, eating, singing, drinking and general fun times with friends. We also enjoyed fine dining with friends at Nobu,

August - Spent a lot of time with friends whenever we could get out. My parents came!!! It was awesome. They took care of Sanjana and me while I worked crazy hours.

September - More work craziness and parents helped keep my sanity. Babs and I went to the aquarium, which has now become a yearly tradition for us. We go there every time Girish goes to spend time with friends at US Open. Mom came to Nasher with us and Babs started her dance lessons. She was excited beyond limits.

October - Went to Arijit Singh concert, partied with friends, Spent a night at work, came home to celebrate Babs birthday, got a total of 2 hours of sleep in 48 hours. I crashed hard! We had a fun Halloween with Babs and our friends.

November - One more staycation with friends at a house by a lake this time. It was super fun, we once again relaxed as best as we could and came back to finish up the year. Had an awesome Diwali with friends. Babs wrote Hindi for the first time. We hung up the Christmas Decorations the day after Thanksgiving with Babs BFF Nicole had her mom. We also got to dog sit two dogs (Buddy and Jules) and it was an awesome experience.

December - Babs did her first Tae Kwan Do Competition and won bronze. She was very nervous and she did well. She also did her first ever Tennis tournament and finished as runner's up in the consolation round. Of course, none of us are ecstatic but a good start. Babs won a school award for a photo she submitted and a district level award for another photo of hers. She was super happy and so were we, Lot of backyard construction work, family came in, all 11 of them and the house was tested to its full capacity. We enjoyed long nights and discussions and arguments. I am sure I will miss it till the next big family get together. We did get Babs a karaoke set and now we (adults) seem to use it more than her. It is so much fun holding the mike.!!!

Looking forward to much more fun year ahead...

From ours to yours...Wishes for a very bright and prosperous 2016!

Love
ART